Here's the story. I have a now 10 year old mare. She had foals in 04, 05, 06. No problems getting pregnant and very easy pregnancies. In 06 we tried breeding her 4 times with no success. In 07 she was bred twice before getting pregnant. The last covering mare was bred 4 times in a span of 11 days as she just wasn't ovulating. No problems as mare went in foal. In 08 her foal was killed and when going to breed her back, we missed ovualtion and I decided I'd had enough of the breeding season and quit.
Now during all these difficult times I kept thinking something medical was amiss spending loads of money on tests which came back fine. My vet insisted there was nothing wrong with her and that it happens. Anyway, it bugged me. We went from not ovulating properly to ovulating quite quickly. After I closed up shop on last years season there were some other things I wasn't happy about with my mare. As in during the summer she started gaining too much weight. Yes you can think grass is the culprit but I started thinking the one pound of supposed wonderful ration balancer was causing problems. At any rate I took her off all processed foods and started feeding a diet more to what horses use to eat. She changed dramatically within the span of 3 weeks. She was able to graze normally, lost her fat pads, and looked amazing for the first time in ages. Now I'm not saying bagged food is evil, but for this mare she needed something different.
So that brings us to this year. My mare came into season last week. Her first season of the year. She has never come into season this early and it's been nothing but snow and very cold which is not normal for us here in Ireland. Monday we started with being vocal and slapping out while being teased. Tuesday same thing. Wednesday she started peeing for teaser but not much, Thursday much more. Had vet out on Friday and she had a 3.5 follicle. He didn't want to breed Saturday with her history of taking ages to ovulate. And to be honest at this stage, I just wanted to pinpoing what was going on with the mare as it was her first season of the year. He said Monday would be the ideal time to breed which of course meant us picking up semen on Sunday. Well we had snow overnight and all day today, Sunday so decided no we're not going down to get the semen. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway as she wasn't teasing anymore this morning. Saturday she was still teasing in earnest. And quite frankly her stall was way too clean this morning for her to be in season!
So this is what I'm trying to learn. On her next cycle I will continue to track as I have above. I'm thinking when she is 3.5 we should go ahead and get the semen. If she takes longer to ovulate, then we can order more. But it does seem this would be the ideal time to breed according to her new routine, not so much in years past.
Does any of this make sense? And should I be doing anything else?
Hi Terri, Have you thought of giving her LH or ovuplant (which is more relaible and now licenced in Ireland since April 08) to make her ovulate within 36 hours of covering. We usually would wait for at least a 40mm folicle but also depending on how much oedema she has. Our vet will also spec the mares to see how open she is. It saves on cross covers and reduces trauma form multiple covers.
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