Restraint Techniques for Breeding

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

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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

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Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

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