Ah, a New Year…a fresh start, new resolutions, exciting plans, and new horizons. Oh, and baby horses! Yes, it may still be ridiculously cold outside, but believe it or not breeding season is almost here! Now is the time to plan: get out pictures of your favorite mare and favorite stallion, pin them next to each other on your cork board, and envision what the resulting foal will look like- and what it will be able to do! Do you want the highest jumper? The fastest barrel racer? The most muscled halter horse? Or the leanest racehorse?

The other important part of planning your breeding adventure is how to get your mare in foal, or where to have your stallion collected. This is where I can help! Here at Springhill Equine we have a complete array of breeding packages for your mare and stallion. We can take care of everything from a breeding soundness exam (making sure your horse is reproductively healthy), to collection, to artificial insemination, all the way through foaling.

I have talked to you humans before about what responsible breeding is. You can always look back at my blog and read archived Tuesdays with Tony entries, because what better to do in your free time? But determining that your mare or stallion has several traits that are worth passing on, and very few traits that are undesirable, is only the first step. Now you need to think about what goes into breeding and foaling, and whether you have the time, money, and patience to take on the challenge!

The docs tell me that there are several factors that come into play when trying to get a mare in foal. These include age, parity (how many foals she has had before), anatomy, history of reproductive failure, metabolic imbalances…the list goes on! In short, just because you want to breed your mare doesn’t mean she will be able to get pregnant. Older, maiden mares are the hardest ones to get in foal, and this is a common challenge our docs face each year. It seems that after a certain age, if a mare’s reproductive organs haven’t been used, the body begins to shut them down. There is no exact number for mares, but “older” is generally defined as over 10 years old. I would like to point out that cats, like a fine wine, only get better with age.

Already expecting a little bundle of horsey joy this spring? I can help with that too! Don’t miss my next come see Tony event on Tuesday January 17th, a Foaling & Breeding seminar for all you need to know to be well prepared before your baby arrives. If you still don’t feel 100% comfortable, we offer reasonable foal-out rates here at our clinic where we have 24/7 stall camera monitoring, and a veterinarian will be present at your foal’s birth.

Other decisions to be made before breeding include: When do I want my mare to have her baby? Will she be bred by live-cover, or AI (artificial insemination)? Will I be using fresh semen, or frozen? Is my stallion trained to a phantom? How much am I willing to invest in making this baby? Where will the mare have her foal? Am I prepared to care for a pregnant mare/breeding stallion/newborn foal?

Our amazing doctors and staff are here to guide and help you every step of the way. Well, for the stallion collection I will be standing a safe distance away under the trees, but for everything else I like being up close and personal, especially the foaling.

Don’t forget that during the month of January we are offering $10 off a breeding package or stallion collection. Sign up now to save later! Also, I know I will see all of you next Tuesday 😉



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