Horse Mating Videos and Breeding Information
Horse Mating and Breeding: Videos and Articles
Are you a horse owner looking for horse mating videos and information on how to breed your horse?
The horse breeding and pregnancy videos below will help you learn the basic principles of horse breeding, including natural horse breeding, artificial insemination, pregnancy and foaling as well as some basic information on horse breeding and what it entails. I hope you find the information you're looking for.
Before You Breed Your Horse
If you have a horse you really love and are considering breeding them, there are some things to think about before you start the process.
First of all, is it really the best decision to breed a horse rather than purchasing one? According to The Humane Society, almost every horse born in the U.S. is the result of a person's conscious decision to breed his or her horse or to not separate mares from stallions. Even though all of the foals are "wanted," the availability of horse slaughter has allowed irresponsible breeding to grow unchecked in the horse industry.
Some horse breeders produce far more foals each year than they can realistically train or sell, and they cull the herd by dumping "excess" horses at auction where the horses are likely to be purchased by middlemen for foreign-owned slaughter plants.
Expense and Care
In addition, breeding horses requires a great deal of thought and planning. You do not simply breed just because you can. You must have a purpose and plan for the offspring produced.
It can also be extremely expensive, with veterinary, food, shelter and medical emergency costs that rack up very quickly. Remember that in the vast majority of cases, particularly in today's market, it's much more affordable to buy a weaning or yearling foal than it is to breed your own. (And if you are breeding with the goal to sell, keep in mind that only the best-bred, best-conformed foals are profitable.)
But if your mind is made up, you have done your homework and paired a good match, it is time to get down to breeding.
Horse Breeding Terms to Know
Controlled mating in which both the time and the mating individuals are selected by the breeder, in contrast to pasture breeding.
Mating technique in which the horses that are to be bred together share the same pasture for a period of time, usually the entire time while the mare is in heat.
Standing Heat or Estrus
Estrus, or standing heat, is defined as a regularly occurring state of sexual receptivity during which the female will accept the male. This is indicated in horses by the horse standing to be mounted by a stallion.
The stallion mates with and inseminates the mare (as opposed to artificial insemination). Both hand breeding and pasture breeding are types of live cover.
The mare is inseminated by a veterinarian or equine reproduction specialist using fresh, cooled, or frozen semen.
Breeding Your Mare vs. Breeding Your Stallion
How to Breed a Mare
To breed your mare, you should first make sure your mare is healthy, sound and correct enough to breed. Call out the vet for a pre-breeding exam.
The vet will asses overall health and determine if your mare is healthy enough to breed, and will also perform a palpation and culture of the mare’s reproductive tract to be sure no harmful bacteria are present that could prevent conception. Ask your vet to critique your mare's conformational strong and weak points, and get their opinion on what you should look for in a stallion.
Once your vet has given you the green light for breeding, meet with a knowledgeable friend or mentor and begin looking for the right stallion to breed your mare to. A good stallion will compliment your mare and help achieve the kind of foal you want from a breeding.
After you find a suitable stallion, contact the owner and arrange a breeding method. With a stallion that is close by, you will probably be able to drop your mare off, let her go through her heat cycle at the stud farm, and pick her up. With stallions located some distance away, you may want to utilize artificial insemination.
Pregnancy can be detected as early as 14 days following conception, but most wait and ultrasound at 30 or 60 days, or just wait to see if the mare comes back into season.
How to Breed a Stallion
Breeding a stallion is more complicated and significantly more dangerous than breeding a mare. Unless you have worked with your stallion extensively and can control and maintain his attention and respect in every situation, you may want to consider professional stallion management during the breeding season. Stud farms, equine reproductive clinics, and even many local training stables will board, exercise, and handle the breeding of your stallion for a monthly charge.
Not only is it safer to breed your stallion this way, but the exposure provided by boarding at a breeding facility helps promote your stallion and advertise to more potential mare owners. Stud farms and clinics also have the advantage of having the facilities and technology to offer the option of artificial insemination.
With AI, instead of being able to market only to mares within hauling distance, you can market to mare owners across the country and even internationally. This type of breeding is at no extra cost to the stallion's owner since semen collection fees are passed on to the mare owner.
What You Need to Breed Your Horse
To breed your horse, in addition to time and money, you'll need the following equipment. This is, of course, if you've decided to try to breed your horse instead of having it bred by a professional or artificially inseminated.
Things you'll need:
- Lead ropes
- Stud shank
- 20 foot longe line
- Stout fence post
- Two people who can lead horses or at least one assistant who can handle horses
How to Breed Your Horse
Pasture breeding is by far the safest and best way to breed horses. This means that you turn the stallion in with the mare who has been determined to be in season. The paddock or pasture needs to be strongly fenced and should not border with other horses, or have other horses in it besides the two animals who are to be mated.
If the mare has a foal at side, the foal should be at least one to two weeks old so it can safely stay out of the way of its dam. Turn the mare out first, and then turn the stallion out. Nature will take its course, and although both animals may end up with a few bumps and bruises, in the end there is likely to be very little in the way of danger and a very good chance of conception. It is best to leave the mare and stallion together for her entire estrus cycle.
- Get professional help: You should get professional help if you decide to hand breed your horses. There is nothing more dangerous than a sex-driven stallion, except perhaps a mare who doesn’t want to be mounted because she is not in standing heat, or she is worried about her foal.
- Make sure you find someone who has done this for a living and call in a vet if you can find no one else to help you. Once you have done it with help a few times, you will more capable of doing it on your own, but you should be aware of your position at all times.
- Make sure the mare is ready, and prepare her: Make sure the mare is in standing heat, which means that she'll lean her rear into the stallion, no matter how he screams or paws at her. If you can't find anyone quick enough on their feet or familiar enough with horses to hold her lead, you should tie her snugly to a very stout post, leaving about one foot of lead rope for slack.
- Prepare and bring in the stallion: Once the mare is secured, halter the stallion and place the stud chain either over his nose or under his chin. Attach this to a 20-foot line. The handler and the stallion must be familiar with each other and respect one another. Lead the stallion out towards the mare and be prepared for a great deal of noise and striking and kicking by the stallion.
- Allow nature to take its course: The stallion handler needs to stand well back while the stallion approaches and mounts the mare. Allow him to mount several times if he needs to, and do not rush him or the mare. Nature knows what it is doing, so the humans need to stay out of the way, and furthermore keep the rope out of the way. Once the stallion has finished, let him slide off in his own time.
- Walk the mare: Lead the stallion immediately back to his stall or pen and then walk the mare for ten to fifteen minutes. She will want to squat and push the stallion's semen out, so walking her will help keep her from doing this.
Artificial Insemination vs. Live Cover
If the above sounds like more than what you're prepared to deal with, artificial insemination is an option. It has several advantages over live cover and a very similar conception rate:
- The mare and stallion never come in contact with each other, which therefore reduces breeding accidents, such as the mare kicking the stallion.
- AI opens up the world to international breeding, as semen may be shipped across continents to mares that would otherwise be unable to breed to a particular stallion.
- A mare does not have to travel to the stallion, so the process is less stressful on her, and if she already has a foal, the foal does not have to travel.
- AI allows more mares to be bred from one stallion, as the ejaculate may be split between mares.
- AI reduces the chance of spreading sexually transmitted diseases between mare and stallion.
- AI allows mares or stallions with health issues, such as sore hocks which may prevent a stallion from mounting, to continue to breed.
- With some exceptions, frozen semen may be stored and used to breed mares even after the stallion is dead, allowing his lines to continue.
Artificial Insemination Mechanics
Although a live mare can be used in the collection of semen, a stallion is usually trained to mount a phantom (or dummy) mare with an artificial vagina (AV) which is heated to simulate the vagina of the mare. The AV has a filter and collection area at one end to capture the semen, which can then be processed in a lab.
The semen may be chilled or frozen and shipped to the mare owner or used to breed mares "on-farm". When the mare is in heat, the person inseminating introduces the semen directly into her uterus using a syringe and pipette.
What Happens When a Mare Gets Pregnant?
Here is a very good series of videos that take you through the process of breeding your horse from breeding to taking care of the new foal. You can learn how to take proper care of the mare while she is pregnant, what to expect when foaling, and how to care of the new foal.
Pregnant Horse Care: Intro to Breeding Horses
Breeding horses can be done through live coverage, where a stallion and mare are introduced to each other, or by artificial insemination done at the veterinarian's office.
This video has information to help you choose a method of breeding.
Pregnant Horse Care: Mare Breeding Signs
A mare will exhibit signs of being ready to breed when she is in heat, which lasts for seven to 14 days, and she will become more irritable and will discharge to signal to the stallion that she is ready. This video will help you understand when a mare is ready to breed.
Pregnant Horse Care: Handling a Pregnant Horse
A pregnant horse should be handled often to make sure that she is sufficiently broken in, because she will be less attentive and less cooperative after the birth of her foal.
Learn how to keep a pregnant mare comfortable with human touch and get advice on handling in this video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Pregnant Horse Nutrition
You should give a pregnant horse clean alfalfa hay at least two or three times a day equaling at least two percent of the mare's body weight.
Learn more about how to provide adequate nutrition for an expecting mare in the video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Shelter for a Pregnant Horse
You should maintain your pregnant mare’s shelter daily with fresh, clean bedding made of grass, straw, or shavings designed for horses.
Learn how to keep the stall clean and dry to prepare for a foal's delivery with advice from a professional horse trainer in this video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Leading & Handling a Pregnant Horse
When leading and handling a pregnant horse, keep a safe distance and make sure she is paying attention and can be led from both her right and left sides. Learn more about how to keep a pregnant horse comfortable when led in this video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Horse Pregnancy Supplies
Supplies to keep on hand for a horse pregnancy includes include iodine (which is applied to the colt's belly where the umbilical cord has torn off), rubber gloves, and clean towels
Learn what supplies are necessary for a foal birthing with advice from a professional horse trainer in this horse care video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Wrapping a Mare's Tail
Wrapping a mare's tail is an important step before she gives birth to keep the area as clean as possible for the birth of her foal.
Learn how to wrap a mare's tail using gauze or veterinary wrap in this video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Horse Pregnancy: Foaling
Foaling, or the birth of the foal, can occur while the mare is standing or lying down, and she should be able to endure the process on her own without outside help.
You can learn about the foaling process in this video and get advice on how to make sure a foaling goes smoothly.
Pregnant Horse Care: Horse Pregnancy Trouble Signs
Signs of trouble during a horse pregnancy include the mare being in labor for quite a long time, the foal emerging in a breech orientation (other than face and forefeet first) or excessive bleeding or stress.
Watch this video to learn how to identify the warning signs of something going wrong during a birthing.
Pregnant Horse Care: Horse Pregnancy: After the Birth
After the birth of a foal, observe the mare to make sure that she and the foal look healthy, and bring in the veterinarian if she hasn't discharged the placenta within 10 hours of delivery.
Learn about what you should look for after a foal's birth in this video.
Pregnant Horse Care: Caring for a Foal
Caring for a foal involves handling it to make it comfortable with human touch and separating out the male colts after one or two years of age. Learn tips on how to care for a foal after a mare has given birth in this video.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.