Mare in Foal - looking for ideas re difficult situation

Escada2004

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I have found myself in one of the most difficult situations ive ever been in and its tearing me apart trying to work out whats the best thing to do so thought i would ask you guys for any ideas!

I have a very nice Belgium WB mare rising 10yo, she had one foal in Belgium before i bought her and started her BS career. She has huge amounts of scope, electric over a fence and would easily of made a good 1.40m jumper! She had just stepped up to 1.20m classes at the start of her 8th year (she didnt start until summer of her 5th year and i produced her slowly) but sadly damaged the meniscus ligament in her stifle :-( she was operated on successfully in the Feb 14 and come back jumping super that summer, unfortunately she managed two shows and i was out hacking her and she went suddenly lame in front. She had her foot MRI'd and it showed a very tiny amount of damage to her impar ligament. She was given time off and medication etc and brought back in to work slowly, my vet was very confident that she would come back and be able to jump again as the injury wasnt bad. Sadly after her 2nd week of canter work (May 15) i felt she just wasnt 100% in front, it was that slight it was very hard to see from the ground but i could feel it when riding her and when we nerve blocked the foot she felt 100% sound.

I was going to loan her to a local breeder to have one foal and then have her back and see if she could come back in to work. A friend at the time talked me out of loaning her out and said to have a foal from her myself and she would take my mare and the foal to her stables/land (im in livery so dont have the set up to breed) as she was putting her mare back in foal also, my mare could stay until the foal was weaned and the foal could then stay with her until ready for backing. In return i would pay her a small amount of livery but also compete one of her young horses.

Sorry this is so long, i hope you are all still awake!

Any way my mare had her heartbeat scan and i had arranged with my friend that she would move to hers after this. Well guess what she kindly changed her mind and said she no longer wanted to take my mare on! I was devastated as not only did i have a mare in foal with very limited grazing, but no place to keep her and the foal when it arrived. I struggle as i work full time and have my other mare out competing and the yard she is on cannot have a mare and foal there. I live very remote and there isnt much choice of livery round here and even after looking for months and months for a place for them both i still to this day havent found one!

So a really good friend has let my mare go to hers just until she is ready to foal as she hasnt the set up to have a foal there. My mare will go to my vets to foal and can potentially go to another friends afterwards with the foal, although its not ideal as she is 2 hours away and also only rents the place so anything could happen!

The whole thing has been so stressful and very very costly for me sadly and ive got to the point where im already struggling financially which wasnt supposed to happen! So the dilemma im in is i cant keep my jumping mare, my mare in foal and the foal :'(

I compete as a hobby although im extremely serious about it and compete to a decent level. I dont want to sell my mare im out jumping with as i have horses to compete and if ive nothing to compete i wouldnt have them (sorry if that sounds harsh, my horses are treated like royalty but competing is what i do). My mare in foal means the world to me but there is no guarantee she will ever stay sound to compete (she has been field sound since last summer) and to have a foal in livery for 4 years before i can even do anything with it is a mega cost that i wasnt meant to have!

So, selling my mare im out competing with isnt an option, i was considering selling the foal at weaning but then im still left with my mare if she doesnt come sound and we wont know for another year really if she will stay sound and then how long for?? Do i sell the mare and foal?? Just the mare?? Loan the mare?? Or my ideal situation would be to find someone who would have the pair and i would give them a share in the foal in return or use of my mare as a broodmare should she not come sound?? Would people be interested in this sort of thing?? My mare is very very well bred she is by Cicero Z out of a Wiensender mare and is in foal to Mermus R. She is sharp to ride and has little quirks on the ground due to being mistreated before i got her but hasnt a nasty bone in her body . She is a real quality looking mare to!

I apologise again for how long this is but wanted to try and explain my situation and that im not just a numpty that thought it would be a good idea to have a foal without planning etc!

Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated as im having sleepless nights trying to work out whats the best for my lovely mare
 

honetpot

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Have you tried pony studs? They will not have the swish facilities but are used to caring for mares and foals well on a budget. Go on the Welsh Pony and Cob Society web site and go though the studs listed.
I would keep her until foaling, then you can sell or lease her as a proven brood mare. Then you can decide if you need to sell or keep the foal, be warned you fall in love with the foal but perhaps selling will a least recoup some of your investment.
 

Escada2004

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Have you tried pony studs? They will not have the swish facilities but are used to caring for mares and foals well on a budget. Go on the Welsh Pony and Cob Society web site and go though the studs listed.
I would keep her until foaling, then you can sell or lease her as a proven brood mare. Then you can decide if you need to sell or keep the foal, be warned you fall in love with the foal but perhaps selling will a least recoup some of your investment.

thank you honetpot, yes im definitely keeping her until she foals, its heartbreaking thinking about letting her go, im sure it will be worse when the foal is here :-( ive contacted a few of the local welsh pony studs but hit a blank every time. Ive been trying to sort all of this since Sept last year, hence its draining me mentally and financially! But the right decision for my mare is the most important thing. In an ideal world i would keep them both and that was the plan

P.S She is already proven as had a foal in Belgium
 

cundlegreen

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thank you honetpot, yes im definitely keeping her until she foals, its heartbreaking thinking about letting her go, im sure it will be worse when the foal is here :-( ive contacted a few of the local welsh pony studs but hit a blank every time. Ive been trying to sort all of this since Sept last year, hence its draining me mentally and financially! But the right decision for my mare is the most important thing. In an ideal world i would keep them both and that was the plan

P.S She is already proven as had a foal in Belgium

The only thing I would suggest, is that you go back to her breeder. If her bloodlines are that good, they might want her back. You have a stressful time ahead though, what with foaling, then keeping the foal a minimum of 4 months, then trying to find somewhere to send one of them. Sorry to hear its all gone t**ts up, but I would never breed if I didn't have my own land, and even now, its problematic, as we are completely waterlogged. Try the british breeders forum on Facebook, that's where I have gone to try and find a home for one of my mares.
 

Escada2004

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The only thing I would suggest, is that you go back to her breeder. If her bloodlines are that good, they might want her back. You have a stressful time ahead though, what with foaling, then keeping the foal a minimum of 4 months, then trying to find somewhere to send one of them. Sorry to hear its all gone t**ts up, but I would never breed if I didn't have my own land, and even now, its problematic, as we are completely waterlogged. Try the british breeders forum on Facebook, that's where I have gone to try and find a home for one of my mares.

She was bred in Belgium and im not sure i would want to send her back tbh as when she was imported she was very very poor and not very well looked after :-( i never planned to breed until i finally bought my own land but because my friend offered to have her as one of her own, it should have all worked out fine. I asked to join the British Breeders FB page yesterday but still waiting for it to be approved
 

Equi

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I can't give any real advice, cause i have no idea what i would do in that situation, but i just wanted to lend some support. There really is no telling what will happen, so until the foal is thriving don't make any decisions. What a rotten friend to have left you in the lurch though.

Shame you were not here, my neighbour does broodmare livery and is able to keep foals if needed and could probably have your mare sold before she foals so you could keep foal!
 

SusieT

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Shame you bred her, a mare who hasn't stood up to competition with multiple ligament problems and without facilities - however that doesn't help you now. I'd attempt to sell her in foal or with foal at foot and see how you got on
 

Equi

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Shame you bred her, a mare who hasn't stood up to competition with multiple ligament problems and without facilities - however that doesn't help you now. I'd attempt to sell her in foal or with foal at foot and see how you got on

Nice. Lovely that everyone can tell the future and know that circumstances will dramatically change due to someone letting them down...
 

Escada2004

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I can't give any real advice, cause i have no idea what i would do in that situation, but i just wanted to lend some support. There really is no telling what will happen, so until the foal is thriving don't make any decisions. What a rotten friend to have left you in the lurch though.

Shame you were not here, my neighbour does broodmare livery and is able to keep foals if needed and could probably have your mare sold before she foals so you could keep foal!

Thank you for your support equi, the whole thing is extremely upsetting, im angry and frustrated at being left in this situation as everything was planned before putting her in foal and i would never have done if not having everything in place. Where are you based? Im still not sure i want to sell either, but i guess it will be more a case of having to :-(
 

Escada2004

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Shame you bred her, a mare who hasn't stood up to competition with multiple ligament problems and without facilities - however that doesn't help you now. I'd attempt to sell her in foal or with foal at foot and see how you got on

SusieT, i dont appreciate your snidey remark and dont feel it is called for! Everything was in place before i decided to put my mare in foal. I also have an extremely good sport horse vet who showjumps and breeds his own horses who fully backed the decision. Im not stupid, im extremely experienced and have had horses all my life and competed to a very high level. Also as previously stated the ligament damage was very very minimal. We dont know how she was injured it could have even been triggered from the way she explodes and turns herself inside out in the field! She was never even lame with her stifle, i just knew something wasnt quite 100%
 

Oscar

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Sorry to hear of your dilema, what a nightmare for you - I would contact all the big studs in the country and ask if theyd like her on permanent breeding loan, and ask if theyd help sell the foal for 50% share. Better to cut your financial losses and have the best possible outcome for the mare and foal.

I dont really know much about jumping studs, but MFS and Brendon stud spring to mind - both opposite end of the country unfortunately but well worth the trek im sure.
 

Alec Swan

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SusieT, i dont appreciate your snidey remark ……..

I wouldn't worry too much about the opinion of someone who seems to live in a perfect world, and who rarely posts in a positive or kindly manner for that matter, as few others do!

How would you see the ideal outcome for you and your mare?

Ets: as I see it, it's a situation where the ideal would be that you sell your mare. The idea that she foals and then comes back in to work, though perfect in theory, rarely works. When mares become brood mares, beyond the age of 4 years, it would be rare for them to make a 'return'.

Alec.
 
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amanda123

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I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago. Sent my mare away to foal, and whilst she was there someone offered to buy her at weaning. She was a maiden mare and was lovely mum and the lady who bought her (no I didn't get much money for her!) but she went to a lovely home as they liked her bloodlines and now she was no longer a maiden mare! I have kept the foal (now rising two) at the place where they went originally, she is a grass livery, bit of a trip but she will stay there another year and I don't worry about her at all. Don't do anything in haste, as things often come right by themselves (with a little help!) I went and watched my mare foal (took 3 weeks off work! and she had the foal the first weekend!). I visit my filly every couple of months, pat her and take pictures! The situation she in is far better for her than I could provide, she gets handled but spend most of her time being a youngster. Ideal rarely exists so don't beat yourself up.
 

Escada2004

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Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions/advice.

In an ideal world i would be able to keep them but i have to be sensible also. Im obviously going to wait until the foal is born and then go from there. I have found a small private stud over the weekend, not too far from my home which im going to look at this week to see if its suitable to move my mare and foal to once they are ok to leave the vets, at least having them closer to home i can be around if anything goes wrong/decide to sell and people want to see them.

So for now im going to try and not stress too much as its not a life of death situation as i have somewhere for them to go, its more a long term solution i will need. I dont think i will have trouble finding someone to take my mare on if thats the route i have to take, it will be just making sure its the right home for her
 

alliwantforchristmas

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been following the thread but no suggestions, however glad to hear you have potentially found somewhere and hope all works out well for you. You sound very sensible and responsible ... best laid plans of mice and men and all of that ... hope things work out well for you and the horses.
 

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OP have you spoken to anyone at Twemlows? They are very good and may even be interested in taking your mare on breeding loan for a year or so. They might also be able to help with selling the foal if that is what you need to do.

If they can't help I'm sure they would know someone who can.

If all else fails please PM me as I know someone who will offer grass livery for your mare and foal (foal will be out with other mares with foals) but they probably wouldn't be able to help with marketing the foal. It's at a reputable stud.
 

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I am sorry your in this situation nice friend to have left you in the lurch, I hope the stud nearby is an option for you they may even know of somewhere who may take your mare on for breeding, or even once the foal is weaned do you think if she was turned out for a year or so she may come sound enough for low level work? may be an option you could find her a home with this in mind, I don't have much other advice I am afraid I just hope it gets a bit easier and you manage to sort something out soon.
 

Escada2004

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Good luck i hope it all pans out for you :)

thank you equi

been following the thread but no suggestions, however glad to hear you have potentially found somewhere and hope all works out well for you. You sound very sensible and responsible ... best laid plans of mice and men and all of that ... hope things work out well for you and the horses.

Thank you alliwantforchristmas

OP have you spoken to anyone at Twemlows? They are very good and may even be interested in taking your mare on breeding loan for a year or so. They might also be able to help with selling the foal if that is what you need to do.

If they can't help I'm sure they would know someone who can.

If all else fails please PM me as I know someone who will offer grass livery for your mare and foal (foal will be out with other mares with foals) but they probably wouldn't be able to help with marketing the foal. It's at a reputable stud.

Thank you madlady, yes ive spoken to Twemlows, however im really not sure i want to send my mare to a big stud environment, it it comes to me having to find a home for her, i would much rather a smaller private stud. Although any prospective home would be vetted very thoroughly. I will pm you regarding the grass livery thank you :)
 

Escada2004

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I am sorry your in this situation nice friend to have left you in the lurch, I hope the stud nearby is an option for you they may even know of somewhere who may take your mare on for breeding, or even once the foal is weaned do you think if she was turned out for a year or so she may come sound enough for low level work? may be an option you could find her a home with this in mind, I don't have much other advice I am afraid I just hope it gets a bit easier and you manage to sort something out soon.

Thank you Pinkvboots, needless to say we are no longer friends! The local stud is just a small private welsh pony showing stud so probably wouldnt have the contacts for a WB showjumper but she knows my situation and would imagine if she knows of anythign she will let me know, once ive decided what im going to do.

My mare is sound now, she has been sound since last summer (stopped riding her in May when she wasnt 100% still) this is why ive been holding on to that bit of hope that she may come back and compete again. She is very sharp to ride, not in a nasty way but she has such an active brain and always making sure you are on the ball! And im not sure she would be suitable for someone wanting to just hack etc. However i could be completely wrong as she hasnt been out competing for a while she may well calm down a little ;-)
 

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Twemlows may take her on as an ET mare, we did this with one of ours, they had her for a couple of years, she went there due to injury had a foal and came back sound! On the injury front you never know and time is a wonderful healer.
 

ester

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I don't see any reason why she wouldn't recover from the impar ligament damage.
I would keep her, sell the foal at weaning and bring her back into work but leave the shoes off as long as possible (depends if you need to jump her on grass) and take it from there. If it doesn't work then you can consider where to send her but it seems a bit early to write her off just yet when she was jumping ok post the stifle surgery.
 

Pinkvboots

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Thank you Pinkvboots, needless to say we are no longer friends! The local stud is just a small private welsh pony showing stud so probably wouldnt have the contacts for a WB showjumper but she knows my situation and would imagine if she knows of anythign she will let me know, once ive decided what im going to do.

My mare is sound now, she has been sound since last summer (stopped riding her in May when she wasnt 100% still) this is why ive been holding on to that bit of hope that she may come back and compete again. She is very sharp to ride, not in a nasty way but she has such an active brain and always making sure you are on the ball! And im not sure she would be suitable for someone wanting to just hack etc. However i could be completely wrong as she hasnt been out competing for a while she may well calm down a little ;-)

I didn't realise she was sound I agree with Ester once the foal is weaned you could start to work her and see how she goes, and as she will be that bit older she may not be so sharp so might work out for the best, I can imagine it will be hard to sell the foal but you may even be in a different position by then and decide to keep:) a lot can happen in that time.
 

Escada2004

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Twemlows may take her on as an ET mare, we did this with one of ours, they had her for a couple of years, she went there due to injury had a foal and came back sound! On the injury front you never know and time is a wonderful healer.

I don't see any reason why she wouldn't recover from the impar ligament damage.
I would keep her, sell the foal at weaning and bring her back into work but leave the shoes off as long as possible (depends if you need to jump her on grass) and take it from there. If it doesn't work then you can consider where to send her but it seems a bit early to write her off just yet when she was jumping ok post the stifle surgery.

I didn't realise she was sound I agree with Ester once the foal is weaned you could start to work her and see how she goes, and as she will be that bit older she may not be so sharp so might work out for the best, I can imagine it will be hard to sell the foal but you may even be in a different position by then and decide to keep:) a lot can happen in that time.

Thank you all, this was my original plan, give her a long time off to fully recover and then see. I think it would be easier to sell the foal as i wont have that bond i have with my mare, however once i see it i will probably feel different!

I guess anything can happen from now until weaning, im just one of those people who has to plan everything in advance and know where im at, however im slowly learning im probably best to try and hold on as long as i can to see what happens in this situation ;-)

Ester, im lucky that she has very good feet and usually stays bare foot behind (unless we need stud holes) so will see how long she can go with the front shoes staying off to. So many shows these days on a surface so i can avoid grass as long as poss :)
 
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