I have a mare that recently foaled and we are wanting to breed her to our 3 year old stud. She's a very seasoned mare and is not over-protective of her foal until it is time to try to tease or breed her. The minute I lead her over to the stud's pen she goes berserk nickering for her foal and won't pay any attention to the stud at all, even when she is in full heat. I'd hate to have to wait until the foal is weaned as we are wanting a show foal out of this paring and I'd rather not wean the filly early. We tried to breed her on her foal heat but my stud evidently was taking too much time and she got too nervous and didn't want anything to do with him and about ran my hubby over calling for her foal who was oblivious to the entire event, just playing and grazing only a few feet away. Any tips on getting the mare "in the mood" while baby is present? We aren't able to do AI but pasture breeding is an option. However, I don't want the mare chased into a fence trying to keep the baby away from the stud if she's that worried about her. I might add that the stud was pasture bred with foals before I had him and he does not pose a threat to the foal. I even turn him out with my yearling stud to play and graze (supervised, of course), but I've never had any problems with him threatening another horse. The mare's breeding records show she's never had two foals in two consecutive years. I wonder if this is why? She's 12 years old and this is her 5th foal.
When I breed a mare who has a foal at her side, I have someone hold the foal on the opposite side of the fence where I breed, the fence is lowered so that the mare can get her head and neck over to chat with the foal and touch the foal when she wishes.
Then I bring the stallion out and as long as the mare can keep an eye on her foal, I've not had any problems having her accept the stallion.
The stallion may have to spend a little more time getting her in the mood, or he may have to be ready to move quick when she decides she's ready.
Another option might be a 'cocktail' for the mare, your vet could probably advise a good one.
As Laurie explained, contact with the foal is upper most in the mind of the mare. I always have a handler holding the foal so that all is quiet and the mare is assured that the foal is safetly protected from the stallions advances.
I have a catch pen in my breeding area where the mare can see, touch and protect her foal. Perhaps you could set up a portable pen for the foal. Then bring the stud to them. A "margarita" may help her relax!
Thanks for the suggestions! We'll give them a try!
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