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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breeding: Pros and Cons?

In contemplating Gogo's future for the next year, I keep coming back across breeding as the one thing that sticks out as simultaneously the most important thing I could do, and the most undecided. I've already ruled out eventing for this year - even if she bounces back fast from this injury, I see no reason to push her and fit her up for it. We have time. I have two different vet opinions on breeding - one says definitely, one says put her back to work and don't bother. While I do agree with putting her back to work at least in a rehab sense, as that is the best and most controlled way to strengthen and heal a tendon, I'm not planning on hitting any big shows anytime soon. And seeing as I had planned on breeding her next year anyway (before this injury happened of course), this isn't exactly a spur of the moment thing. I've given it a lot of thought, and it's a definite yes for her future. The question, however, is when. Do I breed now, or do I wait? If I don't breed her this year, chances are (should she recover well and go on injury-free) that I won't have a chance to breed her for several more years given her ideal competition schedule. And let's be honest, it's a gamble all around to have an older maiden mare, and sometimes it isn't worth it.

So that leads me to now. This is the ideal time... or well, almost the ideal time. If I do breed her now, that probably cuts out next season as well, seeing as it's a full time job to be a mom, a double full time job to be a mom and a riding horse, and a triple full time overtime no lunchbreaks job to be a mom and a riding horse who is getting fitted up for a competitive season. (Although hell, that way I might finally get her to lose some damn weight!) And that isn't ideal in my mind either, losing two seasons. On the other hand, it will absolutely get me to take my time. Forget about worrying, forget about planning for a season, forget about feeling the need to push her before she may or may not be ready - I won't have that option, so it won't happen.

She'll be 9 this coming year, 10 when baby hits the ground, which means it won't be until age 11 that she's back to eventing fully again. God, that sounds old. Way old. But by breeding her now and REALLY taking my time, I might just secure a seriously long competitive career with her down the road. Who knows, she could be eventing until she's in her 20's! Lil' Tricky was 21 when he did Rolex. The nicest dressage horse in my barn is a Grand Prix horse who is 21, still in full work, and not on a SINGLE supplement. Nothing. He is a far more supple and expressive mover than all of the other horses in the barn combined. That's impressive. But back to Gogo... god forbid I try and get her back into work too soon and she reinjures herself, because she'll probably be done. And then she'll be making babies anyway, so there you have it. It's just a matter of NOW or LATER?

I've made my very basic list of pro's and con's for you all to see. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I want your opinions on this. Breed her THIS YEAR, or DON'T?

Reasons to breed this year:
1) Good time - recooping from an injury, not competing
2) Gives me plenty of reason to take as much time as I need - won't have a competition season next year either most likely so this injury will have absolutely maximum potential for not ever happening again!!
3) Will have a super awesome, well-bred event baby to start up potentially when Gogo's career is winding down - good timimg all around
4) Breeding now prevents her from being an older maiden, which are harder to get pregnant, keep pregnant, and foal out safely
5) Did I mention having an adorable, bouncing, rearing bundle of joy!? I have no interest in purchasing my next horse elsewhere. I want her kiddo and nothing else. I would be the happiest kid in the world to end up with a complete carbon copy of her. In fact, I'd prefer it that way!

Reasons to NOT breed this year:
1) Money. I am doing well enough at this point for myself and will be able to afford two horses without issue, but still... two horses is double the expense of one. I enjoy spending lavishly on Gogo, and I do remember what it was like not long ago to be spending lavishly on Gogo and then going very hungry myself. Not where I ever want to be again. This is really the most enormous reason. Of course I'll be able to afford it, but I kind of am enjoying being able to spend extra money on ME for once! I also eventually need to be thinking about, you know, my life and future beyond all this... do I want a house someday? I have a really small savings fund for my supposed someday retirement, should I be thinking about this some more? I mean, as a horseperson I will NEVER retire until the day I die, but you know. The future is eventually going to be the present.
2) Cutting out an extra competition season. I suppose this is just for selfish reasons really. Can't wait to get back on that mare and gallop XC! But there will be time for that in the future. Sometimes it just feels like everything is a ticking clock though.
3) Time. With two horses, probably at two separate barns, I will lose large amounts of time that I already struggle to find somedays. Yesterday I got home at 9pm from the barn, just because I was there cleaning! I didn't ride anybody, so imagine if I had two horses to ride! I also would probably lose travel time, due to both the time and money issue. And that's fine, a sacrifice I can make (because I've already sacrified it anyway, sadly), but you know. I like having the option even if I don't actually have it.

So what to do? Breed her now, take two years to get back into competition, and then go on to have a long career while baby grows up and gets reason to head out just as she is winding now? Continue to ride her and not breed, and have a competition season next year and extra time and money for myself but have to breed her later as an older maiden and risk sitting out several seasons while I have neither mare nor baby to ride? A hard choice.
I will tell you this, I had a dream two nights ago that Gogo did in fact foal out right in front of me and randomly (don't think I knew she was pregnant in the dream). I went in to clean her stall, and she popped out a baby while STANDING, and it lasted all of about 5 seconds. It was a huge, bright bay colt with those distinctive I'm-going-to-grey-out markings around his lil' nosey. Oh noes, not a grey colt! We want a dark bay filly just like her mom!

(One of my boarders snapped these two pictures of her looking adorable. She has the oogly-eyed skeptical face on in the first picture because the guys were in the hayloft getting reason to throw down lunch hay, and in the second she is obviously getting up to get her lunch hay!)


OnTheBit said...

So I have gone from having one horse to having 2 and both of them being boarded. As for money, it sounds stupid, but for some reason the money you spend seems to triple instead of double when you have two. I cannot explain it! The good thing with a baby is that you can get away with field boarding them out for a few years, which helps with the cost. As for time. It is just a lot of time. I mean, there are days when I only have time for which one do I pick? All that being said...I have done the 2 horse thing for about a year and a half now and for the most part it has worked out really well so I say breed her! In the same breath...I have a friend who was in a very similar situation to you and she is no MISERABLE! The baby turned out to be nothing like she wanted and so now she is trying to sell her as a yearling. She is so upset by the whole thing that she sent the filly down to Florida and now just pays to not deal with it. I say go with your gut so you have no regrets...either direction.

Val said...

I say Go-Baby!

Lexie said...

Do it! Do it now! An early spring baby means a fall event would be possible after weaning. I can just picture you going for long slow pony-ing walks with Mama and BabyGo-Go.

I think now is a great time. If it's for sure something you want to do, now seems like a perfect time.

Shellbean said...

my first thought is baby baby baby, as i was reading your post. but the more i read the less i liked the idea. by the time you've paid for the swimmers and birthing, feeding and and and. for min three years. i say rest gogo,love her for her and when she is 18'ish look for a 2/3 year old and buy. i have an 18 and 4 year old. and i can not work 2 horses in one day. which ever has a show gets most of the riding time.

here, this site is for GOGO. please don't breed

SmartAlex said...

The only cons I see are time and time.

Time as in you will be losing a second competition year. Time as in two horses take triple the time. I have a riding horse, a broodmare, and a yearling. The broodmare is pretty much shelved in the pasture because I don't have time to spend and "personal" time with her. I don't know what I will do next year when I have a two year old needing some basic training. I have precious little time at the barn as it is. Heck, I don't even have enough time to haul to lessons or schedule a show. I'm too busy working in the barn!

On the pro side... Time. Whenever you raise a youngster, you will wish you had done it earlier in your life. I'll be turning 40 and breaking a colt to saddle. I am already wishing I were turning 30 and breaking him to saddle. Time marches on.

Of course, once you get an awesome baby from Go-Go, you will be addicted. Breeding horses is an amazing process of dreams and planning.

PruSki said...

I know you have alot to consider, but after reading, I think you should long as you don't think it will impede her recovery. I look forward to hearing you decision. Good Luck Andrea!

Yankecwgrl said...

Breeding......what a tough subject! I've read the comments and MOST people seem to be saying...BREED.

BUT, I'm going to have to agree with Eventer79.

GoGo is an AMAZING mare, and there is a CHANCE you will get an amazing baby. There is also a HUGE chance you will NOT. Sometimes foals are polar opposite of how they are bred to be.

There are SOOO many nice horse already out there. Save your pennies from stallion fee, vet fees and so on that you would spend breeding and buy a nice young prospect...maybe with the same bloodlines as GoGo or the stallion you want to breed to.

Just my 2 cents! :)

Andrea said...

Yea except you guys know I wouldn't buy another horse. I'd just let her die of old age and be done with it all if I didn't have another! Maybe I should just clone her and hope for the best!

Alighieri said...

I am not a huge fan of breeding. You said you'd be happy with a carbon copy of her (or a carbon of the stallion, I assume). But what if you get the worst parts of both horses? And I'm pretty sure the costs of breeding are much more than just buying a nice yearling.

That being said, if you are dead set on breeding her (either now or later), then I say breed her now. Like you said, this forces you to give more time off, and I don't see why you couldn't bring her back for a fall competition season, maybe a couple of Novices at the end just to get back into things and then you could be set for the next spring.

And, like another poster said, you would be breaking that horse when you are coming up on 30, rather than 40. I think that is a huge advantage. If you wait until Gogo is 18 and breed her, then you will be waiting another 4-5 years before that foal is ready to break at 3 or 4 years old.

Anyways, just my two cents.

Melissa said...

Hm, good reasons either way. Another thing to consider is the facility she's at - is it a good place to have a pregnant mare/delivery/newborn/weanling? If not, is there somewhere else you can take her? It seems like it could be the tipping point between having fun with a Go-baby and having a miserable time of it.

Anonymous said...

Has she already had a breeding soundness exam? (Sorry for not knowing, new reader to many different blogs!) I thought of it as a useful starting point, before making more extensive plans. Agree about the facilities..I believe they need a lot of space, and company if situation allows. :)

Akhal-Eventer said...

My suggestion is. . .breed her now while she's still young and is required to take the time off from competing anyways. She's young enough that she'll bounce right back faster than you'd think.

Austen said...

If anyone is going to know anything about breeding, it's going to be you - little miss "I have a degree in it". :) So I'll leave the technical stuff out.

I think you should go for it.

Two big reasons for me: 1. Her injury. You want her to get better as fast as she can, and as well as she can. But, having something else to focus on will be nice for you to take your mind of just WAITING and WATCHING her legs. I know that's what I would need. Geesh! 2. At least this way you won't be breaking up her competition schedule too badly. Instead, you'll be coming back with a sound, possibly saner (after those hormones level out) mare who will be ready to focus for that drive to upper level. No breaking things up after Training (let's face it, the jump after training is the hardest part!).

I dunno, my two cents.

Cathryn said...

I am 50/50 on this entire thing.

First off, you want her to heal properly. What about added baby weight? What kind of factors will that pose? Will it be fair for her to be pregnant while recoverign from an injury?

Secondly, do you /want/ to have the time for a foal? Foals are a huge responsibility and if you are going to be hauling Gogo out to show for weekends on end, is it fair to the foal to be sitting in a field?

I know you want a carbon copy of Ms. Gogo - who wouldn't? LOL. The maiden mare issue isn't as 'huge' as one may think. Sure, mares ARE better when they are younger but a 16 or 17 year old mare can still do a decent job of foaling as a 10 year old mare.

So I guess my answer is no, don't breed her. As much as a bundle of leaping fun would be, would it be fair to Gogo? Would it be fair to you?

me said...

I say do it now... it's just like having a human baby, all the pros and cons in the world won't affect your gut feeling :) And if you don't do it NOW, when it's actually a "good time", there may never be a "good time" again and you may just keep putting it off and putting it off... finding more reasons to wait. Whereas, if you do it now... you won't regret the time taken.

Good luck in whatever you choose!

Nicku said...

You've got a lot of good opinions here! My vote is go with what is practical, not with the emotional aspects of it.

The ladies are right that it isnt double the time and expenses it is more like triple (or quadruple when things all fall apart at once like happened to me this past year), so just keep that in mind. Plus, you're right to be pragmatic about your future later in life and preparing for all that!

Sometimes when we're young, it's fun to just live your dreams, take the plunges, spend the money and hope for (dare I say expect!) the very best out of every decision we make. It's how we ALL learn (I just spent a year learning why I should not own 2 horses, but I wouldnt have changed one minute of the journey because it taught me volumes). I can assure you it will not be all sunshine and roses no matter what path you choose, but I also assure you that even if it turns out to be a complete mess, some good will come out it because you will learn a thing or two.

I guess I've seen a lot go wrong when breeding mares and I would hate to see something happen to your beloved just to get a baby out of her. I would think the stress and extra weight she'd have to carry to have that baby might be counterproductive to her tendon and overall body rehab after having so much time off??? Something to ask a vet of course, what do I know :P

Good luck with your decision!

Shannon said...

Difficult decisions, but if you are definitely going to breed her, then it seems like the perfect time. My vet friend competed her mare fairly late in her pregnancy, and plans to bring her back this year. Her baby, a Windfall, was born last night.
I have had a seven year journey getting my homebred baby produced (doc calls him the most expensive baby ever, by the time we got his mother breeding sound and got her to take with the questionable swimmers on the third try, then splinted his legs because he was all squished up in the womb. It then took forever getting him broke because I was concerned about taking it slow because he's part warmblood and slow developing, then getting him sound from foot bruising, then saddle fitted as he changed shape, and finally got him somewhat going well after I decided to stop treating him like my only child....only to have my goal of trying to qualify for the AECs currently up in the air. Last weekend at a show he seemed NQR in his rear feet, so of course I freaked out and rode my dressage test like a total wimp because I was worried about hurting him (never mind I shouldn't have ridden at all if I was really worried). In another week and a half there is our last show for a month, and if he continues to be off, or has an abscess, then that one will be out. He was FINE up until this point, until the money went out and I actually started to think maybe we had a chance. :( Now I'm just like you and GoGo, worried about what's wrong with him, and starting the whole cycle or witch hunt, again, until we figure out what the problem is. Meanwhile I have another young horse who couldn't even take his place for this show because he's a five year old orangutan since I don't have time to ride two and keep them show ready...not and work too.
Would I do it again? I don't know, but as much as I LOVE my baby I don't think I would. The expense over the long run is greater, even though you are able to get a nicer horse by spreading it out over time I think.
But, all that being said, I have raised several babies, I'm 40, and as much as I love bringing them along, I have experienced it and don't feel the need to again (so my decision is probably because I've already been there done that).
One final thing. When my horse kicked at his Mother's side before being born, and made me laugh, it was almost like having my own child...he has made me laugh daily since then, and I wouldn't give him up for the world. But, like your horse, nothing is right in my world when something is wrong with him...and sometimes I don't know how healthy that really is.
I just wish you had something to ride while she's recovering, which a second young horse would give you, NOW. But you seem like a patient person and I'm sure you will have no problem finding something to ride or keep you busy, since you would be an asset to someone's riderless horse.

Abby said...

I'm so glad to hear you haven't ruled out the possibility of breeding! Of course there are risks -- you know that -- but I can say from experience there is nothing better than bringing up a baby. And if you've done your homework finding a stallion that matches what you're looking for conformationally, competitively, etc. (which it seems that you have), you have no reason not to *hope* for something special. Gogo is such a lovely mare; you love her, and it'd be nice for her to have a Gogo legacy.

11 is not old -- and as others have said, she'll bounce back faster than you think, with years of competitiveness still ahead of her. As for having two horses, if it makes you happy,I bet you'll find a way to do it. And it's something you've been wanting to do anyway. Seems to me like now is the time.

jacksonsgrrl said...

I am in my mid thirties and look back at WAY too many things I wish I had done differently. Don't be me. Get that baby brewing. And besides, I can totally tell by reading your post what your gut is telling you to do anyway! Youll handle it all, I've no doubt.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Baby time baby time! You KNOW that you will LOVE that little baby no matter what he does or doesn't do.
Soooo exciting!
BUT my real advice, is go with your GUT. REALLY listen to what it's saying. Dreams sometimes point to that. Good luck in your choice.

Andrea said...

I am going to be brutally honest. DO NOT breed her. First off, it is going to cost you more money than you think. Vet care for Gogo while pregnant, obviously caring for a foal. And what if Gogo or the foal have any complications? Can you afford that? Will insurance cover it? I know you say you are financially comfortable right now, but honestly, the horse industry is such a funny business, that who knows where you could be a year from now. Barns are closing or changing hands a lot these days. Keep that in mind. I've read though the other comments, and I see I'm not the only one to point this out. Save your money.

The second reason not to breed her is I don't think it is fair to her while she is recovering from an injury. I am sure it would put an added strain on her legs. Let's say you broke your leg, or had a knee injury or something--would you go and get pregnant while you were recovering? no, you would wait for it to heal. I don't see how a pregnant belly could not put added strain on the back and thus the hind legs. Just not fair to her.

Third thing, and I see no one has brought this up, and I know you are in love with your horse, but why do you want to breed her? She's not a super, amazing horse that's going advanced. She's a horse that despite all your conditioning and hard work still broke down going novice. Are you sure you want to pass down those genese? And there's still that right hock/stifle issue, right? Sorry, but doesn't sound like she has great soundness genes.

I know this may sound mean, but I'm really just being honest with my opinion. I think you need to take off the rosey colored glasses and look at what you have: a horse that broke down going novice. It sucks, I know. Why don't you save the money you would have spent on breeding her and put it towards a baby or an OTTB? There are so many OTTBs that are looking for new homes. And put your time and efforts now into rehabbing her instead of breeding her.

Karen said...

Having bred two foals from my old Morgan mare a few years ago ... and spent years working on a breeding farm ... I can assure you that many maiden mares settle and foal just fine when they are older. Of course there are exceptions, but I wouldn't stress about that too much. My own mare was pushing 15 when we bred her, and while at first it took her a while to catch - I think it was because she had lived on regumate pretty much since she was 3 years old. But anyway, on the other hand I really don't think that the weight of a baby will stress the mare too much until late in the pregnancy - and by that time she will have had almost a year of healing. My own mare was petite and just about 15 hands, and you could NOT tell she was even preggers until about 2 days before she foaled. Some mares get huge, others do not. The day my mare foaled you could not tell she was ever pregnant (except for the baby following her around). She looked as fit as she ever did. Guess it just depends on the mare, I'm sure you know this. Anyway, just my two cents. Follow your gut, as others have said. :-)

tangerine said...

I say breed now. Giving the injury more time cannot hurt. Having added baby weight shouldn't hurt her, especially because she's a first time mom, will carry it well, and by the time the baby gets big enough you'll be a long ways down the road. You can kill two birds with one stone this way. It will also add a needed silver lining to this otherwise terrible situation.

I do agree with the reader that mentioned that you should not breed a horse that has broken down to some extent. I think your reasons for wanting a gogo baby is because you love her no matter if she gets hurt. Do you really need another horse that will break down, no, but do you need another gogo? Maybe? There's always the question of if her injury was related to genetic factors (undoubtedly) but was it something easily passed on? No one knows.

Have you seriously considered getting another horse? Have you looked around? Horse shopping is terrible, but it might be a viable option depending on if you want to go through that ordeal rather than the breeding/growing ordeal. If you are going to breed her NO MATTER WHAT, then do it now.

Jen said...

Ok, first I don't see Gogo as being broken down. She slipped and it was an accident. That's all. She's recovering and will continue (hopefully) to be a great eventing horse.

I say go for the breeding. She has the time off and so do you. I'd say get it done with now and see what she produces. I don't think that there is really any better time to do this. As you pointed out, if you do this another time, you'll still be losing at least 2 eventing seasons. This way with her injury, she has the time off and can carry a baby and then go back to competing.

And as for the 2-horse thing...I own 2 horses myself. My 7-year-old is my competitive Reiner (with a hopeful move to dressage) that I ride full time and my 18-year-old is my relaxing horse. I chose to ride depending on time and take it from there.

I know I can't make the decision for you, but if I was you, I would definitly breed her now while you have the time and the money.

hwbowen said...

It was less than a year ago, wasn't it, when you literally had nothing to eat?

Maybe you're better at saving than I am! And have more of a savings/cushion than I would have managed to accumulate in the time between than and now. But if not...

Jen said...

I'd say to honestly go with your gut! You know how much time and money you have to spend on a baby, and you know your Gogo way better than any of us! I wanted to comment only because I raised my current six year old from a yearling, and while it was time consuming, it also wasn't. Since you can't ride the foal off the bat (obviously, lol) there's limits to what you can do, so you'll have lots of time to focus on Gogo! It's when they turn 2, 3 and 4 years old (depending on when you'd want to start the horse) that's when it becomes a balancing acting. I have two mares right now, and it's tough to give each the time they need! Sure, it's a lot more expensive to have two, but for me, it's the issue of giving each quality time. I think you'll be fine no matter what you do, breeding or not :)

Jennifer said...

I'm gonna say don't breed.

Consider the worst-case scenario for GoGo and you. If she has serious baby-problems, then what? If you lose your job, then what?

Plan out making sure you're entirely prepared for the worst before you assume the best.

There are a boatload of babies available on the market, and in a sour economy, you might be able to find a real jewel out there waiting for ya.

Anonymous said...

I say go for it. I understand not wanting to buy one. I have a mare that we are planning to breed for the first time (10 YO) because there isn't another horse like her, and we want to keep her bloodlines going. If you have the time now, do it. You may not have time later. Let us know what you decide!

RuckusButt said...

This is pretty tough - there are comments on both sides that have merit. I'm certainly no one to give advice to you but I'd say go with your brain and a little gut thrown in for good measure. All gut may not be the smartest choice, all brain might not have the passion required for a satisfying decision.

*Sharon* said...

It's a huge decision for you. I do agree with the others who say follow your gut and you are not one to just leap in on impulse. Hence asking web strangers.

But if you are asking for our opinions, then here's mine.

Don't breed Gogo.

I'm in the camp that says it is hugely risky for your mare, and there are plenty of horses on the ground already with potential. As you work full time with horses, I'm sure you can pick up other horses to ride while you keep shopping. With the economy the way it is, there are incredible bargains out there.

But it is your decision and we will stand by you. And watch with interest...

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

Ok, I'm LOL at the way we want duplicates of our most difficult mares. You and Gogo, me and Consolation. We're nuts!!! And yet...aren't the hard ones the best? It does seem like a good time, not only for Gogo (injury) but to give Junior plenty of time to grow up while you still have Mama to ride. As long as you aren't counting on selling in this economy, why not?

McFawn said...

I understand being so attached to a horse that you can't imagine buying another or having anything less than a Gogo baby but...

What if one of your earlier horses (Quincy or Metro) were mares, and you decided to breed them before they passed rather than look for a new horse (and finding Gogo)?

A few years ago, Gogo was just a mare in somebody's field. You discovered her and gave her a great life. There are other great, talented, quirky horses out there that are not appreciated or understood (remember Gogo's bad trainer early on?) and deserve a chance just like she did. I think discovering and upgrading a great talent already in the world makes more sense then trying to "duplicate" Gogo.

There's only one Gogo. You know that. Why dilute her uniqueness by trying to have a "carbon copy foal?" Let Gogo be enough.

My one and only horse of a lifetime is dead. I know what its like to wish I had two of him, to wish to have him back. But I also know that he was just an OTTB sitting in a dirt lot in Ohio back in 1993. He was a gem waiting to be discovered, but he fought with his trainer and had a temper. What if I hadn't found him? What if you hadn't found Gogo? Where would she be? I'm glad I was able to give him a great life, and I hope to one day give that chance to another horse out there.

Andrea, there are not enough good horse owners and riders for all the great horses out there. I hope you will remember the chance you gave Gogo--a random mare in a pasture--when you make your decision.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm a sort of new reader--keeping up now for a few months. I like the idea of breeding Gogo, and in no way see her as broken down. She's had an injury. I also took the liberty of searching her pedigree on allbreedpedigree and saw her full brother is doing some amazing stuff, which I think--if gene's can ever be proved in any fullproof way--is proof of her good genes, and the fact that this injury is something of a fluke, not the norm.

Of course, there are great horses out there you could adopt or buy if you wanted another--the economy is pretty right for it at this point However, it's up to your discretion, if you want to breed Gogo, provided she's ok for it healthwise, and that some of the other reader's concerns--that the added weight of pregnancy would strain her already compromised leg, etc--are vet cleared as not worrisome, I'd say go for it. Keep us posted on your stallion choice.

Terry said...

What happens to the baby if it's not a Mini-Go-Go?

Ashleigh said...

At first, I though "GOGO BABY! YES! DO IT!" But after reading these arguments, all of which have good points, I say this:

Do not breed GoGo.

I wholeheartedly agree with what McFawn said- what if Metro had been a mare, and you had bred then? There would be no eventing a gogo. Gogo would still be a fat hunker in a field. What if your next horse is out there waiting for you?
However, if you are utterly determined to breed and we cannot sway your mind on that issue, then I say breed now. Its really good timing all around. Gogo gets her time off without you hovering over her legs every second because you have noting more to do with her than worry, and you get a baby gogo. You loose two eventing seasons, but you will have plenty of time between birth and the baby turning four (well, I dont know if thats when you start your babies, I'm just throwing that number out there because thats the age I've always through appropriate) to event with mama. While you're eventing with mama, you can take it easy and do basic ground work with baby. Gogo will be...sixteen(? again, just my numbers I'm throwing in there) by the time baby is four, yes? Still of good age. Now is the only time I forsee problems. Do you have money enough for tack for both of them? Do you have a trailer large enough to fit them both? Will you have enough money to (eventually) event with both of them? I know these worries seem a long way away, but that time will fly by.

Whatever you choose, we will support you!

Meghan said...

I agree with what some of the others have said. You are not going to get another Gogo by breeding her, because Gogo is a unique animal. I can understand the allure of a Go-baby that you can raise and train yourself and hopefully avoid all the crap Gogo went through with crazy trainer lady, but it will also be a hell of a lot of time, work and money.

There are so many horses out there with major potential, and no one to bring it out of them. Lots of them go to slaughter. For what you would spend to make one Go-baby, you could probably rescue at least several OTTBS (or even warmblood crosses, in this economy). With your talent and feel for horses I would love to see what you could do with an OTTB. I bet it would be awesome.

By all means, give Gogo all the time she needs to recover. Ignore the calendar, and just listen to your horse. It doesn't matter how long it takes if at the end of the road you have a horse that is sound again and ready to kick ass. You can make the in-between meaningfull, too, but you don't have to make a baby to do it.

Mel said...

OK - first a caveat- I'm not in general a pro-breeding person. Too much of a risk of NOT getting what I want - I'd rather buy something that I know I would like the personality etc. That being said, I did read your post with an open mind and thought about what I would do if I was in your shoes.

I think I would put off breeding and here's why -

Balancing the needs of the future with the needs of the present is tricky. Yes,you need a replacement for Go-go, and assuming you breed, then that prospect is going to need time to grow up etc in order to be ready to compete when go-go is going to retire. BUT also consider your present. Don't totally sacrifice your present comfrots for the future,because anything can happen in the future. If having a baby now puts a strain on the finances and the ability for you to do what you want to do with go-go (compete in the near future as opposed to the far future....) than I would probably not breed now, I would wait until it was more convient timewise and money wise to do so. The timing just doesn't feel "right" , right now.

ultimately it's up to you and obvioulsy I'll enjoy reading your stories either way, however I think that breeding now puts too many eggs in the basket for the future, rather than a blance of future and present.

I'm not sure this post made sense, but hopefully something intelligible came through!


Gryph said...

I say breed her now. You're keeping the foal for life, and you have a plan for it.