Horse Breeding

Horse-Breeding History: Royal King

August 29, 2014

Royal King, as his name suggests, had Quarter Horse royalty in his bloodlines. But he was a commoner at heart.

Royal King, by King P-234 and out of Rocket Laning, sired some great performance horses. AQHA file photo

Royal King, by King P-234 and out of Rocket Laning, sired some great performance horses. AQHA file photo

From America’s Horse

Earl Albin startled his wife one evening in 1944 when he announced he’d finally found what he’d been looking for.

“He’d been looking for something?” she wondered.

The Albins raised sheep and cattle – in addition to kids – on their 3,000 acres southwest of Fort Worth in Comanche, Texas. In a little more than a year, the Albin family had grown by twin daughters and a son. Now it appeared they were adopting a horse. Read the rest of this entry »

Home-Bred Halter Horses

August 22, 2014

Get some expert horse-breeding tips on how to raise your own halter futurity winner.

The breeding decision begins with evaluating your mare There are a lot of people who will keep breeding a mare when they really might need to sell her and get a better broodmare says breeder James Kifer Journal photo

The breeding decision begins with evaluating your mare. “There are a lot of people who will keep breeding a mare when they really might need to sell her and get a better broodmare,” says breeder James Kifer. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

So you’ve decided to raise a foal and aim it toward a halter futurity as a weanling or yearling. Now the fun begins – you’ve got to pick the parents.

You might have a mare already and need to find a stallion. Or maybe you want to lease a mare. Or maybe you’re looking for a mare in foal to the stallion of your choice. There are a lot of possibilities out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Foaling Fundamentals

August 15, 2014

Prepare for horse-breeding season with this top10 list of foaling tips and care.

Make sure you are prepared for your next foaling with these 10 fundamental tips. Journal photo

Make sure you are prepared for your next foaling with these 10 fundamental tips. Journal photo

By Patrick M. McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Are your prepared for your next foaling? Here are a few tips for recognizing the big day and knowing what to do after your mare foals.

  1. Gestation length (length of pregnancy) of a horse is approximately 340-345 days. The length of pregnancy is about 7-10 days longer for mares foaling in the winter than mares foaling in late spring or summer. Mares maintained under lights during the last few months of pregnancy will have a shorter gestation length. Factor in season and light exposure when calculating expected foaling dates. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated one month prior to the due date to increase antibody levels in the colostrum. Vaccinations administered depend on geographical location, potential exposure and management practices. If the mare has had a Caslick procedure performed, the sutured vulva should be opened approximately two weeks prior to the expected foaling date, or earlier if needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Chemical Ejaculation in Horse Breeding

August 8, 2014

Learn what to do when standard semen collection techniques fail.

Chemical ejaculation is a technique that has been used to obtain semen from stallions when traditional semen collection methods either fail or are not applicable. Journal photo

Chemical ejaculation is a technique that has been used to obtain semen from stallions when traditional semen collection methods either fail or are not applicable. Journal photo

By Dr. Patrick McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

A 20-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion was brought into the clinic with a history of penile dysfunction secondary to an acute case of severe colic and profuse hemorrhagic diarrhea. The owner wanted to determine if the horse could still be used as a breeding stallion.

The stallion was presented to a mare in estrus, and he displayed excellent libido. However, it was immediately apparent that he had lost erectile function of his penis, as well as sensitivity to both the glans and shaft of the penis.

As a consequence, it was determined that semen could not be collected by traditional means using an artificial vagina. The owners elected to pursue chemical ejaculation as a means of obtaining semen from the horse. Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of Colostrum, Part 2

August 1, 2014

In the final part of this horse-breeding series, learn what to do if your foal should have a failure of passive transfer.

To help your foal get a healthy start in life, consider testing the foal’s level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) within four to six hours of birth. Photo courtesy of AQHA Facebook Fan M/R Cutting Horses

To help your foal get a healthy start in life, consider testing the foal’s level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) within four to six hours of birth. Photo courtesy of AQHA Facebook Fan M/R Cutting Horses

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the first part of this series, Dr. Michelle LeBlanc explained the importance of quality colostrum and proper hygiene for a newborn foal’s health. In the final part of the series, Dr. LeBlanc will detail the steps to take should your foal have a complete failure of passive transfer.

Keep It Clean

A recent study suggests that mares should be bathed before foaling to eliminate as much bacteria from a newborn foal’s environment as possible. Dr. LeBlanc said that, while this might be a good idea, mare owners should use common sense. Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of Colostrum, Part 1

July 25, 2014

In this two-part horse-breeding series, learn about the importance of good quality colostrum and proper hygiene when foals are born.

For optimum health, foals should stand within one hour of birth and nurse within two hours. A mare’s colostrum is crucial to help the foal fight disease within the first 24 hours. Journal photo

For optimum health, foals should stand within one hour of birth and nurse within two hours. A mare’s colostrum is crucial to help the foal fight disease within the first 24 hours. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Unlike other mammals, mares do not transfer antibodies to their foals via the placenta during gestation, but rather transmit them through colostrum, a yellowy substance in milk produced in limited quantity around the time of foaling. A foal that ingests its dam’s colostrum within the first 24 hours of life acquires the mare’s antibodies as protection against disease for the first four to eight weeks of life. But according to reproduction specialist Dr. Michelle LeBlanc, more factors come into play that could endanger your foal’s life. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding History: Billy Clegg

July 18, 2014

Billy Clegg, a ranch horse with controversial breeding, passed his looks and ability to his offspring.

Billy Clegg was a sire of controversial breeding and one of the first 500 Quarter Horses registered with AQHA. Journal photo.

Billy Clegg was a sire of controversial breeding and one of the first 500 Quarter Horses registered with AQHA. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

At the tail end of the Great Depression, a Texan named George Clegg had the nerve to put a price of $500 on a young stallion he owned named Billy Clegg. Guy Troutman, an oil company leasing agent and horseman from Oklahoma, twice offered less for the horse, was rebuffed and drove away. Troutman phoned Clegg to offer less for a third time and when rebuffed again, he gave up and closed the deal. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Basics: Quarter Horse Color

July 11, 2014

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color.

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color. Journal photo.

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color. Journal photo

From America’s Horse

Legend says that a red horse is fiery, a dun is tough and a white-legged horse is bad-footed. However, the wisest horsemen also say there is no such thing as a good horse that’s a bad color.

There are 17 recognized American Quarter Horse colors: chestnut, sorrel, black, brown, gray, bay, palomino, buckskin, cremello, perlino, white, dun, red dun, grullo, red roan, bay roan and blue roan. All of them are derivatives of two base colors. Simply put, any color of horse you can think of is either black-based or red-based. All other colors – bay, gray or roan, etc. – are just modifications of these two basic colors. Genetics is a complicated subject. So, let’s start with the basics. Read the rest of this entry »

Quarter Horse History: The First 20

June 27, 2014

Test your horse-breeding knowledge and see if you can name the first 20 registered American Quarter Horses.

The first five registered American Quarter Horses, such as Joe Reed, are still well known today. AQHA file photo.

The first five registered American Quarter Horses, such as Joe Reed, are still well known today. AQHA file photo.

From America’s Horse

It is interesting to look back through the first 20 horses registered with AQHA – designated as foundation sires – and see which ones we remember and which have faded into relative obscurity.

After AQHA was chartered in 1940, the newly formed Executive Committee decided that the first registration number would be reserved for the grand champion at the Fort Worth Stock Show. The 20th was reserved for the first president of AQHA, W.B. Warren of Hockley, Texas, who registered his stallion Pancho.

The other 18 were to be given to stallions who exhibited preferred Quarter Horse type through their parentage, conformation and performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Hazards: The Granulosa Cell Tumor

June 20, 2014

Identify the symptoms and treatment for the most common type of ovarian tumor in mares.

Horse Breeding Hazards

After treatment of a granulosa cell tumor, mares can still successfully carry a foal to term. Journal photo.

By Dr. Patrick McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Mares can develop several different types of tumors of the ovary, but by far the most common ovarian tumor is the granulosa cell tumor.

These tumors almost always involve one ovary, are slow growing and do not spread to distant sites in the body.

If a mare exhibits behavioral changes, such as aggressive or stallion-like behavior, or if she exhibits prolonged periods of heat or estrus, a granulosa cell tumor might be present. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Help: Weaning a Foal

June 13, 2014

Weaning your foal might be heavy on the heart, but it’s something that must be done.

When choosing a weaning method for your mare and foal, keep safety in mind. The best method for one foal might be different for another foal. See the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal for more excellent weaning tips.

When choosing a weaning method for your mare and foal, keep safety in mind. The best method for one foal might be different for another foal. Journal photo. See the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal for more excellent weaning tips.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Weaning season is a gut-wrenching time of year. Those months of blissful play at mother’s side and all those tender moments we cherish between mare and foal suddenly turn into a frenzy of whinnies and desperate attempts to reunite. Unfortunately, weaning is as inevitable as kissing your child goodbye for that first day at school.

Fence-line weaning, stall confinement, babysitters and shipping the mare away are successful methods of weaning for small farms. The one you choose will depend on your facilities and the temperament of the mare and foal. Patience and time will get you through it. But remember, if you give up, you have to start all over again. So stick to it, even if you have to switch to another method. Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Breed Your Mare?

June 6, 2014

Consider these 13 critical questions before you venture into the world of horse breeding.

Before you breed your mare, you should carefully evaluate the possible outcomes and whether or not your future foal might make a positive contribution to the horse industry. Journal photo.

Before you breed your mare, you should carefully evaluate the possible outcomes and whether or not your future foal might make a positive contribution to the horse industry. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Association

The joy and excitement of a newborn foal and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from seeing a horse you bred excel are two of the most rewarding events a horse owner can experience.

The old horseman’s axiom “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best” is good advice but even when followed faithfully does not provide all the answers.

Breeding horses is a complicated enterprise. It is in your best interest and your horse’s best interest to approach it armed with knowledge and experience. Read the rest of this entry »