Questions to Ask When Considering Stallions at Stud

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If you’re thinking about breeding your mare, then you’ll probably be looking through a wealth of advertisements for stallions at stud. Not all stallions are created equally, though, and each farm or owner can choose to run the stud service differently. If you’re looking at stallions at stud, here are some questions that you will want to be sure to ask.

How long has the stallion been standing at stud?

While breeding your mare to a stallion who is newly standing at stud can be an exciting adventure, you will be choosing a stallion with no proven track record as a successful breeder. The safer alternative is to opt for a stallion who has been standing at stud for at least a few years. That way you can look at his prior offspring and have a sense of the types of horses that they have developed into.

How many mares is the stallion bred to each season?

Some stallions only offer limited breeding, which can make their offspring more desirable. However, this may also mean that there’s a waiting list to breed your mare to the stallion, and sometimes this practice also results in higher breeding fees.

Are there requirements for the mares bred to the stallion?

In an effort to keep a stallion’s offspring desirable and in demand, some stallion owners create requirements that a mare must meet in order to be bred to the stallion. These requirements may be physical attributes like breed or coat color, but they can also consist of a successful competition record or other prestigious achievements.

Does the stallion breed by natural cover or artificial insemination – or both?

There are two main breeding practices widely used today: natural cover and artificial insemination. It is important to know which method you want or need to use for your mare. In the case of natural cover, your mare will need to be shipped to the stallion’s agistment where she will stay for a few days while the breeding takes place.

In the case of artificial insemination, the stallion’s semen will be collected and shipped to you. A veterinarian can then insert the semen into the mare. The mare and stallion never need to meet in the case of artificial insemination.

Are there charges while the mare is at the stallion’s agistment?

If you opt to go the route of natural cover, sometimes there are additional charges for stabling the mare at the stallion’s agistment for the breeding’s duration.

Is a live foal guarantee offered?

Live foal guarantees are fairly common in breeding contracts. Live foal guarantees typically state that if the mare has a foal that stands and nurses, the breeding contract is complete. However, if the foal dies in utero or before standing, generally a rebreeding is offered at no cost to the mare’s owner.

When considering stallions at stud, be sure to ask these and other questions so that you’re well prepared.

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