What are your requirement for breeding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-09-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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What are your requirement for breeding?

This is a little bit question and a little bit rant. Lately, all over the place, I have seen "accidental" breedings. I understand accidents can happen, horses break fences, jump out, etc. However, keeping your mare in the same field as a stallion is not an accident, it was bound to happen. I have also seen a lot of odd mixes lately, like someone had a nice riding mare, nothing special but thought a Friesian or Andalusian or something was pretty and decided to breed it to their Quarter Horse or draft. This is what I've been seeing in my area, not true of everyone of course, there are responsible breeders!

Now, to those who breed for a purpose, what do you require. I ride at a breeding farm and have learned so much just from being involved in the care of the mares and foals. My trainer chooses mares based on performance and personality, he has turned down free broodmares because they were nasty or nutty and didn't want nasty and nutty foals. He chooses stallions to compliment the mares, they also have a performance record and he tends to match stallions that will hopefully make up for the mares faults. It really is amazing, after seeing it in person, how similar the foals are to their dams and even moreso when they are full siblings.

How do you choose your mares and stallions? Do you breed with a specific goal in mind?

Sorry for the novel!
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-09-2011, 11:29 PM
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I have never bred before but me and my mom are seriously looking in to buying the mare I'm training. She's a premium 1 Canadian Warmblood mare. Went through all the steps and is registered and everything. We do want to breed her one day if we end up buying her. I am no professional but I have some strict criteria.

Firstly she needs to prove herself. She's already had one gorgeous foal with amazing jump and athletic ability so she has proven to throw nice babies. But before me and my mom breed her {if we buy her} I will be showing her and if she doesn't win she won't be bred. If she doesn't show she is athletic and can excell in a high stress discipline {eventing} then why should her kids. And obviously I'm going to need her to have good conformation and a nice attitude which will be looked at more closely if we decide to breed. As for the stallion. He also NEEEEEDDDDSSS to be proven, as a stud and as an athlete. He needs to have won at horse shows as well as thrown nice babies. He needs to have good conformation that compliments the mare. Your never going to find a perfect stud but I want one close to perfect, no faults that will cuase big problems down the road or prevent the baby from being a top athlete. He also needs to have a decent personality. No monsters and killers.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-09-2011, 11:54 PM
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I have some strict criteria in thinking about breeding as well. Like Beau said, the mare and stallion both have to be proven, so no stallions that are bred just because the look a certain way, but have never actually done anything themselves. Conformation has to compliment each other, and improve upon each other, just because some stallion may shorten the back of a mare who is a bit longer than ideal does not mean that it will actually be improving as a whole upon both parents. Hopefully you understood that. Both mare and stallion have to have a likeable personality, and have to enjoy being worked. No bad attitudes even if the horse can jump the moon, I wouldn't breed if the horse just looked upset, mean and nasty while being ridden. If I buy a mare for breeding, who's already been bred, she'd better have thrown a nice baby or two or three, from decent stallions, and same with the stallion, he has to have some good looking foals or foals that have achieved things themselves with similar crosses to my mare before I'd consider breeding. To me, there are only two reasons why you should be breeding, either to better the breed(s) you are breeding, and create hopefully outstanding foals, or as in the case of some ranches, breeding for nice strong working horses, that can keep a ranch going. I don't class breeding ranch horses under improving upon the breed, because a lot of them are just looking for a nice level headed cowy horse that can work all day, has good bone and good muscling, but isn't necessarily the "ideal" of the breed registry.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-10-2011, 12:09 AM
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If I was ever planning on having a purposeful breeding (which, at this point, no chance), I would be very strict about what I bred.

1: Both sire and dam would be registered by a recognized registry with good lines that complimented each other. I am not a big fan of line breeding, so I would choose different blood. I would require that the foal be eligible for registration because, even though papers don't mean much to me for my own personal using horses, buyers want to have a horse that's papered.

2: Both sire and dam would need to have great (not good) conformation. A minor flaw is acceptable so long as it doesn't impede the horse's capabilities and I would never breed 2 horses that both had the same flaw (upright shoulder, long back, post legs, etc).

3: Both sire and dam would need to be proven good riding horses. Show points are not a big deal to me but they would have to be good at the job they were doing whether it was running barrels, cutting, pleasure, ranch work, even trail riding. I would even seriously consider breeding an old plug of a kid horse if they had the blood lines and the conformation. To have "breeding stock" that isn't even started under saddle just seems silly to me. You can never tell if one of them has a horrible temperament under saddle and I wouldn't want to inadvertently pass that on to a foal. This would also weed out the currs with bad tempers in general.

4: Looks come way down on the list but they are important. If a horse is ugly and produces ugly foals, then they won't sell as well as an attractive foal.

I am sure that there would be other things I would consider as well, but these are the first things that pop into my head.

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/
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-10-2011, 09:33 PM
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I have a 2 yr old Appex QH/Friesian colt in my barn right now that's absolutly breath taking! I was suspiciouse when his owner contacted me for training and showing..But when I saw him in person he stole my breath away! I've also been seeing some really weird, random crosses lately lol They don't look bad but its just not something I've really herd of at least here. Also have seen some rather un attractive crosses and even purebreds. Makes you wonder what the breeders were thinking.

As for our breeding program. We aim toward a good minded, well mannored, conformationally correct, talented Sport Horse. My two jumper stallions are amazing. They both stand to a very limited amount of outside mares as they are used mostly for our personal program.

How do I choose the mares for our stallions? Well they MUST have a show record. The only mare we breed that hasnt been shown has an impecable pedigree and she has more then proven herself as a broodmare. They must also have a good mind and compliment the stallion. When choosing a stallion for our mares I try to look at stud that will compliment my mare, has a good mind, one that could possibly improve on the mare (if that made sence?)

Our broodmares are all reg and recived very good marks at their inspections. Of course we don't ONLY breed Hanovarians and Dutch WBs. We also have AQHA, APHA, Throughbreds and Welsh. I guess you could say we pride ourselfs on producing "talent with a good mind" As my grandfather discribes it lol

In short I don't just look at the "beauty" of a stallion. I look at his conformation, show record, pedigree, and his foals.

Aside from sport horses for Dressage and Hunter/Jumpers. My grandfather breeds TBs for racing. I hope that made sense and I didnt ramble too much! Going on 2 days with maybe 6 hrs sleep total! The week of a show is always stressful!

~*Shell*~
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-10-2011, 09:46 PM
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Registration is not a *huge* qualification factor for me, but it's certainly important. My qualifications would be good overall COMPLIMENTING conformation, a PROVEN sire and dam, a good TEMPERAMENT of both mare and sire, the ability to TEST for diseases in mare and sire before breeding, a PLAN for the foal, a REASON to breed, and a BACKUP PLAN in case something happened.

Last edited by equiniphile; 02-10-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-11-2011, 05:07 AM
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For me, I would require that all breedings are with the intent to improve the breed. In my opinion, that is what every breeder should be doing.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-11-2011, 06:19 AM
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Hi I breed horses. Sport horses for jumping and dressage

Conformation, tempermant and movement are key. Then I look at soundness

A lot of people have a horse that goes unsound or gets colic or has any number of health problems, or bad feet and then they breed from it, because it can't be ridden anyway. I don't, there is no point breeding nice horses that will not stand up to riding. Whats the point of weakening the breed. Injuries are fine. But if you have parents prone to lamenes, or tendon injuries do you really think the foal is going to be any differant?

Same thing with attitude crazy parent= crazy offspring

There is enough horses in the world you need to breed for healthy and sane ones. Enough horses already get bred and turned into dog tucker make sure you breed horses that are enough quality they will have a useful long life.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-11-2011, 06:49 AM
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It would be lovely if we only breed exceptional individuals that were likely to improve the breed. That's ideal, but not realistic.

A more realistic goal would be: proven performance record for both parents (not shown a couple of times and wasn't horrible, an actual performance record), good temperment, excellent conformation. Thought given to how the mare will complement the stallion, and vice versa. A purposeful breeding, for instance, you know exactly what you want out of the foal and breed accordingly, not "Let's try an Akhel-Teke Halflinger cross and see what we get!"

I am not a stickler about registries, because none of the sport horse disciplines require a breed registry, but detailed pedigree info on both sides is a must. You have to know what's in the mare and stallion's background to plan a thoughtful breeding.

Avoid breeding strictly for color, or other trendy quality. I once heard and Arab breeding say "We would have kept him a stallion just for his head." Enough said.

But that's not as bad as the multiple TB mare owners I heard say "If she doesn't break her maiden/doesn't win this time/etc. we'll just take her home and let her be a broodmare." Because the world needs more slow racehorses.

Sorry, those are my personal rants.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-11-2011, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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maura, I agree with a lot of what you said. Every horse isn't going to be exceptional, but my head has been hurting at the lack of planning in breeding I've seen lately. I worked at a standardbred racing farm where the guy bred for color, he didn't win much.

Phoenix and wild horses, the breeding program I am exposed to now sounds a lot like how you breed. He chooses mares that have a good performance record, have good conformation and soundness (two the broodmares are back in work at around 17), they all have good attitudes and good bloodlines. And it really shows in the foals. We have two colts who are ungelded at the moment, and are easily handlable by his experienced students. The offspring I have gotten to work with are great to ride, and at first I went where did he find all of these nice young horses?! Then as I learned more I realized the mares were sweet and talented and they put a lot of time into researching the right stallion.
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