Safe & Responsible Breeding Practices
All animals breed from a natural instinct to reproduce. Selective breeding made it possible
for people to develop horses to perform specific functions. Selective breeding and domestication have influenced how horses developed as a species.
Many welfare problems can be prevented through responsible breeding practices. Breeding should be purposeful to prevent unwanted horses. The decision to breed horses should be carefully considered. A veterinarian should be consulted for breeding soundness examinations, pregnant mares, foaling and newborn care.
Horses need people who understand that breeding requires care to prevent injury and to protect the animal’s health.
What does the Code of Practice say about breeding practices?
“In natural breeding, the body weight and size of the stallion must be appropriate to the size and physical development of the mare.
The collection of semen and artificial insemination should be performed only by trained personnel.
Weaning is when a foal is separated from the mare, which is often performed between 4-6 months of age. Domestic foals are weaned much earlier than horses in free-ranging conditions. Weaning is a stressful experience. Mares and foals should be kept in a safe, secure area in order to prevent injury. Providing companions for weaned foals (such as other weaned foals or adult horses) can help alleviate stress.”