Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
The problem with breeding an average horse in the current market in the US is that there are already thousands of "average" horses being shipped across both borders to slaughter houses every day. Why encourage people to propagate the problem?
So many people only think about the small picture that surrounds themselves and not the bigger picture of the entire country and the full gravity of the trouble that the horse market is in. So many people think "Well, he/she's cute so 3 or 4 babies from him/her won't hurt in the grand scheme of things". The problem is that there are a million other people out there with that same mentality, so that's 3 or 4 million new 'average' babies on the ground every year that there are no homes for.
The next thing is that people jump in with "I'm going to give him/her a forever home". That's a nice sentiment, but nobody can guarantee that. What happens in 2 or 3 years when you or your spouse or your child gets very ill and the treatment sucks up all your savings? What happens if you lose your job and are working 3 minimum wage jobs just to put food on your own table? What happens when you just begin to lose interest in horses and decide to sell out? What happens to that 'average' 2-3 year old horse then?
He might get lucky and get picked up by a person who knows how to bring him along, but it's unlikely unless he is a pretty good prospect and the fact is that 'average' horses don't make good prospects for people who are serious about looking for prospects. More than likely, if he doesn't go to auction right off the bat from his original home, he will still end up there eventually.
Unless he has spectacular bloodlines, fantastic conformation, and a wonderful temperament, then he'll just blend in with the hundreds of other unstarted horses at said auction that are exactly like him. If he has unique markings or a flashy color, he might be more likely to get picked up, but the chances are, the only person interested will be the kill buyer.
So, it goes from "OMG, I must breed my mare/stud because the baybee will be sooo cutee" or "I bet I can get a $200 stud fee for this guy" to the kill pen at an auction simply because people couldn't be bothered to realistically think long term and consider what was best for the potential foal and what his chances really are.
The reason why so many people get the suggestion to geld their stallions here is because many of us are passionate about all horses, not just our own, and we are realistic enough to see the outcomes of breeding less than stellar horses. Let's face it, there really are not many members here who truly do have stellar horses, I know I don't. I have many that are nice, but none that are stellar and that's why they are all geldings. Many of us have at least one in our barn that was probably, at one point, someone else's "cutee wittle baybee". They were just fortunate enough to end up in a good home instead of a slaughter house in Mexico like so many just like them.
There is also a huge difference between high performance and high quality. Any horse with the right training and decent conformation can be a high performance horse. A high quality stud/mare will have bloodlines (and the papers to prove it) that make people stand up and pay attention. S/he will have conformation that is so near perfect that only the best can pick out the minor flaw they may have. S/he will have a temperament that anyone can get along with. S/he will also be proven at their given job. I don't necessarily mean show points, just that the horse has a job and excels at it, above and beyond the average.
Breeding should be done for the betterment of the discipline and/or breed. Breeding mediocre all-around horses in hopes of getting a mediocre all-around foal is pointless because it isn't bettering anything. You can pick up almost any scroungy, inbred cull and make it into a mediocre all-arounder with the proper training.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/