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breeding question... sort of

This is a discussion on breeding question... sort of within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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        01-29-2010, 02:00 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I like a horse with some substance to it, you know, large bones and feet, and it seems like the purebreds are actually getting AWAY from that. In otherwords, I guess, good conformation must be subjective!

    For instance, there are a lot of fine boned Quarter Horses out there, that must have tons of talent and good breeding, but they just don't look like they would hold up as trail horses. They have all this "bulk" and tiny feet and bones.

    I guess what I am saying is, sometimes the mutts have that good old hybrid vigor that the purebreds do not.

    I wish good conformation wasn't subjective, but it must be. Otherwise, the purebreds would be getting stronger and hardier instead of finer boned, small footed, and weaker. (I don't mean to pick on QH's, they are just the easiest example since I am in QH country). I wish people would breed for function and not what they think is "pretty."

    Also, another thought I have, is that everyone seems to blame the "backyard breeder" for unwanted horses. And that may be true(?), but SOMEDAY I would love to breed a mare and have a foal. Kind of a bucket-list thing before I die. Why would someone knock me for doing that when there are so-called breeders pumping out dozens of horses a year? Dozens of horses for racing, dozens of ranch horses, dozens of PMU horses, etc. Why should only certain people be able to breed and take it so lightly?

    If I ever bred a mare, I would NOT take it lightly. If you take away breeding rights from the "little guy" then only the big breeders can produce foals. That doesn't seem fair.

    So I dunno, I just wish people would take the welfare of the horses they are breeding into account. Only breed horses that are sturdy and will hopefully remain sound for most of their lives, instead of breeding just for looks or performance as a 2-3 year old, not taking into account the horse will hopefully live 30 years.

    And try not to breed the fuglies, definitely, if you can help it! But I guess I see the big breeders as much of a problem as the small ones. And sometimes the "mutts" are better built and will still be going strong when the purebreds come down with navicular and such.
         
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        01-29-2010, 02:10 PM
      #12
    Trained
    First if you are going to breed. You need to look at it as a business. Take out emotion and every other reason people tend to breed. If you can not make a profit on what you breed then stop. Do not do it. Prices are still very strong for good well bred prospects. I am not even talking started or proven horses I am talking prospects which is what you need to look at when breeding. If you do not want a prospect then do not breed. If you do not have a market for that prospect then do not breed. If you market if only for started or trained horses then think about buying.

    I breed for a simple reason. I can breed for a lot less then what it cost me to buy that prospect. If I want to sell I know there is a good market for that prospect and I will come out way ahead. I have taken out the emotion and put in the business into my breeding program. If I do not think I can make a profit even if I am breeding for myself I will not do it.

    That leads me to the other problem. Those people who say I am breeding b/c I want part of my mare or I want a foal and it will be a for ever horse. I call B/S on that. On average horses live will into their 20 and I know several right now that are 30 or over and I have one of them. So chances are the vast majority of people are not going to keep that foal for the rest of its life. So you need to make that foal/horse marketable. As it ages that runs more into training then anything but you still have to put in the work.
         
        01-29-2010, 02:25 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    trailhorserider - I definitely agree. I would never classify a "mutt" as irresponsible backyard breeding. The same rules apply whether it's purebred or partbred - make sure there is a market for what you're breeding!

    If you're not out to breed prospects, at least ensure that as a well broke horse, there will be a need for that animal. For example, I bred Zierra's dam to a Hanoverian stud. Through a crazy mixup, I ended up not owning the foal (long story). As a foal, there probably wasn't any market for her, but now as a 5 year old with Dressage training under her belt, the owner just sold her for $5,500 with modest training on her. She probably didn't make any money, but at least when the time came to sell her, there was a market for her (she sold within a month of being listed at a trainer's barn).

    I plan on breeding Zierra to a Thoroughbred stud. Why? Because I want a half-Arab with a Arab traits but more substance and sport to it. There are no Anglo-Arabs for sale here, or even half-Arabs from Warmblood type bloodlines. I would breed because I am unable to obtain what I want from purchasing. I would likely not make money off the resulting foal, but I have 100% confidence that if the day come, the resulting offspring would not be without a home - there would be a demand for the resulting offspring in my area. Moreso, actually, then if I were to breed her to a purebred Arabian stud. My intention would be to have the foal forever, BUT, if for whatever reason, that was unfeasible, I would breed knowing that the foal would have a market if unforseen circumstances demanded a sale. I would never breed an animal without first thinking "Ok, if something happens, would it sell?"
         
        01-29-2010, 02:26 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Nhrareiner, I actually agree with what you are saying. You are breeding with a purpose and goal, and that is the right reason to do it.

    Still, if I want to breed for one foal, once in my life, I'm not going to feel guilty about it. And I have several horses that I have "retired" and kept until they have died, even though they were no longer ride-able. I think that's just being a responsible horse owner. If I die before the horse does, I guess that is out of my control.

    Also, it's almost an apples vs. oranges type of thing. Trail horses are a whole different market than performance horses. I know trail horses are at the low-end of the market, and as such, what makes a really good trail horse is the training, they can be of almost any breed or bloodline as long as they have a good disposition.

    At the performance horse level, I know you really need to start with good breeding to be competitive.
         
        01-29-2010, 02:33 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    MacabreMikolaj- I agree with you 100%. You can only do what you can do, sometimes life gives you unforseen obstacles, but you can do everything you can to make sure the animal you bring into the world is desireable and has the training to set it up for success.


    By the way, wouldn't it be great if people put this much thought into bringing kids into the world?
         
        01-29-2010, 07:50 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trailhorserider    

    Also, it's almost an apples vs. oranges type of thing. Trail horses are a whole different market than performance horses. I know trail horses are at the low-end of the market, and as such, what makes a really good trail horse is the training, they can be of almost any breed or bloodline as long as they have a good disposition.

    At the performance horse level, I know you really need to start with good breeding to be competitive.

    Now for me. I do not think that a well bred well trained performance horse like the ones I have can not be used as trail horses. (disclaimer: Trail horse is a horse used as a recreational mount for fun on trails not competition trail riding). ALL my show horses trail ride. They do it and do it well. All the show horses at my trainers barn trail ride. It is part of their training. SO for me at least they are the same thing. Now I can understand about not wanting to pay the money for a top performance horse to do a week end trail ride with. However those horses do very well on the trail.
         
        01-29-2010, 08:03 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    I think there should always be a very specific purpose behind why a person breeds and not just that they want a baby horse. The horses selected for breeding should have attributes that will enhance it's breed or if mixing breeds it's done with a design in mind to create a horse that has certain abilities or qualities to serve a specific purpose.

    For instance I LOVE TB/Draft crosses or TB/Wamblood/Draft crosses for substance and athleticism. This is like my dream horse and I am sure many would disagree because they have something else that is their ideal.

    When I was showing dogs (I never bred my dogs) but I know that many only bred to enhance the breed. And even with that intent there is never any guarantee and allot of risk!
         
        01-30-2010, 01:20 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Some great posts on here! While I think that breeding should be highly regulated (for humans too, ha! Kidding, don't derail on that one) I do NOT think it should be limited to purebreds. I think there are some lovely crosses out there and pure breeding has many limitations and problems too. I just think that it needs to be controlled so that we aren't making horses that someone bred on a whim because they just wanted a cute little baby, or because whoops they had an accident, or they thought they'd make money. I think every animal that is brought into the world (domestic anyway) needs to be assured a home where they will have medical attention, feed, shelter, and it wouldn't hurt to have love either ;P.
         
        01-30-2010, 06:17 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Very interesting responses guys! Keep 'em coming!
         
        01-30-2010, 06:41 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    I find this thread fascinating. I have no interest in breeding horses, and it's not something I ever plan to get into. I have a mare getting ready to foal but she was bred when I got her - and after this she wont be bred again. But this discussion is in some ways relevant to ones I have seen before in the dog world and I am wondering how many correlations there are.

    For example - I breed working blood old fashioned Collies. Some of the conformation restrictions, or even just "show fads" placed on the breed are counterproductive to working ability of the dogs. I also avoid breeding stock registered with closed registries because I believe working with a genepool that reduces itself year after year is a bad idea overall.

    I know little about registries, genetics, and "rules" in terms of breeding horses, but trailhorserider's comments hit a similar chord. I used to show when I was younger, but these days I just trail ride for pleasure, and my horses are all crossbreeds.

    Do you have the same issues with popular sire effects and certain showy looks causing problems with the workability of horses? I gather in breeding horses, there is as much appreciation and marketability for working bloodlines as there is for show bloodlines, at least among some breeds, so I guess that probably keeps things on a pretty even keel?
         

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