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To stop this nonsense or suffer the consequences.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an Arabian mare for a Christmas gift to myself last year, from a farm that went bankrupt and sold their lot at auction. She is a horse I’ve always wanted and she’s lovely, and she came pregnant. The baby was a colt and he’s spectacular, and his parentage is unknown though I have been planning to do a DNA check.

Here is the issue: Although he is now weaned, my mare who is normally hard to get the girth tight enough, is now hard to get the girth to even fit! I’m distraught because I have both been excited to get her into shape and more so: I am worried about the inbred foal. I live in a rather rural area and I have been told by one that “this happens” and the baby probably won’t be crazy, and by another that if I am concerned, I can give her an L— shot to abort the pregnancy. Obviously I’ll get her tested before I do a shot, and I am now evaluating my options just in case.

I really don’t know what I want to do, on one hand I’m interested and I also feel wretchedly irresponsible. I feel like it’s already done. I wouldn’t abort a human baby even a special needs even though it breaks my heart to talk about such things that I don’t have experience with, and I don’t wish the dilemma upon anyone.

I’ll take all your inputs, even the beratings and tsk tsk tsks. Thank you for your time.
 

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Has she been confirmed to be bred by a vet? If she's far enough along that her girth size is changing, that would be too late for a Lute shot.

One generation of inbreeding is unlikely to result in anything too crazy. The problem is with the concentration of negative recessive genes that occurs after several generations. It does concern me that this mare has now twice been bred accidentally.
 

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So you bought your horse in foal. She delivered when? You weaned when? How old is colt now?

Now that those questions have been asked - colt may or may not be old enough to get the job done as we are only a year from your purchase. Mare is certainly no where near pregnant enough to be gaining girth from baby.

Two things - geld the colt yesterday and separate the two. Well third thing - has he even dropped?

Knowing age of colt will give us some idea of if possible or how far along. That could determine the type of test - blood, ultra sound or palpation as best route to determine pregnancy status.

Once you know if she is pregnant then you can make your decision. Do you know who the possible sires are of the colt and do you know the dam's lines? To DNA test colt for parentage verification you need to send hair from mare and colt. To rule in or out a sire you would typically send in their hair but if the potential sires are registered all you need is their names as DNA should already be on file.

That would tell you relatively quickly who sire is or is not and just how inbred new baby would be if the mare and sire are related.

Some Arabians are very prepotent and pass great genetic material along. That works in your favor. If though there is something negative it could just as likely get passed especially if mare and sire are related.

Then if it is decided she is pregnant, you know sire that there is not much risk for bad genes, both parents have great conformation and even greater sanity and temperaments and IF you are able to financially support the pregnancy and foal through weaning then ask if you are willing to risk the mare with another foaling. As a multipara most likely there would not be one. You had her for the foaling of the colt. How did that go?
 

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I wouldn't abort. The breeding could be the best thing that ever happened (all the good genes get passed on) or the worst (all the bad genes got passed on). You can't know without allowing her to foal out. Chances are, it won't be that bad even if it's not stellar.

I won't repeat all of QtrBel's questions but we do need to know the answers to truly give a semi-educated opinion.

Just confirming you bought the mare at an auction and didn't get her papers? Or a statement of who she was bred to, so you could maybe register the foal? You can't get his parentage from DNA, AHA doesn't keep that kind of searchable database. You can confirm parentage if you have the mare's name & reg number and the sire's name & reg number, that give's AHA something to test against. With no papers, it's pretty much a no-go.

Based on the info given, you're way too late to Lutelyse her and get her to abort. IF you could get a vet to even agree to try it. Most vets are pretty adamantly against late term abortion.

No condemnation here, stuff happens. I would agree with QtrBel though, geld that little sucker yesterday and get them separated for 30 days at least. Give him a chance to get his hormones to settle out.
 

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You bought the horse only a year ago, so the foal is still very much a foal - I didn't know they were able to even breed at such a young age.

Why haven't you gelded him yet, or are you planning on keeping him a stud for some reason? You need to keep mum & son separated if you don't want them to breed.

IF the mare is in foal, it couldn't be more than by a few months at most, so she would be far & away from stage of changing girth size yet.

So... all in all, you need to manage your horses better, geld the young fella, unless you WANT them breeding, and sounds like your mare is likely obese, not preggo.
 

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I wouldn’t abort. Inbreeding is ok if done once in the bloodlines. As said above you could get the most beautiful foal. Plus this happens in nature too. Anyway what ever decision you make I hope it all works out
 
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Two things - geld the colt yesterday and separate the two. Well third thing - has he even dropped?
I wouldn't abort, but that's just me. I see horses as amazing gifts. :) And besides, as someone else pointed out, there is a very narrow window and the fetus would have to be quite small. Maybe your mare just has a hay belly? I've seen geldings that look pregnant, so "belly" doesn't always equate to pregnancy. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion unless I saw him breed her.

You CAN keep them together quite successfully if you geld him. I gelded my colt at 5 months, weaned him around 7, kept a fence between them for a couple of months and then put them back together. Both mare/gelding got along famously and also rode just fine apart (when he was old enough to saddle train I sent him out for training).

Regarding the above quote, when my colt was born he was dropped within a week or two.......it was almost immediate (although I got him gelded at 5 months so he never showed breeding behavior). When I asked my vet, he said a lot of them do, I don't remember exactly what he said, but basically that it wasn't unusual at all. My friend on the other hand, who was actually a breeder, thought it was highly unusual! Like her colts never dropped until much, much later.

Thoughts on this? My colt has such cute little fuzzy testicles I felt bad getting them taken off........but did it anyway because he was my first foal and already a handful! Vet said the earliest he felt comfortable doing it was 5 months so that's what we did.
 

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When I asked my vet, he said a lot of them do, I don't remember exactly what he said, but basically that it wasn't unusual at all. My friend on the other hand, who was actually a breeder, thought it was highly unusual!
I'm no expert on this by a long shot, but when we bought some mares with 4mo foals at foot, first thing I did was get an equine vet out, who said one of the 2 colts had 'dropped' so no worries to geld whenever, but that it seemed the other was not descended, meant he was a 'rig'(or whatever they call those who can't drop) so would have to go to an equine hospital & be operated on, to desex him. Then a breeder friend introduced me to her very experienced vet who expressed surprise that a vet would assume a 4mo foal was a rig cos he hadn't dropped yet, that very often they don't until well after that age. He said it was a very small 'operation' and he was totally confident & experienced with doing it in the paddock if need be, but he advised giving it a few months yet to see. But when he checked him, he found that the foal HAD dropped anyway, so they both got gelded without any issue.
 

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Testes should descend between about a month before birth or relatively soon after - within the first two weeks. Some breeders check, some don't. They then are typically tucked up far enough that they aren't obvious until later. When later depends on the horse. There are stages in the descent and some horses fail to complete all stages. There are those that have one or both trapped in the abdomen. If both are trapped you get stallion like behavior from the hormone production but body heat kills the sperm. There are those that have one or both trapped in the canal they descend through. This canal has two rings. One that separates the abdomen from canal and one that separates the canal from outside the body. The upper ring closes to a point that passage is not possible so if still in the abdomen when it closes there they remain. The lower ring is more flexible for longer. They can and do get trapped if they don't fully descend but hormone therapy can get them to drop. Takes time but means no surgery to remove. When the colts are young they can suck them far enough back up that you don't feel them even though they are outside the canal. Usually they drop and remain dropped by 4 months. Some before, some later. They still are not mature yet and are not producing sperm. That comes later. Most won't have fully mature testicles that produce viable sperm until between 18 months and 2 years. There are those that surprise you though with a baby from a baby and have enough viable sperm by a year old or between 1 year and 18 months that you end up with a pregnant mare.

For those that run stallions on a range with mares or wild herds the sires most often do not breed their daughters. They are either bred by non dominates (young males that have not challenged the herd stallion so are tolerated and not driven away from these young females) or they leave the herd and are bred by one from a bachelor band. This is usually the start of a new herd.
 

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Son/Mother breeding is common in some animals, so it might not be that big of a deal. It'd be more scary if siblings bred, but even then, one generation might not hurt anything. And if he's really young, I doubt the mare caught at all.
 

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Testes should descend between about a month before birth or relatively soon after - within the first two weeks. Some breeders check, some don't. They then are typically tucked up far enough that they aren't obvious until later. When later depends on the horse. There are stages in the descent and some horses fail to complete all stages. There are those that have one or both trapped in the abdomen. If both are trapped you get stallion like behavior from the hormone production but body heat kills the sperm. There are those that have one or both trapped in the canal they descend through. This canal has two rings. One that separates the abdomen from canal and one that separates the canal from outside the body. The upper ring closes to a point that passage is not possible so if still in the abdomen when it closes there they remain. The lower ring is more flexible for longer. They can and do get trapped if they don't fully descend but hormone therapy can get them to drop. Takes time but means no surgery to remove. When the colts are young they can suck them far enough back up that you don't feel them even though they are outside the canal. Usually they drop and remain dropped by 4 months. Some before, some later. They still are not mature yet and are not producing sperm. That comes later. Most won't have fully mature testicles that produce viable sperm until between 18 months and 2 years. There are those that surprise you though with a baby from a baby and have enough viable sperm by a year old or between 1 year and 18 months that you end up with a pregnant mare.

For those that run stallions on a range with mares or wild herds the sires most often do not breed their daughters. They are either bred by non dominates (young males that have not challenged the herd stallion so are tolerated and not driven away from these young females) or they leave the herd and are bred by one from a bachelor band. This is usually the start of a new herd.
This is the best information I have ever read on this subject, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello everyone! OP here for an update. 1) Alas, my long yearling has been gelded.
~*~One commenter talked about her colts cute little testes, and I agree, that’s why I didn’t want to held him. He wasn’t showing any aggressive behavior and he is black, so he’s my black stallion. Rather, was. I figured if I could keep them separate and he wasn’t hard to manage, then why worry? However shortly after I wrote this question, I took my gelding out for a ride and decided to pony the colt. Usually I take them for walks together, and this was our first time ponying colt, though we have ponied my mare with the gelding quite happily. Well, it didn’t go smoothly with the colt: my gelding was bothered from the start and after about five minutes the colt mounted us both! So here I was with my unhappy but tall gelding beneath me and my tiny little black stallion’s hooves wrapped around my waist—I kid you not! Thank goodness my gelding is so good natured and tends to freeze rather than bolt, and so I was able to pry the colts hooves off without any damage to me or my gelding. I called the vet then next day. The vet showed me the prizes she got from us, because she says she’s tired of cowboys complaining that she “didn’t get it all and now they’re proud cut.” Hehe I find that so funny, and sooo believable. Here’s a picture, they were HUGE! Warning, sensitive image:
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I hope that isn’t offensive, I’m just so proud of my boy’s big balls, and I feel like we both took a trip down humble lane and got gelded.

2) As for my mare, I think she was just ridiculously skinny when I got her, and that’s why the girth’s wouldn’t fit. I’ve been feeding them well, I feed mostly barley and Timothy pellets and alfalfa pellets a few times a week. Sometimes they get grass-alfalfa hay and sometimes they get triticale. But really they mostly get these great local barley pellets I get from Medalist feed. And I guess it just goes to show how much weight a horse can put on after living the auction life.
Some of you asked if I got her or the sires name and no I did not. At best I can hope the mare will come up from DNA, but I’m not sure if she was bred before leaving the farm or after.
3) everyone is happily together in the pasture, and though my little mare is rude to the big gelding, she’s never rude to her colt (not yet!).

4) People asked why I thought he could have, and it’s because I weaned him at a full year old, in the summer. So at 12 months he should have been able. He wasn’t as dropped as he was when we finally went to the vet. So I was wondering, did it happen before weaning? And then I have to admit that after summer, they have indeed had some unsupervised corral time together. I was keeping an eye out for breeding behavior and for the mare going into heat, but did I miss it happening? Today, coming up on one month gelded, I see he is indeed more calm and a little less mouthy. Now that they’re together again and he’s a gelding, his mom seems happy to have a friend (when before he was an annoying colt).

This brings me to 5) I would probably see the inbred foal as a blessing, even though I realize it was my own ego keeping my colt intact (what if he’s a star, y’all?!?!).

Keep an eye out for some pictures of my two cuties.

Thanks for you support!
 

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Sounds like all worked out well! I would love to see more photos of your colt........he looks gorgeous! (And yes, The Black Stallion is my dream horse too!).

My colt did exactly the same thing you described, I ponied him out with my gelding and climbed right up our back with a leg on each side of me! It was very scary! Luckily he only did that once, but it was after he was already gelded, so it was play and not breeding behavior, so just a warning that he could do it again if he is feeling playful!

I think you got really lucky with that gorgeous black Arabian, he will be something really beautiful when he matures. 😁
 
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