curious: 18yo maiden? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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curious: 18yo maiden?

I have an arab mare, 18 years old, never been bred. She has good bloodlines, great conformation, and beautiful movement. She's pretty sane for an arab, too. I was seriously considering looking into breeding her this last spring, but school, finances, time, and a sane evaluation of my abilities convinced me to drop the idea.

There's a little part of me still entertaining the idea. DON'T WORRY, I'm not going to throw my mare in with the neighbor's mini stud just so I can have a foal in the pasture. :P (Not sure that would even work...) I know my limits and have plenty of knowledgable horse people around to keep me out of trouble. What I am wondering is, let's say I decided to breed her...

- I've heard it can be hard to get older maidens to conceive and sustain a foal...what kind of veterinary treatment would be involved in helping her out? Are we talking $100 of supplements or $1000s in tests and shots?

- Are older maidens at greater risk for delivery complications than younger broodmares?

- Which is more generally more reliable: AI or live cover?

- How careful do you have to be with a broodmare as far as not stressing her out?

If I didn't make it clear before, please know that I'm asking this mainly out of curiosity. I probably won't breed my mare because it's probably too expensive for me right now, but I just thought I'd ask so I can learn more about horse breeding. :) Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 04:35 AM
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I would look at quality of life before I consider going through something such as breeding.

Money aside, pregnancy (and even insemination) puts a lot of stress on mares. Given your mare isn't over 20 years old, but she's still getting to the senior stage where joint health starts to deteriorate and ability to keep on weight as easily.

I personally would rather find a young horse to bring along, rather than impregnate an older mare.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 09:23 AM
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Could you clarify what you mean by quality of life?
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 12:09 PM
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^I think what Sky is saying, is that having a foal (both the pregnancy and having on on the ground/nursing) puts a lot of stress on a mare. Particularly on maiden mares. Particularly on older mares. The stress on her may not be worth it in the long run.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I see.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-02-2013, 01:49 PM
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any time you breed, you have additional expense aside from the breeding fees, feed, vaccines, etc. An older mare is more prone to problems and can jeopardize the mare . as in she could die giving birth, more so with a maiden mare. I taught by local breeders and the Vet 12 is old for a maiden mare. Now there have been many maiden mares of this age and older bred and everything went hunky dory. I personally would not chance it. maybe you can find a weanling or yearling for sale with the bloodllines you want. Maybe there are some classes at your local college you could enroll in to learn .
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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It would be similar to a woman deciding to have her first child in her 40's I would think. Higher chance of complications for the mare and foal, but do able, if you REALLY wanted. If she is 100% reproductively healthy, there is a good chance she will conceive with no problems at all.

In my opinion, I wouldn't do it. I bred my 15 year old maiden mare this year, and I really hesitated due to her age. If she had been any older I would not have bred her.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-05-2013, 10:56 AM
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"It's a desert in there!!" to quote me previous vet....when my friend was trying to breed her maiden 19 yo to my stallion. Usually(of course there are always exceptions), by this time the tissue of the uterus has deteriorated to the point it will not support a pregnancy. You are potentially throwing a LOT of money down the drain. I would only try if I owned the stallion.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-05-2013, 11:20 AM
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Personally, I wouldn't even consider it...for a host of reasons.
This is a subject you should discuss with your vet.

"sane for an Arab" Ouch! Most Arabs are sane. Problems usually lie with the people.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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