How many years are mare productive for?

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2004
Reaction score
to foal. There is a mare that has some very rare old lines and she is one of the last

pure Falabella daughter's of Chianti. She will be 18 next year. Do you think she will be able to be bred much longer?
I know people hate to hear this, but "that depends".

The best indicator of if she is still productive is, has she got a foal at her side? Older mares that are kept in foal, well, you know that they are still fertile, or at least WERE, until this last year. If she's not had a foal lately, it's more of a risk. You could also have breeding soundness exam done on her by a vet. Also, longevity tends to run in families, so if her dam had foals until she was quite old, chances are she will too.

That said, I wouldn't make an old mare keep having foals until she drops dead-- there comes a point where they deserve a retirement. Where that point is, is surely a personal decision though.

I know of mares having foals well into their 20's....
She is pregnant this year due to foal this month. The person that owns her was going to sell her as her pure Falabella stallion is too old and this will probably be his last foal. Since the lines are too precious and rare to be lost,she would like her to bred by a youger pure Falabella stallion to keep the line going.
Well, she sounds like something I would jump at, personally!

I got a 20 year old mare last year, and she was in foal too; had a wonderful colt with no problems, and may be pregnant for next year with what will be her last foal before her well-earned retirement. I'm extremely happy with my older mare.
Okay Magic,

Thanks for your input that helps alot and the fact that you have successfully bred your older mare is encouraging.
Bar Bar E just had a 25 year old mare have a baby and I beleive she is going to have another one next year if she gets in foal! For those of you who dont know about the Bar Bar E horses, they are REALLY REALLY hardy! they have the babies on there own and EVERYTHING, they just let them run wild, kinda like mustang, there not tamed, but they are really easy to tame, just like all minis, they all have the ability to be tame:) But I BELEIVE that that 25 year old mare had her baby on her own (Susan, correct me if i am worng:)

I have a 22yr mini due next month she has a foal every second year.

I also have a 28yr old australian stockhorse her last foal was 2yrs ago - have given her some time off but will breed her again this season.

Older mares MUST be rugged of a night, cold days etc... and fed very well to ensure the weight is held while the are in foal

Hope this helps
I have had mares go on into their twenties BUT I have one line that packs up at around nineteen- Kitty had her last foal at 17- I had her ultrasounded and her womb had thickened- after that there is no hope of getting a foal. Her eldest daughter is now 21 and had her last foal 2 years ago. Her next daughter is 19 now and has a foal at foot BUT has NOT got back in foal. SO have this mare ultrasounded- the womb should be in pretty good shape if she has a foal at foot, so now is a good time to see. She may be a nice mare but I am assuming she is not being given to you?? She would be an expensive lawn ornament!!
I agree with Jane. The mare's pretty much tell you when they're done. My Keesha is 17 this year and has a colt at side. He is only her second colt in all her years breeding. She has "not" cycled yet and he was born 5/27. She spoils him and seems to enjoy him so much. I have teased her and nothing, I am beginning to suspect she's done. I was hoping for one more filly from her but it is up to her. Her hips are pretty arthritic and I can understand if she's done.
Forgot to add- cycling or not is NO indication. Kitty cycled like a Tour de France entrant, and thoroughly enjoyed herself!!! Never had another foal and she was regular as clockwork. Clary, her daughter, has also cycled regularly for the past two years, so much so that her hind legs are FILTHY in spite of washing!! Precious, the other daughter, has cycled regularly form the foal heat on- she's NOT in foal (at least I don't think she is, I am still actually hoping on this mare!!)

I had no stallion running when I had Kitty so - a word of warning on non productive mares- it is WELL worth having them ultra sounded as the first two years Kitty had no foal she actually got in foal and absorbed at four/five months- the last time she went to six months and was VERY run down by it, so that is when I absolutely gave up _ this was the first time this had happened and I think I was just trying to prove the Vet wrong!!!
Last edited by a moderator:
Okay, new question in the same line... is it okay to allow a 'retired' mare who no longer concieves to run with her herd... even if stallion is present and breeds her when she cycles?
Read my last post- the problem seems to be that, even with a non productive womb that will not sustain a pregnancy- as long as they are cycling, they can get pregnant, this puts a HUGE strain on their systems. On th either hand, shutting them away from their herd will do the same, so it's a judgement call, I think
We have a mare that we got at age 21, more to give her a permanent home than for foals. She is a lovely mare and we thought babies would be a bonus, but just really wanted to see her stop moving. She had a foal the yaer we bought her, which the previous owners kept, and she did not have a foal last year, so we thought perhaps she was done, which was ok with us. However she cycled last year so we did breed her, and the result this year is the frame overo colt in my avatar pic! She is 23 now and what a great mom she is, I just love this old girl!
Thanks Jean, I missed that when I read. That will prove to be quite a quandry. I have a 19 year old mare. The year we got her she foaled (but a red-bag, as did the other two mares I got along with her in a group), this last year (current year) she missed and didn't have a foal, I have her in with our stallion hoping for a foal from her next year. She's in good condition, but if she's done, she's done, and will retire here. Boy though, removing her from her herd would be very traumatic. I could I suppose handbreed the two mares she's in with, but they can be difficult about that (they pasture breed easily and willingly).
We have a 23-year old mare whom we bought last year. She will always have a good home here, because she is such a wonderful "old lady". She had her 12th healthy, beautiful foal this spring, a solid black filly, and we have bred her back for next year. She is extremely healthy, a wonderful mother, and worth her weight in gold. As long as a mare is healthy and it does not put too much of a strain on her, and continues to cycle, it should be okay to allow them to have a foal. We watch their diet carefully, continue to have the vet check her, and just let her do what she loves to do. Take care of foals!

Latest posts