Breeding season is here and for a lot of horse owner’s it’s a very tempting season. There are good reasons and bad reasons to breed a mare. Below are 5 of the worst reasons that we hear time and time again. If you find yourself with the urge to breed and these are your reasons, please reconsider.
1) “She’s such a pretty color.” Just because your mare is buckskin with a gorgeous long mane, doesn’t mean she should be bred. There are so many other factors to consider. Conformation, temperament, bloodlines all come before things like color and how long her mane is.
2) “She’s lame and can no longer be ridden.” This is a very common one and you really need to look at the individual lameness. Is she lame because genetically or conformationally she couldn’t hold up? If so, it’s probably not a good idea to breed her because she may pass on that trait to her foal. Also, will the weight of carrying a baby cause her more pain than she’s already in? Whether she’s pregnant or not, you’re still going to have to feed her. So please don’t get her pregnant unless she can comfortably carry the foal.
3) “Her great great grandsire was a show champion.” Just because she has some show champions in her pedigree, does not mean that she has what it takes to produce a show champion herself. You need to evaluate each mare individually. Even if your mare is a direct daughter of a World Champion, if her legs are completely crooked and she tries to kill anyone who tries to catch her, it’s probably not a good idea to breed her!
4) “Someone offered me a free breeding to their stallion.” A free breeding to what stallion? Is this stallion that’s even compatible with your mare? Please evaluate any stallion just as you would any mare you intend to breed. Conformation, temperament and great bloodlines are a must, but with stallion’s also a good idea to look at what they have produced. Talk to people who have babies by that stallion or have ridden babies by that stallion. This will give you more knowledge to make a better decision. It’s also a great idea to visit a stallion and their babies in person if you can.
5) “I think I could make a lot of money off her babies.” Unless you are a professional breeder, it is very hard to make money breeding horses. Even professional breeders don’t always turn a profit. So why do so many people think they’re going to make lots of money breeding their mare? If you want to breed that’s fine, but please don’t go into it thinking you’re going to make oodles of money.
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