This thesis investigates the social structure and the preferences of Austrian Quarter Horse breeders by evaluation of questionnaires:
The average age of the breeders was 39 years. 82 % of male breeders belong to the group of older breeders, 71 % of female belong to the group of younger breeders. Most breeders are located in Upper and Lower Austria. The average breeding period is nine years, males breed-ing significantly longer. 47% of all breeders are also stallion owners. In general, men have a higher number of breeding stock and they have also bred more foals. The majority of breed-ers are specialized in Reining Horses, followed by Cowhorses, Pleasure/Hunter types, Foun-dation Horses and ultimately the Halter types.
The largest group of mares owned by female and younger breeders has been primarily bought as a sport horse and are used for breeding only after the end of their riding career. The purchase of mares took place in Austria, Europa and the US, to equal parts. Women sig-nificantly more often bought their breeding horses in Austria. At least 50% of mares and 82% of stallions were shown at different competitions. Most important factors for the selection of a foals´ parents is the character, followed by the horses´ pedigree, which was evaluated better by the older breeders, and the exterior. A cheap breeding fee seemed to be not im-portant. The semen is mostly imported from European countries. 35% of all breeders have already used a mares-leasing-operation, especially stallion owners.
82% of breeders have already applied one of the biotechnical measures, especially the older one have been using the artificial insemination more often than younger breeders. Only 8% of these cases have been unsuccessful.
Most broodmares are kept on the breeders´ own farms, younger and female breeders also prefer to accommodate them in riding stables. 90 % of the foals are kept in groups after weaning. Younger breeders keep them significantly more often together with the older horses. 1/3 of progeny is sold in the year of birth, especially from younger and female breeders. The sale took place within Austria very often, the half of them with the purpose of a sport horse. 44 % of young horses were trained by the breeders themselves. 42 % were trained by professionals, which occur more often in the northern provinces of Austria. 68 % of breeders are active riders, 42% of them regularly take part in tournaments.
Generally, the Austrian Quarter Horse Breeding evaluated by the breeders as Good. Men significantly rated better as women and younger breeders.