Today’s breeding technology provides horse owners more options then in the past. A horse owner can breed their mare to one of the top stallions, across the country, without even loading their mare into the trailer. Artificial insemination and semen preservation make it possible to ship stallion semen to mares nearly anywhere in the country.
Why should you artificially inseminate your mares?
Transportation of horses for long distances can be stressful for both the mare and the stallion. Mares with foals, or older/injured mares can be more difficult to travel with. The luxury of having semen shipped right to the barn door can insure the safety for stallion’s, mares and their babies.
Are all horses good candidates for this procedure?
Most – but not all. Both mares and stallions should be in good reproductive health. There is generally only one opportunity per cycle to breed a mare. Problem breeders may fare better at a stud farm. Not every stallion’s semen cools or ships well. It is critical to have the stallion’s sperm viability checked. If you are planning to have a registered foal, check the appropriate breed association’s rules regarding semen transportation.
Timing is Critical
For the best chance, a mare must be bred from 12-24 hours before ovulation and up to six hours after ovulation. Remember cooled stallion semen only has a shelf life of 24-48 hours.
A mare should have a full reproductive examination prior to breeding. This exam should include the following a uterine biopsy, culture and cytology. Also, it is important that mares are up to date on all of their vaccinations. Keeping your mare near a stallion during breeding season will also help detect onset of estrus reliably. After the exam, our doctors will predict the onset of ovulation accurately allowing time for the semen to be shipped. Then he will monitor the mare with rectal palpation and ultrasound examinations throughout her heat cycle to determine time for insemination.
If you are interested in artificial insemination or have questions, please contact our office at 505-869-2627.