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Points to keep in mind before breeding your mare

Handy an appaloosa stallion, formerly stood at the UCDavis Vet School
Handy an appaloosa stallion, formerly stood at the UCDavis Vet School
Photo by B. Halpenny

Getting your horse bred can be a fun and exciting time, but it can also be stressful as you decide what breeding facility you want to go to, how much you want to spend, and which stallion you want to breed your mare to.

The first thing to consider is what purpose your new-born foal is going to have. Do you want an animal that will be able to compete? Locally? Nationally? Do you want a pet for your 8-year old son? Do you want a pasture friend for another horse you own? If you know what you want in a prospective breeding, the decisions you have to make will be easier.

You must also decide if you want a purebred animal. Many facilities will only work with certain breeds. For example in Davis, Rising Star Stables on County Road 97 will only breed Arabians. Pine Trails Ranch on County Road 31 will breed any horse, but offers a discounted stud fee if your horse is a Morgan. Other places on the University of California – Davis campus, such as the Horse Barn and the Center for Equine Health, have Quarter, Selle Francais, Thoroughbreds, and donkeys at stud.

It is also important to research how expensive your mare's housing and feed will be while she is being bred. Mare care can be anyway from $10 a day to over $30 a day, so it is important to evaluate costs before you commit to breeding. After you have selected a stallion, or a couple, you should visit them. You need to evaluate the stallion's temperament, conformation, and his way of going before you commit to breeding. If you decide that you like the stallion and the facility you are ready to make arrangements to bring your mare in for breeding.