Critique on Stallion?
So i'm thinking of breeding my QH mare, she a really dark bay (almost black) what do you think?
- be as harsh as you like
I see a stallion I personally would not touch with a barge pole. He is SO downhill, that can't be good for his front legs. Instead of the normal 60% front, 40% hind weight distribution most horses have, he'd have at least 70% of his weight on his front legs. Serious potential unsoundness right there.
And then I see a horse somewhat light on bone with a seriously upright shoulder, which makes for a choppy ride.
On the plus side, I really like the angles in his hindquarter, and those lovely short cannons in his forelegs. His neck is attractive and his head is suitably masculine. He is SUCH a pretty colour.
I don't think he's breeding material, though. I know nothing about your mare but I wouldn't breed the best of mares with a horse as firmly in the "average" quality range as this one, let alone your average "nice but not spectacular" horse like the majority of people own!
I firmly believe that in the current market, those of us looking to breed should breed the best to the best and hope for the best. That's really all we can do, and it's our responsibility to our mares and their resulting foals to make sure that the foal comes out as high quality as possible. Even then, sometimes they're born with bad legs or dodgy conformation. We have the responsibility to give them the best chance possible of turning out to be beautiful, functional members of the equine community.
By the way, MY filly, I bought as a weanling. I found photos of her at a few hours old online and she had THE worst legs when she was born... they do sometimes straighten out with time and proper care, she is straight and correct now. HOWEVER, if I do put her in foal, I will absolutely not put her in foal to any stallion that I know was born with bent legs. Why potentially double a fault?
Okay, thats SO much help":) i'm ever so grateful, i will NOT be breeding him with my mare i don't think. What would you recommend for a good breeder? thanks again :)
You'll want a stallion with correct conformation regardless of your mare. Your mare should also have correct conformation. That means good legs with the correct angles that are not cow or sickle hocked, bow-legged or posty, or knock-kneed. Front legs can have toes that point in slightly (straight is best but inwards isn't a bad fault), NEVER EVER outwards. Hind legs should have toes that point outwards slightly, never inwards.
The horse should be relatively level, in QH croup to wither is good enough because I'm not sure you'd be able to find one that is functionally level. The hindquarter on the stallion you posted is very nice, and I like the depth of his girth. His neck is quite lovely. Little aesthetic things like head and colour don't matter so much, but his teeth should meet correctly.
He can be over at the knee slightly, straight is best. NEVER EVER back at the knee, it is a severe unsoundness. Bench (offset) knees are an unsoundness as well but depending on how badly, it may not be a problem or it may be a big problem, so you will need to look at your mare (a few really good critique photos would be great, from front, back and sides) to decide whether you need to avoid that fault or not.
His back should be on the shortish side, not too short but not long either, and he should have a strong smooth loin. His croup should not be too prominent.
You will need to use a stallion whose bloodlines compliment your mare's. You also will need to use a stud whose individual minor faults (ALL horses have them) are different to those of your mare, and the stud will need to be correct in the places your mare is not. The stallion and mare should both be of fairly similar type if you want consistency in the type of foal you are breeding for.
You need to consider discipline. What do you want this foal to DO? Different types of conformation are good for different disciplines, for example a top showjumper is built totally differently to a top dressage horse. A top reiner totally differently to a top WP horse. Different BLOODLINES are typically good for different disciplines as well.
The easiest way to pick a stallion for your mare is honestly to post good conformation photos of her in the breeding section, asking which stallions would compliment her best to breed a foal for your chosen discipline. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people on this forum who will be able to help you choose.
oh my god, i'm printing that and taking it with me when i go to Durnbry horse show next month! thank you soooooo much!
No problem :)
I forgot to mention length of cannon bones, and amount of bone! I knew I'd forgotten something.
A short cannon bone is good. A long one is bad. You want a horse with sufficient bone for its mass, not one of those US halter monstrosities with stick legs and enough muscle to beat a beef-breed bull for meat production (we have those here too, it's not just the US... sigh, what are the halter judges doing to the breed?), and not something so thick it's coarse.
I haven't even gone into pastern length and angle but I will tell you this. A shorter pastern will be stronger, but will have less shock absorbing capabilities. A more upright pastern will cause a jarring ride, whereas an extremely sloped one will cause a smooth ride but is a lot weaker and more prone to injury. You want a happy medium, the angle around the middle ground between the vertical and the horizontal, and length enough to absorb the concussion but short enough to be nice and strong.
IMHO probably 80% of the stallion population could be gelded, in any breed, and it would be no great loss.
That's all my opinion of course but it's based on what conformation traits are likely to cause unsoundness in a performance horse and what isn't. And any riding horse is a performance horse in its own special way - even the pleasure trails horses! The majority do a lot of miles. That's why soundness is so important and we should breed towards the traits that promote it, and away from the traits that will potentially cause damage in the long run.
Wow Blue Eyed Pony, that was nice to read. Taught me some things to look for too, and I normally can spot a good draft vs a not so good one and missed a lot of that! Thank you for taking the time to educate the masses!
Thank you :) it's just a few little things I have learned that every horseperson should know how to pick, the stuff that causes unsoundness mainly because who wants a horse that won't stand up to the kind of work they want it for? Regardless of what kind of work that is, I think the most important thing to look for in a horse is that it has no major potential unsoundnesses. Nobody can see the future, of course, but a horse with correct legs has a better chance of staying sound.
It's not a problem at all, I'm always happy to help whoever wants it.
-nods- I was actually shocked looking through a stallions at stud coffee table book at how few of them I liked! The majority of the stallions I like are warmbloods with a mixture of dressage and jumping breeding, because I event so movement and jumping talent are specifically what I look for in horses, but I can appreciate a nice example of any breed...
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