This time of year, you might be considering breeding your mare in the spring. Maybe you’ve even found the perfect stallion to cross on your mare–he’s gorgeous, he has an amazing pedigree and he’s a world champion. Not only that, he’s quiet and kind. The stud fee seems reasonable, and you have visions of making a little money by selling the foal. But beware–your breeding will likely cost much more than just the stud fee.

As little as 20 years ago, most breeding operations used live cover. With live cover, the breeding process was relatively simple.  Mare owners sent their mares to the stallion’s farm, where they stayed until they were either pregnant or the breeding season was over, whichever came first. Typically, mare owners bred to a local stallion, or at least one within relatively easy driving distance from home. The mare owner expected to pay a booking fee, the stud fee, boarding costs and some veterinary expenses.

Today, the widespread use of artificial insemination (AI) has changed the breeding process forever. At first glance, AI might appear to be a huge convenience and money-saver, as it is often saves the cost of boarding the mare at the stallion’s farm. However, there are numerous additional costs associated with AI, and those costs can take mare owners by surprise.

Set forth below are common costs reflected in breeding contracts. The price ranges are derived from Equine Legal Solutions’ experiences in drafting contracts for stallion owners, and your costs may differ significantly. The requirements of each breeding contract vary, so be sure to read your contract carefully prior to sign