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amy.luxford

Decisions! Would Love Some Opinions And Thoughts...

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I've been thinking about breeding my little TB mare for a long, long time now. At least two years.

But I'm still really aprehensive about it. I've gone and looked at loads of stallions, watched them work, looked at their pedigree 4 million times, and always found some reason not to breed.

Afterall, Lola is basically the love of my life! She needs the best!

I don't want to breed her to "just a pretty face" kind of stallion, and I want her baby to have a job. And Ideally, I'd really like to register the baby so I can always attempt to find him.

She's a gun at barrels, really tucks herself and is fairly established in flat/dressage.

She's got fairly nice conformation, but one of her pasterns (although it's never given her any trouble, whatsoever) is a little upright. Not enough to effect her at all, but theres that chance that it oculd be more apprent in her baby, which could effectively hinder him finding a home one day, if my circumstances ever have to change and I have to find him a home.

however, she's got a temperment to die for!

So trainable, lovable, easy going. She can kick into gear, and then be quiet as a lamb in the next breath. She's got everything, if I were to breed, that I would WANT to breed.

My circumstances are generally, pretty darn good! My dad's just bought a property, and the fences are great, the grazing is ALL-YEAR-ROUND GREEN! (I got super excited that my girl was going to have rolling green pastures and trees all year round). I"ll be moving there in just a couple of months :D

But if I ever have to move from the area ect, I want my proverbial foal to have every-bit of a chance to go to a good home, and hopefully never end up in the saleyards!

Anyway, if I were to breed her, I"d breed to her a QH. I love the breed, love their temperament and conformation, and aimed to buy one before I met Lola. There was just no way I was going to pass her up!

I thought she was an Appendix, but turns out she's a Studbook TB (chased up her papers and breeding info a few months ago).

I've done a lot of research on all my stallions, emailed so many breeders about HYPP and HERDA. Some of them never got back to me, so I juts assumed they either:

A) Hadn't tested

B) had no idea that HERDA and HYPP are in Australia

C) didn't even know what HYPP and HERDA was. :rolleye0014:

So, here's where the novel turns around!

I went to the saleyards a little while ago to poke around, and saw yearlings going for little over $300! (AU) Well-bred, cute little babies with not-too-bad confo. To be frank, i was completely shocked! And the greenies weren't much different in the prices either!

So with that in mind, I thought about buying a baby, and giving THAT baby a chance, before breeding my own. And of course, the "mum thoughts" went through my head, after talkign to my Equine Studies teacher about Baby Statistics. Apparently, a report came out not too long ago, that something like 40% of horses under 3, don't make it, for reasons from Accidents, StillBirths, Early breaking resulting in Injury ect.

Do I want to risk spending x-amount of dollars on a baby that COULD injure himself or not get past the age of 3?

Do I want to risk My mare (although she's apparently had 3 foals) having birthing issues?

Do I want to risk breeding a baby that could turn out to be a complete dud?

Please give me some thoughts and opinions.

I really like my "buy-a-baby" idea. I still get the gratification from knowing I've just offered a baby /greenie a chance (rather than potentially ending up in a hellhole), the learning experience and a potential life-time friend and work-mate?

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There is nothing wrong with breeding per se, as long as you have put enough thought into it. HYPP and HERDA are just NOT an issue in some breeding lines because the horses arent related to those that are responsable for the disease, so that is research you should be doing.

You said that you whant the baby to have a job, what job? that will MAJORLY influence what stud you breed Lola to. If it is dressage, i wouldnt bother breeding to a QH, I would look for a nice appendix cross if I was looking for a HUS, eq or fences horse, not a barrel horse.

Keep thinking, it costs WAY more to put a foal on the ground and raise it to ridable age than it does to buy and train one. Good luck.

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I'm generally more into rodeo/speed events, like barrel racings, poles ect.

I took her off the drums when I thought she wasn't improving, and took her right back to the start and established everything else, did some minor competiting in ODE's, but both of us didn't really like it. She definately had the abiltiy to be a dressage horse, however we both got really bored with it.

BUT!

it definately improved her in every other field.

if I were to breed, I'd like a foal for Barrels and possibly cows, as I'll need a work-horse also. Having a horse with cow-sense will definately help me on the property, as well at other station/farm jobs I'll looking at applying for once I'm done with school and I'm ready to take on a job, outside of the cafe!

:P

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I was in the same spot you are last year around this time.

I'd finally picked the stud I wanted to breed my Foundation QH mare, Tinker, to and everything. I discussed details with my vet. And my vet recommended the stud I was interested in. Hubby and I went to visit the stud in person, so we could truly get a feel for what we were breeding to. We adored him. We looked at some of the mares he had been bred with, to see if he could pull out the one flaw my mare has (her croup dips in a bit) Then we looked at some babies he had on the ground and saw the mares they had come from and he did compliment those mares flaws and most did not show up in his babies. So the babies had gotten the best of both the Sire and the Dam.

Then I started thinking. I'd given myself 6 months to decide what I wanted to do. Well, when we visited the stud, and his foals, we took a video camera. Hubby took a video of the first foal in the pasture that I touched, loved and petted on. She followed us around everywhere that day. After thinking on it a couple of weeks, we made an offer on her, and we were turned down. So I just figured I'd still go the breeding course and asked the owner of the stud to come out and see my barn, and my pasture to help make suggestions on how to make it "foal" proof.

Well, she came out, and looked around, checked out my place and my horses, and told me that she'd been saving that little filly that we had put an offer on for a very special home. Then she said she really liked what she saw and wondered if we still wanted her. Well, of course we did. So my 10 year anniversary present just turned a year in March, and the decision to breed or buy was made for me right there on the spot.

The way I figured it, I was really wanting a filly, and I'm partial to Palominos & Duns - colors not that important to me, but if you're gonna wish what the ideal outcome would be, then yes, you put a color on it. Here was this little Foundation Dun filly already on the ground and I could not have received a more perfect filly that represented EVERYTHING that I wanted to a "T" if I'd special ordered her out of the Sears catalog myself.

The horse economy in the States is really down right now. So I got my filly, Indie, at a really good price. She's exactly what I wanted. I didn't have to put my mare at risk during breeding, pregnancy, or the foaling process. I didn't have to worry about any of my other mares trying to bother her or "steal" her. I didn't have to worry about spending extra money to make my fence baby proof. It was much cheaper doing it this way. And I am giving a very special filly a wonderful home where she will never be at risk of being abused or shipped to slaughter for no good reason. I am in control of her destiny, and she's gonna have a home with me forever.

In my case, buying exactly what I was wanting was easier, and made more sense than risking an attempt at breeding for it and hoping for the best outcome. I'm just glad my eyes were open enough to see that she was standing right there in front of me.

Good luck on whatever you decide is best for your situation!

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You can go ahead and breed, there's no major issue with that as it's your mare and your money.

Personally though, I would go look for a foal from the stallion that I was interested in. To me it's a lot cheaper than going through mare care and feed till weaning. That way you'll know the physical characteristics of the foal, the sex, and for the most part what it's personality will be like.

While I would love to breed my older mare, it's just not going to happen due to other reasons. There's a stallion that I adore, and what I find myself doing is looking for his foals and yearlings that are for sale rather than a broodmare that would compliment him. So much easier that way... IMHO

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