The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, if you're the owner of a mare and you find a suitable stallion and have his semen shipped, what is the process of getting your mare Artificially Inseminated? Would you have the cooled semen shipped to you and take it and the mare to a nearby facility that does AI, or would you keep it and your mare at the barn and have someone come out and perform the AI? I'm assuming that depends on the area and if someone is willing to come out and do it. Also, what does it usually cost to have semen shipped, excluding the stud fee itself? Same question goes for the process of AI. Is there an average cost or does it vary widely depending on the area?

The reason I am asking is because my mother and I are in the process of purchasing a registered MFT mare in foal. We were originally looking for a nice Quarter Horse mare so we could eventually try to breed my stallion, but that won't be possible with this girl. Anyway, we want her mainly as a riding horse, but in the future we might breed her again. In Pennsylvania I only know of two places that even have MFT horses, and each only has one stud. I'm not fond of either of them, and the only good looking studs with nice lines are forever and a half away, too far to transport my mare. That's when AI crossed my mind, but I was curious to know if it'd be worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
If you're looking just for a riding horse, it's cheaper to buy one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't think you read my post correctly. The mare we are buying is going to mainly be a riding horse, but we want to eventually breed her with a nice stud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
I was wondering that too...I have no idea, how much it costs. But I saw it on Dirty Jobs one time. :p
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
Most breeders will only ship frozen or cooled semen to a veterinarian or another breeding facility with staff knowledgable in AI procedure. A breeder who is willing to ship frozen or cooled semen directly to a back yard owner without veterinary supervision is not someone you want to do business with.

A legitimate facility will want to have your mare on premises for at least 21 - 30 days to properly evaluate, tease and palpate her to make sure she's bringing up a viable follicle before inseminating. This actually protects you and minimizes your eventual cost. What this will cost - boarding your mare, having her prepped and bred, etc., varies widely by location, and I don't have any recent information. The cost of the shipped semen will start to seem smaller if you have to make multiple attempts at the AI.

I don't know the specifics of what you're looking for or why you're considering this route, but I strongly suspect it will be easier and cheaper to look for a youngster with the qualities you want and have the youngster shipped, rather than trying to breed your own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,747 Posts
My mare was bred that way :D her breeder was also a vet. I have heard its a lot more expensive then just breeding and stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well it was just a thought, and we're not getting the mare for the purpose of breeding, we just wanted to know what it would take to have it done in the future. We're already going to get a foal from her in May or June of this year, so that will be enough for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Gosh ... there are some "different" ideas floating around there, thats for sure ... :wink:

I consider myself a "reputable" stallion owner. I ship semen from my stallion to repro facilities, vets offices, owner's homes, boarding barns, their place of business, hold for pick up at the local Fed Ex facility - you name it - whatever works the best to have the semen there in the best time frame possible is just fine with me.

You DO NOT have to send the mare away to be monitored and evaluated as long as you have a local vet who has an ultrasound, knows how to use it, and knows repro practices and protocols and knows how to inseminate your mare.

If the Mare Owner or a friend is well versed in insemination, I also have "0" problem in them inseminating the mare instead of their vet. This is ALL ABOUT making this as cost effective, easy and user friendly for the Mare Owner as we possibly can. Honestly - I can inseminate a mare as well as any vet can, so I would begrudge spending a $70.00 call fee and a $50.00 insemination fee and then have to wait for the vet to show up when I could have done it myself, in my time frame, for free ...

You would want to get your vet in to check your mare and pull a culture on her to make sure she is clean prior to breeding season. If she's an older mare - a biopsy isnt a bad idea either to see what your conception chances should be with her as well

Then - you'd want to discuss short cycling your mare with the vet, discuss the pros and cons of doing so, possibly using timed P&E protocols, or allow her to cycle naturally. There are pros and cons to doing each one of them and you and your vet can come up with the best solutions for you and your mare. You will then need to get the vet in to check your mare, ultrasound her, see how the follicle is developing, and when you need to order semen, so you can advise the Stallion Owner. You then need to discuss if you are going to give her a shot of hcg or Ovuplant to help in releasing the follicle and also if you want the vet to come back after insemination to check and make sure she has in fact ovulated. And then have the vet back out again 14-17 days later to check and see if she is in foal

If you time everything correctly and the Fertility Gods are on your side, you can look forward to a successful pregnancy off that first insemination

Good luck in your decision - I hope this helped ... :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
True Colors,

I apologize, I've apparently stepped on some toes.

You and I actually agree, you were just a great deal more detailed on the process and the caveats than I was.

You DO NOT have to send the mare away to be monitored and evaluated as long as you have a local vet who has an ultrasound, knows how to use it, and knows repro practices and protocols and knows how to inseminate your mare.
Agree 100% - but if those conditions are not met, it would be foolish to waste the time and money on shipped semen, was my point.

It's not difficult to inseminate a mare, or even to teach someone the correct protocol. Monitoring the mare, and palpating her to pinpoint ovulation and timing the insemination - THAT takes some skill and training.

Vets and breeders in my area prefer to do that at their facility; but truthfully, if the mare owner does the math and the cost is not prohibitive, and prefers to have the vet out to their barn to do that work, there's no reason it can't be done that way. Personally, I'd prefer to have all the mares at the vet clinic or breeders for all the work, but you're absolutely right, it does not have to be done that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Monitoring the mare, and palpating her to pinpoint ovulation and timing the insemination - THAT takes some skill and training.
Agree 100% ... :)

And what gets very frustrating for me as a Stallion Owner is when a Mare Owner does not follow through to the end. They *assume* the mare has ovulated, and that follicle hasnt hung there, or there isnt a split cycle, or, or, or ... and they never get her checked after insemination to make sure that isnt the case. Or they *assume* the mare is pregnant, because she looks like she is in foal now ... :? ... but dont want to have the vet out, and on and on it goes ...

And on that subject, it also drives me around the bend whacky, when *I* need to tell the Mare Owner what to ask their vet so that *I* can determine if they really should be ordering semen today instead of tomorrow or later on in the week. And their vet is RIGHT THERE with the ultrasound and I am 500 or 800 or 1000 miles away ... :shock:

Favorite situation. Warmblood mare is on a 29mm follicle and MO calls me and orders semen and I asked how big the follicle was and was told 29mm and after I got over my dumfoundedness and found out the vet was still there, I asked:

a) WHY are we ordering semen this early for a WB mare especially who tend to ovulate in ther 50-60mm range???
b) is there any softening of the follicle at ALL???
c) is there ANY uterine edema present???
d) are there any uterine folds evident anywhere???
e) and if he insists on semen today and dumps this much volume into a mare that isnt even close to being ready to ovulate, does he intend to follow up with oxytocin to help clear the uterus of all of the fluid he intends to dump in there???

Vet didnt answer and told the MO to tell me that "I ask too many questions that he is not able to answer" :shock:

So she then asked ME what SHE should do. (This was a Monday BTW ...)

I said to wait. If it was my mare and my money I'd wait and have him back out on Thursday and maybe Friday, depending on what they saw then. They ended up ordering semen on FRIDAY, inseminated on Saturday and the mare was in foal 17 days later

I deal with some absolutely wonderful vets out there and its such a pleasure to work with them and others that leave you scratching your head in wonderment ... And the REAL kicker is when they point out that you are JUST a Stallion Owner. YOU didnt go to vet school for many years like they did and are you going to send the semen or not? And quit asking so many questions too ... :shock:

My Number One bit of advice is for ALL Mare Owner to find out as much info as they can about the whole breeding process so they can open up a dialogue with their vets and questions things that just dont seem to be right at all. Its your money and your mare - dont willy nilly follow everything they say, especially if you KNOW it doesnt make sense or sound right ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
I agree with Maura 100 %. I work with one of the top theriogenologists in the world and while owners and GP vets are technically capable of successful AI, your investment is protected much more with going to a knowledgeable veterinarian with repro experience. True, you can take her somewhere without leaving her for weeks or months, but that will become more expensive in the long run as cycles are easily missed, or you will be trailering her in daily, or the vet will have to make daily farm calls.

Because your mare will be proven after this foal (maybe she already is? don't know if this one will be her first) you will have considerably less difficulty getting her pregnant than a maiden mare, but every breeding is essentially a unique experience with it's myriad of problems.

Truecolors you are right, I don't know how many late season mares we get that "must be bred" and we have one, maybe two wonky late season cycles to work with, and all because owners have been throwing semen at the mare left and right without ever having looked at her cycles. SO frustrating!!

I agree with others who say educate yourself. It is a long, and very costly endeavor, breeding a mare, especially with AI. Even if all goes smooothly, you're looking at several thousand dollars on your hands and that is without your stud fee. Not to mention, then you have a foal on the ground who will need much care and time even if all goes well and it is very healthy and never has problems. Then you have to feed and train the foal until you find a buyer, and don't assume because you have superior breeding and people who claim interest while your mare is still open that you will be able to sell it. I see unwanted foals produced for people who supposedly have it sold before it is conceived. Just be ready to have another horse on your hands for a long time.

Not trying to be snotty or discouraging, I just see these issues day after day. I obviously love equine repro (or wouldn't be making it my life) but I think it should be left to the hands of the experienced or those with endless financial resources because it needs to be done right. It sounds like you're on the right track, educating yourself now. Best of luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
Favorite situation. Warmblood mare is on a 29mm follicle and MO calls me and orders semen and I asked how big the follicle was and was told 29mm and after I got over my dumfoundedness and found out the vet was still there, I asked:
Have seen this myself a hundred times ACK! seriously folks?? Another favorite, the client pretends to understand everything my boss -the expert they came to see in the first place- is telling them as he is doing the pre-breeding exam, he explains that we need to culture, flush the mare, give oxytocin, wait a cycle, and then as soon as he leaves the room, they turn to me and ask "so should I order semen?" *head whack*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Gosh ... there are some "different" ideas floating around there, thats for sure ... :wink:

I consider myself a "reputable" stallion owner. I ship semen from my stallion to repro facilities, vets offices, owner's homes, boarding barns, their place of business, hold for pick up at the local Fed Ex facility - you name it - whatever works the best to have the semen there in the best time frame possible is just fine with me.

You DO NOT have to send the mare away to be monitored and evaluated as long as you have a local vet who has an ultrasound, knows how to use it, and knows repro practices and protocols and knows how to inseminate your mare.

If the Mare Owner or a friend is well versed in insemination, I also have "0" problem in them inseminating the mare instead of their vet. This is ALL ABOUT making this as cost effective, easy and user friendly for the Mare Owner as we possibly can. Honestly - I can inseminate a mare as well as any vet can, so I would begrudge spending a $70.00 call fee and a $50.00 insemination fee and then have to wait for the vet to show up when I could have done it myself, in my time frame, for free ...

You would want to get your vet in to check your mare and pull a culture on her to make sure she is clean prior to breeding season. If she's an older mare - a biopsy isnt a bad idea either to see what your conception chances should be with her as well

Then - you'd want to discuss short cycling your mare with the vet, discuss the pros and cons of doing so, possibly using timed P&E protocols, or allow her to cycle naturally. There are pros and cons to doing each one of them and you and your vet can come up with the best solutions for you and your mare. You will then need to get the vet in to check your mare, ultrasound her, see how the follicle is developing, and when you need to order semen, so you can advise the Stallion Owner. You then need to discuss if you are going to give her a shot of hcg or Ovuplant to help in releasing the follicle and also if you want the vet to come back after insemination to check and make sure she has in fact ovulated. And then have the vet back out again 14-17 days later to check and see if she is in foal

If you time everything correctly and the Fertility Gods are on your side, you can look forward to a successful pregnancy off that first insemination

Good luck in your decision - I hope this helped ... :)
This is the best post in the breeding section I have read yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
Agreed. ^^ Truecolors really does sound like an excellent stallion owner. After the 14 day pg check, you'll want to run progesterone levels to make sure she'll hang on to the pregnancy, as well as a check in a few weeks if there was a double ovulation (so there is time to pinch one). We always do a 90 day confirmation, especially if it is early season, so we have a chance to try again if she has aborted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
That's a lot of information to absorb, but I'm glad you guys were so helpful. I'm not experienced in the area of breeding, especially on the mare side of things. I'll probably not do AI anytime soon, as I'd rather have it done right and in order to do that I need more money than I currently have. Even if the foal could be sold, who's to say you will make anything off of it. Depending on the quality of the foal you could just break even.
I think AI should be left to the experienced breeders, ones who have horses specifically chosen for breeding. My mare is nice, but she is a trail horse, and around here I don't think people would be willing to pay big bucks for a pretty foal who doesn't have much in its pedigree. We'll be just as happy with her for having this one foal with us, and I doubt we'll sell it either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
That's a lot of information to absorb, but I'm glad you guys were so helpful. I'm not experienced in the area of breeding, especially on the mare side of things. I'll probably not do AI anytime soon, as I'd rather have it done right and in order to do that I need more money than I currently have. Even if the foal could be sold, who's to say you will make anything off of it. Depending on the quality of the foal you could just break even.
I think AI should be left to the experienced breeders, ones who have horses specifically chosen for breeding. My mare is nice, but she is a trail horse, and around here I don't think people would be willing to pay big bucks for a pretty foal who doesn't have much in its pedigree. We'll be just as happy with her for having this one foal with us, and I doubt we'll sell it either.
These sound like really good thoughts. I wish even half the people interested in breeding were as responsible as you are being, educating yourself and making sure you understand all that is involved, wanting to be ready if and when you do decide to breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Oh Tealamutt ... I think you and I could swap some really fun stories on this subject!!! :lol:

I wish even half the people interested in breeding were as responsible as you are being, educating yourself and making sure you understand all that is involved, wanting to be ready if and when you do decide to breed.
I agree with this 1000% ... :) ... there is so much money and so many dreams wrapped up in breeding your mare, and some Stallion Owners are not the best / most knowledgeable to deal with and the same goes for Vets. You have GOT to know when something doesnt sound right and be able to question it and ask "Why???" and then know if the answer you are getting makes sense or not ...

A few more stories for you ... :)

Friend of mine was breeding her mare to a stallion in CA (she is in Ontario, Canada) and this was her first foray into breeding and she selected *THE* best repro vet in our area. This guy's credentials are a mile long.

Two seasons later and something like $7000.00+++ in vet bills, collection fees, shipping, etc the mare is still empty and she is in tears. She brings her mare to a facility that I recommend to her.

Semen arrives, they take a sample and stick it under the microscope and she said "Oh! What are you doing that for?" and she was told so they can check the semen before they inseminate her mare and she said "Oh! The OTHER vet never did that at all!"

Under the microscope everything is deader than dead. I mean there is not one single swimmer even trying to swim in there, so the vet calls the stallion owner to tell her what they have found and asked "What extender did you use and at what ratio?" and the SO said: "Extender? What do you mean what extended did I use? I dont use ANY extender!"

Bingo!

Turns out 99.99% of this lady's clients were within a 30-60 minute drive and people simply came out, picked up raw semen and stuck that in their mares and because they were so close, the semen lived long enough to get those mares in foals, so the SO never realized that when shipping overnight, you needed to do things differently. So the vet explained what needed to be done, she did it, sent out another shipment and bingo - mare gets in foal.

My friend approached vet #1 FURIOUS about what had transpired with him for 2 seasons and the money that was spent that was lost and he shrugged his shoulders and said "You never ASKED me to check the semen, did you? You just ASKED me to inseminate your mare, which I did".

End of story. He was arrogant enough that he didnt feel there was a thing wrong in how he had handled this particular client and mare ... :shock:

Another favorite ...

Client phones up in a panic (she is a local client as well - about 15-20 minutes away) and asks:

"Do you have any semen available today?" and I said "It isnt like that. I dont have jars of semen sitting on the shelf waiting for someone to call. You need to call and order it and then I collect GG and I give you FRESH COOLED SEMEN. Thats why its called FRESH - because it literally just came out of him!" :lol:

And then I said - this doesnt make sense. Today is Monday and we anticipated breeding your mare around Friday or Saturday. Has your vet checked her? and I was told the vet was there now and I said - oh good. How big is her follicle? and I heard the client ask the vet

She comes back on the line and said "Its a 19. How soon can you get semen to us? The vet will wait and inseminate her right away!" and I am going "Pardon??? I thought I heard you say "19". What is it really?"

And I was again told "19"

I asked to put the vet on the line and he came on rather ticked off that a mere stallion owner was questionning him - the vet - and I was told in no uncertain terms (and you will love this one Tealamutt!) that:

a) he has gone to school for many years and I havent
b) he is the vet and I am JUST the Stallion Owner
c) he has gotten mares in foal off "12's" before and am I going to get the semen to them or not???!

Okaaaaayyyyy ..... :?

I spoke to the Mare Owner, told her that I totally and completely did not agree with what was happening, but it was her mare, her money and her vet and I'd have semen there within the hour.

They paid for 3 or 4 collections that year, had the audacity to ask if there was something wrong with GG's semen, the mare never got in foal (NO surprise there at all!) and thank goodness the following year they changed vets to someone I recommended to them and the mare got in foal off her first cycle

I often wonder how far we should go as the Stallion Owners in questionning idiot vets who obviously dont have a clue what they are doing, knowing full well that if they keep dumping this much fluid into the poor mare's uterus, all that is going to happen is that they are going to set up an inflammatory reaction and the poor mare is going to be the one to suffer along with her owner's pocketbook ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
And that is exactly why I want to know what I'm doing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
Truecolors- BAH! I feel your pain. Bred a mare off a 12 mm follicle. RIIIGHt, maybe it was an alpaca he was thinking about. We do breedings for tons of alpaca owners, they are actually amazing to work with, they know SO much compared to a lot of horse breeders. The best part of the job is working with breeders who really know what they are doing, and are always excited to know and learn more. Well, no, the best part is BABIES!!! but there is never a shortage of blatant ignorance to go around and keep things interesting, that is for sure!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
I wish I had time to write the long post I wanted to. TreuColors and tealamutt, I worked as a breeding manager for a while and I have some similiar stories.

I was, however, incredibly fortunate that I worked with a *great* equine repro specialist.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top