Breeding Minis, Tips?

Horsiezz

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We have a 1 1/2 bay pinto stallion, double registered, champion bloodlines, 32 inches tall. Has been shown as a weanling,1st place every time,and he will be shown this spring in Halter and eventually driving. His sire was a 2x Hall of Famed Driving Stallion.
But anyways, we are going to start breeding when hes somewhere around 2, so we are wanting to round up about 3 broodmares for our self,then put him up for stud. Nothing big. But I need some tips,what should we look for in a mare? What colors? About how much should I put him up for stud for(when old enough) ? I cant think of anything else right now so Any other tips would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Horsiezz
 

Horsiezz

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I posted this in the wrong subject by accident,meant to put it under breeding...oopss...
 

Bunnylady

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This isn't what you were asking about at all, but are you absolutely sure that you have a good market for foals? In my area, double registered foals that were sired by a stallion that won at Nationals, and were at least half siblings of other animals that won their classes at Worlds and Nationals, were being offered for sale for $500. You almost can't give pet-quality minis away right now. My suggestion would be to put the breeding idea on the back burner for now, and just campaign your little guy. Get him a reputation of his own, then, if the economy is better, see what he can do in the breeding shed.

A lot of people are breeding bloodlines, not individuals, and producing only pet-quality animals with some very common problems (like locking stifles). Not dissing your little guy at all, but if he's really that good, the miniature horse world will wait a couple more years for his foals!
 

patandchickens

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Bunnylady said:
My suggestion would be to put the breeding idea on the back burner for now, and just campaign your little guy. Get him a reputation of his own, then, if the economy is better, see what he can do in the breeding shed.
What she said.

Good luck,

Pat
 

Horsiezz

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Our area's mini horse market is fine. I have already looked into it. People are selling quality foals(in my stallions horizon) from $700 to $2000. And im not exaggerating. People are crazy about minis in my area,almost everyone we know has one,and if not they are planning on getting one or wanting one! I have been doing lots of research and I have been gazing through the online classifieds weekly and the foals are selling quickly. No showing or anything. The parents dont even have a show record on some of them. So yes, im sure. It will only be about 3 foals or so a year from me(depending on how many broodmares I get),and they will not be hard to sell. I already have people wanting to breed to him and wanting us to breed him so we could sell them foals because they like him so much. And when hes put to stud its not going to be an outrageous price. So I will be fine. And if for some reason I can't sell the foals,then I will just simply keep them. I have plenty of room. But thanks for your concern,I know what you mean. But Im prepared.
Do you guys have any tips about the mares?
 

patandchickens

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Horsiezz said:
Our area's mini horse market is fine. I have already looked into it. People are selling quality foals(in my stallions horizon) from $700 to $2000.
Yes, but, are they from unproven 2 yr olds from a farm that does not have a long-term established reputation in the miniature horse show world; and how many are they ALSO having to sell for considerably less.

I have been gazing through the online classifieds weekly and the foals are selling quickly.
And the other question is, selling for WHAT. Just because a horse is listed for "$X firm" does not mean it actually went for that when it sold ;)

I'm not saying it's not possible you're right; I'm just saying that you really need to be talking to the breeders in question and finding out the real deal. Obviously this can be a little delicate but a lot of people would be perfectly willing to give you the relevant information if asked politely in the course of a reasonable conversation.

What to look for in a mare: I do not have mini experience myself, but am pretty sure that the standard advice for them is to a) make sure you are breeding *full grown well-matured* mares, not the way in some breeds 2 and 3 yr olds are sometimes used. And b) if you have not bred minis before, as it sounds like you probably have not, I would REALLY REALLY suggest buying mares with at least a coupla years' history of problem-free foaling. I would recommend this even with normal size horses/ponies but it is especially important with minis given the high incidence of problems that can threaten both mare and foal.

As for what traits to look for in the mare, doesn't that depend on what your goal is??? I don't know whether these people who you say are lining up to buy minis like hotcakes are wanting tinyness; or color; or temperament; or ability for driving or assistance horse; or what. And how much they value "cute" versus correct conformation.

As far as color, it just depends what colors are popular in your area and what color genetics you know or (from pedigree analysis) suspect your stallion is carrying.

In different parts of the country, answers will be different. So you need to find out more about these horses that are supposedly selling so well.

And you would want to avoid mares with conformation faults that are similar to your stallion's conformation faults (yes, he does have them, ALL horses have conformation faults), and avoid mares who themselves or their relatives tend to pass on genetic problems such as dwarfism.

Really though I think you are still in the stage of "market research" rather than what to look for in a mare, as such.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

Horsiezz

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Like I said, selling the foals are no big deal for me. Its not like Im going to sell my foals that high,when I already know there from my unproven stallion. My goals are just somewhere $500 to $800 but the price all depends on the foals color,conformation,and temperament. I just got done talking to my stallions previous owners, who are a big breeding farm, on the phone about 15 mins ago. They said with his breeding,conformation,color,and temperament that I should have no problem with selling foals as long as the mare is just as good,especially selling to breeding farms. So I am feeling pretty confident with this now!
I haven't bred minis before, though we have bred Appaloosas & Quarter Horses,but I have never been good with color genetics,but im working on it. & I haven't thought of a goal, I guess I just want correct conformation,and nice coloring,and foals below 35 inches.
This is what I thought of for a mare,from what I have been reading.
Im thinking A 34 to 36 inch mare,because they have an easier time foaling(my stallion is 32in.),that is an Appy,Buckskin,Palomino,or Pinto. These are some nice colors that would go good with my pinto stallion.
Im hoping this sounds pretty good!?
& good idea about having an experienced mare,who has had foals. I haven't really thought of that. I just don't want to get one thats been overbred because I plan on using these mares for a few years.
 

Bunnylady

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One thing you absolutely will want to do, is find out the LWO status of your guy. If he's negative, then any mare will be OK, but if he's positive, you will need to look for LWO negative mares (don't take an owner's word for this, see the test result yourself) or you will be risking Lethal White foals. I know of a number of minis that don't even look to be pintos, that are LWO positive.

The only registrations that have any value (in the US) for a mini are AMHA and AMHR, I'm assuming that those are what you are referring to when you say he is double registered. If your stallion is 32" at a year and a half, he will be a bit taller at maturity, probably pretty close to 34". If he goes over 34", he will no longer be registrable with AMHA, and his value as a stud will go down considerably. An awful lot of people will not look twice at a stud that is over 34", they worry that the foals will go over height and not be registrable with any registration. The height of the parents is no guarantee when it comes to the mature height of their foals. I currently own a 2-year-old filly out of two double registered parents, both about 32". The filly is already at least 35", so her temporary AMHA registration would be be void, if she had one (her breeder died before she wrote me a transfer of ownership, so the filly cannot be registered).

One registration (I think it's AMHR, but I'm not sure, not being a breeder myself, it isn't something I need to know) will not register a foal whose parents were less than 3 years old at the time of its birth. All foals get only temporary registration, they must be brought permanent at age 3 for AMHR and age 5 for AMHA. A horse that doesn't get its permanent papers for whatever reason is dropped from the registry.

Coarse heads, low-set necks, long backs, and short hips are frequent flaws in minis. The weak hip is often associated with a more upright hind leg, and a very common problem that I already mentioned, locking stifles.

One of my favorite online sites is Marestare. I heartily recommend that anyone that is even thinking of breeding spend at least one breeding season there. Breeding minis is not like breeding "bigs" because there are certain problems (like a foal that can't get out of the sac) that are almost unheard of in big horses. Many of the farms that have their mares on Marestare raise minis, because you really don't want to risk the mare foaling alone.

Another site I like is the Lil Beginnings Miniature Horse Forums. If it has to do with minis, it will have been discussed there!
 

Horsiezz

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Bunnylady said:
One thing you absolutely will want to do, is find out the LWO status of your guy. If he's negative, then any mare will be OK, but if he's positive, you will need to look for LWO negative mares (don't take an owner's word for this, see the test result yourself) or you will be risking Lethal White foals. I know of a number of minis that don't even look to be pintos, that are LWO positive.

The only registrations that have any value (in the US) for a mini are AMHA and AMHR, I'm assuming that those are what you are referring to when you say he is double registered. If your stallion is 32" at a year and a half, he will be a bit taller at maturity, probably pretty close to 34". If he goes over 34", he will no longer be registrable with AMHA, and his value as a stud will go down considerably. An awful lot of people will not look twice at a stud that is over 34", they worry that the foals will go over height and not be registrable with any registration. The height of the parents is no guarantee when it comes to the mature height of their foals. I currently own a 2-year-old filly out of two double registered parents, both about 32". The filly is already at least 35", so her temporary AMHA registration would be be void, if she had one (her breeder died before she wrote me a transfer of ownership, so the filly cannot be registered).

One registration (I think it's AMHR, but I'm not sure, not being a breeder myself, it isn't something I need to know) will not register a foal whose parents were less than 3 years old at the time of its birth. All foals get only temporary registration, they must be brought permanent at age 3 for AMHR and age 5 for AMHA. A horse that doesn't get its permanent papers for whatever reason is dropped from the registry.

Coarse heads, low-set necks, long backs, and short hips are frequent flaws in minis. The weak hip is often associated with a more upright hind leg, and a very common problem that I already mentioned, locking stifles.

One of my favorite online sites is Marestare. I heartily recommend that anyone that is even thinking of breeding spend at least one breeding season there. Breeding minis is not like breeding "bigs" because there are certain problems (like a foal that can't get out of the sac) that are almost unheard of in big horses. Many of the farms that have their mares on Marestare raise minis, because you really don't want to risk the mare foaling alone.

Another site I like is the Lil Beginnings Miniature Horse Forums. If it has to do with minis, it will have been discussed there!
Thank you so much,this was very helpful.
 

goodhors

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A couple other things to consider before breeding.

Stallions are stallions, breeding is their MAIN interest, even if mini sized. A stallion needs to learn that he WORKS for a living, at the job you give him. Sounds like Driving will be his job for life. He needs to be trained and working, BEFORE you breed him. He needs to be SOLID and dependable in his work, take direction well, ALL THE TIME, before allowing his hormones to kick in.

After watching MANY people with young colts, various ways of handling them, the best methods become quite apparent in longevity of stallion keeping or getting him gelded for safety. Just because he is small, doesn't mean he can't drag you around or hurt you!

The colts who are trained, learn their work well, and then eventually breed a mare, tend to stay better minded, obedient for the long term. He has learned that his job is working NOT breeding, and obedience is a virtue! Breeding is done in only one place, in a certain order and NOT other places. Breeding is a BONUS, not his reason for living.

Second item up for consideration is his family dental genetics. Have you any history of tooth problems, removals from sire and dam? Teeth issues are a huge problem with Minis, many malformations, needing surgery is common. This gets passed on to resulting foals, with expensive costs in the future. At two, your colt does not have a full set of adult teeth yet, could have problems in his future. Mares you want to breed should be dentally checked out as well.

I am with the other folks. Not much market for minis around here. Even very good ones have a small buyer's pool to call looking for new stock. The folks getting rich have sold out. Lots of Amish animals available for $100. Looks the same to the new person wanting a small animal. Papers don't mean anything to them.

Oh yeah, as a past App owner, DON'T cross Pinto and Appaloosa coat patterns! It messes up the genetics, so you may get muddy messes or combinations of both. Not usually that attractive either. Pinto and solids can get you pinto babies some of the time if he is not a dominant color breeder.
 
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