I purchased a 10 year old BLM mustang mare over the winter with the hopes of getting a good mountain mule out of her next year. Took her to the vet and had her ultrasounded and palpated to make sure that she was sound to breed. Vet said that she was just coming out of the dormant winter stage and looked like she would start working on a follicle soon. So, one month later, in the beginning of May, I sent her to stud farm with the donkey jack there. She stayed in a pen right next to him, and was teased every day. They became really good buddies, but were not interested in breeding. Thinking that it may just be the jack, (this was his first year breeding, maybe he doesn't know what to do) I took him to a friend of mine that owns a quarter horse stud, still with the hopes of getting a good, solid mountain horse out of her. She has now been in the pasture with this stud for almost two weeks, and they are good buddies, but have not bred. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on with this mare? I realize it is almost too late to breed her this year, but what do you think I should do for next year? All thoughts and help is very appreciated. Joanna
Joanna, honestly, that happened to me last year when I bred my mare. We had her in the pasture with the stud waiting for her to come into standing heat- which happened on a weekend that I was away at a trail ride!
Got her home quick and figured they would get down to business right away. I stayed in the camper all night, and listened to squealing, nickering, but they never got around to it. She would squat, & stand - he would look the other way. When he got close, she would squeal & he'd chicken out. He was too much a gentleman I guess.
After a sleepless night of this, I realized if there was anything going to happen, they needed a little help - so I got a halter/lead rope on Layla, & made sure I was on the other side of the fence from them. Once he realized she was ready and standing still, he took care of business in very short order! It worked that way for the rest of the week with no problems.
I can imagine I might get hammered from other people with the way I went about this, but it worked in my situation, so please, no judgements from anyone, please be kind.
Some mares have what is called "silent estrus" wherein they do not display to stallions. This can be for a number of reasons, and the simplest method of dealing with them is to either have serial ultrasounds performed to estalish where they are in their cycle, or - as long as they are cycling (i.e. have had an identified ovulation that year) use P&E hormonal treatment.
Be aware that once the mare has been identified as being in estrus, that is still not a guarantee that she will stand for the stallion, and may become dangerously negatively demonstrative when he approaches with the intention of breeding. AI is valuable in that situation...
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