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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so there's this mare named Terminator and she's currently 18 (and I will be soon). I also have a gelding name Frazier. I ride both. Frazier has ringbone and I'm hoping he'll survive through college with me before his retirement. But I want/need a back up plan.

There's a colt at a local rescue, but he's so adorable I doubt he'll last four years for me to buy him. Beyond that, there's this:

Terminator, the mare, will hopefully be bought by me after I graduate from college. But she and I will both be 22 and that means only a few more awesome years before I slow down her pace. What I'm hoping to do after I buy her (if above mentioned colt is not still available as well) is to breed her, or buy a foal. That way, I can train a young horse and by the time Termy goes into retirement, the foal will be progressing with me.

But anywho, to the question. And the explanation before the question.

I want said foal to be Terminator's. She's AQHA registered so she's not a grade horse, she was a confo winner as a foal, she was trained in barrel racing and then bought as a trail horse and is now being taught jumping. She has great movement, rarely goes lame (never in the past two years she's been here), a lovely personality, extraordinary groundmanners, is bombproof and to top it off, a gorgeous head. Without these qualities, I would never consider breeding her.

So my question: is 22 years old too old to safely breed a horse and if so or not, when is a mare too old?

Of course, plans change, so this theoretical breeding may never occur so don't worry about ownership. I'm just doing some research before I get any superbly crazy ideas.

Ps, I have raised horses before, but they were both two years old. I've always wanted to raise a horse from birth and if this theoretical occurance happens, then it would probably be the only time (I'm about population control and taking in unwanted horses and not increasing the population of unwanted horses)

So yeah. Enjoy my ramblings! :D
 

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It really all depends but I'm going to advise you to not breed her. I personally think even 18 is too old to be bred, unless she was consistently a broodmare. She could even be sterile at that point. Do you have any conformation pics of her? Just because she won doesn't mean she has ideal conformation. Many of the winning Halter horses have awful conformation. Compared to the expenses of paying a stud fee, vet fees, foaling fees, etc. it would be much wiser to just invest in a weanling. At her age there is a plethora of complications, and you could possibly lose her and/or the foal. Are you willing to spend thousands of dollars for mare care during pregnancy? Or would you rather invest that money into a weanling that could probably have much better conformation and have a better chance at being successfull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well see, that's why I'm asking. I would rather have her than her foal. The best confo shot of her is on her little thing in my "barn". The only real confo issue she has is her whithers but beyond that, its pretty good. And I don't know if she's ever been bred before, her owners don't remember. I'm sure if they found her papers, I could be more certain. And beforehand, I would get a vet to test to see if she is sterile, just to make sure.
 

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She is nice but not necessarily breeding quality. I still think it wouldn't be worth the risk. Do you care about her welfare? Breeding her would put her in a heck of a lot of danger, IMO. It would be different if she was much younger and had potential to go out and win or out produce herself, but I just don't see it. I'm not trying to be mean, but be realistic. Are you willing to risk her life just because you want a baby to raise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know you're not being mean, just realistic, and I understand that. That's why I'm asking.

I would not be breeding her 100% on confo but also because of her disposition and the way she moves. But if it endangers her life, I would not breed her, hence, this thread.

But I would still like other opinions... :/
 

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Most people will tell you the same thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, breeding is NOT about making more horses, it's about bettering the breed on individual at a time. And another thing, chances are the baby will be absolutely nothing like the mother.
 

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22 is really old to be having a foal. I wouldn't do it. Save your money and buy a well bred weanling or yearling from a reputable breeder. I don't have much use for horse rescues as I think most of the horses at such places would be better off on a plate in France. Not to mention that some rescues think that because you get a horse from them they can become part of your life for the horseys sake.
 

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If you can find out her registered name and/or any pedigree info, you might want to do a little searching for relatives of hers-- (many of us on the forum love pedigree research and would be glad to help!) There could be a farm/ranch that is breeding similar bloodlines, so that in a few years when you are ready to raise a youngster, you can hand pick a relative of your mare from a reputable breeder-- you could find a baby that is related, and similar to her in color, build, and personality "ready made" without having to risk breeding your old friend.
 

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I'm going to back up kassie on this one.

The issue isn't really breeding at 18 or 22, the issue is breeding a *maiden mare* at 22. Broodmares who've been bred back year after year can continue carrying foals into their late teens, but a first breeding/foal at that age i s not likely to be successful. As for the having the vet do a breeding exam, even if her reproductive tract is structurally sound; the chances that she'll still be ovulating at that age, or produce enough hormones to successfully carry the baby to term are slim and none.
 

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If you can find out her registered name and/or any pedigree info, you might want to do a little searching for relatives of hers-- (many of us on the forum love pedigree research and would be glad to help!) There could be a farm/ranch that is breeding similar bloodlines, so that in a few years when you are ready to raise a youngster, you can hand pick a relative of your mare from a reputable breeder-- you could find a baby that is related, and similar to her in color, build, and personality "ready made" without having to risk breeding your old friend.
This is very, very sound advice and Eastowest brings up a great point in even helping you get a hold of a colt out of related bloodlines.

Were it my 22 year old horse, I would not find breeding her worth the risk, fertile or no. Just because she CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh ok. I never thought of Eastowest's idea. That sounds much better to me. Thanks! :D
 

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I also wouldn't do it since she's maiden. But, if she wasn't I'd be all for it.

My old trainer worked ata breeding farm and they routinely had 20-25 year old horses foaling every spring. Heck, I'm planning on breeding my TB mare once more when she's 19 or 20 (currently 17) :)
 

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Again, there's a *huge* difference between breeding an experienced mare back every year and her continuing to foal into her teens and early twenties and breeding a maiden mare in her late teens and twenties. A *huge* difference.
 

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I like the idea of looking for a horse with similar bloodlines, as opposed to breeding an older mare.

As has been said, the older the mare and the longer she's been open, the less likely you are to get a foal from her. Especially if she's a maiden going into her twilight years.

Horses don't age the same as humans. For every one year, they average about 3 years. So at 22 y/o, that would be akin to asking a 66 y/o woman to carry a child to term.

I wouldn't want to risk a beloved, older mare in order to get a foal from her. Too many things can go wrong even with the young ones in their prime breeding years. With an older mare who hasn't been bred in years or who has never been bred, you're asking for trouble.
 
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