For me it is totally a personal goal. I always wanted a home bred foal to compete in lower level eventing. Doesn't need to be ***/**** horse but something that could jump around preliminary (with me? maybe not) with enough scope to get itself out of trouble. I'm also hoping I'll get decent dressage aptitude - again, it doesn't need to be FEI dressage quality, but good enough to score well in eventing, 2nd-3rd level, and great rideability - the kind of horse that can take a joke from an amateur (me). I also happen to really like riding a "pretty" horse.
My mare that I bought as a 2 year old is all of these things. Galiba's Photo. I would not be disappointed if I got a clone of her. She scored well at both AHHA and BWP licensing (48 bonits/77 & 78) and scored 9s for rideability in her MPTs.
I also knew that I wanted a foal while I'm still young and stupid enough to go out and show it.... I'll be 40 before my 2013 foals are under saddle so that was part of the reason to do it last year.
I was already planning on doing two embryo transfers (my horse's trainer also likes her enough that she said she wanted one too) but when my mare had a freak inflammatory reaction that sidelined her for all of 2012, I decided to breed her while she was recuperating. We still did one ET and then bred her back on the next heat cycle. Foals are due April 3 and April 19!
I chose Concerto Grosso as the stallion because he seems to fit my needs of producing athletic and correct foals with fabulous minds. His kids all seem to be able to take a joke without having to give up ability and scope. He's also handsome and approved/active in the registry that I wanted to use.
Now I know if I was looking to produce a true upper level **** horse this is not the pairing I would use. The foal will likely be about 17 hh and probably something of a moose. It will be 58% xx blood, which is probably a touch low for eventing, but for my goals it should be plenty.
I know it's all a huge gamble but it's one of those thinks I just couldn't stop thinking about. If I put it off until it was too late, it's something I'd probably regret for the rest of my life.
Originally, my parents bought me a very nice mare for young riders. When I got in college I thought I could never afford to buy another horse this nice so I decided to breed.
Boy was I wrong...that foal cost me a lot more $$!! I should have just saved the money & bought something really nice. However, the whole experience & what I learned was worth it. Granted the choices I made were from the heart & if it was a business I would have failed but for me it was okay.
Now... I have gotten addicted! To me this will always be just a "serious" hobby with goals in mind & I will gladly stick with my day job.
I mainly looking to produce for juniors/amateurs. Don't get me wrong I would LOVE to see one of my horses competing at the Grand Prix level but I have a lot more to learn before I can dream.
As far as stallions.....I'm new to this & love to get input from the more experience breeders. I like when stallion owners give their honest opinions of what they think is the ideal mare for their stallion(s) not that every mare will work. Nor do I want a stallion owner that is closed minded, either.
Right now I have two mares that will be bred this year. My TB has excellent breeding for eventing/hunters & I'm going with Bon Balou, it should produce a very nice eventer or jr jumper. The other mare who is a Ironman x Calimero I'm completely up in the air. She needs something that is more modern with some get up & go.
I've bred my mare once and am planning on breeding her again this spring, 11 years later. The first baby is my current riding horse and she's just what I wanted. I'm not exactly a first time breeder, but I'm certainly not an experienced or professional breeder.
The short answer is that it's a personal goal to produce my next riding horse. I love my mare. I also know her sire and many of her full and half siblings and like them all. I'm starting with a 50% genetic base that I know well and would be happy to have over and over again.
In terms of shopping for a stallion, temperament is the top priority. I'm an experienced, confident adult amateur rider. I ride three days a week (trainer rides her in between) and don't want to be terrified to put my foot in the stirrup on a Tuesday night after a bad day at work. It's supposed to be fun! I also don't want my goals to be limited by the horse's ability. When I watch stallion videos, yes, I ooh-and-ahh over their gorgeous movement but, more importantly, I ask myself if it looks like a horse that I would enjoy riding.
The last time I bred my mare I chose Taxateur. He was a top dressage sire, had a successful career in competition and had a lot of successful offspring. At the time, he was also being competed by a young rider. I figured that if a teenage girl, albeit a very talented one, can successfully compete on this stallion and her mom is okay with her riding this horse, it's probably a horse I could ride and enjoy. His stallion video ended with him in a pasture with a guy sitting on him bareback. The guy, who didn't really look like a rider, was rolling and sliding around and wiggling up there, but the horse was completely unfazed. It was corny, but I loved it.
For me, it was all a matter of timing (ie, having a farm of my own and the right mare/s)! I had always wanted to breed for both personal and hopefully "semi-professional" goals. I say semi-professional because, although I am an adult amateur and don't do horses for a "career," I take it seriously and don't take breeding my mares lightly, although I recognize I am not up to the level of many, more experienced breeders - and I say this with admiration!
I was an equine major in college and very involved in the breeding program. And as I stated, I have also been a very active and serious adult amateur with ambitions of competing at larger shows with my own, homebred and personally trained horses. So, with my dream farm finally in the works (literally), I decided to breed my first mare, who was retired do to an unfortunate pasture injury.
I am, at this very moment, expecting my FIRST homebred foal, due June 1! I am very excited about this! I am, of course, hoping for a filly... as this breeding was planned with long term goals in mind. I bred my mare to a stallion who I feel is not only a stallion of great performance horses (which I believe the “filly” has to prove herself worthy), but also of great broodmares. So I was thinking generations down the line when I planned this breeding, as I see it as the start of my dreams coming true – a small breeding program (I guess we all have to start somewhere). Rest assured, even if this foal is a colt, I will love him just as much; I’ll give him a good start and some good solid mileage, but I might decide to sell him in a few years – but we’ll see, as he will be my first foal. I am already thinking about next potential matches for this girl, although I have decided not to breed her this year, and instead wait until early spring next year. She is a very feminine and refined girl, so I look for a stallion with a lot of substance and bone, among other traits.
A couple years ago, when my mare was injured, I purchased my “dream horse…” well, I saw potential in her to be my dream horse, but I could only afford a two-year-old. Haha. When I was looking for a horse, I set out looking for both a performance horse and for a filly that had lines I was interested in breeding with down the road. So I set out looking for a mare I would (potentially – if she proves herself) chose for breeding.
Fast forward a few years, and she has more than proven herself thus far, in performance and mind! But of course, I’m actively riding and showing her, so breeding her is on hold. I am hoping to do ET with her in a year or two, but for now, that’s on hold (or at least the hubby says so). For her, I will pick out a proven performance stallion with a great temperament! I prefer not to use an overly “modern” stallion. I like a little more substance, but not quite super old style either. That’s how this mare is – a good mix between old and modern. Of course I will also look for stallions that complement her high points and will hopefully strengthen her weaknesses. I spend lots (I mean A LOT) of time thinking about potential matches and researching stallions’ performance records and their offspring. So although I don’t have the quantity, I’d like to think I will produce high quality. I also love it (as it was pointed out in another post), when stallion owns can help with the matches – when they know what traits their boys pass on, what crosses well, and what doesn’t cross well. I believe a SO’s input can be a tremendous asset!
I guess in short, it was timing for me! And I have always had ambitions of breeding high quality horses that are amateur friendly, but professional quality. Even just one or two foals every year or two. In general, I look for stallions that compliment each mare individual, with great temperaments, strong work ethics, and performance records – I know… probably what most of us look for. At this stage, for me personally, and although there are some super nice young stallions, I would prefer to breed to a stallion that has proven himself in upper level work. Similarly, my mares have to prove themselves first too.
In addition, because I am such a small breeder (just getting started of course, but with big plans) and both my girls are in MMB’s in a reputable registry, I will keep in mind the foal’s marketability going into the breeding. Although I don’t believe, IMO, a horse has to be in a certain registry or can’t be a cross to be a high quality horse; it is something I will keep it in mind for marketability. Of course I’d love to keep each and every foal I breed – and I’m sure I’ll keep "some"; the reality is I don’t have the time or the space to keep them all. And ultimately, I would like to make this “semi-professional,” so I do plan on breeding, starting, and selling. I am planning on hanging on to some of my foals until they are about four or five, started and then selling - and selling some as foals. I also hope, through my two current girls, to add another broodmare or two down the road. No worries though, I don’t have delusions of making money… I just hope I don’t lose too much!
For me, I bought a homebred as a young prospect, and always wanted to breed her once for myself and then depending on what she produces, I would love it if she could go back to work for a couple of years and then retire as a broodie for someone else (I would never sell her, but maybe lease her out)... I'm not looking at this to make money, but to produce the best foal for me. I researched the bloodlines, focused on stallions that can fix her weaknesses and add to (or at least not take away from) her strengths. I chose Bon Balou- I wanted a Balou son (too nervous to try frozen on a maiden to go to Balou himself the first time) and having met him at the 70DT I know (in the words of the knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) I chose wisely- he has a wonderful personality/work ethic and the jump I wanted. My mare is no hack winner, so I focused on the jump, which was already strong. She is a Premium Mare in two registries and the judge/inspector at her last keuring said she could produce Olympic/World Cup champion offspring, so aiming for the top and enjoying the experience. I also chose to breed due to timing, we were in between show seasons, she came up with a slight injury and I lost my job, so figured with all the transition, she could be a momma. Just a year earlier than my original plan, so not too far off base. I only have the one mare to choose from, but it's addicting. When I let myself dream a little, I've lined up her next 5 pregnancies, haha. I always look for power in the hind end, something to add bone and a great jump- wouldnt rule out a hack winner but since I'm banking the babies will move like my mare, I'll focus on the four jumping classes and take last in the hack, haha. But when I get back down to reality, I'm going to see what she produces, and go from there. This is definitely a keeper foal for me- unless someone thinks it could be a stallion prospect/offers me tons of money- which, lets face it, is pretty slim. But I am not ruling anything out- being realistic and will go from there! I consider every stallion I possibly can- proven, new on the scene, frozen, etc and do an elimination process based on what I am looking for. I also work with my trainer who is a breeder (produced my mare) and ask tons of questions and then if the stallion isnt necessarily a match for me, might be good for one of her broodies, then I feel like I helped play matchmaker! Not sure if this helps, let me know if you have any questions!
After at least 2 years of research (and many threads here!) I bred my Wolkentanz I mare last year to Weser Ems pony Manchester City.
This was my first breeding in about 40 years! ] I bred for a "hony" for myself - and I am hoping I get something in the 15h-16h range - although I know I might get something anywhere from 14 to 16h
The goal is a fancy dressage pony for myself. We shall see what happens - mare is due late May.
As for will I breed again? I have always wanted to breed ponies - ever since I was a kid I had a farm name all picked out and everything
...so who knows... but I do have one particular stallion that I adore that I really would like to get a foal from.... not sure if I will go that route this or next year - or even wait till the foal is older if it is a filly....
right now I am concentrating on not getting too excited about the baby to be....
eta to add *why* i chose to breed my mare? because she is the nicest horse i will likely ever have, and more importantly - she is a nice mare so continuing her gene pool is worth while i think...
I'm interested to know why first time breeders choose to breed their mare(s)?
easy two word answer! "the dream" certainly can't say we are in this for the money
I did my first breeding yrs ago to further my teenage daughters' education here at home, in the backyard so to speak, while they were busy with school pursuits. Wonderful experience with them in the stall at 3 am, raising, handling, starting the youngster u/s.
Then did two more breedings later and ended up with the dream horse!
I'm taking care of my procrastination issues -
Just you wait and see.
I'm interested to know why first time breeders choose to breed their mare(s)?
What is your reasoning and what are you looking to achieve? Is it a personal goal? Or professional goal?
What mare would you chose from your own group and why? What stallions would be interesting to you and why?
Look forward to the feedback
I had no intention of buying a mare, much less an aged broodmare. A friend had obtained a group of bred mares from a breeder's dispersal. We were sitting in her kitchen enjoying a glass of wine gazing upon the shaggy pregnant girls out in the snow and she said "the older, plain chestnut is an Abdullah mare, I saw him at the Olympics." We chatted about Abdullah and then I said, "what's her damline?" She said, "that is her damsire, her sire is Galoubet." I was (and still am) a big Galoubet A fan. I asked to see her papers and sure enough.
We brought her up into the indoor so I could get a look at her and see her move, and I went home and told my husband I had bought a broodmare. Friend kept the foal, her first, and I started stallion shopping.
So why did I breed "my" mare? First and foremost, bloodlines. She had a very limited USEF record as a jumper before she was injured and no foal production at that time, so it was a risk. I had zero emotional attachement, so it wasn't because she was my heart horse. She had decent conformation, but was too straight behind and a couple nitpicky things.
This influenced stallion choice. I was hoping to breed a foundation broodmare (no pressure). I researched stallions extensively. I wanted a proven stallion with upper level offspring, very good jumping technique, and he had to be a good mover and throw a good mind. He had to be taller as well. He also had to have excellent hind end angulation. I decided on finding a Landadel son and picked Landfriese II. I asked Edgar to send me semen for a bright bay filly with a star. A year later I had a bright bay filly with a star.
She goes to get started April 1. She has met all of my expectations thus far, but I am trying to remain ultra critical. I will say she was pretty unimpressed with our one free jumping experience. She just trotted the jumps and seemed bored (all the other horse's were quite razzed by the first time through a jump chute). So I have yet to get a good look at her jumping. She is a very good mover with good conformation. She is also the barn sweetheart, and very easy going. So we shall see.
Long story. It is a bit unfortunate that she came to me, perhaps, in cow-country, but I am hoping to have a trainer campaign her over fences eventually. I think she is going to exceed my riding talent level over fences by a huge margin.
I just want a small piece of my mare to carry on her gene pool, honestly. I'm the only country girl of my family. Never grew up with horses, never took a lesson or had any interest to until I graduated college and bought the SO and myself a few lessons for a "fun weekend activity together."
I liked it, decided to lease one, then decided to buy one, all in about 6 months (the fun of being 21 and "on my own" mwahahaa!!). I bought a bitchy Irish Sport Horse mare for dirt cheap and on a payment plan ("here's your sign") from a very reputable breeder. She was insane, had a clubbed foot (a what? haha), reared at the world, came with mixed up paperwork, ended up being the wrong age, different mom...et al. I had barely cantered before when I tried out the "green broke" 8yo out, and here was this well bred lil thing for the price of a backyard mutt.. IT'S A SIGN God help me...
I know we all have the insane-to-perfection stories, and she was mine, let along my first horse. Fast forward years later and she is my life. We're very bonded and we learned how to trust the world together. She was presented and approved, half clubbed foot and all thanks to some diligent farrier shopping, and she is a dream to be around and ride, especially for my "always a beginner" self. I can throw on a halter and lead rope, hop on drunk, in the rain, and trot her up to a 3'3 jump and not die (LMAO! That would be dangerous, but you catch my drift). Now that is love.
I wanted a piece of her as a keeper and riding companion, and I know the baby could turn out to be a hot mess, but it's worth a try for me. I fell in love with Banks Fee Daniel years back and bought some of his frozen spunk. Not wanted to waste my money when I didn't know how she'd take/carry, let alone with frozen, I went with my dressage trainer's stallion, seeing as I loved his looks, sweet temperament, and I'd seen about 4-5 of his offspring in the barn. The day I rode his son, (my trainer's pride and joy mind you), and he had to teach me what the hell 2 sets of reins were for and how HUGE a trot could be... I knew the stallion produced some lovely, talented and tolerant babies. She took like a dream and we're at day 328! BFD baby to come later, I hope.
So that's my motivation- a piece of my beloved girl with improved dressage movement for an eventually lower level eventing prospect for me. Fingers crossed!
I'm a first time breeder this spring, for me it is a personal goal and a challenge and a dream all wrapped into one!
First i had to find a mare - when I saw a picture of the mare I was immediately transported back to memories of my childhood pony (all very good memories) and I just knew I had to have her! I was fortunate when I met her in person that I also got to meet her sire (on site) and her 4 filly that the breeder was retaining to replace her in his breeding program. I was able to see all three at liberty in the arena and I was hooked!
thankfully, she is also a wonderful compliment for a stallion that I already have my heart set on breeding to....
i just love him! I can't wait! This mare is exactly what I could hope for for my first time! She is experienced and hopefully still has many wonderful years left!
also, on a side note, I am a very hands on horse person and I have had my fair share of poorly started/handled horses. I am hoping that by handling my own from the very start I can know the animas whole history and know exactly how they have been handled from the beginning.
Last edited by HorseKrazy; Mar. 14, 2013 at 04:16 PM.
Reason: Adding a side note
I used to help my mother with her small sporthorse breeding program and my mare is one of her babies. I have known this mare since the day she was born and love EVERYTHING about her. My mother has stopped breeding and my mares parents are no longer available so if I wanted another like her I'm going to have to breed her to get it. I found a lovely stallion that complements my mare VERY well and has many of the same traits I find great in my girl. This will be my first time breeding on my own though Mom has been helpingme and is as excited about this match as I am. I am not breeding to sell but to have another horse that is 'my type' since my girl won't be competing forever and I'd really like to keep dragging myself further up the dressage ladder.
I will be breeding my mare for the first time (for both of us!) in late April. I have always wanted to try breeding at least once, and the stars aligned this year with me being out of commission with a brain surgery, and I won a free breeding on Facebook. I have always taken on OTTBs and other unwanted/rejected horses so it will be WONDERFUL to have something that I have complete control over from the get go instead of undoing others' mistakes.
I would not be disappointed if I got a carbon copy of the mare, but I am hoping for more height. I am keeping the foal for myself. My mare is a fabulous mover and jumper, great disposition, easy keeper, wonderful feet, and has a great work ethic.
I am interested in hunter and jumper stallions that are known for producing height, good minds and strong hind ends.