When a mare and a stallion meet, love might be in the air…but there’s the potential for danger, too. Particularly when humans get in the middle of it all. In our efforts to orchestrate the best possible combinations of conformation, temperament, and talent, we long ago became involved in the process of equine matchmaking–and in doing so, we put ourselves on the front lines of the stormy process of breeding. As a result, every breeding manager must make safety a first priority for all the parties involved–the handlers’, the stallion, and the mare.

Stallions can be formidable, especially when in the presence of an ovulating mare; their aggressive behavior is a risk factor in itself. And while a mare in season is generally in a receptive mood, that doesn’t mean she is not capable of aiming a good kick in her suitor’s direction–or her handlers’. If you are breeding by live cover, it’s important to understand the risks, and to take appropriate action to make breeding as safe a process as possible. The use of a few judicious restraint techniques can go a long way toward ensuring that safety.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Advice From The Pros

Advice on breeding horses by live cover can come from no better place than the Thoroughbred industry, where, because of The Jockey Club regulations, artificial insemination of any kind is not permitted. Many Thoroughbred operations stand several stallions and see hundreds of mares bred every year,