In order to determine the optimal time of breeding, mares are examined by vaginal speculum, transrectal palpation and ultrasonography as frequently as deemed necessary. Mares being bred by live-cover or by artificial insemination with either fresh or cooled semen will be examined daily or every other day while in heat. Mares being bred with frozen-thawed may be examined multiple times daily to closely synchronize insemination with ovulation. If the conservation of semen is a factor, mares can also be bred via low-dose insemination techniques. After breeding, mares are examined for pregnancy 13-15 days after ovulation. Hormonal treatments are administered as necessary to bring mares into heat, hasten ovulation or maintain pregnancy. In addition, uterine treatments are performed as deemed necessary by diagnostic measures such as uterine culture and cytology or ultrasonography.
The AFC is equipped to work with the problem or sub-fertile mare and will design treatment/management protocol that provides mare owners with the best chances to produce a live foal. As part of the assessment of these cases, we are able to project the likelihood of success, approximate costs and, if necessary, suggest assisted reproductive techniques as possible alternatives to preserving a particular mare’s genetics. Although many of mares that we see fall into this “problem” category, the majority of mares we work with have normal fertility. Once a pregnancy is achieved, the AFC is equipped to assist owners through all phases of gestation, including foaling.
The AFC offers an on-site foaling service to clients who do not wish to take on the 24/7 task of safely foaling their mare. At the time of admission, veterinarians will conduct a physical examination of the mare. Foaling mares are then placed in the 16×16 straw-bedded stalls at night and small individual paddocks during the day. Both are equipped with cameras monitored 24/7 by an on-property veterinarian and technicians. The on-site veterinarian and team of technicians will observe and evaluate mares from admission up to, during and following foaling. After foaling, the owner has the choice of picking up both mare and foal, or leaving them to rebreed the mare.