Progesterone Therapy for Pregnant Mares - Part 1

December 06, 2018

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

In preparation for our annual SBS Affiliate meeting, I was speaking to Dr. Patrick McCue (my friend and mentor and honored guest speaker this year’s meeting) about the commonality of questions I have from clients. By far, the most discussed topic is supplementation of progesterone to pregnant mares to help them maintain a pregnancy. Many times, the questions stem from the necessity of such therapy, duration, and efficacy of supplementation. Sometimes, even with the best therapy, we fail to reach a good outcome, but the following discussion about the forms of supplementing progesterone is well worth a quick read for any breeder.

Read More

Measuring Hormone Levels in Mares

March 02, 2018

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Mare Management

Measuring Hormones in Mares_P4 Instrument with TechEndocrine diagnostics certainly have a place in the routine management of mares and stallions as well as in diagnosis of problems and diseases. However, there are likely more applications for measuring hormones in mares than stallions. Dr. Ed Squires will discuss the hormones tested in mares in this article and will then cover the testing of stallion hormones in a subsequent article.

Read More

Management of Late Gestation Pregnancy Loss in the Mare

December 11, 2017

Posted by Dr. Ute Pansegrau in Mare Management

Breeding season in the northern hemisphere is over and hopefully all mares are in foal. Waiting for the arrival of the foals next year has begun. But what if something goes wrong? Abortion after day 45 of gestation occurs up to 3 to 15% in different horse populations. Infectious and non-infectious causes can be involved. It is important, that as long as the etiology of the pregnancy loss is undetermined, every abortion should be assumed as infectious until proven otherwise. How do you best handle the situation when a mare aborts and how do you prevent further damage to the mare or her fellow broodmares?

Read More

Trends in Equine Assisted Reproduction

October 03, 2017

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Mare Management

Ovum Pickup_Oocytes It has been almost 20 years since I started an assisted reproduction program at Colorado state University. The purpose of that program was to develop techniques to preserve equine genetics. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all the goals of that program but I would like to focus on production of foals from old mares and stallions via in vitro technology (aka test tube horse).

Read More

Is the Volume of the Inseminate Important for Fertility?

March 05, 2017

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Mare Management

Dose Volume_Cooled vs Frozen A common question asked by many breeders is whether the volume of semen deposited into the mare affects fertility. When a mare and a stallion mate naturally the entire ejaculate is deposited into the mare. This volume is usually 50 ml or more and includes several billion sperm. However, when breeding mares using artificial insemination, good fertility can be achieved with as little as 1/2 ml of semen. I have been telling breeders for years that the volume of the ejaculate is not important as long as the stallion is producing good sperm numbers. For example, a stallion can produce 8 billion sperm with 80 ml of semen at a concentration of 100 million sperm/ml or 20 ml of semen at a concentration of 400 million sperm/ml. Volume of the ejaculate and concentration are inversely related (i.e. if volume goes up then concentration goes down).

Read More

Oxytocin Use in the Mare

December 28, 2016

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

Oxytocin Use in the Mare_Injection Oxytocin is one of the most utilized hormones in broodmare practice. With so many possible clinical applications, a review of the use of oxytocin in the mare highlights the benefits of oxytocin, as well as necessary precautions with its use. Oxytocin is a nine-amino acid neuropeptide that is produced in the hypothalamus and released by hypothalamic neurons that terminate in the posterior pituitary. It is released in a natural pulsatile manner and exerts its effects by coupling with oxytocin receptors on various tissues such as the endometrium, myometrium, heart, kidney, pancreas, and fat tissue. There are also local effects of oxytocin and receptor binding, notably in the utero-placental tissues that help to increase the effect and intensity of pituitary derived oxytocin pulses. Clinically, oxytocin is available as a sterile injection, 20 IU (international units) per milliter. It can be administered intravenously or intramuscularly.

Read More

Ways to Determine Equine Fetal Gender

December 08, 2016

Posted by Dr. Anna Toenissen in Mare Management

Ways To Determine Equine Fetal Gender - Fetal Ovary via Doppler 2 Horse breeders are always interested in the well being of their broodmares as well as the well being of the fetus they are carrying. Advances in reproductive techniques have made it possible to gain insight into how the fetus is progressing as well as the ability to determine its gender. Knowing whether a mare is carrying a colt or a filly can help owners make important decisions concerning their herds and the industry in general. For example, fetal sex determination is used on a regular basis among thoroughbred breeders prior to stock auctions. In this article, we discuss the sorting of equine sperm for sex as well as fetal sex determination via transrectal and transabdominal ultrasound.

Read More

What Can Cause a Mare to Lose Her Pregnancy?

April 01, 2016

Posted by Karen Wolfsdorf, DVM, DACT in Mare Management

What Can Cause a Mare_Ascending placentitis originating at the cervical starMares can develop problems during pregnancy or be at high risk of losing the pregnancy for a variety of reasons. These include age (old mares frequently have endometriosis in which the uterus is unable to properly supply the fetus with appropriate blood supply and nutrients), physical conditions (placental and fetal fluid abnormalities; body wall tears; chronic debilitating conditions such as laminitis and Cushing’s disease), and acute disease or injury (placentitis, uterine torsion, surgical colic, colitis, acute laminitis, or fractures). When a mare becomes stressed or debilitated, inflammatory chemicals and prostaglandins increase and induce abnormal uterine contractions and potential pregnancy loss. Reproductive problems that arise during gestation, however, when detected and diagnosed early, can still result in the survival of the mare and usually the foal. The abnormalities most commonly seen during the middle to late stages of pregnancy will be discussed in this article.

Read More

The History of the Frozen Semen Two-Dose Timed Insemination Protocol

January 07, 2016

Posted by SBS in Mare Management

The History of the Timed Insemination Protocol - Ultrasound The use of the two-dose timed insemination protocol allows veterinarians the flexibility to examine mares once daily during normal hours without compromising fertility but while reducing management costs for the mare owner. This is the main reason why this protocol was developed by Dr. Sandro Barbacini of SBS Italia. Prior to developing this protocol most veterinarians would ultrasound mares every three to four hours in order to inseminate them with frozen semen as close to ovulation as possible. However, such a protocol is not only exhausting for the veterinarian but can also be a financial burden for the mare owner. In this article we will review the history of the two-dose timed insemination protocol, why it was developed, and discuss how it’s use can help with your breeding program.

Read More

How to Prepare the Older Mare for Breeding Season

October 30, 2015

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

How to Prepare Your Older Mare - Mare and Foal Older mares have a knack for being the sweetest and gentlest mares on the farm. We see them year after year, either carrying their own foals or returning to donate embryos if their reproductive status requires. Oftentimes, these mares are considered “special” patients, requiring a unique combination of diet, exercise, and metabolic support to maintain their physical and reproductive health. We often see older performance mares that are being bred for the first time following a long and successful show career. Reproductive problems such as cervical adhesions and uterine infection can be common in older mares which affect their ability to carry a foal or donate an embryo.

Read More

Riding the Pregnant Mare

October 30, 2015

Posted by SBS in Mare Management

Riding Pregnant Mares_Woman and Horse Cropped Knowing when to stop riding your pregnant broodmare can be a debatable topic. This article will review recommended time points yet, like an individual person, each broodmare has independent feelings and each pregnancy can be different for a particular broodmare. There are noticeable signs your broodmare may be showing you she is uncomfortable or physically unable to do certain movements you ask of her when riding. It is always recommended that you consult your veterinarian when deciding the best plan of action regarding riding your broodmare and how strenuous the activity should be.

Read More

Balancing the Show and Breeding Careers of an Embryo Transfer Donor Mare

May 30, 2015

Posted by SBS in Mare Management

ET Donor Mare_Close Up O'Rourke When one thinks of a broodmare they may think she is retired from the show ring and living out her days, pregnant in a pasture. However, with the implementation of embryo transfer (ET) in the horse breeding industry it is possible for a mare to produce several offspring in a given breeding season while continuing in competition. We recently published an article about Balancing a Stallion’s Life in the Breeding Shed with Competing in the Show Ring. Now it’s time to consider what goes into balancing the show and breeding career of an ET donor mare. In this article we will discuss reasons an owner may choose to breed their show mare and what to consider when determining if this is a path you wish to travel.

Read More

Is Deep Horn Insemination Beneficial When Breeding With Equine Frozen Semen?

May 02, 2015

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Mare Management

Site of Insemination - Mare and FoalThere have been many changes in how we produce foals from our broodmares in the past few decades: cooled semen, frozen semen, embryo transfer, frozen embryos, etc. One procedure that has gained popularity is deep horn insemination. This refers to placing the semen deep in the uterine horn, close to the opening of the oviduct (uterotubal junction, UTJ) on the side of ovulation instead of depositing it in the uterine body. This is typically done using a flexible pipette that can be guided to the tip of the horn with the other hand in the rectum. The end of the pipette and the tip of the uterine horn can both be felt using this method.

Read More

Biofilms in Mare Reproduction

February 27, 2015

Posted by Dr. Ryan Ferris in Mare Management

A biofilm has been proposed to have a significant role in chronic infections in the horse. It has been suggested for over a decade that chronic uterine infections resistant to antimicrobials may be due to biofilm production. The involvement of a biofilm in cases of bacterial endometritis has not been clearly elucidated, but many reproductive specialists suspect a biofilm plays a significant role in infectious endometritis. In this article Dr. Ryan Ferris, a board certified theriogenologist from Colorado State University, explains the lifestyles of bacteria, how a biofilm is formed, how they protect bacteria and their implications on equine reproduction.

Read More

Ovum Pickup in the Mare

January 03, 2015

Posted by Dr. Gabe Young in Mare Management

Breeding horses has come a long ways in the last 50 years. Veterinarians have been able to overcome many of the obstacles presented when breeding horses with advancements in artificial insemination and embryo transfer. However, there are still times when infertility of either the mare, stallion or both prevent getting foals on the ground. The most recent advances in assisted reproductive technologies, Ovum Pickup and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), have allowed us at Weatherford Equine Breeding Center (WEBC) to take the next step in overcoming these obstacles with some promising results.

Read More

Effect of Number and Timing of Equine Frozen Semen Inseminations on Fertility

December 03, 2014

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Mare Management

Further expansion in the use of frozen semen is dependent upon developing simplified strategies for insemination. SBS has developed a timed insemination protocol where mares are only examined once per day during estrus and inseminated at 24 and 40 hr after hCG or 30 and 40 hr after GnRH. This approach allows frozen semen mares to be managed similar to those bred with cooled shipped semen. A couple of arguments against this approach with frozen semen is that it takes too much semen when mares are bred twice in one cycle and that if the mare is inseminated more than once per cycle the fertility will be lowered because of post-breeding induced endometritis. However, in a new retrospective study across 1871 mare cycles bred by SBS affiliate labs, we report additional support for the use of two inseminations per breeding cycle.

Read More

New Alternative to Putting Your Mare Under Lights

October 31, 2014

Posted by Dr. Jerry Longworth in Mare Management

Equilume mask - closeup It has long been a goal for equine breeders to produce foals born as early in the year as possible. Foals born early in the year have a distinct economic advantage for breeders. However, Mother Nature, has a different plan.

Read More

Colic in the Broodmare

September 08, 2014

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

mares and foals Colic is usually a word that brings to mind fussy sick newborn children, sleepless nights, and sleep-deprived parents, unless you are a horse owner. Many horse owners live in fear of finding their horses in an episode of colic. Fortunately, many bouts of gastro-intestinal pain are mild, easily treated, or easily managed on the farm or with a visit from your veterinary professional. More serious episodes could be much more in depth, require extended medical therapy and possibly abdominal surgery. No episode of colic should be taken lightly and often times, intervention by your veterinary team can help prevent escalation of the pain and disease in the horse. In cases of serious colic, swift intervention can positively affect the outcome of prolonged hospitalization or surgical repair.

Read More

Retained Placenta in the Mare

June 02, 2014

Posted by Dr. Igor Canisso in Mare Management

Retained placenta (also known as retained fetal membranes) is the most common post-partum complication in mares. Typically, expulsion of the placenta occurs shortly after birth and it is considered retained if it is not expelled within 3 hours post-partum. The prevalence of retained placenta varies from 2 to 10% of foalings and can be as high as 30 -54% of uneventful births in Friesian mares. Retention of the placenta in mares should not be overlooked. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment should be quickly applied to prevent secondary, life threatening, complications.

Read More

Placentitis in the Mare - Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

April 01, 2014

Posted by Dr. Karen Wolfsdorf in Mare Management

Placentitis, an inflammation of the placenta usually caused by an infectious agent, has emerged as a leading cause of reproductive loss in the equine breeding industry. This has a large economic and emotional impact when the pregnancy progresses until close to term but unfortunately ends in abortion or the birth of a small ill-thrifty foal. The placenta is composed of the amnion, which surrounds the fetus, and the chorio-allantois that attaches to the endometrium of the mare. These structures protect the fetus and provide gas and nutrient exchange allowing the foal to grow. When placentitis occurs it usually affects the chorioallantois compromising the foal because there is a loss of attachment of the placenta to the endometrium or the presence of infection and inflammation.

Read More

What is Short Cycling a Mare?

March 05, 2014

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

It seems daily that I am asked by clients to bring a mare into heat at a desired time to facilitate breeding, show schedules, stallion availability, synchronization with other mares, maximize early season breeding dates, or line up recipient mares with donor mares. For such a common request, and in fact, a common procedure, there are certain cases when knowing the nuisances of manipulating the length of diestrus in the mare can make or break the overall success of a reproductive cycle. In this blog article we review the process of short cycling mares.

Read More

Parturition in the Mare

March 19, 2013

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

In our newsletter last month, we talked about getting organized and ready for foaling out your mare (click here for this news article). Being prepared for the foaling process is of paramount importance, in order to have an enjoyable and successful outcome for the mare, foal, breeders, owners, and attendants. As you are preparing your barn for the foaling, don’t forget that the mare has a chorus of events taking place internally to prepare her body for parturition, transition to lactation, and uterine involution. Whether these events are noticeable or not, they are a necessity for the proper progression of labor and delivery. In our blog article this month Dr. Scofield reviews the stages of parturition and summarizes the hormonal events that are occurring with your mare during this incredible physiological process.

Read More

Progesterone and Estrogen Therapy (P&E)

February 19, 2013

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Mare Management

Managing the equine estrous cycle is a common procedure performed by many broodmare managers and veterinarians. Copious research has elucidated many aspects of the equine estrous cycle and allowed veterinarians the tools to manage a mare’s cycle to provide the optimal breeding times, effectively use artificial insemination, induce ovulation, synchronize mares, induce superovulation, advance the onset of the breeding season, terminate pregnancy, as well as a manage a host of other reproductive conditions and diseases. In this article we take a look at the use of progesterone and estradiol (P&E) as therapy in the mare.

Read More

Hastening the Onset of the Breeding Season

November 20, 2012

Posted by Julie Skaife in Mare Management

The horse is a seasonal breeder meaning that natural mating occurs during certain times of the year to ensure that the timing of birth is optimal for survival with regard to ambient temperature, food and water availability, and even changes in the predation behaviors of other species. Alternative breeding behaviors used by animals include opportunistic breeders that mate whenever the conditions of their environment become favorable and continuous breeders that mate year-round. Seasonal breeders are controlled by the length of daylight, i.e. the photoperiod, and can be divided into long day breeders, e.g. the horse, that start cycling when the days get longer (spring) and short day breeders, e.g. deer, that start cycling when the days get shorter (fall). The length of photoperiod can be manipulated in order to hasten the onset of the breeding season. This is a popular management technique used in Thoroughbred breeding, so foals can be born as close to the standardized January 1st birth date as possible. It is also common with show or halter horses, with the goal being to maximize maturity for age determined competition.

Read More

Care and Vaccination of the Pregnant Mare

September 18, 2012

Posted by SBS in Mare Management

Pregnant mareNow that your mare is safely checked in foal, the next step in the journey begins. It is time to plan ahead to ensure you have all your ducks in a row with regard to the care and management of your pregnant mare and for welcoming the arrival of your foal. Firstly, where will your mare foal out? If she is to foal out at home it is assumed you have a suitable foaling stall, a pasture with shelter and safe fencing to house the mare and her foal. Start to compile your foaling kit, emergency plans and contacts, secure a source of colostrum and research options for nurse mares. Of course we all hope for a normal, successful delivery, but we have to be prepared for worst case scenarios. If the unexpected happens at such an emotional time, having a plan in place will alleviate stress and save time when tough decisions have to be made. If your mare will foal out at another facility she should be moved at least 30 days prior to foaling so she can build up immunity to her new environment.

Read More

My Mare is Not Pregnant - What Now?

September 18, 2012

Posted by Dr. Holly Mason in Mare Management

If you bred your mare last year and were unable to get her in foal, you are not alone. According to The Jockey Club, 44,184 mares were bred in North America in 2010 of these only 23,558 live foals were registered in 2011. A stallion with good semen quality, a mare with a healthy reproductive tract and properly timed inseminations are three critical elements that must align to maximize your chance of success. If you are looking to improve your odds for the 2013 breeding season, Dr. Holly Mason from Unionville Equine Associates outlines some things you might consider doing now to prepare for the upcoming season.

Read More

Mare Owners - Minimize Stress and Promote Success by being Prepared for Breeding Season

May 22, 2012

Posted by SBS in Mare Management

mare and foalBreeding your mare is a big decision and the prospect can seem quite overwhelming - there is so much to research, organize and plan for as well as many different people to coordinate with. To make this process as stress free as possible, for everyone involved, it pays to be organized. The planning process will be a lot more enjoyable and exciting when you have everything lined up and are not surprised or caught off guard by any unexpected fees, decisions or situations.  In this article, we have some suggestions for how you can be more organized for breeding season by considering what needs to be done before the season begins, when it's time to breed, before your mare foals, and once your new foal hits the ground.

Read More

Breeding Mares on Foal Heat

April 20, 2012

Posted by Dr. Margo Macpherson in Mare Management

Breeding mares on their foal heat is a strategy used to maximize reproductive efficiency. Since income is generated from selling offspring, yearly foal production is critical to offset maintenance and breeding expenses incurred by the mare owner. With an average gestational length of 333 to 345 days, mares must become pregnant within one month post partum to continue producing foals each year. Mating mares on the first postpartum estrus is one method used to improve the chance of maintaining yearly foal production. Reviewing this topic for us is guest writer, Dr. Margo Macpherson with an excerpt from the chapter Breeding Mares on Foal Heat co-authored by Dr. Margo Macpherson and Dr. Terry Blanchard in the 2nd Edition of Equine Reproduction.

Read More

Preparing Your Mare for Breeding

March 21, 2012

Posted by Dr. Karen Wolfsdorf in Mare Management

There are many factors to consider before you breed your mare. This Q&A with reproduction specialist, Dr. Karen Wolfsdorf of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute will help you be prepared.

Read More

Please Note - photos used in these news articles are available in the public domain, have been purchased through istockphoto or (when referencing breeders or horses) have been submitted to Select Breeders Services Inc. by the breeding farm or horse owner. Photo credit has been provided where applicable. If at anytime you see something that needs to be addressed please feel free to contact us directly.

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Just enter your email address below!

Flag it
Clicca sulla Bandiera Italiana per visualizzare gli articoli tradotti in italiano.


Flag es
Haga click en la bandera española para ver los artículos traducidos al español.