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Extinction by NAIS


Windt im Wald
A Wind in the Woods
Geauga County, Northeast Ohio
since 1995

Featured in HORSE'N AROUND (page 31) and
SOUTHEAST EQUINE (pages 23-25)
 December 2004


Most people want to own an all -around horse that they can show in a halter class, ride on a trail or along the street without mishap or spookiness, or ride under saddle in a performance class. In short, most people desire a horse that is both pretty and practical, showy and safe. Carrying it one step further, most people who dream about producing a foal from a beloved mare want to know that their baby will grow up to be able to do just about anything because the basic talent will be there.

So, HOW will you choose the stallion for your mare? Better yet, HOW will you be able to create a combination of genes that will result in your foal being the dream horse that will be multi-talented-capable of achieving the goals you envision?

First of all, start early to look at prospective stallions. Ask to see photographs, pedigree, and videos so that you can see each stallion's musculature, conditioning, and balance under saddle. Take your time, and best of all make an appointment to see the stallion in the flesh. When you do see him in person, make sure that the pictures have not lied; check to see that there are no conformational faults which limit the usefulness of the stallion and which may potentially limit the functionality of his offspring. Ask to see other progeny if you have been told they are on site. Observe the ease and grace the youngsters demonstrate. REMEMBER: conformational faults in the sire have at least a 50% chance of appearing in the offspring.

Secondly, since no horse, including your mare, enjoys flawless conformation, you need to be able to objectively look at her and decide what parts of her anatomy you would improve upon if you could. For instance, if your mare has short legs, you need to look at a stallion who is longer of leg so as to put more balance on the baby. If your mare's back seems too long for you, you need to search out a stallion with a shorter back to compensate. If your mare has a Roman nose or too long ears, you have the chance to produce a baby without these flaws if you take the time to look around for the stallion whose conformation will help you correct flaws. Even so, there is no guarantee that the resulting foal will get the best conformational qualities of both parents, but at least you have the opportunity to try to produce the best individual that you possibly can. The rest is up to the gene pool, and NO ONE can positively predict the outcome 100%.

Third, and probably MOST IMPORTANT, make sure that the stallion you finally choose has a gentle, willing personality and attitude. As you look at the stallion, can you tell that he is easy to handle and willing to please? Is he gentle enough for YOU or the average admirer of horses to handle?

Or does he exhibit a mean streak that can be passed on, like any other quality, to the next generation? Dan Sumerel, one of the more noted horse behaviorists helping people to relate better to horses today, defines QUALITY as "the mind of the horse, good attitude, willing demeanor." To him, no other characteristic of a stallion, or any horse, is more important than his TEMPERAMENT and TEACHABILITY. We really agree. You can find the most beautiful, charismatic stallion on the planet, but if no one can approach him or handle him because he is mean or rank, what good is he except to look at ? Obviously, a video can demonstrate with reasonable clarity and accuracy a stallion's exceptional conformation or his smoothness of gaits or the precision of his performance . It is a little trickier, though, for a video to capture the stallion's attitude, temperament, and basic personality, so it is VERY important that, for the basis of verifying the stallion's demeanor, you get to see him in the flesh. On the other hand, if you intend to do nothing more than admire your baby's good looks without being personally involved in its development/training/exhibition, then willing attitude may not be nearly as important for you as it is to us.

We were not privileged to grow up with horses as children. The dream of horse ownership became a reality for us only much later in our lives as our other responsibilities began to fade and we could devote more time and love to them. Like us, the average horse lover or horse owner, may not have had the advantages of extensive training in horsemanship either. It is therefore good common sense that the baby you commit to bringing into this world be both a safe and sane individual. Those babies grow up to be bigger than you are, and without the proper personalities and willing attitudes, they may ruin your dream of horse ownership and companionship. If you are fortunate enough to own a mare with tractable and gentle nature already, you really should make certain that the stallion you choose does not transmit stubbornness, meanness, or unwillingness to the baby that you must wait 11 months to see foaled.

A FINAL NOTE to ponder: Do not reject a stallion simply because he has no show record or choose a stallion because of a glittering show ring career. No one will deny that the ribbons and trophies demonstrate that at some time a judge determined that the stallion to be the best of the competition on hand or at least outstanding in his class. Moreover, a show record may be more important to you if you are a show handler or have serious aspirations of showing your baby. Nevertheless, you need to remember that NOT ALL the best stallions are blessed with the opportunities to be shown even at the local level. A show record requires both substantial financial resources and ample spare time to exhibit. This fact alone is one more reason why you need to observe the stallion on his own turf on an everyday relaxed basis, when he is being handled by average folks, not seasoned show handlers who know how to make the horse seem unnaturally blowy and who sometimes become responsible for people to observe that certain breeds are too hyper, too high-strung, too flighty.

In general, you need to learn as much as you possibly can about your prospective stallion choice from still photos, from pedigree and biographical information, from a video, from personal observation, from the stallion owner, who should be willing to share as much information and enthusiasm as he/she can about the stallion. How else can you truly gauge the stallion's conformation, talent, and personality? Should the stallion owner seem to discourage you from learning more about the stallion or from spending some time on the farm observing him, you should consider that the stallion is not the right one for you or your beloved mare.

REMEMBER to choose a stallion carefully and for all the right reasons. Your foal and its ultimate future will depend on your wise and responsible decision.

At Windt im Wald Farm we are preservationist Arabian horse breeders. specializing in Crabbet/CMK bloodlines. We also provide Arabian horse training and riding lessons.

Check our Arabian horse sales page for both Purebred and Half-Arabian Horses

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