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Breeding average horses to get average horses for average people

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  • Breeding average horses to get average horses for average people

    I am not sure if the title is completely correct, but oh well. Sorry for the length, it is just a situation to get a better idea of the discussion I am trying to get going.

    I've been thinking about my horses sire a lot recently; about his quality and wether or not it is a good thing that he is being used as a breeding stallion, all that jaz because I have too much time on my hands.

    He is a small registered purebred, with good breeding and a good show record (mostly in his breed registry, but has competed in hunter jumper shows). From what his rider has about him he sounds very calm for a stallion; "You don't know until you bend over and look" as she put it. I have only seen performance picture s of him, but have asked for some conformation shots. His stud fee is also a three digit one.

    Out of the two brothers of his that I have researched, one of which is showing 4th level dressage and winning, in open and in his breed registry (he even got the trohpy named for his sire one year). Another one of his full siblings has been approved to take part in Oldenburg and American Warmblood breed inspections.

    I have met/seen 4 of my horses siblings, I can pretty much describe them all in a non horsey sense of "Life is their party and if the party isn't good, they'll make it good". They are all very athletic horses as well, and like all other horses are not the easiest in the world. I would mostly recomend them all for athletic and capable people, hopefully physically able to handle them (See the party comment). My own horse had 'personality issues' (which could be blamed on trust issues) with her past owner, but know has settled down so much people were asking if it was the same horse, but she can still have her moments. These horses are very athletic with very functional although not stellar conformation, the ones I have seen have the ability to go to prelim and for maybe some of the larger crosses *just*maybe* intermediate, but they are not going to be breaking the Pruisance Record or be going to the olympics.

    Out of the 5 horses in this area, all of their owners love them. Three are used in pony club and do that quite well, one is doing some jumping and is schooling second level, and the other one just got here but is sure to do dressage well, as he is owned by the same person who is doing second level with the one mare and upper level dressage is basically all she does.

    What are the thoughs about breeding average horses for average people? I could never afford a Fancy Upper Level horse or even a prospect that shows much potential. I love my horse and she works very well for me.

  • #2
    My thoughts, as a non-breeder:

    Even breeding high quality stallions to high quality mares, you are going to end up with "average" foals. By the same token, by breeding average mares to average stallions, you're going to end up with a good number of lower quality foals. Why increase the number of lower quality foals when there are so many really nice, very nice, and nice (in descending order of niceness ) stallions and mares who produce foals quite suitable for the amateur?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • #3
      Well, that's what we do I've found that it is easier to sell five nice but not spectacular horses for $5000 than it is to sell one for $20,000. We have an old TB stallion, not fancy and was a slightly better than average racehorse before going straight to stud--but all of his babies (out of nice, consistent, average mares) have been talented jumpers, kind enough for an amateur to ride. Obviously it is cheaper to breed one spectacular horse than it is five nice ones, but it is also a lot riskier.

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      • #4
        Amen to JB!! Crossing the best with the best is not always going to give you the best. North America has a lot of substandard horses and just becuase the horse has super gaits does not always mean the rider can or will acheive the highest potential with them. But - the key is upgrading our genetics here so we have the option to have nice mares and offspring to offer.
        www.spindletopfarm.net
        Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
        "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with STF. My trainer insists that one must always breed to the best in order to at least TRY to improve upon what they have, and continue to move forward with the goal of creating better horses for the sport world. His philosophy is that if you breed the best to the best, in 10 tries, you should get 2 super foals, 6 average foals, and 2 below average foals...so, if he is any where near correct, the law of averages suggests that you breed to the best stallion you can find to improve upon what you already have...and then hope for the best.
          :-)

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          • #6
            well, it's *sort* of what I do. I say 'sort of' because I try to choose the very, absolute best mares I can... but they are not necessarily imported, WB or even 'popular' breed. I would never call them 'average' but one of thme out there is *~gasp~* GRADE!!! Pedigreed for about 20 generations, but not approved anything or registered anything yet.

            And then I aim for a temperament and rideability for the AVERAGE adult amatuer to bring as far as they have the desire to go. My foals really are 'first time foal owner' user-friendly. I've not had one yet <knocking wood madly> which has had any handling, temperament or training issues. Too smart maybe, on the last one. The irony, or the justice, depending on the way you look at it, is they are really doing very well in competition of all sorts.

            I tend to think that in breeding for extravagant gaits and the incredible athlete, at times we're breeding the average joe rider right out of the market. There is nothing WRONG with it--I am a fan of those amazing animals too! And in awe of the breeders who seem to do it over and over. But I know that *I* am not going to be able to do a heck of a lot with weather-related riding breaks, minimal lessons etc.

            Of course someone has to breed top-notch competition horses. But there is nothing wrong with breeding GOOD horses who you don't have to mortgage the farm to buy, who are still *competitive* in the local and regional world. That's all most 50 and 60 hour a week working slobs can afford the time and money to do anyway.

            And many of us are tired of 'making do' with rescues (wonderful thing to do mind you!) or other people's castoffs, or 'not quite right' soundness issues, because that's what we could afford. So I set out to breed DRESSAGE horses, just not necessarily WBs. I actuall was breed blind when looking for my stallion. Breed was fairly low on the list compared to the other attributes I wanted.

            I also breed with the long term goal of the horses being so sound, useful and versatile that they won't end up at auction for meat. They might end up hunters, local team penners or 4-H projects, but with longevity of limbs and minds, my goal is they don't end up 'used up and thrown away.' <shrugs> So when people complain that I'm not breeding PAPERED, 'purebred' animals, the argument is usually that's where they're going to end up. I will argue that's not necessarily true.

            So far, it seems to be working. It's keeping ME in darn good horses as well-horses I couldn't afford to *buy*.
            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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            • #7
              I like pintopiaffes post. I am not too familiar with statistics etc. and how foals come out, but I think that you never want to breed average to average (thats already been said) but instead breed for the attributes you want... for example, I have heard about many stallions that have awsome movement, awsome jumps, awsome yadda yadda, but their foals are difficult to break and ride. That does not suit an aa or young rider. Sooo, instead you want to look for a stallion that compliments your mares flaws, will improve on her, with the temperment and ridability you would need to be competitive.

              There are so many nice stallions out there that breeding to a backyard stallion that was never gelded doesn't have to be the first option.
              www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine

              "wise men never play leap frog with unicorns"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JB
                My thoughts, as a non-breeder:

                Even breeding high quality stallions to high quality mares, you are going to end up with "average" foals. By the same token, by breeding average mares to average stallions, you're going to end up with a good number of lower quality foals. Why increase the number of lower quality foals when there are so many really nice, very nice, and nice (in descending order of niceness ) stallions and mares who produce foals quite suitable for the amateur?

                YES! Exactly! Always I think we should breed for the best and from the best. The results will mostly be average anyway and bring average prices.
                Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just for example - look at this:



                  http://www.oldenburger-pferde.com/horses/67_618.php

                  http://www.oldenburger-pferde.com/horses/67_628.php

                  http://www.oldenburger-pferde.com/horses/67_630.php

                  Here are the action $$$$$ for some superior bred horses. Granted its Europe and there are more of these horses to offer, but.... the point is even the best of the best dont go always for a lot of money. Some of the breeders here in the States will have prices of 12-15K on these types of bred foals when they hit the ground. Why? Supply and Demand... Simple. Superior bloodlines are hard to come by. There are a handful of North American breeders that offer a VERY strong mare base as well as superior stallion breeding.
                  I dont buy the "breeding for AA's" crap! Its a copout, IMO! Sorry, not trying to start a fight, but that is how I feel. It costs a lot of money to breed and put foals on the ground AND KEEP them safe and alive. Breeders have the option to improve our overall equine blood here in North America or not.

                  Breed the best possible bloodlines you can and improve your base, that should be the goal.

                  Sorry, if Im opinionated, but I feel strongly on this stuff.
                  www.spindletopfarm.net
                  Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                  "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with STF and the rest to breed to/for the best... But I think we all have different opinions on what the best may be and sometimes that does not always coincide with the bloodlines when you are talking performance horses.

                    Also I do believe in the US that temperament/rideablity is key component in breeding and the marketability of the offspring.
                    www.signaturesporthorses.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There is a BIG difference between "breeding average horses" and "breeding horses for average people".

                      Horse that are ideally suited for "average people" are by no menas "average horses". They are EXCEPTIONAL horses with regard to specific criteria. If you just breed "average horses", you are unlikely to get horses that are "exceptional" for average people.

                      If you are breeding horses for "average people", the important criteria are:
                      -soundness, and the conformation to stay sound without a lot of "management".
                      - the temperament that will tolerate the kind of mistakes (both on the ground and in the saddle) that "average people" make.
                      - The ability to easily do the lower levels of a particualr discipline-
                      --For Hunters, you want a horse that shows very good form up to 3'. It may not matter if the horse's form gets weaker at 3'6", but you don't necessarily want a horse that only shows "average/poor" form at 3'.
                      -- For Dressage, you do not need a horse that shows tallent for piaffe and passage, or that has "extravagant" gaits, but you want a horse that finds has excellent rhythm, balance, straightness, pure gaits, etc.
                      -- For eventing you don't need a horse that can "make the time" at the upper levels, but you need a horse that can gallop "lightly" over the ground, that thinks fast enough to "figure out" cross country questions, that has the self confidence to leave the group, etc.
                      -- and so on.

                      To breed for this market, you STILL need to "breed the best to the best"- it is just that "the best" is measured against a different yardstick.
                      Janet

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pintopiaffe
                        I tend to think that in breeding for extravagant gaits and the incredible athlete, at times we're breeding the average joe rider right out of the market.
                        And face it, by how much do the riders/owners of amateur skills outweight the number of riders/owners of professional skills? There certainly is a market for those high end horses, and you have to TRY to get there, but if that's what everyone thinks they have to do, you end up with a lot more horses are are not talented enough for the Pro to want them but too tempermental for the Ammie to handle them, or with extravagant gaits and jumps that are too much for the Ammy, but don't have desire that the Pros need to make it big.

                        The biggest market is for the nicely talented horse with a brain. But you don't get that from breeding just average to average.
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh hell yes! Its a huge deal!

                          Rubinsteins, Donnerhalls, Contender lines, and such - all known for rideability.... and many more. Its one of the main things I look at when selecting a stallion anymore for sale purposes of the foal.
                          Hey, as breeders they want something EASY to work with too. They are OUR pain the butt for the first part of their lives! LOL

                          Who cares if its superb bred if it cant be ridden!! Its all wrapped into one. That is why inspections of stallions and such you have rideablity and trainabilty scores. All these are very much looked at as well as past pedigree on these factors.



                          BUT....
                          I have a hell on wheels filly right now out of some very decent bloodlines, so again its not always sealed deal! LMAO
                          www.spindletopfarm.net
                          Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                          "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

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                          • #14
                            Just wanted to clarify what I meant about bloodlines... I DO think they are important!! But sometimes (especially in TB mares) we need to look at the horses show record and past performance and a predictor for future offspring success.
                            www.signaturesporthorses.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by monami
                              Just wanted to clarify what I meant about bloodlines... I DO think they are important!! But sometimes (especially in TB mares) we need to look at the horses show record and past performance and a predictor for future offspring success.

                              I totally agree. We need to look at both sides very well. Its important part of the factor.

                              Hey I have two TB mares with not much preformance, but both have thrown me offspring of above average quality on gaits and movement. So there are a ton of factors in breeding we have to take in consideration.
                              www.spindletopfarm.net
                              Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                              "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Breed the best to the best and hope for the best.

                                As breeders, as STF said, temperment is a BIG factor. We can breed the next world beater, but the foal may end up with an average rider that just wants to enjoy, love the horse and their riding. That is really what it is all about. The best possible fit and home for your foal.
                                Photos and videos of my beloved boys and girls!
                                http://community.webshots.com/user/cathykb
                                http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i296/cathykb/
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                                • #17
                                  He is a small registered purebred, with good breeding

                                  ....purebred WHAT?

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                                  • #18
                                    Another in the camp of breed the best to the best and hope for the best!

                                    What always kills me in these threads are the people who assume that extravagent movement = temperamental, uumm, no. We can have both in the same package. Pro's don't like temperamental either. They can deal with it, but they would rather not. I am not a tall person and I look like a peanut next to my mares, worse yet my husband says I look like a flea on a Great Dane when I ride them, so trust me when I say temperament/rideability is very important to me.

                                    When I look for mares, I look for the whole package (in no particular order)...movement, rideability, character, conformation, bloodlines, motherline. And then I look for a stallion who will best compliment her, but I want to see these same traits in the stallion.
                                    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/

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                                    • #19
                                      Purebred is really not a word anymore. Crossing proven bloodlines of warmblood and preformace proven horses has taken the word purebred into the dust. Registries are just that - a way to register horses. I dont look at certain registries anymore becuase most elite euro registries will let in any sire of proven blood if the mare is of good standards.
                                      www.spindletopfarm.net
                                      Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                                      "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        currently the average rider can not ride the average horse, that is the bigger problem. as janet says, the average rider needs an exceptional horse and it is bred for things the 'best to best' isn't breeding for. over the past 6 months i could have sold 10 times more sane quiet draft crosses than the average bred warmblood. the average rider isn't looking for the offspring of 'best to best' just something they can trust not to hurt them.

                                        also bear in mind that the offspring of the 'best to best' don't always make it into the hands of equally capable trainers and they don't excel. its only the exceptional animal in the average hands that excels in reality. you also have to look at the support mechanism of big breeders that help their offspring along, hilltop is an example.

                                        and if the 'best to best' yields average or less, then we would spiral into chaos according the laws of entropy. so it has to also be possible to breed 'average to average' and get better. look at the parents of professional athletes, they all did not themselves make it to the professional level or even play sports. nurture is just as important as nature.

                                        if you have a nice average horse that you'd like a copy of, then don't be afraid to breed for another copy. you have to be able to ride it not all the pros.

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