Do orphan mares make good mothers? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question Do orphan mares make good mothers?

I am considering breeding my quarterhorse paint mare, she is registerd, to another registered paint. She was hand raised at one month, mother died of strangles. She received very good care from her owners until I got her at age 3. She will be 5 in June. She has an awesome disposition, took to training like a trooper, very eager to learn. When she was a baby, she became tangled in barbed wire and has some deep scars that need attention from time to time. As a result of the accident, she also has a bad knee and is good to ride every other day and not too hard. She is beautiful and athletic looking and would I believe have an awesome looking foal. So that's my question, as an orphan will she make a good mother?
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 09:05 PM
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Impossible to predict, some mares that were raised by their mother don't end up being good mothers.

Before breeding, you should consider the stress on her old injuries while pregnant. Also be willing to pick apart every little conformation fault of both mare and stallion to make sure it a suitable match.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 PM
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Id speak with the vet about it. But i dont see why she wouldnt know how to love her own foal. It just comes naturaly to horses.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 09:32 PM
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Good question something I never thought of I would think Instinct would prevail & she'd make a good mom. I think her temperment around other horses would tell you alot,If she does well in a herd situation & behaves like others I would think her to be well adjusted. Some orphans don't don't get that early equine socialization which can make them lacking in equine social skills that would make them good moms. I have an orphan filly she is coming 2,somewhere down the road I'll probably think of breeding her. I had never really considered the question you raise,but something to think about. My filly was a bucket raised for feeding but had a surrogate mom from very early on that she lived with & still considers her mommy.She was also integrated to herd life by 4-5 mths old. I think she has developed normal equine social skills,but not all orphans have that socialization early on.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 09:36 PM
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I don't know how she would do, but with ANY mare, its kind of a crap shoot the first time around. Some mares make great mothers, and others are horrible in some way or another, I don't think whether or not they were an orphan makes a difference. The instinct should just naturally be there, nature and evolution taking their course to ensure an animal's survival. In my time with horses, I've only met one mare that the owners will never breed again, because she was just not a good mom, and a lot of problems arose, but most mares I've known, even if a little hesitant in the beginning, ended up figuring it out just fine.

I second that the bigger concerns are her injuries, would she be okay and not exasperate her injuries any more, carrying a baby for 11 months. And of course her actual conformation, and the stallions conformation. Being registered does not mean that he horse is automatically breeding quality, and if you are going to breed, you want to make sure that you are breeding a quality horse. I would look at what you want to do with the baby, be it reining, western pleasure, dressage, jumping etc, and then look at your mare, post pictures on here for others to critique your mare, ask people around your area to look at your mare, and ferret out any possible flaws, places of weakness, and only if she is reasonably conformationally sound, then look for a stallion that is built properly for whatever it is you want to do, that he has strong points where your mare may be weak, or need some improvement, and only then should you really breed. Of course us being horse people, we'd love to see pictures just because too.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 09:45 PM
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Speaking as someone who has had orphan lambs have babies later on - I would say that instinct will take over. My sheep who were orphans were terrific mother
This is Islamb who was orphaned, with her first lamb Muslamb (yes, Islmab begat Muslamb) IMG_8153.jpg
This is them over a year later....still the best of friends
IMG_1386.jpg
and here is Islamb with her latest little cutey - Gollamb (who Muslmab spends a lot of time playing with I might add.
IMG_3615.jpg

OMG sorry I just lambjacked someone elses post
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 11:42 PM
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If you can ride that mare she can probably carry a foal with little to no problems. foals do not stress a mares joints that much. A foal will probably wieht less than a rider and tack. Shalom
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-26-2013, 11:59 PM
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She had the nurture, love, and care as a foal which mommies provide, nature will take its course. It's always a gamble with mares, some are born to be mothers and others just aren't cut out for it regardless if their mothers were amazing broodies or not. I would suspect her instincts would kick in and she would naturally know what to do. My thoughts are babies more so learn manners from their mommies, not how to be a mommy
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-27-2013, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Do orphan mares make good mothers/

Thanks All, good advice,and a lot to think about. Kodah's a beaut, 'cept for the bad knee, she'd be awesome at anything. I understand even though she's registered, her lineage may be a factor with the stud's owner. We trail ride and sometimes work cattle for people. I have a trainer that trained Kodah. He does it all so I'm not concerned about getting a new horse trained for what we like to do. He's actually the one who pointed out her knee issue. He worked/trained her every other day, he's a great guy. I saw her jump this winter, she got out with the other horses, they were happy to be out and started running and bucking. She dead headed for the gravel road and jumped ditch! When she realized the others hadn't followed she whipped a U turn and jumped it again. I was so worried about that knee but nothing, no swelling, no tenderness. I will certainly look for a good lookin fella for her. Thanks again everyone, I so appreciate it. I'm glad y'all are here to talk to.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-29-2013, 10:54 PM
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You're not sorry Merlot!!!!!!!! LOL gosh I love those lambs!! :)
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