TWN Foundation vs. Heritage?
I'm looking at buying a colt, maybe to start breeding but maybe to geld as he gets older and turn into a saddle horse. I recently got a heritage outcross upgrade (3/4 heritage) mare this summer and fell in love with her. My gelding is more foundation with 5 WGC in his bloodlines but cannot walk like my girl can. So here's the question, what exactly is the difference? I found a foundation colt near home for me and he is stunning but I'm wondering if I should wait out for a 2013 heritage colt...
thats the baby I'm looking at or I'm looking at getting a colt out of this stud
who is one of the last Sunless studs in the world and is just amazing. Money wise I'm looking at about $1000 to buy and transport the red roan and I'm looking at about $3000 for a heritage colt to buy and transport. Is it worth it to hold out for heritage? I know a bit about the breed but next to nothing about foundation horses...
Thanks in advance guys!
I'd shy away from anybody using the "Foundation" claim because the foundation Walkers all did a true running walk, but many also did lots of other gaits. Allen F-1 is said to have been nine gaited, including the trot. The F-series horses were granted registration back in the '30s based upon demonstrated performance. The idea that a bunch of modern WGC wins makes one a "foundation" horse would likely have Mr. Brantley (and most of his contemporaries) spinning in their graves. :-)
In looking at performance, particularly for brood stock, we are talking about breeding performance. Look at what the sire and dam of your prospect have produced and what have THEY produced. As you might guess this is going to take some "legwork." You should probably also read, if you've not already done so, Echo of Hoofbeats by Bob Womack and Biography of the Tennessee Walking Horse by Ben Green.
Any horse of heavy WGC breeding will have some form of the pace as its base gait. That's because the WGC horses are all Padded and the pacy horse pads up better than a square moving horse. Indeed, in any segment of the Walker industry where "action devices" are used you'll find paciness as a fundamental way of going because pacy horse work better with all action devices than square moving horses.
In the "heritage" category you're really on you own! One possible definition for "heritage" is "unfavored in the modern Walking Horse show ring." You can find some good horse with very classic ways of going in this group but you've got to have a good eye for conformation, way of going, and temperament.
Lastly, before you think about a breeding program, ask yourself these questions:
How much does it cost to put a foal on the ground?
What is the market value of that foal?
If the answer to the second question is less than the answer to the first question then don't do it. The world is already awash in horses. Last year a breeder in Middle TN (Lebanon?) gave away 40+ Walkers. In East TN, today, you can buy a good, broke saddle horse for under $1000. Since the answer to my first question is $2000+ you can see that breeding, today, is a good way to turn a large fortune into a small one. :wink:
Think very carefully about your proposed program. Don't get "horse poor" by accident. :-)
There are many good walker breeders in Alberta and I can give you the name of an excellent hauler unless you wish to fetch the horse yourself. You may have greatly underestimated your cost to haul a horse or to have it hauled. It's a three day trip each way and that's driving long hours.
Guilherme - my black walker goes back to the founding sires, as do all of them. Does that make him foundation bred? I think that in order to be foundation bred either his momma or daddy would have to have been bred to one of the original (foundation) horses and they're long dead so that can't happen and there was no semen collection back then.
I've watched with amusement the QH types that get into huge "donnybrooks" over "foundation QHs" and "modern QHs." The foundation types hate the TB influence. But that influence, which largely came from the Army's Remount Program, has made the QH the largest breed in the U.S. Sometimes it's tough to argue with success! :wink:
Again, if you look at the F-series horses they were not, generally, "fixed" with a running walk gait. So if you want to replicate those F-series horses then don't obsess over gait. Make sure the running walk is there, but accept that other things can be there, too.
Still, none of this answers the questions of economics.
Hey thanks guys! I've contacted a few TWH breeders since posing this and they seem to have the same opinion as you Saddlebag. There is no set definition of the term and I've heard that horses with a lot of WGC's in them are rather pacey. I know we have a mare on our property who my landlady claims to be the smoothest horse on here but the mare paces unless she is going uphills. There is the potential there but it has to be worked at. I'm looking more for that natural running walk from birth, something every heritage baby I've looked at has (they've sent me video's of these babies). I'm not too hung up on the term but apparently the heritage lines are coming to be quite desirable and I can see why after getting my mare and talking to the different breeders and owners.
But Saddlebag if you know of anyone in Alberta with colts right now I'd love if you could give me some names! Every heritage breeder I've contacted has nothing under the age of 6 available for sale right now and their saddle horses are upwards for $5000 and also going fast. Also, I contacted 3 different transporters and they quoted me between $1350 and $1700 to haul. One I respect very much and have used many times so I believe I will go with them if I do decide to bring a baby up. They will also be the ones who bring my two older horses to Alberta when I move.
Also, the economics of it aren't my big concern. I am mainly looking to breed my mare eventually as I have a lady who already wants the next baby out of her and then I need a saddle horse for my fiancé. Though I would probably take the colt and he would ride my mare (we have some different opinions on some aspects of horses so I don't know if I could give up control and let him break this colt). I compete in endurance regularly with my gelding (he does other things but enjoys this the most so we do it the most) and my mare does competitive trail. But I would like to show this colt/stud eventually as well, there are many different gaited shows to attend and maybe even other things once I see what this baby is like. I've handled studs on a regular basis over the last 5 years from the out of control stud to the two we have here now that are super respectful and sweet horses that put 9/10 mares to shame temperament wise.
As for breeding program, I've watched a lot of people go horse poor by accident. I would probably only put one baby on the ground a year, maybe only every second year. I would more offer him at stud, I've had quite a few different people already approach me to say they would like to breed their mares if I brought a heritage stud up. There's only one currently standing in canada I believe and he only stands every other summer when they bring him up from the states. Heritage simply looks for that natural gait right from the time they hit the ground. You can read more about the certification process and the group here twhheritagesociety.com
Seelie, You might try Jus Fine Walkers, Laurindale, Pride's Noble Walkers, Triangle B. That should keep your busy for a little while.
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