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22 Mar 11 12:08
Date Joined: 22 Sep 06
| Topic/replies: 7 | Blogger: Snowydot's blog
Maybe it's because of the very cold winter, but has anyone else had any trouble getting a mare to start cycling? I've heard a few stories from others of mares being painfully slow coming in this year. Is this affecting anyone else?
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Report potentialmillionaire March 22, 2011 2:42 PM GMT
Whatever the weather there's always a consensus of doom and gloom on this matter! I actually think last year was harder as the 'Winter' was a bit later. This season I felt we got the mares well switched off by the bad weather before Christmas and as my barrener is safely in foal it seems that it's been quite easy !

Last year there was a real problem with early foalers shutting down due to the stinking weather so it does seem that the timing is a little different this year.

I assume you are having problems Snowydot? Did you attempt the usual measures to wind the mare(s) up early?
Report Snowydot March 22, 2011 6:19 PM GMT
Hi potentialmillionaire. The one mare that I rested last year has been under lights since mid December and is only now starting to produce a small folicle. She has never been this slow. Regimate (which I was reluctant to use) has not worked so I'll have to wait for nature to take its course. So much for an early foal next year!
Report potentialmillionaire March 22, 2011 7:43 PM GMT
Bad luck Snowydot, you didn't deserve that. My mare didn't come in until Christmas so it looks like I had any good luck going this year.

I always use Regumate as I don't have a teaser and don't trust myself so as soon as I think that I am getting somewhere, with their coat say, I stick them on for 12 days or so and then PG. Having said that, this mare always goes 12 months so I tried for 1st week of Feb and she was clustery so I had another 12 days and we were fine. When they are definitely transitional I think Regumate is at its most useful.

You are certainly experiencing one of the most irritating aspects of the game for sure Cry    Good Luck!
Report RipVanWinkle March 22, 2011 9:07 PM GMT
You taking Regumate yourself aswell potm, its strong stuff
Report potentialmillionaire March 22, 2011 9:22 PM GMT
Laugh Ripvan, do you think that could be why I'm obsessed by The X factor and expensive high heels . . . !!!!
Report yer ma March 22, 2011 10:17 PM GMT
Lights, more protein and exercise is my non-drug suggestion.  A decent vet is essential in this situation - if yours hasnt a good solution get another to look.  Regumate is not the panacea. GL
Report potentialmillionaire March 22, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
Regumate is as far as I would go in this situation. I am not sure a 'new' vet Yer ma is the answer as presumably, after you've done lights, rugs and feed the only thing he/she would bring to the mix is the keys to the U.S. style medicine cabinet.

Over drugged over interventionist and over here!!
Report Prima Donna March 23, 2011 4:20 PM GMT
I don't know about a new vet in the first place I'd want to feel sure you had the right vet before starting breeding from mares.We never use regumate this early in the season as once you start messing around with some mares it can 'bugger them up'for ages after,we just use lights and plenty of good food along with the use of a good teaser stallion,our barren's by and large have all been on and off since xmas.
As for rugs I know some use them but we avoid it if we can as often once you send the mare away if the weather is not so good and she no longer wears the rug that will sometimes knock her back,I suppose it all comes down just common sense and good animal husbandry which really is the key,the old saying a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing springs to mind,or perhaps an over enthusiastic owner can ruin your first chance of an early cover.
Report potentialmillionaire March 23, 2011 7:58 PM GMT
The only other point that I thought of for future reference. I'm an old fashioned t/o by day stabled at night. I know a lot of people barn their barreners or stable and horsewalker them. However after Christmas we had really cold weather and subsequently great bright daylight and I think that always plays a great part in my success or otherwise.

Hard to replicate with electrics alone maybe.
Report yer ma March 23, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
My Vet point is a very many decent general horse vets havent much of a clue about mares. Doesnt sound like OP is getting advice but I'm guessing. I'm a strong believer in barn, lights, right feed & walker for barrens.
Report Prima Donna March 23, 2011 8:33 PM GMT
Most of ours live in barns about a doz' per barn (barren's)with lights on auto timers until midnight out each day until 3.30pm then back in.The in-foal mares are again barned until 6 weeks to a month before foaling then into the foaling boxes with them we only group about 8 per barn.
Personally I see little point in using the horsewalker with the barren's as they tend to always be moving around the field during the day we always think the best option is to try to keep it as natural as poss.This may not be ideal for everyone but it seems to work for us each year we have our share of Jan/Feb foals
Report Prima Donna March 24, 2011 10:30 AM GMT
Just out of interest do any of you have or have the use of a teaser stallion?I know if you only have a few mares perhaps its not worth it but what I have found is a good teaser is worth his weight in gold.
Report RipVanWinkle March 24, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
We have one he's as good as any vet to tell us if a mare is in season
Report Prima Donna March 24, 2011 7:41 PM GMT
Agree with you Rip Van,ours is both evaluable and an essential part of the stud he is brilliant at his job it would be a lot harder achieving our results without him.Happy
Report Prima Donna March 24, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
Report potentialmillionaire March 24, 2011 8:56 PM GMT
I remember bunging a mare on a trailer to tease with the local stallion a few years back to try and get her moving after she dropped into lactational anoeustrous ( Look I had a go with the spelling, give me a break here Laugh) so I am aware of how useful one would be, but it ain't never gonna happen so me and my (good) stud vet know how to get by!
Report Prima Donna March 24, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
Pot M, how many acres do you have?What about a little section A welsh pony stallion I know guy with one of those his works his mares a dream and lives out all the time on a very small paddock. Cant believe he costs much to keep you may find it would be a real benefit to your set up,just an idea for you to consider.
Report potentialmillionaire March 24, 2011 9:54 PM GMT
Well Prima, you've got me thinking - again!

I suppose I've always thought of something quite sizeable, you know the typically, skinny, fence walking ex racer that always seems to be in the way in a small place like mine.

I might give it some thought for the future, as you point out perhaps it's not quite as impractical a prospect as I've imagined. It might be quite fun to have a really smart pony that local folks could use (though I'd probably hate that in practice!)
Report RipVanWinkle March 24, 2011 10:23 PM GMT
You could get one for €50 back here and he saves so much on vets bills even though they still need to go for all there swabs but at the start of the season its handy and cheaper
Report potentialmillionaire March 25, 2011 2:25 PM GMT
Good point RipVan

I wondered about buying a cheapie and breaking it, gelding it and selling at the end of the season.
Report Prima Donna March 25, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
OMG!If you do get a pony stallion and he turns out to be a good teaser and you can afford to keep him then just keep him he will pay for himself in one season alone.
Report potentialmillionaire March 25, 2011 2:50 PM GMT
Don't get in a fix about the word 'gelding' Prima, worry not, if anyone still harboured those thoughts for you it would've happened by now Laugh
Report Prima Donna March 25, 2011 3:06 PM GMT
I know Pot M I fell very sure plenty of folks would love to 'chop them off'even now I thinkGrinbut don't worry they are still in full working order and very precious!!!Cool[;)]
Report Snowydot March 30, 2011 2:42 AM BST
Sorry it's taken so long to reply to all the good advice. She came in very quickly in the end and has been covered twice in the last week, she was very receptive and kind (rather than taking my arm off!) was a great sign she wasn't her normal self!!!. We have a fab vet who was monitoring not only her folicles but the tightness of her cervix too. She can be a funny one but when you have a mare who has a listed winning 2yo in 2010 (her first runner) and a 1000 guineas entry you explore everything! All mine live in barns too and she was turned out during the day. As far as feedings concerned there is no issue as she is on a very well managed diet. She was just very slow coming in this year. Please God she holds.
Report RipVanWinkle March 30, 2011 10:03 AM BST
What stallion did you cover her with as i heard of a stallion not doing the business over in england to what should be expected
Report Prima Donna March 30, 2011 10:33 AM BST
Snowydot,What an exciting prospect your mare sounds,that's such a great feeling knowing you have something you can really look forward to,I do hope she holds and all goes well for you,I shall be in NMKT for the guineas so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
I too would be interested to know what she in in-foal to.Very often the good producers are absolute bitches to deal with,I always think a tough mare or stallion (temperament)is key to success.
Report RipVanWinkle March 30, 2011 12:19 PM BST
PD you must have sent Rakti plenty mares then
Report Prima Donna March 30, 2011 1:24 PM BST
Rip Van, that scenario has been known, yes! When I say tough, i say that the horse has got to be one of those bloody-minded b*stards. Stallion or mare. This ingredient when breeding horses, generally, is the key to if that horse (mare or stallion) is going to be a producer. For example Caerleon as opposed to Julio Mariner who was very soft and an absolute useless producer despite his great pedigree. We have a good mare here that is an utter nightmare in almost everyway. You take your life in your hands dealing with her, but she has been a multiple Group producer inc at the highest level.
Report potentialmillionaire March 30, 2011 7:53 PM BST
No wonder you were having a bit of a hair tearing moment Snowy! Welcome to the world of horses! It always seems that when it's happening on the track then it doesn't run smooth in the breeding shed and viki verki. Hopefully you've chosen a nice fertile one as Ripvan says.

Prima, do the lads on the stud share your passion for the quirky? A bit different on the shop floor perhaps [;)] However I'm glad you've brought this up as I think sheer bloody mindedness at the end of a race is worth more than a flash of brilliance any day. I think it is a massive plus for Sea The Stars, rarely flashy, just toughed out whoever he met.
I'm not a great fan of all U.S. but they are much less worried about the easy going than we are and they never seem to care about covering up such behavioural traits or being so obsessed with vices either.

I get heartily pee'd off with buyersCry endless search through the sales for foals/yearlings with great temperaments. What with that and the pursuit of fashion, maybe coupled with a dodgy deal and it is any wonder that trainers find themselves with yards of expensive snails!
Report Prima Donna March 30, 2011 8:42 PM BST
Pot M,I known that 'the lads on the stud'do not share my passion for quirkiness,all of us a some point hate the effing mare,but we all like her as well its a case of 'going along with her'rather than going against her.My point about temperament rolled into sheer bloody mindedness is one I recognize now and again.IMO stallions need to be 100%  assertive and dominant very '**** sure'of themselves these quality's you can see sometimes on the racetrack that sort give all and find more if needed,I don't know what STS is like this year as I didn't go to see him but I did see him last year at that time he was still a bit babyish he may be very much the man this year if he's going to any good imo he will need that crucial ingredient.............I'm not so sure he will be all that's hoped for but time will tell.
We have a young mare from a very high class family she has just had her first foal,the mare was not a great racehorse multiple winner but not black type,but she really did give her last time and time again always trying to get past whatever she ran against,you know the type ears flat back with a certain look on her face she is as tough as nails and is in her group the boss,this imo is just the sort with the desired what I call bloodymindedness to get a group horse,I am very hopeful with this mare she is the epitome of that quality you seldom see in horses
Report potentialmillionaire March 31, 2011 8:24 PM BST
I've got a young mare who would have won on the track but she was the niggley problem type. No way would she have been particularly talented but when we had to finish her she did have a large Timeform P. So with that and her being a bit aggressive - she too is boss mare - I am still dreaming Laugh

Is the Alpha female in the herd always a better bet as a producer? Any thoughts anyone? For my experience, I probably haven't had an unsuccessful one.

Endlessly fascinating!
Report Slick'N'Smooth March 31, 2011 9:46 PM BST
Well Potentialmillionaire your mare does sound as though she may be the type to uphold your high hopes! As long as her niggly problems were not of a nature that would be inheritable.

It is not so much the importance of being 'Alpha' mare, as being mentally tough. I can think of one field of mares in particular from a few years ago and one mare was the undisputed king(queen?)-of-the-hill. However she was moderate at her very best. In her field and ruled by her rod of iron was a much more unsuspecting mare. She was about 3rd or 4th in the order and was never a mare that you would particularly notice. Apart from the fact she knew her own mind and would quietly go about getting things her own way.The alpha was moderate, the quiet mare produced 3 indvidual Gp winners, a Gp 1 winner and a Gp 1 producing stallion.What she possessed that made her different to the bossy mare, was not bluff nor bravdo but sheer strength of mind and character. All of her stock were tough and would never shirk a challenge in a tight finish.All were ****cats to deal with and all bred on well. I have three of her daughters in the stud now and each has at least one black type winner to her name.

Alpha mares may well have a better overall record and would probably be an interesting study but I always think that those very bossy types can find it hard when they go off to stud and have to battle with other equally bossy mares for their place. A mare that sits a little lower in the scheme finds it easier to adjust and has to learn a more canny way of dealing with things. Foals will naturally learn from their mothers the tactics needed. A clever fighter knows which fights to pick.
Report potentialmillionaire April 1, 2011 7:00 PM BST
Thanks for that Slick - nice to hear from the Organ Grinder Devil

I'm sorting out December Sales right now and everything but mares 3 and 4 is going to go. I feel sure that they too will produce a ton of stakes performers and form dynasties - it's that easy surely? Laugh I love that type of 'efficient' no nonsense mare. The mare that usually creates most of the problem always seems to be number 2 in my experience. Bitter at not holding top slot, they always seem to throw their weight around because they can. The moustachioed Sergeant Major springs to mind.

As for my young mare I await with trepidation to see whether I am managing to 'breed out' the problems. I suppose at every level there are always tweaks to be made in the pursuit of improvement and I am determined to keep going until the tweaks needed are a little fewer!
Report Prima Donna April 1, 2011 8:44 PM BST
Monkey am I then!!!LaughLaugh
Report potentialmillionaire April 3, 2011 7:54 PM BST
Was there ever any doubt? ! Laugh
Report Prima Donna April 3, 2011 8:19 PM BST
Looking in the mirror Pot M no!Laugh
Report Lairy Mary April 4, 2011 11:16 AM BST
Very interesting to read, Slick.  I do enjoy coming here to read such stuff - makes a change to hear about people's genuine passions rather than most of the drivel you read on other forums.
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