Thinking about Breeding
I would love to breed my mare, shes a registered Quarter Horse and will be 5 this year.
I don't know very much about breeding horses, so any info anyone has would be great.
Where would I start? How does the stud process work? How would I choose a stallion? Can you ride your mare while she is pregnant? Would she be able to stay in the group paddock she is currently in? What is the pregnancy period for a mare?
OK. If you are wanting a show baby she should have been bred end of Feb for a Jan baby. Gestation is 320 to 360 days with 340 day being the average.
You need to have you mare assessed for what she is good for, especially if she hasn't done any thing. Also look for any and all conformational flaws, character flaws, bad habits. If she cribs, for ex., the foal will probably crib too. If you don't like her head, the foal will probably have the same head (as my filly proved).
Once you have determined her strengths and weighed her conformational issues and quality, then look for a stud that is the best you can afford that will compliment her flaws and build on her strengths for a foal that will be....halter, English, Western Pleasure, etc.
While you are hunting for your stud, you need to work on your mare. Get a vet to ultrasound, culture and flush her, she will need to be in heat. If you are A.I. you will need your vet to check your mare for ovulation....the follicles (egg) will increase in size and then release. Once a follicle is 3cm (I believe) you need to order your semen (be sure you know the collection schedule for the stud - would suck if they don't collect on the days you need it and you miss your window. A.I. at 5 cm and stretch your shipment. You should be able to get 2 or 3 "doses" out one shipment. We did my mare every other day once she was 5 cm. Ultrasound at 14 days and pinch any twins, ultrasound at 30 days, palp at 60 days.
Feed good quality feed and hay for first 2 trimesters. I like to give dac broodmare during this time. dac Broodmare 40 day supply Breeding horse vitamin and minerals - Omega Horse Solutions Then gradually switch to mare and foal feed last trimester. I also switch supplements to dac orange and dac bloom together.
dac Orange Superior with probiotics 40 day supply - Omega Horse Solutions
dac Bloom Weight Gain, Muscle Tone, and Growth
Or you can save all the money you would spend this year and go buy an awesome show baby that is already on the ground and you can see it.
Horse gestation is 11 months give or take
Make sure you pick a stallion that compliments your mare. He should not have any of the same faults your mare does and should be strong in places she is weak. Research your mares and stallions pedigrees as usually that is a big clue as to what they can produce.
Breeding is not for the faint of heart and I suggest you read everything you can on how to foal out a mare.
I know for us we have had to learn how to pull foals, rearrange dystocias to get them out etc. We also have cameras in the barn to watch the mares that are close to foaling so we can be there should something go wrong. The problem is most times you do not have time to get a vet there if something goes wrong unless you are lucky enough to have a vet that lives within a few mins of your farm.
Also keep in mind foals are a lot of work and training!
Conformation shots (her standing square, left, right, front, back) would be helpful. Not every mare is suitable for breeding, same as not every stallion should be a stallion. Is she a stock type, halter, or race type? Does she have anything outstanding in her pedigree?
Consider what you want to do with the foal, and your overall experience with horses. Currently, the market is really in the pits. Their are lots of registered Paint and QH colts and fillies for $300 or less. Occasionally their nice, but most of the time they have glaring conformation faults. Pretty colors, yes, but with with butts over their withers, sway backs, crooked feet, coarse heads, horrible necks etc.
First, look at the foal for yourself. What you want to do with, etc. Then look at it's sale value. Would you be able to sell the foal for $900+? Or for $500-? Are you able to afford vet fees, farrier, boarding (if you board) for two horses? What about time? Have you trained horses, or ridden advanced horses before? Or could you afford a real, quality trainer?
Also, consider the sire. Are you able to go with the working stallion with good lines who produces correct, quality foals? Or the stud who's done nothing but is a pretty color?
I'm all for breeding your own horses. I love horses, and I love foals. But these are the exact same questions I asked myself when I wanted to breed a foal. They may seem harsh, but they certainly are a reality check :)
-Just want to say, the OP lives in my city in Australia, and the horse market here is NOWHERE NEAR as bad as in the US.-
Ok. Do you have her on adjistment? I would ask the place you adjist at whether they allow foals. Many do not.
What would you like to do with the foal? If it were me, I would pick either a QH or ASH stud, as they are similar types. If you want tinfo on ASH studs, I can help you there. There is a cute black ASH stallion in Hall, Kerrana Arritjuda (I think thats the spelling) and I don't think his stud fee is too high. He doesn't have much performance yet though. My favourite ASH stud just left the country but my second favourite is Silverthorn Shotgun, really nice young tallion with almost QH looks, who is alsready wining in the show ring. Silverthorn have a whole bunch of really nice stallions, here is there website if you want to have a look: Silverthorn. If I had a mare who suited him, Shotgun would be my pick. I also know that Sam Amey at Gundaroo has a nice stud, as well as Jay Charnock from ?? but I know he's in NSW.
Why do you wish to breed? Does your mare have superior conformation? How much experience do you have training a horse? A foal?
Please get much more experience before breeding.
I think that before you even consider breeding your horse, you should know the basic info on breeding horses. You should not have to ask such simple things on a forum. I do not even own a horse yet, but I know how long the gestation period is at least.
I'm not saying dont breed, I'm saying learn the basics before you even consider breeding your mare.
I do have one thing to say, if you do go ahead with it, dont plan on selling the baby. You can, for sure. But don't plan on it. Plan to keep it. That way you're not disappointed if the baby does not sell if you try. Haha, can you tell I'm a pessimist?
I agree with the fact of your inexperience. People tend to very greatly disrespect the fact that animals simply aren't just disposable playthings. I think breeding ANY animal without a specific purpose in mind is quite irresponsible and whether you mean to or not, contributing to the immense overload of unwanted animals who come to cruel and inhumane ends.
However, that's also my opinion. I realize it's not one a lot of people share. So in that sense, tread very carefully. Horses are a lot more expensive then dogs and cats, which equals immensely higher vet bills. The stud fee alone you're looking at a minimum of $500, and that's close to bottom of the barrel. Proper vet checks and mare care equate into hundreds more dollars, if not thousands, and that's NOT including the enormous bill you face if you experience an emergency during the birth.
I know a lot of people use economy and number of horses as reasons to not breed below average animals. For me, the number one reason is the foal itself. By breeding conformation fault to conformation fault and subpar to subpar, you're drastically increasing the risk of the foal being born with dehabiliting conformation faults. Conformation faults aren't just "ugly" - they cause weakness and strain.
Obviously we can never avoid conformation faults entirely, but knowing your stuff and breeding quality to quality greatly reduces that chance. However, I realize I AM making assumptions about your knowledge of equine conformation, but with your very novice breeding questions, it concerns me that your wish of a breeding venture just isn't in the best interest of either your mare or the would be foal.
I would highly reccommend finding a reputable breeder, or veterinarian, or even a coach to take you thoroughly through all the aspects of equine breeding. It just simply isn't something that can be done properly on a forum, as there are SO many technicalities and issues to cover.
If after then, you still feel your mare is a good candidate to become a mother, then best of luck to you! :-)
Thankyou for all your advice.
Obviously, everybody has to start somewhere. I am not about to breed my mare any time soon, as I know and understand that breeding is a massive responsibility with the need of experience and knowledge which I don't hold at the moment. I am simply considering the information and gathering as much knowledge as possible, I find this topic fascinating and would just love to learn more.
Candy or (Simply Exceptional)'s sire was an American stallion breed pacifically for reining, 'Exceptionalist'. She has been DNA tested to this stallion. He was brought to Australia to breed with a number of mares, he later died on returning to America due to colic.
I have seen other foals by Exceptionalist for sale for $8000-$20,000
I will get some pictures of her for you guys to have a look, here is the only one I have on this computer at the moment:
Thanks for you're replies again! Any other imput would be good, it's really interesting to hear peoples ideas and opinions.
Wow, she is gorgeous!
Well I suggest to read, read, read. Then read some more. Watch videos. Ask about anything you don't understand. Read some more. Research tons when you do decide to breed her. Be prepared for the worst, hope for the best.
There are many websites that will get you started in the basics. I bet someone can give you some great suggestions for books and videos. Good luck.
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