Stallion Breeding Tips??
I am breeding my five year old stallion to our mare this spring/summer. This is the first time that I have actually done this. The mare has had two foals, and my stallion was bred (successfully) at age two right before I bought him. When our mare went into heat in late April, we covered her successfully one time a day for about five days in a row. I was actually a bit disappointedly surprised when she appeared to be in heat again here in May. We began covering her each day as before, but by the third day she was making things very difficult for him by not standing still at all with her hind end. He has been so gentle, that we decided to put them in together. That also seemed to work pretty well. What I am wondering about is: does anyone know some good techniques for successfull coverings? how to keep a mare still? is is possible she took the first time around and is just a hussy? Any advice in this area would be welcomed.... I would like to start offerring my stallion to stud next year, but I want to know what I am doing :)
You might consider having the mare preg checked just to be sure. Did you also have a culture and a coggins test done on her before you tried to breed her? What about the stallion - any pre-breeding tests done by your vet?
As for techniques for successful breedings, I'd suggest finding someone in your are that is experienced that can help you. Alot can go wrong and horses can get hurt. It's good that your stallion is being gentle, but one bad experience with a mare can change all that. And he might get really frustrated with the mare for not standing still which might make him less cooperative too.
one of my old broodies stayed in season for 5 1/2 weeks, she was served everyday, just in case, when she finally switched off the stud master told me not to keep my hopes up. She was scanned at approx 21 days from last service and we were told not only that she was in foal but she was over 45 days! She'd taken in the first 3 days and then kept on gettin' a little somethin' from the boy.
It would absolutely be worth getting her tested just in case, cause you just can't tell for sure sometimes!
Before offering him out, I would suggest that you get a lot more experience. Is there a breeding farm/ranch near you that would let you watch, volunteer? There are many techniques, and many things that can go wrong. A stallion can seriously hurt an mare, and a well placed kick can injure or even kill the stallion. (not to mention the handlers.) Do you have a breeding contract ready? Are you offering LFG? What if the mare has a foal by its side? What are your plans for that? What tests (if any) are you going to require on the mares before breeding? What preperations are you going to do for the stallion prior to breeding?
I am not trying to dissuade you from breeding. There are just a lot of things to think about, and plan for, if you are offering your stallion out to stud. It is not just throwing a mare and stallion together.
these are all very good points to reconsider breeding, is your stallion also papperd?
Yes, my stallion is papered, his DNA is on file with APHA. He has one registered foal from when he was bred at age two (before I bought him),and we have now bred him to our registered AQHA mare this year.
I have been doing research since he was two (he is now five) about what exactly I want to include in his breeding contract. I am in the process this summer of writing his contract so that I will have it ready for next year.
I am very comfortable with handling my stallion for the safety of him, the mare, and the humans involved; I spent the last three years training him in hand and in general for exactly this purpose. He is very respectful to me and what I am asking of him even when he is ready to mount a mare feet in front of him.
With our own mare, I have been careful to tease her adequately to make sure that she will in fact be receptive to him before I put him in harms way of a kick.
The area where I do not have as much experience is with the handling of the actual mare. The tips I was seeking were more along the lines of: how many people is the best number to handle the mare? Are breeding hobbles helpful? has anyone found success in the use of a breeding chute or stall? pature breed or hand breed (although I have heard that many mare owners want hand breeding)?
I do intend to do live cover, not AI at this point. I will offer a LFG contingent upon certain requirements being met by the mare owner. I also plan on outlining what needs to be done by the vet before breeding in my contract. I will explain board situations/accomodations, fees, etc.
My stallion will be six years old next year, and I feel that his riding and handling training is at the point where he can begin breeding. I was worried about a change in excitement after breeding him this spring, but he has actually become more calm and focused during training.
Unfortunately, we do not have "breeing farms" in the official sense of the word up here. We actually probably have less than a handful of reputable stallion owners/breeders in the entire state. The experiences that I could gain volunteering would be very limited. I can definitely seek out some experience in this way though.
Thank you very much for the feedback and concern. The last thing that I want to do is get anyone (horse or human) hurt :)
I forgot to say. I have also been communicating with our vet about our whole breeding process this year, which has been helpful.
Well, it sounds like you have been doing your homework, (Good for you!)
I have personally never used breeding hobbles, although I have considered it. For an unexperienced stallion (and I consider yours to be unexperienced, one baby does not make experience) I like to use 3 people to hand breed. You need an area small enough for confinement, yet large enough so that the handlers can get out of the way if necessary. I use one person to hold the mare, another to hold the stallion and a third to, well to put it delicately, be the "helping hand" if necessary. Some inexperienced stallions have difficulty finding the right "spot" and need some help. Obviously, the stallion must be very calm to do this and be very used to having his "equiptment" handled. If he has a problem with getting his sheath cleaned, ie kicks at you etc, DON'T help him. After his first breeding season, I would have 3 people "on hand" but you will probably only need two.
We both pasture breed and hand breed. (pasture breed our own mares, only hand breed outside mares) We have looked into AI and our vet will collect if necessary, but we haven't had the need yet.
I hope I answered some of your questions.
Is that your stallion in your avatar? He's beautiful. We have a black/white tobiano stallion (APHA,PtHA)
and thank you (I think he is pretty too :) ); his personality puts him over the top though. I don't know if it is the stallion confidence or what, but he is so, so people friendly, very gentle, and smart.
I would love to see pictures of your Black and White stallion. I love that coloring too. Just curious - how many stallions do you have? how many broodmares? Do you mainly breed QHs & Paints?
Also, thanks for the breeding tips. We have been using three people this spring, and he has no problem with his area being handled, so that might really help for someone to help him get where he needs to go. :)
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