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Horse Breeding Online Course

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Qualification Certificate
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email

About this course

This course is an advanced course that is designed to give the student an understanding of both the practical aspects of equine breeding with regard to management of the stallion, mares, breeding and their foals, as well as the management of selective breeding and genetic selection.

The lessons presented include fundamental principles of horse breeding, reproductive anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion, common breeding practices, principles of artificial insemination and embryo transfer, management of the pregnant mare, indicators of the impending foaling process and parturition, as well as care of the newborn foal and reproductive failure in horses.

This course is intended for anyone with an interest in breeding and raising horses, and especially for those individuals wanting to pursue careers as horse breeders, breeding farm owners, stud and stable workers.

Who is the Horse Breeding Course for?

Horse breeders, stud owners, stud and stable workers.

Horse Breeding Course Aims:

  • Understand the process of selecting mares and stallions for successful breeding purposes.
  • Identify and understand the anatomy and physiology of the mare’s reproductive tract and the physical characteristics, which are preferable for a successful brood mare.
  • Identify and understand the anatomy and physiology of the stallion’s reproductive tract and the physical characteristics, which are preferable for a successful breeding stallion.
  • Explain and compare different ways of breeding horses.
  • Identify and explain the appropriate management of a pregnant mare.
  • Understand and explain the foaling process.
  • Describe the important care of a newborn foal.
  • Discuss common fertility problems that can occur in a mare and stallion.
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Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 9 Lessons in this course:

Breeding Horses

  • Why breed horses?
  • An understanding of heritability is fundamental
  • Meiosis
  • The Work of Gregor Mendel
  • Chromsomes and Genetics in Breeding
  • Selecting the mare and the stallion
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Inheritance
  • Inbreeding and Linebreeding
  • The Genetic Effect of Inbreeding
  • Line Breeding
  • Advantages of Inbreeding
  • Stallion and Mare Complementation
  • The Industry

The Broodmare

  • Mare Anatomy
  • The Reproductive Cycle of the Mare
  • Hormonal Control
  • Abnormal Oestrus
  • Breeding Fitness
  • General Broodmare Care
  • Nutrition and Feeding
  • Rations
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Roughage
  • Hay
  • Pre-Season Care

The Stallion

  • Stallion Anatomy
  • Sperm Production
  • Semen Release
  • Reproductive Cycle of the Stallion
  • Breeding Fitness
  • General Stallion Care
  • Handling
  • Pre-Season Care
  • Stallion Management for Reproduction
  • Training the young stallion
  • Steps in training a novice stallion onto the phantom
  • Common clinical problems with stallions
  • Castration (Gelding)

Breeding Management

  • Managing the Arrival and Departure of the horse at the stud
  • Semen from the stallion
  • Collection and Processing
  • Evaluating the Quality of Sperm
  • Breeding methods
  • Natural Breeding
  • Live cover – In-hand or Pasture
  • Artificial insemination
  • Handling Frozen Semen
  • Embryo transfer
  • When to breed
  • Detection of Oestrus
  • Teasers
  • Visual Signs
  • A plan for when things go wrong
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

The Pregnant Mare

  • Pre-natal growth
  • Conception of twins
  • Gestation and Methods and Detecting Pregnancy
  • Methods of Diagnosis
  • Palpation
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Post-Natal Growth

Parturition and Foaling

  • Care of the Pregnant Mare
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Caslicked Mares
  • Preparation for foaling
  • Exercise Needs
  • Worming
  • A deworming program for mares
  • Preparation of the foaling environment
  • Preparation for if things go wrong
  • The Physical Environment – Bedding
  • Common Bedding in the Foaling Environment
  • Straw
  • Wood Shavings
  • Wood Pellets
  • Rubber Matting
  • The Parturition Process
  • Stages of Labour
  • Common Foaling Problems
  • Dystokia
  • Abnormal Presentations
  • Health Problems of the post-partum mare
  • Retained placenta
  • Haemorrhage
  • Post-Partum Metritis
  • Rejection of the Foal
  • Prolapsed Uterus
  • Lactation (Udder edema)
  • Lactation (reduced milk supply)
  • Foal and foaling reports
  • Example Foaling Record
  • Example Foal Report

Care of the New-born Foal

  • General newborn care
  • Stabling and safe environment for newborn foals
  • Lactation and suckling
  • Premature Foals
  • Orphan foals
  • Common health problems in newborn foals
  • Infections, Constipation and Diarrhoea
  • Septicaemia
  • Meconium Impaction
  • Diarrhoea
  • Congenital disorders
  • Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI)
  • Angular Limb Deformities
  • Flexor and Extensor Tendon Abnormalities
  • Delayed Ossification of the Cuboidal Bones
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Congenital Papilloma (Warts)
  • Entropion
  • Neurological disorders
  • Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome (NMS)
  • Head Tilt
  • Structural abnormalities
  • Uroperitoneum
  • Umbilical Hernias
  • Training a foal in the earliest stages

Infertility in the Mare and Stallion

  • Introduction to Fertility
  • Understanding Fertility in Mares
  • Understanding Fertility in Stallions
  • Handling and Management in Stallions
  • Age
  • Overuse
  • Nutrition
  • Illness and Injury
  • Other Abnormalities
  • Semen problems
  • Haemospermia
  • Urospermia
  • Oligospermia
  • Structural disorders of the reproductive tract (mares)
  • Pneumovagina
  • ‘Maiden Cervix’ or Cervical Incompetence
  • Vesicovaginal Reflux or Urine Pooling
  • Structural disroders of the reproductive tract (stallions)
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Testicle Conformation
  • Testicular Torsion
  • Testicular Tumours
  • Scrotal Hernia
  • Venereal diseases (mares)
  • Endometritis
  • Bacterial Endometritis
  • Fungal Endometritis
  • Mating Induced Endometritis
  • Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM)
  • Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)
  • Pyometra
  • Abnormal Oestrus Cycles
  • Silent Heat and Post-Partum Anoestrus
  • Persistant Oestrus
  • Vernal Transition
  • Ovarian Tumours
  • Persistant Corpus Luteum
  • Haemorrhagic Follicles
  • Abortion
  • Venereal diseases (stallions)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)
  • Equine Coital Exanthema
  • Dourine
  • Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM)
  • Infectious causes of abortion (mares)
  • Viral Abortion
  • Bacterial Abortion
  • Leptospirosis
  • Non-infectious causes of abortion (mares)
  • Congenital Defects
  • Twinning
  • Umbilical Cord Torsion
  • Progesterone Deficiency

Artificial Insemination in Horses

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

Course Tutor(s)

Meg Anema

M.Sc. Clinical Sciences (Equine Reproductive Physiology)  B.Sc.  Animal Science (Option: Equine Science) B.Sc.Agricultural Economics

Meg grew up training and showing horses in youth and 4-H programs, and then went on to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics, as well as a Master of Science degree in Equine Reproductive Physiology. In addition to several years of industry experience as a Quarter Horse breeding farm manager and custom A.I. technician, Meg developed and taught for 10 years in a comprehensive, secondary Equine Science Studies Certificate program covering all areas of Equine Science.  Meg considers the horse to be an absolutely incredible athlete and amazing study! Aside from tutoring Careerline's Equine courses Meg has also taught various courses in equine studies including: Equine Nutrition, Equine Herd Health, Equine Sports Medicine, Equine Reproduction, Equine Industry, Principles of Horse Evaluation, Horsemanship, Applied Genetics, Introduction to Veterinary Science, Animal Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Animal Science and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.