Conformation Help For A Thoroughbred
So I have been going back and forth on breeding for the last few years and I think next year will be the year. My horse has never been bred before and I would like some opinions on her conformation to help me decide if breeding her would really be worth it. I am thinking of a Warmblood hunter type horse. Any suggestions would be helpful. Please excuse the conformation side picture as it was raining and she was all wet from being outside. :-P
I like this horse's structure.. but man she needs GROCERIES and training to build up her back muscles and her hind quarters. Her back bone is clealy prominant along the slope of her croup and along her loins. She has poor lines that start near her tail and go along the crease of her buttock.
Her knees and hocks could be lower. Her neck looks a bit "hatchet" necked with the dip in front of her withers. The lack of hind quarter and a somewhat steep shoulder is the reason she jumps flat. Her knees are up and even, but she seems to lack scope. I would like a bit more bone and a bit less pastern. She is a balanced horse.. and with some weight I would like her better.
I would not breed this horse.. even to a prepotent warmblood.. unless I saw her with more groceries on board first (besides, she might not take anyway at this weight level). If she is very hard to keep weight on, then she is not a good breeding candidate either.
Oh I know about the grocery problem. She lost a bunch of weight not too long ago and it's in the process of building back up as she can be a hard keeper. I'm thinking grain isn't enough, she needs a weight supplement for sure. More weight will definitely be on the top of the list for this winter before any actions involving breeding happen.
Her hind end is my biggest issue with her really. As she has been doing hill work and it really hasn't helped all that much. It could be because of the lack of weight on her too.. But it is also conformational. How correctable would that be if bred to a stallion with a nicer rump?
If you can find other horses with the same dam as your horse and other horses with the same sire as your horse you can also see how prepotent that weak rear leg is in those. IOW's the horse you have may be as prepotent in a weak hind quarter as a stallion of your choosing is prepotent with a strong hindquarter.
An additional question is WHY is your horse a hard keeper. If it is an underlying metabolism, you may not want to pass that on. If it is an underlying mental issue (such as is found with stall walkers, weavers and cribbers) you also may not want to breed that.
Her angles aren't really all that great in the sense that it is someting you would like to pass along, if you compare her hip angle to her shoulder angle it looks like it could be two different horses! Long pasterns and kind of upright hocks... Overall she has a cute look, but the small hind end and lower neck attachment, on top of a possible metabolism problem...I would only do it if it was one heck of a stallion!
Good luck! Cute Mare!
Even if you breed her to the best stallion there is you have no guarantee that its going to be what you want. A good stallion costs a lot of money and then you will have all the vet fees and cost of keeping the resulting offspring until its old enough to do anything with and all sorts of things can go wrong. If you really want a foal then go and select one at a good yard and buy that or better still buy a youngster thats been well handled and is ready to break
I actually think she's got something odd going on in the very long pronounced wither line of her back - does it make saddle fitting difficult?
She's a nice little mare but with so many horses on the market right now its not worth breeding from anything that isn't 'wonderful'
While she is a beautiful hunter mare and I would love to have her in my barn.
I would buy a baby or a youngster that has the color, size, temperment, sex and conformation that is exactly what I want, and not roll the dice, spend an obscene amount of money and who knows I might get lucky... but I might not.
I think people will be just about giving horses away about December.
Good luck to you!
That does definitely give me a lot of good points to think on before I go ahead and breed next year. I am by no means a conformation expert and your views are definitely helpful. If I did breed her it wouldn't be for a super top level horse and I wouldn't even sell it, it would just be for me. I'll try posting a picture later when she has put on the proper weight to see if it smooths out some of her issues? She doesn't have any cribbing/weaving stall habits to pass on, it's really more her metabolism.
Her weight is definitely priority one on the list right now. I have heard really good reviews about the maxiglo stabilized rice bran so she is on a performance dose of that on top of her regular grain now to try and build her up. Her problem was being on a 10% fat food before and after moving her to a different barn that gives 3% fat feed... Her body didn't like that and we thought just feeding more of it would be okay but that didn't help... So now it's just trying to get it back. Hopefully this stuff does something to help her get to where she should be.
"I actually think she's got something odd going on in the very long pronounced wither line of her back - does it make saddle fitting difficult?"
That is an old injury that she acquired in the starting gate during her short racing career. The vet checked it and it doesn't cause her any pain or discomfort it's just left from when it healed but it did make finding a saddle that fit slightly difficult. I did have to buy a different size gullet so it would fit better.
although I would hold off on breeding any mares right now I do feel she would cross very nicely with a Irish Draught you may get a really nice Irish Sport horse. Shes not all that bad for a TB other then for her weight. Breeding her to a thicker bone and build of a Stud COULD help out in the areas where she is flawed in.
I do also agree that there are just so many unwanted foals now out there that are dying ( and I mean dying ) for good homes that would make exellent competition horses if given the chance.
Either way shes a pretty TB and most TBs are hard keepers their HOT breed Try feeding her a cup of Calf Mana in her morning feed it helps to gain weight and I have yet to be disapointed by it.
hay hay and more hay. throw hay until she starts leave some. Or if you can, set a free feed system .
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