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What questions SHOULD Mare Owners be asking???

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  • What questions SHOULD Mare Owners be asking???

    It was interesting reading Kathy's thread on the EVA status of some stallions...

    Along that line, what questions SHOULD Mare Owners be asking Stallion Owners to truly get a feel for that stallion and any possible inherent problems with him that may crop up in THEIR foal?!

    I have never been asked if my stallion cribs , or if he requires any special shoeing or blacksmith attention , not a word - ever - on his EVA status, no one asks if he has any known heritable condition(s) that might or has been passed on to his foals (and I know of one stallion who is passing on a HORRIBLE genetic deformity to a great percentage of his foals and through the 2nd generation as well, and the SO explains them away as "pasture accidents" which they most certainly were not ...). Has salmonella or Rhodococcus been diagnosed on the farm the stallion is at? Has any corrective surgery been done on the stallion in his early years, to the best of your knowledge? There is also another stallion standing out there that has such horrible feet, the SO pays a fortune every month to fly someone in just to keep him sound and shoes on him - shouldnt a MO want to know that in case those crummy feet are passed on to THEIR foal?

    Heck - I'd think that ALL of these questions were pretty darned important to ask but as mentioned, in all my years standing stallions - 4 of them in total - not one single person has asked any of these questions - ever ...

    Do the MO's simply not feel these are relevant and important questions to ask or did they never think of asking them???

    True Colours Farm on Facebook

  • #2
    has there been any incidents of abnormaltites in foals born (perhaps something not known as a heriditary trait).

    Do people pass along the info of any foal abnormalities to teh stallion owners? I had a filly a few years ago born with a malfunctioning thyroid which was pumpig out thyroid hromone six times the normal level. No one had any idea what/how or anything on origin/treatment/ect. Chose to euthanize the foal, passed info along to stallion owner.


    • #3
      What did your vet see as clues to check the thyroid level?


      • #4
        I think MO's should be asking about OCD. I do know of a couple stallions that have a freakishly high rate of OCD or other bone issues...and at least one (now gelded) had horrible OCD himself. I agree with the WB registries that require radiographs on their breeding stallions. At least if that info is out there the MO can make an informed decision if they want to risk going to a stallion with a history of these problems or a huge number of foals with issues.

        I know another stallion that horribly toes out and so does his foals...so maybe asking about correctness as a matter of course since it might not be offered if not asked about.
        Andrea Clibborn-Anderson
        Home of Pinto Dutch Warmblood Palladio


        • #5
          I don't ask the stallion owner too many questions. I read up on the stallion from published information from an unbiased source such as a breed organization licencing report, stallion performance test, foal report etc etc etc. I make my decisions on those types of "hard facts" as well as referrals from other breeders.

          I've learned not to count on the stallion owner for information. They are not an unbiased source.



          • #6
            I have a couple of mareowner clients right now who bought 2008 contracts to a stallion having no disclosure of his EVA status. Not only are they not too happy, neither am I, since I am breeding other mares in the same barn. It seems there are some issues like a positive EVA status, it is prudent for the stallion owner to discuss it upfront with forthrightedness. It is difficult to imagine where the list of questions ends if the stallion owners do not disclose real issues. I think it places greater value on having a stallion assessed and approved by registries with good reputations. I try to be forthright but I know it is more value to use a quote from the breeding director or stallion judges in a German Verband because it can carry more weight than my comments no matter how honest I try to be. I have many questions about feet, cannon circumference, temperments , shipping procedure whould be covered thoroughly, the lead time needed to order semen for shipping, if there are any blocked collection dates.
            Sorry, it boggles my mind how my questions a mareowner needs to know to make an informed selection. I put a lot of information on my website, photos and videos and offspring pictures, even breeding information and EVA status on my website but it is not easy for a person to absorb the masses of information on every page of every stallion either .

            I know some registries are understanding the need to provide more comprehensive statistics on their stallions to be posted publically and that is welcome news.

            Synergy Sporthorses
            Home to Cotopaxi and Raffaello


            • Original Poster

              Inspection scores from a licensed registry help as far as legitimate height and bone go, and their assessment of their movement and jumping form, etc but it does diddley squat as far as knowing if the stallion himself cribs and passes on an inordinate about of cribbing offspring, whether he had club foot surgery done as a baby or was stripped to straighten up a crookedy foot. One Arab breeder I used to board with had a HUGE amount of club footed foals born and off they went for surgery because "when they went to sell them down the road as breeding stock they wanted the buyers to see nice straight legs on them " ...

              One stallion I knew from several years back was horribly aggressive to handle, to collect, to do anything with. I have no idea if those traits were passed on to his offspring or not or if that was considered a heritable trait or not but I guess I'd want to know before I bred my mare to a stallion like that???!

              I am just truly amazed year after year what questions Mare Owners DONT ask that I feel they should to make a really informed decision as to who they are breeding their mare to

              True Colours Farm on Facebook


              • #8
                I agree w/ Vandenbrink - when looking at a stallion, I do some research on my own. What kind of show record does he have (that is an indicator of soundness of mind and body), who is in his bloodlines (that gives quite a bit of indicator as to what has been inherited)? What inspection scores? I also look at conformation shots - what do they show? What do they hide? I request video - and look carefully at how he travels and what kind of shoes he is wearing.

                What I ask the stallion owner - I do ask about temperment. Then I ask about progressive motility/semen quality, collection schedules, etc. I ask to see pictures of other offspring if he's been around long enough to have any.

                Some stallion owners are very open and honest. Others, not so much. I had one several years ago who is STILL advertising her stallion's "turbo semen", yet it was awful quality (they swam, but in CIRCLES), AND he'd been injured and couldn't be collected, but she didn't tell me that until we'd re-cycled my mare several times. I lost a ton of money on that breeding, and will NEVER breed to him again. I tend to gravitate back to SOs that I've had great experiences with. By the way, I'm also a stallion owner myself, so I understand both sides of the story!
                www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                Director, WTF Registry


                • #9
                  reply to oakstable

                  When my filly was born she had a huge lump in her throat. We thought it would inpede bloodflow/respiration. She seemed to be fine otherwise. the lump never disipated.

                  The initial blood tests that the local equine clinic did on her came back with slightly elevated glucose levels, but nothing substantial. I opted to have her thyroid levels checked. This test went to the equine research unit at the university in Guelph Ontario. The normal level for the tests is somewhere around 37ish. Hers were at somewhere around 240, basically six times the normal level. This test was done when she was three days old and it took three days for the test results to come back.

                  No one at Guelph had ever seen results like these. They offered to do tests on their account, but it boiled down to them not having a clue to even knowing how to treat her. They couldn't tell me what kind of illnesses she would be facing, what the longterm effects of these types of hormone levels would do to her body. I figured if vets who had been treating just horses for 40 years and all teh research they did on thousands of horses and had no idea what was wrong with my filly, what right or chance did she have. I just didn't have teh heart to watch her slowly breakdown, so I put her to sleep. I did offer her to the university for research figuring if she could save someone else the heartache down the road that I went through. They just took her thyroid after she was euthanized. She was nine days old.

                  The breeders were kind enough to offer me another breeding in it's place at no extra charge other than the gathering fees for collection. I got a healthy colt from that breeding and he had no problems (he is not the smartest horse out there though).


                  • #10
                    What should mare owners ask?

                    My biggie is semen quality. There is nothing worse than investing all sorts of time and money, and maybe even losing out on a breeding year entirely, because you're getting horrible semen. What's worse is some people send bad semen and know it, but they make so much money on collection it's actually more of a money maker for them than the stud fees.
                    "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." George Burns


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pinecone View Post
                      What should mare owners ask?

                      My biggie is semen quality. There is nothing worse than investing all sorts of time and money, and maybe even losing out on a breeding year entirely, because you're getting horrible semen. What's worse is some people send bad semen and know it, but they make so much money on collection it's actually more of a money maker for them than the stud fees.
                      Unfortunately there are a lot of stallion owners who are going to beat around the bush rather than admit that their boy's semen isn't premium stuff. I like those SOs who are willing to send you a copy of results from the stallion's current year repro exam - it's hard to argue with that kind of data.


                      • #12
                        And, as we said on another thread - if they are advertising that the stallion is approved with a particular registry and you are interested in registering your foal with that registry, ask the stallion owner if they have paid the stallion's activation fee for the current year - and then verify it by checking the registry's current stallion roster or calling the registry office.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vandenbrink View Post
                          I don't ask the stallion owner too many questions. I read up on the stallion from published information from an unbiased source such as a breed organization licencing report, stallion performance test, foal report etc etc etc. I make my decisions on those types of "hard facts" as well as referrals from other breeders.

                          I've learned not to count on the stallion owner for information. They are not an unbiased source.
                          To get vital, factual, information here is difficult at times b/c of possible fallout due to the info.
                          "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."