I dont know the answer to your other questions, but, live cover is much more risky. Especially with the older mare, even if the stallion and mare are both washed thoroughly, there is still a very high risk for contamination. In my opinion its always better to go AI if possible
(Message edited by dressage_diva333 on May 04, 2008)
As far as why AI rather than live cover - see this article on AI. In a nutshell though, it's safer, and more effective!
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