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Lori's Library > Breeding and Stallion Management > The Pony Breeder's Companion

 
The Pony Breeder's Companion
A Practical Guide for Owners and Breeders
 

The Pony Breeder's Companion     
 
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Caroline Nesbitt
Howell Book House, 1995
ISBN 0876059965

This is a great book! I like everything about this book, and I found it totally "by accident" one day when I accompanied my Mom to the used book store. I was waiting for her to pick out what seemed like six months worth of reading material when I spied this book on the shelf. I picked it up and immediately had to buy it when I saw that it had a chapter on Fjordhorses.

While the debate may continue as to whether a Fjord is a horse or a pony, the fact is most Fjordhorses are technically ponies by height, and they share many of the common pony characteristics such as being easy keepers, being sound, hardy, even-tempered, and with good minds. So although I think of my Fjords as small horses rather than ponies, I was happy to see them in this book.

Actually anyone considering breeding ponies OR horses would do well to give this book a read. The author starts out by making those of us in this category seriously question our motives (and sanity!) as well she should, since breeding is a serious business, which will result in the addition of more animals to the world. One needs to be sure that these will actually be wanted and needed animals. This speaks well to the need to be breeding only quality bloodstock, out of proven bloodlines, with proven performance potential.

Chapters include information on most pony breeds, how to identify good prospective broodmares (for example, the "prettiest" mare is not necessarily the best broodmare -- she must first have good breed type), and how to read and understand pedigrees. There is a chapter about inbreeding and line breeding (which I didn't read closely, these practices not being allowed by the Fjordhorse Registry), how to find a stallion, how to manage and keep a stallion (with emphasis on keeping him happy, since many stallions lead a rather solitary existence which goes completely contrary to their natures), breeding practices, including AI, marketing your stock, and finally the importance of ponies as a source of valuable genetic material to the horse world in general (which again didn't apply to me as Fjords are not used for crossbreeding).

This is a really good book, the quality of the writing and editing is impeccable, and I often find myself going back to it for another read, picking up some new morsel of information every time. I would class it as a must-have for a pony or horse breeder and very interesting for any horse lover!

 
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