I'm going to try to reply to everything in order here...
My first thought after looking at this post? I'd be feeding all of the horses and breeding none of them.
Not one of the horses posted, in my opinion, is underweight. One or two may be a bit slender or not have any muscle tone, but definitely not underweight, IMO.
My first thought, I must be some sort of snob because I wouldn't breed any of my mares to a $250 stud, think far to much of them for that.
As I stated before, $250 stud fee is a pretty good bit for a nice stud out here. IMO, it's fairly high, actually, because out here you can find nice quality for about $50-$100 stud fees.
My second thought, IF I could only afford that money for stud fees I would probably take my $250 to the local auction and buy the best weanling being run through, I'd probably have to buy two though to use up my money.
I personally wouldn't trust the people around here enough to go buy a youngster from an auction. Too many times I've heard and seen people buy horses at the local auction out here only to get them home and the horse go nuts because it was drugged. The only people selling from an auction that I would trust are the ones who try to sell at just about every auction but always take their horses back home because they won't sell for what is being offered.
And how can anyone say which will throw the nicest conformed foal if we can't critique anything??????
The stallions owners asked for no critiques on their studs. I would have guessed it obvious that that meant to written critiques or bashing their studs.
Genuine question, is that because the horse market is so poor down there that stud fees are universally low, or just that walkers are that cheap.
Up here, $500 is for a mediocre meh type stud
$750 would give you a nice workman like horse,
$1000 opens the door to the level I would want to breed my girls to.
Out here, studs fee's are fairly low in my community, I guess. I've grown up out here and the people who breed out here and around here usually have stud fee's set at between $50 and $100.
Out here, a $500 stud fee would be for like, a top, top dollar several times world champion show horse.
$750 stud fee would be for like, a several times over world grand champion show horse...
$1000 stud fee would be for a top dollar, high-money earner... virtually untouchable just about...
I personally don't feel your mare has enough desireable traits for breeding but if you are set on breeding, from the studs you posted, I like the first and the last, although the first one looks very thin and has no muscle tone.
Are these registered horses?
The first stud was a little slenderer when the pictures were taken. He also is never ridden and doesn't leave his pasture, so the no muscle tone is explained there.
I might also point out that breeding in July or August like you have planned is not a good idea. Your youngstock will be significantly smaller than what is already bred this season. Plus being born in the hotter months of the year can cause some complications for mom and baby, especially since you live in the south. Your mare is already 19, underweight, and could face some serious issues being heavily pregnant in the summer - such as tying up. June is pretty much the last month for breeding season, and even that is pretty late.
Obviously we won't be able to change your mind, but how exactly are you going to afford everything, especially if something goes wrong?
Honest question here, how would breeding later in the year possibly effect the size of the foal? That just doesn't make any sense and I've never heard of it. I mean, I have, but it's just an old wives tale...
I know each of these stallions personally, as well as the OP and her mare. The mare is NOT underweight. She WAS last winter due to a bad feeding program which has been fixed and the mare has been perfectly fine all year. As on Monday, she is a solid 5 on a BCS. I wouldn't say that is "underweight", at all. As for the OP, she is capable of caring for the mare whether she is in foal or not.
Thank you, TheNinja. Yes, last winter I switched my feed regime and haven't had any issues with my mare's weight since. She's actually been a little overweight recently. She may have lost a few pounds lately, as we went on a four day camping trip and she had to be stalled nightly with just hay and grain when she's used to free access pasture, but anything she's lost will pick back up quickly and she's definitely not underweight.
Thirdly, the photos of the cremello tobi stud do NOT do this guy justice! They were also from his long yearling year, and why the OP picked those out of all of his others, I do not know. This stud is a proven, winning show horse at only 3. He also carries super bloodlines. His first foal crop has only just hit the ground, but each one has been nothing but quality. Fourthly, the black/white stud is a real Walking Horse! Also old pictures.
I did not realize how old those pictures were. I was trying to find side-angle pictures to give an idea of conformation and build.
There is a reason why there is a warning on this section of the board, it is the toughest area of the board. There are those of us who are passionate about breeding or not breeding, and for us it is not a personal attack, but somewhat of a crusade to try and reduce the amount breeding that goes on "just because"
Yes when it comes down to it it is the ops right to breed to who ever she wants to, but you come here to ask questions you will get answers, but you may not like them.
I know why there's a warning and I was and still am ready to accept what is thrown at me. I do not appreciate snarky replies, but I'm not going to rise to the bait and snark back. I appreciate the answers and opinions given.
OP, sorry you can't just get an answer without a million soapbox speeches... I have seen people on this very forum breed far more unfortunate looking horses than yours without receiving near the flack. Especially after you posted with your disclaimer that you were going to breed no matter what and that you arent asking for criticism... which everyone seems more than happy to give anyway.
I would choose stallion 3. I think he has many flaws, but over all has heavier bone (ideal for a trail horse imo) and decent conformation for a TWH. I like his front end (which compliments your mares weaker one).
It's ok, I can overlook the snarky replies and am looking to find the truly helpful replies, lol.Thank you for your reply.
Remember to think your decision through with plenty of thought to the future of this foal before you breed. Good luck!
I'm not saying anyone is attacking. I respect the opinions 100% here. There is a wealth of knowledge in this place. The OP should have elaborated on the horses more than she did. That's why I did. I think very ighly of their owner, and just feel they were a bit misrepresented here
I want to clarify that I didn't write too much about the last three studs because I don't know that much about them besides what is on the website. I don't know the studs owner as well as TheNinja does.
I don't necessarily have an issue with the breeding itself(though I do feel that she could find a much, much better cross for her mare and at 19, it would not be worth the risk, IMO), however the issue is MONEY. She cannot even afford to geld a mini STUD COLT who could very well get her mare pregnant. If you cannot afford to geld($150-400, tops), you can't afford to breed. There's vet visits, shots, extra feed, the mare is older so will require much more intense care. What if something goes wrong? If you do not have at LEAST enough money for a euth/removal in the bank you should not be breeding, period. It is highly irresponsible and puts your mare in danger of losing her life or the life of her foal.
Money won't be an issue for my mare's breeding and vet visits, if she needs them. I am planning on saving up and putting up an emergency fund. I already had one, but had to use it on dental bills, but it won't take long to save up another one. I can afford to geld, however, the mini isn't "mine", even though he was "given" to me, and I'm not going to pay a lot for a horse that isn't mine. (that topic is elaborated in the other thread, if you wanna know everything about him).
When anyone asks total strangers to pick a stallion from a photo to breed to their mare of course it raises eyebrows and makes people wonder about the ability of someone to breed and raise a foal.
I asked for opinions because I know next to nothing about conformation and wanted help choosing which stud most complimented my mare.
IMO-it is unfortunate that some here put their "I WANT......." ahead of what is in the best interest of their horse. Really sad and selfish. Go buy one on the ground. Their are plenty out there. I happen to have one-a TWH X, as it turns out, who easily could have been at the meat mans by now.
As said before, if my vet thinks it's a bad idea to breed her, I won't breed her. She is more important to me than that.
Maybe I'm not a walking horse person, but $1200 is still unimpressive to me. But what does money matter if you just want a trail pony? That's what I don't understand. I suppose breeding a debatable show quality stallion to a grade mare to make something in the middle to play with. Unless the original intent has changed to make this foal show stock. Seems like for the price of the stud fee, plus vet fees, time and money she could buy one of these stallion's amazing $1200 babies already born. :/
Around here, $1200 could get you a completely finished show horse or an in-utero foal, or anything in between. I am planning on doing small shows and competitions with this foal if I can. It won't just be a trail horse.