Horse breeding

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Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. While feral and wild horses breed successfully without human assistance, planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling.

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Terminology

The male parent of a horse, a stallion, is usually known as the sire and the female parent, the mare, is called the dam. Both are genetically important, as each parent provides half of the genetic makeup of the ensuing offspring, called a foal. (Contrary to popular misuse, the word "colt" refers to a young male horse only; "filly" is a young female.) Though many horse owners may simply breed a family mare to a local stallion in order to produce a companion animal, most professional breeders use selective breeding to produce individuals of a given phenotype, or breed. Alternatively, a breeder could, using individuals of differing phenotypes, create a new breed with specific characteristics.

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