Pricing question - short lease for embryo flush

Hey everyone,

I’m hoping you can help me out with a pricing question. Long story short, I purchased a mare a couple of years ago and did not have the intent to breed her, but she is just so lovely, we decided we wanted to do some embryo flushes on her. However, she’s an older mare, and due to some very unhelpful cysts in very inconvenient places, our chances of retrieving an embryo are not looking great.

I spoke with her previous owner who also currently owns her daughter. She said she would be willing to allow me to do a short breeding lease on her to flush an embryo, and now we are just trying to figure out fair pricing for both parties.

Has anyone done anything quite like this? I know it’s a bit of an unique situation but any feedback on pricing would be greatly appreciated!

Why would cysts hinder flushing an embryo?

The cysts aren’t going to prevent the embryo from being retrieved, we are more concerned with our chances of retrieving a viable embryo from her due to the positioning and amount of cysts.

Ok that doesn’t make any sense to me but I can see why you would be concerned. I had someone ask to buy an embryo from my mare last year but we never quite got around to a price because it just wasn’t worth my while. Even if we had worked out a price it likely wouldn’t be relevant to your situation since every mare has different value herself.

Cysts hinder fixation of a vesicle, not flushing an embryo.

The cysts are completely blocking her left horn, our chances of having the semen inseminate the egg so that we can retrieve a viable embryo are very low. We have tried multiple times multiple different ways to remove the cysts and between myself and the reproduction team I’m using, we have decided it would be best not to gamble with the specific semen we have as it is not semen we can easily get again.

I am just asking about pricing, all avenues to retrieve and embryo from this mare have been examined, explored, and discussed. It’s been a very frustrating and heart breaking breeding season and I only want feedback on pricing in regards to leasing a mare for a period of time to inseminate and retrieve an embryo. Ie. If I have her for month, inseminate, retrieve and embryo, what kind of compensation would be fair. Any suggestions are welcome, of course the mares value comes into play but I’m just trying to get ideas :woman_facepalming: thank you.


So sorry to hear of your struggles with your mare. Breeding can be so heartbreaking (horses in general, I suppose) but this sounds like a great opportunity and I hope it works out for you!

I don’t have any specific experiences to provide, so just “thinking out loud” here with some ideas to consider. Some of these, would be more on the mare owner to know and consider, but would be the kind of things that I would be thinking about if I were to offer my mare for this sort of situation.

Is this mare competing? If so, that would definitely increase the price, since it is summer show season.

Is the mare close to you, or would she have to travel a long way? Does she need to be at a vet clinic for the whole time? Does the mare travel well and settle in at new places easily? Will having the foal add value to the mare in the future (e.g. will she be eligible for “Elite” or similar status with her breed registry or potential sale as a broodmare with a production record in the future)? Is the mare one that can take a month or so off pretty easily and come right back? What happens if she doesn’t catch the first time?

As a possible starting place, it seems like annual leases are 30-40% of purchase price these days, and you could divide that by 12 to get a starting estimate for a monthly lease, although I would be prepared to pay a bit more than 1/12th, and add insurance and shipping on top. For example, if the mare was worth $50,000, 35% of her value would be $17,500, divided by 12 would give you a value of just under $1500.

Then you can go from there and increase or decrease depending on whether or not this is considered less risk because she isn’t being ridden and shown by someone else like a traditional lease, if having time off is going to interrupt her training or show schedule, how far she has to travel, how much stress this will be on her, how much of an inconvenience this is or isn’t for the owner, if there is any value added to the mare here, etc etc.

I might be way off, I have no idea what would be standard for this, but that is at least how I would start approaching it!

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Thank you for your thoughts! I’m very grateful to her for allowing me to borrow the daughter of a mare we love very much. Your comments were very helpful and I will pass them along to her as well!