I have an 11 year old stallion who has sired more than 30 foals. He is very fertile and virilant and comes out all guns blazing. Recently he has been covering a mare both in hand and at pasture. This mare has had a problem getting in foal. He has readily covered her, but recently when she was in season and displaying to him, he refused to cover her in hand although he had covered her that morning, he showed no interest after the initial smelling etc. She was displying being in full season and being ready to be cover by him. Has anyone any ideas why he refused?
There are a variety of reasons any of which may be possible. Failure to breed/collect/ejaculate etc. can be broken down into one (or more) three categories:
Physiological issues are most commonly related to pain, although a physical inability can be included in that category (although in this case would be unlikely seeing as he covered the mare that morning); Psychological factors can include situations where a stallion has been hurt by a specific mare, or even a mare of that colour; or if (for example) recovering from a breeding-related injury, the knowledge that to breed = pain can put the brakes on. As you can imagine, there are a variety of psychological reasons; Finally environmental factors are more commonly an issue related to semen collection than live cover breeding, but can still figure even in that situation - handler issues, too much interruption/distraction etc.
A point worthy of consideration is that you indicate that the stallion has good fertility, and that this mare has trouble getting in foal, so I have to ask why you would consider breeding her multiple times in a day? The more times a mare is bred, the less likely pregnancy establishment becomes - particularly with a problem mare - as there are more contaminants introduced into the uterus. A single breeding (in a perfect world by AI) close to ovulation would be far more effective. That process is known as "minimum contamination breeding" and is well proven as preferential for success with problem mares.
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