[QUOTE=Tradewind;7496143]Completely agree with this. I have never had only one stallion on my list for any mare, I usually have at least 3 or 4 that I feel would suit the mare. I can see having a stallion at the top of the list, especially if you’re a particularly big fan of that stallion in general, but if your mare is worth breeding there should always be at least a few contenders to breed her to. Therefore, there are a number of variables that have factored into my decision to breed to a particular stallion, including added fees and the indicators of possible extra hassles with the stallion owner.
IME, stallion owners who are quick to respond, offer discounts and generally do what they can to make it a positive experience for the mare owner are the ones that are best to deal with, ie. are most likely to send me semen when I need it on a weekend or asap. Thus, these are the SOs I choose to work with.[/QUOTE]
Exactly! Can’t imagine that there is only ONE stallion out there that fits the bill, ok, maybe if I already had a foal by him and really really loved what I got from that match, then I might be stuck on having only him.
And what others said, a couple hundred dollars here or there, nothing compared to mare care and vet fees and everything else you’ll be investing in making a foal.
And related to that is dealing with the stallion owner, because if you have a stallion who will only be available on limited days, or requires a lot of advanced notice for collection, or a stallion owner not willing to work with you on things, that can drive your vet bills through the roof trying to get a mare bred. When I bred last year, my costs per cycle in vet fees was more than any collection fee on the stallion end. I’ve been down the road before where we tried to breed a mare, had vet out to check for a follicle, he thought we had another 48 hours or more, so we didn’t order semen. 24 hours later, follicle was gone…now you’re out 2 vet visits, sedation, ultrasounds, and not even an attempt to get her in foal. Next cycle, vet came out, follicle was the same size as last time around (and again on a Friday!), well this time he’s no fool, time to order NOW, get it in TODAY. I called the stallion owner and hear “well, how big is your follicle? I have several people who want a collection today so I’m trying to decide who REALLY needs it and who can wait”. Um, yeah, so I can pay for another two wasted visits? Luckily stallion owner was reasonable when I told her how we’d missed out the last go round and she did ship that day, actually by air and we had semen at 8pm that night on the farm. Vet in that case was happy to meet us there and inseminate, and sure enough 24 hours would have been too late—mare did catch that time and we got a pretty filly out of it. (in this case vet was quite antsy to get the mare pregnant, due to the fact that his associate in the practice was having a much higher success rate at it that spring and he felt very threatened by how his clients were requesting the other vet)
I also think about the experience of the stallion owner too, who have they got collecting, does that stallion have to go off site to be collected, are there spots where hiccups can occur? If a stallion owner seems disorganized from the get go, what are they going to be like when you place that call saying collect him today and get it out to me.? Those things can cost me real money.