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Back Yard Breeding

Back Yard Breeding

Back Yard Breeding - Doing more Harm than Good?

Everyone loves foals! And what could be better than having your own to imprint and train and whatnot, especially if this foal is out of your beloved mare. It is a warming thought to know that you will still have a part of your mare once she has expired. Unless you plan to keep that foal for the entire length of its life, careful thought should be put into breeding to ensure that if you ever do want/need to sell this horse, it has desirable features.

Now these are only a few of the questions you might want to ask yourself, but important nonetheless. Before breeding your mare, take into the following considerations:

  • Who am I going to breed to?
  • Does my mare have a notable pedigree, or is she at least even registered?
  • Am I going to be able to register my foal?
  • Does my mare have at temperament that I want to pass onto offspring?
  • Does my mare have good conformation that will be passed onto the foal?
  • Has my mare proven herself in any way that would make her foal of value?
  • Is my mare, or the stallion I am breeding to, a carrier of any genetic defects that could be passed onto the foal?
  • What do I plan to do with the foal?

Have you ever been to a horse auction? Well, a portion of the horses there are from people who don't take the above into consideration. What about a meat auction? Most horses that go to a meat auction are foals from accidental breeding, or a breeding that hasn't gone as planned. All in all, horses go to the auction when they are unwanted, or cannot be sold privately.

Ideally, a horse should not be bred unless they are registered. Registries maintain breeds, and prevent impurities from entering. They also prevent the sprouting of Grade horses. Not saying an unregistered horse is useless, but they don't obtain as much value (which is very important in the horse world today). Most people would choose a registered horse over a grade, which can make selling much more difficult, which brings us back to the auction issue. To help prevent unnecessary breeding, many stallion owners only offer services to registered mares.

Think carefully before breeding your mare. Is the foal one day, going to be sent to an auction because their lack of pedigree prevents them from getting a good home? Could you live knowing a horse you aided in bringing into this world may end up at a meat auction because you didn't do any inquisitive thinking? Thousands of PMU foals get slaughtered because they aren't produced with pedigree in mind. With that, not all grade or backyard-bred horses end up in a bad place, many end up going to good homes. It's still a risk that shouldn't be taken when it comes to breeding. Obviously no one can stop you from doing what you want with your horses, but hopefully the next time you want to breed, you put a lot of thought into it.

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