Complimentary stallion for my mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Complimentary stallion for my mare

Down the line, the goal is to breed my mare. Come 2018 she will have a registered show record with USEF (that's her first year of rated showing), and my goal is to find a hunter-type stallion for her. She will also be presented to the Oldenburg registry September 2018 (the plan, at least) so she can be approved as a broodmare for registered foals.

Her conformation, good and bad, presents itself as slightly downhill, athletic build but well-sprung ribs, streamline body, goose-rump, sloping shoulder, straight hind leg, cow hocks, high/low hooves, and she has a more huntery, floaty, daisy-cutter movement. She has a low neck set and rather short legs. She is 16.1, and a little over 1100.


Breed: JC registered thoroughbred
Registered Name: win it to be in
Primary Discipline(s): Working and Show Hunter (non-breed) and 1st Level Dressage (we will see if we go higher)
Breeding: Sire, Minister's Wild Cat (Deputy Minister) x Dam, A Plus Plus (Honor Grades)
Race Performance: 3/7 races won

Even though she is a TB and has excellent eventing bloodlines, I am not an eventer.

Photos of her below. She is my baby girl and I love her to pieces. Her bloodlines are really the main reason why I want to breed her - she has BEAUTIFUL breeding on both sides of her pedigree and I don't want that to be lost to history. I honestly feel you can't get this type of talent for what little I paid. She was almost free.

Last edited by thecolorcoal; 12-16-2017 at 07:33 AM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
Her conformation, good and bad, presents itself as slightly downhill, athletic build but well-sprung ribs, streamline body, goose-rump, sloping shoulder, straight hind leg, cow hocks, high/low hooves, and she has a more huntery, floaty, daisy-cutter movement. She has a low neck set and rather short legs. She is 16.1, and a little over 1100.
You just described her as not a desirable broodmare with all those "faults" ....

Now describe her as eloquently with only her stunning attributes to why you should breed her...

I am not putting her down...but you just did.
She's cute...but she is only average looking to me.sorry

If she truly has that many "faults", you are going to need one strong set of male genes to overcome and offset her...and no guarantees.
I hope if you truly do breed her this is a forever home for the offspring, no matter good or bad, this offspring is yours from day of birth to day of death.
There is always a chance of a "trainwreck" in a baby arriving...the one no one wants and becomes thrown-away.
Please be very careful in your decisions of what you choose to do and with whom.
Make sure you can provide a forever home so you not end up with sorrow in your heart from a sale and unknowns beyond...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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@horselovinguy , thanks for your response.

Why she is a good broodmare: she has hunter knees, she has scope, she has correct gaits, she has uphill movement, she has a great temperament, she has excellent breeding.

No horse is perfect. Cow hocks are preferred in my discipline as they add to jumping ability. As does a sloping croup. She is not so straight behind that she is post-legged.

In my sport, those are what count. What adds icing to the cake will be to see how she performs in 2018. Right now she has no performance to back up her abilities. Only if she does well this season will we consider her for a prospect. But based on her natural talent I believe she would benefit her offspring.

this is something a horse has or doesn't have, you cannot teach what is so pivotal to a traditional hunter horse: knees. that is why she is worth being a broodmare.

I posted the videos to show her movement in spite of faults.

I must admit that even the "throwaway" warmbloods (cough, imported from europe) still fetch tends of thousands of dollars just for the registration label alone. So I am not at all concerned about a dud. What I'm hoping to find here is a stallion who has the conformation that may help the foal.

She has the physical build: short back, wide torso. She has a nice head and pleasant expression. Limited knee action and a steady canter tempo.

Last edited by thecolorcoal; 12-16-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 09:02 AM
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I'm not into breeding myself.
I'm just not...
What I see is expenses and possible risk to your mare...
Loss of her riding use for close to a year or more...
The expense and unknowns of in-utero and then raising till a minimum of 2 or more years before hopefully you have something decent to work with as there are no guarantees...

Or, you go searching for a live, on the ground candidate that you can either raise from true baby or one older you can start ground training and move forward with knowns as you saw potential when you looked and purchased.

I just see today and in the distant future a buyers market of registered great blood lines, nice horses with so much potential to go for the expense, the down time and mostly the risk to mare and that the baby make it to the time of life where you can start to make dreams become reality..

I don't know and truly am asking...
Is your mare from bloodlines that proved themselves in the show ring as hunter type horses?
I know some blood is better than others...
I know Deputy Minister babies are known to pass the poor hooves/feet and not sure if legs are part of that legecy...ankles are.
I just don't know if I would take the chance of worse and problematic issue known with breeding her...

Good luck in what ever you decide...
Good luck to your mare in the show-ring and to you making some huge decisions about her future..


ETA: I just looked at the picture you showed of that horse over fences...
He has average legs...they could be popped higher and squarer, tighter below honestly.
Yup, they are "square" I will give you that.
Again, jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....

Last edited by horselovinguy; 12-16-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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That was a heartfelt post, @horselovinguy and I completely agree with you. Like i said, this all comes down to whether or not she can perform. She has the ability and the genetics, but what will the judges say? That is what we need to find out.

They could be higher, it's true, but the FORM is correct. And not all hunter horses can have that form naturally, a lot of them are artificially created. Mine has never been rapped a day in her life, nor has she had any "alterations" in her training. This is just how she goes.

She has eventing bloodlines. Northern Dancer on dad's site, Secretariat on mom's side. It is a difficult decision to breed, as I could not bear to lose her. I have to do more research. I simply wanted to know what stallions are out there?

This isn't a fixed decision BY ANY MEANS. You bring up some EXCELLENT concerns. I don't want to lose this horse in childbirth. She is too precious to me, which is why I'd like to wait until I own my own property and can care for the baby properly.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 11:57 AM
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There are lots of things to consider before breeding any horse so it pays to do your research :)
The conformation photo isn't the best, since she's looking towards the camera, isn't completely square in front and is wearing boots. However, she seems to have a decent shoulder and fairly well set on neck (again this is difficult to say for certain due to her position), but it does tie in quite deep. Can't tell anything about her gullet, front left foot may be ever so slightly clubby.. Pasterns look to be on the longer side and maybe a fraction upright. Would maybe like to see a slightly longer winter, but TBs are notorious for having tall and short withers lol Her back appears short but she is a fraction long through the loin and appears to have damage lumbar region. Since you say she was raced, it is possible that racing was the cause- I believe it if often caused from jumping out of the barriers but something to keep in mind regardless. Her main weakness in my opinion is her hind end. Her SI is located rather far back behind her hip, giving her a short croup and contributing to the long loin. Stifles and hocks are high compared to her front and she is also a little straight through her hocks. Ideally, you'd like to see a bigger hindquarter.
Movement wise, I think you'd really want to improve her canter. The stride appears to be on the shorter side, lacking cadence and she is a little 'pokey'- she doesn't really come through with her hind legs. This is most obvious in the trot. I would like to see a little more activity in her hind legs and a little more reach under her body, but I do like the freedom she has in her shoulder. Again, I think this comes down to her front being better built compared to her hindquarters.

I am not super familiar with American TB lines as I'm an Aussie, but I did notice that she has a pretty good dam line through her dam's sire. I don't know much of anything about her sire, but I do like the fact he has Mr. Prospector on his dam's side. Downside is that he is fairly far back in the pedigree when considering your mare and any resulting foal. Will have to look into these when I've got a bit more time. TB pedigrees can lead me down a rabbit hole which can last for hours lol

I believe if I am remembering correctly, your mare has had some soundness issues in the past? If so, these are so important to consider, since conformation can contribute to these. Can you elaborate a bit more here? I am a little suspicious of those front legs, mainly the lower leg due to her pasterns and the potentially clubby foot.

Now that I've picked your mare apart (and don't get me wrong, she's not a badly built horse. You've just got to be critical when talking about things like breeding to try and get the best possible outcome), what exactly are your breeding goals? You mentioned in your original post that your mare does hunters and lower level dressage (I'm not fully up to speed with the Aussie equivalent of the US levels, but 1st level is literally the first officially recognized competitive level isn't it?), which are pretty different from each other. You want a hunter to travel long and low and open with long smooth strides, whereas a dressage horse is expected to have a lot more sit/more compact and carry themselves more up in front (in a very very basic sense). A downhill hunter horse is not so much of an issue (in fact a lot of the top hunters I have seen tend to be on the downhill side where as downhill in a dressage horse can pose some training difficulties in the higher levels. So, what are you exactly hoping to produce with your mare? A top level dressage horse? A top level hunter? Or a general all-rounder? What level are you hoping to achieve?
All of this will or at least should impact your choices when choosing a stallion. You won't find many hunter stallions who have successful offspring in the higher dressage levels and vise versa. She is more a hunter type than a dressage type, so I would lean towards heading in that direction when selecting a stallion. If you can give some more info on this and anything else you'd like to 'improve' on your mare (like height or bone ect.) then it should help narrow down some stallion suggestions :)

This next bit is going to bit of a breeding info dump so just bare with me :)
Just deciding you would like a foal out of your mare unfortunately doesn't mean its a simple wham bam thank you ma'am and your mare is in-foal. Generally, any complications that can come up will come up; or at least plan for that to be the case and be grateful if they don't!
How old is your mare? Has she foaled before or is she a maiden? Older maiden mares are notoriously tricky to get in-foal and can require pretty intensive veterinary attention to make it work. Next after them are the older barren mares (those who haven't foaled in some time). This can limit your options for stallions, as if she is either of the above you will probably want to steer clear of frozen semen. Commonly, these mares have trouble clearing fluid from the uterus post breeding and coupling that with the lower mortality of frozen semen is usually not a good mix; often these mares require oxytocin shots after breeding to help clear that fluid before the embryo descends into the uterus. If your mare is fairly young, you could attempt frozen, but there are lower success rates and it is often more expensive than fresh/chilled because they require more intensive monitoring pre and post insemination.
Next the mare will require at least three scans to watch how the pregnancy progresses in the early stages as well as identify any twins/triplets/quads which may crop up and need to be dealt with. All things which can increase your vet bill!

Once your mare is in-foal, will you be okay with not being able to ride her for a series of months? Many stallion owners will actually void a LFG if the mare is brought back into work/competition after breeding, so make sure you read any and all contracts carefully. Actual care of the mare doesn't change too drastically until the last trimester, where her dietary needs increase greatly and increase again during lactation. If you're barn/stable doesn't have excellent pasture, expect a decent increase in your feed bill. Also, if she is kept at a busy barn where horses are coming and going, there is a distinct risk of disease being brought onto the property, particularly if they are attending large competitions. Some of these diseases can cause abortion in the pregnant mare so you will need to find out if you are in an at risk area and what you will do to minimize the risk such as vaccinations or isolation from traveling horses.
Come foaling time, do you have an area where she can foal down safely? Are you or a mentor/barn owner/ect. knowledgeable enough to recognize common problems before, during or after foaling? (ie. Placentitis, dystocia, dummy syndrome). Are there vets or equine clinic located nearby if something does go wrong? What's your contingency plan if something does go drastically wrong?
Majority of pregnancies/foalings go down without a hitch, but things can turn sour quickly especially during foaling. There is a very real risk of loosing the foal, the mare or both. If you lost your mare, would you be able to raise an orphan foal? That has to be a risk you are willing to acknowledge and accept. We had one mare at stud this year who had foaled down with no trouble previously have a horrific dystocia and then retained the placenta. The foal was dead and they nearly lost the mare too. A colt foal at the same stud presented with dropped fetlocks on his hind legs and has required a lot of care to help strength those ligaments and as racked up some pretty decent vet and farrier bills in his first month of life, not including the extra work required since he was required to be on stall rest and limited exercise.

I'm sure there are more things I have forgotten to mention (there always are in a topic as expansive as this) but realistically it will probably cost you a minimum of $5000 to get a foal on the ground, provided there are no complications, the stud fee is mid range (1000-1800) and everything goes smoothly. If you are not willing to risk your mare, do not have access to the required facilities or do not have the knowledge/are unable to find a mentor then it may be better to find a foal/weanling/yearling who is already on the ground and suits your requirements. Breeding can be expensive and heartbreaking, but also incredibly rewarding. Its just important to consider all possibilities before committing :) Research and talking to the people in the know is so important and when you think you know enough, read some more. You can never know enough when it comes to stuff like this :)
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @cbako01 !

Your observations are all 100% spot on and things I sort of don't see until they are brought back up again. Yes, she has weak hindquarters in general. This is about as good of shape as she's ever been or ever will be, so criticize away! She does have a right front sesamoid fracture that I can confirm did not happen when she raced (i got to talk to the trainer), and due to the timeline we strongly assume it happened with her previous owner barrel racing. She has calcification in her lumbar area. That is still up for debate whether it happened racing or barrel racing. I believe a lot of her "smash and crash" injuries happened with her old owner, as she was a rescue case and the owner wanted to get rid of her as fast as possible.

It's interesting you mention her hocks because I always noticed this too. Her hind canon bones are very long compared to her front canon bones, which are short.

She has a very short canter stride naturally. It is not as ground-breaking as I find her trot. She does not use her hind end as well in the canter, and that is something we are gymnastically working on.

Her left front's been discovered to be club foot, and we have a new farrier maintaining it.

I suppose I am so stuck on those knees, which are prized so highly in hunters and so few horses have them naturally. It is a very hard sport to excel in, there is a lot of competition. I don't know how she'll do, but for a backyard bargain I admit I consider her pretty nice.

The dressage is mostly just for her strength training and cross training. We don't necessarily compete to win, we compete to see how we are currently doing and improving. She doesn't have natural dressage movements, they have to be trained and created from what we have to work with, but I do believe she has a better chance at being a good hunter, we just need to open up that stride.

Babies are waaaaay into the future, I was just hoping to get a headcount on stallions that could improve what my mare lacks. I'm getting the feeling, however, that she may perhaps not be the best broodmare prospect. :(
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 01:01 PM
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I think you could find a better broodmare, or purchase a foal without risking your mare and get a better baby than you will from this mare. Her breeding is nice, but not rare, and her soundness issues are not ones I'd want to pass on to a foal.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 12-16-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 08:34 PM
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Great points have been brought up thus far but I'm just going to add -

My criteria for breeding anything are as follows: Animal must be papered. Animal must have a successful show record. Animal must have excellent conformation. Animal must have excellent temperament. If any of those conditions aren't met I don't breed. I formed this opinion when I was in high school, after I bred my grade Quarab mare with conformation that was mediocre at best and no show record whatsoever to a Frenchman's Guy stud that was hot and also had no show record. I got lucky with the resulting foal, he turned out a decent color, great mind, was actually registerable, and had very good conformation. While I was looking for a home for him I realized how many horses there were for sale, bred by backyard breeders like myself who thought "oh my mare would make nice babies!" and then had to offload their mediocre foals.

To be completely honest, I don't see anything ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC about your mare except the lovely knees and knee action. There is nothing that screams this mare needs to be bred, and if it doesn't jump out and bite you it's probably not worth messing with. I also think that you should spend the money and time on a foal that's already on the ground, from really great hunter lines if that's your passion, and take it from there. I mean, yes, say your mare passes on her wonderful knees to the foal - and then you also get sour attitude, poor conformation, perhaps an issue during the birth that will affect your mare for the rest of her life, etc. Will it really have been worth breeding her, just so that foal will get those knees?

-- Kai
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-16-2017, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thats a good point, Kai. I admit I am learning about the conformation requirements for a hunter horse. In general, they prefer warmblood-y types. I can only judge her against other thoroughbreds, because she will never have the physique of a warmblood. There are many weedy, thin, and disproportionate thoroughbreds racing today who have less than great conformation. I suppose I put ability and handiness above looks. I wonder, if she did well, if opinions would change? But then again I may be extremely biased.

I would not pick a stallion who had poor attitude. I am only versed in TB lines, I know nothing of warmblood breeding which is why I was hoping to learn from people here :)
@SilverMaple , I think any horse can have soundness issues. It does not mean they were predisposed to it. Accidents happen, the fracture did not happen on the track but was due to highly aggressive riding by previous trainer. She retired sound from racing. Soundness that comes from bad farriers is not the horse's fault, it is the farrier's for not knowing their craft.
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