There are a lot of considerations besides age when considering breeding a mare. What breed/breeds is she, what is her physical condition, what is her temperament, has she foaled before? Have you ever been around foals and do you have the facilities to keep a foal?
A 15 y/o maiden is not as good a candidate as a 20 y/o mare that has produced 8 or 10 foals over her lifetime. Horses like people age at different rates, some 12 y/o are actually far older than other 20 y/o no matter what the chronology is. There are breeds who are less popular in some areas than other, you may need to sell the foal at some point.
I agree with TJRuff. A 15 yr old maiden mare can be more difficult to get in foal than and older mare that has had a foal or more in recent years. And there's defenitely all of the other things that were mentioned, health and conditioning, etc..
When you say stop being able to breed I assume this is a mare that has foaled previously. Mares can continue on as broodmares until the late 20's if they're in good health. I would not breed past say 28, due to normal aging processes. Some stallions can continue to settle mares into the 30's.
i am actually thinking of breeding my horse. She is kinda old 15-20 (not exactly sure how old she is.) Friends i know have looked at her and are pretty sure she has foaled (no vet signature though.) She is a palomino (resulting in the name flicka) has the best temperment ever, is great to ride (suitable for beginors to experinced riders.) she is in okay condition.
TraumaMamma ok condition means exercise wise not sick!!!!!!! i am a responsible horse owner thanks! to my knowledge she has nver foundered or gotten colic. she has been vaccinated and wormed (yes spring and autumn) i haven't yet floated her teeth and i don't know what coggins is (i think i call it something else!) She has a very good diet (plenty of good grass, change of paddock to ensure that, and i feed her chaff, loseren and pellets every day. i hope that helps to stop your concerns about my responibility as a horse owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are you doing your own vaccinations or is a vet doing them for you? they should have made you aware of these very important aspects.
How long have you had her? Teeth floating is an important part of horse healthcare!!
Teeth floating is a routine necessary practice. Unlike human teeth, equine teeth grow perpetually throughout the horse's lifetime. In addition to this fact, many horses have upper and lower jaws which do not align perfectly with one other. Often, the upper jaw is a bit wider than the lower, leaving the outside edges of the upper teeth and inside edges of the lower teeth to overhang the union. These overhangs can grow into sharp "points" - so sharp that the horse can severely cut his tongue and inside of his cheeks in normal chewing. Occasionally a horse will also lose a tooth, leaving the corresponding tooth of the opposite jaw to grow into the space vacated by the lost tooth to the point of interfering with the opposing gum.
Floating is a process in which a large file (float) is used to file down both any sharp "points" and any other abnormal dental growth that may cause the animal oral discomfort or make chewing of feed inefficient. The frequency with which floating is necessary varies greatly from horse to horse. Some animals have better jaw alignment and seemingly slower-growing teeth and may require floating only once every several years. Others may require floating every few months.
as for Coggins
EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA AND THE COGGINS TEST
Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease for which there is no vaccine and no cure. Though most horses succumb rapidly to EIA a percentage of infected horses appear to recover. However they still harbor the virus and during times of stress may become ill again. It is because of these healthy appearing carriers that we test horses. It insures that we do not put their pasture mates at risk.
TRANSMISSION Recently we have learned more about the transmission of this disease. The disease is spread by horseflies. The large horsefly is the main vector. If they bite an infected horse and then bite a healthy horse, the disease gets transmitted. The virus does not live for very long on the horsefly, maybe as little as fifteen or thirty minutes. So for one horse to infect another they must be close to each other. This disease occurs anywhere horseflies live.
CLINICAL SIGNS Three different sets of symptoms occur: acute, chronic and the asymptomatic carrier. With acute infection the horse has fever, depression, and no appetite. The acute horse may be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are very general and he will not be positive on the EIA test for a month and a half. Approximately one third of infected horses will die of the acute form within a month.
The chronically infected horse will having recurring acute bouts along with weight loss, ventral edema (swollen belly and legs) and anemia. These horses will be positive on a EIA test. These horses may linger for a year or more before they die.
Most asymptomatic EIA infected horses will not show any recognizable signs but will test positive on a Coggins test.
COGGINS TEST To insure that an animal is not harboring the virus a simple test is performed, the Coggins test. The Coggins test checks for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) antibodies in the horse's blood. Blood samples must be sent to a state approved laboratory. This test is often needed to take your horse to a show and whenever you transport your horse across state lines. It is to prove to others your horse is safe to be around their horses. Some states now require a negative Coggins test on a horse before he can be sold. Before you travel check to see how recent a test is required because it differs from place to place.
Once you have a negative Coggins further testing is not required for your own peace of mind. Your horse will not become EIA positive unless he develops a serious, febrile illness after contact with a horse of unknown EIA status. You may be required to have a test done yearly to show or transport your horse, so other people will know your horse is safe.
PREVENTION The current testing program has gone a long way toward reducing this disease. Few people remember, prior to the testing in the 1970's that this disease killed many thousands of horses annually. It was originally thought that the testing program would eradicate EIA but every year there are just enough asymptomatic carriers to perpetuate the problem.
There is no vaccine for EIA. It is important that you be careful that your horse's pasture mates are as healthy appearing as your own horse. Board your horse only where a negative Coggins test is required of all horses before they come on the premises. This is your best protection.
While it is true that older mares tend towards being less fertile, there is no age of "menopause" such as is seen in humans. Some mares do "shut down" when they are older (typically greater than 20 years or so), but it is not universal!
It is true that the oocytes that are present to be fertilized in a 20+ year old mare are also 20+ years old (mares are born with all the oocytes they will ever have); It is true that some of those oocytes will not be as viable as a result of age-related deterioration; It most decidedly is not true that if fertilised those occytes will result in "bad legs, deformities"! DNA is DNA and it is DNA which causes the presence of bad (or good!) legs etc. You breed 2 crooked legged horses that are 5 years old and you will stand as much chance of a crooked legged foal as you will if you were to breed them at 25 Genetics and environmental issues causes problems such as that, not "old" oocytes!
The typical mare's estrous cycle is 21 days from ovulation to ovulation It should be noted that not all mares experience the same regularity, so the 28-day cycle may exist - but not routinely! The range of "normal" pregnancy is 320 - 370 days; There can still be healthy foals born outside this time frame, although prior to 320 days, the foal must be considered premature. Foals born before 300 days will not be viable as the lungs will not be formed; The longest pregnancy duration (with a live foal) on record is 417 days. Long-term foals often have a tendency to be small rather than large! This is often thought to be as a result of retarded uterine growth.
I WOULD GET YOUR VET TO COME AND DO A CULTURE ON HER AND GET HIS/HER OPINION ON BREEDING YOUR MARE. MOST LIKELT IF SHE IS IN GOOD CONDITION FOR HER AGE AND CAN HANDLE THE STRESS OF CARRYING A FOAL AND CARING FOR ONE YOUR VET WILL TELL YOU TO GO FOR IT.
Why not? You don't know how old this mare is..OK condition...This mare could be even older then you think. I was not trying to be rude but it sounds like you don't know anything about horses.If your mom know alot about horses why not ask her about mare in heat and what age is to old.
Have you ever had a mare that has foal before? Can you help if the mare needs it? Can you aford the vet bills that come with a mare that is going to have a foal? Why do you want a foal?
I don't know if anyone remembers this, or remembered hearing about it. I think it was in 2001 lol bad memory of yrs sorry. But we had a pregnant thoroughbred mare and everyone was having problems with hay that year. It was recomended by our vet not to give her any more hay. (this was in kentucky by the way) Well anyways even the big breeders were having a hell of a time, with stillborns, and even foals that were born alive only lasted a week at the most. It was really weird. Lady foaled April 4th, we had a live filly with no complications. Only 30% of all foals born that year lived. I'll do some digging around and post pictures of Lady, and baby Angel.
My last roomate, her dad is the minisry of agriculture horse person in Ontario. He was called down to look at that situation in Kentucky. They are pretty sure it was a parasite in the grass that was killing the foals.. But being Kentucky, they didn't want to talk about the Kentucky blue grass possibly having a problem. And refused to test grass, so the official answer was never released.
Flicks, look at your mare's udders and if they are kind of long and hang a little, she's probably had a few foals
All a coggins test does is comfirm or deny if a horse is afflicted with EIA, and you all know this. You're making it sound like the horse is going to be deathly ill if she doesn't get this test. Yes it is required by all 50 states, but is it to protect the horse population from an epidemic.
I will agree on the teeth issue, but alot of horses don't get regular floating, and although you may not agree with me, seem to do fine. I am NOT endorsing eliminating this procedure from horse ownership, but you will accuse me of this...
One does not have to be an all knowing expert on horses to own and enjoy them.That's what a good equine vet and trainers are for.
Leave Flicka alone. He/She sounds like a caring owner.