Crestline Farm breeds genetically
superior horses. We take into account the elements that are necessary
for success in the ring and soundness on the journey.
The Genetic Advantage-
As breeders, our goal is to produce talented horses with sound body
and mind. While handling and feeding both play critical roles in young
horse development, a sound, well chosen genetic basis should be the
cornerstone of all top breeding programs.
While we never forget that
a mare contributes half the genetics of a foal, a breeding stallion
has the potential to use his genetic influence to a much greater degree
than a mare does simply due to the numbers of offspring he can produce
in his lifetime. When selecting Palladio we kept a clear view of traits
that were assets to our program while also keeping a critical eye to
avoid traits that we felt should not be found in a breeding stallion.
In these days of AI it is
very common for us as mare owners never to see that stallion we choose
in person. With shopping from videotape many things can be hidden or
never addressed that we feel should be in our quest to produce sound,
athletic foals. Our goal is to provide as much information on our tape
as possible and be sure that any necessary information is available
to mare owners who are not able to travel to see Palladio in person.
One of the most obvious things
that people take for granted is that all breeding stallions have perfectly
straight legs or move correctly without winging or paddling. Video camera
angles can be very good at hiding these imperfections. Believe it or
not, horses can make it through the 100-Day Test or various other approvals
and still show these imperfections. The first thing we looked at in
critiquing Palladio was the straightness of his legs, and the correctness
of his gaits. Closely following that was looking for all the proper
angles in his legs and body. No one wants a foal with crooked legs.
Obviously the mare can contribute imperfections here but with so many
stallions to pick from, choosing straight legs and correct movement
definitely helps set the stage for a foal that will stay sound enough
to endure a long successful performance career.
Next on our list of "must
haves" was a temperament of pure gold. There are many wild stallions
in fact, some registries prefer them. Not at our farm!
I wanted a stallion that was safe to handle, easy to ride, and trustworthy.
If that means that fire doesn't shoot from his nose
so be it. There
are so many crazy horses out there doesn't the world deserve a few more
forgiving ones. Palladio has exceeded everyone's expectations here
my own! Since we bought him before he was started under saddle, I could
only hope that his kind temperament and great ground manners would transfer
into a quiet, yet responsive, riding horse. Palladio exemplifies why
the warmblood horse has become such a smashing success in the show arena.
Talent only gets you so far if you don't have a great brain to work
A horse with good feet also
appeared on our list. Do all mare owners ask about the feet of the stallion
they are considering for breeding
.but they should!
The old saying "No foot, no horse" is as true today as it
ever was. How often do you hear of horses that can't be ridden or need
special shoeing because of foot problems. I have heard discussion about
some horses, including breeding stallions, whose feet simply crumble
under the wear and tear of daily work. Sure there are supplements and
special shoeing but our preference was to produce horses with great
ones that can be ridden barefoot regularly and not have it
be an issue. When we started Palladio under saddle he was barefoot for
the first several weeks. It wasn't until he was taking regular trail
rides on rocky trails that we decided to shoe him for protection. Palladio
grows a very nice strong foot with a great deal of heel. We are content
keeping Palladio shod in a plain basic shoe to protect him from the
rigors of trail riding and are happy knowing there is a great solid
foundation to our horse.
Degenerative bone disorders
are also a hot topic these days. For some reason, it is not standard
practice for stallion owners to screen their stallions for OCD as is
required by the KWPN Registry. We think the KWPN practice makes perfect
sense and should be a more common practice. While the causes of OCD
problems are still debated as being genetic or environmentally based,
enough evidence shows a genetic link for me to find radiographs an important
piece of the puzzle. We made certain at the time of our pre-purchase
exam of Palladio that full x-rays were analyzed by both Palladio's home
veterinarian in Holland as well as our farm veterinarian here. We are
happy to report that Palladio checked out with perfect x-rays. It is
further interesting to note that his dam, Jorinde earned her ELITE status
with the KWPN and that the final requirement for this designation is
a clean radiographic examination.
I feel it is also worth mentioning
that Palladio is still completely clean legged at age 5. He does not
have unsightly splints or blemishes that often appear on horses with
a heavy workload. We feel this speaks volumes about his durability and
correct conformation. We fell in love with the substance and topline
that he could bring to our mares but we never forget the many genetic
components that must be in place to produce lifelong competition horses.