Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

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The Mating Game
Q I would like to know about artificial insemination, and whether it is very expensive. I have grown out of my 13.3hh 14-year old mare and would like to know if she can still breed.

I would also like to know whether there is any chance of breeding a foal that would grow to 15.3hh.

A There are advantages and disadvantages to using artificial insemination (A1) to obtain a foal from your mare. A1 is a technical procedure that involves the safe introduction of frozen semen into your mare to make her pregnant

. By using A1 you can more easily choose from large varieties of stallion and thus stand a better chance of getting a foal who would grow to 15.3hh. There is also less risk of disease and injury to your horse. On the other hand, the procedure may be more expensive than using a local stallion.

A1 inseminations may need to be repeated several times in order to be successful but if you use the services of really skilled practitioners, fertility can be better than with natural mating. I suggest you read up a little more on artificial insemination and even visit a stud yard if you are really interested.

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