Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday that evolved from one of the most unlikely places, a roman martyr murdered by the emperor in the year 270 A.D. Today, the holiday is celebrated with chocolate, flowers, and a little extra romance. While horses aren’t swiping right on dating apps to meet their partners, it’s good to know a few facts about breeding. Let’s start at the beginning.
As we discussed in our last post, thoroughbred breeding season is in the wintertime. This is engineered since the natural breeding cycle of horses is in the summer. But to keep racehorses in the same age bracket, the breeding schedule must remain on track. It’s just a coincidence that these dates line up with such a romantic season.
What to Expect When Breeding
While a lot of science and planning goes into breeding thoroughbreds, the entire process is just guessing. We match-make with the best of our abilities based on the pedigree and experience of the horses, but we never know what the results will be until the foal is old enough to begin their career. And even in the breeding processes, it’s not 100% certain the mare will become pregnant after breeding.
11 Months of Care
Gestation for horses is 11 months. So if they begin the process in February, they give birth in January, which means an entire year of care for the pregnant mares. Horses have been foaling for centuries without our help, but that doesn’t mean we stay hands-off in their care. Ensuring the best diet and clean water, eliminating exposure to horses who could shed viruses, and ensuring their medical care is up to date is critical.
Learn more about broodmares at horseOlogy and GoldMark Farm.
Mama and Baby
Once a foal is born, care for both horses changes. Last year, we shared some details in this blog post about Bringing Up Baby. From birth to weanling is about four to six months. During that time, giving the mares the proper nutrition is essential to stimulate milk production. They live in the lap of luxury here with horseOlogy and are always excited to show off our babies.
Learn more about breeding and broodmare care with horseOlogy.