But, he’s so sweeeeeet and so pretty………….
Said my friend with the 2 year old, wonky-looking stud colt standing in her round pen. True, he was buckskin, and he was friendly. But he was otherwise unspectacular in every way, unknown parentage and questionably built to do anything but be a pet.
Then I pointed out – So are the young, untouched, untrained horses standing at the local auction destined for the kill pen.
So are the horses we get phone calls on when an elderly owner passes away, only to find a teenage horse that is barely halter broke, takes hours to load on a trailer, and will spend years – yes, years, in rescue receiving the basic training it should have had months after birth, to give it hope of a future adoptive home.
Responsible breeding means responsibly gelding absolutely everything that is not heads and tails above the rest of the herd.
Is he intelligent, even-tempered, and trainable?
Does he have a job? Is he good at it? Is he built to last doing it?
Is he registered so that his offspring can be?
Is he disease-panel tested negative appropriate to his breed to ensure the next generation will not be plagued with a preventable disease like HYPP, PSSM, night blindness, or an automatic death sentence like Lethal White Overo Syndrome or Lavender Foal Syndrome?
Do you have a plan to maintain his happiness as a breeding stallion and the means to keep both he and other horses on the property (and neighboring properties) safe and contained?
I know of a stallion out west who was a champion in the show ring at 2, 3, and four. At 23, he still rodeos, wins checks, and consistently stamps his offspring with his brains and athletic ability. He’s earned the right to stand at stud. That doesn’t mean all his offspring do.
Being a pretty color is not a reason to keep a stallion. Having “good bloodlines” is not a reason to keep a stallion, unless the answers to all the other questions are also “yes.” A good stallion makes a great gelding. Only a great stallion should be bred.
If you own a ‘good’ stallion but would like to own a great gelding, we are offering FREE castration on Saturday, March 23. Sign up here and we’ll be in touch to confirm your appointment.