Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bargain or bust?

Today let's cut our shopping budget drastically and look at $1000 mares. These are all either currently broodmares or advertised as broodmare prospects. Like the $10,000 horses, they show the wide range of what is available. You can find a breeding quality mare on a budget, but it's a bit more challenging and you may have to take some risks, like an older mare who will be more expensive to get in foal.

Our first mare, a Quarter Horse, is not, not, not breeding quality. While admittedly she would look better with another 100-150 lbs on her and some muscle, she is a structural train wreck no matter what. I know some of it is the camera angle, but still that is one honking big head for her body and it is an unattractive shape. Her neck looks destined to put on muscle on the underside instead of the top, her shoulder is straighter than ideal and she's back at the knee. Even though her front feet are cut off, you can still tell she toes out substantially. And her pedigree is a veritable Who's Not Who of Quarter Horse breeding. She may be a nice little riding horse, but she needs to die a virgin.

Conversely, this mare is an example of my favorite scenario when puchasing horses - a horse who is in the hands of a nice person who does not normally deal with this type of horse and doesn't really know what she has. The horse is being sold as it's too hot for her. She just wants a trail horse. And best of all, the mare has a disability that lowers her value substantially yet does not at all impair her use for breeding nor indicate that she shouldn't be used for breeding - a missing eye.

This is a registered American Saddlebred mare. Her pedigree is excellent. She's adorable. She was probably very well trained at one time. This guy on her back is no saddleseat expert and she still looks cute. I can find mares with similar bloodlines selling for $5,000+ all over the web. This one is a bargain.

This one has had a whole raft of babies. Unfortunately. Again, condition plays a part in the hideousness of this picture. You'll note this was taken in March, and I can only assume these folks don't believe in wastin' good money on hay when they'll just fatten up again in the spring when the grass starts growin'! But again, like the first filly, this mare has some major structural issues that won't go away with the addition of 100 lbs. She's back at the knee, toes out, common head, ugly neck and that is definitely a short croup to rival that of my old gray Thoroughbred mare I posted on July 4th. This is a breeding stock Paint mare, and she does not exactly make the APHA proud. She is for sale because the owners are giving up breeding. Glory, Hallelujah! Too bad it is too late.

They have this mare's last few foals for sale too, and if you've ever argued that a mare's faults somehow magically will not breed on, check out one of her daughters, below!

Actually, I think the daughter is worse.

OK, after that, we all need to look at something pretty - and this mare is it. For $1000, if you want to breed Arabians, here's your bargain. This mare is pure Polish, which is both desirable and holds its value well in the Arabian world. Some of her family tree doesn't have a lot of branches, but that's so common in the breed that it's difficult to avoid, and they at least are outstanding individuals. Her paternal grandsire was a national halter champion. Her maternal grandire was a U.S. Top Ten Park Horse. You have both conformation and performance in her pedigree, always a good combination. This is a 14 year old, in excellent condition. If I bred Arabians, I'd take her home and consider I'd snatched up quite a deal!