Owning and breeding Connemara Ponies is an expensive hobby, but it’s also highly gratifying. If you are new to breeding Connemaras, you want to learn as much as possible before plunging in headfirst. One of the most effective ways to do this is by connecting with people with Connemara Pony breeding knowledge and experience.
The ACPS Master Breeder Program is a new initiative from the ACPS Breeders Committee that aims to bridge the gap between experienced breeders and those just starting out.This program is based on the belief that new breeders must be recruited, welcomed, and trained to make selection decisions that preserve breed type, conformation, quality, and heritage. In addition, all breeders should be producing animals that will be useful in purebred and sport horse breeding programs.
Developing the next generation of breeders has several important elements. One of these is sharing the breed’s cultural heritage. Connemara Ponies have a rich history that needs to be preserved and shared to conserve our ponies’ distinctive breed type, quality, and character.
In addition to the Connemara Pony’s unique origins, the fine points of selecting breeding stock need to be taught. The details of what to choose and why must be transmitted to the next generation. Only by having experienced, successful breeders generously share the fine points of selection is it possible to guarantee that this knowledge is not lost. However, passing along these details usually takes personal interaction, for these fine points are difficult to condense into a written format.
Developing an “eye” for breed type and good breeding stock is an essential but subtle ability that master breeders possess. For experienced breeders, this is almost intuitive and hard to describe. It is even more challenging to train other breeders to develop an “eye.” Still, enthusiastic new breeders can go a long way by seeking out Master Breeders, chatting with them, and trying to see with their eyes.
All Connemara Pony breeders can benefit from creating a sustainable shift toward a more inclusive, enthusiastic, engaged breeding community. If you are a new or even an experienced breeder, we encourage you to get involved with the ACPS Master Breeders program. Your voices, participation, and ideas are welcomed and essential to achieving our goal.
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