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Spin-off - Are those breeding for AA/crosses backyard breeders?

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  • Spin-off - Are those breeding for AA/crosses backyard breeders?

    Spin-off from the Angola Prison thread...because they breed draft, QH and WB crosses, are they considered backyard breeders? I personally LOVE a good draft cross, but the poorly bred one's are usually a sad sight. Even some of the well bred ones due to the genetic crapshoot of breeding differing types. Does the risk outweigh the benefit?

    I think purpose bred crosses for adult amateurs, where soundness, temperment, and easy to ride gaits come before flawless conformation, bloodlines, or world beater gaits, do have a place. We can't all afford (or even ride) fancy WBs or hot TBs. I'd much rather someone thoughtfully bred these horses than someone who would breed willy nilly!
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

  • #2
    I can't speak about this prison - but I know that the TDC (Texas Dept. of Corrections) breeds and sells horses, too. When I was out there about 10 years ago (using their horses for my MS research on imprint training), they were breeding between 50 and 75 mares/year.

    They bred both QH/Draft crosses and purebred QHs. They had been breeding for years, and they had spent time to establish a decent breeding program.

    The QH/Draft crosses were bred for us in the prison system - for those in Texas, when you drive down the road and see a guard or two on horseback supervising a road crew, those are probably some of my babies all grown up.

    They used QH/Draft crosses (per the farm manager) because they needed stout horses to carry some of their guards. They had used with QH/TWH horses at one point so they would be smoother riding, but they did not hold up as well.

    The used to (maybe still) have an auction every year where they sell off the excess horses - those who won't work for their needs and the excess (I believe often the QHs). It is a fundraiser, and most of those horses are pleasure horses/ranch horses (not show horses). They had bought a couple of pretty nice QH stallions from A&M when I was out there to help improve their program.

    So.... maybe the prison in question is breeding the draft crosses for similar reasons and selling the excess. I don't know that prison system, so I could be wrong. Just throwing out my experience.

    (And yes, it was quite an experience to spend time in the all-male prison unit out in Huntsville. Gives you another perspective on life, that's for sure!).
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com


    • #3
      I think as long as what you are breeding is well thought out, and you have a long term plan for sales, training etc., you could breed one or one hundred and not be a BYB.
      However if you expect to get large quantities of money for draft crosses that have never been handled then you become a BYB.
      I believe that your knowledge, willingness to learn and planning, or lack there of, is what makes a BYB.
      I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

      R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


      • Original Poster

        Thank you for your responses! The Angola prison system seems (I say seems since I've only seen pictures but have opinions from people who have seen the offspring in person) to have a decent program of producing productive horses who are a nice size, decently conformed, and generally started under saddle at the appropriate age.

        I asked on the other thread what they thought the price range would be. I have seen people price their decent draft and WB crosses anywhere from $2500 - $25,000. From the pictures, the one's started under saddle look like $3500-$6500 horses, the youngsters probably in the $1000-$2000 range, IMO.

        But I have no clue what they are actually asking for these guys. I also have no idea whether the program is self sustaining or if there is $ from the prison funneled to this program.
        When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


        • #5
          Angola also has the granddaddy of prison rodeos, so perhaps they breed at least some of the horses for use in those.

          I should think that having to care for horses would be excellent experience for people who have no concept of responsibility and can also benefit from non-judgmental relationships with horses, who can return affection with affection. (No comments about Doug Spinks here, please.)

          If they breed primarily for their own use and sell to the public what they cannot use, I really don't consider that backyard breeding at all. Or even if they are breeding for an established market, I wouldn't think of that as backyard breeding. And the side benefits from their program might rehabilitate some of their inmates.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire


          • Original Poster

            Definitely agree with the rehabilitative qualities of working with horses, no question about it. The question could be raised though (not that I necessarily agree with this) that there are enough unwanted horses already being bred that could be used for this purpose. That there are enough mixed breed horses already (as well as unwanted OTTB or ranch bred QHs), we don't need to add more.

            I think these youngsters look nice (although some of the pictures make it pretty difficult to assess them properly), and I've always wanted to see what a WB/draft cross mix would come out like, mind and body. And if they are supplying NOLA PD, plus their own needs, and still have 100+ young horses up for auction seems like maybe they are breeding too many each year?
            When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


            • #7
              If Angola is providing police horses, with minimal left over to sell to the public, I'm OK with that. If they are having "leftovers". then NO, I am not ok with that.
              If they want to do rehab, there's an awful lot of TB's that could be used that are already on the ground, or PMU rescues, without trying to breed more grade horses.

              In general, I think most people breeding non-purebred horses with no show record/performance record/work record (ranch horses), are for the most part adding to the problem instead of being a valuable breeding resource.


              • Original Poster

                I wonder if just a bit more thought was put into these types of programs, if the US would become a bit more like Germany in that you can find a decently bred, decently conformed WB in someone's backyard. If they took the time to breed some decent performance horses instead, maybe the "leftovers" would have a readily available home? And those with limited budget but want to ride a decent horse could have one?

                ETA that the sale at Angola has a LOT of youngsters listed. Over 100, I think.
                When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.