Picking The Right Stallion For Your Mare
Picking The Right Stallion For Your Mare
by Heidi Benson, USIHC Breeding Committee member and owner of Sæstaðir Icelandic Horses
Breeding season is well underway in the United States. So, if you are looking to breed your mare in 2023 but have not yet made arrangements, now is the time. If you are having trouble finding the right stallion, not sure who to ask, or are new to breeding in general, here are some resources and ideas that can assist you in making a more informed decision.
The United States Icelandic Horse Congress (USIHC) is the national organization in the United States for Icelandic horses. For owners and breeders in the United States, the USIHC offers a stallion advertisement page on its website, www.icelandics.org/stallions. Here, you can find stallions available for breeding in the United States.
Farm owners who have purchased a Farm Listing receive a stallion listing option on the website free of charge. Stallion owners who do not have a farm but would like to advertise their stallion(s) for breeding can also advertise their stallions on the USIHC website for the same price as a Farm Listing. The complete Farm List is published in every issue of The Icelandic Horse Quarterly; however, stallion listings are currently only available online.
For payment and instructions on how to submit your stallion advertisement on the website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that with your current membership to the USIHC, you have free unlimited access to WorldFengur, the international breed database for Icelandic horses. This is one of the most valuable resources for breeding the Icelandic horse. Whether you are a breeder, hobbyist, competitor, or trainer, WorldFengur offers a wealth of information on registered Icelandic horses worldwide and has something for everyone.
For those who wish to explore pedigrees, breeding judgments, videos of breeding horses, predictions based on DNA analysis of stallions and mares, offspring, approved name database, genetic history, and so much more, WorldFengur is a valuable resource. Whether you are new to the Icelandic horse and just curious about where your horse came from, or you are interested in more detailed information on the lineage, offspring, and accolades of breeding horses, WorldFengur is full of wonderful wormholes to explore.
One of the primary perks of joining the USIHC is the included free subscription to WorldFengur. Once activated, you have full access to the database, which renews yearly, alongside your USIHC membership.
The Internet is also a great place to start. You can try searching keywords such as "Icelandic stallion," "Icelandic stallion US," "Icelandic breeding," "Icelandic horse breeder," "Icelandic stud," or the stallion’s full name (if you know it). You can try a plethora of different combinations of words, and they will all eventually lead you somewhere, hopefully to the right place. Instagram and Facebook are also worth searching since many breeders have realized the benefits of global outreach through social media and have either established farm pages or stallion pages. You can use both platforms in the same way as Google by searching the sites using keywords or even better, the stallion’s name. YouTube is also an excellent free resource for finding videos of the stallion you are interested in and sometimes even their parents and offspring of that stallion.
Once you have done your research and you have some good options for potential stallions to use, be prepared to reach out to the stallion owners and ask questions. Get as much information as you can from them before making a decision. Don’t be shy! Most breeders love to “talk shop” and will happily answer your questions about their stallions and their breeding. Selecting a stallion that is potentially well-suited to your mare can be an exciting and fun part of the breeding process. However, unless North American breeders are actively marketing their stallions, it can be difficult and frustrating for those looking to breed their mares to know where to look.
The Icelandic Horse Quarterly
You can read the full article on choosing a good stallion for your mare, how to establish a breeding goal for yourself, and a comprehensive list of questions to ask the stallion owner in the upcoming issue of The Icelandic Horse Quarterly. Make sure your USIHC membership is up-to-date to receive the next issue in June 2023.