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What would you say to breeder?

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  • What would you say to breeder?

    I will try to summarize this...

    1. You bought a horse (we will call her "Horse") as a 2 year old. Horse is out of essentially the breeder's family pet -daughter's pony club mount, hay burner (so has not had a lot of performance demands placed on her under saddle, and "temperment" can be pretty zany in a PPG mount with no problem), but is a well bred, nicely conformed mare approved by CSHA, and Horse's father is a good stallion known to throw decent temperment.

    2. Horse is a beautiful creature - good conformation, soundness, very pretty, breyer model material in the looks department. Fabulous mover. Great ground manners. Sweet as pie.

    3. BUT - Horse has always been difficult under saddle. NOT at all "dangerous", has never reared, but really hot. Temperment is probably 8/10 on the rideability scale, but Horse has always been in pro training, and rider is above average ammie, so in this "perfect" situation, it is not a really big deal. In fact, when Horse goes well, she is quite spectacular.

    4. Mare owner has seen Horse go at a show. That day Horse happened to be at her worst - in between breathtaking moments, she melted down several times, stood in ring as quivering blob of jelly refusing to do anything but uncalled for piaffe and walk-canter transitions (in a first level test) - again, NOT dangerous, but in no way a good thing, either. Mare owner was very impressed by the breathtaking parts, and exclaimed "she is much better than her mom at shows!" You and your trainer have a laugh over this later - "better!! Ha ha ha"

    5. Mare owner tells you they are rebreeding the mare. You think this is kind of unwise, but who knows? Maybe it is the stallion, maybe it is your riding, maybe it is (insert influence besides mare here). You don't know this breeder well enough to really feel comfortable telling them you think they are nuts, and can't definitively blame your horse's behaviour on the mare.

    Fast forward to breeding season...

    6. In an unrelated chain of events, while surfing a BB, you find out that the mare has had another offspring, one year older than Horse - a gelding by a different but also decent stallion. The gelding was euthanized due to dangerous, uncontrollable fits under saddle. Oh oh. You don't know if the breeder has any idea that this has happened, however it did happen BEFORE they saw you at the horse show.

    7. Horse is now in the hands of one of the best riders in the country, and is mellowing as she ages. Appears that Horse should be able to go GP, has started P&P, changes etc. Assuming that Horse gets her act together in the ring, her performance may someday be used as a strong selling feature for her dam's other offspring, increasing their value.

    So breeders - what say you?

    Does owner of Horse send an email to the breeder.... "hey, by the way... in case you didn't hear, you might want to stop reproducing that creature"? Or mind their own business, assuming the breeder knows the scoop, but chooses to continue with their breeding program?

    If the mare can create offspring that, in the right hands, and can perform at a high level but may be dangerous in the wrong hands - does that mare still belong in a breeding program?
    Last edited by lowroller; Mar. 13, 2008, 09:03 AM. Reason: trying to make less confusing!

  • #2
    ..not in MY breeding program... I have NEVER seen the "breed what you cannot ride" mentality outproduce itself..

    I dealt with several of those youngsters before, one euthanized herself before anyone else got killed.
    "It's not how good you ride, It's how good your horse covers for you." -Kristan
    Magic Rose Farm- home of Beste Gold & Hot Shot
    Beste Gold & Offspring on Facebook
    Magic Rose Farm Warmbloods on FB

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    • #3
      To summarize -

      Mare is safe pony club mount?

      Mare has had two foals - Gelding and Horse?

      Gelding put down due to dangerous behavior.

      Horse is mellowing and coming along nicely.

      And you want to suggest the mare owner to not breed her again based on above info?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not too shy. I would probably tell the MO...not to NOT breed the horse....but how things are with your Horse and the Gelding and give a friendly suggestion that just FYI since the mare does not apprear to produce an easy to ride horse if she rebreeds the mare she might want to put a lot of emphasis on an easygoing temperment of the proposed sire. I have Mare X. Mare X produced 2 foals by stallion A and a third by stallion B. I didn't know until the first 2 foals were of under saddle age that they are in fact talented but not an easy ride. Foal 3 is a very laidback/easy horse. Now I know how number one and 2 came out because the lady that owns number 1 updates me on how she is doing and I own number 2 as my personal horse...but say I sold both to folks that never updated me on how the foals were doing. I MIGHT not find out that maybe that isn't the best combo that I should not continue to cross. But I do know that and I would not breed that mare to the first stallion again. AS it happens the lady that owns foal number one is perfectly happy with her...is a very good rider and the horse is in the right hands that will bring out the best in her. But....breeding a pro ride type horse is not a big market. I really need to try and breed a "less hot"/easier horse for the general market if I don't want to hang onto that horse for a long time!!
        I would not wnat to breed the mare myself, no, but I don't think telling her she should notbreed her outright is probably going to get a receptive response either.
        Providence Farm
        http://providencefarmpintos.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          You asked for opinions - here is mine.


          Originally posted by lowroller View Post

          BUT - Horse has always been difficult under saddle. NOT at all "dangerous", has never reared, but really hot

          ....Mare owner has seen Horse go at a show. That day Horse happened to be at her worst - in between breathtaking moments, she melted down several times, stood in ring as quivering blob of jelly refusing to do anything but uncalled for piaffe and walk-canter transitions (in a first level test) - again, NOT dangerous, but in no way a good thing, either.

          ...Horse is now in the hands of one of the best riders in the country, and is mellowing as she ages. Appears that Horse should be able to go GP, has started P&P, changes etc.
          This is just personal opinion but, if your mare is having difficulty under saddle, why is she showing right now? If it were me, I'd try and correct the under saddle issues at home first before subjecting her to a show, especially if she's a nervous horse. And, if she's currently showing at First Level and struggling to remain relaxed and obedient, why is a trainer, regardless of calibre, working on piaffe, passage and tempi's?


          Originally posted by lowroller View Post
          ...Mare owner tells you they are rebreeding the mare. You think this is kind of unwise, but who knows? Maybe it is the stallion, maybe it is your riding, maybe it is (insert influence besides mare here). You don't know this breeder well enough to really feel comfortable telling them you think they are nuts, and can't definitively blame your horse's behaviour on the mare.
          You've already concluded that you do not know if the problem stems back to the original broodmare.

          Originally posted by lowroller View Post
          In an unrelated chain of events, while surfing a BB, you find out that the mare has had another offspring, one year older than Horse - a gelding by a different but also decent stallion. The gelding was euthanized due to dangerous, uncontrollable fits under saddle.
          For me, the first warning sign is...."while surfing a BB"! Did you speak directly to the owner of the gelding? Do you know all of the circumstances behind what happened? If the gelding was indeed euthanized, was a full medical work-up done on the gelding to rule out any lameness, soreness, disease, hormones, tumors, etc. first? Was poor training program, poor rider or poor professional rider skills ruled out first?

          I don't know, to me, there is just too much heresay and unknowns to be telling a Mare Owner they shouldn't breed their mare...besides the fact that it's nobody's business to do that to any Mare Owner or Stallion Owner...as much as we'd all like to! In saying that, if you feel so certain about it, there is nothing wrong with dropping the Mare Owner a line and just mentioning the difficulty you've had with your horse under saddle and that you heard her older sibling was put down due to dangerous behavior. You're apt to get more flies with honey. Nobody likes to be told what to do and what not to do....especially if it involves a much loved family pet that may be the jewel of the family. For me personally, I would just leave it be as it would be none of my business but, if you really feel the need to contact them, I would just throw out hints rather than accusation.
          www.DaventryEquestrian.com
          Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
          Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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          • #6
            I dunno...mare was daughter's Pony Club mount, did PPG games (they can be a bit hot for that, but they are still being ridden by children) , your horse is doing FEI level work....from an objective standpoint you don't really have much of an argument that the mare should not be bred again. I think in your position you could casually mention that previous offspring was euthanized (but you also don't REALLY know what went on there) and leave it up to breeder to decide. If I was the breeder I would want to know that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Your horse is going to the upper levels and you're wanting to tell the breeder NOT to rebreed her mother? Some upper level horses require an upper level rider. I don't think most GP showjumpers are ammy mounts. I'd say your horse's progress, whether she's a complicated ride or not, says that the mare is producing talented foals.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think your post is VERY confusing as to who is doing what, but if I understand you correctly, the original mare and dam of your horse and the gelding is a safe pony club mount. Your horse is successfully doing FEI work, the gelding had some kind of problem but you have no idea what. MYOB it was probably bad training and handling with the gelding.
                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                Now apparently completely invisible!

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                • #9
                  If I were the mare owner, I would WANT TO KNOW that foals I produced are mental wrecks or unsound or whatever, as much as I would want to know that they are out there doing their jobs as equine good citizens. How else would I know if my breeding program is working?

                  Is Horse talented? Obviously. But imagine if Horse had not wound up in the perfect situation for Horse? Horse's life would be hell, would it not?

                  So put me in with Camohn: Give the mare owner a friendly heads up that if/when she goes to breed the mare, she may want to look for a stallion whose disposition and trainability are unquestioned. If someone had done that for me when I was picking stallions several years ago, I wouldn't have wound up with five -- yes, FIVE -- foals by a particular stallion and one of his sons out of three different mares, each one of whom was hotter, more difficult and unsound than the one before it. Three of them were euthanized before they were 7 years old. So, since I would definitely appreciate someone telling me about a stallion's issues, I'd for darn sure would want to know if MY mare was the problem. (And no, I have never used that stallion or any of his sons again, and none of my mares has ever had another unsound or insane foal ... I learned the hard way.)
                  Congratulate me! My CANTER cutie is an honor student at Goofball University!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is a very hard call. Let's see, I will first describe one of my mare's. She was a very, very difficult horse and in fact was never broken. The poor mare (this story has been retold to me a few times so hopefully I get it correct) was pretty much tortured to get her to behave under saddle, but once that rider got on she was a bucking bronco. Owner/breeder tried different trainers, saddles etc... finally they x-rayed her spine (after several years of almost abuse trying to beat this horse to submit) and low and behold she had suffered an injury as a youngster that had crushed 2 vertabrae (causing severe kissing spine). They figured it must of occurred when she was a yearling and had reared up in play but fell over backwards hard. Long story short, this mare is amazing and her babies are amazing (I broke her first baby as a 3yo in just DAYS). She always gets fantastic remarks at the inspections we take her to with her babies. Now if you had seen this mare when she came to me you would of said DON'T BREED THAT WACKO!!! But over the years with us she now once again trusts people and has been a lovely, lovely asset to our farm.

                    Now I on the other hand have seen mares that are wacko and should not be bred. They are let's say genetically wacked, lol. In my opinion, a good breeder should already know a little about genetics and therefore has a moral reason for NOT breeding that mare. I am not saying don't breed a HOT mare (I personlly like sensitivity because those that are sensitive and are raised and trained correctly have always been my best competitive mounts) there is a BIG difference. Also, if the mare was HOT and SPOOKY hmmm, I would really think they should not breed the mare, bad combo. But as in everything in life there are exceptions. There are stallions out there that consistently throw excellent temperament and rideability. So if the mare was very hot and just a little spooky but was exceptional in every other way, then breeding to a stallion known for producing quiet offspring would or should be okay.

                    So as you can see, it would be very difficult to tell a breeder NOT to breed a certain mare. There just is too many unknowns to accurately judge her as a broodmare. I am very picky about who I use as a broodmare here. I have some that are used primarily for producing great ammy mounts and then there are some that I use for producing potential upper level horses. My upper level types are more sensitive than the ammy mares, so as a reputable breeder, it is my obligation to choose correctly a stallion that not only fits the mare conformationally, but is the right "temperament" for that particular mare.

                    I think you could nicely voice your opinion to this breeder but be careful how you approach it if you do so. Some people are very defensive and somewhat barn blind to their mares.
                    www.lazyjsporthorses.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tell the breeder that your mare is talented enough to be on her way to GP and then watch the big grin forming on his/her face! :-)
                      Siegi Belz
                      www.stalleuropa.com
                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would definitely tell the breeder. She will want to know who to not sell her horses to - especially if they are going to put them down, without offering them back to the breeder first.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm with you Daventry.


                          Mare owner was very impressed by the breathtaking parts, and exclaimed "she is much better than her mom at shows!

                          It seems like the owner already knows what her mare is like. I wouldn't contact the MO to tell her "hey, by the way... in case you didn't hear, you might want to stop reproducing that creature." I would venture that your opinion would not be well received. Though you could mention that you heard/read about the gelding out of her mare that was euthanized and see what she says.

                          But I'm curious, do you know the whole story of why the gelding was euthanized? Was the breeder contacted? What training/handling led up to him needing to be put down? One has to wonder if the gelding would have been a super star in the right hands?

                          Keep in mind that many International horses are very tough. I'm sure in the wrong hands some could be very dangerous. I certainly don't have any desire to even walk around one of Anky's top horses.

                          Horse is now in the hands of one of the best riders in the country, and is mellowing as she ages. Appears that Horse should be able to go GP, has started P&P, changes etc. Assuming that Horse gets her act together in the ring, her performance may someday be used as a strong selling feature for her dam's other offspring, increasing their value.


                          And why not? You want the breeder to stop breeding her mare and to not take credit for producing a mare that may do very well at the top level?
                          Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty.
                          Nathaniel Hawthorne

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You must remember, what is hard to ride for one person is boring to another. This even applies to advanced/pro level riders. Most of the top riders I know dont want to deal with antics as they cant get hurt or they dont get a paycheck.
                            And, I honestly feel from raising several horses now that handling or lack of is the key to sucessful brains of horses.
                            I have spent my whole life taking in "rank" horses only to find out its ppl made. In 20yrs of riding horses now, I have only met two REALLY killer horses that had no self preservance (sp?) and could care less if they killed themself or others.
                            Anyway, thats my two cents.
                            I think you should be happy to have a horse that is at the level its at as many dont make it that far and just let the breeder do as they wish.
                            www.spindletopfarm.net
                            Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                            "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Attempting a response

                              It's an interesting point..should you say something? Well coming to a national chat room is saying something...you may wish to make the mare owner aware...we frequently get inquiries about breeding a former show mare and I always ask about "difficult" mares but it depends upon the circumstances of their individual situation. Oftentimes mares that have ended up living here to be bred and foaled out are, with some ground handling they can understand and relate to, very nice mares to be around with a foal. And perhaps they were not so nice in a training barn because they were, I am sorry to say, treated like machines. And oftentime those mares are great mothers too, who take great care and pay alot of attention tho the foals. And when we wean them, then we get a second opportunity to really get them bonded with people, beyong the usual things like halter training and leading, trims and such. So it's a mixed bag and hard to know exactly what to say. I did have a mare that was vicious with a foal by her side and it was apparently, known that this was the case, but no one said a word. this was years ago and the mare should never have been sold with any potential for being a broodmare. I truly wish someone would have said something. So maybe it would be a good idea...some offspring are more demanding of a different kind of raising and starting, a more natural style shall we say.
                              Barb
                              Silverhorne Sporthorse LLC
                              www.silverhorne.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Mare owner was very impressed by the breathtaking parts, and exclaimed "she is much better than her mom at shows!
                                This could mean talent wise, not behavior, as in better mover, turns on in the show arena, more quality, more show worthy.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Really interesting responses! Thank you.

                                  There is ZERO advantage to me to talk to the breeder. I love Horse, she is awesome - FOR ME. In fact, should I decide to sell or breed Horse, it only helps my case if she has successful sibs in the ring on mare side. I just have a nagging feeling...

                                  Based on your responses I won't bother, but might mention gelding in passing when next we meet. (BTW they did not own the mare when gelding was born, so the fact that they may not be following his life and times is not a surprise).

                                  Just out of curiosity....

                                  Say the nutty side of Horse's equation was a young up and coming stallion, with only a few foals of riding age (i.e this breeder owned the stallion - mare was a solid citizen). Would you breed your mares to the stallion because one offspring was talented but a pro ride, if you knew one offspring was nuts?

                                  OR

                                  Say mare owner showed up at your farm with mare (or semen tank, whatever). Do you let mare owner breed to YOUR great tempered stallion, turning potential devil-spawn stamped with your name in lights loose into the world?

                                  No one knows this mare, but they will sure know your stallion when offspring wins the 5 yr old class at Devon...or, alternatively, when they read about offspring going ballistic and trampling baby strollers at a horse show...

                                  (I did contact the owner of gelding to ask what had happened, and just said I owned a half sib, did not specify "same mare"... she said gelding had full vet workup, pasture rest, 4 trainers etc. But nothing helped.

                                  Guess who got credit for the trainwreck?

                                  She wrapped up email with something along the lines of "I don't know any of this stallion's other offspring, but this one was nuts". Assumed, I guess, that stallion reproduced asexually - something for stallion owners to keep in mind!)

                                  OR

                                  Say that instead of temperment, Horse had wobblers that was surgically corrected via expensive and experimental surgery at a vet college, and went on to FEI level dressage. Gelding's owner chose not to go the surgery route and had him put down. Would your answer be the same if the potential "unsoundness" was physical rather than mental?

                                  Originally posted by Beezer View Post
                                  Is Horse talented? Obviously. But imagine if Horse had not wound up in the perfect situation for Horse? Horse's life would be hell, would it not?
                                  I think this post summarizes my thoughts.

                                  This breeder essentially has won the "buyer lottery". Her breeding program will appear to be successful, based on luck.

                                  Had Horse been purchased by someone with more limited financial resources and riding skill, there is no way Horse would be where she is now.

                                  (Someone would have probably decided to turn her into a broodmare! )

                                  So now the breeder is producing a foal for an extremely limited market. And how will she "vet" that buyer to make sure that the home IS perfect? They didn't ask to see my bank account, or demand to know my riding credentials. Do you?

                                  I guess I don't think the "buyer lottery" should factor in to breeding program, but instead breeder should consider the likelihood that offspring will succeed in an average home.


                                  (P.S - some of you need to go and watch some pony club events. They make your hair curl. Anything goes. And the "children" can be in their late teens, early 20's, so there are some STRONG riders involved (both in terms of skill AND physical strength))

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by lowroller View Post
                                    Really interesting responses! Thank you.

                                    There is ZERO advantage to me to talk to the breeder. I love Horse, she is awesome - FOR ME. In fact, should I decide to sell or breed Horse, it only helps my case if she has successful sibs in the ring on mare side. I just have a nagging feeling...
                                    Okay, honestly I quit reading after this. If the dam is such a fire breathing dragon and producing the unholy, why would you consider breeding YOUR version of her?

                                    I would not breed a "mean," aggressive, horse. I would consider breeding a hotter natured more sensitive "pro ride" type horse that had that the utmost of talent, with careful care and consideration given to the buyer and the stallion selected. Maybe even raising and starting myself and marketing honestly.

                                    I foxhunted a jigger/rearer OTTB, not for the faint of the heart, but had him many years and never once worried about a fence no matter the height, size, look. I also evented him quite successfully and did jumpers on him. So there are people that understand the mentality of the hotter horses and know how to approach riding them.
                                    Celtic Pride Farm
                                    www.celticpridefarm.com
                                    Become a fan on Facebook!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      lowroller - count me as another confused reader.....It's not clear to me what you are trying to accomplish with your postings.

                                      I'm a breeder and I can tell you pretty specifically what kind of temperaments my mares and youngsters have. I also check stallion records and bloodlines which gives me a good idea of what to expect from that side.

                                      I can honestly say that I haven't experienced the kind of "devil spawn" of a horse you keep mentioning. Yes, there are some stallions that will add some "hotness" to the breeding equation and I have bred to them because a higher level dressage horse needs some of that in order to be brilliant. That doesn't mean that those offspring are "devil spawn" however - they don't attack or trample or do any of those exaggerated things you have mentioned.

                                      And for your edification, there are quite a few talented youngsters that go through a stage in training where they're "naughty" because they feel good, are getting muscles in all kind of places, and just want to test the waters. That doesn't make them "devil spawn" either...

                                      If I were you I'd be ecstatic about having a horse that is talented enough to go GP and would probably send the breeder a nice note thanking her for producing such a fine specimen. :-) (that's what my clients do..)
                                      Siegi Belz
                                      www.stalleuropa.com
                                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by lowroller View Post

                                        There is ZERO advantage to me to talk to the breeder. I love Horse, she is awesome - FOR ME. In fact, should I decide to sell or breed Horse, it only helps my case if she has successful sibs in the ring on mare side. I just have a nagging feeling...
                                        Oh for the love of friggin' Pete. sigh! You're spouting off on a public BB, stating that this "terrible" Mare Owner should be told not to breed her mare again, and that ethically she should not be breeding her. Yet, it's OK for you to consider breeding said mares offspring who possessing the same problems and behavioral issues. That makes you just as barn blind as the original Mare Owner.
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