I'm looking at buying a colt, maybe to start breeding but maybe to geld as he gets older and turn into a saddle horse. I recently got a heritage outcross upgrade (3/4 heritage) mare this summer and fell in love with her. My gelding is more foundation with 5 WGC in his bloodlines but cannot walk like my girl can. So here's the question, what exactly is the difference? I found a foundation colt near home for me and he is stunning but I'm wondering if I should wait out for a 2013 heritage colt... Fantastic Red
thats the baby I'm looking at or I'm looking at getting a colt out of this stud plainviewfarmtwh.com
who is one of the last Sunless studs in the world and is just amazing. Money wise I'm looking at about $1000 to buy and transport the red roan and I'm looking at about $3000 for a heritage colt to buy and transport. Is it worth it to hold out for heritage? I know a bit about the breed but next to nothing about foundation horses...
Thanks in advance guys!
Don't get "hung up" on definitions. Look, rather, at performance.
I'd shy away from anybody using the "Foundation" claim because the foundation Walkers all did a true running walk, but many also did lots of other gaits. Allen F-1 is said to have been nine gaited, including the trot. The F-series horses were granted registration back in the '30s based upon demonstrated performance. The idea that a bunch of modern WGC wins makes one a "foundation" horse would likely have Mr. Brantley (and most of his contemporaries) spinning in their graves.
In looking at performance, particularly for brood stock, we are talking about breeding performance
. Look at what the sire and dam of your prospect have produced and what have THEY produced. As you might guess this is going to take some "legwork." You should probably also read, if you've not already done so, Echo of Hoofbeats
by Bob Womack and Biography of the Tennessee Walking Horse
by Ben Green.
Any horse of heavy WGC breeding will have some form of the pace as its base gait. That's because the WGC horses are all Padded and the pacy horse pads up better than a square moving horse. Indeed, in any segment of the Walker industry where "action devices" are used you'll find paciness as a fundamental way of going because pacy horse work better with all action devices than square moving horses.
In the "heritage" category you're really on you own! One possible definition for "heritage" is "unfavored in the modern Walking Horse show ring." You can find some good horse with very classic ways of going in this group but you've got to have a good eye for conformation, way of going, and temperament.
Lastly, before you think about a breeding program, ask yourself these questions:
How much does it cost to put a foal on the ground?
What is the market value of that foal?
If the answer to the second question is less than the answer to the first question then don't do it. The world is already awash in horses. Last year a breeder in Middle TN (Lebanon?) gave away 40+ Walkers. In East TN, today, you can buy a good, broke saddle horse for under $1000. Since the answer to my first question is $2000+ you can see that breeding, today, is a good way to turn a large fortune into a small one.
Think very carefully
about your proposed program. Don't get "horse poor" by accident.