Raising A Stallion Horse Like A Pro With The Help Of These 3 Tips

2 Things to Look for in the Right Stallion for Your Broodmare

breeding the best StallionOne of the most exciting, fulfilling, yet nerve-wracking aspects of owning a mare is deciding the stallion to mate it with. While there are now technologies that allow for artificial insemination for selected types or breeds of horses, many still prefer the old fashioned and more traditional way of mating a stallion and a broodmare. However, just like in the human dating scene, mate selection is an important aspect in order to ensure successful breeding. Here are two of the essential things you have to look for in choosing the right stallion for your broodmare.

Conformational Fit to Your Broodmare

Perhaps one of the more important things to look for is the conformational fit of the stallion to your broodmare. One of the reasons why people breed animals is for animals to gain some traits or features that will significantly improve their genetic pool. This is fundamental to strengthening the genetic line of a particular species. As such, it is important to first understand the unique characteristics of your broodmare so that anything that you would like to enhance will be the qualities that you have to look for in the right stallion.

For example, if your mare has relatively shorter legs and you would like its offspring or foal to have significantly longer legs then you need to choose a stallion that has considerably longer legs as well. If your broodmare has a rather elongated back and you would prefer the foal to be a little bit shorter, then you need to choose a stallion that has a relatively short back. The trick is for you to objectively assess the different characteristics of your mare and choose a stallion that will provide the best conformational fit.

This also means that you have to check the stallion for any conformational faults or problems. Remember that 50 percent of the traits will come from either stallion or broodmare so it is always a good idea to get a stallion that has excellent conformation to breed standards.

Gentle, Willing Attitude and Personality

stallion is a tough horse to breedUnless you are going to use artificial insemination to your mare, it is always ideal to look for a stallion that has a gentle and willing attitude and personality. This is to make sure that the mating process will proceed in a less traumatic way for your mare. According to Kyle Knappenberger of odorklenz.com, who spent over two years study horses and their behavioral effects to different odors stated: “a mild-mannered or well-demeanor horse can pass on these traits to the foal which should make it an excellent horse to have”. Many animal behaviorists identify the temperament and the teachability of the horse to be two of the most important behavioral traits that owners should always look for. Since horses are used in a variety of roles, it is very important that good temperament and an equally intelligent nature is passed on from stallion to foal. While a stallion may look dashing and charismatic but if it is ill-tempered that no one can literally approach it, let alone handle and ride it, then it is best to put the stallion back in the wild.

Of course, different horse owners will have different things to look for in a stallion for their broodmare. However, experts agree that these two are essentially the most important things if you want a foal that is remarkably better than its predecessors.

4 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Improve The Way You Breed Horses

5 Factors That Can Affect the Success of Mating Your Horse

factors that can effect horses from matingBreeding horses is a very delicate endeavor because there are simply a lot of things to be considered. A typical horse mating or breeding program will see 60 to 70 percent of the mares successfully mated, with the average at 65 percent. While this is quite good enough, serious horse breeders will often have questions as to why the other mares failed to breed. And just like human conception or pregnancy, there are some mares that are simply more breed-prolific than others.

Here are some factors that can influence the success of horse mating.

Fertility of Both the Mare and the Stallion

It takes two to tango. This holds true especially in sexual reproduction. It is for this reason that the fertility status of both the mare and the stallion be carefully examined in order to ensure greater success at mating. Sperm count and motility must be carefully examined together with sperm viability. Additionally, the stallion should be checked for adequacy of mare responsiveness (libido) and the physical soundness of its hindquarters which is essential for mounting the mare.

For the mare, ultrasound studies of the uterus and other relevant reproductive tracts may have to be performed in order to check for potential reproductive abnormalities. Furthermore, a uterine biopsy with histologic examination may be performed to identify any problems in reproduction.

Age of the Mare

how to mate horsesClosely related to equine fertility, age should be considered in ensuring successful horse mating. The effects of aging on the various reproductive anatomy and physiology of the mare can greatly affect fertility. Typically, a mare that is already 12 years old will already show declining reproductive capacity including decreased uterine tone, shrinkage of the vulva, and increased susceptibility to reproductive tract infections.

Seasonality of Mare Breeding

Light is the single most important factor in the estrus cycle of broodmares. This is why mares are more sexually active in late spring as well as summer months because of the typically longer days. In North America, this typically translates to a period anywhere from mid-April to mid-September. Some breeders begin the teasing program much earlier, often in the month of February to prepare the mare for the mating season come April.

Timing of the Mating Program

Knowing the mare’s mating season is one thing but identifying the actual days when it is in heat is another thing. This is where a teasing program will often be necessary to help breeders identify if the broodmare is already in estrus or in heat. It is essential to have a record of the broodmare’s behavior throughout the estrus cycle in order to determine an approximate date of peak estrus – that time when the broodmare will release a mature ovum from its ovaries. Typically, a veterinarian can use an ultrasound to help determine the growth and maturity of the broodmare’s follicles.

Nutritional Status of the Broodmare

Status of the BroodmareNutrition plays an important role in whether the mating program will be successful or not. Ideally, the body condition score of the broodmare should be not lower than 5. This helps ensure that the mare will have a higher success at getting pregnant as well as a higher chance of retaining the pregnancy.

These are just some of the factors that you might want to consider in ensuring successful horse mating. It is a very delicate process so you really need to understand these fundamental requirements.


4 Horrible Mistakes To Avoid When Your Breeding Mares

Managing A Mare in Heat

mistakes to avoid when breeding maresReproduction is an essential function of life. All species depend on it either sexually or asexually. It is a means of propagating the species. However, for female members of any specie this often requires regulation of their reproductive cycles. Just as human females experience ovulation, so do mares – female horses. And if you happen to own a mare, then you know how challenging it can be to manage a mare in heat. Add into the equation a new mare owner and you have perhaps one of the most stressful situations a livestock owner can ever hope for.

Like any responsible animal owner, you should be prepared to manage your mare in heat. Here’s how.

Be Mindful of Your Mare’s Behavior

Like other species, mares can behave differently when in heat. Some may behave rather erratically that it is probably a lot better if you had bought a gelding instead. Some mares may show unusually strong attachment to one of the other horses in your stable such that she whines incessantly if she doesn’t get a glimpse of her best buddy. Some mares may also kick and squeal at even the slightest of provocations. There are also mares that are quite spooky or jumpy even with non-frightening things.

The point is that, as the new owner of the mare, you really have to keep a journal of the behavior of your horse so that any change in the usual patterns can already alert you to the possibility of an ensuing estrus. If the unwelcome behavior lasts longer than necessary, it should alert you to the possibility of an underlying problem.

Be Extra Cautious When Handling Your Mare in Heat

If you can establish a pattern of your mare’s heat cycle then you will know what to do when that time comes. Because of her rather erratic behavior, it is always a lot better to exercise caution whenever you have to approach or handle your mare at this time. Additionally, make sure to understand a few basic rules about horse behavior training so that you know what to do to help correct the unwanted behavior in a safe and non-threatening manner.

Consider Spaying or Other Veterinary Treatments

spaying your maresIf you do not have any intentions of breeding horses, you might want to consider having your mare spayed. This can greatly solve a lot of the behavioral issues that you see from your mare. However, if you do intend to go into breeding horses, you can ask your equine veterinarian for any possible treatments to help mitigate the unwanted behavior. Just like human oral contraceptives, your mare might be given hormonal therapies such as progesterone, oxytocin, or a combination of progesterone and estradiol. These medications can suppress estrus and help alleviate the behavioral problems associated with it without affecting your mare’s fertility.
Managing your mare’s estrus starts with an understanding of her behavior. Depending on whether you are going to breed or not, it is always advisable to have your mare spayed to solve the behavioral problems. Otherwise, veterinary hormonal treatments can provide a good solution.