Selecting a Stallion – Factors to Consider
When deciding on a stallion for your mare, it’s important to first establish your breeding goals. What kind of horse are you attempting to produce? Do you want a performance show horse or a flat-shod show horse? Are you breeding for the yearling auction market or the two-year-old in-training market? Perhaps you want a trusty trail mount that can be trained and enjoyed by you at home. Other factors might include coat color, size, and temperament. Needless to say, there exists numerous factors to consider when attempting to produce a foal. Of course, breeding is a two-way proposition. It takes a stallion and a mare. Many breeders, however, feel strongly that the mare contributes more to the outcome of the mating than the stallion. While that is possibly true, the fact remains that genetically, a foal is 50% its dam and 50% its sire. Once you’ve determined your breeding goals, you must then evaluate your mare and honestly assess her strengths and weaknesses. Look for a stallion that is strong where she is deficient, and one that would enhance and compliment her strengths. For instance, if your mare needs more length of stride, look to a stallion with a big, ground-covering backend. Conformationally, if your mare is overly refined, you may want to seek a stallion with more size and substance. Or, conversely, if she’s a bit on the coarse side, you might want to try to clean her up by choosing a stallion that is pretty and refined. If your mare is fractious and high-strung, seek a stallion with a calm disposition. These are common sense examples that if you’re willing to look, are not difficult to identify. Lastly (and here’s where we can help), research your mare’s pedigree and seek stallions who tend to cross best with her bloodlines. The term for this is “nicking.” Utilize TWHBEA’s iPEDS program to identify successful horses who share your mare’s bloodlines. Who are the sires of these successful horses? Are there any trends or themes that you can identify? If you need help, just give us a call. We know our studs. We know their offspring. And, we can provide you with the facts you need to help you make an informed breeding decision. We look forward to hearing from you.