Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Between two places in Canada!
• Horses: 0
I do not breed and have no intentions to unless something FAR, FAAAAR down the road encourages me to. That said, here are the reasons why I would either breed or keep a breeding stud:
I would NOT breed a mare just because she has a nice disposition. While I wouldn't breed a mare that DOESN'T have a good disposition, disposition isn't hereditary so breeding a nice mare doesn't guarantee a nice foal.
I would breed a mare who is an exemplary specimen and a triumph of her breed. She would have to fit breed guidelines for what is considered a true example of the breed. I would not breed a 14.2HH warmblood mare. That is not what the breed is supposed to be. The only instance I would do this is if looking for a sport pony, which, quite frankly, isn't a breed and is an over generalized term for "athletic" ponies. (I consider my horse a sport pony, but in reality this means nothing.) To me, if the mare is an exemplary specimen of her breed, her show record wouldn't matter so long as she is young and able to live a life as a broodmare. If she was an older mare, she'd need to have ribbons under her belt.
I would NOT breed a mare for the "experience of foaling". Go on marestare. The novelty can wear off pretty quick. If you're looking for experience, volunteer to sleep in the barn of a breeding farm for a mare due to foal. Then you'd have experienced people on hand and still get to enjoy the experience.
I would NOT breed a mare for color. This is self explanatory. Horse genetics can be a gamble and you're playing with lives.
I WOULD breed a stallion, if, for the same reason as a mare, he was an EXEMPLARY version of his breed, very, very correct. He would have to have show miles, high ratings, and demonstrate a willing attitude and great personality.
I WOULD NOT breed a stallion for the "process" of conceiving and foaling out a foal.
I WOULD breed a stallion only, and if only, he was an exemplary specimen of his breed AND there was a demand for him. Stallions are a lot of work, especially a breeding stallion, and can be a danger (though if I had a stallion I considered a danger he wouldn't be a stallion). If I was standing a Clydesdale stud, and no one had a demand for a Clyde stud, I'd sell him or cut him.
A great horseman once said to a dear friend of mine "World class horses are not the result of breeding research done overnight." Meaning that you can't just think it'd be a good match and go for it. It takes time and patience to decide a good breeding.
My theory too is that we should aim to get a world champion out of every breeding - not every horse has the heart, the personality, or the will to be a world champion. Those that do not go on to make exceptional riding horses, with correct conformation and impeccable breeding.
Just my $0.02.