FAQ Horse Care Tips

High Frequency: How Many Mares Can a Stallion Breed?

stallion horse
Written by Natalie Gasper

Stallions Have Their Limits

Stallions may always be “on,” but that doesn’t mean they can constantly breed. After all, they do need time to eat, sleep, exercise, and socialize. 

A stallion can typically cover one to three mares a day and about 30 to 40 mares in one year.

Stallions 101

Any male horse that can sire babies and is over the age of four is referred to as a stallion. Here are a few additional gender terms you may here: 

  • Stallion: A male horse that can be used for reproduction.
  • Stud: A stallion who is used for breeding.
  • Gelding: A male horse that can’t reproduce (has been castrated).
  • Colts: Uncastrated male horses under the age of four.
Stallion profile

Photo Cred: Canva

Breeding Basics

Breeding is all about timing. A healthy mare can go into estrus one to two times per month, and these are the times when she can be bred.

Artificial Insemination

Not all mares do well around stallions, and vice versa. Even when in heat, some may strike at them and risk injury.

Sometimes, the stallion you want to breed to is located across the country (or the world).

In these cases, fresh, cooled, or frozen semen can be artificially placed into the mare when she is most likely to conceive.

Live Cover

Live cover is when a stallion has physical contact with the mare during breeding.

Friesian stallion

Photo Cred: Canva

Standing at Stud

A stallion who is “standing at stud” is being used for breeding.

These stallions are usually proven in some way (winning racehorses, top showjumpers, high-scoring dressage horses, etc.) and are being bred to produce more champions.

How many times a day can a stud breed?

A stud can cover a maximum of three mares in one day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do you leave a stallion with a mare?

The average mare will be in heat for three to eight days, averaging five days.

You can keep a stallion in a field with her during this time and let them breed on their own.

Q: How many mares can a stallion cover in a year?

Most stallions can cover 30 to 40 mares in one year.

This number can vary depending on how many times one mare needs to be covered to conceive.

Q: How many times should a stallion cover a mare?

Breeders recommend covering a mare every 48 hours while in heat, so two to three times per cycle.

Some mares may need two or even three cycles to become pregnant.

Q: How long is a mare in heat for?

A mare is in heat for three to eight days every two to three weeks from approximately April through September.

Parting Thoughts

Breeders can be selective about which mares they will breed to their stallions and often fill their schedules quickly, so start looking for a stallion well before you’re ready to breed your mare.

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About the author


Nancy loves retraining off the track Thoroughbreds and working with her dogs!