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 what is to young to breed?

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Posts : 580
Join date : 2009-03-30

PostSubject: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:27 am

I have never owned a mare, and even if I would I would not breed her, so I have no clue about breeding..I was on a web site that I had seen on Facebook, and I was looking through the horses for sale and there is a mare who is 2 years old and with foal, the mare herself is not finish growing, is breeding a yound mare like that healthy??...Im not starting this topic to make trouble for anyone, I just want to know..
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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:36 am

It is a good question that has been asked before and got out of hand on different boards sooo lets keep this nice.

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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:43 am

It is a good question that has been asked before and got out of hand on different boards sooo lets keep this nice.[quote]

yes, please keep it nice, I think this board is mature enough to state an opinion without making someone look bad....we do not have to be condesending to have a point of view..
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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:11 am

A mare is physically able to breed as soon as they have their first heat which I have heard of occuring on the rare case in horses as young as late weanlings/early yearlings. That being said just because it is possible for them to reproduce does not mean that they should.

Age should play a factor in the decision of wether to breed or not - if a horse is young they are not fully mature themselves yet and the major resources for their bodies are designed to be put towards the growth/development of their own bodies and while it is possible for them to support a foal durring this period it takes additional resources away from their own bodies and can lead to issues in the mares continued development and turnout as the pregnancy and resulting foal puts extra strain on their bodies.

Another thing to consider is if a horse is bred at a young age is that they have not had a chance to prove themselves - if their body is still growing than their conformation is still in question (though major flaws are likely already visiable),they have not had a true chance to prove their character/willingness, they likely have not done much in the way of training, are unproven undersaddle and may or may not be proven in hand (this depends on how much time was spent with them as a foal/weanling/yearling).

That being said it is a personal choice.

My mare Dessi foaled out as a early 3 year old (Her birthday is May 2nd, 2004 and foaled June 26th, 2007) and again as and early 4 year old (June 20th, 2008). Her conformation is off of what it should be - legs camped under a bit in back (though have improved greatly with two years of not being in foal/having a foal on her), she is a tad but high (again more level than she used to be), plus a few other faults that I could nick pick at. Was this primarly due to her being bred to young, in my opinion yes that played a major role though it must also be noted that she was also about 150-200 pounds under weight by rough estimation by an untrained eye when I brought her home (first weekend in May 2008).

Personally I would wait untill a mare was at least 5 or 6 to breed them. In most cases the majority of their growth has been completed at this time though they may still be filling out, this may be different from breed to breed so would have to look into other breeds more to say my opionion of them, I have Quarter Horses so using them as my bases for right now. Their personality has been established and they have had more trainng and have had the opportunity to prove themselves (not nessicarly in shows).

The personality of the mare should also be considered - if a mare is not mentally mature and confident than IMO she should not be bred no matter her age as she will likely be harder to handle and become even more nervous/unconfident with the foal on the ground which will make working with the foal difficult.
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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:28 pm

I guess it all depends on how she got pregnant, if she was tied to a tree and had no choice, or if she was out in pasture, and things happened naturally, If the stallion did get his way with her in the pasture, I would think the mare was ready...I have no clue, but I’m thinking if the mare was willing her natural instincts did the rest. Just a thought..If a mare refuses to breed I would think she would get nasty towards the stallion and not let him..
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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:21 pm

There is a huge difference than a horse being willing to breed and should that horse be bred, as Tia stated. If it was a case of stallion getting in with the filly and having his way with her, if it was my horse, she'd be giving an abortifacient. I agree 150% with the reasons stated by Tia for this.

Nature has made animals capable of having offspring early on because in the wild animals are by no means guaranteed to make it past a few years. As domesticators of animals, we have the ability to say when, where, how, with who and even if these animals reproduce. There is no reason to start this process when the animal is so young and unproven, and more so when the animals have such a very long fertile life.

It really isn't healthy to be breeding an animal that young, and the cons far outweigh the pros in my mind. Lots of people do it, however. A horse destined to be a broodmare is started the same way a horse destined to be a mount is, some people wait, some don't. Yes it is a personal choice, but that doesn't make it proper, imvho. Nothing against the people that do it, I know horse people who start their horses as yearlings. I do not at all agree with that, but I still respect them as a horse person.

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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:47 pm

I bought a welsh pony broodmare from Ontario from a top breeder and this mare had her first foal as a 4 year old, this mare has been shown on the line for years and was bred to be a broodmare, so she has never been broke to ride or drive. She has had 8 live foals and she turns 14 this year and didn't have a foal last year. She is in wonderful shape and you would never guess that this mare is 14 and had 8 foals!
So looking at this mare, it has not done her any harm, but she has always had excellent care. So I guess it depends on what the mares job is going to be
I am pretty sure that the welsh registry will not register a foal from a 2 year old.
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PostSubject: Re: what is to young to breed?   Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:43 am

At one point, I could not fathom how ANYONE would breed a 2 year old. I thought it was simply atrocious. Then a breeder I have a huge amount of respect told me this and she made me look at things in a bit of a different light,

"Can a 13-14 year old GIRL have a baby?"

To that my answer was, "Well, yes she can but I really don't think she is ready."

and her response was, "Yes, she is quite capable of having baby but that doesn't mean she should which can also be applied to horses."

She also made me look at the bigger pictures in terms of folks thinking that having a foal at a young age stunts growth. Does having a baby at 13 stunt that young girl's growth? Not likely, if she is feed properly. Often, from my experience, horses that are bred at a young age aren't stunted they just take a little longer to mature to their full size.

If a horse was unsound and had the pedigree and disposition to be a producer I'd breed a 2 year old (she'll foal when she is 3 years old) of course she'd have to be in great condition when she was breed and fed accordingly throughout pregnancy and after to assure her great condition was maintained.

I believe all horses should be given a chance to be great and be trained. Breeding a mare at 2 years old is prime "teaching" time. I believe except in exceptionally circumstances it is best to find out what kind of horse you have before you go letting it have offspring.
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