Breeding for hunting horses

Wolf_trapper

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Anybody have any luck or pointers on do's or dont's of breeding a horse to produce a good hunting horse. I've got a couple mares that I use, would like the project of starting one of their offspring. How much should I spend on it and what service should be expected. My simple thinking would just turn a mare and stud on pasture for a month and a half and see what happens. Would like to hear from somebody who's had success doing it.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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You might as well Just go buy young horses. I know a lot of good studs aren’t cheap and not just gonna let you go turn them out together for a month or so.

You want good hunting horses go find draft quarter crosses. They are usually level headed easy to break and stout to handle the country.

Personally so many “backyard breeders” out there are breeding horses with not much use to them and flooding the horse market. Not saying you are but I’ve seen so many grade studs and broken broodmares out there getting bred it’s stupid….

If you are serious about it, make sure you have the time and experience to get it done. You’re basically gonna have a horse for 2 years that just eats. But you have to put time into them in that point to get them pre broke. Have a trainer lined up when they turn 2 that can break them if you can’t or don’t have the facilities.

It’s already a good plan to start a small breeding program til it’s not. I know A guy th at did, he’s got 35 broodmares now and can barely get rid of the horses he has. Course he wants way more than they are worth but has over 80 horses now and this year is freaking out cause of hay and pasture.


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EdP

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Everybody can't know and be good at everything. For the important stuff, and a horse you can rely on fits that description, it's best to let the folks with the expertise do the job and pay them for it. You will come out better in the end.
 

missjordan

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The good horse breeders put a lot of thought, time, and energy into their animals. It shouldn’t be something that is taken lightly. Good stallions of quality will cost you in the mid five figures to buy for your program. Great breeders won’t skimp out on their mares either. Most build their herds over a lifetime. Like big antler getter stated the market is flooded with backyard breeders that don’t give two craps about their stock other than flooding horses out into the market not caring where they ultimately end up or what kind of ailments they are passing on. Many auction houses are full of them with one way tickets to Mexico.

A good breeder will care about their horses bloodlines, conformation, and disposition. Genetic testing is also important to consider. The other side of breeding also to consider is quality feed, farrier, vet work, and emotionally being able to stomach the losses as you will have them at some point. It’s awful to plan and patiently wait the arrival of a foal only to see things take a turn for the worse and loose the mare and/or foal at any point during the process. And if your in the breeding business long enough people will have multiple severe issues a year that make you question why your really doing it in the first place. If you don’t sell some of the foals you’ll be into the entire process 3-5 years before you get to sit on their backs. Horses are like fine wine, they just take a lot of time.


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stumpy waters

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Everybody can't know and be good at everything. For the important stuff, and a horse you can rely on fits that description, it's best to let the folks with the expertise do the job and pay them for it. You will come out better in the end.


EdP -

Seems like that’s why he asked. No everybody doesn’t know and you learn from others and from your own experiences. Every single “expert” out there didn’t know jack when they started.

wolf_trapper -

One of the best things you’ll ever for advancing your “horse expertise” is raised a colt and training one on your own. The first one may not turn out just like you want it, but honestly it probably will be pretty close. It will just take a little longer with the the first cause that horse is gonna train you. You will learn a ton and you’ll get better every time.
The most importer thing is to be patient and not expect things to happen overnight.

Lots of good trainers out there today with lots of good info and instruction. Watch all of it and take the pieces form each trainer that works for you.
 
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Wolf_trapper

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I appreciate the input. I also understand the wait time. I have plenty of hay and pasture so that is not a concern. I guess I don't see the cheap horses you guys are seeing. Foals here are $2500 min. I'm also not proclaiming to be a horse trainer but have done some training and have lots of time, which is why I considered breeding my mares.

Not trying to hear what I want just honest experiences.
 

Pony Soldier

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I prefer morgans. Last year was $600 for a grade mare and $800 for a papered mare. One foal died and the other is coming along. I did it cause there was nothing out there to buy so this is a replacement foal. She will be in line before my last foal dies from old age.

The way things are going I don't see a business but for replacement I think it is a pretty good option.
 

EdP

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Stumpy, my understanding was that the OP wanted to breed, raise, and train his own horse to use mountain hunting. What I intended to convey is really captured in missjordan's post regarding the breeding process. I guess I wasn't specific enough because I didn't intend to discourage the OP from raising and training his own horse. I have done it myself starting with a 5 mo old Morgan and it was very rewarding.
 

Pony Soldier

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A little more detail. I dropped off my mares to the folks with the stud for about 30 day. Hence you get to pay for the stud fee and 30 plus days of board so you can see if they come back into heat. My maiden mares had to go through two cycles to catch.

One of the mares has the best blood lines but is prone to kicking, shattered her foal's leg when it tryed to suck. It was a sad loss.

For those of us not set up for foals, you might have to think about adding more corral spaces to allow you to segregate your horses for weaning, training, etc.

It's amazing how much you forget when you only go for a foal every 15 years or so.
 

wymtnpounder

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Breeding your own isn't very efficient or economical for most, but it's fun for the kids and you. Lots of breeds can make good mountain horses and the training has more to do with it than the breeding. This guy was born yesterday. He's 3/4 quarter horse 1/4 Shire. 1654224447101.png
Mares proven and I've heard/seen nothing but good things about the stud, so have I high hopes. 1654224698164.png
 

Pony Soldier

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A kitty in the saddle is a nice trick. Not sure I would had the guts to try that. Long time ago I remember a fellow student loaded a bear in a saddle but failed to tie the paws down. Did good until they jumped the first log. When the horse touched down the paws slapped the horse a mili-second later starting a chain of events that couldn't be matched at the calgary stampeed. I don't think the word panic even comes close. I have worked really hard to keep loose ends snugged ever since.
 

wymtnpounder

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A kitty in the saddle is a nice trick. Not sure I would had the guts to try that. Long time ago I remember a fellow student loaded a bear in a saddle but failed to tie the paws down. Did good until they jumped the first log. When the horse touched down the paws slapped the horse a mili-second later starting a chain of events that couldn't be matched at the calgary stampeed. I don't think the word panic even comes close. I have worked really hard to keep loose ends snugged ever since.
I was given the mare that spring because the trainer couldn't ride her, that pick was same year. She turned out to be a great horse, I got lucky.
I've got a story about packing a bear flopping head and paws, then hoofs and bear flying. Some lessons are learned the hard way.
 

Preston

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I would personally rather buy a grade ranch foal at 6 months old, one that has been handled, haltered, tied, loaded into a trailer, and grown up in a large open ranch pasture with creeks, trails, hills, etc. I personally don’t see the need for papers in working horses and hunting hounds. Spending time with them daily makes a horse or a good dog. I wouldn’t personally start a lot of serious riding until they are three, but I’m not the most experienced horse person. Good luck and I bet it will be rewarding
 

Pony Soldier

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I agree. My druthers is a mellow trail horse about 10 - 12 however I fear those days are over. Used to be cowboys liked em hot and would dump them about that age. Now that pony has been replaced with a quad or a razr. I am afraid we are on our own when it comes to ponies.
 

wysongdog

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Breeding your own isn't very efficient or economical for most, but it's fun for the kids and you. Lots of breeds can make good mountain horses and the training has more to do with it than the breeding. This guy was born yesterday. He's 3/4 quarter horse 1/4 Shire. View attachment 416375
Mares proven and I've heard/seen nothing but good things about the stud, so have I high hopes. View attachment 416382
Beautiful colt love the mare but what happened to the colts ears? They sooo short lol. One of the kid’s babies from a couple weeks ago. Babies sure are fun but are a lot of work and time consuming. But in the end you have the chance to say wow look what we’ve accomplished 09B935A7-2CF7-4E84-9AFB-7FAAD85E9C7F.jpeg 433811E7-2F80-460F-8340-D65A537C7173.jpeg
 

2rocky

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WT did you breed your mares?

I think if you are hand enough, and you like your mares temperaments your highest likelihood of a good mountain horse might be making a mule...
 
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Wolf_trapper

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WT did you breed your mares?

I think if you are hand enough, and you like your mares temperaments your highest likelihood of a good mountain horse might be making a mule...
I tried this summer. The woman who had the stud was sketchy and it didn't take. Even though she kept my mare a extra month. She said she had migraines and my mare wasn't in heat. She needed the$600 more than I did. I'm going to look to buy a yearling and go from there. I bet it would work out better with a different breeder.
 

Pony Soldier

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That's a shame W-T. I think the agreement was a standing and sucking foal. Mine didn't catch at first as both mares were virgins.
 
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