Darn you AmyMay, putting ideas into my head!

Erehwemos

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Even though it is something Mum and I have often discussed (Mum pro, me always anti), your comments on my other thread have made me really ponder the idea of breeding from Elz.

On the one hand, I would LOVE to breed from her. She has been my horse in a million, and I would dearly love to have a baby from her to carry on the line, so to speak. The problem is, I want her to STILL be my horse in a million, and if anything happened during pregnancy that meant I lost her....I would never forgive myself. Mum keeps telling me that it is so rare to lose a mare - but what if she is that one in a hundred, or whatever the statistic? I'd never live with myself.

I am trying to be sensible about this. Weighing up the pros and cons, it looks like this:

PROS
- Ellie is healthy, strong and has good conformation
- She has relatively good breeding on her sire's side (goes back to Alme); dam's breeding unknown
- She has been an excellent competition horse for me with results to prove it. Would have gone further had I not lost my nerve; I turned down several offers for her from people who would have taken her onto the higher end of the national circuit - the potential has always been there (and probably still is)
- Her temperament is lovely - quirky, sharp, but lovely
- She's v v pretty
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- I would LOVE to have a foal from her to be my 'next horse'
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- Mum has a strong working background in racing and studwork - she has already said she would feel very confident about looking after Ellie during pregnancy


CONS
- She is 14 years old; is this a little old for a first foal?
- The obvious - risks of losing her, or of her becoming ill
- Risks of losing the foal
- The fact that we do not own our own land, and there are no facilities for her to have the foal at our current yard; nor are there any empty stables for us to keep the foal there once it is weaned
- We are currently renting our house and are not overly well off - Mum says we would be able to cope financially with two horses....but I am not so sure.
- I am just finishing Uni and about to go on to do a post grad course, which will lead me into teaching. I will certainly have the time to look after one horse - would I have time to look after two? Doubtful
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- Sounds stupid, but the thought of Ellie going off to stud makes me
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She's never been away from me for any time at all, not for nine years. I would worry so much about her being away!



I think I have answered my own question - again! Putting aside my worries about losing her, my circumstances are just not right for having a foal right now. In a couple of years' time, OH and I are hoping to combine funds with Mum and buy a place with some land, so one day we may have our own facilities again. But then, Ellie will be 16/17, and surely that is too old to be on the safe side....
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Has anyone else ever pondered the same thing? Have you ever had a mare who you knew would give you a lovely foal, but were doubtful as to whether to go ahead or not? If so, what did you decide?
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MrsMozart

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I think you've answered your own question as well hun. Hugs.

I wanted pups from my Saint Bernard girly. It took age to get her preggers, then she lost the pups a week early. Five girls. It broke my heart, and then to see my girl so sad. Her coat fell out, we nearly lost her. I'd just wanted one of her pups so's when she went we'd still have her as it were. She wasn't overly correct for a Bernard (a bit light boned), but her temperament was to die for - the vet who put her to sleep was in tears, he'd known her most of her short six years and always said she was the kindest and gentlest of giants.
 

Erehwemos

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[ QUOTE ]
I think you've answered your own question as well hun. Hugs.

I wanted pups from my Saint Bernard girly. It took age to get her preggers, then she lost the pups a week early. Five girls. It broke my heart, and then to see my girl so sad. Her coat fell out, we nearly lost her. I'd just wanted one of her pups so's when she went we'd still have her as it were. She wasn't overly correct for a Bernard (a bit light boned), but her temperament was to die for - the vet who put her to sleep was in tears, he'd known her most of her short six years and always said she was the kindest and gentlest of giants.

[/ QUOTE ]

Aww that's so sad, hugs to you too
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xx

This is another reason I am so wary. We bred from our black Lab seven years ago, and did everything right - checks before going ahead, then once she was in pup, regular checks and scans throughout her pregnancy. All was well, the vets said she was in perfect health
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Then on the night she went into labour, everything went wrong. We knew something was wrong and got her bundled into the car - she had one pup on my lap on the way to the vets. Once there, she had two more, but then her calcium levels plummeted and she was practically unconscious. She went in for a C-section - vets thought there were perhaps three more pups - but there were eleven in total! One had his insides on his outside, which I think was part of the reason for her problems. But whatever, the vets told us we were going to lose her, and Mum had already told them that if she died on the operating table, then they were to put all the pups down too - no way could we have hand reared them all
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Somehow, China pulled through, although she was very weak and never really took to motherhood. She hated every minute, and tbh I dont think she has physically ever really recovered, although she is now 12 and seems fairly happy, even though she is very arthritic. I suppose you could say it was worth it in the end - 9 of the pups survived, and we kept the only girl in the litter, which was lovely
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But I will never forget that horrid, churning fear when we thought we had lost her.....:( I couldnt go through that again!
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f_s_

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I sympathise with all your reasons and doubts, as I have thought of all of those and more over the years!!
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Anyway, in my case, I worry about the horse, more than anything else, and have decided that I would rather have the memories, as no horse replaces another, and each are individuals.

Whatever you decide, I wish you well, as she is a lovely mare
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CorvusCorax

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I think it is a lovely idea, Ellie is a super stamp of a horse, but as with breeding anything, of course there are risks.

Friends of mine waited until their gorgeous mares were 16 and 18 when they were sent to stud.
The stallion accidentally killed the younger mare (I won't go into details, it was grim) and when the older was scanned, she hadn't taken
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I'm another who lost a much-wanted litter of pups, all seven from our gorgeous GSD to a top-drawer German male.

Ironically, our first litter was an accident, out of a bitch who looked like a hyena (we actually got a free replacement from the breeder's next litter because she was so ropy looking
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) and they all led long, healthy lives.
 

Doublethyme

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Have just been through the exact same pro/con thing with my mare, who is facing retirement with a tendon injury (accident, so not a genetic weakeness). She's 14 too, reasonably well bred and a nice mare. My equine vet was extremely pro putting her in foal, even when I questioned her age. Said it was what he would do with her and was really enthusiastic over the idea!! However, like you the cons weighed to heavy with me, I would be devastated to lose her in foaling.

Plus I believe it really is cheaper in the long run to buy a youngster in a few years time, even though the thought of a foal is tempting. The risk of huge bills from a poorly foal is just too great for me.
 

Erehwemos

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[ QUOTE ]


Anyway, in my case, I worry about the horse, more than anything else, and have decided that I would rather have the memories, as no horse replaces another, and each are individuals.


[/ QUOTE ]

A very neat way of summing it up, I think!
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As much as I would love to have Ellie's son or daughter to carry on those memories, she will ALWAYS be special to me, even when I have nothing left of her. And for as much as replacing her is unthinkable to me now, I know that one day - hopefully 20 years in the future - I will find another young spark who may be almost as special. Blood ties arent everything, are they? I'd rather have the memories, as you say, than be riddled with regret
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AmyMay

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There's always embryo transfer.

Go in to breeding and talk to Sallyf (Groombridge Stud) and have a little look at High Tension.

And you're probably too late this year.....

Sorry xx
 

Erehwemos

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[ QUOTE ]
There's always embryo transfer.

Go in to breeding and talk to Sallyf (Groombridge Stud) and have a little look at High Tension.

And you're probably too late this year.....

Sorry xx

[/ QUOTE ]

LOL, tis ok, I wasnt
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at you really! You should have seen Mum's ears prick up again when I started talking about it
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Yes Mum said it would be too late this year. I just have to be sensible, you know? I thought of embryo transfer - though it seems kind of callous! (dont want to risk my mare, but will happily risk another
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) But my circumstances still bother me - I just dont know we are in a position to do it. Five years ago, we had our own stables, own land - and a ready made foaling box - it would have been perfect! But then everything went tits up!
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Erehwemos

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[ QUOTE ]
Sensible girl.

Anyway she is stunning. And you have every right to be proud of her.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thank you
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It's that age-old heart ruling head problem, isnt it?
I have just had a look at High Tension though - he's a stunner! Certainly looks like his daddy, too - which is no bad thing
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