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Sherry

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Wanted to see what other breeders do in the below scenerio.

Let's say you have show quality mares and a show quality stallion that is breeding for the first time. If you have a foal that "has a face only a mother could love"
would you switch stallions right off the bat or try again? As a whole you really like what he puts on the ground except maybe that one combo or two would you try again the next year or use a different stallion and maybe go back down the road? I track multiple mares from different farms every year that I like so on one farm I have seen a mare bred to same stallion for 5-7 years now and as the breeder will tell you if it ain't broke then don't fix it. This mare/stallion combo has given them top notch show quality foals every year until last year...got the "face only a mother could love" they repeated the breeding with same stallion and we are back to gorgeous this year and she is rebred to same stallion for next year. Breeder states will you can't be perfect every year and will keep using the same combo. So what if I get the "only a mother could love face" right off the bat and it would have been wonderful foals from then on?? I have seen that with other mares where they had the "only a mother could love face" right off the bat and then gorgeous foals thereafter.

Have any of you had a not so gorgeous foal but bred the same combo again or do you switch to a different stallion and never try again? Of course I would only put the two together if they were as compatible as they can be and really thought they accent each other. I am breeding my first real herdsire for the first time and will have 5 foals next year out of him. Got to thinking what I would do if I had one that just wasn't what I was breeding for. Since I only put him with mares that I thought would make a great combo what if I get that one right off the bat but if I kept using him it would of been great combo from then on. I do have access to alot of really great stallions so I could easily switch (paying a stud fee) but I guess I would wonder if I didn't rebreed if I just got the fluke first. How many times do you try with same combo before you move on???

 
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StarRidgeAcres

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Interesting question. I don't have enough experience to offer my opinion, but I look forward to the responses.
 

JWC sr.

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We have 4 distinct bloodlines in our stallions (Cherryville's Rio de Oro, Shine-patton son, First - mardi gras and Luxor - baccara/double destiny) the quest for the perfect baby leads us to try different things over say a five year period and crosses are planned for that period of time.


Many times it amazes me how well Cindy and Jose can predict what they are going to get and what faults the babies might have. I think this comes from knowing the stallions and the mares (background and previous results) as well as they do. Don't get me wrong every cross is not a winner, we still produce pet quality babies. But with that said the quality of the "pet quality" gets better every year.


We do sometimes also get as you called it flukes and Cindy is quick to point out when something is produced that does not make sense. When that happens she invariably will go back the same way to ensure it was not a fluke. Each mare and stallion cross is documented with pictures/description and evaluated at the end of the year during the yearly culling we go thru. But if the results are explainable most of the time we change directions.


By using this method of evaluating, culling and long range planning using 5 year plans as a model, we have found it works well for us.


One other note sometimes we produce offspring from a certain cross, knowing that the baby will probably not be a world class horse. This is done intentionally to produce a future breeder for the long range breeding plan we may have in place with the F2 baby being the goal. I hope that makes sense.


Good Luck,
 

countrycharm

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I guess thats why people say you should always try aim for breeding best to the best as even then you might not get "the best"

I no someone who has done the same x for wow i dunno probably 8-9 foals and not ONE has looked the same totally different from 32"-36" stunning horses to so so, loud coloured to solid colour without a fleck of white even though both parents are loud guess you just never no i myself would probably do the x again
 

Michelle@wescofarms

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You can study the large horse breeds (such as t-breds, etc.) that have documented lots of offspring/repeat breedings to see not all are what you're hoping for and then you have those that exceed all expectations.

Personally, I would be highly unlikely to repeat a breeding that I had any hesitation about quality/health issue, etc. An example my mare that had a dystocia requiring a c-section removal of the fetus. The foal was DOA, but had its intestines on the outside of the body (talk about a creepy -ewww thats what I was feeling feeling - another story), so I won't repeat that cross (no signs of dwarfism from what the vets reported). Both parents have had healthy foals, no issues before and its likely just one of those one in a million chances but - I'm not going to repeat just to find out!

Now if it had been a successful cross and then #5, 6 or whatever was a 'face for radio' foal - I'd probably go back and review the ones we had and see what they look like now any issues as they matured, have they foaled good or bad, etc. before making a decision. If you really analyze them you'll usually find some relative a few generations back and here is the throwback!

Breeding is not for the faint of heart and really shouldn't be done on a whim - I admire what John (Cherry) said they do as far as planning. I have a spreadsheet where we analyz/plan breedings. But honestly if the best of the best crossed still produce the ocassional flop, all the rest of us can do is strive to keep breeding good horses to good horses with the goal of consistently raising the bar on quality.
 

Jill

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I would look very hard at the result and try to identify where the trait came from.

If it was a repeat cross that I'd previously been THRILLED with, I do beleive I'd try it again.

If it was a first time cross, I think I'd not try the cross again.

Think of how different you may look from your own full siblings, or other families you know where full siblings can look so different (my own sister and I, for example tho of course we are both beautiful LOL). Think of how different puppies of the same litter may look...

Additionally, is the face/head truly "ugly" or just plain? I have a gelding that I think has a plain head but not an ugly one by any stretch. Hasn't held him back from multi National championships in halter and model, more firsts than a person could count, 20x grand, HOF...
Plain head's are the end of the world.
 

minimomNC

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If you don't have any foals yet by your stallion, then don't worry yet. Once your foals are born, give them about 3 - 4 months before you classify them as ugly or not. Babies change so much in the first few months. I have seen some plain babies end up very pretty. While your waiting for your first babies to get to weaning age, rebreed the mares again if you want foals for the next year. By the time those foals hit the ground you will have a good idea on what might and might not cross well with him. Then look at the second crop of foals and see if they are similar to when the first ones were born. If they are and you liked the first ones, you have done well. If there are some you don't like and the new foals have the same look, then you know to try a different stallion and see what happens. You need those first foals to get some age to see what the mares will produce with that stallion first, don't rush making decisions about if the cross works or not until then. Give your stallion and mares a chance first, worry about having to use a different stallion about two years down the road.

And I have seen a mare have awesome foals with one stallion and total dogs with the same stallion, twice with two different stallions, so you might not get great every time, but breeding is all a gamble in the first place.
 

Joanne

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Ahhhhhh genetics ! Isn't it fun?

Many years ago we bred two 50/50 black and white pinto mares to a 50/50 black pinto stallion. The next year we had two sold RED fillies!

This caused us to say "black and white x black and white equals red!".

Of course this is not really true, and we now have many homozygous for black stallions and mares.

It takes a while to discover if your stallion is "typey" and produces a certain body or head everytime. For now you are experimenting. Try and figure out why you bred those two to begin with and how much of your criteria was met in the offspring.

If the mare is young, you can switch for 2009 and go back to this cross later. I think if I was really unhappy with the head I would breed her to a stallion that is consistently producing nice heads and see if the fault is hers.

Nothing is 100 % though.

Genetics has its own sense of humor!
 

Magic

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If I had a foal from a cross that didn't turn out the way I liked, I definitely wouldn't repeat the breeding. Sure, it may just be a fluke, but it's far more likely that the cross is NOT a good one. JMHO
 

Bess Kelly

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A stallion is 50% of each foal produced (obviously
) and he may sire several each year. A mare is limited to one each season. Therefore, you look for the attributes that you see most often from this guy first. Then consider what you may not like and look for the reason. Remember, what you do not "like" may not be a fault, just a lesser preference of your own. If a conformation fault, then I wouldn't rebreed that pair.

If it makes you feel like you are not up to the challenge -- let me share something I was told by Lowell Boone, in his later years, after many, many, many foalings and choices. He had a colt that he just couldn't get anyone to buy. Even offered to a few people for only a pittance of the normal pricing at the time and was refused. Well, he said he just threw him out with some of the others who had been gelded, almost gelded him but got busy and didn't get around to it. Wintered him with the group, we all know how those buffaloes look
and he said he really hoped the little guy would gain some weight as he was very gangly. Spring time, he felt he'd throw him in the show group to promote with some others but, when he pulled & clipped, showed.......thought he would keep him!! We know him as Buckeroo.
:DOH! Yep, a colt that a known breeder wasn't "thrilled with" as a foal.

Some are just ugly ducklings that do become swans. This is a breeders challenge
 

JWC sr.

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Bess,

I am glad you mentioned that, Cindy made the decision a couple of years ago to keep the majority of the babies till they were at least a year old, unless someone wanted them. So far that practice has contributed three really nice show horses just this last year, that were not shall we say pretty LOL as little babies.

She goes thru the group and if she sees possiblity we hang on to them and treat them as potencial show horses as far as diet etc. for the first year.

I also was told that same story about Buckeroo and it was also said that his color was muddy and indistict as a weanling. And now look at the beautiful buckskin he is.


Your premise of a Stallion not being able to do it all himself is right on also. I can't tell you the times we have seen folks breed a really average mare to a high dollar stud and then wonder why the results were not fantastic.


Thanks for reminding me of that.
 

Becky

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Some are just ugly ducklings that do become swans. This is a breeders challenge
How true that is and sometimes the opposite happens too! I've had foals that looked gorgeous as babies but didn't turn out as I expected as they matured. Others were relatively plain as foals and grew into beautiful swans.

Here, I seem to have a problem with a height issue mostly. Tall foals that I think are going to mature over 34" and I sell them for a lot less $$$ than I would if they were going to be smaller. Find out later that they mature under the 34" mark.
However, good for the new owner as they got a real bargain AND a winning show horse too!
 

Genie

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That's an interesting read, regarding Buckeroo.

Sometimes I get "antsy" with a stud colt and try to move them quickly.

I saw one of my colts in a show a couple of years later and he was a "knockout".

The lady had bought him, double registered, black and white pinto for 550.00.


I have a tiny sorrel and white stud colt this year that I am not going to be in a rush to sell after reading the Buckeroo story.

I usually keep the cross going if I like the result, however, should I have a poor result for a repeat breed, then I would likely end that cross.
 

OhHorsePee

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We believe that the mare plays a larger part in the offspring than people give them credit for. With that said, it also takes two to make a foal. If we would have a foal that we weren't absolutely crazy about we would not combine the same breeding.
 

Sherry

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No kidding Bess...Lowell was telling me the story years ago at a show and how he offered him for sale at $750.00 to someone who turned him down!!! Don't you know that person is sooo kicking themselves!!!


Thanks for all the input. While every stallion has its faults and mine is no exception I have waited 14 years to find my first real herdsire that I am proud to start breeding with. I have previously had about 2-6 foals yearly but went thru the years as most of us have going from uneducated to educated. I finally feel like I have a good foundation to start a top notch breeding program with. I have done my homework and scraped my program three times to finally get where I am today. After I finally started feeling like I am where I want to be I had three top notch trainers and two very well known reputable breeders come see if I was "barn blind" and I passed with all five in agreement. I found a stallion that has the characteristics I want to bred for and mares to match so the set up is they compliment each other so only time will tell. Obviously it is not so easy to bred that "perfect foal" if all you had to do was throw gorgeous with gorgeous and get "gorgeous" then the majority of us would have that in our backyards!! LOL!! But I feel I have a good foundation/starting point and go from there. That is why I posted to get opinions if next year I do get the "radio foal" (forgot who posted that but made me laugh
) should I repeat or move on. Tons of great responses and I think I will follow what a few have said. Since this is his first foal crop then I will have to watch closely for the first couple of years to see the common traits (good or bad) and I pretty much know what most of my mares throw so will try a couple of times till I get the common dominator and then move on if the combo after 2-3 tries just isn't there quality wise. I am just so excited to see what he produces I don't think I will make it thru winter
I am actually nervous as we all know he can have as many titles know to man but the proof is in the breeding shed or else I call them a "one hit wonder". Good thing I just added a junior stallion and will be looking for another breeding herdsire!! I think I just come up with reasons to add more minis!!


Anyway thanks everyone!!
 

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