Finding Mister Right

Use these tips to select the right stallion for your mare.

Use these tips to select the right stallion for your mare:

  • Your decision depends on several things, including the goals you have for the foal. Are you trying to produce a future AQHA Champion? Do you plan to sell the foal for a good price based on impeccable bloodlines? Do you hope to raise and train the foal to become the horse of your dreams?

    AQHA Executive Committee Member Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey, and A Radiant Image, 2007 amateur aged stallions world champion.
  • You need to choose a stallion based on traits that he could pass on to his offspring: conformation, athletic ability and disposition. Bloodlines are important, but a critical assessment of the stallion himself is probably most important.
  • A prospective stallion must have good, correct conformation. You want your foal to be able to keep doing whatever sport you bred him for without coming up lame.
  • You want your young horse to be a pleasure to work with, not a problem child. Disposition is partly created by a foal’s environment (his mother’s influence and your influence), but it is also partly genetic. Pick a stallion with the personality traits you desire in a foal, such as friendly, willing and mellow.
  • Don’t be swayed by the “extras” when stallion shopping, such as color. Color isn’t as crucial as conformation and disposition. The old saying goes, “You can’t ride color, and you don’t ride the head.” Also, try not to base your decision on breeding fees or popularity of bloodlines. The stud fee has to be something you can afford, but this fee is actually the smallest part of your investment in raising a foal. Remember, it costs as much to raise a foal by a cheap stallion as an expensive stallion.

Learn how the AQHA Incentive Fund can put money back in your pocket. Click here for details.

Critical Assessment Tips:

Does a particular stallion complement your mare? You want him to enhance her good qualities and help correct her deficiencies or faults. What has he produced? The best test of a stallion’s abilities is his progeny, and it’s worth your while to see as many of them as you can. Do his offspring embody the characteristics and type of horse you’re breeding for? Does he pass on his traits, or do the foals take after their dams?

What were the stallion’s parents like? If he’s too young to have a lot of offspring, take a hard look at his ancestors and what they produced or how they performed in the field you’re interested in. The higher the proportion of successful individuals in his pedigree, the greater the chances of his being able to pass on those characteristics to the next generation. Even if he is the “perfect” stallion in your eyes, you want to make sure he has the genetic ability to pass on those desirable traits to his foals.

Breeding your mare to an AQHA Incentive Fund-enrolled stallion and then enrolling your foal in the program pays off big! Learn more about this multi-million-dollar program!

7 thoughts on “Finding Mister Right”

  1. I have tried to sign up to receive this daily newsletter several times, but I can’t seem to get it delivered to my e-mail. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

  2. Ditto what Cheryl Hawkins said. I have not gotten any either and I have signed up for them weeks ago.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    Best regards,


  3. That is exactly what i am looking for and great color is just a bonus if you can find all of that in a good stallion. I do have a question about bloodlines. Should the stallion’s bloodlines be complimentary to the mare’s or does it even matter if the stallion meets all the other requirements which the article states. If it does matter how do you decide which bloodlines are complimentary to each other?

  4. to clarify I have an AQHA mare about 96% foundation breed and am thinking of breeding her in the future after she matures. She is a three year old as of May and I will not breed her before she turns five, after i have ridden her more, and accessed what her conformation looks like after she stops growing. Want to breed her to an AQHA stallion possibly cremello or perlino if all the other requirements as stated in this article are meet.

  5. Stephanie, does your mare have any particularly strong bloodlines (I see that you mentioned she is 96% foundation… We have a foundation stallion and I am always interested in those lines :))? Even though she’s not finished maturing, who is she now in regards to disposition / willingness / demeanor etc? And build?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *