When and How to Choose a Warmblood Stallion

For mare owners, planning out the perfect match usually takes hours…days…even weeks of careful consideration and deliberation. Whether you’re going into next year’s breeding season with one mare or twenty in your herd, knowing how to choose a warmblood stallion that compliments them, improves on your program, and fits in your budget can be a tall order. 

Don’t fret! Warmblood Stallions of North America is here to help. WSNA has the absolute pleasure of working hand in hand with North American stallion owners and registries to help North American breeders strive to produce top-quality offspring. We’ve put together a Warmblood Stallion Shopping FAQ to help narrow down your list of potential candidates. Choosing a great stallion is supposed to be the first fun step! 

choose a warmblood stallion

How to Choose a Warmblood Stallion

It’s fall, registries are wrapping up their inspections, 95% of this year’s foals are on the ground, and for those mare owners interested in continuing an active breeding program, the time for stallion selection is now. Maybe you were waiting to see how a stallion’s foal crop turned out for this year, or perhaps you were waiting to see if that particular stallion is actually being imported like you heard – perhaps you’re waiting for holiday breeding specials; one thing is for certain – we recommend starting your selection process sooner rather than later. We’ve put together some helpful tips below to help you consider your stallion selection options. 

Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations

Are you looking for your next AA competition horse? Are you breeding to sell? Do you have the expectation of producing your next top-level competition animal? What areas of improvement does your mare need? Consider factors like a stallion’s competition records (if that’s your goal), and be sure to research the careers and accomplishments of the offspring of your stallion of choice. There are fantastic forums across the web that have open and very informative discussions regarding stallion selection. Be sure to jump in and ask!

Also, consider up-and-coming, younger, less-proven stallions. There are so many exciting young stallions bred right here in North America, producing incredible offspring. Those big names are absolutely impressive, and if that’s in your budget, go get ‘em! But don’t overlook more financially sound options right here; they’re climbing the ranks and doing great things.

Ask Stallion Owners!

If you have your heart set on a stallion, reach out and ask the important questions. Remember, stallion owners want your foals to excel, too. The owners of stallions you’ll find on Warmblood Stallions of North America are here to make sure they’re helping mare owners create the next generation of great riding companions and competition animals. Let them know your goals, and ask them honestly their opinion on your proposed match. You’ll find most stallion owners are open to discussion, and in many cases, if they don’t think their stallion is the right fit, they’ll point you in a more appropriate direction. Ask about confirmed pregnancy rates, foal disposition, semen evaluation, etc., as these are factors that can directly impact your out-of-pocket expenses if your mare isn’t settling.  Remember that you are establishing a working relationship with both the stallion owner/manager, and you want that connection to be a successful one.  

While stallion owners are usually more than gracious with their time and resources, it’s important to keep in mind that they don’t have all the answers all the time. Be respectful of their time – remember TIME ZONES -, and ensure you’ve asked the appropriate questions before you book. 

Stallion Availability and Limited Breedings

Let’s be honest – if your goal is breeding to a top-level competition stallion, collection and shipping schedules can get tricky amid a heavy competition schedule. This doesn’t mean you should forgo these choices! It just means you’ll need to plan accordingly.  In many cases, stallions in heavy competition are only available with frozen semen. Some stallion owners only collect on certain days of the week, some only have collection availability during certain months during breeding season. One of the incredible benefits of breeding to North American stallions is that your options for fresh cooled semen availability increase. This can be a huge advantage in both cost and access to vets or reproduction facilities able to accommodate your plans.  This brings up if you are opting to use frozen semen, go with a reproduction clinic that is familiar with and has a good success rate with frozen semen.  

Inquire about shipment orders. If the stallion is popular, what happens if you’re the third person in line? Is there going to be adequate availability?  What happens if there isn’t sufficient semen?  Again, this shouldn’t necessarily stop you from choosing that stallion, but it will require more detailed planning on your part. If any of these scheduling restraints don’t quite fit with your planning, you’ve got plenty of other great options when you choose a warmblood stallion. 

stallion shopping
From which stallion to choose, to semen availability, conformation, temperament, registry options, and so much more, stallion shopping can be a huge undertaking. Do your research, ask questions, and get excited for next year’s breeding season!

When Should I Book a Breeding for Next Year?

Many stallion owners offer early booking discounts.  We recommend booking sooner rather than later. From breeding availability to show schedules, stud fee increases, and holiday specials, narrowing down your selection and being in contact with stallion owners should be a top priority. This can also help secure a spot in a stallion’s breeding book for next year if they have a limited number of breedings available. This can be especially important if you’re interested in a more popular stallion. 

As heavy show season winds down, awards and the plan for next year’s show schedule will start to impact stallion availability. Keep in mind that many stallion owners now offer holiday breeding specials, holiday discounts, and reduced breeding fees before the new year rings in. 

Another great way to obtain budget-friendly breedings is through breed registry stallion service auctions. You can obtain breedings to top-level stallions for a great price – please just keep in mind that stallion owners donate those breeding fees to the registry, and it’s important to be kind, patient, and understanding when scheduling your shipments.

Breed Registries and Breeding Fees

The final big consideration we have to go over is breed registry and budget! Is your mare registered, and is she eligible for the registries your preferred stallion is licensed? You’ll want to select from stallions who not only complement your mare but a match whose offspring can be registered if you have an interest in competition, breeding, or reselling later in the future. It’s also recommended that,  as a mare owner, you research the registries you’re interested in supporting and confirm that the relationship and support between registry and breeder is a two-way street. From inspection fees, registration acceptance, education, marketing opportunities, inspection locations, and annual fees, all North American registries have different preferences, inspection staff, office administrators, and operating processes, including the breeds, stallions, and conformation qualities they look for when registering breeding stock. Each of these aspects, individually and combined, make for a varying experience that can drastically change your breeding outcome (at least on paper, if not in the marketability of your program’s offspring). Be sure to firm up your breeding objective (conformation, movement, temperament, discipline, breeding/performance, etc.), then align with a breeding registry that complements (and legitimizes) your breeding efforts accordingly. 

Of course, budget is always a high priority, which is why things like booking sooner rather than later and checking out those pre-new-year deals can help. But factoring in your access to good reproduction vets and facilities, shipping and collection fees, and the actual stud fee are going to be critical for a judicious and financial checklist mare owners will want to keep in mind.

Finding the Right Stallion for Your Mare

We get it! There’s a lot to process when you’re picking out a stallion for your mare. At the end of the day, do your research, ask around, ask other breeders, stallion owners, and competitors. Consider your access to reproductive care and your ability to breed with fresh cooled, or frozen semen, and keep your options open! In the meantime, check out our selection of North American Stallions on our website, and get next year’s breeding season planned!

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