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Firefly Walkers. We let the Walkin do the Talkin.

Firefly Walkers. We let the Walkin do the Talkin.

 

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Broodmare Selection

Taken from the book, Echo of Hoofbeats by Dr. Bob Womack

 

     The riddle of selecting broodmares does not lend itself to a precise answer.  The fact is that few mares, regardless of their characteristics, will produce outstanding offspring.  But just as outstanding show stock possess unique characteristics, so do those mares which make outstanding dams.

     Broodmares should be chosen as such.  They must be chosen in terms of their broodmare qualifications and should not be chosen solely in terms of their accomplishments in the show ring.  The characteristics necessary in a good broodmare may also be present in show stock, but the fact that a mare does well in the show ring in no way assures her success as a matron.  On the other hand, some mares that do not do well in the show ring may very well develop into fine broodmares.  There seems to be general agreement among breeders that a broodmare must be naturally loose and that she must possess fineness in conformation.  Such mares should mount high in the wither with the neck coming out at marked angle from the body.  The mareís shoulders should roll as she walks about the pasture, with the back legs reaching well under the body as she walks along.

     After these characteristics have been found, the buyer can then apply his/her own standards of color, pedigree, and show record.  Unless the former characteristics are present, the latter will probably be meaningless anyway.

     Once the breeder has selected his broodmares he must choose the stallion with which to cross them.  The natural tendency of most breeders is to select a World Grand Champion.  Such an attitude is difficult to criticize, but it falls short of guaranteeing the production of an acceptable show horse, much less a champion show horse.

     Mac Carter suggested that mare owners first of all assess their mares in terms of strengths and weaknesses.  According to Carter every mare has an area of weakness, and owners who fail to identify such weakness are closing their eyes to reality.  The comments of Billy Hale tend to bear out this opinion.  Carter counseled breeders to cross strength to strength, weakness to strength, but never strength to weakness or weakness to weakness.  Such an approach demands complete honesty on the part of breeders.  It seems apparent that successful breeders are those who study the characteristics of their mares and deal honestly with them.

     If the mare has a coarse head she should be bred to a stallion with a fine head.  If the mare trots she should be crossed with a stallion that swings.  If the maresí back is too long she should be crossed with a short-backed horse.  Breeders must remind themselves that neither the mare nor the stallion alone can assure an offspring of acceptable quality.  The offspring will inherit some characteristics from its sire and others from its dam.  The hope is that the inherited characteristics will be such that the offspring will represent an improvement over both its parents.  Most people would not consider breeding a fine mare to a stallion of poor quality, but the same people often breed a mare of poor quality to a fine stallion and expect the impossible to happen.  It seldom does.


Firefly Walkers. We let the Walkin do the Talkin.

 

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