What are your stallion criteria?
Given the current horse market and the fact that you can pick up a perfectly well bred and well broke horse for next to nothing, I question anybody's reasoning for breeding. So what do you think a stallion or mare need to acheive before being bred? Here's my thoughts:
*Excellent, show stopping conformation is needed, for whatever discipline I am breeding for.
*Needs to be proven sound in body and mind.
*Needs to be proven in my discipline of choice(ex: in barrels I would like a horse to have at least made it to Regionals and done well)
*Absolutely must have proven offspring, as well.
*Must have proven bloodlines, up close. Thinking a horse is awesome because it goes all the way back to Skipper W or some other 70's, 80's, or even 90's stud means almost nothing to me.
So what are yours?
When I look at stallions for my mares I first look at the mares. I have several very nice well bred mares. I take into account what the mare is b/c I do not want to over price my mares in the stud I pick. Ex: If my mare has a nice pedigree but say her sire is proven but not a big name. Then I am not going to want to pay a $25K stud fee. I will never get my money back. I do not care how mice the foal is. Then on the other side of that. With my mares who are daughter of a big name stallion I do not want to under price her on a stallion. It would again be a wast of time and money.
I like to look for proven stallions who will work well with my mare. I tend to use proven crosses. This seems to pay back the best. I stick with stallions who are proven in the same disciplines as my mares. At times I will look at an out cross but only to the extent that it is something my mares is already doing. Ex again. I breed and show reiners. However I have mares who are also proven reined cow horses so at times I look at stallions who are more reined cow horse or cutting then reining. Get a bit more cow on the foal.
I personally bred b/c there is no way that I can afford a foal already on the ground. It is MUCH cheaper for me to breed. If I need or want to sell the foal I have a marketable foal who commands a very good price.
~I also tend to look for proven crosses. Like I know that Rubenstein and Come Back II cross well. Donerhall also seems to dress well with the same lines as Rubenstein.
~I also know what bloodlines I like and don't like. I wont touch a Krack C, Jazz, Ferro or Zodiak with a 10 foot pole and I love Rubenstein, Donnerhall and Samber. Some bloodlines I only like when crossed with something else.
~I like to see correct conformation and three correct gaits with an emphasis on walk and canter.
~Rideability is key! I like stallions with high scores on this in inspections.
~I also like stallion who show talent for both jumping and dressage. They should have progeny in both disciplines.
~Progeny is key, I like to see what the stallion's "stamp" is and if this will work with the mare.
~And of course reputation! Some stallions are known for throwing OCD or other issues. I like to stay away from them.
And that's about it :P Stallion of the moment is: Dancier, Best Hanoverian Stallion of the year in 2002.
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