A question for experienced breeders

sonjafoers

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I am thinking of breeding from my 11 year old mare but as I have never done this before I am uncertain as to whether it is the right thing to do. I totally understand the ethics surrounding responsible breeding etc, and I would only breed this foal to keep it for myself. My mare has fantastic conformation & a wonderful temperament, hence the desire to breed from her! My question is that she is a 14.2 cob x hackney and ideally I would like to produce something a bit finer and that makes about 15.1 hh. My inexperienced thoughts were to put her to a TB or TB type, but I have now been advised that she will only breed something that she can carry & it is very unlikely she would produce a foal to make nearly a hand taller than her. Is this generally the case? I know it's not an exact science but any thoughts would be helpful.
 

Clodagh

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I'd put this in breeding...
personally I think (although am not experienced) she would need to go to a 16hh stallion for that height increase and would be risky for a maiden. But having read lots about it if she is chunky and you put her to a tb who is narrow she'd probably be OK as its the shoulders that can give trouble during birth.
My Welsh C, who is 13.2 had a foal before I got her and she went to a 15.2 stallion and foal should make 14.2 (its 2 now and on its way there).
 

lindsayH

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I won't lecture you on the ethics as you've said you're well aware of them already and I'm sure others will anyway! Can I just tell you about my personal experience? My situation has changed drastically since my mare became pregnant. I've got a long term illness and have been unable to work which has had serious implications in many ways. It's easy to think these things will never happen to you but they can. I wish to god my mare wasn't in foal and I'm worrying constantly about all the things that could go wrong/vets bills etc. Remember that there are risks to your mare. Just because you're planning to keep the foal now doesn't mean your situation won't change in the next 30 years. Height and build, like everything else, is a gamble, you could end up with a totally unsuitable horse. If you decide to go ahead, make sure you use a well known stallion and have found a good stud to keep them both at. From what I've seen so far, mare and foal livery is £5-9 per day if they live out. All the best whatever you decide.
 

sonjafoers

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Thank you, I didn't realise there was a specific breeding section so it's now in there too. That's a good point about choosing a narrow sire, maybe that is the safest way to get a bit of height safely.
 

sonjafoers

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I am sorry to hear about your situation, I am guessing having a mare in foal is a worrying time enough without being ill and having to think about the financial situation on top of it all. I wish you all the best. It is something I have to think through thoroughly, my friend lost her mare during the birthing process and it made me question whether it was worth it, I love my girl so much which is why i would want a foal from her, but conversely I don't want to put her health at risk for my own wishes. Your point about the future is poignant but I would have those worries whether I bred a foal or bought from a breeder. I think if the general informed consensus is that she is unlikely to breed something of the right height etc for me then I would not risk it.
 

lindsayH

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Your poor friend :-( I can only hope foal was ok. There's been a couple if people who have lost in foal mares in the breeding section over the last couple of weeks and I feel so sorry for them. Bad enough to lose one...
 

arwenplusone

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You sound like you have thought this through & understand the responsibility that comes with creating a new life. As a breeder myself I would recommend that you also really consider the costs of doing this and be really honest about how much cash and time you have to hand.
Work out how much it will cost you (ie stud fees/vets etc) then add ten percent, then double it! lol. Also you need to consider the facilities that you have - will your mare foal at home? Can you keep the foal somewhere with others his or her own age? Do you have anyone close to hand that is experienced/knowledgeable?

As for your mare, I think a TB type sounds like a good bet. Yes there is a problem if you put a 16hh stallion to a 12hh mare, but the size difference you are talking about is not dangerous for your mare.

You will probably get lots more replies in breeding anyway - lots of knowledgeable folk in there.
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Good luck - if you do decide to do it it is an emotional rollercoaster (but well worth it IMO)

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ETA - just reread your post and realised that if the foal does not make a good height then it will be dubious as to whether you WILL keep it? In which case you do need to think carefully because even if you do put your mare to a 15.2 stallion you could still get a 14.1hh baby. No guarantees on height, sorry
 
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