7 tips for horse breeders

By 18/05/2019 May 30th, 2019 No Comments

Are you looking for

a stallion for

your mare?

The perfect match – what is that? Does such a thing exist? I believe it does. However, the “perfect match” between a stallion and a mare is a subjective thing, whether you want a foal to compete in the top classes, or a companion to enjoy a riding tour in the forest with. And yes, you can easily achieve both if you have done your home-work. As a mare owner, you must consider which stallion you want to send your mare to, and also be honest with yourself and have a goal in mind. Here is 7 tips for horse breeders:

“As a mare owner, you should never just settle for the stallion down the street, but rather make demands on the quality of the match you make for your mare.”

1. Breed with a purpose

When you want to breed horses, it is always a good idea to ask yourself what is the reason of the breeding itself: do you want to get a foal to keep it as your own riding horse, or is it about investing and selling it? Nevertheless, it all comes down to what you want and how you wish your horse to be. But if you want to breed for selling, then my advice to you is to carefully consider the horse market and the stallions that are out there. Getting it right is a skill which takes time to master, but you will find that it makes sales easier, whilst the breeding of horses itselfs also gets better.

2. Keep your mare properly fed

Oftentimes, it can be that your mare can be difficult to get in-foal. This, of course, can be due to many things, but experience tells that the mare’s feeding condition has a great influence on the horse’s ability to stay in-foal. If the mare is underweight, then her main goal is to gain weight, rather than to get in-foal. At the same time, overweight mares have an increased hormone production, which makes in-foaling hard and birth difficult. It is therefore important to prepare your mare well in advance for the upcoming breeding season. Let your mare have access to vitamins and minerals, and get her in the right shape.

3. Be open to drive long distances for the right stallion

My advice will always be that you should not think much about geographical distances. If you feel you have found the right stallion for your mare, then a road trip should not be a reason to affect your choice. The drive is worth the whole thing when you see your dream foal for the first time. As a mare owner you should never just “settle” with the stallion around the corner, but instead make demands on the quality of the match you make for your mare. Both you and your mare deserve only the best and even if the road trip costs, you won’t remember that when you start riding your dream horse.

4. Consider “borrowing” a mare

If your dream is to acquire a future star, but your own mare doesn’t quite meet your expectations, there are other possibilities. There are mare owners who are willing to rent their first-class mare for breeding purposes – and you shouldn’t be afraid to try it out. Doing this you get an opportunity to get new and completely different blood into the breeding – which is exciting in itself.

5. Don’t rush into the season

“Sleep on it” is a good concept that I often use. It is important when you choose to breed that you start well in search of stallion material. It will give you more time to dig in, which can ultimately be crucial to your final decision. Wait for choosing a stallion at the end for the year, so you can get the last breeding showing so that you get the new stallions in your considerations. Spend the fall/winter to match your mare with stallion combinations. When you get to the combination that keeps you awake at night, you go for it. When you get to the combination that keeps you awake at night, you go for it.

6. Be critical of the stallion

There are many stallions in the world, so you should be picky. As a horse owner you need to find what is important to you and then you must follow your gut feeling. It is not enough that the stallion is good, he must also breed well. The perfect breeding stallion breeds better horses than himself. That is, it is also important to look more closely at the stallion’s offspring: are his offspring good with both first class mares, but also ordinary mares? In this case, it is here that the good breeding stallions surpass the good stallions.

7. Be even more critical of your mare

Now, no one in this forum is questioning that your mare is the most magnificent being in the world. And with the above advice, are you perhaps ready to breed on her and match her mind with the stallion’s gait and building? However, it is not always the way it works and therefore it is extremely important to be critical. It is far from all mares that are suitable as breeding horses, just as some stallions are not suitable for being a stallion – that’s just the way it is. But if you want to breed on your mare, then you should look at her weaknesses, though it may be difficult. Be self-critical, as stallion and mare have equal influence on how the offspring will be.

Ingunn Lilja Bjarnadottir

Author Ingunn Lilja Bjarnadottir

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