It is horse breeding season. Breeding a foal I think is wonderful, as is watching it grow up to hopefully fulfill it's potential. However, even in the breeding process there can be pitfalls. If thinking of putting a mare in foal, considerations include: I)Mare suitability - under 15 years for a first foal is preferred. Mare should be healthy. Potential problems include previously laminitic mares or even just with poor hooves who may struggle towards the end of their pregnancy when they are heavy. Mares with sarcoids which are not under control can be very difficult to manage. Older mares with Cushings may not go in foal or keep one. May elect for embryo transfer from a mare that cannot carry a foal but very costly and not always successful. 2) Financial considerations - getting the mare in foal can be costly. Mares can abort. Must be prepared to accept that failure may occur or the mare may have a foal with problems or the foal may just not be what the breeder is wanting, even as simple as the wrong colour. Definitely may be cheaper to buy a horse and you know what you are buying rather than breeding and not having a guaranteed result. 3) Obtaining semen - choices in all stud books excluding thoroughbreds include, natural service, chilled semen and frozen semen. Thoroughbreds to be registered for racing are natural service only. Natural service has a high success rate, as does chilled semen. Frozen semen has a lower success rate per cycle and is more costly. However, frozen semen allows the use of semen from stallions that have died, been castrated or who are from overseas. Costs and potential success rates need to be thoroughly investigated and understood by mare owners prior to embarking on breeding their mare. All vets at All Horses Veterinary Services offer equine reproductive services for natural and chilled matings.