Horse Breeding

Horse Naming at the Four Sixes Ranch

April 29, 2016

Take some tips for naming your horse from a ranch renowned for its horse-breeding program.

Dr. Glenn Blodgett likes to consider the history of the Four Sixes Ranch when naming a new foal, as well as the bloodline of the foal. Here, he’s riding the Sixes-bred gelding Perfect Performance. Journal photo.

By Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Four Sixes horse division manager and AQHA past president

Choosing names at registration time poses a challenge for many people. I would like to share some of my thoughts regarding how we name foals each year here at the Four Sixes Ranch. As you all know, everyone is limited to 20 characters or spaces when filling out the registration application.

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I plan way ahead and make notes on my iPhone when a name comes to mind in preparation for the upcoming registration process. Many times, these ideas come to me when traveling and I get an idea from a road sign, landmark, weather event or conversation. Some of the things I consider are:

  1. Is the horse destined to become a stallion or broodmare?
  2. I prefer a one-, two- or no more than three-word name.
  3. I decide whether to use some combination of sire and dam’s name in the foal’s name.
  4. I decide if there is something of historical significance from the ranch, region or western lifestyle that I want to utilize in the naming process.
  5. In some instances, I rely on an event involving the foal itself that creates a name idea.

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The sex of our foal crop is usually split about 50:50. At or about weaning time, we can usually get an idea which foals, based on pedigree and conformation, are destined possibly to become a stallion for someone or a broodmare in our broodmare band.

Geldings receive a barn name or nickname, so names at registration are not as important. Short names are preferred and often more easy to remember. Sometimes a name that includes the sire and/or dam’s name is used if it is available and can be kept short. Landmarks (rivers, creeks, canyons, bluffs, ridges, windmills and water tanks) are often used in naming of broodmares destined to remain here at the Four Sixes.  In addition, I utilize our region and unique happenings with respect to weather events to provide naming ideas. Western lifestyle items (cowboy clothing, tack, chuckwagon components) are also utilized from time to time. Sometimes there is a unique event that occurs during the mare’s pregnancy, at birth or while the foal is growing up on his mother prior to registration that brings to mind a good name.

Some of my all-time favorite names are:

Sixes Sixgun

Bridge Canyon

Little River Lady

Bridles

Quahadi

Cynthia Anne

West Texas Moonlight

The Cowgirl

Wall Canyon

Gins Latigo

West Texas Sunshine

Oats And Cream

 

AQHA Is At Your Service

Need help registering your foal? Visit www.aqha.com/registration, and we’ll guide you through the online process. Or you can call us at 806-376-4811 or message us on Facebook for additional help.

Creep Feed

April 15, 2016

Knowing when and how to creep feed your foal is key to their health and development.

Contagious equine metritis is a true venereal disease and is spread primarily through breeding or artificial insemination. Journal photo

Implementing creep feeders to your foals diet can be extremely beneficial to their development  when done correctly. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

You can help solidify your foal’s nutritional foundation by creep feeding during his first year.

Creep feeders allow foals to become accustomed to eating solid foods before weaning time, reducing stress.

Plus, Gwen McBride from The Equine Research Centre at the University of Guelph in Ontario, says that to supplement growth in nursing foals, creep feed provides the nutrients that aren’t found in adequate amounts in mare’s milk – i.e., calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals such as copper, manganese, zinc and iron. Read the rest of this entry »

Weaning Babies

April 1, 2016

When and how to wean your foal with as little stress as possible.

What future awaits your young foals? Will they one day become AQHA legends and prolific sires like Doc Bar?

What future awaits your young foals? Will they one day become AQHA legends and prolific sires like Doc Bar?

By Kristin Syverson with information from thehorse.com

Each breeding year, there comes a time when momma and baby have to be separated. There are many different ways to wean, but no matter what option you choose, you can take certain steps to reduce stress on both mare and foal.

When?

There is no hard and fast rule about the best time to wean foals, but the typical age range is 4-6 months. Most importantly, a foal should have sufficient maturity to cope. Your foal is not ready to be weaned unless he: Read the rest of this entry »

Dun Your Time

March 11, 2016

The dun horse coloration is more than a dorsal stripe.

sorrel dun horse

A sorrel horse with the dun modifier is called a red dun. Journal photo

By Andrea Caudill in America’s Horse

The Przewalski (pronounced per-zih-vahl-skee) horse, the only true wild horse in existence, is found in Asia. Most of these horses, along with many ancient breeds, have primitive markings associated with the dun gene. Read the rest of this entry »

Breeding: Fertile Conformation

February 26, 2016

Breeding your mare will be much easier if she is built for the job.

mare anatomy for breeding

The relationship between your mare’s anus and vagina is especially important if you want to breed her.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Dr. Michelle LeBlanc has spent more than 25 years working on the mare side of equine reproduction. She knows that a mare’s external form counts when you’re assessing her ability to function as a broodmare. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Breeding: Baby Time

February 12, 2016

Spring babies are coming; are you ready for their arrival?

We asked, you answered! Stay tuned in to our Facebook and Instagram to participate in the next question we post.

We asked, and you answered! Stay tuned in to our Facebook and Instagram to participate in upcoming questions.

By Camille Graupman, AQHA digital communications intern

The birds will be chirping and the grass will be green. Spring time is knocking at the door! Along with warmer weather come those spring American Quarter Horse babies.

There’s a lot more that goes in to a foal’s delivery than just excitement and updating your social media with their anticipated presence. Read the rest of this entry »

Studly Seniors, Part 2

January 29, 2016

More tips for keeping your stallion healthy and productive for breeding into his golden years.

Did you miss Part 1? Catch up here: Studly Seniors, Part 1.

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management. Journal photo

You’ve heard the success stories of stallions who reproduce well into their 20s. There’s no magic potion. These breeders are simply meticulous about the care of their stallions, monitoring all aspects of their lives – from turnout to nutrition to collection schedules – to keep attitudes happy and avoid burnout at all costs.

Continue to read on for the last of these 17 tips on maintaining your stallion for a lengthy breeding career.

10. Time breedings with optimal mare ovulation.

“As stallions age, their sperm quality drops, and they produce fewer viable sperm,” says Joe Hockensmith, stallion manager for Dan McWhirter Quarter Horses in Doniphan, Nebraska.

“The sperm might be ejaculated dead, and those alive might not do the job as well as they used to. They might not live long enough to fertilize the egg. We have to do more intensive management to time inseminations as close to optimum time of ovulation to have any success.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Studly Seniors, Part 1

January 15, 2016

Horse-breeding tips for keeping your stallion healthy and productive into his golden years.

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management

Stallions can successfully reproduce well into their senior years with proper management. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

You’ve heard the success stories of stallions who reproduce well into their 20s. There’s no magic potion. These breeders are simply meticulous about the care of their stallions, monitoring all aspects of their lives – from turnout to nutrition to collection schedules – to keep attitudes happy and avoid burnout at all costs.

Read on for tips on maintaining your stallion for a lengthy breeding career.

1. Maintain a consistent daily routine.

“It’s a good idea to establish a routine with breeding, feeding and exercise,” says Judy Adams, a breeding manger from Acampo, California.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the Business of Breeding

December 18, 2015

Protect your horse-breeding business in the event of an IRS audit.

It’s easy to hope your business is never audited by the IRS, but it’s better to be prepared for one. Illustration by Gabe Trevizo

By Kristin Syverson

Even though it’s the same time every year, tax season seems to always sneak up on us. If you run a breeding operation, or any type of horse operation, you may be deducting equine expenses on your taxes. Make sure your business stands up to the scrutiny of the IRS if you are ever (gulp) audited.

What Triggered the Audit

“Most IRS auditors feel you are getting into the horse business for a tax shelter – to get a loophole to write off all your income from another job,” says Billy Peterson, certified financial planner. Read the rest of this entry »

To Cut or Not to Cut Your Colt

December 4, 2015

Tips for deciding which colts aren’t ideal stallion prospects for horse breeding.

These three breeders geld most of their colts each year. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Each year, colt crops are carefully scrutinized, sized up from head to toe and painstakingly critiqued to find the select few, extra-special colts that are worthy of carrying on a bloodline. But what makes a stallion stand out from his gelded brothers?

Here’s how breeders Stan Weaver, Pete Becker and Billy Cogdell make their gelding decisions:

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Babies

November 13, 2015

Horse-Breeding Tip: Take care of – but don’t coddle – those early foals.

Follow these tips to take care of foals born early in the year.

Horse breeding experts Dr. Joe Carter, D.V.M, of Oklahoma Equine Hospital, and Barbara Helland, owner of Helland Ranch in Hutchinson, Minnesota, have years of experience in the horse-breeding industry. They foal out both ranch-owned and client mares in the winter.

Here, they offer their advice on the specific management needs of early foals. What they had to say centered around four major areas of concern. Read the rest of this entry »

Cream of the Crop

October 30, 2015

The cream dilution gene causes some of the most sought-after horse colors in the business.

The Midas Touch Kid, owned and bred by Kimberlee Brown of New Richmond, Wisconsin, is a cremello.

The Midas Touch Kid, owned and bred by Kimberlee Brown of New Richmond, Wisconsin, is a cremello.

By Andrea Caudill in America’s Horse

The color of a newly minted gold coin, the palomino horse is the stuff of dreams. Immortalized by Roy Rogers’ Trigger, it’s a popular color and often demands a pretty penny (no pun intended). Palomino, along with buckskin, cremello and perlino, is caused by the cream dilution gene. Read the rest of this entry »