Breeding a mare year after year...
I see alot of horse websites where people will list what a mare has foaled for the following years.
What is your view on breeding year after year after year. Do you feel this is acceptable? Do you support it?
I personally would not breed a mare more then 2 years in a row. I saw my step-aunt breed her mares year after year after year and the results were heartbreaking. She was not a very good breeder and didnt take care of her mares like they should have been. Some aborted. Many were thin. I know many people dont do that but i think it put a bad taste in my mouth for the consecutative breeding.
What are your thoughts?
Have you seen the Duggers? They breed year after year. LOL
If you are breeder.......it only makes sense to breed a mare every year provided you can care properly for both the mare and foal........the horse is designed to be bred every year.......the first 6 to 8 months has relatively little to no affect on the mare.....you do not need to increase food intake until 9th month when there is rapid growth........also if you give your mare time off ......it can sometimes be hard to get them back in foal.......that is why a lot of breeders will breed their mares each year until they don't take.
I have no issues with mares being bred each year provided they are well cared for and monitored properly.
I see no problem with breeding year after year. As long as you take great care of your broodmares. Keep them healthy and on good feed. If you buy them for a broodmare you arnt making money off them if they are open.
I'm outside the mold with my thinking. I never breed my mares back after they've foaled. I like to let them have the year off to raise their foals, recover their shape and musculature and just enjoy being a herd horse for that year. I MAY, if it's a really exceptional mare, breed her again when her foal turns to a yearling but many times I don't until it's even been 2 years. It keeps my mares healthy and happy and gives me lots of quality time with the foals for handling and training.
The only exception to this plan is the broodie with rare lines or who throws really exceptional foals who is getting older and coming to the end of her productive life. I may keep one of those mares in foal year after year until she's no longer able to settle or carry. If I have a daughter though, then I tend to retire my mares fairly early too.
I can see how it would be good if you have a really good mare, but it would be better if they did embryo transfer so that the good mare stays in tip-top shape.
I think that we as humans like to put our horses in unnatural situations than balk at something that is natural... Putting a horse in a stall 24/7 is not natural. Riding a horse is not natural.. but breeding is. In the wild a horse would have babies yearly until it could not conceive anymore.
I have a 21 year old mare who is due for a foal this year. She had one the last three years also. WIth older mares it is imparitive if you want to keep them foaling they do not get a year off. This particular mare has some pretty old bloodlines I want to keep and the one year she was rested we had problems with her getting agressive with other mares and foals. I think its incredibly natural for them to be pregnant and if they are still being cared for well its not a big deal.
If you look at Roni in my breeding thread, she's been bred every year and she looks fantastic. As long as they get the nutrients and vet care that they need, they should be fine. They seem a lot happier than actually being ridden, that's for sure. Although we have decided to only breed her maybe one or two more times, since she is getting older in age.
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