Quit foaling around

The basics of equine reproduction at Tarleton


Principles of Equine Reproduction (ANSC 3410) is a course offered by Tarleton State University and is taught by Dr. Guay, Associate Professor of Animal Science, who has taught this course for 9 years. 

ANSC 3410 is required for students who desire to obtain the Equine Science Certification and satisfies an elective credit for Animal Science students with any concentration. The course is 4 credit hours with a lab at the Tarleton Horse Barn located at the Tarleton Agricultural Center. One of Dr. Guay’s objectives for this course is for students to learn about the “Application of fundamental concepts and principles of equine genetics, breeding and reproduction. Topics of stallion, broodmare and foaling management will be introduced,” Guay stated. 

In this course, students are taught the techniques and challenges of breeding horses as well as theories and practices associated with equine reproduction. This includes mare and stallion anatomy, endocrinology, folliculogenesis, breeding soundness exams, record keeping, and health care. As this class is required for the Equine Certification, there are a few prerequisite classes students need to take beforehand. Students must be classified as a junior in addition to taking Introduction to Horse Production (ANSC 1309). 

The lab portion of this course focuses on demonstrations and activities associated with breeding horses. 

“My favorite lesson to teach would have to be pregnancy checks- looking for pregnancy in the mare,”  Guay explains. This lesson allows students to obtain the skill set needed to perform pregnancy checks themselves in the class following this course, Equine Breeding Management (ANSC 4301). Another lab that tends to get students excited is the “placenta evaluation lab. It gets messy and gross and everyone gets loud, it surprises students,” Guay stated. 

Principles of Equine Reproduction is only offered in the spring because horses are seasonal breeders and reproduction occurs in the spring. The average class size of 25 allows for students to take advantage of the hands-on labs and creates opportunity for individual discovery and learning. 

“My favorite lesson has probably been foaling. It prepares us on what to do if something goes wrong while a mare is giving birth. We also learned what the normal process should be, so we can know if anything looks abnormal and make adjustments if needed,” student Josie Fladager explained. 

Equine Breeding Management (ANSC 4301) is the course that connects the demonstrations seen in Principles of Equine Reproduction to hands-on techniques. ANSC 4301 consists of advanced theory and practices associated with equine reproduction, and introduces personnel management and economics of breeding operations. Further information about these courses can be found at http://catalog.tarleton.edu/courses/ansc/