I am seeking some advice on breeding my 20 yr. old Arabian mare. Her breeding hystory is:She has had a total of 7 foals.All live cover,normal foaling and no complications untill the last foal. She became very thin during her last months prior to foaling and we had to struggle to get her weight back up. She did not get back to a good weight till her foal was weaned. We bred her back to a three yr.old stallion about two months after we got her weight back up. After breeding her she was allowed to run with this stallion for several months,she never came back into season after breeding. We moved her to our farm in December and while we never found any remaines, she must have lost the foal sometime during the winter(We did not have her checked to make sure she was in foal).
I now own a lovely black arabian colt that has the bloodlines,comformation and temperment that should cross very nicely with this mare. I want to breed her during his two yr old year. (Just to avoide the possable back lash) I plan on keeping this foal as my own riding horse,and none of my horses will be sold ever.
We will get a BSE on both the mare and the stallion before we actually breed them, and The stallion will be tested for SCID as well.
So if the vet gives the go ahead for them both, what things can we be doing now to help insure a good conception and foaling? What are some of the things that we can do to help insure she keeps her weight this time?She has no health problems, her teeth are good and is usually an easy keeper. She has been open now for almost three years and it will be four years by the time we do try. Thank you for any advice, Cheri
Posted on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 08:59 pm:
Probably an endometrial biopsy would be worthwhile in the mare's BSE. That may save you a lot of heartbreak and headache if you find the score is bad enough and decide not to breed - note that I'm not suggesting don't breed automatically though!
Older mares tend to be more likely to have problems with delayed uterine clearance, so be prepared to use oxytocin both before breeding if a pre-breeding ultrasound shows uterine fluid to be present, and post-breeding. The protocol we like can be read about by "clicking" here.
If her reproductive conformation is determined to be poor (i.e. she has a sloping vulva) a Caslick's procedure will be likely to prove of great assistance. Such a problem can be more pronounced if she is in poor flesh. Note however that if the problem is pronounced enough to cause urine pooling, then a Caslick's procedure is likely to make the situation worse.
As far as good body condition is concerned - there are probably 100 different ways that you may be told to achieve a good one, so I won't go there, save to say that fat added to the diet in the form of corn oil can make a major difference easily.
Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 02:17 pm:
Leave the poor girl along, hasen't she had enough foals!!!! I don't want to sound rude but, 20 is pretty old!!!! That is like you having a baby when you are 70!!! Wouldn't that suck!!! Anyways, if you would decide to do this you could loose your mare and foal in the end, if the worest happend!!!! I would think very seriously about the consequences you might have to make for this action.
Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 02:51 pm:
I have to disagree with Anonymous (220.127.116.11)!
A 20 year old mare - although certainly an older mare - is not necessarily too old, and it is not like a human having a baby at 70!!
Mares do not undergo "menopause" as humans do, and many mares are more than happy to continue having foals until their mid or even late 20's! In fact some mares of that age will even become severely depressed when they they fail to have foals!!
So - as long as there is still follicular activity present, and there are no medical reasons why an older mare should not be bred - breed her! She will probably be much happier looking after a foal than standing in a stall or a field. It's been proven time and again!
First I have to say, that if you did not know how old she was you would never guess that my mare is 20!She looks and acts younger then many mares half her age.When given the oppertunity to ,she will care for and nurse any foal that wants to nurse,even if she is compleatly dry. And yes you sound rude!I also agree with Jos, in that many mares are happy and healthy caring for their foals well into their 20's.Her dam had a foal last year at the age of 28. As for weither she has had enough foals, well most brood mares have had more foals then she has during their first 15 years. I am not a breeder, I have two horses total, My mare and my stud colt.The mare has not had a foal that I bred her for ever. She was bred when I got her and the resulting filly was placed in a loving home as she was not big enough to become my riding horse(Also her breeding was not what I wanted)I have spent the last few years trying to find just the right stallion for her.I belive I have found the right match for her and I am willing to wait for him to grow up to breed her.
Any way, I did not post here to get jumped on for my choice to breed my mare! I wanted sound advice about making her breeding the best it can be. I thank Jos for his help and hope to have more opertunity to learn from the many people who can offer constructive information on breeding on this message board. Thank you again, Cheri
Posted on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 03:21 pm:
It sounds as if you are a responsible horse owner and have given this much thought.
If you have been to any breeding stock sales, you would find many mare of this age and older, bred and commanding high prices. It is not unusual to see mares of this age still being bred and producing fine offspring. This is normal and acceptable. When nature wants to shut down the baby machine, she will!
As long as the mare is in good shape, and will receive the care that an older mare needs, all is well. Good luck with your program.
My Dear Cheri, I to am breeding my 22 year old arab mare. The reasearch that I have done sugested that not only is it perfectly safe to breed an older mare, but as long as there are no lameness issues,it is better for the over all health of the mare to keep her in foal. A mare can go barren if not permitted to have a foal every few years. While with some mares this would do the world no great diservice if your mare is a gem and the foal is to have a good home Yippie!! In fact one interesting and exciting thing about breeding an older mare (if she is of good blood lines) is that you are that many more generations close to the champions in her line. In my case Aisha has a double cross to *Bask any foal from her will be within two generations of the famous stallion. On a different note you will want to have an ultra sound about 20 days after breeding to confirm any pregnancy and also your vet will need to do a test to check her hormone level some older mares do need a supliment to maintain the pregnancy for the first few crutial months. My mare had her last foal 3 years ago, but miscarried last year after a couple months we suspect she may need a hormone supliment hope to find out soon. Good Luck
Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 04:27 am:
I have to agree that older mares still have much to offer. I have a 19 y.o. maiden TB mare who has great conformation, movement, and the best temperment. I had the works done, always a clean culture (this year and last), 2A biopsy last year, although some bad luck with an early loss last year. The conceptus was always small anyway. This year she took on the first try, and the vet (a new one) couldn't believe what great shape (tone, no cysts) her uterus was in, and how large her conceptus was. We are beginning to wonder if she didn't ovulate early making her 20 instead of 18 days at the time of ultrasound. I am Regumating anyway just because I really want this baby, but that is just my own safety net. My vet had said, "sometimes you just have to be persistent with the older mares". Here's hoping it works out for all of us!
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