07 May Perspectives of an Australian Sport Horse Breeder
“I am a warmblood breeder in Wagga Wagga NSW, breeding around six to eight mares each year, mostly using imported frozen semen. I have been using Equilume Light Masks on my dry mares since 2015 and have had great success with them. I initially started using them because I was hoping to have all my dry mares in foal before the birth of my second child in early October 2015. My daughter arrived two weeks early and all five of my dry mares were indeed pregnant by then (all were in foal by Sept 25th)!
After such great results in my first season of using them, I have used them every year since. While early foals are not necessarily critical in the performance horse industry, Wagga Wagga’s best pasture and environmental conditions generally occur around September and I try to avoid having foals born in Summer, as it is very hot and dusty and I have found that this is often associated with foals that require veterinary attention. The other advantage is that I can start scanning in early September and be fairly sure that the mares will be cycling, saving a lot of time and effort in scanning through spring transition, especially as I do not use a teaser. All my mares that have used the masks have been cycling by the start of September each year and first cycle pregnancy rates have been close to 100%, even using frozen semen.
Often my dry mares are youngsters having their first breeding season after being started under saddle. I was initially concerned that they might be worried by the masks or the light at night, but every mare I’ve used them on has accepted them without any trouble at all.
As a one-person operation with a young family and a farm to run, I do not have the resources to maintain my mares under lights in stables, so using the Equilume Light Masks masks provides me with the benefits of early cyclicity without the workload. I am sure that my mares are far more content in the paddock than they would be in stables and I will continue to use the masks into the future.”
Cooramin Sport Horses , NSW, Australia