Stud owners, and those who know stallions

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Mar 24, 2005
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I'll try to word this without it sounding like I don' know anything, but that could be a real challenge.

I would like to breed my mare next year, but before I start 'seriously' looking again for stallions, I think it would be wise to figure out what size will be the best and most realistic match for my little girl. I also need to figure out a coloring issue that has been boggling my mind since I first decided to breed, and what a stallion owner looks for and wants to see in potential mares. (Especially my mare)

Firstly, my mare is 31'' tall. I have heard the most obvious things from friends- don't breed to a huge stallion, breed to one her size. Well....duh. As a stallion owner, would you say to look for a stallion who stands at 31'', or go smaller, like 29'' or 30''?

Secondly, if my mare is reg. as a black roan pinto, do I look for a black roan, or can I look for a black stallions carrying a certain gene. Oh boy, looks like we're back to biology and genetics, something I always struggled with. Should I forget the coloring issue? I mean, to be honest I would be happy with any color foal. (My mare's sire was a brown/white pinto and her dam was black) I hate asking this question, as I know it all depends on my mare's color genetics and so on and so forth.

Thirdly (and lastly) do most stallion owners like to see that the mare has been shown extenisvely? Would a video be worthwhile to make of her doing what she does best? (i.e jumping, halter, looking pretty....haha)

Thank you for any in advance. I appreciate any information I can be given, comments etc.
if she is 31'' I wouldnt breed her to a stallion any higher than 34'' I am not a breeder so I could be wrong! also its mostly the build that matters, if you mare is refined, you dont want her to be bred to a stocky stallion, if she is kinda stocky, try and find a really rifined stallion to make the baby be as refined as possible.

Second, if you dont care the color of a foal, that dosent matter, and since she is black based, there are so many posibilities if bred to another black based horse that you would most likley not get the color you want, I would drop the color issue!

Third, most times breeders are just doing it to make money, yeh they might want to baby to look good so it gives there stallion a good rep, but I dont think they would want/need a video, if they ask for one, then yes, do it, but they most likley wont!!

Is you mare refined?



I feel the same way about color. Whatever color the foal will be, I'll be just as happy with a chestnut as I would be with a grey. Ponie is rather refined, (besides a little tummy pudge) but I do agree with looking for a nicely refined stallion.

Once again I appreciate your help.
[SIZE=14pt]You can breed her to taller finer boned stallions. You can encounter just as much trouble from a 30 inch heaviner boned stallion that from a bigger one. MAss is more important to look at than height. I have successfully bred 37 inch stallion to a 33 inch mare. More than once. I have a little 30 inch mare that foals to a 33 34 inch stallion by herself every time. It all depends. If you were breeding her to one of my stallions I would want her to be as correct as possible so down the road someone doesnt say that ugly colt must be its a bad stallion that produced it..... I also would want her to culture clean and be totally up to date on shots before coming .[/SIZE]

Black or bay roan is a black based color so think if it in those terms.

As for size I agree with what Gage has said. It also depends on if you are shooting for a creation size. Also keep in mind that NOTHING is for certain size wise. There are many under 34" crosses that go over and vise versa. I height is not an issue as long as the stallion is refined and throws refined babies you could go a couple inches over your mares height.

Also is she a maiden? If so you might for the first time want a stallion that is not taller than her and fine boned, give her a better chance of having an easier delivery.

On the color issue about the only things you can be certain of is if you breed her to a Homozygous pinto you are guaranteed a pinto, and if you breed her to a double dilute (Perlino, Cremello) you are guaranteed a dilute baby (Palomino, Buckskin, Smokey Black..etc..) If you like overos you would have to find a stallion that is positive for the LWO (lethal white overo) gene to have the possibility of getting a true frame overo (not a garnet though) As for actual color that's the billion dollar question. If you guess that each time you'd be a billionaire

There is a slue of different terms for stud fees and such just depends on which stallion you pick on what the stallion owner requires.

Welcome to the wonderful world of crossing any living's always a toss up
But that's why it's fun right? It's like Christmas and you can't peak....and you may have to wait a while till AFTER Christmas till you get to see the present

Good luck in your search!
Lyn: Thank you for the information on size vs mass. She is a maiden mare, and I believe my vet said that maidens do not have to have such a thorough pre-breeding exam. I do think I'll look for a stallion that is refined, but also not to tall, as this will be her first baby. (Well...if she takes)

Christine: I also appreciate the information you gave me. Haha, your post made me laugh. Color billionaire
Hehe. You are actually quite close to where I live...wouldn't that be convenient!

I really want her to have a safe first delivery.

Looks like I'll be searching for a refined under 31" stallion.

Once again thanks for answering my questions!
Instead of purchasing a stallion you may want to consider trying to find a suitable stud and pay the fees and mare care. Much simpler.
Dimimore: Slight misunderstanding. I agree with you and would much rather pay a stud fee and mare care! I don't need a stallion and a the same time! lol
imo it very much matters what the mare looks like and her pedigree to a stallion owner. I had an opportunity to stud my guy out to mare this summer. The owner sent pics and i had to decline.

The thing to remember is this. If the foal comes out as a dwarf or with any leg deformities etc who gets blamed?? THE STALLION. We all know its a 50/50 thing but way too many times i have heard stallions totally ripped apart because of a not so great foal. Rarely do you hear someone blame the mare. Obviously this is because a stallion makes alot more foals then a mare does.

So i think people who do stud out their stallions are like me and very picky about the mares. Now you might be able to find someone who does it for a quick buck and cares less what the mare looks like but that probably isnt someone you want to trust your mare to. Also you will find that some reputable breeders require the mares to have certain tests done before breeding.

Keep in mind also what faults your mare has (every horse has them) and find a stallion that DOES NOT have the same faults. Also research pedigrees and see what crosses best with your mares pedigree.

Good luck

Is that your filly in your Avatar?? In which case she looks Grey, she is not Black Roan. This happens a lot and Grey tends to predominate, although technically unless the animals is H/Z Grey there is only 50% chance of Grey. NEVER breed for colour- it does not work. Even with H/Z Tobiano you can get two white socks and that's your lot!! So, pick a stallion of the type, build, height and action of your requirements and forget colour!!
I would be way more concerned with the build, body type and refinement of the stallion vs. the height.

Color, that's just the icing on the cake. It's the least important part of a horse and this is coming from someone who LOVES color.

As a stallion owner, it's great if the mare is shown because then it's likely the foal would be, but when I consider if I "approve" a mare for my stallion, I want to see that she's breeding quality with a good bite and straight legs as the starting point. I wouldn't want someone parading around a crooked legged foal and bragging it was by one of my horses.
Great points have been made here....i only want to add ONE thing on color. If your mare is a blue roan, do NOT breed to a roan, please. 2 roan genes are lethal so you would have a 25% chance of losing your foal without all the other things that come into play.

Just a small item, but check the registry that the stallion is in. ie If the stallion is registered AMHA only, and your mare is registered AMHR only, the resulting foal will NOT be registerable.
Wow. Thank you all for the information!

Rabbit: Her papers say that she is a black roan perhaps they are wrong...but I definately agree with you that breeding to a stallion for type, build ect is very important.

KayKay: I would never blame a stallion because of the way the foal turned out. I am very much aware of the contribution from both the stallion AND mare, and I personally feel that it is stupid to blame just one contributor.


"I want to see that she's breeding quality with a good bite and straight legs as the starting point. I wouldn't want someone parading around a crooked legged foal and bragging it was by one of my horses."

I agree 100%. I have sent pics of my girl to breeders and have been rather lucky in not being rejected, but I also understand that if for any reason she would be rejected, I know that it is for a good reason. (improving the quality for next generations etc)

Jinx: Thank you for the information about roans. I do not want to risk anything!
Helen: If I register my mare for both AMHA and AMHR would that be wise? So I am guessing that if the stallion was AMHR and my mare was both, then the foal could be registerable?
KKattmandu said:
Helen: If I register my mare for both AMHA and AMHR would that be wise? So I am guessing that if the stallion was AMHR and my mare was both, then the foal could be registerable?

What you want to make sure is that both the stallion and the mare are in the same registeries. This way the foal can be registered with any registery that the two parents have in common. If the stallion is in a different registery than the mare, then you can't register the foal easily, if at all without going through the ordeal of hardshipping... AMHR has closed it's books, so getting a horse hardshipped into AMHR without it being AMHA registered in pretty much impossible now.

I agree with not breeding a true roan to a true roan. The foal has a 25% chance of inheriting a roan gene from each parent, and that would be lethal to the fetus.

Same with the Lethal White Gene. If you are breeding your mare to a pinto, and your mare has any overo heritage, make sure to test your mare for lethal white so that you can avoid the crossing of 2 lethal white carriers as a homozygous horse for lethal white will ALWAYS die within a day or two of birth.

Yep, color is icing on the cake, but sometimes icing can ruin that cake as well.

You know the importance of good conformation, so won't say anything other than make sure the stallion does not have weak conformation in the same places that your mare does as you don't want to set those less than desirable traights. As far as size, Lyn is correct. The refinement of the bone structure is very important. You don't want to breed a fine boned mare to a heavy boned stallion.

Also, I would check the foaling history of the sire. Does the sire that you are looking at consistantly pass on great genetic traits to it's foals? Do the foals look like him, but only better? Does his ofspring constantly mature much taller or much smaller than him? (If taller, is that acceptable to you?) And if you can find out, has the stallion ever sired a dwarf?

And finally personality! Do you love the personality of both horses? You wouldn't want to breed your sweet mare to a nasty attitude and possibly get that nasty attitude in the offspring. I can't tell you how many times my foals from a certain stallion like to have their lead rope in their mouth when leading them. The sire used to do this when I got him and I spent some time breaking him of grabbing the lead line when I was leading him, and the foals tend to do this without ever meeting their sire, much less seeing the sire put the lead rope in his mouth.

Good luck and have fun playing match maker!
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Read ALL of your replies. You have received some excellent advice, IMO.

Watch the registries. Whatever your mare is registered with, you want the stallion to match.

As a maiden mare, breed to a fine boned stallion that is close or shorter than your mare in height. After the first foal, height won't be so much of an issue.... just the refinement.

Don't be barn-blind with your mare's conformation flaws when it comes to balancing them with the stallion's flaws. If the flaws match or are close -- don't do it. If your mare's flaw or flaws are the stallion's strengths -- go for it. (For example -- if both the mare and the stallion have low tail-sets, then the foal is almost guarranteed to also have one.)

Don't worry about color.....except the roan to roan issue. Or if your mare carries the overo gene, then be cautious about that too.

Sunquest made an excellent point. Be sure the stallion you choose has a friendly personality. Both the mare and stallion can pass on their personalities as well as their physical characteristics, so if you want a people oriented offspring, this is important.

I know....lots to think about.....But KUDOS to you for doing it ahead of time!


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