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Legacy Breedings

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  • Legacy Breedings

    I was thinking about this yesterday and would love to get other people's opinions.

    What is the overall concensus on "legacy breedings"? People who have that *heart* horse and want to breed so that they have a horse to carry on the legacy of their favorite horse. Often these horses aren't perfect conformationally or great athletes, but often have a redeeming quality that makes them favored by their owners.

    I myself wonder how many of the foals from these legacy breedings are kept on to be the next "heart horse" and how many are sold when they didn't meet expectations.

    So what says you about this trend? How many of you have done a legacy breeding and what was your outcome - keep or sell?

  • #2
    I am a big believer that anyone can breed any mare to any stallion provided they plan to keep the foal regardless of the outcome. If they are breeding to sell, a lot more thought has to go into it. Of course there is luck involved either way but the stakes are much higher for the horse if it has to be commercial.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      I am doing a legacy breeding - to Legaczy, ironically - this year.

      However, my mare has fabulous bloodlines and a performance record, along with excellent conformation. I am breeding for myself and will be keeping the foal as my next performance horse. I want a carbon copy of my mare, just taller, which is good, because looks-wise the mare and stud could be related, however he is 17.1 to her large framed 15.3.


      • Original Poster

        I guess I bring it up because while in the process of casually horse shopping for my next horse, my barn owner asked me why don't I just breed my mare because I said "I'm having a hard time with looking at other horses because I've been so spoiled by her."

        My mare is a saint. She's my all around bombproof packer with a good sense of humor. She's not the most athletic horse but has a fantastic brain and is one of the most sensible horses I've ever known. I would have a barn full of her if I had the $$ to clone her.

        She's a heavy bred hunter - an odd cross of appy and irish draught. She has size and substance with appy color. Her conformation is a bit weird. She has a huge head, short thick neck and a longer back. Short, heavy legs and a very wide barrel. My biggest beef with her is that she toes out a bit in front but it doesn't seem to impede her movement. In fact, she has a very classic, flat knee hunter way of going. She doesn't deviate or paddle through the shoulder. I've lived with it the last twelve years and it hasn't affected us in the least.

        The mare has been bred twice. First pregnancy was aborted due to missed twins on the ultrasound and the second pregnancy was a live birth but in breeding her to an appy stud, we wound up with a filly who had congenital eye issues due to the appy dominate genetics. She was euthanized at 5 years old due to severe photophobia. This filly though had her mom's same sweet, easy going attitude. It killed me to have to put her down but it was the best thing we could do for her.

        If (an this is a huge if!) I were to breed her, I will not breed to an appy or knabstrupper to mitigate the chance for the eye issues we experienced with the filly. I am considering breeding her to a TB for refinement and to possibly correct the neck. I wouldn't be adverse to a section D welsh as I'm ok with a smaller horse (The mare is 15.1hh). I love Limet Hurry though but I think his type is much too similar to my mare.

        I'm just trying to weigh the pros and cons right now. With the nature of the horse industry I'm just not sure if, even though I would keep this foal, whether it's a responsible choice to be making.


        • #5
          I bred my mare to Sinatra Song as he is known to stamp his offspring. I got exactly what I wanted: my mare's brain and Sinatra's body. My colt is 4 years old and is a keeper for me.

          I would have been happy with any variation that turned out. I did some studying before proceeding with the breeding. Both stallion and mare are quality horses from established breeders, so I mitigated some of the risk.

          Further details are that my mare is breeding stock Arabian and has several generations of consistent horses with international and national ratings.

          She has a lovely high set on neck, exotic looks, and a powerful, correct hind end. She can really concentrate and work. Her bad features I can live with: sometimes tense and spooky, has a short back with tight saddle position, and a medium quality canter.

          Breeding to Sinatra Song was a like to like breeding. Both are leggy and elegant horses.

          The resulting gelding is now 4 years old and under saddle. He's supply, elastic, uphill and a wonderful mover. I'd have a hard time affording such a high quality horse.
          Last edited by shall; May. 1, 2013, 08:37 PM. Reason: further thought


          • #6
            I have a few thoughts on this. First, if you are going to keep the horse forever, no matter what, then who am I to tell you what to do?

            I, personally, would not breed a horse like you describe. I think it is nice that you are putting thought into it, btw. I can always find a sweet lovable horse that has a few conformation quirks and isn't going to the Olympics in a low price range. Heck, Ive found ones with nice conformation (just a bit green) when you open it up to mixed bloodlines. They are also ready to ride (i.e. you don't have 3-4 years of expense first). I've done this many, many times. Breeding one would be WAY more expensive and you may also spend a load of money and have nothing to show for it (as you know from the previous foals). Bad things happen. Weigh the risk vs. reward.

            Second, I strongly believe you breed an animal that will contribute to the breed and/or sport (personal feelings on breeding anything).

            Third, just because she is a sweatheart doesn't mean the foal will be. Some of the nasty horses in this world came from sweet moms. For example, you can even have full siblings and have quite different personalities. I'm not saying you won't usually get a sweatheart, but there are no guarantees. So take her limitations and then add the possiblity of a sullen, or lazy, spooky, or whatever attitude that isn't a match to mom's. Now what? Don't count on the stallion to fix that neck or leg length. It's nice when that happens, but I would never count on that. Also, are you comfortable with the risks to breeding your heart-horse?

            So those are my thoughts on breeding in general, BUT in the end, she is your horse and I believe in the right to do what you want, so long as you take responsiblity for the outcome.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


            • #7
              I think it would be much easier and way cheaper to find another one with a super temperament rather than breed and hope for the best. Particularly if you are open to all breeds and could live with horses of her same athletic abilities and size.


              • #8
                While we do breed to sell - I do have some legacy breeding hiding around the place. The first time I did a legacy breeding, I was 17 years old and got permission (dubiously) from my parents to do so. Im.. well not saying how old I am now.!

                That initial legacy breeding... which was a filly - her great grand daughter is standing in my pasture and today after work - we shall be going for a lovely ride
                Originally posted by ExJumper
                Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


                • #9
                  That sounds very satisfying. Sometimes we just love and feel committed to a horse.

                  Originally posted by rainechyldes View Post
                  While we do breed to sell - I do have some legacy breeding hiding around the place. The first time I did a legacy breeding, I was 17 years old and got permission (dubiously) from my parents to do so. Im.. well not saying how old I am now.!

                  That initial legacy breeding... which was a filly - her great grand daughter is standing in my pasture and today after work - we shall be going for a lovely ride


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by password View Post
                    I think it would be much easier and way cheaper to find another one with a super temperament rather than breed and hope for the best. Particularly if you are open to all breeds and could live with horses of her same athletic abilities and size.
                    I'm going to second this. I fox hunt and have gotten to know some great draft crosses through it (we have deep, thick, sticky black mud out there and drafties handle it considerably better than the lighter horses) - so I know they're out there. And many are just as you describe - old hunter types.


                    • #11
                      I have been thinking about this and I don't think it counts as a legacy breeding if you intend to sell the foal. A sale foal is a sale foal and you have to take your heart out of the equation and breed the best to the best.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home


                      • #12
                        I personally wouldn't breed a mare as you describe her. To echo the previous poster who said if you are planning to keep the foal, who are we to tell you no!

                        I have had several other mares that I liked, but weren't, IMO, breeding quality. One was a big 16.2 TB mare - sweet, great work ethic, and pretty - but she had a longish back and required a lot of regular work to keep her fit and therefore not weak behind. I wouldn't breed her, even though I had plenty of people telling me to - I am not expecting a stallion to fix those flaws!

                        As I said earlier, my mare that I will be breeding this year, I wouldn't be upset with a carbon copy of her. I think that is the key - IF you are breeding, you need to be ok with getting what you already have. And if what you have is, in some way, mediocre (either conformationally, performance-wise, etc - and I don't mean to imply mediocre is bad, by any means, just "average"), AND you are planning on keeping it, then go ahead.


                        • #13
                          I was talking with a local trainer about one of her horses, who she'd bred 15 years ago. I asked something about why she'd chosen to breed the mare. She said take the worst traits of the mare and the worst traits of the stallion and imagine them mixed into one horse. If you would still be happy with that horse, then breed. Otherwise, don't take a chance.


                          • #14
                            I bred my RID mare last year to a WB Rafael with the idea this might be a keeper. The mare is my heart horse Here is the foals pedigree http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/eponas+rose+of+tralee
                            She is refined and the sweetest thing. She was born Sat night and is on FB also. http://s7.photobucket.com/user/horse...95580657061952
                            Epona Farm
                            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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