Stallion breeding/fertility question
I'm going to feel a bit like an idiot for asking this question, but I really want some advice on it.
Here it goes.
So I only own one horse, a beautiful AQHA grullo stallion with a great build and awesome temperament. Sounds like a nice stud, right? Well that's the problem. I haven't owned him for too long, but according to his previous owners he has never settled a mare despite their attempts. Now I'm not sure how often, or to how many mares with which he bred, but I bred him once this past spring and nothing came of it.
I'm faced with the issue of finding out if he can produce. I know to fully understand what his problem is would involve a breeding soundness exam, but with things the way they are right now, I do not have the big bucks it takes to get this done. On top of that, there are very limited places that have the proper equipment to do the job.
He's a good horse, and I would hate to geld such a nice stallion, but if he can't produce there would be no reason to keep him intact.
I was thinking about it for a while and came up with an idea that may or may not work, but I wanted the opinion of some other horse people.
I was thinking of advertising him for the spring breeding season of 2010, but putting it out in the open that it is unknown if he can produce. Only mares at a healthy reproductive age, and have produced at least one foal in the past could be eligible. I'd keep the stud fee lower than what he's really worth, and offer a contract that states a small deposit be put down at the time of breeding, and in three months time if the mare is proven in foal by a vet the rest of the stud fee is to be paid, on the contrary if the opposite is true, the deposit is fully refunded.
I know it seems like a really big hassle for people, which is why I'm so iffy about it. I could use the little extra income, but more than that I would love to see one of his foals on the ground. He is just a super boy, and would produce some beautiful and well-mannered offspring.
I would rather stand near the birds, than spend my whole life wishing I had wings.