Horse Breeding

The Importance of Colostrum, Part 1

July 25, 2014

In this two-part horse-breeding series, learn about the importance of good quality colostrum and proper hygiene when foals are born.

For optimum health, foals should stand within one hour of birth and nurse within two hours. A mare’s colostrum is crucial to help the foal fight disease within the first 24 hours. Journal photo

For optimum health, foals should stand within one hour of birth and nurse within two hours. A mare’s colostrum is crucial to help the foal fight disease within the first 24 hours. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Unlike other mammals, mares do not transfer antibodies to their foals via the placenta during gestation, but rather transmit them through colostrum, a yellowy substance in milk produced in limited quantity around the time of foaling. A foal that ingests its dam’s colostrum within the first 24 hours of life acquires the mare’s antibodies as protection against disease for the first four to eight weeks of life. But according to reproduction specialist Dr. Michelle LeBlanc, more factors come into play that could endanger your foal’s life. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding History: Billy Clegg

July 18, 2014

Billy Clegg, a ranch horse with controversial breeding, passed his looks and ability to his offspring.

Billy Clegg was a sire of controversial breeding and one of the first 500 Quarter Horses registered with AQHA. Journal photo.

Billy Clegg was a sire of controversial breeding and one of the first 500 Quarter Horses registered with AQHA. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

At the tail end of the Great Depression, a Texan named George Clegg had the nerve to put a price of $500 on a young stallion he owned named Billy Clegg. Guy Troutman, an oil company leasing agent and horseman from Oklahoma, twice offered less for the horse, was rebuffed and drove away. Troutman phoned Clegg to offer less for a third time and when rebuffed again, he gave up and closed the deal. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Basics: Quarter Horse Color

July 11, 2014

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color.

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color. Journal photo.

Know the basics of horse color genetics so you can easily determine your newborn foal’s color. Journal photo

From America’s Horse

Legend says that a red horse is fiery, a dun is tough and a white-legged horse is bad-footed. However, the wisest horsemen also say there is no such thing as a good horse that’s a bad color.

There are 17 recognized American Quarter Horse colors: chestnut, sorrel, black, brown, gray, bay, palomino, buckskin, cremello, perlino, white, dun, red dun, grullo, red roan, bay roan and blue roan. All of them are derivatives of two base colors. Simply put, any color of horse you can think of is either black-based or red-based. All other colors – bay, gray or roan, etc. – are just modifications of these two basic colors. Genetics is a complicated subject. So, let’s start with the basics. Read the rest of this entry »

Quarter Horse History: The First 20

June 27, 2014

Test your horse-breeding knowledge and see if you can name the first 20 registered American Quarter Horses.

The first five registered American Quarter Horses, such as Joe Reed, are still well known today. AQHA file photo.

The first five registered American Quarter Horses, such as Joe Reed, are still well known today. AQHA file photo.

From America’s Horse

It is interesting to look back through the first 20 horses registered with AQHA – designated as foundation sires – and see which ones we remember and which have faded into relative obscurity.

After AQHA was chartered in 1940, the newly formed Executive Committee decided that the first registration number would be reserved for the grand champion at the Fort Worth Stock Show. The 20th was reserved for the first president of AQHA, W.B. Warren of Hockley, Texas, who registered his stallion Pancho.

The other 18 were to be given to stallions who exhibited preferred Quarter Horse type through their parentage, conformation and performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Hazards: The Granulosa Cell Tumor

June 20, 2014

Identify the symptoms and treatment for the most common type of ovarian tumor in mares.

Horse Breeding Hazards

After treatment of a granulosa cell tumor, mares can still successfully carry a foal to term. Journal photo.

By Dr. Patrick McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Mares can develop several different types of tumors of the ovary, but by far the most common ovarian tumor is the granulosa cell tumor.

These tumors almost always involve one ovary, are slow growing and do not spread to distant sites in the body.

If a mare exhibits behavioral changes, such as aggressive or stallion-like behavior, or if she exhibits prolonged periods of heat or estrus, a granulosa cell tumor might be present. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Help: Weaning a Foal

June 13, 2014

Weaning your foal might be heavy on the heart, but it’s something that must be done.

When choosing a weaning method for your mare and foal, keep safety in mind. The best method for one foal might be different for another foal. See the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal for more excellent weaning tips.

When choosing a weaning method for your mare and foal, keep safety in mind. The best method for one foal might be different for another foal. Journal photo. See the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal for more excellent weaning tips.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Weaning season is a gut-wrenching time of year. Those months of blissful play at mother’s side and all those tender moments we cherish between mare and foal suddenly turn into a frenzy of whinnies and desperate attempts to reunite. Unfortunately, weaning is as inevitable as kissing your child goodbye for that first day at school.

Fence-line weaning, stall confinement, babysitters and shipping the mare away are successful methods of weaning for small farms. The one you choose will depend on your facilities and the temperament of the mare and foal. Patience and time will get you through it. But remember, if you give up, you have to start all over again. So stick to it, even if you have to switch to another method. Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Breed Your Mare?

June 6, 2014

Consider these 13 critical questions before you venture into the world of horse breeding.

Before you breed your mare, you should carefully evaluate the possible outcomes and whether or not your future foal might make a positive contribution to the horse industry. Journal photo.

Before you breed your mare, you should carefully evaluate the possible outcomes and whether or not your future foal might make a positive contribution to the horse industry. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Association

The joy and excitement of a newborn foal and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from seeing a horse you bred excel are two of the most rewarding events a horse owner can experience.

The old horseman’s axiom “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best” is good advice but even when followed faithfully does not provide all the answers.

Breeding horses is a complicated enterprise. It is in your best interest and your horse’s best interest to approach it armed with knowledge and experience. Read the rest of this entry »

The Proud-Cut Gelding

May 30, 2014

A horse-breeding mystery: Find out if your gelding might actually be a cryptorchid stallion.

The term proudcut implies that a part of your stallions sperm storage site was left in your horse at the time of castration

The term “proud-cut” implies that a part of your stallion’s sperm storage site was left in your horse at the time of castration, but this should not cause stallion-like behavior. Malee Powell photo.

By Dr. Patrick McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

You acquired him last winter to be a pasture companion for your mare. He was a 5-year-old horse that supposedly had been gelded as a yearling. The two horses got along well all winter, but when the mare came into season in the spring, the new horse began exhibiting behaviors much more like a stallion than a gelding.

Chances are good that your “gelding” is actually a cryptorchid stallion and not a gelding at all. Cyrptorchidism is a developmental defect where one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Issues: Bacterial Endometritis

May 23, 2014

See how inflammation inside your mare’s uterus can come between you and your horse-breeding plans.

The presence of endometritis in a mare’s uterus can affect her reproductive performance Photo courtesy of Dr Patrick McCue

The presence of endometritis in a mare’s uterus can affect her reproductive performance. Photo courtesy of Dr. Patrick McCue.

By Dr. Patrick McCue in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Endometritis refers to inflammation of the tissue lining the lumen of the uterus and is often secondary to a bacterial infection. Bacterial endometritis causes decreased reproductive performance in mares.

A majority of young mares rapidly eliminate bacterial contamination and are considered to be “resistant” to infection. Some older multiparous mares might be unable to spontaneously eliminate pathogenic organisms from their uterus and are considered to be “susceptible” to infection. Read the rest of this entry »

A Modern-Day Horse-Breeding Program

May 16, 2014

In Part 2 of this series, two well-known breeders share how they balance old bloodlines with the more modern style of American Quarter Horse.

Modern and foundation bloodlines can be blended to create a genetically strong horse

Foundation bloodlines have some time-tested genetic positives we can use in the modern bloodlines to fill in some of the genetic weaknesses of today’s horses, Quarter Horse breeder John Anderson says. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

There are many factors involved with creating a horse-breeding program. In Part 1 of this series, Deborah Skow of Horizon Quarter Horses in Keenesburg, Colorado, and John Anderson of Willow Creek Quarter Horses in Plainview, Nebraska, share how they incorporate foundation bloodlines into their operations.

This week, these two breeders further detail the lines behind their current American Quarter Horses and discuss how foundation bloodlines are only part of the equation. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Bloodlines: Old or New?

May 9, 2014

In Part 1 of this series, examine the positives of adding foundation Quarter Horse bloodlines into the modern-day horse-breeding program.

Adding foundation type bloodlines like Doc Bars to your breeding program could bring new life into your Quarter Horses

Adding foundation-type bloodlines, like Doc Bar’s, to your breeding program could bring new life into your Quarter Horses. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Need something new in your breeding program? Then consider adding something old.

Once was a time when the American Quarter Horse did it all. In the ’50s and ’60s, it wasn’t unusual to find a Quarter Horse showing in halter in the morning, western and English classes in the afternoon and then back home in the evening rounding up cattle.

As times changed, though, so did the Quarter Horse. As showing became more discipline-specific, it became advantageous to have a Quarter Horse that performed his particular job better in the show arena. However, it also had its drawbacks. In some cases, bones and joints became more fragile, hoof sizes shrank and dispositions became hotter. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding Issues: Colic in Foals

May 2, 2014

Young foals are susceptible to colic and other gastrointestinal issues.

Meconium impaction, ulcers and parasites are among the conditions that can cause colic in foals. Courtesy of M/R Cutting Horses at kathleenmoorecuttinghorses.com

Meconium impaction, ulcers and parasites are among the conditions that can cause colic in foals. Courtesy of M/R Cutting Horses at kathleenmoorecuttinghorses.com.

By Dr. Thomas Lenz in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Foaling season is well under way. With this exciting time also can come the many problems that are unique to foals. At the forefront of these problems are gastrointestinal issues, which can produce severe abdominal pain (colic) and even death. Colic in foals often develops quickly. Because of the foal’s delicate GI system, it is important to take signs of even very mild colic seriously, because it could progress to a life-threatening condition in a few hours.

Symptoms

Symptoms of colic in foals include restlessness and straining to defecate, lying down and getting up frequently, teeth grinding and rolling on the back. As the condition worsens, symptoms might become more violent and frequent.

Conditions that cause colic in foals during the first few weeks of life include bacteria- and virus-caused diarrhea, parasites, meconium impaction and ulcers. Read the rest of this entry »