ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Breeding From Your Mare - Things To Consider

Updated on May 10, 2012

Many people who own a mare think about breeding a foal at some time,however this is not something to be entered into lightly - any animal is a huge responsibilty and breeding from them an even greater one.

As a stallion owner/keeper I have been given many reasons for people wanting to breed a foal - for the experience, to make some money, they're cute(!) and so on. This is really what prompted this article which offers some ideas to think about before commiting to breeding a foal.

Reasons To Breed (Or Not!)

For the experience - it is certainly that, but the foal still has to be raised.

To make some money - you'll be lucky! There is an old adage - "fools breed horses for wise men to buy" - don't be fooled, breeding and raising a foal is expensive even when there are no problems. It is highly unlikely that selling a foal or young horse will cover the cost of raising it.

They're cute - not a good reason at all, probably one of the worst.

Nothing else to do with the mare (old, injured etc.) - in my view this is absolutely the worst reason.

Notwithstanding these points, some people really do want to raise a foal and go on to do so with eyes wide open to the possible pitfalls, having a lovely baby at the end.


It is important to realise the likely costs involved in breeding a foal. These include the following:

Stud fees - several hundred pounds, whether you have your mare covered naturally or by artificial insemination. If your mare goes to the stud there will be keep fees to add to this as well.

Vet fees - pre-covering swabs, scans, artificial insemination costs, vaccinations and bills for any other treatments that crop up. Foal check after birth, emergency call out if needed at foaling, foal vaccinations

Care of the mare in pregnancy - livery if needed, feed and the usual ongoing costs of keeping horses.

The birth - foaling down costs if you are not experienced, more vet fees for foal checks and vaccinations. (See above.)

Foal care - feed, weaning facilities, ongoing care costs.

Experience & Facilities

If you do not have the experience or do not have the confidence to foal the mare down alone, do you have a knowlegable, willing and available friend to be there for you? If not, you may consider sending your mare back to the stud or to a foaling down yard - this can be expensive as many studs/yards will want you to send your mare to them about six weeks before foaling. This gives her and her immune system a chance to acclimatise to her new environment.

You will need a large stable or very secure paddock (and reliable weather!) for foaling, plus running water, electricity, somewhere to stay at foaling time if you do not live on site, safe turnouot facilities for the mare and foal. Your turnout must be close to the stable, it just isn't feasible to lead a mare and loose foal across a road for instance. It will be a while before you can lead the foal.

In an ideal situation there will be other mares and foals - this helps the mares not to become too "foal proud", not allowing you anywhere near and socialises the babies. A point to note is that some mares are just naturally foal proud and they can be difficult to deal with when they are over protective.

Another thing you will need is plenty of time - for the extra work and the fact that foals are terrible timewasters when they are playing!

The Mare

The mare should have good conformation - the perfect horse probably doesn't exist but you should breed from the best you can find so as not to continue breeding faults that can effect health and wellbeing.

She should have a good temperament - the foal learns a great deal from his mother. It is debatable whether temperament is bred or made but I think both are relevant and it makes sense to start off the right way.

She shouldn't be elderly, i.e mid to late teens, for her first foal. Apart from possible fertility implications, it is hardly fair in my opinion.

The Stallion

Choosing the right stallion is crucial. Take as much time as you can researching horses of your choice - visit the studs but don't decide on the first one you see. Again, conformation, temperament and ability (depending on what you hope to breed) are extremely important.

In Conclusion

Once you have looked at all the possibilities, you may decide that you do not want to breed after all - but if you do, I wish you the best of luck because it is an incredibly rewarding experience and even after all the years I have foaled mares for myself and others, nothing compares to the feeling of being at the start of that wonderful new life.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brackenb profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you for your kind comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great information that I knew nothing about, since I have never had a horse. You are very knowledgeable.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)