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I really have a problem with this...

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  • I really have a problem with this...

    So many people breeding young mares, totally unproven as far as a performance record. Sorry but I do not think that a horse that has been "inspected" and MAYBE shown on the line a bit qualifys as having enough of a record to warrant breeding. Now a mare with exceptional bloodlines and maybe an unfortunate injury, I can see it. But SO many times now adays people NEVER even get the mare under saddle and she is bred. I will not say ALL the mares I have have performance records. But many of them do or have and the two exceptions have been a mare I am leasing (Who is young enough at five and NEEDS to do something, hoping her owner sells her to me so I can put a performance record on her!) and an old 18 yr old mare I rescued last year who is an exceptionally well bred TB with some older hard to find bloodlines, she had an injusry as a three year old preventing her from ever racing. The other mares I have had or have now, either have fairly good race records (Whcih mean a lot to me in terms of soundness, staying power and endurance) and/or show records. I feel there is too much breeding of mares that most likely will never have proven themselves. And I am seeing GENERATIONS of this, the mare has a filly, which never does anything but get bred and have a filly..... the list goes on, What ever happened to PERFORMANCE first and breeding once they are proven? I certainly would think most people wouldn't breed to a stallion that has stood around and done nothing, so why with a mare?
    www.shawneeacres.net

  • #2
    I was surprised to see that there are alot of people breeding their 3 year old mares. I just thought that sounded a little young to me, but that is just MO. I just bred my 5 YR old Tb mare who was on her way to a promising Hunter career when an eye injury put an end to that. I did however bred her this year to a Dutch stallion. She doesn't have a show record, but I believe she would have been one to contend with had she keep her head out of places it didn't belong. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a healthy foal!!!!
    Worth A Shot Farm
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    • #3
      There are many mares in europe that based on their pedigree alone are sent to the breeding shed vs. the show arena. Perhaps the do the mare performance route/SPS but it is not uncommon over there.
      Tracy Geller
      www.sixpoundfarm.com
      Find me on Facebook!

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      • #4
        Many breeders do not have the time, money or riders to invest in every mare to be sure it has a nice performance record before it is bred. I, for one, am a very firm believer in breeding from proven pedigrees. Sometimes, that is enough to give a mare or stallion the benefit of the doubt. Esp. in hunter pony stallions - that really can't compete. Look at Carolina's Red Fox - still the #1 hunter pony sire a year after his death with more winning get out there than any other sire. And he never showed under saddle - neither did many of his mares. JMHO.
        Quicksilver Farms, LLC
        "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
        Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
        Fancy Show Pony Prospects
        www.quicksilverponies.com

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        • #5
          Very interesting insight shawneeacres. In theory, I do believe that what you said is the ideal way to do breeding. But along those same lines, when you have a great broodmare who gives you an even better filly, you should cull the broodmare so your mare base keeps improving, right? How many of us do that?

          I am perhaps a bit guilty according to you. I wanted to do some breeding, not just of mediocre horses, but of quality horses. So I bought the best mare I could find/afford that fit my criteria. She was shown on the line a bit and started under saddle and then bred at 3.

          I bought her to be a broodmare, not a show horse. So I feel I am allowed to breed her starting this early, instead of having her be someone's show horse for 5-10 years. But like you, I do also have the belief that mares should prove atleast something if they are going to be adding to the horse gene pool many times over. So my mare is currently with a trainer preparing for the ISR Oldenburg mare test this summer. She will be bred again this year but will also be ridden by sister in her dressage lessons before her pregnancy is too far along.

          So, will my mare, after (hopefully) passing the mare test then have enough credibility to be a broodmare? I think everyone is going to have different opinions on where you draw the line.
          ~ Scarborough Fair Farm ~

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          • #6
            I know many people in Germany that think the GOOD mares should be breeding, not showing. They should be contributing to the population. Most of those people think of breeding as a career - just like showing. Breeding is not something they do just because they can't show.

            In 2005 one of my fillies won her inspection and in the comments made afterwards the inspectors said that she would make a lovely dressage horse, or BETTER YET a broodmare.

            I do believe that they should be started under saddle before being a broodmare. All my mares are ridden - if I don't want to ride them, I don't want them in my breeding herd. But, they don't necessarily need a competition record.
            Eliza
            www.foxwoodhanoverians.com

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            • #7
              It used to be that to be presented for inspection and placement in a Mare Book a 3-year old mare HAD to be bred. After all, these are BREEDING associations. The big joke when we were in Germany was that a LOT of 3 year old mares abort.

              I don't think that's the case anymore however we always bred our 3 year olds. We backed them and then bred them as there was never really much else you could do with a 3 year old. Now that there are Materiale classes and other young horse competitions it's a different story.

              But I still believe in breeding the BEST mares. Too often we hear "well she isn't good for much else so we might as well breed her". Of course, the 3 year olds that we bred were of proven top bloodlines and had been Premium foals so I never felt we were taking much of a chance.
              Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

              PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
              Ashemont2@gmail.com

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              • #8
                I had heard from several separate sources that WB breeders in Europe think that young mares SHOULD be bred (3yos I mean). It keeps them from being ridden too hard during this time frame, and the foal does most of its growing during the last trimester, when the mare is pretty much 4 years old. And you get a head start on seeing what your mare can produce. And if the 3 yo is fantabulous, and turns out to be a fantabulous producer, she basically ends up having one more fantabulous foal than she would have had if you waited.

                And having a mare with a good performance record doesn't mean that she will produce great offspring...it's still all a cr*pshoot.

                I have a 3yo that I plan to breed. She is out of a WB mare who evented. This mare was known for her incredibly good mind, and ability to jump anything, and her nice gaits. She is still sound at age 21. She herself was out of a TB mare who evented successfully, who also jumped anything. I think that this filly is so nice that she needs to be reproducing. Then she'll be lightly started now and restarted after the baby is weaned, when she will be 4 1/2.

                I'm willing to bet that most responsible breeders who breed a 3yo either bought the horse FOR the purpose of breeding, based on bloodlines and performance of siblings/parents etc. Or they BRED the 3yo, and planned the breeding to produce a superior animal, who will in turn have superior offspring.

                With that said, I do know someone who bred a lame wb mare to a stallion who was not approved with the mare's registry. They have an unregisterable, hony-sized, somewhat rideable mare with an iffy personality...they don't know what to do with her--so they're going to breed her. That is NOT the same thing!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by flashykatt View Post
                  I had heard from several separate sources that WB breeders in Europe think that young mares SHOULD be bred (3yos I mean). It keeps them from being ridden too hard during this time frame, and the foal does most of its growing during the last trimester, when the mare is pretty much 4 years old. And you get a head start on seeing what your mare can produce. And if the 3 yo is fantabulous, and turns out to be a fantabulous producer, she basically ends up having one more fantabulous foal than she would have had if you waited.

                  And having a mare with a good performance record doesn't mean that she will produce great offspring...it's still all a cr*pshoot.

                  I have a 3yo that I plan to breed. She is out of a WB mare who evented. This mare was known for her incredibly good mind, and ability to jump anything, and her nice gaits. She is still sound at age 21. She herself was out of a TB mare who evented successfully, who also jumped anything. I think that this filly is so nice that she needs to be reproducing. Then she'll be lightly started now and restarted after the baby is weaned, when she will be 4 1/2.

                  I'm willing to bet that most responsible breeders who breed a 3yo either bought the horse FOR the purpose of breeding, based on bloodlines and performance of siblings/parents etc. Or they BRED the 3yo, and planned the breeding to produce a superior animal, who will in turn have superior offspring.

                  With that said, I do know someone who bred a lame wb mare to a stallion who was not approved with the mare's registry. They have an unregisterable, hony-sized, somewhat rideable mare with an iffy personality...they don't know what to do with her--so they're going to breed her. That is NOT the same thing!
                  yeppy I ditto what you have said. I have bred my 3yr old to a very nice stallion. My mare is broke W/T and light C. I just hope she is in foal. She should be Ovu. today but she is not in season at all.
                  Draumr Hesta Farm
                  "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                  Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

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                  • #10
                    I, too, think that breeding a 3 year old and then starting them lightly under saddle that year is a good thing. They have that first foal to prove the pipes are open, then go into full training after the foal is weaned when the mare is 4 years old. Seems to work well.
                    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                    • #11
                      Breed the best, ride the rest.
                      Liz
                      Ainninn House Stud
                      Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                      Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ticofuzzy View Post
                        I know many people in Germany that think the GOOD mares should be breeding, not showing. They should be contributing to the population. Most of those people think of breeding as a career - just like showing. Breeding is not something they do just because they can't show.

                        I do believe that they should be started under saddle before being a broodmare. All my mares are ridden - if I don't want to ride them, I don't want them in my breeding herd. But, they don't necessarily need a competition record.
                        I agree with this 150%.
                        Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                        Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          THank you all for your responses, and I realize that it isn't always possible. But I feel that some of the disposition problems that are showing up in some horses are stemming from this fact. The horses aren't being ridden/provne to be tractable enough to train prior to breeding and then you produce hores with dispositions that are very difficult. I breed for 1) disposition first 2) movement 3) conformation. And it is hard to truely evaluate disposition (from a trainability standpoint) without the mare having doen something. And the statement "I breed a 3 yr old because what else can I do with them" seems pretty soft to me. THey can grow up, they can be started lightly under saddle. I bought a weanling app sporthorse filly a few years ago. She was backed lightly as a three year old. Didn't have time for her so did I breed her, no. I free leased her to a college student and she is riding and showing her for me. She is now 5 and will be bred next year. She won't have a "huge" show record. But her disposition and trainability, along with her willingness to perform will be proven. And likely she will continue to show some next year prior to her foaling the suseequent year. Granted these are my opinions, but I don't think horses should be bred on bloodlines and conformation alone.
                          www.shawneeacres.net

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                          • #14
                            If they are still with us,we start to back our 3 yr old mares and we also breed them as 3 yr olds. For me it means I don't loose too much time in training as we can ride thru to the fall/winter as 3 yr olds and then let them off for foaling. Once they are weaned from their foals, we start them up slowly again during the winter months (if weather permits) or early the following spring. I would much rather do it this way than get them started and out showing for a couple of years then pull them out for breeding.
                            www.trevelyanfarm.com
                            Home to Wicked Courtjester & Forrest Flame
                            Appr. ISR,ASPR,Weser-Ems, NFPR.

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                            • #15
                              The problem with comparing American breeding practices with those in europe is that we don't have the numbers surrounding each breeding that they do. What I mean is that it is easier for europeans to put a "best" mare in the breeding shed because they can point to full siblings, aunts, uncles, and other closely related horses surrounding a particular mare that have maybe all been successful in sport. As a result, they can say that particular mare is exceptional in comparison to all those competing relatives. We don't have that here in the U.S. where there isn't the generations of breeding on one particular mare line or the repeat breeding with some of the siblings put in sport to prove what a particular cross can do. America needs to find what works HERE.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                                THank you all for your responses, and I realize that it isn't always possible. But I feel that some of the disposition problems that are showing up in some horses are stemming from this fact. The horses aren't being ridden/provne to be tractable enough to train prior to breeding and then you produce hores with dispositions that are very difficult. I breed for 1) disposition first 2) movement 3) conformation. And it is hard to truely evaluate disposition (from a trainability standpoint) without the mare having doen something. .....
                                Not really. By the time they are in the spring of their 3 year old year (at least at MY farm) they have been handled a LOT and begun lunging under full tack (maybe even over small 12" jumps for gymnastics), have been taken to at least one or two shows (to hang out and be led around), and generally been taught everything except to carry a rider. Temperament problems are definitely going to show up by the time they are bred.
                                Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                                  Not really. By the time they are in the spring of their 3 year old year (at least at MY farm) they have been handled a LOT and begun lunging under full tack (maybe even over small 12" jumps for gymnastics), have been taken to at least one or two shows (to hang out and be led around), and generally been taught everything except to carry a rider. Temperament problems are definitely going to show up by the time they are bred.
                                  Ayup!
                                  Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                                  Proud Closet Canterer!

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                                  • #18
                                    We are breeding one of our homebred 3 yr olds. Yes, she does not have a show record, but she is bred out the wazoo. She was bred for that purpose and kept as a filly for breeding purposes. That IS her job.
                                    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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                                    • #19
                                      Well - if you have a mare that has umpteenth generations of the kind of bloodlines that have produced great performers on both sides of the pedigree through and through and has the conformation and paces and temperament you can be pretty sure that she is a safe breeding prospect and if her first foal is not living up to the expectations she can always be sold as a Riding horse or competition horse. One "lovely but not great" foal isn't going to impact the general horse population very much at all.

                                      When you have mares that do not have that consolidated performance blood several generations back then they should really prove themselves by doing something first in my opinion.
                                      I'm sick of following my dreams, man. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
                                      Figiel

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                                      • #20
                                        My mare is 4yo this year. She is leaving today for the farm where she will have her foal. She is VhW, and was started as a 3yo, did her MPT successfully and then was bred. I think this is a fine way to do it if you have a horse with good bloodlines, conformation, and temperment. Then she can go compete for several years and start having babies again later. By the time she is ready to have more babies, the first one will be "all growed up" and we can see how it does.

                                        I don't think a horse with proven exceptional bloodlines necessarily has to "prove" itself as a sporthorse the way a TB or stock type mare should. IMHO. The Europeans have been breeding the best sporthorses in the world for what amounts to centuries. We should use that knowledge to our advantage and not try to reinvent the wheel every time.
                                        Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                                        http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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