Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Five baaaad reasons to breed your mare...

 I cringe when people tell me they want to breed their not-so-special mare. The Fugly Horse of the Day blog can be pretty blunt/harsh, but the author sees a lot of rescue horses up close and personal. She's mad as hell.  I certainly agree with her thesis that there are too many unwanted horses in this world -- we don't need any more!!!!

As responsible horse people, we should be tactful but persuasive when we hear someone say they want to breed their mare because...

"She's too b*tchy to be a good riding horse." The correct response to this statement is, "so you're going to have her raise your next riding horse?" Begin referring to the mare as Mommy Dearest.

"Babies are so cute!"  Point out that the three month period of cuteness is followed by  a 2-3 year stint of fuglyness -- useless, expensive, and fugly.  

"I won a free breeding to [insert stallion name]."  Assure them this will be the most expensive free thing they've ever won. 

"She isn't rideable because of her [insert conformation flaw here]." Take a deep breath, and begin,  "Let me tell you about Gregor Mendel..."

I'd like to make some extra money. Here it is permissible to laugh in their face. They deserve it.


  1. All valid points....and to all that, I would add, for the idiots who want their kids to 'grow up' with a foal, or they want a foal because it is 'cute', you can find foals in rescues, auctions and all kinds of compromising situations in desperate need of a home :/

  2. love it! and completely agree!

  3. Fugly Lady is doing a great service. She has it out for backyard breeders of all sorts - many of them are also breeding mediocre dogs and cats. I leave comments all the time at Fugly, but sometimes I just don't look for a few weeks because it's too depressing.

  4. Here is another waay baaad reason. Breeding a mare so your children can "experience nature and birth". Once, I almost bought a TB mare with her foal. The mare had come off the track injured. She had recovered from her injury well enough to be a nice riding horse, but no training beyond the track. The foal was barely handled at 5 months. The mare was super sweet and loving. The care was good, except they lived in a small paddock. These people bought the horse because they thought it would be a good experience for their children to witness a birth!!! (Of course, the mare gave birth at 2AM when no one was around.) Their business was flower growing, so they could have made a pasture for some goats, but noooo, they got a green TB mare. I called off the deal because the seller was a total bitch and I had found another mare that was also very nice. I told her that she acted so badly with me that I didn't want to do business with her. (I later heard from others that my experience with her was typical.) She ended up selling the mare and foal for even less money than I offered. The mare I did buy was more sensible for me, but to this day, I wish I'd had more money and space so I could have taken the mare anyway just to give her a nice home. The mare ended up in a nice place for a while, but then I lost track of her. So sad.

  5. #1 drives me batty! You hear it all the time!

    Thanks for this. Great points.


  6. Total agreement here. That's one reason I have geldings.....

  7. An individual should have a license to breed. It seems plausible?

    #2, has got to be the worst. They are all wrong reasons, but please... Cuteness, unfortunately reflects NOTHING about good breeding.

  8. Oh my goodness, someone had to say this!!! Thank you! Everyone seems to want to breed their mediocre mares to a too big, too hot, too expensive stallion to create a wunderhorse. I bought a yearling and yeah, I got through the growing up and breaking process relatively unscathed...sometimes I think about what if I had SAVED all the money I spent over the past 3 years raising my little wunderbaby, imagine what a fancy BROKE horse I could have purchased...LOL...not that I would EVER trade my baby in though :) I also wonder if these people realize the complications and danger they put said beloved mare at risk of by knocking her up...I could go on for days!

  9. I have lost track of the number of times that people have recommended that I breed my non-spectacular bitchy mare...and I admit that I consider it a personal challenge to respond in a kind and polite manner every time.

    I spent years doing dog rescue, or, as I came to view it, "cleaning up the messes of stupid lazy people." If people insist on wanting the "miracle of birth" (gah!) I recommend a nice long afternoon at the nearest animal shelter. Miracle, my foot.

    You want a miracle? Rehab a hungry/sore/mistreated animal. That right there gets major miracle points from me!

  10. "Babies are so cute!" Foals are cuter in pictures! I've raised three now and they can be a PITA more often than not. You really have to want them and work with them to raise them correctly. And you might as well just throw money at them for a few years too.

    But...I'm not sorry I had my foals. As a teenager, I bought a yearling filly, a grade dun. I spent the next year and a half playing with her (Fortunately, I had other horses to ride). One of them, Fugly would have a heart attack over- he's an Appaloosa Arabian mixed with Paint. And no, I did not breed his mother. I bought her pregnant. But I love him just as he is- one of a kind and I've had him 15 years. My third, born last year, was planned for years and years until I finally did it. Yalla! is my dream baby. She just turned a year old this week.

    Why are so many horses in foal put up for sale? Because they're b*itchy from the pregnancy or because they were before they got pregnant and just got worse like scenario #1?

  11. On the other hand, if you're sick of people asking, "Can I buy your mare for a lot of money?" you might consider breeding her. As long as you understand that you're going to have to grow the baby and then train it until its skill set recognizably resembles that of your beautifully-trained mare. You DID train your mare from foalhood yourself, right?

    Never understood why so many people think that breeding a 5k mare to a $1,200 fee stud will pay for 20k worth of expenses in bringing up a baby and training it.

  12. No joke!! We have bred exactly one time for a keeper (my purebred Polish Arabian who was slightly hyper to a fabulous Paint stud who is extremely laid back and people friendly). We got a beautiful tri-colored filly who is a total "people horse" (she's still friendly and laid back as a four year old :o)
    Irresponsible breeding practices have been the biggest contributor to the unwanted/neglected/abandoned horse issue. We have a local auction here that gets flooded with babies that were never handled, just loaded up and hauled off for sale. Of course they all have "great papers" *insert eye roll here*. I call 'em Pony Mills, and don't get me started...

  13. Pony mills....very good way of putting it. I cringe when people say, oh, their mare is lame so might as well breed her. WHY??
    A friend who knew nothing of equines bought an unhandled, uncut 2 year old mule. That old skinner (mule mill) had a Jack he was so proud of. He just liked covering the mares w/ him, took a kind of perverse pleasure in it. Never did anything w/ the babies--no feet done, no shots, no handling, kept in a paddock. Then found suckers like my friend to sell them to. Old so-and-so >:-(

  14. Regarding having a foal so the child can experience nature: sometimes children just don't care.

    My son, before he was five, experienced
    -taking mares to the breeding shed (didn't care)
    -multiple foalings (didn't care)

    The best parts were when the vet allowed him to take the pictures with the ultrasound machine (hit the button...NOW!!)
    And of course when I told him to stop running, he kept running, ran straight over the placenta, and fell smack into it. That was pretty great.

    I love foals and I LOVE yearlings (I'm alone in this, I know) but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone I didn't want to hate me.

  15. Yes, at some point kids are curious about birth and then you let them watch a cat or dog give birth. It's usually happening somewhere. Now a days a mom can pull out the home video/photo album of the child's own birth. (Waay tooo much information there! )It's pretty easy to introduce kids to the concept without getting large livestock for the purpose.


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