Are you thinking about breeding your mare? Deciding to breed your mare is a big decision. Here are 7 questions that can help you along in the process.
1. Can I handle the financial implications of breeding the mare?
It’s so important to take an honest look at the real costs of breeding before you decide to breed your mare. Breeding doesn’t just involve a stud fee and a few vet visits. In fact, breeding can become very expensive very quickly. Mares can have complications before and after the foal is born, requiring expensive treatments and emergency visits from the vet. Are you financially prepared to handle these situations?
2. Do I understand conformation and bloodlines well enough to choose the right stallion?
Breeding a good, quality foal requires more than just a little luck. You need to have a good understanding of conformation and genetics in order to find a stallion who may be a good match for your mare. The stallion should improve on the mare’s weakest qualities to create a well put together foal.
3. Is my mare top-quality and are her characteristics worth reproducing?
There are many mares in the world, but just because your mare is well-trained and well behaved doesn’t mean that she should be bred. With an overabundance of horses today, only superior stand-out mares should be chosen to reproduce.
4. Do I have a facility where I can keep the mare and foal?
Mares and foals require special care, and the facility where you house them needs to be foal-proof. You will need access to a large foaling stall, and a safe pasture where the mare and foal can be turned out together.
5. Do I have a long-term plan for the foal?
Do you plan to keep the foal for his lifetime? The horse market is a tough one, and unless a foal has amazing bloodlines and conformation, selling a young horse for profit is a tough job. What will you do with the foal if you can’t sell him or make a profit off of him?
6. Who will handle and train the foal?
It’s important that your foal is handled and trained early on in his life. A foal needs to be taught to accept humans and to be led. If you don’t have experience working with foals, then you will need the help of an experienced handler.
7. Do I understand that breeding can be a risky undertaking?
Sadly, breeding can be very risky for both the mare and the foal. In some situations, things go wrong and the mare cannot be saved. Are you ready to deal with such a situation if it arises?