In the News
Four Ways We Prepare for Breeding Season
When the clock chimes midnight on the New Year, our goal is always to have as much organized as possible to make the next few months of sleepless nights as easy on our brains as possible.
While there are some things that have to wait until January, everything we need to be done can be done before breeding season begins. Here are four things that are always on our early to-do list so we don’t have to worry about it once foals start dropping.
1) Lights – In order to make sure our open mares are ready to be bred as soon as books open, we put them under lights in November. An easy way to make sure they are ready to go early in the season, it also gives us more wiggle room if a mare doesn’t catch right away or if they have issues that we find in an early breeding exam.
2) Vet Checks – Assuming the mare is healthy and ready to breed, we do a cycle check the week before books open. We don’t “program” the mares with anything but lights so this lets us know where the mare is in her cycle and when we should theoretically be able to breed her. This also gives us a chance to alert the stallion manager so the farm isn’t taken by surprise if we have to call at the last second for semen because a mare decided to jump to “needs to be bred right now” from “a few days off” in 12 hours.
3) Horse Maintenance: Before breeding season starts, we like to make sure mares are up to date on their vaccinations and dewormed in addition to getting their dental work done. We don’t like to vaccinate or deworm within the first 90 days of pregnancy if we can help it due to organogenesis, so its safer just to take care of everything before breeding season even starts. In our area, a lot of vets won’t do dental on bred mares either, so we get it done early to make sure they are good to go for the next 12 months.
4) Turn in Contracts – We like to have our mating plans figured out and contracts turned in before books open (and even before the year turns over if possible). There are sometimes that this doesn’t work out the way we planned, but that is a rare occurrence. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in nearly 10 years of operation, it’s that there’s nothing as stressful when it comes to booking mares as waiting until the last second and either finding out a stallion is full or having a mare that needs to be bred right that second with no contract turned in.
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As a small breeding program located in Madisonville, Texas, Dean Quarter Horses strives to produce American Quarter Horses that excel in Western Pleasure and All-Around performance events. We feel the time we take to properly imprint and handle the foals early in life aid in making them more dependable mounts in their future show careers.
P: (936) 661-4490