This note came from Rosana in reference to mare reproduction and twinning:
Just wanted to add a strange case I ran into a few years back that might spark your interest. Here is my posting from back then at a message board:
“Browsing on the ASB Vol. VIII Page 362 found the following rare case
(under the produce of Helen Broeck by Ten Broeck):
“1897 gr. f. Helen Shawhan (spayed) by Long Side.”
Furthermore it appears that she never left any foals, so my guess
is… that she was spayed!
This seems so strange that I ask for the advice my fellow Tbpedix
members to clarify if by “spayed” they meant sterilized. If so why?
Was it a horse husbandry method of that era?
Your comments are greatly appreciated.”
I do not think back then I obtained comments on this one but just wanted to share with you. Cheers, Rosana
Amazing as it seems, spaying was not uncommon at one time. For one thing, it made the filly or mare in question less prone to fluctuations in form due to estrus.
And as a second point, it put some “less worthy” fillies out of the breeding population permanently.
This was a point of considerable interest and some controversy back near the end of the 19th century and through the first quarter or so of the 20th. Since then, spaying has fallen out of favor. It is a complex and dangerous operation compared to castration, and just as that operation sometimes results in talented horses being left unable to reproduce, likewise the same happens with fillies and mares who are spayed.