Buying the ideal… broodmare

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    Advice on breeding horses

    1. Even if you want a mare solely for breeding, you should try to buy one who has proved herself either in competition or as a dam and preferably both

    2. Try to locate and view some of her offspring. This will give you a good idea of the temperament she passes on to her foals. The relevant breed or competition society should be able to help you identify any registered progeny

    3. Do not buy a broodmare with a behavioural problem as she is likely to pass it on to her foal. Remember that the mare has the greatest influence on her foal‘s outlook on life

    4. Breeding from unsound mares is the greatest mistake of all. With so many mares to choose from, why increase the risk by breeding a foal who could share it’s dam’s weakness?

    5. One exception to the above rule would be a successful competition mare who has suffered a genuine accident after proving her soundness. Tough competition mares are the best possible breeding prospects

    6. Unless you wish to show your mare, scars and other unsightly defects due to an accident or injury are not a problem and may help you negotiate a lower price

    7. A mare that is capable of being ridden, or who has competed successfully, will always be a better buy. If something goes wrong and she doesn’t breed then there will always be an alternative job for her

    8. Never buy a broodmare without a pedigree. This is common sense not snobbery. A good looking mare without breeding papers may produce a foal which throws back to a small pony or cart horse, for her distant parentage

    9. Although having a broodmare vetted may seem an expensive luxury it will help prevent nasty surprises in the future. Also a broodmare should be sound in wind, heart and eyes

    10. With so many surplus horses on the market, think long and hard before embarking on a breeding project. Does the mare have that special something which is worth passing on to a new generation of horses?

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