Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Know Your Breed: Appaloosa Broodmares

Today, let's look at two registered Appaloosa broodmares. The Appaloosa is a breed which had made a lot of progress in recent years. Infusion of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines has resulted in a more elegant horse who lacks the hammerhead, pig eye, stick for a tail look of traditional Appaloosas. Except, of course, that some folks insist upon still breeding the fugliest ApHC stock they can find. I am not sure if this is a deliberate attempt to preserve everything that used to be wrong about the breed, or if the owner of the first mare is simply blind.

From her square head with an eye that I can't even see in this picture, to her thick undefined neck, to her upright shoulder, to her unbelievably short croup and her high set 'stick tail', this mare illustrates everything I remember about the Appaloosas I grew up with in the 1980s. However, her ad brags that she has produced "3 bay blanket hiped foals , 1 buckskin with white spots on hips and one black so far."

Yay color! Perhaps the "blanket hipes" will provide a distraction from the complete and total lack of a hip. Of course, she is selling as a 3-in-1 package. Put a little fugly in your barn for the low low price of just $1,000!

Although this would not be my choice of a picture to show this mare off to her best advantage, it is immediately obvious that she is a much better example of her breed than mare #1. Look at the overall balance. She has a nice chest, a compact look to her and the sort of hip you should see on a stock breed horse. Her tail is set on properly and you will note it drags the ground. She has a cute, attractive head and little foxy ears, although I do wish it wasn't wearing a nylon halter in the turn-out. Her feet cannot be seen but you can see she has big bones appropriate to her size and my guess is the feet are nice also. Unsurprisingly, she has successfully produced several point earners in ApHC competition. This is a breeding quality mare. Yes, you will have to pay four times the price of the first mare to get her, but if you don't have that kind of money to spend on your breeding stock, I highly recommend breeding something more budget-appropriate, such as guppies.