1. We have a facility near us that is experienced in AI'ing mares (also provides embryo transfer and stallion services). Would we work with them or with a vet? Or both? The breeding facility probably has a vet either on staff or that they work very closely with. I would use the breeding facility over a GP Vet because they probably have a lot more experience with different mares. Vets who don't specialize can be pretty limited on their experience.
2. I like AI because it seems like it's less risk to both the mare and stallion, than live cover. Is that true or is live cover better than AI? It is less dangerous for both horses to AI. That said, for a maiden mare, I prefer live cover but it isn't really necessary. Maidens sometimes catch and settle more quickly with live cover and with AI you have costs every time you order semen, both at the stallion end and at the mare end.
3. I've heard of a "pre-breeding exam", what does that involve? I suspect we would go through a veterinarian for it? With a mare, who's never been bred, I would want to do a culture to rule out any infection and an ultrasound to see where she is in her cycle. Biopsy and other procedures are more for older mares unless the young mare has trouble conceiving. Many breeding facilities can perform this exam for you and most will require a clean culture before you breed.
4. Of course, I will ask whoever I end up working with about this too, but what is special in terms of feed/care for pregnant mares? Nothing until the last 2-3 months when she starts to lactate and the foal starts really growing quickly. I switch from my regular feed over to a Mare & Foal feed (I use Omolene 300 because it's readily available. You may have better in your area.
5. I will be getting my mare 5 panel tested and of course if she carries any of those mutations I will not be breeding her. Is there any difference between 5 panel testing and 6 panel testing? Is one better than the other? Have your mare 5 panel tested and LWO tested because even though she is solid, it can hide. That way if the stallion is not tested for LWO or is a frame carrier, you don't have to worry about the outcome.
6. The stallion I've chosen is AQHA (approved for APHA) and my mare is solid-paint bred APHA. Would there be any registration options for the foal from these two? Would it be better to breed her to an APHA stallion? The rules regarding registration are extremely confusing to me. I, personally, would go for a nice loud Tobiano stallion so that you get full color on the foal. There is less 'discounting' of solid Breed Stock (Paint Bred) horses but there are still significantly fewer classes for them at shows and the market is not as strong for them unless they are already proven in the ring. And naturally, they will never fetch the price of a full color horse, even if they are proven because who is looking for a solid horse when they go looking for a Paint? Not many. The foal cannot be registered with AQHA unless the mare is already also reg'd AQHA. Technically, you COULD, but you would have to do so much DNA testing that it becomes cost prohibitive because you have to go back to a horse who is also in their data bases. I own a line bred Skipper W mare who is APHA but not AQHA because the Skipper W horses in her line all had 'excessive white' and were not registerable with AQHA. I looked into the testing and it got ridiculous really fast.
Other options for the foal, register with the Pinto Horse Association as solid, gives you a few more shows to go to and where I live, as a member they are significantly less expensive than Paint or AQHA shows. If the stallion is a dilute, you could get a palomino like your mare or a cremello and you can register in PHBA, Palomino Horse Breeders Assoc, if palomino. If buckskin (because you chose a buckskin stallion or bay stallion) you could register ABRA or IBRA.
7. Other than 5 panel testing (maybe 6 panel testing) are there any other tests that I should do for her? Just the LWO test, unless you're just curious and want to do a pattern panel or color panel for fun. From the pic, she's palomino, so she carries red & cream, but does she have agouti hiding in there (it doesn't shwo up on red based horses) or silver or pearl or ???
There's a lot more to breeding her than we've covered here but in a nutshell, it's an expensive proposition. Here's a link to a thread where we discuss what it costs to get a foal on the ground: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-bree...-101-a-120724/