Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Halter horses - On Breeding and choosing a stud muffin – part 2

Continuing on from part 1 of my halter series, this post goes a little more into why we are choosing to breed and what we hope to achieve with the foal. 
I will admit that I'm a little torn on the whole breeding thing.  There are so many horses out there that need homes and breeding your cute mare to a nice stud usually isn’t the best choice.  I can tell you that if I was looking for a riding horse, I would not be breeding.  That being said, owning and training a foal has been on my bucket list for eons, so having a chance to potentially cross something off my bucket list is pretty exciting.
Totally me...
Our decision to breed was based on a few factors:

  • Major bucket list item for me
  • My friend has the mare and wants to take care of the breeding, I want to show the foal and she doesn’t, so it is a good split
  • We have help from “The Boss”, our halter guru and good friend
  • A crappy exchange rate on the US dollar – that ruled out buying a baby from the US (taxes, shipping, etc. on top of the purchase price make this a tough option).  Although, our stud is in the US, but we just had the flat rate stud fee in USD, so that was manageable.
  • No high quality halter AQHA/APHA breeders “locally” – which to me is within 8-10 hrs drive
  • Lots of breed show class options for weanlings – 3yos without worrying about under saddle training
    • halter
    • longe line (APHA)
    • In hand trail (APHA)
    • Showmanship
I don’t have a lot of science to go on for choosing a stud, but more about the general principles we used.  Keep in mind we also had a very experienced exhibitor and breeder (aka The Boss) guiding us.  I don’t know that this is something I would tackle on my own without extensive help.
The mare we are breeding has a few criteria that are important to us:
  1. proven broodmare
  2. 5 panel negative (HYPP N/N in particular)
  3. halter bred w/ good bloodlines
  4. local show record
Baby Mamma
There are many theories to breeding and choosing horses that will produce well and as a newbie, I know very little about this.  Do you pick something that is similar in quality to the mare and hope she produces higher quality?  What about a stud that is known to throw a specific trait you are looking for – ie – height? Or do you choose the best quality stud you can afford and cross your fingers it all works out?

In my opinion, we are starting with a good quality mare, not a superior quality mare.  So, we are hoping for a foal of high quality, by choosing a stud that is superior quality.  Our plans are to show locally and maybe hope for something that could be competitive in provincial/state futurities. 

Our specific criteria for the stud fluctuated a bit and we both made up a short list of our top 5 choices.  In the end, we went with one that was on both our lists that was made a bit more accessible by the Boss and someone she knows.  Our criteria were (in no specific order):
  1. tall – at least 16hh - and known to throw height
  2. good conformation
  3. overall “wow” appearance
  4. proven halter bloodlines
  5. proven show record – in this case, we were looking for Congress and AQHA/APHA world show wins, not local shows
  6. proven offspring – in this case, futurity halter wins (over $100K US in 2019!) and APHA world show wins
  7. 5 panel negative (HYPP N/N in particular)
  8. optional – double registered AQHA/APHA (for more local show options)
The stud we choose hit all the criteria except #8.  He is APHA only and AQHA does not recognize APHA studs on AQHA mares.  APHA recognizes the reverse, but that isn’t the case for us. 
Image from an ad online
Many halter horses are N/H (they tend to gain more muscle if they are N/H) and many breeders still don’t see it as a negative thing to perpetuate that trait. I am not a big time breeder or a vet, but I feel that my part in not furthering the issue is important, even if small.  I sort of see it as the same as reducing my plastic usage – I can’t save all the turtles - but I can sure do my part.
My fingers are crossed that all goes well and we have a healthy foal! Only 16 or so months to go!
True dat!


  1. HYPP N/N would also be high on my list if I was doing breed show halter horses. I have the same mentality as you "I alone can't do it all but I won't ignore my part in this world" whether its plastic or perpetuating negative cycles of any kind.

    1. thanks - the hypp thing is a big one for me.

  2. 1. thanks for writing out all this detail bc it's all very interesting to me. i know next to nothing about breeding but am always curious what drives people's decision making.

    2. totally agreed with not wanting to perpetuate things like HYPP. it boggles my mind that people don't actually care... also totally agreed on doing our part, however small that drop in the bucket may be.

    3. omg. that stud. looks like a solid bet that the baby is gonna fit in jussssst fine with the "BB" herd ;) can't wait to see what happens!

    1. 1. no problem - it was good to write it out and feel fairly confident in our decision!

      2. thanks and agreed right back!

      3. isn't he a hunk? I 100% expect a BB baby. ;-) And likely another sorrel/chestnut. lol

  3. Seem like all good rational thoughts! Can't wait to see this little baby!

    1. thanks. I can't wait either - gonna be a long 16 months! lol


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