Breeding my Mare
I own a 21 year old Tobiano paint mare, who is about 14.2 to 15 hands tall. I am wondering what I should do before I breed her? I have never bred a horse before, and I have owned her for almost 2 years now. I am looking to breed her to a warmblood, so the baby can be used for eventing. I have done alot of research on breeding, but the internet only tells you so much. I know that she has had a baby or two before, and I think that she had one probably a year before I got her.
The one thing I am most worried about with her is that when I ride her, and only when she is worked, she tends to breath heavy for a short period of time. It only takes about two minutes for it to go back to normal at a nice brisk walk. She is overweight and on a scale of 1-10 I would rank her as a 7 or an 8. Also we are at 6,500 ft. elevation, but before that about 1,000 ft. elevation. We have only been living here in New Mexico for about three months.
But she still had the breathing problem when we were in Texas it just took a lot more working before she began to breathe heavy, and took her about the same amount of time to calm down. I would like to know what kind of check should I do for this. And also what kind of checks should I do prior to breeding (Artificial Insemination) to make sure that she is fertile and able to carry.
Here are some pictures of my mare.
You should talk with your vet about pre-breeding exams. They will be able to recommend what needs to be done. Any medications she should be placed on. If she will need help getting pregnant, etc.
Your mare should be fit though. A good exercise program before and throughout the pregnancy will ensure that she will have the easiest possible delivery.
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Honestly, I wouldn't breed her at her age, not considering the health issues.
And at her size, would not consider warmblood stallion even if she were younger either.
There are so many good horses out there, that would be ready to train in a much shorter time that this will take. I wish you would consider that instead of placing your mare at risk.
I never like to see a mare of this age bred, it is too hard on them and I don't think it is as good for the foal either.
First off, that is a lovely mare! I LOVE her hip, she looks absolutely wonderful.
Talk to your vet and see what he reccomends...We bought a mare who was in foal at age 25 and she carried, delivered, and raised the foal no problem. However it definitely will be up to the vet.
I agree though, I wouldn't go to a warmblood, I would maybe go to a more sporthorse type QH, but nothing too big.
Mares can and do carry foals at this age, but they are usually "professional" broodmares - mares that have been bred back year after year.
An older mare who hasn't had a foal for several years may not cycle and bring up a breedable follicle without a LOT of medical intervention. Make sure you understand what the procedures and costs involved are before heading down that road. Those are questions for your vet, and I hope you can find a repro specialist to work with.
I like your mare, but before doing this I think you should ask yourself some hard questions about your reasons for breeding her.
Is she an absolute top of the line sport horse prospect? If she wasn't already yours, is she the broodmare you'd pick to sire a sport horse foal? If you're breeding her for sentimental reasons, because you adore this mare, is that worth the risks of breeding an older mare?
I'm assuming that you know that this is the most expensive and time consuming way to get an event prospect, that choosing a 2 or 3 year old or even a yearling is a much, much less expensive way and much shorter way to get what you want.
All that said, first things first. Get the vet out and have a breeding exam and a uterine culture and a blood draw. Find out if the vet thinks she's breeding sound. The vet may want to monitor her and find out if she's cycling this spring, so he may want to have her teased by a teaser stallion and then palpate her when she shows in. Alternately, he can manipulate her cycle with hormones and see if she brings up a breedable follicle.
If the vet thinks this is doable and wise, then I assume you'll be looking at stallions and shooting for a breeding early next year, you've pretty much missed breeding season this year.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
She needs to be tested for frame first, because at a guess, I think she is a carrier. That is something that will narrow down your search for stallions - if she is positive, you have to make sure the stallion you choose does not carry frame, because if he does and she does, then there is a 1 in 4 chance the baby will be born and die within 72 hours.
Personally I wouldn't breed her.....she is going to be 22 when she foals. It gets harder and harder for older mares to foal no matter if they have had foals earlier in life. I am not a fan of breeding older mares, one it is harder for them to catch, and two it is harder on them. If she has a hard time when riding then what do you think will happen when she has an extra 300lbs+ of weight on her and is in labor? She is going to struggle and possibly have serious complications which could both her and her foal.
And you don't sound experienced enough....if you have only read things on the internet. If you want a baby then go buy a young horse....there are plenty of them in the world today that need homes. Your mare may be nice but is she breeding quality?And if you really want what is best you wouldn't breed her.
Hey, we bred a mare at 21 and carried it without any problems and she hadn't had any current foals at the time. As long as your vet ok's her that she can breed and she can hold her weight as far as not dropping weight easily.
I warmblood might not be such a good idea though. There are some really nice paint/qh eventers. I have one favorite stallion whose quite the producer whose about 16.1: and is AQHA/APHA registered too if interested. I've heard some really good things about his foal. :) his name is HBF Iron Man.
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I wouldn't breed her either given her age and that she's a maiden mare (I'm assuming). Too much of a risk and a crapshoot with the cost of getting a mare bred at her age. It's not cheap. I bred a black AQHA mare I owned, she was 5. It took a LOT to get it done, her follicles were never quite big enough, had to get her to cycle faster etc.
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