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Almost 30 yrs old but sound...is my Morgan mare breedable?

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Almost 30 yrs old but sound...is my Morgan mare breedable? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 06:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My Morgan mare Diana is going to be 30 in April. She is incredibly sound for her age and is a pleasure to ride. She hardly acts like a ten year old, and last June I noticed she had a very strong heat cycle. If I had the proper testing done to see if I could breed her, would she have more trouble catching because of her age? I know that she had a filly in 1989, and twin fillies in 1994. Would she also be more at risk for foaling difficulties and post-foaling problems? I've only been into horses for a little over two years, so any suggestions would be welcome! I'm hesitant to breed her because of her age, but have heard of 27 year-old's having foals. She also has good confirmation.}
 

Samantha
Breeding Stock
Username: Dressage_diva333

Post Number: 552
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 12:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have heard of 25 year old mares foaling... but I think 30 is pushing it.

Your not likely to get her in foal, no matter how healthy she seems to ride. It's been a long time since her last foal, and that makes a lot of difference in older mares. Breeding any mare is a risk, but in my opinion, attempting to breed a 30 year old mare would just be too much of a risk for me, even if she somehow managed to concieve and carry to term.

I've got a 19 year old mare who's last foal was 6 years ago. We were unsuccessful breeding her last year with shipped semen, but will give it one last go with my stallion (AI of course, but there's no shipping to deal with). It's a longshot even for her, and she's had 5 foals (always notorious for being easy to get in foal), looks SUPER, has some arthritis in her hocks from a Dressage career, but doesn't "act her age".

You'd probably be better off leasing a younger mare, or buying a foal. If you really like your mare, try to find one with similiar bloodlines.
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 06:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is kind of the way I feel. Sound or not, doesn't she have a higher chance of problems with foaling and post-foaling issues even if she managed to carry to term? I do know that she doesn't have any noticeable symtoms of arthritis. I probably won't even try to breed her, but if I do, I will definitely have a vet check her first. Thanks for your advice. One person we talked to said that there would probably be a lot of uterus scarring etc...etc... Would that be a possible issue?
 

Jan Owen
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 2272
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Esther...she would most definetly have clearance issues due to her age...read the oxytocin protocol on this site..perhaps she could be an embryo transfer? Harvest it from her and have a younger mare carrying the baby if you genetically really want a baby from this mare? Just thought I'd throw that out.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2324
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Before worrying about all the other potential issues breeding an aged mare like this, you should probably start by worrying about whether the mare is even ovulating any more. Confirm follicular development and ovulation are occurring before anything else.
 

Samantha
Breeding Stock
Username: Dressage_diva333

Post Number: 561
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos, what is the average age for mares to quite ovulating?
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 07:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate your suggestions. At this point, knowing what I do, perhaps I should just buy a foal rather than try to breed her. One of the reasons I wanted a foal from her though was that she has wonderful lines and is a 100% foundation Morgan. Only a certain number qualify to be on the foundation list, and since she does, I was hoping to carry on her genetics. Does anyone know whether or not a 30 yr old mare has ever had a foal?
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 1543
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 05:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would at least check into it.With her genetics. How difficult would it be to buy a foal with that same qualities? If it would be hard maybe a last try for a foal isnt such a bad idea. It couldnt hurt to at least have a BSE and check for ovulation. Do you have a stallion in mind already?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2327
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 08:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no "average" that I am aware of. You will find tremendous mare-variation. What is known is that fertility issues increase from the age of about 13 onward. That's not to say mares will stop ovulating, because they won't at that point, but it will start to get progressively harder to get them pregnant and have them foal successfully.
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 07:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, although I've been looking, I haven't decided on a stallion in the case I tried to breed her. If I did, would it be best to do AI? Doesn't she have a greater chance of conception if she was bred by live cover? Also, how would I go about 'confirming follicular development?' Could you give me a rough estimate of the cost of a BSE? I haven't been able to find one anywhere, although I've read about the BSE itself. I recently found out that the oldest mare to have a foal was 42...maybe I have a chance...? Also, if I tried to breed her, what kinds of shots would I need to give her?
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 07:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is there more chance of birth defects in breeding an aged mare?
 

Jan Owen
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 2283
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.equine-reproduction.com/articles/oxytocin.htm
Here is the article on Oxytocin, if you go to the tap that says Articles and scroll down there is a mountain of information...I would read through all that...see if you can find a repro specialist in your area. I bred my mare at age 17..she was tough to get in foal. AI worked for us because we could ultrasound and get the semen right when and where it needed to be. Then give her the shot to make her ovulate..then the oxytocin protocol because she was older Keep us posted as to what you decide to do...very interesting :-)
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 09:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a headshot of Diana...I'll see if I can't post a full body shot soon.
http://s675.photobucket.com/albums/vv120/estherj92/?action=view&current=08123117 9.jpg
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 8
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 09:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here are a couple more pix...what do you think of her confirmation overall for her age? I hope you can overlook the heavy winter coat in the second one. :-)
http://s675.photobucket.com/albums/vv120/estherj92/?action=view&current=0508Dian a.jpg

http://s675.photobucket.com/albums/vv120/estherj92/?action=view&current=DianaMar ch09.jpg

If I attempt to breed her, what month approx. would be the latest I could do? And, do you think that she could stand to live cover? The only stallion in the area that I've considered breeding her to is a registered Arabian. Also, thank you for the oxytocin link...it is very interesting.
 

Kathee McGuire
Breeding Stock
Username: Katheekj

Post Number: 665
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 05:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

She looks great for her age! I have a 25 yr old that had a hard winter - she never got skinny, but lost her roundness. Your girl looks good!
 

Andrea Barnes
Neonate
Username: Pf_pony

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

She is cute, but in my opinion she already seems to be a hard keeper. Putting a foal on her would take what reserves she has.
Also you stated you wanted to breed to keep her foundation lines, but then say you want to breed her to an Arab.
Not meaning to sound harsh, but I think you should enjoy what time you have left with your girl and if you wanted to raise a baby, see if you can buy exactly what you want.
 

Rusti - Chilli due 4-09
Breeding Stock
Username: Rusti

Post Number: 101
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 03:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm very new to breeding as my mare is a maiden and it's my first time having a foal, but my opinion would be to have an embryo transfer done on her.
 

Samantha
Breeding Stock
Username: Dressage_diva333

Post Number: 576
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with Andrea in that she already appears to be a hard keeper, and is obviously an older mare, having a foal might just to be too risky if you could even get her in foal.

I wouldn't waste time or money trying to get her in foal honestly. Buy a foal. There are lots of nice horses for sale right now at very low prices. It depeds on what you want done in a BSE. They can range from $60-$300. Like Rusti mentioned, ET could be an option if she is still even cycling. You figure that runs around $4000-$5000 per ET.
 

Ad TB
Breeding Stock
Username: Ajvtbs

Post Number: 304
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - 06:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you do scan the mare and find that she is ovulating there are another of other factors to be considered. What condition is the mares uterus in and will she be able to sustain a pregnancy. she may have poor uterine clearance, inability to clear fluid from the uterus. A degenerative uterus or endometrosis. you can diagnose endometrosis with a uterine biopsy. There is also more likelihood of uterine hemorrhage in the older mare. There is also a greater risk of rupturing the middle uterine artery which can lead to death in most cases.

(Message edited by ajvtbs on April 08, 2009)
 

Angela Barbour
Breeding Stock
Username: Palominomare2006

Post Number: 285
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 01:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would not breed her as it would take alot out of her and you could lose her and the foal . I would enjoy the time you have left with her as It is to risky to breed and have a chance to lose both .
 

Esther Johnson
Neonate
Username: Estherj92

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I really appreciate all the advice. As it stands right now, I don't think I'll be breeding her. The last thing I would want to happen would be for her to die as the result of complications. :-(



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