Experts from the world of hunters, jumpers, and dressage all agree on following these breeding guidelines in order to maximise your chances of getting the foal you want.
Look Out for the Characteristics of Good Equine Athletes
As punters who enjoy watching the horse racing and accompanying NZ sports betting will know, there are a number of traits that excellent equine athletes all share. These include:
- A supple, powerful forward movement
- A clean and refined throat latch, and a jaw channel that is wide enough for your fist to fit into
- Withers that blend smoothly into the animal’s neck and back, but are also prominent enough to keep a saddle from slipping off
- A deep heart girth
- Feet that are big enough for the horse to be sound, stable, and bear the weight it needs to
- Front legs that are straight
- Hocks that are substantial
- Gaskins that are wide-looking, strong, and well-muscled from the rear and sides
Dominant Stallions are the Best Bet
It is advisable for you to seek out a dominant stallion with a record for always producing offspring that have the qualities you want: competitive foals that are sound, trainable and of good mind. Don’t rule out a stallion who is not perfect, however.
You are neither buying nor riding him, so you won’t be getting a clone. There is something to be said for selecting sires that possibly aren’t that much to look out as well: his strengths may well counterbalance your mare’s weaknesses.
Have a Plan in Place for Evaluating Stallions
You need to make sure you have a practical plan in place for evaluating various stallion prospects, otherwise you are in danger of making a faulty decision during casual or general observation.
Look Beyond Breeding Classes
Don’t make the mistake of fixating on breeding classes or futurities. Performance over the long-term and tractability are more important than good looks as a two- or three-year old stallion, and many futurity and champions on-the-line are never heard from again.
Keep your statistics in perspective as well: if two stallions are able to produce four good offspring each but one bred ten mares and the other bred 80, the question to ask yourself is which is the more consistent producer, and thus the better breeding prospect?
Seek Out Stallion Advertisement
I always advise prospective breeders to keep an eye on advertisements for stallions. This not only narrows the field, it sharpens your eye as well. But do not breed off of a photo, either.
While photos can reveal sickle hocks, or a head you don’t like, clever photography is more than capable of exaggerating an animal’s good qualities and concealing its faults. And no matter how good a photo is, it can’t show you the all-important movement of the animal. This will require your viewing videotapes or seeing the stallion in person.
While these tips will help you on your way, they do not begin to cover everything you need to know before you start your horse breeding journey. Seek out the help of professionals as and where you can until you are more confident that you know what you are doing.