FIRST TIME STALLION OWNER
This is by no means intended to be the only way to handle a young stallion when you are an experienced horse man/woman but have never hand bred a stallion to mares before. Many items have not been taken into account such as the careful washing of the stallion and mares genitals. Or having the stallion’s sperm count checked and breeding health of the mare checked by a Vet before mating. This is a General Document meant for education purposes only for people that are experienced with horses. No inexperienced people should handle a stallion, especially during breeding season. The original question was how to get into the breeding game with a newly purchased three-year-old stallion. ON A TIGHT BUDGET. LITTLE MONEY TO SPEND on all the extras that makes breeding a stallion and handling mares so much easier.
(1) Most Important for stallion ownership: If you don't want to spend the money on a professional photographer, then 4 rolls of film of him while he is shed out in the summer and in good physical shape. Sit down with those 96 pictures of him and start ripping them up. Keep only the best two or three. PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS AND NEVER FORGET THAT. You have to have those pictures for advertising and promoting him. Blown up and color laser printed. Never give out a bad picture of him.
(2) High, strong fencing. No mare ever next to him. At least 24 feet from any mare at all times while he is in his pen. (Make sure he has enough room to exercise too). No mares in the stalls next to him if kept in a stall and even more outside exercise.
(3) Hand breed only to prevent injury to him being kicked by a cranky mare and to protect your customers mares too. Send mares home all chewed up and they won't be back next year and neither will anyone they complain to book to him either.
(4) Keep a daily record book when teasing mares to see when they are receptive to being bred. Tease over a safe, solid fence where the mare cannot get hurt in the fence and neither can the stallion. If that mare strikes with a front foot, pins her ears or squeals, she is probably not ready to be bred. Take him out of there to prevent frustration on his part. Don't over tease as a breeding stallion can get mad about it.
(5) If that mare wasn't squatting and peeing yesterday but is today, then that is day one. Breed early morning of the 3rd day. Breed afternoon on the fourth day. Breed late on the fifth day if she is still in full heat, (quickly squats and pees for him with no tail swishing and squirting urine which generally means she is going out of heat and has already ovulated. Theoretically, the sperm should be deposited before the mare releases her eggs. The majority of mares release their eggs on the fourth day. I said the majority because in the breeding business, you will get anything from 3-day heat cycles instead of 6 to mares in heat for days at a time. Those mares that stay in heat should be bred every third day until out but only if your stallion is not being bred hard to a lot of others at the same time.
(6) The same person should always handle the stallion during breeding. It should always be in a quiet place and the same place. Chain over the nose as under the chin can cause more rearing. Never through the mouth unless a really wicked stud who needs it. Never ever tie a stud with that chain and jerk it once and only once to discipline him. Never a steady pressure on it or instead of smartening him up, you will just make him mad. Most stallions quickly learn who their handler is and where the big event is going to happen and why he has a chain on. That chain means he is going to be used for teasing or for breeding and they know that.
(7) Always make your stud approach the mares left side to smell her, squeal and get her and himself excited. Some people let that stud horse roar up behind that mare, then cry the blues when the mare kicks a hole in him. Only when he is fully erect do you let him mount the mare. Some old mares will nail a stud if he is mounting her and not getting the job done quickly. Immediately after he dismounts, get him away from the mare, put him back in his pen. If you train a young stud properly the first year, every year after that he will just get easier to handle and smarter about those mares. Be nice to a young stud. Pick on him, jerk that chain over his nose to much, let other people yap and wave their arms around, let other horses to close, distractions like that and he may just decide not to breed for you at all or worse, look like he bred the mare but didn't ejaculate because he was distracted. Let him get hurt to many times and he may become leery at breeding too.
(8) If that mare has a colt on her, protect that colt and keep the worried mother happy by placing it in a "Very" small area on the other side of the fence from where you have her tied short. Right in front of her where it has to stay there where she can see it so she doesn't go on the fight trying to get to her baby or go on the fight with the stud trying to protect her baby. Some studs can grab a colt if they take a notion to it or kick or strike it.
(9) Make sure you have a proper signed and dated "Stallion Breeding Contract" with the mare owner. Listing absolutely everything including your L.F.G. (Live Foal Guarantee).
(10) Today most breeding facilities palpate the mare to see when she is going to release her eggs and should be bred. Most also Ultrasound the mare to see if she caught or not before sending her home. I gather your not going to put out the big bucks for that. So keep the mare 20 days after she goes completely out of heat. If not pregnant, most will recycle in about 14 days. But I have seen them recycle anywhere from 10 to 20 days.