Age Before Breeding


    Your gorgeous mare may have the temperament, conformation, bloodlines and talent to warrant breeding, but her age is an important consideration too. While it’s not uncommon to find mares bred during their 20s, fertility and foaling rates decline after 14 to 16 years of age. Pregnancy losses during late gestation increase in older mares and failures during early pregnancy are even more common.

    Source: “Reduced Reproductive Efficiency in the Aged Mare: Role of Early Embryonic Loss,” B.A. Ball, University of California, Davis.


    1. i know a mare that had a foal at the age of 27 years old, the owners neverintended to breed her to a stallion.she is still alive and beign wel taken care of.

    2. Thanks!! Even through many of my little books I have not been able to find the best age to discountinue breeding my little mini mares!
      I would not want to do anything to cause harm to my babies(mares)

    3. Good article. My aunt has a Quarter Horse mare in her late teens still being bred. She is the perfect, model broodmare, but I have still worried about her these last few years. With the last three foals, my aunt as given her a year off in between each foal, and the mare is still doing well. Thank you for the info.

    4. My mare, GZ Phaedra, is 22 yrs old and is due to have a foal in Jan ’12. When I purchased Cricket in Feb ’11 she was severely underweight and supposedly bred. After she had put on some much needed weight we had our vet look at her and we were told that if she had been pregnant then she had lost it due to poor nutrition and to give her a year off. Now we are looking forward to our first foal out of this old lady and can’t wait! She is in good health and growing as large as a barn every day 🙂

    5. I have a 7 year old mare. She is a Shetland pony and I am ready to breed her. I am going to rent a stallion and I think they will make a good match. Someone told me that I couldn’t breed her unless she was in heat. Is this true? And if so, how do I know she is in heat? What are the symptoms? When do mares usually go into heat? And if there is anything else I need to know for breeding, please let me know.

    6. I have a 7 year old mare and I am ready to breed her. I am renting a stallion that is a good fit and in great health. Someone told me that she has to be in heat in order to breed her. Is yhis true? And if so how do I know she is in heat? What are the symptoms? When do mares usually go in heat?

      If there is anything else I should before breeding my mare, please let me know.


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