Breeding your Mare
following information is based on our own experience and is meant only to share
our ideas with new owners. These ideas may not be useful under different
circumstances or if misunderstood. There is one thing we've learned, it's
that we'll never stop learning. It is your responsibility to do your own
research and find methods that will work for you.
Breeding your mare takes some planning, especially for an owner who has not previously been involved in that aspect of horses. There are some general things to keep in mind in order to have a safe and successful breeding. The easiest place to start may be looking at your mare, she should be in good shape prior to breeding and neither overweight nor underweight. All shots and deworming should be up to date. A mare in good health, in general, will conceive more easily than a mare in poor condition. A Rhinonuemonitis shot is especially important to prevent abortion.
There are some general things to keep in mind in order to have a safe and successful breeding.
Your mare's breeding and foaling history can help give you an idea of what to expect. Is she a maiden (1st time) mare? If so, she may be less receptive to the initial breeding, need more monitoring during her pregnancy and possibly have a more difficult foaling than a seasoned mare. She may need to be watched closely after foaling until it's determined she is comfortable in her new role as a mother. If she is an "old hand" at the mothering scene find out her breeding history. Information on her cycling as well as any habits or things to watch out for during the actual breeding will make it smoother for all involved. Get as many details as possible on her foaling history and her mothering habits.
You will feel more comfortable if you're sending your mare to be bred after ensuring the facility she will be sent to provides good care. This includes not only a good feeding program, and attention paid to health concerns, but also that a capable handler will be in charge of the chosen stallion so that the breeding is managed in the safest way possible. Stay informed regarding the progress with your mare.
Choosing your stallion is a most important step. Time should be taken to consider many possibilities. Research your mare's and possible sire's bloodlines in order to determine the crosses which are more likely to result in your ideal horse. Consider which crosses have consistently resulted in good quality horses. You are looking for not only a good horse in a stallion, but one that is capable of passing those qualities on and whose bloodlines will meld well with those of our mare. Other considerations will be based on your hopes for the offspring. For example, If racing is the goal you will want to look at stallions having had a racing career or racing bloodlines.
Temperament is a very important consideration. Conformation, beauty and athletic ability are always in demand. Different qualities mean more to certain individuals but always keep a sound physical structure and good temperament in mind. Ask yourself if this stallion is likely to sire this type of offspring with your mare. Although stud fees and accessibility are also to be taken in to account, they should not be the most important deciding factors. From an investment point of view, it is often better to practice abstinence.
The stallion owner may breed by natural or artificial means. The mare is likely to be more receptive to a natural breeding however both the mare a stallion run risk of possible injury even under the safest circumstances. Artificial insemination eliminates this risk. Some stallion owners offer the choice of transported semen. Keep in mind that in the case of transported semen there are certain registry rules to be followed that require advance planning, and there are flights, timing and customs to be concerned with if you're importing semen .
There are often costs over and above the stud fees involved in breeding. Be sure you are made well aware of all the possibilities. The breeding contract should specify any additional fees the stallion owner will charge. From a financial point of view it is wise to add up all the costs involved. Ie. Stud fee, breeding, the keep of the mare to term, foaling, and raising the foal. Once done, consider the total cost and probable selling price of the foal prior to deciding to breed. The stallion you're breeding to will likely have a few foals on the ground that have sold recently. Their average price will give you an idea of your foal's worth but do not rely on that figure alone. Be realistic; often it is better to abstain.
Although there are quite a few things to be aware of, under normal circumstances, probably 9 times out of 10, all goes smoothly. Then it's simply time to settle in for the long wait, approximately 11 months and 11 days for the date of conception. Foaling out a mare and raising a foal can be most rewarding and often offsets the time and expense.
If you have any further questions contact us:
Ph (780) 963 4000 Fax (780) 962 9150