We all know horses are a money pit. Unless you're wheeling and dealing at the upper levels, its hard to actually make money on horses or even break even. I'm obviously not at the upper levels and am probably spending way more money on my ponies than is wise. Which makes knowing when to cut your losses hard.
At the end of June I took Tia in to see where she was in her cycle in hopes of breeding her again. We still were waiting for the biopsy results, but the vet wasn't super worried about it. When they scanned her, they found a decent sized cyst that hadn't been seen before. Either it grew fast, or was never found in her earlier scans. The vet and I discussed options, and decided to wait till after the Fourth to short cycle her and rebreed. I then got the biopsy results the next day and that brought everything to a screeching halt. The vet originally didn't think she was as bad as she it, and seemed a bit shocked and apologetic when telling me.
Tia has a lot of scar tissue and some signs of long term, low grade inflammation. Even with a clean uterine culture, she probably has, and has had, a low grade infection. The infection we can treat. The scar tissue we can't. The vet gave her a 10-50% chance of the embryo being able to implant after fertilization. If we can clear up the infection, and treat her all winter, the higher the chances. But then we're waiting another year, and she'll be even older which lowers our chances. But even so, we're looking at a less than 50% chance of implantation.
Basically he told me, if it was his mare, he'd cut his losses. We could throw a ton of money at her, and still end up with nothing. I'm already about $2,000 into this, which isn't all that bad considering the price of going out and buying a foal at the level I'd hope this one would be. But do I want to double that and get nothing? Embryo transfer is an option, but it's not a magic bullet. I'd be looking at around $5k with no guarantee. Not to mention the emotional cost. I'm proud that I haven't cried in front of the vets, but there's been plenty of tears in the truck, at the barn, and at home. The owners of the barn next to mine just had a mare foal and they were complaining that they wanted a bay tobiano colt and got a liver chestnut filly. I wanted to punch them and scream that I just want a Tia baby. I don't care gender or color. I understand a better now how women with fertility issues feel.
So for now, we're done. I technically still have a breeding to Yorke but I don't have a mare. For a few days I was tempted to contact McKenna's new owner (who doesn't appear to be doing a whole lot with her from what I see) and ask for her back. But the baby wouldn't be what I want, and Yorke wouldn't be as good of a cross with McKenna as he would be with Tia. And I don't ever want to breed just for the sake of breeding. I'd like to think that someday I'll find another mare like Tia and be able to breed her.