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So are optional inspections for foals even worth attending?

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  • So are optional inspections for foals even worth attending?

    Thanks for all the feedback regarding my challenge of taking Pilsner to his inspection next month. I get that taking a foal without a buddy is not a great idea but that is what I will have to do. Truth be known, his "buddy" would not be a calming influence in a strange place OR on the trailer ride! I think Pilsner would handle it all much better than his "Buddy"...

    So, I hear everyone telling me about the stress of trailering...stress of him going alone...not showing well etc. etc.

    My question now becomes, should I even bother? His inspection is OPTIONAL...and we dont really want to brand him. We are not opposed to branding and would if we had to but given the choice we would probably decline anyway..

    I realize with SWANA he will get a score and be graded Class I etc. but I am wondering if it would even been worth it.

    Once any of my horses has been under saddle I have never had anyone ask me what their score was at foal inspection. For that matter what it was at mare inspection. Only what the breeding was...

    So, am I putting this little guy through something he doesnt really NEED? After all...if we were to be crazy enough to keep him a stallion prospect, we would obviously need to have him inspected at an older age, right? I cant imagine anyone can determine a stallion prospect from their foal inspection...I mean they change so much...and realistically, we are keeping this colt...since I lost his mother there is no way I will part with him....

    So...should we even bother?

  • #2
    Well, I think it depends upon the horse. I am taking a filly, by herself, to an "optional" inspection. She is already registered AHHA and will be 8 months old by the time the inspection rolls around. I have the option to have her branded without inspection, or she can be inspected and branded, just inspected or none of the above. I have opted to have her inspected and branded. BUT this filly has already been to two breed shows, by herself and was truly born with an unflappable temperament. She eats, drinks and sleeps like a champ on the road/at the shows and will do just fine at her inspection. For me, with a relatively new breeding program, I appreciate the feedback that I get from inspections. I don't believe that an inspectors opinion is the "be-all and end-all", but I do appreciate getting as many perspectives on what I'm producing as possible.

    If you think it is going to cause more stress than it is worth, then just don't do it. You know your horse better than anyone else!
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


    • Original Poster

      Good point. I would love the feedback and so far...little guy takes things in stride...guess I wouldnt know if it was too much until I tried, huh?


      • #4
        I wouldn't go to an optional inspection, especially since he is already "weaned". Once they are no longer are getting mom's milk they tend to fall apart. From what I have seen, they just don't look good enough to get high scores.

        I think of weaned foals as already starting into the "yearling uglies" and that is just not a good time to evaluate a youngster.


        • #5
          I wouldn't do an optional inspection, especially if you aren't going to brand him.
          Mystic Owl Sporthorses


          • Original Poster

            You are funny Darlyn....! I know that is the truth...my Rolling Stone filly was probably the ugliest yearling...but she is quite spectacular now! On the other hand...I like to think that this little guy hasnt hit his uglies yet...if he doesnt change dramatically in the next 3 weeks I think he would be ok...


            • #7
              They usually drop their nice, round topline, and look a bit thin, neck drops, etc, so I would make sure to feed him lots of good hay - preferably an Alfalfa mix until the inspection. Lush grass can also keep him looking good.


              • #8
                Hanoverian doesn't require inspections for the foals and every year I go back and forth between going or not and so far have always ended up going. It's always a long, exhausting day, but besides being tired I think the foals handle it better than me!
                I end up going to get the judges feed-back, the professional video and pictures, etc.
                Even though I tell myself I could braid and clean them up at home, unless I hire a professional for the pictures they just never end up as nice and I need a real reason to braid (hate it with a passion)! The "brander" for AHS doesn't live far from here and would come in the fall to brand the foals if I decided not to go. So the branding alone isn't reason enough for me! I also only drive about an hour to the inspections, if it was further it might swing the vote the other way!
                Good luck with your baby and do ask if they have a brander that travels, in case that makes a difference to you!
                Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                Originally posted by mbm
                forward is like love - you can never have enough


                • #9
                  Just to give my experience.....
                  I took my Voltaire / TB cross to a Dutch inspection last week as a weaned 5 month old. He did remarkably well with the trailering as well as the whole new scene. I think it was a good experience for him. I would recommend going.
                  Of course, I should mention that he is the best behaved horse I have ever owned, so he may not be the norm.


                  • #10
                    Its unfortunate that inspections in this country require us to drive long distances with babies, such that breeders question participating, and that only a handful of spectators attend them (besides those bringing horses). In Germany, they are very beneficial in that a high number of foals can be seen, with numerous ones by individual stallions (especially in the old days of breeders tending to stick with sires from their local station), along with the dams that provide the other half of the equation. A huge amount of observational data is thus available to the breed society officials and to those attending.

                    Therefore, I consider bringing foals to inspections somewhat of an obligation for the betterment of the breed and breeding, in general. Within reason, of course.


                    • #11
                      You can also take him in at a later date to get grading. Honestly, if he is not breedstock, Id just send in your paperwork and get your papers. IF your keeping him a stallion, then I say YES... go. If he is just going to be a riding horse, then....... Id say, dont stress it and just send in for your paperwork.
                      I cant remember what stallion you bred to? Was it Pablo???
                      If so, then if its not a stallion prospect, I would not worry about it. That stallion has already made a name for his offspring, his BLUP rating, etc. If it were a young stallion, then thats another story cuz they need to see the offspring and get an idea of what its producing.
                      Thats my opinion.

                      I told a bunch of people who bred to Puerto this year that if they wanted to do AWS or AWR or just PHR, I did not care and would not be upset. The economy is horrid, gas is horrid(er).... its hard enough to just do this, let alone all the extra expenses of the rest.
                      Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                      "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"


                      • Original Poster

                        Yes, he is a Pablo Colt. We had not planned on keeping him a stallion prospect but have lately had some folks suggest we wait to geld him...I was hoping that his foal inspection would give me more insight into weather we should wait to geld him. But the more I think about it...I wonder if it would be better to wait until he's a little older anyway...
                        PROUD MEMBER OF THE \"OMGiH I LOFF MY MARE\" CLIQUE


                        • #13
                          Some associations will let you send pictures and a video in for an eval and let you know if they see stallion candidate material. Not sure if yours does, but I know that was an option with us at the time I had to consider options. You could also take them in at 1 or 2 for stallion candidate evals. Again, not sure about your registry, but might be worth asking about.

                          IMHO...there are arguments that can be made for or against taking him. A big for is that he will gain valuable mileage, experience in the trailer, at a new place, etc. It just boils down to would you rather expose him now when he is smaller or wait until he is older to start getting him out. I took my guy solo to a breed show as a weanling and other than for the experience it was a complete waste of time b/c he had a brain freeze in the ring. I also trailered him locally to parks and such for "walks" and even took him to a fair as a yearling. I don't know, but if it was me I would probably bite the bullet and do it. And just go with the idea that it will be for the experience and if all goes well that is icing on the cake. But you are long distance no? if the trailer ride was over 2 hours I'd not go. But that is only b/c I hate pulling the rig with babies on board, stupid people cutting in front and slamming on brakes give me ulcers.
                          Celtic Pride Farm
                          Become a fan on Facebook!


                          • #14
                            Just take him in as a yearling or a two yr old then. Heck, by then you will know if you wana keep him intact or not and things will be less (or more) complicated! LOL
                            Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                            "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks for the opinions guys.... I can feel a "game day" decision coming... LOL! The trip is about 3 hours each way...my vet is coming Wed. for shots...so I may have him give me his opinion after examining the colt...we have already registered for the inspection and his paperwork is already submitted... I wanted so badly to take this foal to inspection with his mother...I actually looked forward to having that picture taken... so sad that we lost her. Still brings tears to my eyes. And it does not help that aside from the color...he looks JUST like her!
                              PROUD MEMBER OF THE \"OMGiH I LOFF MY MARE\" CLIQUE


                              • #16
                                Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                                "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"


                                • #17
                                  I have not taken my Hanoverian foals to the Inspection the past 2 years. The closest one is 3 hours away in July when it is usually around 100 degrees. It is brutal on the mares and foals to travel in those conditions, IMO. I did it for quite a few years and have decided it just is not worth it anymore. The Fall tour is about 4 1/2 hours from me, so the distance is a big factor.

                                  I would only go at this point if one of my mares needed inspection. The foals are properly registered, but, unless I get outreach branding done, they unfortunately won't be sporting the "H".

                                  And when it comes down to it for me, is it worth the drive and hassle to get a brand? No, at this point, it is not. I should look into the outreach branding program I guess.

                                  I think if you go, you will enjoy the experience and the people. Your colt is lovely and I am sure he will be fine. We are excited to have a Pablo coming in 2009!
                                  Robin Stewart


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by bassy View Post
                                    Just to give my experience.....
                                    I took my Voltaire / TB cross to a Dutch inspection last week as a weaned 5 month old. He did remarkably well with the trailering as well as the whole new scene. I think it was a good experience for him. I would recommend going.
                                    Of course, I should mention that he is the best behaved horse I have ever owned, so he may not be the norm.
                                    Which one did you go to? I have a 5 month old and decided not to go for all of the above reasons, but would love to know what it ws like.
                                    I have a Popeye K baby.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Robin - good luck with your 09 Pablo...ironically, the night before I lost this mare I had just told Spacely on this board that I was going to do a repeat breeding in 09 because I just really really liked this foal.

                                      He just loaded on the trailer for the first time! Walked right on...yeah! That's one stresser less to content with!
                                      PROUD MEMBER OF THE \"OMGiH I LOFF MY MARE\" CLIQUE


                                      • #20
                                        Can you haul him somewhere close for a "trial run"? Might be worth it to see how he travels.

                                        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*