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Breeding question Bulletin Board » Breeding Methods » Breeding question « Previous Next »

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Linda Price
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 12:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you can rule out that a mare has a mechanical and not an immunilogical problem post the continuing teasing of a mare post breeding another or additional way, along with oxytocin/lavage to help her clear the uterus? Can you share your clinical experiences here? Thanks Jos.

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When the mare is teased she does release a minimal amount of oxytocin, but when compared with the amounts that are given exogenously as treatment, it would be considered miniscule.

Additionally, one must bear in mind that the cervix starts to close - you want it to close! - once the mare has ovulated, so the involutory effects of any oxytocin present, ex- or endogenous will gradually be reduced (except in the case of oxytocin given at such a level that abortion is caused).

Essentially, although there may be a very minimal effect, teasing should not be regarded as a reliable "treatment" for post-breeding uterine fluid retension. Stick with the exogenous oxytocin and the antibiotic infusion!

Susan McNeil
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When you take a mare to get bred and she is bred by a stallion every other day for 20 days how do you determine the foal date? Do you start from the day first bred or the day she was last bred?

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is not normal for a mare to stand for a stallion for 20 days, so there is not really a viable time line.

To start with - are you sure this mare is pregnant? Some mares will "stand" as a result of a submissive reaction - they appear to diplay estrus, but are really not in true estrus - but others will do so as a result of an hormonal inbalance or a uterine infection. These latter mares may not be good candidates for pregnancy maintenance.

To establish a theoretical due date on a mare such as this, one would have had to have the mare palpated or ultrasounded to identify an ovulation - and if it had occured, breeding should have desisted!

It is worth remembering that a "due date" is only a rough guide anyway, so a variation of 10 or more days in either direction is not to be considered abnormal. You will need to rely on other signs of impending parturition such as the one shown here

Good luck!

Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 05:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Iamjust trying to breed for the first time.Ihave a young stud and I want to breed him to a mare that stays in a pen close to him.I need some advise on this matter any information is welcomed.

Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the best thing for you to do is to find someone in your area who is knowledgeable about handling a stallion in a breeding situation to help you at least for the first few times.

Habits formed by the stallion during the first couple of breeding experiences stay with him for life and are very hard to train out of him if they are undesirable habits. Such things can include rushing to the mare; rearing; striking; turning to kick the mare and many others besides. Additionally a young stallion usually has a hard time figuring out exactly where everything is meant to go and how to get there, which if coupled with a handler that is not quite sure of protocol is a recipe for disaster.

Breeding, even with the most experienced handlers and a well-behaved stallion, can be dangerous.

Good luck.

Ann Holeywell
Posted on Saturday, December 30, 2000 - 04:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I breed and raise Miniature Horses. I have a few older mares that I purchased in foal a few years ago. The question I have is what is the youngest age to safley breed the fillies that I have raised? I have heard some people will breed them as early as two and others say not until three years of age. What is your opinion?

Posted on Saturday, December 30, 2000 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This will depend upon the filly herself - there is no "hard and fast rule".

You will have to evaluate her level of maturity - both physically and mentally. If she is very mature as a 2 year-old, you should be safe to breed at that stage. If not, then wait a year or two.

Personally I would prefer to wait until three to breed, but there are a lot of people successfully breeding at two.

Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2000 - 01:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Everyone! I was wondering if anybody knows if a mare can be 17 to breed. Is that to old? She is perfect health.

Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2000 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Rachael! I would have my Vet check her over and if he/she thinks your mare is in good breeding condition than 17 is not too old. My now 32 year old Quarter Horse mare had her first foal at age twenty and her second foal when she was 22! of course she might be a special case!

Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 07:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ann's recommendation is a sound one. Additionally, make sure that you evaluate this mare for fluid in the uterus both pre- and post-breeding. Older mares tend to be more likely to have a delayed or reduced uterine clearance ability of the fluid secreted as a result of the (natural) inflammatory response during estrus and post-breeding. Clearance of this can be assisted by initiating the oxytocin therapy outlined here.

Good luck!

Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2001 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


I am a rookie breeder but have done my homework and realize the basics. I have just purchased an older mare (17) and plan to breed her via AI. She has had 7 foals and appears in good health. (I bought her from a reputable breeding farm so I assume she has been properly maintained,(Vac, worming etc.)Maybe I'm looking too deep, but her production has waned recently 3 foals in last 5 years and i gather she is susceptable to losing her foals late term. She just lost her 2001 foal 4 weeks ago and had a still born as a maiden. Should I be concerned? and what can i do to help her chances of conception and carrying the foal full term? I quizzed the farm she was at and they said they had good luck using regumate post breeding, is this the best product or is oxcytocin better? Does reg. have the same effect as oxy. for fliud removal? Or why else would they use reg. post breeding? The mare is curently running out and will be for most of her term. Any tips on AI or preping her. Thanks a lot for any response, sorry for all the questions.


Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Older mares can develop a problem with delayed uterine clearance, which is what oxytocin is used for post-breeding. There is more information about this available on this site by clicking here

"Regumate" is the synthetic progesterone altrenogest. Progesterone is important in pregnancy maintenance - especially in early pregnancy - and the exogenous supplementation with "Regumate" is commonly carried out in an attempt to counteract a perceived possibility of pregnancy loss due to a depressed natural progesterone level.

I may sound a little sceptical about Regumate use, but cautious would be a better term. There has never been a scientific study produced that proved the value of Regumate (or progesterone) in mid to late term pregnancy maintenance - but this is more because it is pretty much impossible to create a suitable control study group of mares than any other reason. The question of finding the suitable mare being: is the mare habitually losing the pregnancy because of low progesterone; or does she have low progesterone because she is losing the pregnancy as a result of another cause (e.g. a fetal or endometrial problem)? You see the conundrum....

What I am saying is do not regard the use of Regumate as a panacea for all that ails the pregnancy-loss mare!

You would probably be well advised to have a breeding soundness examination performed with an endometrial biopsy included - this would be a good starting point that will give you an indication of if there are potentially other problems involved.

Good luck!

Posted on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a mare that has been under lights and is not yet teasing in to the stallion. I gave her lutalyse and it had no effect. The farm manager where I intend to send her for breeding suggested GnRH. I have read that it stimulates the brain to produce FSH and LH so it seems that it could help in getting this mare started??? So my question is, when is GnRH indicated? Thank you in advance for your help.

Posted on Friday, March 02, 2001 - 12:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lutalyse requires a fully functioning CL in order to bring the mare into estrus. As your mare has not has an estrus this year, there would be no functioning CL, so the use of PGF2a is a waste of time.

GnRH has been researched for use in an attempt to encourage a mare to cycle earlier, but the results have been disappointing. In order for any effect to be seen, there must be an osmotic pump attached to the mare that releases GnRH for an extended period (weeks) in order for a reliable result to be seen.

There has been some recent research into the use of Domperidone that suggests it may have an enhancing effect on early cyclicity, but it is still not in widespread use as it is somewhat experimental.

Phototropic stimulation (light) is still the most reliable method of inducing early cycling, but it must be carried out for 60+ days. Once estrus occurs, the use of Regumate and hCG can assist in stabilizing the somewhat erratic early transitional phase estrus.

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have an 8yr old veteran TB broodmare who we purchased at an auction. This is her 6th foaling. She was guaranteed to have been bred in early May 2000 following am April 14,2000 foaling. She is looking very pulled down (her hips and back are sticking out) she isnt waxing or bagged. Should we be concerned? She is eating well and seems happy. Is she just overbred? When should I concider her overdue?

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2001 - 07:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi, I have two mares that I would like to breed to a stallion that I have at the barn . It will be a live cover. How many days do I cover the mare when in heat? How many days into the cycle would I breed them?

kim maxwell
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 01:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

once my mare is checked in foal, do i continue to keep her under lights?

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 11:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You would be well advised to keep her under lights until day 35 post-ovulation as in the unfortunate even that she loses the pregnancy before that, if she has been under lights, instead of re-cycling as she would normally, she might revert to winter anestrus and mess up the chances of a rebreed. After day 35, it becomes academic as if she loses the pregnancy at that point, she will probably not re-cycle until day 120 anyway.

Ria Bakker
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2001 - 09:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi ...I have a mare that has just foaled on the 25th of april and this is her 11th baby. She looks wonderful and seems to be such a happy and contented mother...she is 16 years old and I would like to breed her back on her second heat..I am hoping to short cycle her on her 17th day post foaling and AI her. I was wondering if it would be all right to use Lutalyse to bring her in?? or should I wait for her to naturally to come in on her own.any suggestions?

Josh Cornwell
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2001 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi I just bought a 2yr old QH filly and am planning on showing her on the QH curcuit in NY. I would like to breed her some time but am not sure how soon is too soon. Can anyone help me with a good age to start breeding her. Thanxs Josh

Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2001 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a mare that has gotton a uterus infection from the last time she gave birth. The vet said that her volva was exposed and the way she was made up behind she would contaimate herself everytime she would go potty. I had to have her stapled shut behind and she had to be infused 9 times to get rid of the infection. She is clean now and I was wondering if I bred her again would this happen a second time? Also, I am considering a trade with a lady my tobiano stud yearling for her overo filly. She wants my stud colt for breeding as she has gotton a lethel white baby from her current stallion and doesn't want another one so she wants a tobiano stud. However the filly she wants to trade comes from this stallion who threw the lethel white baby. Her mother is an overo and I was wondering what is the chance she could carry this deadly gene? If she does if I decided to breed her to a tobiano stud would the offspring carry the gene?

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 03:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


As long as there is a functional Corpus Luteum present (CL) the use of prostaglandins should cause a return to estrus. The CL becomes fully functional about 5 days after ovulation, so as long as she ovulated no more than 11 days after foaling you should be OK. The average window for ovulation post-foaling is 5 to 15 days, so as you can see that there may be a large margin for error there.

If you have the option, have the mare ultrasounded to determine CL presence, or run a progesterone asay - if progesterone is present at rates greater than 2 ng/ml there is a CL present that should respond to prostaglandin.

Good luck!

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


A mare as young as 2 can be bred, but doing so is subject to several parameters being established - not the least of which is the level of the mare's mental and physical maturity.

Generally 4 is considered to be the minimum age when the majority of mares are ready to be bred.

Good luck!

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Re: Uterine infection post-foaling.

It is necessary to establish the source of the infection to determine the likelyhood of a repeat incidence. If the mare has poor reproductive conformation (i.e. she has a "tipped" uterus and angled perineal conformation) then a repeat situation is likley and the mare should have a Caslick's procedure performed both post breeding and possibly post-foaling if she is not to be bred again.

The question about the Lethal White syndrome has been answered excellently elsewhere on this board and can be seen by "clicking" here.

Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 12:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If I was to breed a quarter horse mare that measured 14.2 hands tall to a fresien stallon that was 16.1 hands tall and the quarter horse mare's body frame, as in bone structure, was kinda petite, (but not as petite as an arabian's) would she have trouble having the foal? Would it be too big for her to have? I was told a mare will only carry a foal as big as she can carry. But I have heard of times where a foal was too big for a mare to have. I know that the friesen's have nice big bone structure and would it hurt or possible kill this mare if she was to get bred and foal a baby from a friesen?

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Generally a mare will not produce a foal that is to "big" for it to give birth to, as the limiting factor is the mare's uterine size.

What can happen though is that a foal may be deeper through the shoulders, chest and/or hips than the mare's pelvis can comfortably absorb and this may cause presentation problems.

There are two points to consider here - the mare's pelvic cavity size and the stallion's tendency to throw foals that are large in those areas mentioned. A good question to ask the stallion owner is if the stallion has a tendency to throw foals that are easily born.

Interestingly "ease of calving" is an important factor considered in genetic selection in the beef/milk industry and yet it is very rarely considered in the equine industry!

Hope this helps.

Mark (
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 05:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am breeding with frozen semen and would like some advice. My mare came into heat on May 19th which seemed quite early (she foaled on April 29th). She had a 40mm follicle on her right ovary on the 21st and I shipped her to my vet the next morning. He bred her early that evening but split the dose (4 out of 8 straws) because she had another big follicle on her left ovary. This morning (May 23)she had ovulated off the right and was getting close on the left. He was going to inseminate again this evening with the remaining 4 straws.
This is a very knowledgeable vet and I am relatively new with using frozen semen. Is this a common practice? Are there benefits to splitting the dose? Should we want to breed on both follicles? What about twins? Thanks in advance for the info.

Joe C. (
Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 06:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I breed our stallion for the 1st time since we got him he and the mare did just fine. But he had a bright red discharge shortly after he flowerd and was done is this common. thanks

Tammy Troskowski (
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just wanted to let you know that I have just read through one of your "discussions" and I think you are doing a wonderful job. I think it is very commendable of you to answer questions helping people in the breeding world. Keep up the good work!

jackie C
Posted From:
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My aunt has a mare that is about 18 years, she has taken by live cover first time everytime. Recently she had her artificially insemenated, she didn't take. The mare was checked again and she was AI again. She still didn't conceive. The sperm was at 60-65% the second time. What are the odds in AI?

Username: Warner

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 12:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wanted to know what product you would recommend to clean each mare with prior to service of our stallion? I have heard some people say it is not necessary but what do you think and recommend? I cannot seem to find any specific products to use in Australia?

Also, do you think using lubricant on the mares prior to service is important? if so what products do you recommend?

Thank you so much!

Faye Gallagher
Username: Cazdan_arabians

Post Number: 10
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 03:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good old fashioned clean water!!!!!!!!!!!! If you want to be sure if the mare is clear of infections then have a swab done.

Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1068
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What to use to wash with will depend a little on how you are managing your breeding - if you are breeding her repeatedly over the course of several days, then water is indeed best - actually the only - thing recommended. If you are breeding her once close to ovulation you may want to contemplate the use of an antibacterial agent (not necessary, but might be good in some situations) such as a "Betadine" or Chlorhexidine scrub. Note that if the mare is being bred repeatedly over several days, these agents are contra-indicated as they will tend to result in a higher than normal number of colonies of skin pathogens a couple of days later, which is not a problem unless you are going to be rebreeding her at that point.

Do not use any lubricants! Not only are they possibly spermicidal (depending upon what you are contemplating), but they can also result in an inappropriate lubrication of the glans of the penis, and if not then correctly (manually) directed towards the mare's vagina could end up facilitating a rectal breeding, which is not going to be a god situation for the mare who will usually end up with a (potentially life-threatening) rectal tear as a result.

Username: Warner

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks JO, I am so glad I have found this forum as it is really helpful to have a sounding board for my queries.

The mares we are covering are getting covered ever second day from Day 2 until they go off. Is cleaning them necessary with this breeding management?

I have not be using any lubricant but I was at a throughbred stud recently to have one of our mares serviced and they used lubricant and I wonder if this should be something I would be using? I will take your advice and stay away from it as I don't need any problems.

Just another question also, last night we had to cover 3 mares with our Stallion in a space of 1 hour. I am a little worried about him as we have never had to do this but we had 3 mares ready to go all at once and it was getting dark so I could not afford to space them out with 3 - 4 hour intervals? Your advice on what a stallion can cope with would be appreciated.

Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1069
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In your situation, the use of water alone to wash the mare's perineal region (and the stallion's penis!) prior to breeding is recommended.

Without having evaluated the quality of your stallion's ejaculate and his recovery time, there is no way to know if any of the mares, but especially mares number 2 and 3 received adequate numbers of sperm to achieve a pregnancy. It is however very questionable if they did.

If that type of a situation arises again, you would be well advised to breed one of the mares in the morning, the next in the evening, and then the third on the following morning; nothing in the evening, and then mare number 1 again on the following morning, number 2 that evening, etc. You do not need to breed more often than at a 36-48 hour interval (or more than that with some stallions) unless you have fertility issues with your stallion. Indeed, fertility levels may be compromised with some mares if you do.

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