When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Ridan_Remembered » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Retrospectiv wrote:Agreed with others. Chrome is built like Daffy Duck. He's crooked from his knees down. Always has been.
Take it for good or bad, it's just how he is. Knocking other horses won't change that fact.


What an unfortunate comment. (1) Are you unable to do a compare and contrast exercise? That's all the above is. Doesn't knock any horse. Not Chrome, not anyone. (2) Daffy Duck? Overly harsh much? I'd love to have such an "ugly" duckling as Chrome. $14,752,650 won, 2 time horse of the year, 7 grade 1s, wins on all surfaces, 27 Starts, 16 Wins, 4 Place, 1 Show.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Retrospectiv » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 pm

I didn't knock his overall looks or his race record. Simply stated a fact that no matter how much you happen to love him, correct he's not....
I'm not going to argue the point with you. You've already made up your mind on him. I hope he throws some correct foals from the mares chosen.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Treve » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:16 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:@Treve, I'm truly sorry to have offended you. That was not my intent. My original question had to do with what value to place on the TrueNicks score vs. a mare's conformation. Somehow the conversation turned to Chrome's conformation which, overall, is really very good. Here is a link to where you can see Chrome's conformation video from the Taylor Made Stallions website. Make up your own mind. http://www.taylormadestallions.com/hors ... 24702.html


I'm not offended, no worries. You asked about truenicks vs confo, I gave my initial opinion which is "truenicks to be taken with a grain of salt", and that I'd place confo above truenicks, but I'd place bloodlines over confo. And commercially confo over bloodlines. However you can't really create a rule of thumb for something that has so many variables which is why I added the caveat with regards to conformation; i.e. it's not just a question of whether or not a mare has good confo, but rather how does her confo complement the sire's confo... I might pick a mare that has slightly less good confo overall if the stallion's best qualities compensate for her flaws, than I would a mare that has better confo overall but whose flaws aren't as well compensated by the stallion. The goal of breeding is always to improve on the curent generation. In this case Chrome's confo is relevant if one is making a choice between mares that he's been bred to, based on conformation.

I've stated time and time again that he's handsome and he's got a lot of qualities. His front angles aren't part of those, in my opinion, and if I were to choose a mare bred to him, I'd choose a mare with straight front legs to compensate, and wouldn't worry about a lot of other aspects cause he has several qualities that would improve on a less well conformed mare.

I don't know why TM uses that photo though it really doesn't do him justice, especially compared to the other stallions.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Honor Code » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:16 pm

So, now that the fireworks have calmed down a bit...

Genuine question here. How would a breeder/prospective breeder judge whether a horse has genetically crooked legs(like Curlin and his mother) or somatic crooked legs(Chrome in the womb? Haven’t see his mother)

I also hear a lot of foals have corrective surgery for leg defects. Are stallions required to disclose whether they had surgery for such corrections?

Thanks for anyone who can tell me.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby TBird » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:30 pm

Honor Code wrote:So, now that the fireworks have calmed down a bit...

Genuine question here. How would a breeder/prospective breeder judge whether a horse has genetically crooked legs(like Curlin and his mother) or somatic crooked legs(Chrome in the womb? Haven’t see his mother)

I also hear a lot of foals have corrective surgery for leg defects. Are stallions required to disclose whether they had surgery for such corrections?

Thanks for anyone who can tell me.


It's rare to see a perfect stallion. So most breeders are looking either for faults they can live with, or faults that don't double up on what their mares might have that needs correcting. Looking at a horse, you often can't tell what has caused the crookedness--for the most part either genetic or race related. In my experience, crookedness problems that occur in the womb usually straighten with time. The vast majority of foals are born with some degree of crookedness--that's a lot of leg to squish into a small space--which goes away as they mature.

There's no requirement for anyone to disclose anything. But a stallion manager will often disclose prior surgery when asked--if he knows. By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way. Fwiw, corrective surgery isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Many breeders now feel that what is corrected when a foal is young would have fixed itself naturally, given time.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:07 pm

TBird: By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way.

One more reason why it would be good to have a set of nationwide rules to insure that a horse's medical records - from foal to breeding farm to pasture ornament - travels with the horse through his/her life.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby TBird » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:18 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:TBird: By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way.

One more reason why it would be good to have a set of nationwide rules to insure that a horse's medical records - from foal to breeding farm to pasture ornament - travels with the horse through his/her life.


I'm curious, are you talking about all horses or just racehorses? I can imagine very few horse owners who would be in favor. Not because they're trying to hide anything but because it would be a bookkeeping nightmare. In any given year, depending on how many states we race in, we are dealing with 7-10 vets, sometimes more. What would be the mechanism for passing the records along? Who would vouch for their accuracy? (Trainer? Owner? Multiple vets?) Most of our vet records are for small stuff: vaccines, bute, banamine, etc, but those pages add up. Not to mention that vet records (bills) come with prices on them. I doubt many vets would like the idea that horse owners would soon be able to compare costs between their own vet and every previous vet their horse had ever seen.

What we really need is nationwide, consistent medication rules. But without a national governing body, that won't be happening any time soon either.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Honor Code » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:51 am

TBird wrote:It's rare to see a perfect stallion. So most breeders are looking either for faults they can live with, or faults that don't double up on what their mares might have that needs correcting. Looking at a horse, you often can't tell what has caused the crookedness--for the most part either genetic or race related. In my experience, crookedness problems that occur in the womb usually straighten with time. The vast majority of foals are born with some degree of crookedness--that's a lot of leg to squish into a small space--which goes away as they mature.

There's no requirement for anyone to disclose anything. But a stallion manager will often disclose prior surgery when asked--if he knows. By the time a stallion gets to a stud farm, he will likely have passed through several sets of hands and information like that gets lost along the way. Fwiw, corrective surgery isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Many breeders now feel that what is corrected when a foal is young would have fixed itself naturally, given time.

What we really need is nationwide, consistent medication rules. But without a national governing body, that won't be happening any time soon either.


Thanks for answering!

I had heard that it wasn't as common any more. It's a nice trend, surprising in light of how the sales emphasize perfect conformation etc. Anyway, in your own opinion/experience-would you describe any current kentucky stallions as having "perfect" or maybe "almost perfect" conformation?

It would be nice if we had a national governing body. Re: requiring disclosure: The European Horse passport idea seems like a good one-recording owners, major health issues, and so forth. Doesn't/wouldn't cover drugs, but like you say, a uniform drug policy would make most of that largely redundant.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby TBird » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:49 am

Honor Code wrote:I had heard that it wasn't as common any more. It's a nice trend, surprising in light of how the sales emphasize perfect conformation etc. Anyway, in your own opinion/experience-would you describe any current kentucky stallions as having "perfect" or maybe "almost perfect" conformation?


The most "perfect" stallion I've ever seen is Bernardini. For me, he just has everything you would want in a gorgeous, correct horse.

But as far as racehorses are concerned, great conformation is a side issue. It means nothing if a horse has no talent or heart. And of course, with stallions the most important thing is whether or not they have the ability to pass along their good qualities. Correct conformation often means that a horse moves with efficiency. It gives him a better chance of staying sound. But it doesn't provide speed--or help a horse win races.

Aside from the disciplines where horses are only shown on the line, no one breeds to a stallion because he has good conformation. They chose a horse that excels in whatever they want their prospective foal to be able to do.
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Re: When choosing a mare...TrueNicks or conformation?

Postby Moms Command » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:37 pm

I realized this has been thoroughly hashed out, but, I thought I would throw in my two cents. I breed commercially, and I pay little or no attention to true nicks. For me, conformation is key, because, that's what the buyers are looking for. I don't have the money to buy it all, so I get as much pedigree as possible, without losing conformation. Ive been breeding for 10-12 years now, and this year my 3 yearlings and 1 weanling averaged $103,000, with moderate to low stud fees. The mare you talked about with the C+ true nicks would definitely be the most appealing to me for several reasons. She has the best conformation, she's pregnant to a first year horse (always the safest when breeding commercially on a budget) and she has a Tiznow in the pipeline. Those are all huge pluses when breeding to sell. Breeding to race is a whole different beast. I wish it was not, but, that's the way it is if you have limited funds. When the market gets off a horse, they're off, even if it's a consistent race horse sire, like Afleet Alex, or Midshipman.
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