Artificial Insemination of the Mare Procedure

Closed-in boots must be worn when carrying out this procedure. Prior to starting, the mare is restrained in a crush to reduce movement and to minimise the chance of injury to the mare or the inseminator. The mare may be sedated if required.

  1. Wrap the mare’s tail and tie it out of the way with a quick release not
  2. Clean the mares anus, perineum and surrounding areas thoroughly using the standard operating procedure for cleaning the equine perineum
  3. Once the semen is ready (For frozen-refer to standard operating procedure – thawing frozen semen, or drawn up if fresh/chilled-refer to standard operating procedure – collecting semen from the stallion), it is drawn into a non-spermicidal syringe.
  4. The inseminator now prepares for entry into the reproductive tract of the mare. This involves placing a clean long palpation sleeve on, ensuring it touches no surfaces. A sterile surgical glove is then pulled over the top of the palpation sleeve to reduce the chance of contaminating the uterus.
  5. Once the inseminator is gloved up, they will draw out the insemination pipette from its sterile package and gently cup the end which is to enter the mare in the palm of their sterile glove.
  6. A non-spermicidal lubricant is then applied to the back of the inseminator’s hand ready to enter the mare’s reproductive tract.
  7. With the non-sterile hand the inseminator parts the vulval lips (with assistance from another person) and gently enters their hand into the vestibule rotating it slightly when entering to spread lubricant around the circumference of the vulva and the vestibule.
  8. Once within the vagina the inseminator’s hand moves towards the cervix to identify the external cervical ostium.
  9. Once identified, the inseminator’s index finger is introduced through the cervix and is used as a guide to pass the tip of the insemination pipette into the uterus.
  10. Once the pipette tip is within the body of the uterus the inseminator’s index finger is removed and the fingers are then used to hold the external ostium of the cervix closed, ensuring no outflow of semen from the uterus.
  11. A syringe containing the insemination dose is then attached to the external opening of the pipette and the semen is pushed through the pipette into the uterus. Approximately 5mL of air is then pushed through the pipette to ensure all sperm are
    evacuated from the pipette into the uterus.
  12. While still holding the external ostium of the cervix, the inseminator removes the pipette and passes it to an assistant for disposal.
  13. The tail of the mare is immediately untied and unwrapped and the inseminator gently enters the hand into the rectum of the mare pressing downwards and backwards to expel any air from inside the reproductive tract.
  14. The horse handler is instructed to take the horse out of the crush as the inseminator’s hand is withdrawn from the rectum.
  15. The mare is then walked for approximately two minutes to ensure that she does not attempt to expel semen from her uterus by straining.

Drugs, chemicals or biological agents

Semen, or milk-based extender is used for the practical training. Sedation, may be used for this procedure. This may include xylazine or acepromazine.

Impact of procedure on wellbeing of animal or animals

This procedure causes minimal, or nil impact on animal well-being.

Reuse and repeated use

Animals may be inseminated on up to 4 occasions at five minute intervals.

Care of animals during / after procedure(s)

Mares should be observed for signs of discomfort for up to 30 minutes after the last

Pain relief measures

Pain relief is not required for this procedure. Sedation may be used if the mare is restless.