Horse Breeding

Horse Breeding: Broodmare Care Tips

May 27, 2016

Discover the part your veterinarian plays during your mare’s breeding cycle.

A vet plays a vital role in the success of your Quarter Horses pregnancy Journal photo

A vet plays a vital role in the success of your Quarter Horse’s pregnancy. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

If you’re considering breeding your mare, it’s important to understand the procedures your veterinarian might perform on your mare during both normal and abnormal breeding cycles.

Normal Cycle

“The very first examination by the veterinarian is usually on the first or second day of heat,” Dr. LeBlanc says. “The farm is responsible to present the mare at the correct time to the veterinarian.

“That first exam typically consists of a rectal palpation, and I routinely do an ultrasound scan, possibly a vaginal speculum exam and a culture,” she adds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rich Horse Colors

May 13, 2016

Horse Breeding Insight: “Champagne” and “silver” are descriptive names for two rare horse colorations.

Close examination of the legs of a bay silver shows that they are not truly black. Many change to silver-flaxen on the lower part of the leg. Photo courtesy of Lesli Kathman

Close examination of the legs of a bay silver shows that they are not truly black. Darker-colored horses can change to silver-flaxen on the lower part of the leg due to this color modifier. Photo courtesy of Lesli Kathman

By Andrea Caudill in America’s Horse

The terms “champagne” and “silver” connote rarity and value. When applied to horses, the terms tend to hold true, as these color modifiers are hard to come by.

Both dilution genes, they affect the appearance of pigment in the horse’s coat. Neither is an official AQHA color. For registration purposes, AQHA has opted to use the coat color choices already in place, and a notation of the gene can be made on the papers. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Naming at the Four Sixes Ranch

April 29, 2016

Take some tips for naming your horse from a ranch renowned for its horse-breeding program.

Dr. Glenn Blodgett likes to consider the history of the Four Sixes Ranch when naming a new foal, as well as the bloodline of the foal. Here, he’s riding the Sixes-bred gelding Perfect Performance. Journal photo.

By Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Four Sixes horse division manager and AQHA past president

Choosing names at registration time poses a challenge for many people. I would like to share some of my thoughts regarding how we name foals each year here at the Four Sixes Ranch. As you all know, everyone is limited to 20 characters or spaces when filling out the registration application. Read the rest of this entry »

Creep Feed

April 15, 2016

Knowing when and how to creep feed your foal is key to their health and development.

Contagious equine metritis is a true venereal disease and is spread primarily through breeding or artificial insemination. Journal photo

Implementing creep feeders to your foals diet can be extremely beneficial to their development  when done correctly. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

You can help solidify your foal’s nutritional foundation by creep feeding during his first year.

Creep feeders allow foals to become accustomed to eating solid foods before weaning time, reducing stress.

Plus, Gwen McBride from The Equine Research Centre at the University of Guelph in Ontario, says that to supplement growth in nursing foals, creep feed provides the nutrients that aren’t found in adequate amounts in mare’s milk – i.e., calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals such as copper, manganese, zinc and iron. Read the rest of this entry »

Weaning Babies

April 1, 2016

When and how to wean your foal with as little stress as possible.

What future awaits your young foals? Will they one day become AQHA legends and prolific sires like Doc Bar?

What future awaits your young foals? Will they one day become AQHA legends and prolific sires like Doc Bar?

By Kristin Syverson with information from thehorse.com

Each breeding year, there comes a time when momma and baby have to be separated. There are many different ways to wean, but no matter what option you choose, you can take certain steps to reduce stress on both mare and foal.

When?

There is no hard and fast rule about the best time to wean foals, but the typical age range is 4-6 months. Most importantly, a foal should have sufficient maturity to cope. Your foal is not ready to be weaned unless he: Read the rest of this entry »

Dun Your Time

March 11, 2016

The dun horse coloration is more than a dorsal stripe.

sorrel dun horse

A sorrel horse with the dun modifier is called a red dun. Journal photo

By Andrea Caudill in America’s Horse

The Przewalski (pronounced per-zih-vahl-skee) horse, the only true wild horse in existence, is found in Asia. Most of these horses, along with many ancient breeds, have primitive markings associated with the dun gene. Read the rest of this entry »

Breeding: Fertile Conformation

February 26, 2016

Breeding your mare will be much easier if she is built for the job.

mare anatomy for breeding

The relationship between your mare’s anus and vagina is especially important if you want to breed her.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Dr. Michelle LeBlanc has spent more than 25 years working on the mare side of equine reproduction. She knows that a mare’s external form counts when you’re assessing her ability to function as a broodmare. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Breeding: Baby Time

February 12, 2016

Spring babies are coming; are you ready for their arrival?

We asked, you answered! Stay tuned in to our Facebook and Instagram to participate in the next question we post.

We asked, and you answered! Stay tuned in to our Facebook and Instagram to participate in upcoming questions.

By Camille Graupman, AQHA digital communications intern

The birds will be chirping and the grass will be green. Spring time is knocking at the door! Along with warmer weather come those spring American Quarter Horse babies.

There’s a lot more that goes in to a foal’s delivery than just excitement and updating your social media with their anticipated presence. Read the rest of this entry »

Studly Seniors, Part 2

January 29, 2016

More tips for keeping your stallion healthy and productive for breeding into his golden years.

Did you miss Part 1? Catch up here: Studly Seniors, Part 1.

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management. Journal photo

You’ve heard the success stories of stallions who reproduce well into their 20s. There’s no magic potion. These breeders are simply meticulous about the care of their stallions, monitoring all aspects of their lives – from turnout to nutrition to collection schedules – to keep attitudes happy and avoid burnout at all costs.

Continue to read on for the last of these 17 tips on maintaining your stallion for a lengthy breeding career.

10. Time breedings with optimal mare ovulation.

“As stallions age, their sperm quality drops, and they produce fewer viable sperm,” says Joe Hockensmith, stallion manager for Dan McWhirter Quarter Horses in Doniphan, Nebraska.

“The sperm might be ejaculated dead, and those alive might not do the job as well as they used to. They might not live long enough to fertilize the egg. We have to do more intensive management to time inseminations as close to optimum time of ovulation to have any success.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Studly Seniors, Part 1

January 15, 2016

Horse-breeding tips for keeping your stallion healthy and productive into his golden years.

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

You’ve heard the success stories of stallions who reproduce well into their 20s. There’s no magic potion. These breeders are simply meticulous about the care of their stallions, monitoring all aspects of their lives – from turnout to nutrition to collection schedules – to keep attitudes happy and avoid burnout at all costs.

Read on for tips on maintaining your stallion for a lengthy breeding career.

1. Maintain a consistent daily routine.

“It’s a good idea to establish a routine with breeding, feeding and exercise,” says Judy Adams, a breeding manger from Acampo, California.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the Business of Breeding

December 18, 2015

Protect your horse-breeding business in the event of an IRS audit.

It’s easy to hope your business is never audited by the IRS, but it’s better to be prepared for one. Illustration by Gabe Trevizo

By Kristin Syverson

Even though it’s the same time every year, tax season seems to always sneak up on us. If you run a breeding operation, or any type of horse operation, you may be deducting equine expenses on your taxes. Make sure your business stands up to the scrutiny of the IRS if you are ever (gulp) audited.

What Triggered the Audit

“Most IRS auditors feel you are getting into the horse business for a tax shelter – to get a loophole to write off all your income from another job,” says Billy Peterson, certified financial planner. Read the rest of this entry »

To Cut or Not to Cut Your Colt

December 4, 2015

Tips for deciding which colts aren’t ideal stallion prospects for horse breeding.

These three breeders geld most of their colts each year. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Each year, colt crops are carefully scrutinized, sized up from head to toe and painstakingly critiqued to find the select few, extra-special colts that are worthy of carrying on a bloodline. But what makes a stallion stand out from his gelded brothers?

Here’s how breeders Stan Weaver, Pete Becker and Billy Cogdell make their gelding decisions:

Read the rest of this entry »