Choosing the right stallion

By: Horse Deals

Choosing the right stallion
Choosing the right stallion

Nowadays the convenience of artificial insemination (AI) plus internet access means top quality stallions are increasingly available. But before you start it is imperative to critically assess your mare’s weaknesses as well as positive traits. Begin by looking at her size and conformation. If you have a small, lightweight mare then you may need to find a bigger stallion to produce a youngster with more bone and substance. What is her bloodline and what discipline do you want the foal for? At what level are you aiming to compete? Such factors will all influence your decision.

Do as much research as possible. Browse advertisements in magazines and equestrian websites, view internet footage of stallions being ridden, ask knowledgeable friends, contact breed societies and/or visit one of the many stallion shows and parades that are held each year. Many stallions regularly compete, so go to shows and observe temperament and performance firsthand.

To help you build your stallion shortlist, consider the following…

1. What is the stallion’s breeding record? How many foals has he successfully sired?

2. How successful are his progeny in competition?

3. What grading does the stallion have?

4. What is the stallion’s competitive history?

5. How big is the stallion and does he have good conformation? Will his physique enhance your mare?

7. What is the stallion’s temperament like on the ground and when ridden? How does it compare to your mare’s temperament?

8. Can you visit the stud to see the stallion and talk to staff ?

9. Can your mare stay at the stud for natural covering or AI? Can you take her back to the stud to give birth?

10. What is your budget and does the stud offer a ‘no foal, free return’ policy?

Reputable stallions undergo rigorous grading by a panel of judges to ensure they are healthy, with good conformation and temperament. A graded stallion should either have a grading certificate, or grading/performance testing stamps in his passport. Alternatively contact the relevant breed society for grading confirmation.
During grading the stallion also undergoes full vetting to check for soundness and hereditary problems, which may otherwise go undetected. An ungraded stallion is untested and can easily pass hereditary ailments to his offspring.