~ Breeding Chute for Miniature Horses

This article courtesy of Pat Elder of Rosa Roca Miniatures

Many miniature horse breeders have encountered problems when they tried to breed a small stallion to a larger mare. Standing the mare in a depression or at the bottom of a slope doesn't help much, if at all, since the stallion frequently "falls off the bank" at precisely the wrong moment. This easy to build breeding chute is the solution. By removing more dirt from beneath the mare's hind feet, she can be lowered to the proper height. And the "toe stop" prevents the stallion from stepping forward into the hole.

Supplies:

One sheet 1" thick exterior plywood Four 2 to 3" X 6' wooden fence posts
One " X 3' metal pipe Drill with 1' drill bit
Post hole diggers Hammer and nails
Shovel Saw

Directions

Cut plywood as shown in cutting diagram below. Set 2 fence posts about 14" apart for the back of the breeding chute. Set other 2 fence posts 3' in front of them but a little wider, about 19" apart. These will be the front of the chute (see diagram). Nail plywood chute sides, approximately 16" above the ground, to INSIDE of posts. Cut the fence posts off flush with the top of the plywood, saving the two longest pieces. From the back of the chute, measure out 18". Dig out 3 or 4 inches of dirt from this area. This is where the mare's back feet will be. 18" behind the chute, set the pieces of fence post that you saved. These will hold the toe stop. Nail this in place as shown flush with the ground you've dug out. This is purposely cut much wider than the chute --- center it, even if you have to dig out more dirt for it's width. Back fill behind it (where the stallion will stand) and pack it hard.

For the next step, load your biggest mare into the chute (back her in). Back her until her hocks bump the toe stop. Mark on one side wall the position of the front of her chest, right at the base of her neck. Lead her out and back in the smallest mare you will be breeding in the chute. Mark the front of her chest. Now you know where the holes need to go for the breast bar. Drill your holes in one side, adding a few extra holes for adjustment, then measure and drill matching holes on the opposite side of the chute. Technically, this is all you need. I found it easier to back mares into the chute, however, by adding a guide fence as shown. It is merely a two-board or plywood extension of one chute side. I put mine on the mare's right side. By backing the mare toward this extension, she is gently turned and aimed into the chute without any fuss. It also gives a handy place to tie her if you're breeding alone.

To use the chute, lead the stallion out and tie him nearby (so you don't have to leave the mare in the chute while you go get him), back the mare into place, slide the breast bar in from one side to the other so that it is against her chest. Tie her or have your assistant hold her and lead up the stallion. He can flirt from the side like always, but discourage him from mounting until he is behind her. The chute walls should be low enough that he won't get his feet caught between them and the mare. Once he's finished, remove the breast bar and lead the mare out!

Not all stallions take to the breeding chute the first time. If yours doesn't, tease him with the mare before putting her in the chute. Let him get good and excited. Try to do everything smoothly and quietly --- load the mare as quickly as you can. Also, the first time or two a stallion dismounts in the chute, make sure he backs up enough that his front feet don't land on the wrong side of the toe stop. I've only had this happen once. When it did, I simply walked the mare out and let him follow her rather than trying to back him out.

Plywood Cutting Guide



Tip and Tricks

Original Pine-Sol is wonderful for rainrot. Dilute it JUST enough to turn it white, put it in a spray bottle and soak the scabs/hair around them only. They will dry and fall off within a week or so...my VET told me this and we have used it for years, no clipping, no baths.
Bleach can be used in the same way.
 From Barbara Belanger at
"you can also use Pine-Sol as a GREAT bug repellent.
I have large swamp hatched horse/bull and deer flies and after several years I have found that 2 parts pinesol with 1 part applecider vinegar and 1 part water makes a great spray for legs, bellies, chin/throat latch, and tails, it also kills ticks and lice and vinegar pickles the lice nits, so that they don't hatch. I do suggest rinsing your horse until the suds go away once a week, or pinesol will build up dirt...but it makes for a very QUICK show day bath to rinse it of then.
 Thank you for the information, and best wishes."

Medicated foot powder for minor wounds & scraps. After cleaning the wound, dust the powder on heavily to absorb liquid and prevent flies/debris from entering the wound while wet.

Wound cleanser -Mix (only enough for 1 use) equal parts warm water, peroxide and betadine solution (scrub) to use to flush out minor wounds (using a syringe with no needle) or hoof abcesses. DO NOT CAP THE SYRINGE, it will explode...usually in your face

Instead of saline or mineral oil based enemas, which can actually add dangerous levels or rapidly deplete vital liquids/minerals, use a CLEAN emptied child's enema bottle filled with warm water and add a drop or two of LIQUID Ivory soap as a foal enema.

 
Use WD 40 for burrs and bad tangles, I also buy it in gallon cans and this is what I use for my clippers during shearing season.

 

Use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream for razoring horses

 

To dry out  brushes  toss them in a empty milk crate that you can hang in a convenient place. They just drip out dry and WALLA ready to use again.

 

Milk pump made from a syringe. Cut off end of syringe [pointed end] pull plunger from its original placement and insert into cut off end. When using, place the open end up against nipple and pull out plunger slowly. Presto you "have milk"...so much faster to milk a mare this way then just with your fingers.

 

Toilet brushes are excellent for scrubbing water containers.
 

 

 

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American Miniature Horse Association