One of the leading Thoroughbred breeding farms in California, Rancho San Miguel is equipped with state of the art technology to insure the best care for mares and foals. Facilities include padded palpation chutes and foal boxes, a large breeding shed with adjacent foal box and a foaling barn used only during foaling season to provide a clean and safe environment for newborns. The foaling barn is also equipped with a 2,000 lb. hoist in case of an emergency during foaling. Staff members living on the farm provide 24-hour watches so that foaling difficulties have immediate attention. The on-site veterinarian lives only steps away from the foaling barn and is available for all foaling procedures. Stored colostrum and nurse mares are additional precautionary measures provided by Rancho San Miguel. The well being of the mares and their foals is our highest priority.
Foal handling starts the day after foals are born and continues until the horses leave the farm. Each foal is led along side the mare to the palpation chute, in addition to daily handling in the stalls and pastures. During each session foals are walked, rubbed, brushed and their feet are picked up. Our techniques incorporate, in a gentle manner, the concepts of horse behavior and psychology. The main goal of our foal handling program is to gain the trust and respect of the foals so they are easier to handle in the future.
During the breeding season, mares are teased daily until they are confirmed in foal. This allows us to monitor their cycles closely. Teasing mares, palpations and ultrasounds are the best indicators as to when mares should be bred. Our on-site veterinarian is available daily to perform ultrasounds, palpations, cultures, lavages, and any other breeding procedures required. There are several barns and two pastures set up with lights to accommodate open mares. By having the facilities to put open mares under lights, we can try to “jump start” their reproductive systems so they are ready for breeding at an earlier date. The breeding season is an exciting time at Rancho San Miguel and we are dedicated to creating the best possible circumstances for breeding success.