Pasture breeding noob
So I'm new to pasture breeding, I've only done AI. But recently I started working for this woman who's all natural, and doesn't believe in AI or in hand. So she wants pasture brewing. She's foaled horses on site, just not bred them herself. She bought a gorgeous stallion a year or two ago and now wants to breed him to a broodmare for a test run.
I've made a little diagram (which isn't very clean lol) with my phone to show the layout. I'll explain the numbers below!
Layout : http://i.imgur.com/siHWg8V.jpg
A: House... Pretty simple
B: Round pen. We made this round pen with metal panels. It was a temporary riding arena (attached panels to fence and used the fence as one of the long sides) while the actual one was being built. The panels are moveable and everything, it's just there as I'm training a lot, and now there's a gelding living in it because his foot is torn up.
C: Stallion paddock. So the stallion lives in here with two miniature geldings. He's a really chill guy, doesn't scare or spook and he's only 3!
D: Sub pen 1. There are 4 "sub" pens to the stallion paddock. This is the first one. There are currently 2 bottle feeding calves in there.
E: Sub pen 2 AKA Stud pen. This is the second sub pen. It's enforced for a stallion overnight. It has high chain link fence with hot wire running along the top. The gate is mega enforce with chains and clips and like 4 different things. He can't escape overnight in it. During the day time when there aren't geldings being ridden next to his pen, it's left open so he can go into his little hut/shelter if he wants to.
F: Sub pen 3. This is a small pen with a shelter and grass. It's left open all the time. The minis like to stay in this one.
G: This pen is open when all the mares aren't turned on to the clover field.
H: Geldings field. Self explanatory.
I: "Empty" paddock. This is where an outdoor arena is built in. Sometimes we will keep a horse in the arena area, and then put other horses around it to get used to the others. The stallion is in his pen at this time. Usually we ride in it though.
J: Mares. 9 mares are here during the day. Overnight, 6 of them are turned onto the clover (broodmares stay on grass).
K: Clover field. Lots of clover and grass and everything in the field. The 6 riding mares (plus yearling an donkey) get turned onto this overnight. But we will probably keep em on it 24/7 now as they have eaten it down pretty much completely, and we'll leave the 3 broodmares in the mares paddock.
There is other stuff on the property, but none that matter. There is also a long pen that I couldn't draw with my finger beside the arena and in front of the mare's field. It's pretty skinny and long. Nothing is in there right now.
All of the pens, paddocks, etc minus the arena area and round pen have a few shelters in them.
Sooooo my question is - what is the best way to breed him? Should I select the mare that comes into heat and put her in with him in his stud pen, one of the sub pens, put him up beside the broodmares in that long pen, round pen? Just wanting your opinion. And we can make up the round pen wherever, the panels are movable! And feel free to ask anymore questions.
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If he hasn't bred a mare before, he may not have the best manners on how to treat the ladies. I would suggest some control over him and choose a mare that won't kill him.
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How big are any of these areas. pasture breeding is just that - pasture breeding. A wide open space where the stallion is with his herd and allowed to breed as they cycle. You track heat and if you see him mount and keep your records on a calendar. Works if you are breeding your own mares or you have a mare that you have introduced to your herd and the owner is going to leave for an extended period AND willing to risk injury depending on herd dynamics. If she is breeding for out the safest is teasing the mare and hand breeding in a safe environment. We don't breed or let me say rarely breed for out as I won't mix another in any of my herds as I don't want to introduce the potential of disease and I don't want to have to build pens for breeding mares that would need to stay and be kept away. I have a couple of mares that are extremely dominant and without careful introductions and plenty of space could seriously injure an interloper. Ditto Sunny on manners. If he is young and not familiar with herd dynamics he may have awful manners. You risk injury to one or both without controlled breeding.
You need to tease the mare and ensure she is ready and willing.
At 3 he is not going to know what to do and how to approach a mare.
I would have some way of controlling the breeding at first until he knows exactly what a mare will not allow.
The best way for him to learn is for an experienced mare to teach him. You run the risk of injury however.
Star breeds mares in a round pen after we determine she will accept him.
He never approaches a mare unless she is willing . With him I would be comfortable with pasture breeding. Not an inexperienced 3 YO. Shalom
This^ only if I know the stallion and mare and both are experienced or have been safely bred before but I agree on a round pen if you are selectively breeding. If he knows what he is doing and the mare is receptive and not one that will cause injury after the fact or at the last minute it means you know the deed was done. Those that are mean about it get hand bred every time to lessen the risk. I've not had one personally I've felt the need to hobble due to this but in places I've worked or stabled I've seen it done.
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