Questions about horse breeding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about horse breeding

I don't know much about horse breeding but I was thinking about breeding my mare. Is there an age limit to breeding? Is it dangerous for an 8 year old mare to be bred for the first time? What are some important things that I should know about breeding?

Thank you for your help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 06:54 PM
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We are going to need a little more information than that. Mind including the breed, any good bloodlines, etc? What will you be doing with this horse?

Do you have much horsey experience? Place to keep future foal? Steady paycheck? A foal will be expensive. I hope you will have a relatively experienced friend to help you along the way.

I'm sure others will have more questions.

Welome to the forum, by the way :)

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 06:57 PM
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First 8 is a good age to breed a mare if she is breeding sound which most at that age are.

However in this market unless your mare is an exceptional performer with exceptional pedigree and conformation I would not breed. There is SO MUCH that goes into breeding. Research on bloodlines and what crosses well with what and conformation. What is needed to improve on the other. Is it not just as simple as putting 2 horses together.

If all you are going to do it breed for a baby you also need to consider the fact that you COULD loose your mare in the process. All the cost associated with breeding. This is not something that should be done lightly.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 07:10 PM
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Babies are difficult to train and easy to spoil. (Difficulty increases with spoiling.)

Have you ever trained a horse before? Do you have the money to send baby to a trainer?

What qualities does your mare posess that makes her a good genetic candidate to breed? Registered? Bloodlines? Conformation? Temperament? Ability?

There are lots of questions that need good answers before breeding.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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She is a registered Appaloosa. She has great conformation and personality. I do have 15 years experience with horses just not in the breeding area. It was just an idea that crossed my mind that I wanted more knowledge on. Thank you!
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 07:23 PM
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This is taken from another thread, but I thought it gives you a good idea on the money side of it, as most cannot really fathom how much it costs, even when people say it costs a lot.
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post


Transport mare to Stud $50 to $450.00 X 2 $100 to $900.00

Stud Fee $850.00

Stud costs, grazing, vet bills etc $240.00

Grazing for mare 12 months $!2.50 plus gst per week $731.25

Post-natal care, vaccinations $80.00

Blood-typing dam $112.50

*Membership NZAHBS $100.00

*Registration fees $30.00

Gelding $300.00

*Vet Signature on Regist. Certificate $50.00

Grazing for three years $12.50 per week $2193.75

Hoof care $30.00 each X 4 $120.00

Drench, etc $200.00 per year $600.00

Supplementary feed, hay etc:

Mare - $100.00

Mare and foal - $50/month x 6 $300.00

After weaning at 6 months - $30/month x 30 $900.00

Cost of Training to Saddle - $600 to $1200 $900.00

Total $7807.50 to $8707.50


Animal Health (accidents, colic respiratory problems etc) Infinite

Professional Foaling $500.00
And all that can go wrong and what if the foal doesn't turn out the way you want? All those need to be taken into consideration. I know someone who lost a foal and it took a toll on her and her horses (especially her gelding, oddly enough). If you are interested in breeding you can find someone really knowledgeable on the subject and see if you can learn from them.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the is something that I most likely will not do...I would be to nervous about something going wrong!
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 08:05 PM
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You think that cost is bad.

Stud fee. $2K
Shipped semen counter to counter $300 X 3 = $900
Vet b/c Bill did not leave the mare here. I do all my own AI work but if you can not then you have to add this in. Vet to AI and ultra sound the mare. $150 X 9 normally 3 US/cycle. $1350

Vet check after breeding. $75 X 2 = $150

I normally do not factor in mare care as I have to keep the mare anyway and the added cost is minimal and most of the time I show the mare so she makes money.

Then once the foal hits the ground. $25 to register the foal AQHA
AQHA IF $100
NRBC $100
NRHA Futurity Nomination $300 $500

The cost to keep the foal. This will vary depending on where you live and if you have them at home or have to board them. However for me the cost to keep a foal is about $400-$500/year. $1000

Cost to train the horse at 2 until it is ready to show if I keep the resulting foal. $700 X24 months and that is just to the first show. Keep adding to that if you want to keep showing the horse. $16,800 this does not include shoes and wormer and such so add in anouther $1500

So total is just under $25K before the horse ever hits the show ring. However that foal if I sold it as a long yearling would sell for about $30K-$50K
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 11:55 PM
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Coming from a slightly different angle on this---

IF you do all the proper study and prep, consider costs and benefits and etc., have some knowledgeable people evaluate your mare and any potentially good partners for her, and after all of that are confident that you should still consider breeding your Appaloosa mare....

Registered Appaloosas, NICE quality registered Appaloosas, of any type, are not currently (IMO) being overbred. Compared to the other major stock breeds-- like AQHA which registered 136,000 or so Quarter Horses last year, and APHA which registered around 30,000 Paints last year-- ApHC registered just a bit over 5000 Appaloosas in 2008.... and for the past few years, annual recorded transfers of ownership have outnumbered annual registrations. Appaloosas are a breed where people are still buying more horses than are being produced.

Just a thought on my favorite breed....

Laura Lyon
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-24-2009, 11:31 AM
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I realize the OP is on a fact gathering mission and I commend her for doing so before just jumping straight in and then getting in over her head like so very many of our clients do. Some info for you:

An 8 year old maiden mare is highly likely to have considerable difficulty getting bred. Please do not jump in here with your personal tales of your mare who caught on the first breeding. I work for a reproductive specialist and we get dozens of maidens every year who take several seasons of management to get bred, and then very often do not carry the foal well. It is true that your girl may catch right away, or that she will need little management but remember that you very likely will need to tack on another couple thousand or so the the previously mentioned figures because she is an older maiden.

Also, do NOT count on selling your foal for anywhere near what it cost to produce her. In the last month alone we have had 10 or so animals of very high caliber donated because people cannot afford to keep them and there is no market for high dollar horses right now.

Breeding should only be done because you want to improve the breed and have a superior animal to do so. It is not something to do because you want to have the experience of trying it out.
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