The first step in any successful breeding program, whether live cover or artificial insemination is used, is a happy healthy mare. Not only do we pay attention to the mare’s reproductive tract, we will also discuss with you her overall health, body condition, dental health, vaccination status, nutrition, and other medical conditions she may have. Specific to the reproductive tract, we use rectal palpation ultrasound to evaluate the mare’s cervix, uterus, and ovaries. We will use the same technique to follow her estrous cycle to plan her insemination date. Most mares have a 21-28 day cycle, and breeding must be timed accurately to be successful.
We can use medications to ensure your mare ovulates in a timely fashion, then examine her to confirm ovulation and that the uterus has not become inflamed post breeding. This can be done at your farm or at our facility. Fourteen days after breeding, an ultrasound exam is used to identify a pregnancy. Mares are checked again at 25, 40, and 60 days of pregnancy. At 25 days, a fetal heartbeat is visible. At 40 days, fetal movements can be seen, and between 50 and 60 days, the sex of the fetus can sometimes be determined. Attention is necessary to not only identify a pregnancy but to identify twins. Horses are not capable of carrying two foals to term so twins must be managed with reduction of one or both embryos. This must be done prior to 35 days of gestation in order for the mare to come back into heat again if both pregnancies are lost. Our goal is to give your mare the utmost care while working within your budget; call us to discuss your mare.