Breeding Horses by Artificial Insemination

September 7, 2010 (published)

Today on Texas Vet News I am going to start a series on breeding mares by artificial insemination, or AI. If you have a problem mare that you were unable to get pregnant last year, you need to start planning now. Artificial insemination is very effective.; Dr. Juan Samper indicated at last year's AAEP convention that most of the time when mares do not get pregnant by AI, it is due to poor breeding management.; Breeding management includes diagnostic procedures to determine breeding soundness, treatment before breeding, and determining the appropriate time for insemination.

First of all, determine whether the semen will be fresh, cooled, or frozen.; Cooled semen requires some planning as far as shipping schedules and being able to get semen to the mare at the appropriate time. If frozen semen is used, it is important to know the quality of the semen after it is thawed, as some semen does not freeze well and this semen is not a good choice if you have a mare that is a difficult breeder. So it is really just as important to choose a stallion on semen quality as on performance characteristics because if the mare does not get pregnant due to poor semen quality, the performance of the stallion really doesn't matter.

VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email

Information and opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the author and are independent of the VIN News Service. Letters may be edited for style. We do not verify their content for accuracy.