In October, we had Andy (the leopard foal in the main photo for this blog) gelded. I have had so many folks ask me why did I do that?
Let's just say first off, there are enough stallions in the world, it doesn't need one more! And a stallion must have the qualities the breed is looking to reproduce. Andy is a fine horse specimen. He is sweet, smart, athletic and easy on the eyes. But there really is more to being a stallion than just those qualities.
In the business of breeding Appaloosa horses, one must always consider color in addition to the basic requirements of conformation, talent, disposition and demeanor. Andy will NOT have what it takes to create Appaloosa horses without help from a homozygous Appaloosa mare. He can contribute a lot of good qualities to a foal, but color is not one of them. He is only half Appaloosa, which means he is not dominant for color (LP) production. He may have some slight contribution, but it is highly unlikely he could put any color onto a foal from an improperly selected mare. Which is probably what someone would do.
In the current state of the horse market, a well behaved and trained gelding has more of a chance at getting a good home than a stallion........really!
If I had not gelded Andy and he sold to a breeder, will that breeder know what type of mares should be bred to him?? Chances are, no. And another trashy appy breeding program producing solids, with no value as Appaloosas, would be born. I don't want that for any of my foals. If I had decided to keep Andy intact, then I would have kept him for myself. But I have no use for another stallion, I am quite happy with the one I have. And if I decide to keep Andy (because I really, really like him and I am toying with keeping him) he is going to make his dad proud as a competitive horse. He has the ability to compete in a variety of disciplines, which is what we strive for here and proving that with one of his offspring is very tempting!
But as a breeder with a purpose in mind, I would not sell Andy to another breeder. He is just not needed in the pool of stallions. But he is going to make an awesome kids horse with the potential to take a good rider to the winners circle!
If I were not an Appaloosa breeder (think color plus all other aspects of breeding), then I would most certainly think Andy has potential as a stallion, sort of. He has size, he has brains, he has disposition..........but he is young still and things always change. My 5 year old gelding was gelded at two.......because he did not color out and he did not have the attitude to be a stallion.
So, there is lots to consider when you are presented with a colt and not a filly. And with the spaying of mares becoming simpler, less dangerous and cheaper.......we can get more undesirable horses out of the gene pool!!