Help Me Pick a Stallion (please, and maybe 😂)

Hello!

I always get a bit nervous here posting for advice, but I think I’ve got my tough skin on so here it goes.

I love my mare. Absolutely ADORE her. She is athletic, powerful and smart. She loves jumping and is just a beast on cross country. She is brave and bold but also safe - she isn’t going to blindly throw herself over a jump if she doesn’t feel like she’s able to, which I appreciate. We’re never going to win the dressage (tension and reactivity - it’s a work in progress), but I’m okay with that. For a couple of years now I’ve thought about breeding her but have never seriously considered it until now. I’m just now starting to think about it more and think about stallion options. Warm blood registries truly baffle me …… it’s my understanding I don’t have to get my mare “approved”, it’s just the goal that would get approved by the registry and then be considered that breed? In any event, “breed”, doesn’t really matter to me, I’m just wondering what would pair best with my mare. I’m a relatively capable AA, but nonetheless still an AA so something with a good brain is important to me. I’m not looking for a horse that needs to get to a 5*, but if I could get myself to a 2*, boy would that be a dream come true. I’d also love to have a shot at being competitively placed after dressage (of course, this also depends on me as the rider), but a good brain and a good jumper is much more important to me.

With that being said, here’s a couple of confirmation photos of my mare as well as her pedigree. Honestly the biggest block for me right now is that I don’t want to lose out on time spent riding and competing her. I know there’s other options available (ie: a surrogate), but at some point $$ is going to become a factor.

Here is a link to her pedigree. JC name is Class Divine if for some reason the link doesn’t work. I’m posting all this from my phone so :crossed_fingers:t2: link and photos share appropriately.

Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to give me feedback, it is very much appreciated!

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Pretty mare. Nice breeding.

You’ve said why you DON’T want to breed her. Why DO you want to?

Great question! I thought I had kind of explained it in my post (smart, brave, kind, tolerant), but i can add on. Of all the horses I’ve owned and ridden, she has been my favorite. I’d love to have another one of her to continue eventing on. I mean, I enjoy taking horses off the track and restarting them so I CAN find something else to event on. But I admire her athleticism and work ethic and I’d love to replicate that if I can.

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Great answers!
If you decide to go ahead, good luck!

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I really like your mare!

If you do decide to breed her (and I understand that decision is fraught, I have a beloved mare who is fabulous but I can’t quite pull the trigger. )

If I were considering breeding your mare to produce an event horse, I would look for a stallion with dressage quality movement and ammy friendly temperament as primary criteria. I would pay particular attention to how the stallion’s neck ties into the shoulder.

I suspect from your description and looking at the photos, that your mare struggles with going long and low, stretching down and relaxing through her back, (As do many TBs ;-)) so you absolutely have to have a stallion with those qualities.

Sorry I don’t have specific recommendations for a stallion.

You don’t say where you are located, but another factor I would consider is to look at stallions fairly close to you. You can still breed AI, but conception rates are higher with fresh or cooled rather than frozen and your costs will be much lower if you stay local.

The surrogate idea is intriguing, but it’s expensive, and for what you’re trying to do, the cost/benefit analysis may not make sense. (I’ve been quoted an additional $8K for using a surrogate. That’s over and above the stud fee and mare care for the donor and the recip mare. That’s just for the process of flushing the donor mare and implanting the recip mare.)

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I don’t really have stallion recommendations as I am not an eventer, but I have bred two different TB mares to warmblood stallions (for the hunter ring) so I do understand how that works. You do have to get the mare approved for breeding. It’s advisable to take the mare prior to breeding/foaling as if she were to pass during foaling, you would end up with an unregisterable foal. At inspection, she will be judged and scored on her conformation and movement (either in hand or liberty depending on the registry). As long as she scores high enough she will be placed in the mare book and her offspring will be able to be registered. Different registries are more or less thoroughbred friendly, though I believe all will inspect TB mares.

Your mare is lovely! Good luck whatever you decide. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and your foal may end up with your mares best qualities or worst qualities. My first foal is five this year, and as I’ve found out, it is much less predictable that I would’ve thought!

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Different warmblood registries handle things differently. Most do require that the mare be presented for inspection and approved. You can do this prior to breeding her or with foal at her side. Sometimes a really nice foal will improve her chances of being accepted. The stallion must be approved to breed with whatever registry you choose, but does not have to actually be registered with them (for example, stallion could be registered KWPN but be approved Old NA, KWPN, Hanoverian etc. You could present your mare to any of these registries in order to have her approved and register your foal. It would probably be more advantageous to choose a registry that has inspections close to you so that you are not hauling mare and foal far to be inspected, which of course increases costs.

Another option is to go with a breed registry that does not require mare inspection. Irish Draught Horse Society of North America (IDHSNA) and American Connemara Society allow 1/2 bred foals to automatically be registered as long as the stallion is registered. I have bred my OTTB mare to a Connemara stallion for a foal this year, and I am super excited for the resulting baby.

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Do you have any horses locally that take your breath away? How about when you go to shows, any horses you just have to stop and watch as they warm up? Find out their pedigrees, and then look and see if the sire consistently stamps that or if it comes through the dam. If you like the type, see if it complements your mare’s type well.

If you want easy registry options, for a TB I don’t think there is anything easier than KWPN - you just have to have a KPWN approved stallion as the sire. Other registries are a little different. For some, yes, you can present the mare for approval with the resultant foal at her side (foal’s sire must be approved with that registry) and it may help your chances to have her approved for breeding, but for other registries, it may not.

If this foal is a keeper for you regardless, the registry you select is a little less important IMO.

There are a lot of stallion auctions online. You can browse them and get a good feel for the stallion’s type and what he tends to pass on. These days, there are lots of FB groups for stallion offspring too, so see if your stallion has a FB presence and then see what the foals look like.

GOV’s SSA is soon, February 19 to March 4.I believe NEDA’s and the ATA’s end today. KPWN has an auction until the 19th.

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My Trakehner mare (Windfall/Avignon II) is expecting her 3rd foal from Elite Trakehner stallion Herzensdieb (http://www.leatherdalefarms.com/e-h-herzensdieb). The first two are brave, curious, and sweet. My mare was bred to him to improve lift in the shoulder as well as lengthen the back and neck. He did all of those things! My mare has a great hind end and very scopey jump. Also picked him due to his scores with jumping/XC during his stallion testing as well as having offspring competing in eventing (though most have been dressage horses). I knew he would improve where my mare needed improvement without taking any jump or gallop away. He has a lot of offspring on the ground, and they all seem to be easy, kind, and fancy.

Some other others you might look at would be:

Tatendrang: Adv level eventer, has produced numerous offspring, known for producing ammy friendly foals, has a lot of foals out of tbred mares
http://americantrakehner.com/Stallions/app/detail_active.asp?HorseID=83942

There would be many opportunities to get your thoroughbred mare inspected with the American Trakehner Association. The ATA is a great organization with fantastic people, professional inspection team, member of the WBFSH, and the North American affiliate of the German Trakehner Verband. There are a lot of great options on stallions: http://americantrakehner.com/Stallions/app/list_active.asp
Feel free to DM me if you have any questions!

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Are you prepared to lose the mare to a dystocia (or a rectal tear, though that’s less likely)? If not, don’t breed her. That’s the harsh reality we all face when we put one in foal.

If I were breeding a Thoroughbred mare for eventing, I would chat with Hannah and Chris at Zaragoza Acres, because they have used TB mares recently and I think they have the right stallions for that market.

I agree that KWPN is the easiest option for a TB mare. You can get register A papers for a foal by an erkend WB stallion, out of a TB mare, by mail, with no inspection needed of the mare or the foal. Inspection is available if you want to, but not required.

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Such a lovely mare, and I think you explained perfectly why you would want to breed her:

“I love my mare. Absolutely ADORE her. She is athletic, powerful and smart. She loves jumping and is just a beast on cross country. She is brave and bold but also safe - she isn’t going to blindly throw herself over a jump if she doesn’t feel like she’s able to, which I appreciate.”
If you got a clone of your mare, I am sure you would be happy.
My suggestion would be to breed to a jumper stallion who is also a very good mover, and preferably one with TB blood as well. IMO many of the dressage stallions just don’t have the jump you want.

and I agree that KWPN is the easiest, since you don’t need approval for a TB mare.
But I think most registries would welcome a quality mare like yours.

Best of luck and have fun looking.

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Thank you everyone for your responses! I am still weighing the pros and cons of breeding her. I really want to. But I really don’t want to miss a season of competing, even though I do have another mare I recently re-started who is going to be ready to get out there and compete soon (like, May lol). I wish I would have bred her when I was pregnant myself, but…live and learn.

In any event, I am still looking at stallions while I have my internal debate. I appreciate the recommendations of looking at KPWN. The foal will definitely be planned to be a keeper so the registry itself is not critical but I do want to make sure I can register it. I’m keeping my eyes / ears open, but the one stallion I keep coming back to is Clair De Lune SE. He is reasonably local, and I’ve seen (and been impressed by) several of his offspring and have reached out to some of the riders of the offspring and they have nothing but good things to say. So, while I am still “flexible” on sire, I’m gravitating towards him. Honestly the only downside right now is that he’s grey and I really don’t want a grey (melanoma, I’m paranoid), but if that’s my biggest concern (that wouldn’t even be a for sure thing) I think I’m ok with that.

Wow, Herzensdieb is l o v e l y. Just, wow. What an impressive horse. Would you say the two foals you have are AA friendly? I’m very much an AA :). I will also look into the Trakehner association! I have a relatively local venue (Woodland Stallion Station, about 2 hours away from me) that I know hosts some inspections so I’ll have to look and see what they offer.

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He is lovely! Both of the fillies have been total pets - very friendly, in your pocket types. The one I kept is coming 2. She enters every new situation with curiosity and confidence. She has never said ‘no’ to anything. I have taken her to a young horse show, to observe xc schoolings, ponied around a xc course (including water). I would clone her a million times. The coming yearling filly is the same way personality wise. All the Herzensdieb offspring I know about are kind, willing, and fancy. The American Trakehner Association holds inspections all over the country every fall. I can come back and post that schedule once it is finalized and published.

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Here are some examples of Herzensdieb offspring. Fancy and very AA friendly!

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Oooh, I really like her, and that isn’t because one of my best horses was a chestnut TB mare :heart_eyes:

Great bloodlines too.

My only suggestion is the stallion is a little longer in the back, but that is just_my_opinion.

Good luck, xx

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