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Hardship Registration

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  • Original Poster

    Okay, until DNA-analyzing technology can tell me this mare’s entire genotype or I find out her sire and dam were registered, I won’t breed her. That’s fine by me.

    Thanks to those who were willing to discuss this matter reasonably and effectively with me. That’s all I need to know.


    • #22
      IMO, it's not necessarily 100% wrong to breed an unregistered horse. However, because breeding a horse is a decent investment (and risk), and also because there is a plethora of unwanted/unsuitable horses out there, I think it is ethically necessary to try your best to only produce equine offspring that are set up for success in life. Some people justify a particular breeding my saying that they would never sell the foal, but life is funny, things don't always work out that way. Also, almost invariably, it's cheaper/better to just go out and buy a young horse that you want that suits your needs than to try to breed your own. So really there's no pressing need to breed most mares anyway.


      • #23
        Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
        It may be that your mare is super nice and the optimal result from whatever lines produced her. The not so optimal results might still be passed to her foals.
        I have a mare like this. She's the result of an accidental breeding of two grade horses including anything from draft to pony. She turned out great! She is sweet and athletic and can do everything from eventing at Training level (so far) to trails, to gaming. People want to buy her for their kids. I will admit that I love her so much that I've briefly thought about breeding her. Then my better judgement kicks in. She got lucky with the crazy genetics she was supplied with, but maybe her foal would get a completely different mix of attributes and be the ugliest, worst conformed, "assembled by committee" horse in town.


        • #24
          Do the APHA and AQHA do DNA tests? A couple of Morgan horse rescue groups do DNA tests on the horses they rescue, and they have found registered horses and registered parents of those horses. I don't know exactly how much a DNA test costs, but if you're really interested... And don't forget, it usually costs more to register an adult horse (even if the parents are already registered) than a foal.

          I saw an absolutely GORGEOUS palomino Morgan gelding for sale a few years ago that I would have been willing to DNA and REGISTER if I had bought him. (Someone beat me to him, and he was trained up to the wazoo. *sigh*)
          "Oh, sure, you may be able to take down one smurf, but mark my words: You bonk one smurf, you better be ready for a blue wave."---Bucky Katt


          • #25
            Around here I have seen a number of QH type horses whose "papers were lost" turn out to be HYPP H/N or even H/H when tested. Even without breeding her, I would likely test her for that.

            Producing a foal is not the best idea for most of us horse owners. The cost and uncertainty make it a poor risk. I am not a purebred snob, but I would only breed a grade (or breeding unknown) mare if she had good conformation and a really excellent performance record, and tested negative to any likely testable genetic issues.


            • #26
              Originally posted by mop View Post

              As I have said, I’m not planning on breeding her, just thinking about it.

              I guess what I’m trying to say is a pedigree doesn’t equal good genetics.

              I definitely want to get her gene tested (maybe the Etalon Diagnostics minipanel) before making any kind of decision.

              But anyways, even when breeding a registered animal to another, there are always potential complications. Mutations and inheritable diseases or conformational faults that we don’t know about can and sometimes will happen.

              I’m not trying to be ignorant, but I don’t understand how a breeding registered horse is any better than one that isn’t. Other than definitively knowing its pedigree and having futurities/breed shows (which don’t really apply in my area).
              Denali's right; don't even think about it.

              The world is presently awash in good horses with solid pedigrees. So are the kill pens. When you breed a horse, any horse, you're not just breeding what stands in front of you but every horse in their background. That's why papers are important. Responsible breeders know this.

              Enjoy the horse for what it is.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


              • #27
                In my region of the world (Canada), there are "professional" QH breeders who overbreed every year, cull the young stock, and send scores of nice enough registered young QH to the slaughter plant regularly. Some make it into the "rescue" pipeline and are good bargains.

                There are also feral horses and horses on native reserves running loose and breeding. So no end of grade horses around, of varying degrees of quality from basically QH to all kinds of spare parts pony and draft crosses (I grew up with one, wonderful horse, but even at 15 I knew I shouldn't breed her!). Again, always going through the rescue pipeline too.

                Then there are freebies or super cheap retirees from the local TB and STTB tracks. My point here being that even papers don't guarantee a good life to surplus horses.

                OP, if your horse wasn't a pinto, would you still be thinking about breeding her? Is it her basic conformation you like, or is it the spots? If it's mainly the spots, don't.

                I think one of the complications about breeding grade mares is that people tend not to get around to breeding their competition or using mares. This point came up on another thread where someone was asking about foals out of mares with competition records. The paradox is, that you use up the mare's young years training, and then if she really is a good horse, you use up her middle years competing, and then suddenly you have a valuable 18 year old maiden mare that needs to step down, but no one is going to risk her first foal at that age. So people are more likely to use mares of good bloodlines that haven't competed for breeding.

                This means that if you did train up your grade mare and have a lot of fun with her, it might be hard to then find the down time to breed her.

                It's different with race horses because they retire so much earlier. And interestingly, there are a lot more OTTB geldings out there being ridden, than OTTB mares. The breeders must tend to hang onto the mares. Which would suggest that you can buy a nicer OTTB gelding than mare, too.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by mop View Post
                  So the verdict is I should only breed her if she has a nice show record, she’s gene tested, and registered. Seems reasonable to me, I suppose.
                  OP, truly, this is not just on you or this mare. There are plenty of horses out there that do meet the registered/show record qualifications and would still get a resounding NO from this crowd.

                  That yours has none of those qualifications just makes it an easier NO. It's a bit of a no-brainer for those of us that have seen what is going through those auction houses week after week after week after week.

                  If you are fortunate enough to have room for another horse in your life please consider one already on this planet. They run youngsters through those auctions too, know someone that just picked up a yearling this week. And it will cost far less than the price to take a gamble on your mare.
                  EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


                  • #29
                    Once in a while, a horse with excellent or rare breeding comes through the auction/rescue pipeline, especially when a breeding operation implodes. I have heard of examples of this with Arabs, Lippizans, Iberians, Appaloosas. In those cases, the breed organizations sometimes step in to rescue the bloodlines. Also sometimes OTTB with good records end up in bad situations late in life, though in that case the mares are too old for breeding.

                    But in general, as a rule of thumb, if some average horse has "fallen through the cracks," that's a good indication from the market that there isn't necessarily any need to make more of *that* lineage. Which is why rescues routinely geld all colts and stallions that they acquire and may have a "no breeding clause" for the mares.


                    • #30
                      You can look into PTHA (Pinto) but from what I’ve seen they require the horse to be registered in an approved outcross registry, the Sire/Dam to be registered PTHA or approved outcross, or to have a breeder’s certificate signed by stallion owner and mare owner at the time of breeding.

                      I’d say just enjoy her as grade, only breed her if she is worth breeding, and you could easily sell the resulting foal.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                        Yes, there are ways to get a horse with no pedigree registered. The American Half Quarter Horse Registry and American Warmblood Society & Sporthorse Registry, for example, don't necessarily require a pedigree. And as far as I know, being the right color is the only requirement for some of the color registries, e.g. pinto, buckskin.

                        I've typed and erased my opinion several times and I guess I'll just leave it at that.

                        The Half Quarter Horse Association used to require proof that 1 parent was registered AQHA.

                        mop choosing to breed your mare should be based on her superior conformation, temperament, athletic ability and trainability and not on a worthless piece of paper that has no proof of her parentage/bloodlines, etc....

                        If she is one of these than no reason not to breed her if you want to.


                        • #32
                          Most hardship cases are not totally unknown situations. There’s a known birthdate, possibly sire and/ or dam info and the owner at the time of foaling, the breeder, is known. For some reason the horse never got the papers but it’s not just some horse out of an auction somebody think looks like a xxxxx. And it’s not usually a mare either, offspring of hardship accepted mares would not be eligible for registration, sometimes they even require sterilization for hardship acceptance. Lastly, hardship procedures are not cheap. Not worth it, won’t get you a registered baby.

                          You could try the Pinto folks, somebody posted a link to them upthread. But it’s never going to give you a birthdate or ID parents which is what people buy registered horses, to know how old and the baby daddy and momma.

                          The DNA results won’t tell you sire and dam unless sire and dam have been tested and are in their database. Most horses aren’t. Tests also can turn up some muddy findings and not clearly ID what breed she is as few breeds today are “pure” for umpteen generations.

                          Have you ridden this horse? Is she any good skill wise? Previous owners don’t have to communicate and it’s more then likely she’s been through an auction at least once, possibly even through more owners then you are aware of. If you like the horse, keep and enjoy her but don’t waste time and money trying to get her papers without any documentation.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by mop View Post

                            As I have said, I’m not planning on breeding her, just thinking about it.

                            I guess what I’m trying to say is a pedigree doesn’t equal good genetics.

                            I definitely want to get her gene tested (maybe the Etalon Diagnostics minipanel) before making any kind of decision.

                            But anyways, even when breeding a registered animal to another, there are always potential complications. Mutations and inheritable diseases or conformational faults that we don’t know about can and sometimes will happen.

                            I’m not trying to be ignorant, but I don’t understand how a breeding registered horse is any better than one that isn’t. Other than definitively knowing its pedigree and having futurities/breed shows (which don’t really apply in my area).
                            Well.... let me start to explain the science a tad.

                            What makes a pedigree equal good genetics is the possibility of predicting just how heritable those phenotypic traits you like really are.

                            So what any breeder would really like is a horse who is a wonderful individual AND who has been bred from a long line of similarly-wonderful ancestors. And in some cases, folks don't even need that horse to be individually great. Rather, they want the particular alleles (versions of genes) they think that horse holds because of the proportion of relatives behind him/her that also seem to hold those alleles. Not what I'd do (unless I knew way more about those horses than I do now), but it is done.

                            If you had a grade horse who was 1. a great individual; and 2. Somehow certified to have been bred from a few generations of similarly-great animals, you'd have what a breeder *gets* from a pedigree: Predictable inheritance.

                            But the point of a grade horse isn't necessarily his individual quality or not. His being grade also doesn't say anything how he was bred--- all ancestors really unrelated to one another, or his being quite "line-bred," which is the process of breeding that increases the odds of having the alleles you want, when you can select for them.

                            But without a pedigree, you have only a minimal sense of which traits your one great horse will pass on. And that's what the big deal is-- predictability of the traits you want and do not.
                            Last edited by mvp; May. 10, 2019, 05:42 PM.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat


                            • #34
                              All of the above. Plus, the various breeds are somewhat specialized, and even a mediocre example of a given breed will usually have more talent at his specialty than horse of other breeds.

                              Almost every healthy TB can go ahead and run a mile race. A quarter horse or a draft horse would be hard pressed to keep speed for that distance. Even an OTTB that flunked out of basic track training and ended up a saddle horse is going to get around a cross country course with more verve than a Shire. Likewise, even mediocre backyard bred Warmbloods will have a bigger flashier trot than a QH or most TB. Many QH have natural "cow sense" and are fascinated by their first glimpse of a cow, while many WB and even OTTB never get over their basic panic reaction to seeing cows and would be useless for penning. Etc.

                              So knowing the breed absolutely helps predict the inherent abilities of the horse.

                              But also as said above, knowing the ancestors is important data even if the horse isn't formally registered. Certainly back in the old days, when there were lots more horses and far fewer registries, people would buy horses (and dogs) from local breeders who had a reputation for good stock, and could vouch for the dams and sires of their herd going back several generations. These lineages fed into modern registries. So the value of the registry is also in knowing the lineage, because then you can see what's being passed on through generations.

                              Now "grade horse" is a very wide term. These days it can be used to describe anything that doesn't have papers, and that can be a horse that was separated from its papers through circumstance (owner never bothered to register, horse went through an auction, etc) or a horse of truly unknown breeding (born feral), or someone's backyard bred horse whose parents are known, but were themselves of unknown or unregistered lineage. You might even have someone (perhaps unadvisably) breeding nice horses from parents whose lineage is known, but papers lost.


                              • #35
                                I suggest that you get your horse tested by Texas
                                Genotyping and Breed Testing Ancestry testing is $45 per animal. Sample submission form. The modern horse was re-introduced to the Americas by Spanish