Friday, May 2, 2008

What Daddy Does

I am a BIG believer in the power of the dam. I like to know the riding history of the mares that I breed. I either want to have ridden that mare or rode a FULL brother or sister to her before I breed her. Why must it be a full brother/sister you might ask? Because some studs throw more dominant characteristics than others and a half brother/sister may not have the same personality or ability of the mare that I am thinking about breeding. With a full sibling I can be pretty sure that what I am riding is going to be replicated in what I am thinking about reproducing, if I am not actually riding that mare.
Yes-in the beginning I did breed my black mare before I could actually get her broke to ride. And my dad was notorious for breeding anything with a uterus. We have learned to do things a little differently.
When my brother came home with the black stud, we bred what we had. I had one mare and my brother had one mare. My brother listened to other people who knew more about genetic nicks than we did and got what he wanted in his colts. I on the other hand had a lot to learn and had to concentrate on breeding UP. Not that my mare wasn't a quality mare-her mother was the 1978 World Champion Halter Mare and her sire was known to produce really good horses. But crossing those two created a line that liked to buck. With my black mare I really had to look at the history of the stallions bloodlines and look for horses that were known to be "easy". I learned a lot.
Having worked on ranches in NE for years and being a farrier, my brother got to meet a lot of horse people and he became friends with another hand whose family had a great line of rope horses. They wanted to sell their old stallion so my brother picked him up for $400. These people knew that they had a good stud, they just were done raising colts and wanted the old boy to go to a good home. My then-husband and I also picked up a really nice palomino gelding from them. The stud was a grandson of both Lady Bugs Moon and Otoe. Otoe horses are known for being great cow horses but they are also bred to run so "Bugs" had a double dose of run in him. That is what we needed on our King mares. I mean really-you can never have too much speed(hehehe). Most of the King mares were too young to breed at this time so we crossed the Bugs stud on our other broodmares.
Woofer was one of the first. This resulted in Moon...

Moon is a nicely balanced horse and has no major conformation faults. There are things I don't like about him-the points of his shoulders are narrow and even though he has a long hip and is wide in the stifles he always looks peaked through the hips. The personality...I'll get to that...

My brother bred his Leo mare to Bugs a couple of times and got two almost identical mares. He sold one and I bought this one...

This is "Chunk". She is just the sweetest thing going. I love her shy, gentle nature. She took after her mother in looks and personality.

Brother then crossed his "Nod" bred mare with Bugs. Nod was an AQHA champion running horse...

This is "Smoke". I hate his name. It doesn't suit him at all, but I am afraid he is stuck with it now. OMG-this picture does not do this gorgeous horse justice. He was intended to be left a stallion, but he was rank tempered so it was snip,snip. While he was up healing he pawed through a fence and almost removed his right front foot. Panels aren't always safe either. It took a few years but he is completely sound now and I will be riding him this year.

The last cross was to my black mare. We really wanted to see what Bugs would do on a King mare...

We got "Beauty". Megan named her. I like this mare. Now that she is FAT she looks a little short necked, but if she was in shape it wouldn't look like that.

Now about the personality of these horses. The only one out of 5 that does not have the same "I'm the ruler of the world" personality is sweet Chunk, but even she can exhibit Bugs' legacy. I like the "I rule the world" personality. It makes for competitive horses. They understand that their job is to win. It only makes it difficult when you try to keep them in pens with other horses, because these suckers are notorious for getting something in the corner and beating them up. They are bullies. Training them has been easy. They are smart and no-nonsense kind of horses. You better have a pretty clear training program in mind and don't ever get mean with them because they will not back down. My brother learned this.
Another thing that Bugs stamped his colts with...an incredible ability to break in the loins. Every single one of these horses has a phenominal stop. Whether you are riding them or working them in the round pen-when you say whoa-that butt is buried. They make the best kinds of rope and barrel horses because they stay in 4 wheel drive.
Sadly, Bugs was lightening struck in the pasture. Beauty was his last foal. That is common around these parts because most everyone still pasture breeds. But he left us a lasting legacy in the two fillies, that should nick beautifully with our new stallion. And two awesome geldings that I get the pleasure of running barrels on.

4 comments:

Jamie said...

I love horses but I've never learned much in the breeding department so I learned a bunch from this post. And here I thought the breeder was looking for traits on the female side...Guess I was wrong there. Thanks for adding me to your blog and for checking out my blog the other day.

kdwhorses said...

Loved hearing about the daddy's! Great story on your horses, I enjoyed it! I can say we have had first hand the difference with half sister and half brother. My mare and Willis (the 3 yo) have the same stud, but different dams. My mare is such a sweet, willing, fast, cow horse. I can do anything on her and let Savannah ride her to boot! The stud is just like her and so was the dam. But Willis, OMG, this horse is the total opposite. He is high headed, stubborn, fast, bad temper. Nothing like the stud, but we have found out just like the dam. So he took all the traits from her. We were going to ride him for a couple of years and get him to be a all around horse for Savannah when she got alittle older. But he is now for sale, she will not be ready for him until she is much older. It is dishearting because we have been so pleased with Angel. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Andrea said...

I am just like you a firm believer in riding the Dam or really knowing her or full brothers or sisters before breeding her. I have a black TB mare that is bred for top speed, but she somehow lacks the speed thing. But I showed her in open shows for fun and she was wonderful. Then I found a Cramello Stallion that I wanted to breed her to. But he has Impressive in his line, which makes me a bit nervous, known to be a bit crazy, but the stud is nice tempered. I have tried three times now to breed my mare and I find out tomorrow if she is bred. If not, I have to use my back up mare. She is a big bodied Quarter horse mare, but.....she is nuts. She is a grand daughter of Boston Mac and we have had two babies out of her and they take after their mother. So, I do hope I do not have to use her. I bet you would love her though, she is fast, my husband rides barrels on her! I am a scardy cat and do not go that fast!! :) But I loved this post! I am with ya 100% on breeding. Now, do you ever get any blue roans?

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Our old black stallion threw every color under the sun. The one paint mare that my brother bred him to did not have a colored baby though. The most color we got out of the Lady Bugs Moon stud was Moon who is a dun like his mother and Chunk who got her mother's chrome.
We do have one blue roan from our black stallion. My daughter is training him for barrels and probably going to jump on him(what a combo huh?).
Don't shy from the Impressives because of the HYPP. If he is N/N you are fine and they ride great. Very cowy and can be very fast. I also like the Boston Macs. They are known to be a little tough minded but phenominal arena horses. My step dad had a son who was pretty broncy but he was a top steer wrestling horse.