Life on a Small Horse Breeding Farm in California

I live on and manage a small horse breeding farm in the California central valley, which, along with my education in Animal Husbandry from Cal Poly, has given me insight into what my equestrian real estate customers need in the way of a horse facility.

I have decided to share some funny stories and general information about horse properties in Northern California.

We had a big maiden mare that we wanted to breed to one of our stallions. Now the mare was very large and nervous to boot. Our stallion was small, muscular, and aggressive; he had a tendency to trumpet loudly as he approached a mare. We had decided to dig a hole for the mare to stand in so that the stallion would have an easier time mounting her.

We led the mare into the hole/trench and although she was a little nervous, she stood fairly quietly for her handler. As I approached the mare, I was paying attention to keeping the stallion under control as he “talked” to her. Evidently what he was saying was offensive to the mare. She panicked, leaped out of the trench, and bolted away from her handler.

At this point I turned to the stallion in an attempt to control him (he was watching the fleeing mare) and I fell into the hole the mare had just vacated. Of course the stallion jerked away from me and was in hot pursuit of the mare. As I stood up I viewed my stallion racing behind the mare trying to mount her, while the mare kept running and kicking at him.

I was surprised when the barn door slid open and a friend of mine stuck his head out, asking “do you always let go of your stallion while breeding?” My most embarrassing moment!

We were very lucky that neither the mare nor the stallion had any serious injuries (physically that is—not sure if the mare ever recovered!). Needless to say, we did not use this method for breeding again. We built a breeding chute with a knoll for our smaller stallions to stand on.

Come back for future stories and information, or if you are interested in horse properties for sale in Northern CA, or buying land in California.