New to forum. Imput/feedback wanted. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-27-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Port Angeles, WA
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New to forum. Imput/feedback wanted.

Hello fellow horse lovers!

I first started riding at age 2 and had several uncles who raised and trained horses using natural horsemanship that taught me a great many things. Unfortunately many of those uncles passed on when I was quite young and from there I had to experience horses through other people, some of which should never have owned a horse in the first place, so I have experience working with damaged and abused animals and correcting the resulting behavior. Always working with a horse instead of against it. Anyway life took me along a different road for many years and I havent worked with horses in 11 years now. Within the next couple weeks I will start work at a horse rescue facility in my area. I'm a bit rusty and unsure of myself at this point, but my aunt, who is getting me the job, has complete confidence in my abilities. Thankfully if I've forgotten anything I will pick it up fast as I am a quick learner and they are willing to train me.

This same aunt has been maintaining a line of horses that has been in our family for several generations, on a small scale, never having more than half a dozen at any one time. The line is maintained via a careful combination of out crossing and line breeding so that the blood doesnt get too thick or thin. The family rule is that once you have one of these horses your not allowed to sell or give away the horse or any of its progeny under any circumstances, unless its a gelding. A couple years ago when I was living on the other side of the country my aunt wound up in the hospital with a sever back injury for several months and had another woman taking care of the horses. She didnt do a very good job and our two boys got loose and were confiscated by animal rescue. My aunt was not informed of this until a few months afterwards when she got out of the hospital and we havent been able to locate them since to see if their allright or if we can get them back. So our herd has gone down to one retired mare and a filly out of that mare that is almost 3 years old. I'd like to get some imput/feedback on them being that within the next couple years the filly will be bred and if the resulting foal is another filly that filly will be coming to live with me. If its a colt my aunt is keeping it as a stud and purchasing/borrowing a new mare or two and the next filly born will go to me. This current filly and her resulting offspring are the last of the line and mean a great deal to us. I dont know much about breeding and genetics at this point other than the basics of care and labor. In the end whatever is left of the line will come to me or my cousin, once my aunt passes, and maintaining it will fall on us. As it is I'll soon be caring for them anyway as my aunt's injury still prevents her from working with them and I will be training the filly to ride sometime after her 3rd birthday. My aunt wont trust anyone else with her horses.

Heres what I know about our line so far...
*They're derived from the original Cherokee stock.
*They have a high turnout of leopards.
*If bred to anything but homozygous black the resulting offspring typically turn out blind. I'm not sure why that is, but thats what my aunt says.
*When outbred to another line they have always used either paint or appaloosa stallions who are homozygous black that are of a type similar to our line that are from good healthy reliable stock.
*The typical gestation period for this line is 1 year +18 days.
*The mares generally give birth without incident and there hasnt been an incident in several generations.
*They are highly people oriented, intelligent, easy to handle, very sound, rarely if ever spook and the stallions in the line are typically very gentle.
*They are very hardy and adaptable and there hasnt been an illness in the line for a very long time.
*They have high stamina and make great trail, endurance & working horses.

The current filly is out of the last stallion in the line and he was retired and gelded after she was born. The mothers of the last stallion and the mare were half sisters, so even if we did have another stallion in the line its time to out cross anyway. I want to learn more about breeding before I get a filly so that I can properly maintain them. I would really like to be able to restore the line to a point where we wont end up in this situation again and am not yet sure what the best route to take is. Any thoughts, suggestions, comments?
LeviathanGirl is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-27-2012, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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All I'm going to say is welcome.. because that is just way too over my head. I don't really understand why they seized horses that weren't even hers. Nor do I understand how people on the forum would know about them?

Eitherway.. hope you find what you're looking for.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 07-27-2012, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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I've never heard anything like you've described. Obviously, someone liked their horse generations back and bred and kept the foal, and kept breeding because they just figured they should.

Before you breed, please be aware of the cost of horses (which you may not be aware of due to the fact you have been "out" of horses for a long time) and just know that it's a rarity these days to keep a horse for its entire life span these days because many people can't afford it for that long.

In retrospect, if you breed and 15 years down the line, can't afford to keep said horse, you run the risk of having to sell that horse who throws bad blind genes to someone who won't know that. They might breed the horse (if it's a mare, probably will) and will have a blind foal because the gene is corrupt. That's not fair.

It sounds like these horses don't have much to give society these days, and the only reason you keep this line isn't to better the breed (doesn't sound like they are a specific breed?) but because they have emotional value in your family.
Copperhead is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 07-28-2012, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: North Carolina
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Hi, I probably can't be a lot of help because the only animals I've ever bred on purpose were cats :)
Just to clarify I'm assuming the breed you're thinking of continuing with is Appaloosa?
You have listed some good traits you'd like to keep in your line, and yes good dispositions and being people oriented do seem to be genetic to a good degree although their not traits you can see like color and size.
I have seen something recently on genetic testing in appys for an inherited blindness. I didnt pay a lot of attention to the article because I dont have an App and no particular plans to get one, but genetics are very interesting and I'll look for that article, sometimes it's a good thing to keep all the magazines even if you have already read them.
I'll let you know if I find it. The only breeding advice I can give is what you probably already know.
Find a equine vet that you really trust and can count on, you trust them to be medically competent and they need to listen to you and trust that you know your animal, it's got to be a two way thing.
Whatever you thought your vet bills might be double it :)
Look on line for the Appaloosa Horse registry site, club, you should be able to pick up some really good info on the foundation lines there or maybe even some other experienced breeders that would know the line you're talking about and be
willing to help or advise you on what lines would be a good cross.
Obviously you've got some time to get prepared so research everything you can on horse genetics and appy genetics in particular. There's a lot to be found online if you just keep digging.
Before anyone jumps on me, Im not advocating anyone breeding willy nilly, but if you read her post she didn't ask for anyones permission and she already knows the weakness and the strengths of the line she'd like to keep going so she obviously wants help to be a knowledgeable responsible breeder.
Oh yeh that's another thing, the careful placement of offspring and the education of the prospective buyer about your particular breed and line. Sell only with a contract, anyway thats another whole area of discussion. Good luck with your learning.
oobiedoo is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 07-28-2012, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Port Angeles, WA
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Oobiedoo, That is exactly what I am looking for. Genetic and breeding advice. They are mainly appaloosa, with a dash of paint a few generations back.There is no way that I would breed these horses on a large scale. Their part of my family for several generations of my family starting with a many times great grandmother of mine. We have never and would never sell or give away a mare or a stallion. They stay in the family period, which I mentioned before. They are our own personal line and good sound sturdy horses capable of doing and adapting to almost anything. The entire family helps care for them financially, and we have a very large family, with one person or family unit being the main caretaker of the herd.

I would just like to prevent the line from going down to a single horse again. No mare has ever been bred more than twice and we have never had more than 3 mares at a time at most. I have a year or two till the next breeding, when I may or may not get a filly and a few years from that till we may or may not again. We breed just enough to keep them going and never more than we know we can handle. I know how much horses cost with vet bills and all the rest these days. It can be mind boggling. I raise dairy goats and dogs, their not cheep either. I've paid up to $1,500 for a single dog and have had one dog which cost me $4,000 in vet bills from a single accident.

As for the 2 geldings being taken, by the time my aunt got out of the hospital (5+ months later) she had been in the hospital nearly a year and noone could tell us where they had been sent or who had them. I'm not at all sure of all the details of the story and neither is my aunt as the lady who was caring for them up and disappeared herself. Animal control was under the impression that they had belonged to her and not my aunt. I just hope that whoever has them is taking good care of them.
LeviathanGirl is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 07-28-2012, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Johnson City, Texas
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I have nothing to say with this not being in my area of expertise.
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Country Boy is offline  

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