Picking Out the Right Stallion for Your Mare
It’s almost that time of year, it’s time to start thinking about breeding season! Stallion hunting can be overwhelming, but not if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Whether it’s your first experience when it comes to breeding or you’re a seasoned pro, here are a few tips to help pick out the perfect stallion for your mare.
- Honestly examine the mare in question’s pedigree and accomplishments. Is she registered? Does she come from a line worthy to be passed on? Does she have any World Champion siblings? How is she in the show ring or on the trails? Comparing her résumé alongside her family history can help select a stallion whose lines complement hers.
- Arrange for a vet evaluation of your mare. A veterinarian will run tests to make sure she is indeed fertile and healthy enough to carry a foal to term and determine her ovulation schedule. Having a good relationship with your vet throughout your mare’s pregnancy is crucial, so make sure it’s a respected vet, and most importantly one you get along with. Once given the stamp of approval, a vet can work with you to establish a game plan from a nutrition standpoint that can create a higher chance of conception and give plenty of nutrients to both mare and foal throughout the pregnancy.
- Consider your goals for this foal. According to the American Horse Council, there are an estimated 7.2 million horses in the United States, how will this one stand out? If you have a western pleasure mare, you probably don’t want to breed her to a sport horse. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money to bring a foal into the world so making sure that the foal is set up to be as profitable as possible is best overall for everyone, including the foal. Pay attention to breed-specific shows and competitions and evaluate successful horses and their bloodlines.
- Once you’ve narrowed it down, evaluate each stallion’s conformation and accolades. Whether you plan to sell the foal or not, put yourself in a buyer’s position, is this foal from a proven, papered stallion with impeccable conformation or a perfect temperament? Also consider registration. Papered horses sell for much higher than their unpapered or “grade” counterparts because papers are proof of quality bloodlines, recognition by a major breed association and are an easy way to trace ownership.
- Always ask plenty of questions, this is a big decision! Some good examples of questions to ask are: Is the stallion 5 panel negative? Are there any underlying health issues? What is his personality like, etc. You can compare your answers to your stallion line up and narrow it down even further from there. All of these can have a big impact on your foal and your bottom line.
As your mare’s pregnancy nears its end, don’t worry about missing the birth of your new foal or any delivery complications. The all-natural, breakaway leather NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™ is designed to alert you via text, voice, and email to early signs of danger/distress in your horse, including the symptoms of foaling. This smart device learns your individual horse’s unique biometrics and behaviors over time, creating a custom baseline health analysis true to your horse. Thanks to artificial intelligence, this device is smart enough to recognize changes in their “normal,” such as an elevated heart rate, respiratory distress, or general agitation. The best part? You can check in on your horse anytime — NIGHTWATCH® provides you with around the clock access to actionable insight on your horse's EDI® score, biometrics, and behaviors from the convenience of a Web App accessible from any smartphone, tablet, and computer. With this technology, you no longer have to wonder about your horse every time you leave the barn.
Ensuring that both the mare and foal are taken care of from day 1 gives the best chance at a bright future. From conception to foaling, NIGHTWATCH® will be there when you can’t be. Best of luck and happy breeding season!