With the feeling of spring upon us, I, like many mare owners, have the temptation to do something a little naughty.
Not everyone likes appaloosas. I’m sure there’s some of you looking at Vintage and thinking of appaloosa spawn…
It’s not my fault she always looks like she wants to destroy whoever she sees. I don’t pick her facial expressions, she is just open and expressive with her dislike of everyone and everything.
I vaguely mentioned before that I want a jumper foal. I was thinking I was going to buy an American bred warmblood (note: not an American Warmblood) to support our American breeders. (Sure, those Europeans might know a thing or two about breeding, but Americans have to learn at somepoint!) I could find a nice, spunky foal to fill Vintage’s barefoot hooves. There are moments where Vintage seems to be feeling her age, and it seems like they come more and more. It makes me incredibly sad to think I won’t have my fiery little mare anymore.
As I pursue listings online, Dave says, “Well, if you want another Vintage, why don’t you just bred Vintage?” Yes, my husband is an enabler. This isn’t even a one time occurrence, this is whenever I’m feeling the urge, he says to just do it…and I’ve been hemming and hawing for 6 years over this.
I am a firm believer that just because a horse has a uterus doesn’t mean it should be used. There are so many mares that are bred just to be bred. I do not approve of this. I think a mare needs to be purpose bred, with a specific job or function in mind, and not just because, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a baby horse?!” or, “Omg, foals are the cutest,” or even, “I really want to train a foal!”
I don’t care about the foal part – they are cute, but I’m not so easily seduced by adorable babies. I just want a younger Vintage. I love her sassy attitude, her work ethic, her spirit, her soundness (seriously, if she hadn’t jumped out a stall window and banged herself up, I’m sure she’d be 100% sound). She’s a great mover for being so small, and she’s a great jumper. But, if I got a great stallion match, I could improve on what she has, make her a bit bigger, get a bigger jump.
But, she’s old, and I might spend lots of money on what ends up being nothing. She’s a maiden late teens mare – not exactly an ideal breeding mare. The advantages I see here is that I’ll basically extend my time with a horse I love, and potentially not spend a huge amount of money…but also potentially spend a huge amount of money. Another con – I’d have to do it this year, because she’s not getting younger, and I didn’t want a foal next year. I was thinking a few years from now.
If I bought a foal, I could get exactly what I wanted, get it exactly when I wanted, and it would definitely be a high quality horse. But, I would definitely be spending a lot for it. There’s no cheap way of buying the foal I want. But…it would end up being the best horse I’d ever own. A professional breeder is obviously going to do a better job than amateur me.
I’m very torn. I don’t know what side to appeal to, my nostalgia side that wants to keep my teenage horse forever, or my desire for a very high quality, the only limit in competition would be me, type horse, but taking that with a grain of salt. I’m an amateur rider, I likely will never get to a high enough level where my horse is the one holding me back.
Then there’s a part of me that wants to see more appaloosa sporthorses in jumper competitions. They seem so under utilized. If I tried to buy an appaloosa sport horse foal, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Although honestly, I’d be pretty suspicious of anything labeled as an appaloosa sport horse. Maybe a fear of the unknown, verses what I know of my own appaloosa. Also, it seems very open to interpretation, as in, I’m sure some of these sport horses are basically regular appaloosas, or some bizarre cross they label as sporthorses. I googled it now just to check, and got results for a friesian/appaloosa cross. Yikes. Not what I want. (I’m feeling an itch for a slightly related post now…) The appaloosa posts I’m finding seem to be emphasizing the color part, when I could really care less about the color. To me, the color is an unfortunate side effect of being a cool horse, but not actually the reason to purchase. Wow, I can’t believe how prejudiced I’m being against my own horse’s kin.
With all this rambling, I feel like my current course of action is to get a reproduction work up done on Vintage to figure out if it is even viable. I’m going to let medical science do some of the thinking for me. And hope this doesn’t end up really, really expensive. Hopefully if it’s not going to work, my dreams will crash down early, unless of having this be a long, drawn out progress and then crashing down.