Where permissible and transported semen is available, AI should be considered for breeding mares because of the many advantages it offers.
Your mare does not have to be sent away to stud to be mated (particularly appealing if she has a foal at foot), and the risk of exposure to infectious disease that can occur when horses are brought together on studs is eliminated. Overseas stallions, or stallions in areas difficult to get your mare to, can be used. The chances of injuries during mating are greatly reduced and AI is also a cleaner process than natural service, and can be beneficial in some ‘problem’ mares.
We will advise you on the best time to have your mare scanned to begin the AI process. Initially the mare will be given a full reproductive examination. The reproductive organs are checked and her cycle stage determined, allowing estimation of the likely time of ovulation. This allows semen to be ordered and insemination to occur at the optimum time. Once inseminated, the mare is rescanned to check for ovulation. Scans are then carried out at 16-18 days, 28 days and 42 days to confirm pregnancy. The reasons for scanning at these times are to: confirm pregnancy; check for twinning; and to monitor for early pregnancy loss, ensuring that re-breeding (if necessary) is not delayed.
Breeding with frozen semen is not for the faint hearted. The rewards are immense, but the factors that make it successful must be fully understood before you start. Even with the best procedures in place the success of frozen semen is only 30-40% pregnancy rate per cycle and will vary based on both the mare and the semen used and the operator performing the insemination.
Give The Vet Centre, Richmond (5445566) a call to discuss what works best for you and your mare. We will be happy to answer your questions and work out a program for you.