upcoming change for Cierra

With all 2020 AQHA shows in our area cancelled, Brad made the decision to bring Cierra home. The official date is August 1st. He goes directly from work every week to take lessons on Cierra. It sounds like their Ranch Riding is going really well, such a shame showing her ended prematurely. The bright side is she is coming home, and we have started looking at potential proven studs. 

Cierra is 10 and isn't getting any younger. It is no secret that Brad has always hoped to carry on Cierra's wonderful disposition & lineage. We have had casual conversations in the past with his trainer and Cierra's breeder. Questions like, what type of stud would they match her up with? Hard to answer, with differing opinions on improving the good things she has along with so many variables. Brad has also talked to our vet for his valued experience about things like age, timing etc. 

For whatever it's worth and since it seems everyone's head goes there, let's just be clear we have zero intention of getting into the breeding business. I understand why others do, and am thankful for good breeders who sell offspring!! 

As far as our related experience, Brad grew up on a dairy farm and knows livestock (including horses). Me, not so much. He also knows a fair amount about lineage, but I do not. It is sweet he wants me to be involved in the process and decisions. In order to be of any value, I wanted to educate myself a bit. I know most only go back two or three levels of lineage, but I wanted to learn some history and traits. Altho traits vary a lot.

The first thing I needed to know was, what is Brad hoping to get out of breeding Cierra? In a nutshell, he wants to raise his own homebred Ranch show horse that can compete at the AQHA level.

I searched online, and read some QH articles. Posted at bottom, if interested. We get the AQHA magazine, and I also tried learning from a Facebook QH pedigree group. That page leaves me confused with so many conflicting opinions. 

To begin our stud search, Brad sent me these registries to look at Performance Stallions. I was a little stunned that he is setting the bar so high, but I get it under the circumstances:




Based on what I saw & read I found my favorite potential match, Whizkey-n-Diamonds:


He has nice looking off-spring, many have accomplishments:


Whizkey-n-Diamonds Dam (goes back to TwoEyed Jack, but also has Impressive):


Whizkey-n-Diamonds Sire: https://www.allbreedpedigree.com/top+sail+whiz


Brads favorite match for Cierra is One Fine Vintage: https://www.qstallions.com/StallionDet?id=141&sort=Performance/Ranch 

I didn't do any research on him, but Brad did. He ran both of the studs past his trainer, and she did her own research. She thought One Fine Vintage may be too hot and didn't add other contenders. She really likes Whizkey-n-Diamonds and thinks he would be a good match.

We will keep doing research. This Fall he will make a decision on a potential stud, and plans to apply for 2021 breeding (via artificial insemination, luckily our vet specializes in it) to see if Cierra is accepted. We hope so! In her five years of being shown, she has accomplished a few achievements. Qualifying for Worlds Show(s) and 1st place Performance Register of Merit as well as her show record points for five years.

I look forward to this future life goal experience, with guidance from quality advisors. Including you guys. I will be watching for valued input as things transpire. Feel free to share if you have resources, words of wisdom or anything to add to the above. 

We haven't had a baby horse in our lives since 2010:

the moment I knew Cierra was his girl

telling secrets

checking each other out 

Cierra (her Dam on right) 



If interested, the better articles I read:


This article is the type of preliminary information I was looking for:


To me, disposition is the most important trait. According to the above Western Horseman article, I would hands-down be looking for a TwoEye Jack descendent. But then, after reading another article https://westernhorseman.com/culture/flashbacks/two-eyed-jack/# it says TwoEye Jack was intensely inbred. Makes me unsure about his line. I read a thread on some site about "what lines people dislike most". The author said TwoEyed Jack was the most disliked line, altho he never said never said why. Plenty of others responded with owning a descendent of his, that was/is the best horse they ever had. Lineage is just like every other horse thing, subjective & confusing...


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think it's great that you are going to breed Cierra, she's a wonderful horse. I have absolutely no idea about breeding or anything involved with the whole business. The only thing I know is when someone tells me "hey that horse has good lineage". I say "ok thanks for the info." Apparently, Rosie is from a Zippo Pine Bar line and my first horse Erik was bred in Holland and his sire was a big deal champion in dressage. Unfortunately,he couldn't read his papers and so never made it quite as far in the big time and he was really spooky. I'm sure Brad and your advisors will come up with the perfect match and how much fun will it be to have a baby again! Love her baby pictures with Brad.

Shirley said...

The first thing to consider when breeding is the 6 panel status of your mare. If you haven't tested her yet, I recommend Animal Genetics, they are quick to get results from.
She is a smokey black isn't she? If you breed her to a dilute, like buckskin or palomino, you may end up with a cremello or perlino (double dilute) so that is something to consider too if you don't want a white horse.
For disposition the Driftwood bred horses are known to be easy going. The Two Eyed Jacks can be hard headed, hence their reputation. There is a Facebook page called Mare Match Up that has lots of info on various stallions, bloodlines and best crosses.
Cierra is a lovely mare, she should throw a beautiful baby!

aurora said...

Yep, horses cant read papers - a circulating joke around here! Brad mentions some well-known local horse auction back in the day, where the guy running it used to open his trunk pull out a box and say something like "you want papers, here you go - take your pick"...totally unethical. I do believe horses with papers give hope for a better future, as well as some indication with breeding. My answer to well bred comments is pretty much the same Arline, and then I ask Brad why they said that lol.

Shirley, I totally should have mentioning panel testing. Good point! Truly hope you will continue to lend your sage advise. Cierra's breeder is a color and genetic fanatic and speaks really fast in related letter code. She was tested as a baby, before we bought her. Neither I nor Brad are fans of Cremello's or Perlinos, except for her dam Birdie (pictured above). We fell in love with her disposition, fugly head and all, and made it know she could come home with us. Unfortunately we were not in the position to take on more horses, plus she was too valuable/pricy when she finally went up for sale. Birdie was sold to a breeder in Germany/France (?) someplace oversea's. Long way of saying we would be okay if Cierra's baby turns out white, altho yes we rather have any other color. Will eventually play with the color generator.

Linda said...

Well, you and I are living somewhat parallel lives. My daughter just bred her horse, Cowgirl, so if all goes well, we will have a baby next June. She had taken her in for some tuneup training, and our trainer has an appy stallion from our trainer's former stallion, who Shiloh always adored. He passed away about 27, but she now his son-an appaloosa stud. I don't think my daughter was actually wanting an appy, but she really liked him, and really liked his dad, and this is probably Cowgirl's last year to breed, so she made the decision, on her own, to do it. I was just sitting down to blog about it. There's something to be said for carrying on a line you love--as is my daughter's story with this. And, of course, she will keep the baby.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

I am still stuck at Cierra is 10!!! How did that happen?

aurora said...

Linda, I am excited for you & your daughter!

Sherry, I know - right?!! I can't believe how time flies...