Evaluate the general health of both stallion and mare before breeding horses. Introduce new stallions to the breeding routine, and reintroduce more experienced stallions to a previously successful routine. To ensure regular ovulation, expose mares to increased daylight 2 to 2 1/2 months before the intended breeding.
Review and update maintenance health care for both horses several weeks before the intended mating. This includes vaccination, deworming and preventative dental care. Schedule a breeding soundness exam prior to breeding season to examine the stallion and collect a semen sample. For mares, schedule a pre-breeding swab to obtain a uterine culture.
Mares should receive 16 hours of continuous light each day to ensure a regular ovulation cycle. Add the supplemental light in the evening. The light should be bright enough to comfortably read a newspaper anywhere in the mare's stall.
Bring the stallion to the farm a few weeks before the intended breeding to get him accustomed to his routine. The same experienced handler should work with the stallion consistently. Allow the stallion freedom to explore his new surroundings and mark his territory.
Introduce new stallions to an older, experienced mare in heat. Do not wash either horse during their first few meetings, as this takes away their scent. Allow the stallion to mount the mare even if he does so early in the introduction process.