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How old is too old to breed a mare

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Breeding Problem Mares - Volume 1 » How old is too old to breed a mare « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Ebbie Van Horn (207.43.195.201)
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just recently purchased a "smooth mouthed" grade mare for my grandkids. She's excellent with the kids and I'd like to consider raising a foal from her.

So, how old is too old to breed a mare?
 

Kelly (63.172.47.224)
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It depends on a number of variables. Is she in good physical condition? Has she been bred successfully in the past? When did she last foal?

If you do not have access to her past history, then a breeding soundness exam can be done by a veterinarian that is familiar with reproduction. In most cases, a mare that is in to her late teens, and has not been bred before, is very diffcult to get in foal. Once again, depending on the individual, it can be done it is just more difficult and therefore more expensive.

I have had a 24 year old maiden mare successfully bred, but that is an exception. It took a lot of work and probably more luck!!
 

Ebbie Van Horn (208.24.179.208)
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

She currently is in less than good condition. She was in poor condition when I got her and I have had her on a high-protein and high-fat diet to put some more flesh on her. She is on good pasture. I hope to have her in condition by late August and that is when I would like to breed her. My thought is that she would have excellent pasture during the final months of here pregnancy. And the foal will have 4 to 5 months before the really cold winters come here in Missouri.
 

Ebbie Van Horn (208.24.179.208)
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

She currently is in less than good condition. She was in poor condition when I got her and I have had her on a high-protein and high-fat diet to put some more flesh on her. She is on good pasture. I hope to have her in condition by late August and that is when I would like to breed her. My thought is that she would have excellent pasture during the final months of here pregnancy. And the foal will have 4 to 5 months before the really cold winters come here in Missouri.
 

Anonymous (152.163.207.47)
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 08:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ebbie- I beg you not to breed this mare. Only the best of the best should be bred- she is older and a grade. Let her be a good pony for your grandkids. I don't care HOW good her temperment is, she is a grade, and therefore, should not be bred. Too many horses land on the dinner tables in Europe, don't make it one more.
 

Kelly (63.172.47.191)
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The following reasons are the only ones that you should consider in regard to breeding your grade mare:

#1. Would a pregnancy endanger the life of this mare or foal for any known medical reason?
#2. Can you afford the feed and medical cost of a mare and foal?
#3. Do you have adequate facilities for a mare and foal?
#4. Will you continue to care for and raise this foal once it outgrows the "cute" stage?
#5. Is this mare free of major conformation faults?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then you will be a responsible horse breeder.The fact that she is grade horse has NOTHING to do with landing on a dinner plate in Europe. After all, she may well have had papers in her past, you can't tell. I do know that papered horses have also ended up at the killers or have been sold illegally.

Until registration associations, many of the recognized breeds were grade horses. I would much prefer to breed a grade horse with great temperament over an inbred idiot with papers. Papers are a good way to keep track of pedigrees, but have no bearing on the suitability of a horse for riding or pleasure.

There are unpapered horses winning money as well as Championships in many different diciplines. With embryo transfer becoming more popular, not every offspring can be registared. Many must settle for DNA verification, not papers. This is a fact, not my opinion.

I have bred grade mares to my stallion ( valued at over $150,000 ). The foals are spectacular and all have been purchased for show or ranch use. I would suggest that you pick a stallion known for his even temperment and correct conformation. You owe it to the foal to make sure that the stallion is a good one. You get what you pay for, so picking a nice stallion will be worth the fee. It will help assure you of a nice foal, or one that may sale well if need be. An investment of $500.00 or more, for a stud fee, would not be out of line.

I think that it will be a great experience for your grandkids as well as an addition to the family! Good luck .
 

Karen (209.206.253.199)
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 01:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to agree with Kelly, don't let the fact that your mare doesn't have papers stop you from breeding to a nice stallion. At our place we stand a beautiful papered Paint stallion, however we run a cattle ranch also, and some of our old dependable workhorses that can do it all from rope and doctor calves to win classes at our local cutting club, to travel miles and miles with our kids trailing cattle are unpapered QH and thoroughbred horses. We don't hesitate to breed both the papered mares and the ranch mares who have more than proven themselves. Believe me, if you are trying to sell a horse to a Buckaroo, they usually don't care if they have papers or not. The old saying is "You Can't ride them papers!" Good luck with breeding your mare, but it would probably be a good idea to get her in better shape first!
 

Jen (152.163.205.73)
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because this woman is wanting to breed this elder mare because she loves the mare and would want to keep a piece of her once she is gone doesn't make her feeding Europe. If she was to breed her for the heck of it than I can see an uproar but she clearly stated that she wanted to "raise" a foal from her not breed her for resale purposes. Good Luck Ebbie, my maiden 17 year old took on the first try and had a lovely bay colt in April.
 

Anonymous (152.163.207.64)
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 01:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What happens when Ebbie and dear grandkids loose interest? When you breed you should ONLY breed a mare for a specific reason. Just because she is excellent with the kids doesn't mean she should be bred. Do you know anything about her breeding? Has she done anything? Breeding history? A mare can be a great kids mare, but that doesn't mean she should be bred.
 

Kelly (63.172.47.196)
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let me tell you something, I have paddocks FULL of well bred horses just waiting for their owners to appear. The grade horses however, have everything a horse could want including care and attention from their owners.

A breeding history has no merit in this case. A show record had no bearing either. They are not breeding to show or resale. They are breeding for their own PLEASURE and they have that right. Some people actually love and care for their horses, even if they just eat down the patures.

I find your position insultingly shallow. Do you beleive that all the wild, hence, UNPAPERED horses should be sterilized or put down?

I have lived, trained and shown all over the United States, I have seen royally bred horses put through torture for what the owners considered a "specific" reason. I also know that there are horses out there with pedigrees as long as your arm, with champion after champion listed in the breeding history, that are so ill tempered that they can barely be lead at the end of a halter.

Guess What? I bred my own son of Doc O' Lena to a mustang mare! AND.......I'm going to do it again. The colts are smart, well conformed and a pleasure to train. No papers, not even a chance of it.

My bet is, when the "dear grandkids" as you so delicately put it, loose interest, that colt will be fed and cared for just as the mare has been. Many children could benefit from such a wonderful experience. How lucky they are to have that chance. I have found that most children learn about responsibility and common sense from interacting with a horse. Many horses are pets, pure and simple, nothing wrong with that.
 

Sara Patrick (63.119.211.142)
Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've bred my mares for a colt, but they keep throwing fillies, but I still keep and love them, and have a mare who is 17, has thrown 2 beautiful fillies, but hasn't come into foal the past 2 times I've bred her, and she's in great shape, I would like to try again soon, anyone have any suggestions
 

Kelly (63.172.47.225)
Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sara- It never fails, the ones that want fillies, get a colt.....and the ones that want colts, get a filly! I suggest that you have a look at the bulletin board under the many breeding topics. There is a lot of information that you may find interesting.
 

Brenda Jones (64.254.46.38)
Posted on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Our 24-year-old mare foaled two days ago. The filly was born small, with excessive cord bleeding, apathetic and with little or no sucking instinct. She lived not quite 24 hours after exhaustive efforts to keep her alive. I asked my husband not to breed this mare last spring as she had lost a foal the previous year and, due to her age, I felt it was too great a risk. He maintains that these "poor" foals happen once in a while and the mare's age had nothing to do with it. I maintain that the older the mare the greater the possibility that problems may occur. Any advice concerning breeding this and other older mares?
 

Kelly (63.172.47.182)
Posted on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 08:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Have you owed and cared for this mare her entire life? Her previous care and foaling history would be of importance in this case. The number and frequency of foals would be a factor as well as her care and feeding.

I say that she has done enough. But that is just my opinion. You gave it a good go, but time to stop putting her and the foals through it all. If your vet has checked her out and feels that she is in breedable condition, then it is your call.

I happen to feel that at 24, with her past foaling problems, let her be.
 

Jos (142.177.105.176)
Posted on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is really no generalisation either way about breeding older mares. In a sense you're both right (trying to maintain matrimonial harmony here!!) :)

While there can certainly be changes in the older mare's uterus as a result of repeated infection or other reasons (a change in the biopsy score indicates this), and this could result in placental insufficiency, leading to fetal problems, it is in no way necessarily restricted to older mares, nor is it going to be universal in older mares.

I have had many older mares - in their 20's - quite successfully foal.

OTOH, it is true that "these things do happen" - although usually with cause somewhere, some of which causes may be as a result of age-related changes.

Another area you might want to explore is the possibility of neonatal septicaemia - which for that to have been a cause of death so soon after birth may suggest that it was caused by a pathogen picked up in utero. A Caslick's procedure if not performed may have been a good thing to consider.

There are a whole host of other possibilities to think of too.... everything from NMS to uterine inertia, and 100 other things besides (well - maybe not 100...)

All in all, anything was a possibility....
 

Elizabeth (12.38.198.125)
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to add one more thought to this very interesting issue... Have any of you even considered the fact that she may not be able to keep the foal for it is entire life, through no fault of her own?

The market for reg. horses is down this makes selling grade horses even more difficult. I have seen and heard of many cases of perfectly good reg horses going to the feed mills because no one wants to buy them.

I am not saying she should not bred her mare.. that is her choice.. I just want her to make an informed choice.

The best horse I ever owned was a grade 1/2 arab 1/2 Quarter horse gelding.

Temperment is only one factor in breeding and may not be passed on to the foal even if both parents have good temperments...

What happens if the resulting foal is NOT what she wants or can handle? It is a risk we all take when we breed horses regardless if they are registered or not. But knowing who is in the pedigree of both mare and stallion helps reduce some of the risk.

Call me biased but a reg foal from known breeding on both sides has a better chance at being able to be sold even later on.. than a foal from a grade mare of unkown parentage.

At the least she should chose a well known/proven stallion if she choses to breed her mare. And the stud fee is the least of her expenises or worries.
 

mary palmer (216.175.30.109)
Posted on Monday, September 09, 2002 - 01:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It makes me mad that people think ,if it doesn't have papers or showed it's not worth anything. I have horses that i don't paper or show , but they are every bit as good as any other horse. There is a vet in geneseo ill. that i called on an emergency , she would only come out if it was a show horse. My horses have great bloodines, but like they say you can't ride the papers. Everyone should have the opportunity to raise a foal, its the greatest.
 

ELizabeth Hardy (12.38.198.125)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 09:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Everyone should have the opportunity to raise a foal"

I am not sure I agree with you on this point.. I see too many throw away horses. Yes it is great to have a foal; but the foal grows up as all babies do.. One should not breed a mare just so a foal can be raised...And there are many people out there who have no buisness owning horses much less breeding them... Or Do you agree with how premarin is obtained.. from Preg. Mare urine.
( with the resulting foals dumped on the market or in auctions many going to the feedlots)

Breeding of any mare regardless of whether she is papered or not should be the result of carefull planning and extensive research.

I never said a Papered mare was better I just said you had a better idea of what you were getting....

If you know the bloodlines of your mares that is great but many people who have grade mares do not know their bloodlines . With Most grade horse the bloodlines become lost: many times the only thing you will be told is that the dam was x breed and the sire was x breed.....


You know the parentage of you mares... So you can pick the best stallion for that mare..

Papers really are just a way to track bloodlines and to guarruntee bloodline/breed purity. The Bedouins kept track of bloodlines for generation by oral recitation.. so you do not need papers to do that...
 

Michelle Dahler (66.153.29.57)
Posted on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Grade or Registered is a different discussion? Isn't it? No one is ever going to stop anyone from breeding grade horses. (Which I happen to like a few, look at Morabs)

Anyway!!!!!! I have a 16 year old MAIDEN mare who comes into strong heats. Had the vet out to US and she's ovulating fine....no infection either. I breed her live cover but she keeps coming back into heat...US, nothing there. She is in good condition and getting oats/11% grain. Should I try something like Mare Plus? The vet is coming again to biopsy her uterus to see if she can hold on to a foal. If not, what would be my options? I own her full sister who is now on her 5th foal and I just love what she produces with my stallion. Yes, they are registered Morgans! There is a breeding "station" locally but I have not checked with them yet. Any suggestions?
 

Jos (64.152.252.133)
Posted on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 11:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would recommend that you try the oxytocin protocol that is laid out on this web site and available by "clicking here". It's cheap and easy to perform.

Some older mares are prone to a condition known as "delayed uterine clearance" which results in a failure to clear the perfectly natural post-breeding inflammatory response, resulting in endometritis - which causes EED in the event that the mare does conceive - and return to estrus.
 

Michelle Dahler (66.153.14.114)
Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 01:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Jos! I will try that.
 

Anonymous (63.160.86.178)
Posted on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 08:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe that every person who owns a horse has the rite to choose to breed or not to breed. Also, I have 22 un-papered "grade mares" which have done just as well as my "papered" mares. Four of these mares are twenty-plus years old and produce live healthy foals. Each time I get ready to breed these mares I have my vet check them out, if he say's their in good breeding condition then I breed them if not they go into retirement.
I have a 28 1/2 year old mare that is not registered who produces healthy foals each year. The question of breeding or not breeding depends totally on the horse. Also, the stallion plays a very important role in your breeding of the mare. Try to select a stallion who has been known to throw gently mild-mannered foals, that might help your foals temperment, another thing, pick a stallion that has great confermation, that way if you have to sell the foal it has a chance to be something. I have seen too many "papered" horses that were not worth much sell higher than a good grade animal. Well I have to go so"Good Luck".
 

Tracy (205.188.208.168)
Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 08:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The original post was from a year and a half ago, I am curious if Ebbie ever did breed her mare and what was the outcome?
 

Anonymous
Posted From: 152.163.253.66
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 01:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A good horse is a good horse, regardless of papers. I have a belgian draft quarterhorse cross that looks just like a Hanoverian and is beating papered warmbloods in materiale classes.
 

Ruth
Posted From: 64.223.152.248
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 07:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ok I have read all the postings here. I have a great healthy Saddlebred mare. 23. I want to breed her her heats are strong and she has foaled in past with no problems. Im reading about windsucking and she does chew wood vigourously but that is her only fault which stops with the addition of "quitt" feed supplement in her diet. I want comments please.
 

Sheila
Posted From: 66.140.214.208
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 03:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I to have a 23 year old mare. She has given me many fine foals. I didn't breed her last year, as she gives her all to her foals milk and was dropping weight. This year I have her on Equine Senior and Mare Plus, had her teeth done by a Horse Dentist and she is running and bucking all over the place, so I am breeding her. I have always had quick sales on her foals and now I want one for myself. Since she has had so many foals, I intend to work her lightly in the round pen with some trotting to help strengthen her stomach muscles and improve her overall condition.
 

TX Breeder
Posted From: 199.3.209.163
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Many mares in good health and fitness breed into their 20's. You may have to work at getting her in foal, but it can be done.

One tip is to not have her too fat. I find that these older mares conceive easier when they are on the gain and beginning to bloom.As Sheila has done, proper attention to feed and teeth will insure her fitness into the pregnancy. Conditioning is important, and will make a big difference.
 

Anonymous
 
Posted From: 4.246.99.177
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 07:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also have a older mare 22 to be exact she has wonderful blood lines but I don't know her foaling history if any. I am wanting to breed her but worried about sever complications. Does any one have any advise?
 

karold dietrich forner
Neonate
Username: Kdf

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I too have an older Morgan mare - one foal 10 y.o. ago and haven't successful got her bred - all AI work. This year, right now, she's at the vet's for follicle check. I had her on regumate for 10 days, then estrumate(d) her on day 11, and now is 45 hours after estrumate administered and no follicle appeared on the ultrasound this morning. Wait for another day? Need help figuring her out. Thanks.
Vet is OK but not too interested just doing her job.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10239
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 05:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You have a potential "double whammy" here that will significantly influence what happens with your mare coming into estrus:
  • Mares will have a variable response to Prostaglandin (and Estrumate is a synthetic prostaglandin) depending upon what structures were present on their ovaries at the time that it was administered. In order to increase the timing of a reliable response (i.e. onset of estrus) there must be a functional CL present (so a minimum of 6 days after the last ovulation) and follicles smaller than 2 cm in diameter. The onset of estrus is usually 3-5 days later if those parameters are present. There is more information about why PGF2a sometimes doesn't work in an article on this site (follow that link).
  • Regumate will not suppress ovulation, and is therefore not the most reliable drug to give in order to produce a timely onset of estrus. Mares can develop follicles and even ovulate while being treated with Regumate, and consequently there will be situations where the subsequent use of PGF2a will not be reliable for a timely onset of estrus - there can be a large follicle present at the end of the Regumate treatment, and that may result in a rapid (<48 hours) ovulation, or there may have been an ovulation occur during the Regumate treatment, but within 5 days of the last dose, and the CL is therefore not yet responsive to the PGF2a.
As you are only 45 hours (i.e. less than 2 days) and the average onset of estrus following treatment s 3-5 days after treatment, you still may be in with a chance that you are simply evaluating too early (remember that the subsequent ovulation if there is one will probably be 3-5 days after the onset of estrus).

I would re-evaluate in a couple of days if this were my mare.

Remember too that older mares tend to be more likely to have delayed uterine clearance issues, so follow that link for the oxytocin protocol to assist with that!



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