Spring is finally here, we have beautiful flowers and our oak trees are leafing out. This time of year new life is running about stretching their legs. Every year we produce 3-5 foals out of our program. Our mares are either raised here or bought at a young age. We trained and showed every one of them successfully. Once they have proven their ability, shown and worked on our ranch for a number of years they are bred and take on the kids as lesson horses. Our mares are apart of our family, each hold special sentential value to my mom, sister and I. If you would have told us 12 years ago that we would be have our small breeding program and have the volume of horses around, we would probably say your crazy! At least I would say its crazy! My mom has always been passionate and incredibly supportive of my sister and I. Our growth has come natural with willingness. I still pinch myself and count my blessings every time I reflect back. Being the horse crazy kid I was and lets face it I still am, I have spent hours reading and researching bloodlines. I’m make good use of the free records AQHA provides and send a fair amount of time on google.
Understanding personality traits, strengths and weaknesses is very important when it comes to combining two individuals. I have had the opportunity to observe full siblings and compare their traits. Some are remarkably similar and strongly take after their mom while others are a uniquely perfect blend between the two parents. Thankfully I have partaken in the care, handling and training of both the mares and stallion. My mom even raised and kept one of our mares mother until her end. It’s amazing to watch a product of two, grow and take on habits, personality traits and preferences of their parents. Thoughtful breeding and reproduction is incredibly important to grow and improve our industry. As a very small breeder I encourage others to consider more than just names on papers. Take a look at parents and grandparents, what their respected jobs were, how they held up, where their weaknesses are, conformation and the best genetic outcross. Even when purchasing a prospect consider where they will take you once they are ready to retire from the arena. There is no perfect animal, we can only improve what we have. Even though we have a small operation and consistent results in what we produce I go through and restudy what we are doing, and ask myself are we improving what we have. Breeding is never foolproof, things can pop up from generations past but believe in what you are producing and give it your best shot. This month I get to provide you with some real pictures! Not just something I shot off my phone. These were captured a couple of years back, but portray the beauty of spring and young life. Thank you Spurred B Designs for always doing an outstanding job of taking pictures for us.
By Katie Mason