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Breeding average horses to get average horses for average people

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    He is a purebred Connemara. I was trying to keep the details down.

    maybe average was a wrong word. I meant a horse that Janet talked about, but those are pretty common and are not going to be going for an high price tag, something that 'average' people can afford and be happy with. Maybe with the right hands they could be a bit more special, maybe be able to perform a decent piaffe and passage, and clean changes every other stride.

    What I mean is creating the horse that does its job well, it won't be in Rolex '09 but it may be able compete at smaller Preliminary Horse Trials and Three days and give it's owner/rider a heck of a fun time.

    Just to drag in another topic: How many of the great schoolies do we see that are exceptional bred (for the purpose of conversation meaning: stellar of the following: conformation, temperment, bloodlines, etc)?

    Comment


    • #22
      I agree they want horses rideable and wont hurt them. With saying that I have a superior bred filly sired by Rubignon out of a Vivaldi/Indus mare who fits that AND as well has easy gaits to ride

      Not to knock the draft crosses but the ones I have ridden, ride like a bumpy freight train. There is nothing like a good soft back that lifts you in the movements, not beats to you death to get from F to M. I like my kidneys the way the are now.

      So, I have to disagree. Horses that are easy to ride, train and sit are bred and can be bred with superb bloodlines. If we had more people who thought that like we could up our quality of horses here in the states and be able to hold our own against our Euro counterparts of quality of horseflesh.
      www.spindletopfarm.net
      Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
      "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

      Comment


      • #23
        How many of the great schoolies do we see that are exceptional bred (for the purpose of conversation meaning: stellar of the following: conformation, temperment, bloodlines, etc)?


        ******************

        Depends where you train at. Whit Watkins gave me lessons on her upper level, well bred horses. I know Hilda use to have some very well bred schoolies. Some of the best lessons I have had over fences are on very well bred jumpers. It just depends on what your goals are.
        www.spindletopfarm.net
        Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
        "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

        Comment


        • #24
          I am not knocking draft horses, but I have known some nasty draft horses, not all draft horses have wonderful temperments. There are good and bad horses in every breed.
          Photos and videos of my beloved boys and girls!
          http://community.webshots.com/user/cathykb
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          • #25
            Absolutely on the draft crosses. I had a friend who decided to start a business by buying them direct from PMU farms or ranchers up North (where they have hundred of acres and sell off dozens of two year olds a year very cheaply). Some of them were very pretty and *could* almost be mistaken for a Warmblood.

            Well, she did it for 3 years and then quit. She did not find them any easier to work with than Warmbloods. The crosses were often considerably less easy to ride, harder to get going properly, and didn't sell for very much after all her work anyways. She also found that they tended to be shy - in terms of not very bold. Once they understood they were fine, but if they got scared they tended to panic.

            There are good and bad in every breed. I have seen both absolutely horrid draft crosses and some really good ones (Usually the best ones are 3/4 or more Tb).

            But there a quote that dog breeders use. I cannot find the exact words or the author right this minute - but it goes like this...

            "A breeder is an individual who cherishes a breed and after their efforts, leaves it better and richer for them. A puppymiller is one who breeds simply to produce dogs."

            I think the same could apply to any animal we attempt to breed.
            Nicolette
            www.centrelinefarm.ca

            \'I succeeded, in spite of myself\' - Alois Podhajsky

            Comment


            • #26
              What Janet and a few others said is key here and always seems to get lost...

              There is more than one category of "best". It is extremely wearisome when breeders refuse to acknowledge that there are more qualities to a riding or driving horse than flamboyant movement/jump and continental pedigrees.

              Amateur friendly temperament, soundness, and correctness of conformation and movement are completely valid breeding goals and a breeder who embraces these goals is not breeding for less excellence than another breeder who prioritizes pedigree and movement. Not everyone wants the same sort of horse!
              Liz
              Ainninn House Stud
              Irish Draughts and Connemaras
              Co. Westmeath, Ireland

              Comment


              • #27
                I don't agree with deliberately producing "average" horses. On the other hand, to produce good amateur horses you definitely do not need to produce "average" animals. I would not class hardly any of my critters as "average" (other than a couple of pets and the odd foal who ended up a bit of a mishap - and even then if the mishaps had not happened the foals would have been well above average). In my amateur breeding program I put a high emphasis on temperament, trainability, rideablility, soundness, conformation, and movement. Bloodlines are a lower priority, although I am aware of them. I do not breed Warmbloods - I breed Sport Horses. It may be a subtle difference, but to me it is a very real difference.

                If breeding horses with the amateur market in mind automatically means that I am breeding "average" horses, it would make no sense for my youngstock to be competitive against the well-bred, obviously "not-average" horses out there in the ring. My babies are competitive when shown on the line - not first place or Grand Champion, but certainly not at the bottom of the pack. So far when competing in free jumping competitions they have been competitive against the horses bred from better known bloodlines - in fact they have beaten several animals from those bloodlines. I can't say a ton about their records in the show ring as most are barely of riding age, but I can say a ton about their temperaments. I have yet to have a single mare owner complain about the temperament of their babies by my stallions. The mare owners rave about their babies and how nice they are to work with. The mare owners have also been thrilled with the athletic ability the youngsters show and are eager to have them out competing when they are old enough. The youngsters I have here at home have all shown potential to the higher levels in various disciplines, jumping 4'+ with ease, having nice enough form to be reasonably competative in the A hunter ring, moving well enough to be competative to 4th level or higher and likely to be competative in eventing too (sorry - not my discipline, so I can't name a level, but certainly to an equivalent level). No, they are not International caliber horses, but then again I have no money to campaign an International caliber horse, and I would have no idea how to get a horse of that level into the right show home. As it is I already have a few that are too advanced in capability for the average horse owner (not because of temperament or anything - I'd just hate to see them sit in the 3' hunter ring when they could potentially be doing Grand Prix jumping or Intermediare + dressage...).

                So what is "average' anyways? Perhaps any horse that is not International caliber is "average"? I guess then it is true that 99% of horses are "average" or below... To me an "average" horse is a horse that will max out (no matter who the rider is - many horses max out at much lower levels than they are capable of due to the riders who are not up to their skill level - a reason IMO that we don't have as many horses competing in the higher levels as we could have... but that's another topic) in the lower levels. For example, a horse who is not capable of jumping higher than 3' with any kind of form; a horse with short, choppy movement, or even poor, incorrect movement that would not have a hope of pinning in a hack; a horse who is incapable of being competitive in dressage beyond second level because it cannot handle the collection, correctness required for the movements; a horse who can't make it around a mid-level event without excessive faults because it can't keep fit enough or is not athletic enough to cope with the courses; a horse who has such poor trainability that it can not be trained to any of the above levels, or who is so unrideable that while it can athletically do the higher levels no rider in his/her right mind would want to try it. There are thousands of "average" horses like this out there. I have owned several, some as pets, some as rescues, some as schoolies... 99% of school horses fit in this category, most pony club horses/ponies fit in here, many of the horses showing at the lower level shows also are truly "average" horses.
                I have a very hard time with the idea that in a top breeding program of breeding "top" horses to "top" horses that only 2/10 attain the quality level of their parents (being above average that is). I would be horrified with my breeding program if 6/10 of my foals turned out no better than their parents, or even worse if they turned out worse than their parents (being "average" when the parents are "above average" or "top caliber"). The only number I will agree to I guess is that 2/10 turn out poorer quality than what you are breeding for ("poor quality" - maybe, but not always - to me an "average" foal or a foal that is not as nice as both parents falls into this category) - often due to circumstances beyond you control. So far I have only bred one horse that falls into this category - he was deformed at birth due to uterine scarring, had surgery, and has permanent related issues. Without the deformities he would have been a very nice "A" hunter... such is the risk of breeding...

                So, I don't agree with producing "average" horses in general (although some people do it and there is a market for it). I certainly do not, however, consider that those who are carefully breeding amateur-friendly prospects are in the market of producing "average" horses.

                Comment


                • #28
                  waterwitch...Where is it written that good gaits and correct conformation/rideability/amateur friendly temperaments are mutually exclusive? The point many of us are trying to make is that you can get all of the those things in one package. (Note, I am not being breed specific here.) Mares and stallions should have ALL of those things...rideability, correct conformation, amateur friendly temperament AND good gaits. That is my definition of breeding the best to the best.

                  Average comes in when parts of that list are missing!
                  Linda
                  Home of EM Day Dream, SPS Pakesa, & SPS Destiny
                  Breeders of USDF HOY Reminisce HM and USDF Reserve HOY Legacy HM
                  http://wbstallions.net/hof-mendenhall/

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Who is selling foals for $20,000?
                    I want to know what the heck they are doing!
                    ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Repeat:What I meant when I said "average"

                      I wasn't talking about crop outs. What I meant was breeding horses for the level below The Professionals. I believe people who have said "amateur" horses.

                      On thhe grading scale, the horses I am talking about are B+ horses.

                      Who can afford a 20K foal? I can't-how many of you can? A good number of eventers are OTTB's aka racetrack rejects. These horses maybe get the higher levels, but they probably won't be international. Their initial owners off the track probably didn't much for them.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        My point is there is probably a small minority who has foals for $20K.
                        Im not interested in who is buying them (people with a lot of money Im sure!!!) I wanted to know who is selling them...for Dressage or Jumping (not racing or cutting....lots of cutting horses go for bigger bucks them WB's).

                        So are you interested in people breeding for Amateur riders or Average riders?? I believe I focus on the Amateur/Adult. They have goals, they want to do well, they have full time jobs but love this hobby & sport..it is their passion! They focus on what they want and need and that is the kind of horse they look for. Does it mean they all want a fancy WB..no. Im sure if they are looking for Draft crosses they can find plenty out of Canada, if they want a QH they can find any local paper, if they want a TB they can always shop the Canter website. Different strokes for different folkes.
                        If you want an average horse there are plenty of them out there. Its the special ones that are hard to find!
                        ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          AMEN Maple Brook! They are not mutually exclusive. There is nothing that says that a quality horse has to be insane and nothing to say an amatuer horse has to be substandard! I would like to think that most of the horses I have bred are correct, do well in the ring and are able to be handled by little miss amatuer me in my back yard! That is what we should be breeding and selecting for!
                          Lisa Coletto
                          Standing Elite Hanoverian stallion, Cabalito
                          www.pecannuts@aol.com

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by maple_brook
                            waterwitch...Where is it written that good gaits and correct conformation/rideability/amateur friendly temperaments are mutually exclusive? The point many of us are trying to make is that you can get all of the those things in one package. (Note, I am not being breed specific here.) Mares and stallions should have ALL of those things...rideability, correct conformation, amateur friendly temperament AND good gaits. That is my definition of breeding the best to the best.

                            Average comes in when parts of that list are missing!
                            I think where I lost you is that what you are describing above IS my definition of "average". An average horse should have all of those things...correct and kind but not necessarily an international prospect. So perhaps we are just disagreeing by, well, degrees of "average-ness".
                            Liz
                            Ainninn House Stud
                            Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                            Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Yes, we are probably just disagreeing through definitions , but when I said 'good gaits' I did mean 'really good gaits'. (I breed for dressage.) But I wanted to keep my post general for all the disciplines and breeds, as I know not everyone breeds for dressage. That is also the reason I left off my other 2 requirements which are pedigree and motherline, as they tend to be alittle more specific to the fact that I breed WBs for dressage.

                              My main point was that although I do breed for top prospects, I do not ignore everything else (as others have suggested). They need to be the whole package and for mares and stallions who are breeding, average just doesn't cut it! This is how we raise our quality of horses. When the level of breeding becomes so high that excellent horses are the average, then we adjust our definition of excellent. The requirements continue to increase as the level of quality increases.

                              I hope I'm explaining that well...
                              Linda
                              Home of EM Day Dream, SPS Pakesa, & SPS Destiny
                              Breeders of USDF HOY Reminisce HM and USDF Reserve HOY Legacy HM
                              http://wbstallions.net/hof-mendenhall/

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I think it has to come back to the definition of "average people". The "average people" I know can't afford to spend 10,000 on a finished horse, let alone a foal. They want something they can trail ride and show - not at national levels, at "average" levels. When you are breeding based on top bloodlines and performance records, how much are you going to ask for your "average" foal, or even your below average? Probably much more than a lot of people can or will spend. That is fine - you are breeding for a specific market, but be open minded to the fact that it is a very narrow market. The horses that you may call average and not breeding quality are often exactly what "average people" want and can afford.
                                Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                                Proud Closet Canterer!

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  to breed to compete against europe and to sell to average riders are two different aspirations IMO. try selling one of those well bred horses to someone and when they don't feel secure riding it, you tell them its the best bred horse in the nation, it won't matter if they can't ride it. on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being calm and 10 being hot (crazy), the horses bred for FEI are a 6+ and the horse for the average rider is a 4-. now that doesn't mean you don't get great temperament in competing against europe, but the goal is different.

                                  picking up PMUs isn't exactly a bright way to go about breeding draft crosses. and breeding to the wrong TBs isn't going to help either. believe it or not, there are draft cross breeders (aka sporthorse breeders) who do select their breeding stock just like you would your warmbloods. they are proof that average to average is getting better by several generations down. their goal though is to enhance the gaits of the temperament they prefer. it is a warmblood breeding philosophy they follow to a degree just with the lines they prefer.

                                  recently an article was published that basically said start with a mare you want a copy of when you breed..the average rider is going to want a copy of the average mare they are already happy with but hope to make some improvements. there is a lot more of 'average to better' going on out there then you may realize or admit. and the marketing of top stallions addresses improving the breeding programs of the average rider.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I agree that only the best stock should be bred and that breeding for lower level/amateur horses is a cop-out. I also understand the need to start small due to financial limitations, but there should be a noted improvement in the quality of the broodmare band through the years.

                                    In regards to my personal breeding program, I have NEVER had a potential buyer (and almost all have been amateurs) contact me while shopping for a lower level or average horse. They have ALWAYS wanted to purchase a horse that had the potential to do the upper levels and, whether it was type, movement, or jumping technique, "fancy" has always been the number one quality desired. For example, the buyer may only be showing in the AA hunters, but they want a foal that could possibly do the AO or Working hunters. These buyers are investing in a foal as they can not afford the "fancy" and talented horse they desire. Quality bloodlines are important as this is a major factor in their decision.

                                    So, in my experience, I have not witnessed the existence of a market for average to below average sporthorse foals for the lower levels.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      i must deal with more realistic riders then because many know they will never make it to FEI and don't bother trying to overmount themselves. a lot of people know they are average and just want to have fun at the lower levels, so why would it be wrong to meet this need? why breed them a horse that has the jump for prelim but the riders get left behind terribly? why breed them a horse that is so elastic they can't stay with it across the diagonal?

                                      there are some nice average horses out there that we just need to make better for them IMO.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Even if the temperment is the best, the average rider cannot sit extravagent movement nor do they want the ability to jump 6'. The biggest market is for a dog quiet horse with flat gaits who changes back to front and has to make an effort over 3'.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by appaloosalady
                                          I think it has to come back to the definition of "average people". The "average people" I know can't afford to spend 10,000 on a finished horse, let alone a foal. They want something they can trail ride and show - not at national levels, at "average" levels. When you are breeding based on top bloodlines and performance records, how much are you going to ask for your "average" foal, or even your below average? Probably much more than a lot of people can or will spend. That is fine - you are breeding for a specific market, but be open minded to the fact that it is a very narrow market. The horses that you may call average and not breeding quality are often exactly what "average people" want and can afford.
                                          Well there are plenty of options for them then (look in the paper, in auctions or thru Canter). But Im sorry. I spent money to get my mare from Germany. I spent a lot of money researching the right stallion and using frozen and paying the vet to just breed her. If they want to trail ride that is great but then dont be looking at prospects with potential to go to FEI and expect to pay $1000 for it!
                                          ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...

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