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Evaluating Stallion Prospects From Pictures

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  • Evaluating Stallion Prospects From Pictures

    How does one develop this skill? When looking at stallion conformation pictures, sometimes I don't know where to start. If I can see a horse move, I'm pretty adept at picking out faults that attribute to difficulty in movement but from pictures, I'm not so hot. For example, this horse was posted on our local craigslist recently:


    I look at his picture and I'm simply .

    What do you look for in pictures of stallions when video or in person evaluations aren't available?
    Last edited by Snowflake; May. 16, 2013, 07:55 PM.

  • #2
    the link doesnt work


    • #3
      There are a lot of people who stand stallions who shouldn't be stallions and are doing so simply because they want to. Some of these people are willing to learn and will grow from there improving their breeding stock, but some just believe that if it was born with testicles than it should be a stallion to stand at stud. For the most part, the mare owners will be smart enough not to use these stallions who obviously lack quality ... well we can at least we hope that's the case!


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Marginally Safe View Post
        the link doesnt work
        Fixed it!


        • #5
          It honestly just takes time to develop the skill - and a lot of staring at photos. Start with JW equine (google it) and their articles. Purchasing a conformation book (such as "The Horse Conformation Handbook") will also get you a long way.

          What made a huge leap for me was actually drawing out the lines for the angles on the horse - so I could "visualize" them.

          Don't forget to do a thorough analysis of your mare too! You don't just want the stallion with the most perfect conformation - you want the one whose conformation (and other traits) best complement your mare's. Its darn difficult sometimes to keep the "type" similar to your mare's while selecting conformation that will complement her faults.

          It also totally depends on the discipline you have in mind, with every sport demanding something a little (or very!) different.


          • #6
            OP... Is that stallion one you're considering using for your mare? Did you want input on him specifically?

            I want good conformation shots... Standing square and I want one in each direction with the horse's head and neck relaxed in a natural position. I look for an up hill balance, and for that I look to the legs where I want the hock and knee fairly level. I look for a good shoulder, and neck set. I want a powerful hind end where the horse balances well beneath himself.

            Then I want to see it move. What helps me is I picture the thrust from the hind, the freedom of the shoulder, and the neck. It is how it makes sense to me, imagining the move and jump and then confirming in video. If you are, as you said, good with movement this may help you as well.


            • #7
              Why would you ever consider a stallion just by looking at pictures with no video?


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by szipi View Post
                Why would you ever consider a stallion just by looking at pictures with no video?
                I guess it's more about being able to decipher which ones are worth a deeper look and which ones aren't. I've seen some really flattering pictures of not so great horses and some unflattering pictures of great horses so it just seems like there is a lot to work through to get the real story.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by magicteetango View Post
                  OP... Is that stallion one you're considering using for your mare? Did you want input on him specifically?
                  No. LOL! I'm not much for quarter horses and I couldn't imagine crossing that on my big ol' hunter mare.


                  • #10
                    You can never pick out a stallion prospect from a photo. Come on people.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ponytailponygirl
                      Or, would you consider a stallion, owned by a suspected con man?
                      Have you contributed anything useful to a thread on this board? Ever? I have no clue of your 'issue' or with whom it is, but these stalkerish, accusatory posts that contribute nothing to the topic at hand is really a waste of everyone's time to read.
                      I get very little time to read here any more, and posts like your's above are a disappointing waste of time to read.
                      Move on or contribute something useful please.
                      Tracy Geller
                      Find me on Facebook!


                      • #12
                        Put him/ her on ignore helps ....
                        I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
                        2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
                        May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


                        • #13
                          I can't tell based on a picture either. You see the pic and the stallion in person and while there is a correlation, I wouldn't have got the whole picture.
                          The pedigree first, then the accomplishments or breeding values and finally a visit. Maybe more importantly is seeing the offspring as that is what you get on your farm. Not all stallions stamp and not all stallions stamp there own type. Some throw smaller or bigger or finer. Oh and a reputable stallion owner to ask all these questions to. I can figure out the color from a picture...


                          • #14
                            I am not clear on whether the OP is referring to stallions to buy, or stallions to breed to, but I can't imagine in either case making a decision based only on a photo!

                            However - in the OP's example, I am guessing the horse in question is considered stallion material by his owner primarily because he is a dilute color. There are people who will be interested in him for that reason alone. The fact that he is advertised on Craigslist indicates to me that the owner is targeting casual "pleasure horse" owners in his immediate vicinity, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does attract some local mare owners who are wanting to get a dilute colored foal.

                            The horse isn't my cup of tea by a long shot, but there are a lot of people out there with no interest in performance credentials, or good conformation, or good movement, or athletic ability, or even bloodlines, but only want a cute little foal of an interesting color from their mare.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snowflake View Post
                              I guess it's more about being able to decipher which ones are worth a deeper look and which ones aren't. I've seen some really flattering pictures of not so great horses and some unflattering pictures of great horses so it just seems like there is a lot to work through to get the real story.
                              This^^^ The OP has answered why she's looking at pictures. Not everyone lives where they can runout and look at a stallion they may be interested in because it is the breed or type they're looking for. Some of us live in the middle of nowhere (or cow horse country!) and you have to start somewhere in your search for the "perfect" stallion.
                              "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Miichelle View Post
                                This^^^ The OP has answered why she's looking at pictures. Not everyone lives where they can runout and look at a stallion they may be interested in because it is the breed or type they're looking for. Some of us live in the middle of nowhere (or cow horse country!) and you have to start somewhere in your search for the "perfect" stallion.
                                Start with the pedigree, then performance/breeding value (offspring success) then the conformation or picture or visit. And if you are in the middle of nowhere, pick a great stallion owner also. They will answer some of your most important questions. You are at a disadvantage if you cannot collect some of this info. But at least if you breed to an older, proven stallion you will get a decent product.


                                • #17
                                  Video a must. Offspring evaluation and/or show records. For people who are not seasoned breeders this can be challenging. It requires a lot of study to develop a wide range of information upon which to make the right decision to find the right match for your mare, and find a stallion owner that is very service oriented.

                                  What's the old saying ... "Beauty is as beauty does?" A still photo is not enough. A good video is a must. And also references from other mare owners.
                                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube