Horse Breeding Basics

Some things to consider before breeding your mare would include the cost and the year that you will spend waiting for the foal, along with any possible complications or the uncertainty of the birth. You should then consider the cost of training the young horse. Consider all the possible complications or diversions that may ensue before you commit to breeding your mare. Without being fully prepared, you may pay a high financial price and not produce a foal.


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A complete and thorough evaluation should be scheduled with your veterinarian to assess whether or not your mare if fit to breed. If you take it for granted and skip this step, you are putting the health of your mare at risk and will be losing money along with the possibility of not delivering of a foal. Logic prescribes that it is prudent to only breed mares that are physically sound, which is why you should not skip this important step of the assessment of your mare. Also, you should have a complete examination and set up a plan for nutrition, vaccinations, and parasite control that will be required for during this time.

The spring is the primary breeding season for mares. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the ideal time to breed mares is during the months of May through August. A mare's pregnancy last for about 335 to 342 days, but this number is quite varied. If you are breeding your mare for a racing foal, the relative age and its official age are very important. It is important to breed early in the, although you have to remember that mares do not ovulate at this time, so you will have to take extra measures and consider the costs that will be involved to breed your mare at this time.

If you are going to breed your mare to produce a racing foal you have to convince her that it is spring in December. One of the ways to approach this is to have your mare under supplemental light starting as early as late November. You want her exposed to 16 hours of light per day and whether you are increasing during the morning, evening hours or both, it is important to remain consistent each day. Approximately after 60 days of supplemental light, the mare will start to ovulate and be ready to breed in the spring. Do not stop using the supplemental light until you know your mare is pregnant.

The single most important cause of inefficient reproductive breeding is in poor management of the horse. If you are not familiar with the breeding cycles of the horse, it is worth your while to learn as much as you can about their ovulatory seasons to maximize your chances for birthing a foal at the appropriate time. One of the factors that can affect even the best attempts at breeding is if there is an infection in the reproductive tract. This can usually be managed with antibiotics.

There are two methods used for breeding mares natural and artificial insemination (AI). To reduce the possibility of human error natural breeding is the most appropriate. If artificial insemination is to be used, you have to be very careful because the more humans are involved, the higher the probability of an error to occur which could negatively affect the outcome of the pregnancy and or birth.

Teasing the mare to monitor their estrous cycles is a very important factor to a sound-breeding program if you do not want to rely on drugs to synchronize the estrous cycle. The way this is accomplished is to expose your mare to a stallion and observe her behavior. If she does not react she may need to be exposed to more than one stallion. The mare that is ready will be calm near the stallion and those that are not will be more agitated with their presence. If breeding occurs a few hours after ovulation, it is usually not very successful. If this is your first time at breeding mares your veterinarian will be able to help you assess the fertility of your mare.

In conclusion remember way you plan and execute your breeding program is essential to success. Once your mare is pregnant carefully monitor her throughout especially when the anticipated time comes for the foal to be delivered.

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