Breeding your mare can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but selecting the right stud can be an overwhelming and confusing decision. Many factors go into choosing a proper stud for your mare; let's look at a few things to consider to help you with your choice.
Determine What You Want
What type of foal are you hoping to get out of your mare? What will its purpose be – your next competition mount? For resale? If you want the foal to be competitive in a certain discipline, the desired traits for horses in that discipline will largely factor into your selection of a stallion. Give careful thought to the size, physical characteristics, and temperament that you will be looking for in a foal.
Critique Your Mare
Before you start the search for a stud, take a look at your mare, her conformation, and her behavior traits. Identify which traits you want to replicate in the foal, but more so, look at your mare for weaknesses. You will want to choose a stud which can help to improve those weaknesses, meaning that you will need to look for a stud who is strong in the areas in which your mare is weak.
Evaluate the Stud
Once you've identified a number of desirable studs, evaluate each of them. Take a hard look at their conformation and physical strengths and weaknesses. Are they a good complement to your mare, and will they improve the foal in the areas in which your mare is lacking? What is the stallion's temperament like? Does it match the desired temperament for your foal? Remember to take the height of both the mare and stallion into consideration if you're hoping for a foal of a certain height.
If you're looking at experienced studs, their offspring can reveal a lot about what they pass on to their foals. Try to look at studs with at least a few generations of foals on the ground. If you're hoping to show your foal, then follow the show careers of each stud's offspring to see how they do in the show ring. If the foals you see are ones which you would like to own yourself, then you're probably on the right track with that particular stud.
Breed Only the Best
"Breed the best to the best and hope for the best." That popular horseman's saying is true. Breed your mare to the best stud match possible. If you need to wait a year or two to save up a stud fee, then do so – breeding your mare to a quality stallion will give you the best shot at getting the class of foal that you're looking for.
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