Breeding on a Budget

Strategies for saving on your horse breeding bill.

1. Hunt for bargain stud fees

  • Look for cheaper stud fees at the stallion service auctions many associations offer. These auctions can also be found with futurities or through your state affiliate. The stallion owners donate stud fees, and the money raised is usually used by the organization for added money at a future show. The best stallions go fast. For a list of stallion service auctions, check for advertisements in The American Quarter Horse Journal or click here.
  • Book early. Many stallion owners give a substantial discount if you pay your booking fee before a certain date.
  • If your mare has points, has won money or has produced a foal that has gone on to earn a lot of money or points, you might be entitled to a discount or, in some cases, having the stud fee waived completely. This is usually the case with a young stallion just starting his breeding career. Ask the owner or breeding manager whether your mare qualifies for such a discount.

2. Ensure your mare conceives quickly

  • The cliché "Time is money" is true when it comes to breeding costs. The least expensive way to breed a mare is to get her in foal in one try. Sometimes that is not possible, but limiting the number of tries is definitely the most cost-effective outcome for any breeder.
  • Have your veterinarian palpate your mares and run a uterine culture test. If any mare has a positive result or infection, then you have time to get it treated so she will be ready to start breeding without delay. A uterine infection can prevent a mare from getting pregnant.

You can now fill out and keep track of your AQHA Stallion Breeding Reports online! The deadline to submit reports is November 30. Check out for more options on tracking your breeding history!

3. Read the contract

  • Thoroughly read the breeding contract to make sure you don't get blindsided with unexpected expenses. Shipped semen fees and mare boarding fees vary from breeder to breeder, and these expenses add up to hundreds of dollars.
  • Compare all of the breeding costs for each stallion in consideration. If any of them fit within your budget, you might have found a good match for your mare and saved money, too.

4. Other factors to consider

  • Take your own hay and grain when boarding at a breeding facility.
  • Purchase your supplies in advance so you can shop for the best prices or bulk prices and won't be purchasing something last minute at a higher price.

Visit to enter your Stallion Breeding Report online. You'll need your AQHA identification number and your personal identification number to get started. Check it out today!

Looking for a Horse? Click here to learn about the AQHA World Championship Show Sale, the NRHA Futurity Sale and the NCHA Futurity Sale. They're coming soon, so start making plans!