Horse breeding refers to reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of planned mating of animals.
While feral and wild horses breed successfully without human assistance, it can be beneficial to domesticated horses.
Humans can increase the chances of conception, a successful pregnancy, and successful foaling. The male parent of a horse, a stallion, is commonly known as the sire and the female parent, the mare, is called the dam.
Both are genetically important, as each parent provides 50% 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.) Though many amateur 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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