Delightfully Dumas of McDodi Farms

Sooner or later, you are going to see a foal like this and decide it is time to breed your mare. With the acceptance of artificially inseminated foal into the registry of the TWHBEA, and the availability of shipped semen, it has become possible to breed to stallions from all over the world.  The selection is literally endless.  How do you choose the right one for your mare?

The temptation is to consider the current World Grand Champion as the natural choice for your special lady.  While this may well be an excellent cross, the fact that the stallion is a World Grand Champion should not be the most significant reason for choosing him.

Below are some pointers to help you make your decision wisely.


1.

Ask yourself what you want to be using your foal for, once it is a grown animal.  If you want a show horse or an athlete for a specific event, consider breeding to one of the Adult Supreme Versatility champions.  If you are looking primarily for a hacking horse, look at the stallions with Plantation Pleasure Class credentials.
2. Study your mare to see what you would change about her if you could. Try to choose a stallion that throws these qualities in his foals.  Prioritize your requirements such as size, conformation, temperament, gait, and then try to balance the possible cross between the stallion you are considering, and your mare's strong points.
3. Remember that gait should always be your primary goal. Breed for a genetic Walker at all times, and NEVER breed for something like a specific color or SPOTS!!!    !!!    !!!!!!!
4. Study your mare's pedigree, and then try to match the pedigree of the stallion so that you are not crossing bloodlines that are too close.  Tennessee Walking Horses are more closely bred than most other breeds, but that is no excuse for inbreeding (brother to sister) or line-breeding (father to daughter, mother to son).  The results are always going to be unpredictable, and the chance of producing an unwanted recessive gene are much greater.
5. Contact stallion owners and ask for information about their horse.  Ask for videos showing their gait, and for photos of their offspring.  The proof is in the pudding, and stallion owners are very willing to provide positive evidence of their horse's ability to produce great offspring.
6. Don't select a stallion based on his breeding fees.  Many very GOOD stallions are available at low fees, and conversely, a high price tag does not guarantee a good foal.
7. Ask for and then study breeding contracts. Look for things like LFG (live foal guarantee), and additional costs like container fees, and shipping expenses, and nomination or booking fees.
8. Never breed to a stallion that is not blood-typed.
9. Even if you never intend to sell your foal, always consider what a stallion will add to the price you would get if you DO have to sell the foal.  Ask the stallion owners for information on what prices the foals of their horse are fetching on the market.  Things like the show records of other progeny by the horse will affect the price you can ask for your foal.
10. Contact the owners of other foals by stallions you are interested in.  Find out what the babies are like - gait, conformation, size, health, and disposition. Some foals can be very talented, but also what is called 'game', or difficult to manage.
11. Once you have chosen your stallion, stay in contact with the owner.  They should be willing to offer tips and follow-up advice on the care and training of progeny from their stallion.
12. Consider this - if you CAN'T find a Tennessee Walking Horse stallion to breed to, for whatever reason, you can breed your TWH mare to something like an Arabian, or Thoroughbred, or American Saddlebred, and STILL stand a pretty good chance of getting a gaited foal.  Even if it is NOT gaited, it will still be a VERY smooth saddle horse, and there are Part-bred registries for Tennessee Walking Horses that will even let you raise a set of papers on your baby.


Good luck, and if you need help, just contact us and we will do what we can to assist you in your search for the right stallion for your mare.



 


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Revised: December 18, 2016