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t this moment, my eighteen-year-old, just-graduated- from-high-school daughter is sitting on the couch

with her first “serious” boyfriend. Other than the fact that I’ve never been a proponent of the legalization of concealed weapons until now, you would expect I would react as any other work-harried, mortgage-paying, can’t- believe-my-daughter-is-old-enough-to-be-having-sex father…not so. You see, there are those in our world who are born to be riders, those born to be trainers, and those simply born to be horse lovers. I am born to be a breeder. That’s right. My first

concern: the gene pool.

Of course, you have to

look at the individual, but what he or she brings to subsequent generations is by far more important than the phenotype currently sitting on my couch with his head in my daughter’s lap. At a cocktail party three or four years after we were married, my wife Carol once jokingly made the comment that I had probably checked out her family tree to see if it worked in my generational schema for future Tolmans. All it took was one look at my face for her to know it was true. Years later, much to Carol’s further chagrin, a woman attending one her workshops on literacy told Carol how much she loved my journal—and how she absolutely cracked up when she read that when Carol and I were trying to get pregnant I charted Carol’s cycles on the calendar with the mares’. My wife is a private person. You can imagine how much trouble I was in when she found out that this, too, was true. What can I say? We conceived on the second cycle once, and the first cycle the second time. I wish my mares would be this cooperative. In North America, people like me live on the fringes of society. The riders, the owners, and the trainers are

74 September/October 2009

By Scot Tolman

the only people responsible for successful horses. We breeders hang in the shadows, sit in the back row of the stands, and watch silently as other people are interviewed by magazines about “our” horses. These people don’t know that it took me three generations to get that expressive front-end that Mr. Famous Rider is crediting his horse with naturally having. These people probably don’t care that three generations of Dutch farmers have carefully cultivated nearly 100 years of selective breeding to produce that horse that so easily progresses through the levels. My dream? Other than every one of my horses finding the perfect, FEI home with years of classical training and the best care, I want breeder-specific bar codes tattooed on all horses at birth and a USEF rule that all competitions have scanners at the gate or entrance to the competition arena. It would be just as it is at the self-checkout at the grocery store. “Vine- ripened tomatoes, two

pounds, $5.96.” “Dutch Warmblood mare, UB-40 x Elcaro, bred by Shooting Star Farm.” Back to the boyfriend and the gene pool: strong

ectomorphic genes against double mesomorphic in the damline; competitive, unreasonably stubborn genes in all corners of the pundit square; dark, curly hair and brown eyes will subjugate the blond hair and blue eyes to the second generation out…nope. Not my pick. But, that could just be the father in me talking.


About Scot Tolman: Scot has been breeding Dutch Warmbloods for the past 19 years at Shooting Star Farm in Southwestern New Hampshire. Read more of Scot’s writing at Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
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