Breeding / Reproduction
Series: Managing your Broodmare
In the last issue we discussed the mare’s oestrous cycle and highlighted issues to consider when preparing your broodmare for the coming breeding season. This month’s article describes the most common cause of infertility – mating induced endometritis.
Every breeding season, there are a multitude of articles written focusing on the health and wellbeing of the foal, but what about the mare? As Dr Katelyn McNicol from WestVETS Animal Hospital and Equine Reproduction Centre explains, there are just as many potential health concerns surrounding the mare post-foaling, some of which can be rapidly fatal. My mare has just foaled, do I need to call a vet?
Having a foal on the way is very exciting and, although most foalings go ahead without a hitch, it is vital to be able to recognise a problem early. It is important to understand the normal foaling process, recognise problems and know when to contact your veterinarian for assistance. This could mean the difference between saving the mare and foal, or losing one or both.
Gelding; the fastest way to loose two stone that you, or indeed your colt, will never put back on! The list of jokes associated with this common procedure is long and varies from a ‘Dad-joke’ level to the utterly unprintable.
New research shows that, as well as performance, the dam line influences gestation length and the filly to colt ratio. The findings could help breeders choose and better manage their broodmares. Many horse breeders place great importance on the stallion when establishing a breeding line, but often, it is the maternal lineage or dam line that plays a crucial role. While other studies have shown the influence of the dam’s line on the offspring’s performance in racing and other sports, there had been no research into how it affects the reproductive traits of mares.
The time leading up to the highly anticipated arrival of a new foal can be very exciting, but may also be a cause for anxiety. Whether this is your first foal or whether you have bred many foals, it is important to be aware of the care your mare needs during her pregnancy to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Here at Horses & People Magazine HQ, we've had several foals due this year with the first one arriving a little earlier than expected. On Monday 14th September at a perfectly civilised, couldn't-be-planned-any-better time of the day, Standardbred mare Mia started foaling and we were on-hand to witness this beautiful event. Follow Mia and Lindy's rapid progress through this textbook birth from waters breaking at 9:04am, foal on the ground at 9:13am and standing by 9:34am.
Whilst some will argue over the best timing or weaning method, the question horse owners are asking is why wean at all? Is it really necessary to intervene in what is a normally occurring and natural process? And, what might happen if you didn’t wean that foal? Horses and People’s Editor, Cristina Wilkins, talks with breeder and equitation science researcher Dr Amanda Warren-Smith about her experience allowing broodmares and foals to stay together in their family group, and the reasons she chooses not to wean.
So, you’ve decided to make the big step and add another four-legged lawn mower to your family. But, what now? What do you need to do to get your mare ready to carry your new foal? The first thing to consider is whether a new foal is the best option for your family. Factors such as the cost of insemination, post-natal care of the foal and ongoing costs need to be seriously considered. For more information about the costs of pregnancy and care of your newborn foal, please contact your veterinarian.
The sharp rise in the number of horse owners breeding their own mares to advertised stallions and the development of new breeding technologies has made it easier than ever to realise the dream of breeding your own foal. However, there are a number of highly complex legal issues to consider and, sadly, disputes are increasingly common without the protection and careful consideration of a Stallion Service Agreement. Here are the five most common legal issues you should know ahead of this breeding season to ensure you, your mare and the prospect of a happy, healthy foal are protected...