Pointers for Mare Owners
Although the covering season is barely over
those of you who are considering breeding a foal should already be giving
some thought to what sort of foal you want to breed from your mare and
what sort of stallion would suit her best. Over the next few months some
stallions will change hands or decisions will be made to stand them at
stud in different parts of the country. With this in mind it may pay to
make contact with any potential stallion owner so that you know where
the stallion will be standing.
Renkum Eireann from Knowle Rock Stud
Grade A Show Jumper standing at stud
Every breeder should set himself a target
as to what he wants to breed and why!
First of all list your aims and objectives
in breeding a foal. What do you plan to do with it? Are you going to show
it or do you want to compete in showjumping or dressage? Will it be a
riding horse doing local shows and competitions or do you aspire to the
heady heights of international competition? It is up to you to set the
standard by which you judge both your mare and the stallion.
The next thing you need to do is to take
a good long look at your mare. It is very difficult to be objective about
your own horse but you need to have an idea of the bad points which you
would like to try and improve upon in any off-spring. You also need to
know what good points you wish to enhance! Sit down with a piece of paper
and write a list; good points and bad points. Ask other people for their
opinions but do be prepared for criticism!
Breeding a foal is not cheap and you should
decide upon your budget. How much have you got to spend on the stud fee;
what are the keep costs likely to be; what other costs are likely to be
incurred such as vets bills, transportation costs and so on.
Having decided upon your aims and objectives
the next thing to do is to decide upon a stallion. If you have a specific
breed of horse in mind a good place to start looking is the breed society
who should be able to provide you with a list of stallions standing at
stud. Or look in equine publications where the adverts will give you an
opportunity to see what the stallion looks like. Make a list of the stallions
you like and which you feel will meet your criteria. Armed with this contact
the studs and ask for stud cards and details of stud fees and keep costs.
Once you have the stud cards make a short list of stallions and contact
the studs and ask to visit to see the stallions; at the end of the day
this is the best way of judging the stallion. Only by looking at him in
the flesh can you assess his movement and temperament. Ask to see any
progeny, as this will give you an idea of whether he stamps his offspring
as being of a certain type. Ask about the stallion's fertility.
Check with the stud what testing is required
prior to your mare's arrival at stud. The stud will normally ask that
your mare be swabbed for CEM but they may also ask that she be tested
clear of EVA. It is perfectly reasonable that a mare owner should ask
that the stallion be swabbed for CEM and have been tested clear for EVA.
This is standard practice on Thoroughbred studs. You also need to know
what terms apply with regards to stud fees and pregnancy; e.g. no foal,
no fee; no foal, free return; 1st October terms; straight fee.
If you are planning to send your mare away
to stud this visit will give you an opportunity to asses the stud facilities
and to decide whether you would be happy sending your mare to them. If
there are any aspects of the stud which you are not happy about raise
them with the stud owners; now is the time to do this not when your mare
is already there.
Many studs now offer chilled semen for Artificial
Insemination. You may feel that your mare will be more settled if she
stays at home in which case this is an option that you should give serious
|This article is kindly
provided by the AI Centre.
For further information please visit
their website -click
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Updated: October 2005.