One of the 150 horses at Meredith Manor, an equestrian university.

Equine Breeding

Course Name: Equine Breeding

Prerequisites: None

The Breeding Course is intended to acquaint students with the basic anatomy and physiology of the male and female reproductive systems of the horse, the care and preparation of mare and stallions for breeding, breeding techniques, and post breeding examinations and considerations relating to pregnancy and foaling. Included in the course are lectures and extensive laboratory sessions. The breeding course is taught at The Ohio State University Vet School and is offered only during the summer quarter.

Weekly Topics:

Week 1-2. Anatomy of the Reproductive tract and Placenta; Physiology of Reproduction: Mare including puberty, estrus, and associated issues; Laboratory: Mare reproductive tracts
Week 3-4. Physiology of Reproduction: Stallion; Artificial Insemination Techniques and Natural Service; Breeding Soundness Examination of Stallion, Semen Collection Principles, Semen Examinations and Semen Shipment Techniques; Laboratory: Stallion semen collection and evaluation
Week 5-6: Physiology of Gestation and Diagnosis of Pregnancy; Laboratory Tests, Palpation, and Examinations; Using Ultrasonographic Equipment; Laboratory: Use of tests for pregnancy, palpation demonstration and demonstration of ultrasonographic equipment and the principles involved in its use
Week 7-8: Breeding Soundness Examination of the Mare; Uterine Cultures, Endometrial Biopsies; Fiber-optic Examinations of the Uterus; Speculum Examination; Cervical Examination; Vulvar Conformation Assessment; Laboratory: Uterine cultures, endometrial biopsies, fiber-optic examination of the uterus, speculum examinations, cervical examination, and vulvar conformation assessment
Week 9: Estrus Malfunctions and Control; Heat Detection Methods including: teasing, palpation, progesterone assays, and the like; Laboratory: progesterone assays, etc.
Week 10: Breeding Programs and Breeding Farm Management; Laboratory: Demonstration of medication administration intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous and oral
Week 11: Advanced Reproductive Techniques embryo transfer, gifts and clones; Uterine Infections and Abnormalities; Laboratory: Uterine treatments and embryo transfer
Week 12: Review and Exam

Performance Objectives:
Following successful completion of Equine Breeding the student will be able to:

  • Describe the anatomy of the reproductive tact and placental in the mare
  • Describe the physiology of reproduction as it applies to the stallion including: artificial insemination techniques and natural service
  • Describe what is involved in the examination of a stallion for breeding
  • Describe principles for semen collection, examination, and shipping
  • Explain the physiology of gestation
  • Explain the use of tests for determining and monitoring pregnancy
  • Describe the examinations of the mare for breeding soundness and the use of equipment used for this purpose
  • Describe the purpose of cultures, biopsies, fiber-optic examinations, examinations of the speculum and cervix, and a vulvar conformation assessment
  • Describe estrus malfunctions and control
  • Identify essential components of a successful Breeding Programs
  • Describe principles of successful Breeding Farm management
  • Describe the use of advanced reproductive techniques, such as embryo transfer and cloning

In order for students to acquire the knowledge and skills of Equine Breeding, the instructor will use a variety of teaching methods including: expository learning, discussion, demonstration, & guided practice. Students will be actively involved in laboratory activities and will learn many of the concepts firsthand through observation and guided practice. Applications will be made to the safety procedures and barn management practices used at Meredith Manor.

Students will be evaluated on their knowledge & skills through mid-term tests and final exams. In addition, students are expected to participate in a variety of ways including:

  • Discussion, reading, and projects
  • Lab activities: making observations, assisting in horse care, and practicing skills
  • Horse care and maintenance outside of class hours

Formative assessment and immediate feedback during lab activities will be used to guide the teaching/learning process and will allow students to monitor their progress throughout the course.

At MM I learned not only everything I needed to know about horses, but that I had the ability to pull my desire out and really put it to use.
Shelley (Fyffe) Lazo: 2003 Riding Master III Graduate