Does anyone breed 3yr fillies - I'm looking for actual experience not "they do it in Europe all the time". Any special management compared to a mature mare? Have you noticed any physical or mental differences in fillies that have been bred as 3 yr olds compared to ones that were left until older? How do you co-ordinate it with training under saddle?
I had two mares that were full sisters, one was three and one was four. they were bred the same year by the same stallion. They both did fine during pregnancy, but the three year old had a little more of a struggle during foaling. although that could have just been since every pregnancy can be different. All the vet said is that the added weight and strain on her body could have some effects if we kept riding her after 6 months. and the vet also said to not work to hard after she was found to be in foal since at three years old her joints could/are still developing. but we could still ride her and do light training. hope this helps.
I bred a 2 year old (large pony filly)that foaled as a 3 year old, she was bred to a Section B Welsh pony. It took more feed than older mares to keep her fat while nursing. She was aweful to handle as a 2 yr.old, had to lead her with a chain over her nose which is very drastic for me, I don't have to use a chain on my breeding stallion. Even then she would try to bolt and kick you when she ran by. I managed to hang on to her most of the time which would cause her to be thrown down to the ground but it never stopped her from trying a few days later. After having the foal she did a total 180, she is very polite and respectful when being handled, can lead her with just a rope around her neck. This mare was very mature for her age, looked and built like a 4 year old when I bred her. My biggest fear was what kind of disposition would the baby have? The baby is now a 2 yr. old and has a wonderful easy going disposition, thank God.
I breed my 3 year old mares every year and have never have had any problems....it should be noted however that I do not try them at the very first of the breeding season and determine that they are well and truly into having regular heat cycles before trying. The size of the babies is the same as other mares...some young maidens are more "surprised" at foaling time as in "what is that" or "what did I do" but soon adjust and are wonderful mothers. I definitely give them more attention regarding feeding and at foaling time.
I have bred 3 yr olds to foal as 4 yr olds with no problems. The only problem I usually have is keeping weight on young maidens after foaling. Often by the time the foal is 4 months of age, the mother is thin, and IMPOSSIBLE to keep weight on, no matter how i try. This doesn't happen with my older mares, so i assume it's a young maiden thing. Also, as far as coordinating it with under saddle training,... I have ridden many bred mares right up to the month or so before foaling. Given the choice I'd go ahead and breed her, and work with her under saddle until she foals, then go back to work with her when the foal is old enough to keep up with mom thru light exercise. Your other option is to wait until mom has foaled before beginning under saddle training. I would want to do the training while prego, then resume it, rather than waiting....just because actual hands on with the mare will actually help you when foaling time comes. She will learn to trust you more and more, and then probably be a bit more lenient with you when her foal is on the ground. It will be a time to lay some nice ground work for manners! And a young mare with first foal at her side isn't going to be fun to try to start!!
Thanks for the help - the mare in question is two and has been cycling regularly this summer (she is learning to be a fence floosy from the adult mare who babysits the young stock) and the plan at this point is too put her into the broodmare band next summer as a 3yr old. Her under saddle training will be light - just the basics of flat work to asses trainability as she will be a career broodmare due to eye injury that would limit her show career.
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