How young - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-08-2009, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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How young

What is the youngest you can safely and healthily breed a mare? I've known people to breed at three-years-old...?

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Last edited by Harlee rides horses; 02-08-2009 at 12:04 PM. Reason: wording...i sounded stupid:)
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-08-2009, 12:54 PM
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quite a few people in europe breed their 2 year olds for them to deliver as a 3 year old, but personally, I wouldn't breed unless the mare was minimally 3, preferably 4. any younger, and they are still babies themselves and needing nutrients to grow and develop on their own-without having to worry about a baby
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-08-2009, 01:11 PM
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I think the earliest to breed a mare would be at 3 years old and they would foal at 4.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-08-2009, 03:02 PM
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I breed at 3 unless I'm showing a three year old then I breed her at 4.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-10-2009, 04:50 PM
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My vet had told me that she likes people to wait to breed until the mare is 5 years old. I think that way they are done growing themselves.
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-10-2009, 04:52 PM
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I would say 5 is a nice age. That way you know how the mare ultimately turns out, plus she is all done growing.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-10-2009, 09:28 PM
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It's really up to you and your vet. I know a mare who was bred (completely accidentally, btw) as a yearling and delivered a healthy foal at 2. Both her and the foal are completely fine.
Talk to your vet, preferably if they are a well spoken of reproduction vet and decide. It depends on the mare.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-12-2009, 02:25 AM
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I never bred my horses before they turned at least 3, usually pushed for 3 and a half. Breeding is risky business but breeding a horse that isnt even done its growth spurts is bad business. Imagine having a 12 year old kid pregnant (not that it doesn't happen regularly). You can imagine all the physical implications of that one.

My general rule is 3 but really its a horse dependent decision but the older the better (on the young end of the spectrum). Hope it helps.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-15-2009, 07:59 PM
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In the wild they would be pregnant pretty much once they come into season wouldn't they?? Not sure exactly how old that is...

But I agree with Cachedawntaxes... the more they've grown and matured, the better :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-23-2009, 11:16 AM
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I would say if you were to breed her at the VERY earliest, 3 years old. But I personally would wait until 5 and foal at 6. That way the mare has more time for her body to fully grow and mature safely. But that's just my opinion.

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