In a shocking twist (sarcasm) to follow up the "Mares" post, here were are summing up the crazy assortment of stallion things going on in my head currently.
While I would LOVE a Jade baby, I don't want to deal with embryo transfer plus I really, really want to get to work on my other ladies and seeing what they can produce. We'll have to wait on that adventure for another year. Probably. We'll see, my breeding farm is a horrible temptress.
For now though, the two mares at the house (that are mine) are up for grabs and years of stalking lines, stallions, farms, and such has prepared me for this. Mostly I suppose. When push comes to shove, it's soooo hard to limit yourself to just one but we have to. I may also be developing an obsession that will manifest in a semen collection at the oh too helpful breeding farm where they'll store it for me for basically nothing. #enablers.
While I can love me some stallions, horse shopping, previous breeding attempts, and a series of other experiences means that the #1 thing I look for when I'm stallion shopping now is the farm or shipper. They need to be professional, easy to get in touch with, and responsive. It was super frustration to deal with a farm last year where I ended up way behind the ball due to farm vs farm conflict and by the time I found out the issue and could fix it, everyone was mad at everyone and I ended up eating the stud fee. Needless to say, I LOVE Iron Spring Farm (where I bought Jade from) and fell in love with Flori while I was there. Granted most of their stallions were still in Florida that time of year, but this Grand Prix stallion was so sweet, ridiculously cute, and I've loved sooo many of his offspring they've produced. Naturally he was high on my list.
The thing with Flori though is that while he's 16.2h, he doesn't tend to improve height and my original mare to breed was Czarina and she's a modest 16.0h. While these are respectable heights, I'm potentially looking for something for ME and my freakishly long legs and people that like to buy these ponies want something that will be 16.0+h and while I feel like this SHOULD happen, unno.
When I found Feina and especially when she arrived with all her 17.0h, I thought Flori was back on the table but something told me to keep checking things out. I do like Uno (Don Diego) at ISF, but where else might I find something plus his registry options were funky with my mares? I kept looking and trying to balance out marketability vs my desires and just kept going round and round. I really wanted something that would mature 16.2h+, I really wanted Donnerhall added into Feina's lines (fancy but trainable and easy to be around), color didn't matter, responsive farm, and of course dressage oriented. There were other criteria but that was me being really over the top wish list and flexible on those desires.
Sempatico M's breeder ended up posting a reminder on Facebook about their "end of holiday" special and I went right! I like him too and decided to book him for Czarina. But wait, he's not "really" a dressage stallion! Nope, but he's ammy friendly, his foals are marketable and well, Czarina is a Raja Baba x Glitter Please baby and forgive my eventing roots, but I knew this would make an amazing and versatile baby when I saw it come up. The farm is also super responsive and so friendly to work with. Mare #1 was done!
The flip flopping continued with Feina though. She's Hanoverian registered and I really wanted to stick with that. But I really really wanted Uno for this first time (a combination of things but ultimately I asked myself if I only got one foal out of her and was going to keep it, what did I want? Uno.) and had been in contact for upcoming specials. I knew they had a sale coming on Valentine's day but I didn't know the pricing. Frozen semen sounded really ideal for something overseas (Serano Gold, Danciano, De Niro Gold, Benecio, *drool) and my vet didn't veto that when we took the mares in for repro checks.
Seriously... I don't know how Europe doesn't spontaneously combust from making such things.
I ended up calling the Hanoverian Society to see if by some odd chance Uno was registered with them in some capacity (Rhinelander FYI) and found out that for some odd reason, Feina hadn't been inspected as a younger mare. What???? She was shown in breed shows plenty but the breeder didn't find time to get her inspected? Um, ok. Since she's currently off and on lame, I figured that wasn't going to work out right now until we can get her feet trimmed up better. So I gravitated back to KWPN-NA (I seriously have a thing with ended up going Dutch lol) and naturally leaned towards Flori (offspring would be full book KWPN that way) but Uno would result in a Reg A baby. Grrr. In the end, the special was 50% off stud fees and Uno is Donnerhall x Rubenstein which I really wanted, plus height, plus temperament, so yeah, I filled out the contract for Uno the second we could get in on the sale and have felt really happy since.
After all this, my working student had had her mare tag along with mine for vaccinations and had her repro checked. Even at 19, the mare is still cycling like a champ and she leaped at the chance to breed her mare. Guess who she's trying for? Flori! So it looks like I'm going to get to hand out with a Flori baby anyhow!
I may or may not be bidding in online auctions right now for frozen semen for the future *shame