We have a couple of WB mares that we would like to try ET with over the next few years. We have just done one with one mare so have leased the recipient mare until the foal is weaned. We are thinking about maybe seeing if we can source a couple of our own recipient mares instead of having to lease the repro clinic's mares. The main reason for wanting to do this is that the repro clinic is a long way away from our home & totally different climate so it is a big change for the recipient mare to go from a cooler temperate climate into a hotter tropical climate here at home. We have large paddocks with good feed most of the year so another couple of horses isn't going to be a big maintenance problem.
My question is what qualities should I look for when looking for suitable recipient mare candidates???
My WB mares are between 16-17hh so what size recipient mares should I look for & what breeds would be preferable?
The perfect recip mare is a mare that is aged around 5-7, and has had one previous foal, which she foaled with no problems and to which she was a good mother. She should also have a good temperament and be easy to work with - even when she has a foal at foot. Ideally you will have an endometrial biopsy performed and she will be found to have a grade I score, or possibly IIa (most mares will be IIa) but definitely no lower.
As far as size is concerned, she should be similar in size to the donor mare or possibly a little smaller, but not significantly so. The issues are not so much related to foal presentation size as nutritional presence of the milk - if the recip. mare is too big, then the foal cannot drink adequate amounts of milk to get the nutrition as the milk tends to be more diluted (e.g. draught mare, Shetland foal). If the mare is too small, the opposite applies, although probably to a lesser degree. There are also height considerations for the foal being able to nurse easily as well.
I have seen alot Standardbred mares use as recipient mares for carring warmblood foals. The ones I have seen have been 16+ hands and heavier boned than most TB mares. They can be quite reasonable in some parts of the country.
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