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how do you stallion match your young mares?

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  • how do you stallion match your young mares?

    I have a home-bred 3yo WB, who for a couple of reasons, I'm debating breeding next spring as a coming-4yo.
    I know many sporthorse breeders choose to breed their 3yos, but I'm having trouble figuring out the right match for this mare. She's still growing, and so I don't know exactly how her conformation will change as she continues to mature. She's got some groundwork, but is not yet started under saddle, so I don't know what kind of work ethic she has, or how her gaits will change with development.
    I don't want to be one of 'those' breeders who just picks the flavor-of-the-month stallion--I want a pairing that makes sense on paper and for the horse in front of me. So, experienced breeders, how do you go about picking the right match for your young, unproven mares?
    A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

    http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    By now you should have a general idea of her conformation: is she short coupled or rectangular? Good feet? What was her dam bred to, and how did they turn out? Any particular nicks with your filly’s sire?

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    • #3
      Disclaimer: I am really an amateur at all this. But, personally, I use Hippomundo and Horsetelex as a basis and foundation for pedigree research and analysis of mating's. Using/purchasing the mares performance pedigree to determine good "Nicks" and siblings in the family say 3 or 4 generations deep who have produced and mixed well with others. They also have a service/report for best combinations of the Mare's - Sires with Sires by %'s, etc. In addition, the rankings of sires seems helpful which shows 8 year olds or older (progeny) %'s of sires progeny who have "shown" at 1.45M or more. When clicking on a potential sire, you can easily see the broodmare sires they mix well with for their best performers. Then, after finding a hand full of sires, matching what Anne suggests is critical and most important - what "type" fits best with the mares conformation, then we narrow the choices down. Lastly, we look for the best line breeding where it is "sex balanced". When a mating is good line bred/sex balanced, the Nick is Good, the type fits, and the sire has a large percentage of success of 8 year olds to black type "showing" (30%+) (Not all in this order), then we believe the odds are in favor of success. Good Luck - I find a lot of Fun in the research and then seeing the outcome of the baby!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        thanks! I hadn't heard of 'nicks' before, but it makes sense. You gave me some good things to think about.
        A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

        http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Look at other horses of similar breeding to your mare. Oftentimes you can track distinct tendencies (best option of course is if there are full siblings, but I know not all horses do). Some stallions/mares will reliably pass on certain characteristics to their offspring. Breeding values touch on this with stallions, and there are also some of the publications (stallion yearbooks, I know at least Hannoverian has one yearly) that you can track trends with offspring via stallion. Someone above mentioned horsetelex - which I will add, also shows you the mare lines that can be beneficial to research. You can see what they tend to produce and see what they can cross well with.

          While a coming-4yo may not be completely grown, I feel as if there's enough there to reliably assess what they will be at full maturation in terms of physical type. Likewise, the personality on the ground, being handled and their teachability in regards to things like behavior for farriers, how they engage with new stimuli, etc, is all there. Look at the horse you have physically and mentally and find what can compliment that. The gaits may be improved under saddle with work on balance and strength but the natural quality of what is there, is already there. So for example, if you are looking at your mare and sees she has a nice balance to the canter but doesn't have so much natural jump in it, you can refine your search to stallions whose offspring reliably have power in the canter.

          And then of course - as also mentioned above, the breeding nicks can be tremendously helpful.

          Also food for thought: Some stallions (generally these are more established and have quite a foal crop) seem very prepotent. They reliably stamp their offspring so much so that regardless of mare, their foals are all quite similar (and mature in the same vein). While it doesn't necessarily give the greatest idea of what a mare produces, if in doubt you can always research which those stallions are (and of course, make sure they cross well on mares like yours as always some variation does exist) and use them - added bonus, those stallions with large populations of offspring can offer a good sample size for what they cross well on (again on horsetelex/pulling up the list of progeny - you can see what is showing at which levels, results, approved stallion offspring or mares with predicates).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jumper37 View Post
            Disclaimer: I am really an amateur at all this. But, personally, I use Hippomundo and Horsetelex as a basis and foundation for pedigree research and analysis of mating's. Using/purchasing the mares performance pedigree to determine good "Nicks" and siblings in the family say 3 or 4 generations deep who have produced and mixed well with others. They also have a service/report for best combinations of the Mare's - Sires with Sires by %'s, etc. In addition, the rankings of sires seems helpful which shows 8 year olds or older (progeny) %'s of sires progeny who have "shown" at 1.45M or more. When clicking on a potential sire, you can easily see the broodmare sires they mix well with for their best performers. Then, after finding a hand full of sires, matching what Anne suggests is critical and most important - what "type" fits best with the mares conformation, then we narrow the choices down. Lastly, we look for the best line breeding where it is "sex balanced". When a mating is good line bred/sex balanced, the Nick is Good, the type fits, and the sire has a large percentage of success of 8 year olds to black type "showing" (30%+) (Not all in this order), then we believe the odds are in favor of success. Good Luck - I find a lot of Fun in the research and then seeing the outcome of the baby!
            This is what I do. I also travel to a lot of shows and watch the horses I like and mark them in the daysheet. I then look up their breeding in reference to my mares.

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            • #7
              I posed the same question to a friend of mine who is an extremely successful breeder with just a few mares, one of whom was th highest scored KWPN horse in NA as a three year old. Here is what I remember of her answer.

              She usually doesn’t use a young, flavor-of-the-month stallion with an unproven mare. Instead a stallion whose inheritable traits are easier to track.

              She is is all about the damline.
              Look for highly successful horses whose dams have the same lines/ breeding as your mare. Who is the sire of that horse? Bonus points if you find a pattern, that’s a Nick. (Like Pik Solo on Donnerhall mares)

              don’t expect the stallion to improve the mare. Start with a mare you would be 100% happy to duplicate.


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