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Older mare being in foal Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Older mare being in foal « Previous Next »

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Username: Northpine

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm attempting a second try at a thread I tried to post a few days ago, hopefully it will show up.

I have a 15 year old arabian mare. I purchased her a couple years ago for dirt cheap because she was said to be not fertile. Since the age of 4 her previous owners (three different parties) had spent endless amounts of money to try to get her in foal, sometimes sending her across the country to some of the nations best reproduction specialists. She was never able to get in foal.

When I purchased her I brought her home and put her out in the pasture with the others, and that's where she sat, trying to help her un-wind from not only the trips to repro-specialists, but also a very successful but stressful show career. This mare thrives on clockwork, she gets nervous in new places, or if things get shuffled around on her. She became a new horse, with a great personality, and just very happy and loving her new life. I had a breeding to a very nice local stallion and thought I'd just give it a shot, mainly because I had sold my other mare and had no intentions of buying another before the contract went out-dated.

Go figure that on her second heat cycle, she became pregnant. During that time, she continued to show heat, so instead of taking her to the vet like I've always done, I just put her back into our pasture to be a happy mare. By the end up summer I notice that my girl has grown in her belly region some, and brought her in to the vet. I all but hit the floor when my vet told me that this mare was in foal!

I contacted her previous owners to tell them the good news and right away they say to put her on regumate. I contact my vet and she tells me to let nature take it's course, that there's no reason to go putting her on regumate when don't even know if she'll need it or not.

So, spring comes and the mare foals out an outstanding colt and is just the most wonderful mother! I really, really couldn't ask for an easier delivery! One minute she is standing and eating her hay, squirting milk all over under her, fifteen minutes later I poke my head in at exactly midnight and we've got a mom already passing the afterbirth and a newborn colt curled up at her side.

Here's the issue. I decided not to breed her this year, because of the market, because I just didn't find the right stallion, a few different reasons. Now, I'm hearing from her previous owners and others that I may never get her in foal again, that I should have kept her in foal every year to ensure her cycles stay regular.

(Problem before was that one cycle she'd have a 5 day heat, next would be 10 day, usually she'd have multiple follicles, etc.) However, before breeding her myself I had my vet check her for two cycles before breeding, and there was only a single follicle each time, her heat cycles were 10 days, for each heat cycle.

Now, this past year I didn't have her ultrasounded after foaling out, so I do not know if there were single or multiple follicles. I do know that her heat cycles were each 5-7 days, for every cycle over the spring, summer, and fall.

I would like to breed her this spring but am worried that I've blown my shot at this wonderful mare producing any more foals for me. Is this something that is common in mares like mine? They need to be in foal every year to maintain a proper reproductive system? Or are people just trying to scare me some?

Marilyn Lemke - Dora due 7/31/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Marilyn_l

Post Number: 574
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How fortunate for you that your mare had this beautiful colt. I have heard the same thing about keeping the mares in foal year after year.

I have a 15 year old mare that had a foal and was not able to get her rebred that year after trying numerous times. The next year I tried again and she got pregnant after her second season. She lost it after 30 or so days.

I was able to rebreed her and she is still pregnant after 4 months. She is on Regumate. Anyway, it can be done. I would make sure I had her checked out and do a biopsy, uterian culture and cytology to make sure she's alright.

I would go for it. Good luck! Let us know what you decide to do and please keep posting,


Jan Owen
Breeding Stock
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 936
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amanda~I would highly recommend that you check out the article on here about Oxytocin protocol. My mare is 16 and gave me a beautiful filly this year. But as mares age their "clearing" the uterus can cause some infertility. I had great success putting that protocol into action:-) I also used a drug called "Settle" . My vet had never used it but after I requested it she researched it we used it and she has since used it very successfully on mares that have had clearance issues. Good luck, will have fingers crossed for you.

Do you have a stallion picked out?

Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1660
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Note that "Settle™" - the product promoted in the link above - is not designed to assist with delayed uterine clearance (the problem that oxytocin assists with), but endometritis. While endometritis may be a problem as a result of other issues, delayed uterine clearance may result in endometritis, so often the oxytocin protocol (which is a lot cheaper than Settle™!) is adequate to assist in getting older mares pregnant.

Username: Northpine

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 01:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When the vet checked her last spring before breeding she said that she found absolutely no reason why this mare couldn't get pregnant. Everything looked great, and all the tests came up very good. Her suspected reasoning for the mare not getting pregnant for so many years is because of all the stress the previous owners put her through at all the different barns and clinics across the country. Like I said, when I first got her, she was a mess, got very very wound up for little changes in her daily life, and was just extremely stressed out, even her body looked stressed. She'd go off water, for some reason to this day any new bucket or tank and it will take her a good day to start drinking out of it. She is a fussy eater and won't eat hay that she isn't used to... Well, since being just turned out like a normal horse all of this has gotten loads better and she's actually a very happy horse, and doesn't stress out over anything anymore.. My vet said she figured that with all the changing they did with her, moving her around so much, that she just for some reason would not take, or would dissolve the follicle/foal soon after being bred.

We think that the relaxed state she is in now is what helped her to get pregnant. She is never sedated for the vet because my vet takes her time with her, and before she would be sedated often for routine vet checks.. Now the mare's an old pro when it comes to the ultrasound, she'll stand and rest a leg. We just think there was too much stress going on before, and probably that getting AI'd every time she turned around, and getting probed by a different vet every month just wasn't helping her settle any. Just our opinion..

I'd like to keep her off drugs if at all possible, unless it comes to the point where she needs to be on something. Only for the sake that the natural way worked once for her and she was very happy with a healthy foal..

Yes, I plan to breed her to my own stud this spring via live cover. This mare is ultra, ultra in heat in a hussy way when in heat, and will stand and squirt at anything looking at her. She's very good for live cover, as we noticed when breeding her last time, she loves stallions.. She never got to ever be naturally covered in her life until when she came here, so she is a big time flirt. Poor thing, she wants a real boy, not a pipette!

Thank you for your responses. I guess at this point I can only hope for the best and cross my fingers that she'll take again. I would love to hear more opinions and suggestions if anyone has them.

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