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View Full Version : Musings - Will eventers ever buy youngsters bred for the sport?



elizabeth Callahan
Dec. 25, 2006, 03:50 PM
As I look out on my broodmares today, I was wondering what it will take to get eventers to buy babies for the sport - or will they ever? Do you think with the emphasis on the short format, horses bred for the sport will be more in demand - ( and as babies and young stock - not as under saddle horses)?

I know OTTB's are cheap, and yes, you know what you are getting instead of a weanling, but do you think there will ever be a market for young, talented stock that WILL be more expensive than an OTTB?

I find that dressage people will buy yearlings or younger easily, but eventers don't. Is it the expense of a well bred baby vs the OTTB?

Just musing...

retreadeventer
Dec. 25, 2006, 04:34 PM
Dee, I attended the forum at the Area II Meeting with Phyllis Dawson, Kim Meier, and Courtney Cooper. The theme was purchasing amateur and junior horses, and all of them had really interesting things to say about purchasing horses off the track vs. taking on a young horse. All of them agreed that the homebred young horse on the whole was a lot better bargain in terms of risk and investment, and in terms of trainability, than an OTTB. I think the answer is to stick with it, hang in there -- the Young Event Horse series is bringing some good publicity for young horses; the upper level trainers and riders are pushing the young horses bred for the sport as opposed to castoffs from other industries; and if breeders figure a way to stick together, promote their horses to the industry in an organized fashion, and support the YEH concept I think the future for event young'uns is bright indeed. After all look what you've done so far with your homebred horses. Best of luck.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 26, 2006, 08:11 AM
All of them agreed that the homebred young horse on the whole was a lot better bargain in terms of risk and investment, and in terms of trainability, than an OTTB.

While I certainly don't disagree with that, I think in terms of practicality, especially given the trends in horse sports in general, that that's an ideal, but won't become much of a reality--"more" of one for some, maybe, but never "much" of one for many.

We breeders do need to work together to promote our stock, but I'd argue that it is also important that we work together to develop our stock by finding cost-effective ways to raise and train our babies to marketable ages. I don't see where eventers are--now or in the future--any more likely than any other sport to buy unbroken performance-bred horses.

And the trait that does distinguish eventers from other sports--that they are far more likely to develop their own horses up through the levels and thus far less likely to need to buy (comparatively) expensive babies instead of cheaper greenies--compounds our problem. As long as Kim, Phillip, Amy and their like still do big things with OTTBs, I think eventers will continue to feel they can do the same and so will continue to look to the track, especially if that's all their funds and management (i.e. where do you put a baby while it's growing up?) allow.

It's not the impressions, the availability or the quality of homebreds that breeders have to find a way to surmount. It's the logistics, IMO.

kcooper
Dec. 26, 2006, 08:49 AM
I think there is a huge difference between buying a baby and buying an OTTB -- the fact that the latter comes with ground manners and you can actually ride him! I have been giving some thought to taking on a baby -- either breeding my mare or buying a yearling. But, the thought of having to wait three years to actually ride seems like a really long time. I recognize there is TONS of other stuff to do with the horse in the meantime, but it's nice to be able to hop on the new one you just brought home!

okggo
Dec. 26, 2006, 09:28 AM
I think there is a huge difference between buying a baby and buying an OTTB -- the fact that the latter comes with ground manners and you can actually ride him! I have been giving some thought to taking on a baby -- either breeding my mare or buying a yearling. But, the thought of having to wait three years to actually ride seems like a really long time. I recognize there is TONS of other stuff to do with the horse in the meantime, but it's nice to be able to hop on the new one you just brought home!

I agree on the time and ability to ride. I have had, up until last year, experience only with the OTTB market for riding, competing, etc. I purchased a fabulous mare off the track to take the place of my now-retired gelding and sh** happened and she ended up permanently lame b/c of a pasture accident. She was pasture sound for a couple of years and I was able to get one foal out of her. So, now I have a yearling, soon to be 2 year old, and he is a great pet and lawn ornament, but the time between now and riding is torture for me.
So, I went out and got another OTTB mare, who I am now riding, schooling XC, etc. and having an absolute blast. She is here, now, in my face, and I'm loving it.
Don't get me wrong, I love my guy to death and would not trade him for the world, but there is just something to be said about having a horse that is ready to go.
Now the flip, once he is started and going, it will be a whole nother story. He is by far the best horse I could have ever hoped to own, and there will be so much pleasure in starting and training a horse that has been with me from day one!
But, I don't know if I would want to go the 'baby' route again for my next show prospect. It just takes too much time and $$ waiting for them to grow up.

Hilary
Dec. 26, 2006, 09:45 AM
Time and ability - My friends who got their horses off the track after Star was born are competing them at Training level. I bred Star's mother 8 years ago, and this year I will have a Novice horse. A very nice Novice horse, but Novice none-the-less.

And it's hard work - they go through phases on a regular basis where stuff that was fine yesterday is cause for panic and mayhem the next. It's normal, but it takes time.

And, if you're an ammy like me, the ability to recognize and deal with baby/greenie issues is on a longer time frame than someone who rides for a living. Star might have been a N horse at age 5 or 6 if she'd had a pro ride from the start -

It's been an issue for several years in eventing - we need more people to start these lovely youngsters. Right now we let the track folks do it.

Would I get another foal? Depends on whether I am nursing yet another bruise from getting launched, (NO, not worth the time and advil) or having the ride of my life on the horse I trained myself (absolutely).

KellyS
Dec. 26, 2006, 09:48 AM
I think another issue is price--on the whole, most of the eventers I know don't have/or don't care to spend what the h/j and dressage people are willing to spend on prospects or even proven horses.

I know it is expensive to breed and market babies, but the prices on the "nice" ones just don't make up the difference in the fact that they are untried and unproven. And if you buy them very young, you have to wait for them to grow up before finding out whether they are cut out to be an eventer.

Sure, OTTBs have their own issues in the training/unproven department, but for me, as someone who will never have over $5K to spend on a new horse--I'd much rather take my chances with an older horse that at least has some basics in the ground/training department, is already mature, and is ready for a job.

okggo
Dec. 26, 2006, 09:59 AM
Also adding, it's not just purchase price, it's paying for a "pet" for 3 years, board, farrier, vet, they need all the same care as a grown horse, accidents happen, etc. etc.

I also think the majority of people board their horses and are not fortunate enough to own their own place. This can also be quite the challenge, finding a suitable boarding situation for a baby.

Like I said, I love my guy to death, but I can fully understand the appeal of buying an OTTB vs raising another youngster. And buying a youngster would be even more unlikely to happen, I bred my guy and am raising him, I can't imagine forking out 10-15,000$ for a prospect foal, paying for it to grow up for 3 years, and then hoping it matures to be what you had hoped for, doesn't get injured in the growing up process, get OCD, not get to the size you wanted, etc. etc. etc. But then, I also am not wealthy, so $$ means a LOT in the horse equation.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 26, 2006, 10:21 AM
I have bought 4 so far. One as a 4 year old, two as a yearlings and one as a two year old. The difference between buying a sport horse v. an OTTB is HUGE. While I have had nice OTTBs...I've also had nice ones with lamess issues caused by running at a young age and others with mental issues that took a lot of work to over come and some had issues that were never over come. The home breds have been so easy to break and start and compete (AND resell)...I am almost always surprised. It is so nice to not have to deal with the baggage from the track. That said there are very good points to buying an OTTB.

While I do think there will always be a market for nice OTTBs....the sport is changing and there are a lot of eventers who are buying sport bred horses. I do think that eventers will start buying youngsters because that is the only time the sport bred fancy ones are some what affordable. Many, once they get started and look fancy...their prices go up since they are then marketable to the dressage and show world who at this time seem more ready to plunk down large sums of money for 2-3 year olds. But unless they are very well bred AND you have connections with trainers and riders who buy young horses or a large name like Iron Spring etc.....selling anything under the age of 4 is tough.

MTshowjumper
Dec. 26, 2006, 10:49 AM
I agree with what they are saying above. I board my horses and it does not make sense for me to buy a yearling or weanling and have to pay board for years before I can do anything with it. I currently own a fantastic mare. She has it all in conformation, ability, and temperment. I would love to breed her and she was bred before I owned her and her colt was apparently fantastic, but I probably won't because of the paying board for a baby issue (That and the fact that I don't want to lose a year of riding her).

As for buying TB's off the track. I worked for a BNR riding his extremely fancy expensive young event horses. He always marveled at how well I did on them vs. the problems I had with my own OTTBs. He thought I had some kind of mental block about riding my own horses, but that was not the case at all. It was that his horses where easy to ride! They where bred for it, and trained from the start with that in mind. His 3,4, and 5 year olds, where easier than my 8 and 10 yo TBs. That said, I still will keep buying TBs off the track to retrain. They are cheap, plentifull, and there are plenty of very athletic ones out there. With the trade off of low cost vs. fancy easy rides, I still have to go with low cost. The TB's might be more difficult in the beginning, but I can't afford the cost of a young sporthorse.

Long Shadow Farm
Dec. 26, 2006, 10:50 AM
This is such a tough topic because my heart gets pulled each directions. I love my OTTB and have had good luck with them. However, most if them do have baggage of some sort and that is hard for the typical ammy rider to deal with. As I get older, I enjoy less and less the buck/squeal/spins that most of my OTTB have provided. I have be lucky enough to breed and raise a few babies myself and then get a few as weanlings and go that route. I think from now on I will probably go the weanling route and save myself the headache/heartbreak of breeding but have the enjoyment of working with the babies. I luckily have 30 acres so it isn't hard for me to raise one up while I am enjoying my current horse. My guy will be 6 this coming year, so I think that 2008 will be the year I start looking for a baby to bring up behind him. That way by the time my guy is 12 or so the baby will be ready to go. Plus raising and starting them myself is much easier because I do a lot of work with them as weanling/yearling/two year olds and rarely have a problem when riding time comes.

But the sticker shock is pretty high on some of these babies. I mean to spend 12,000 on a warmblood weanling is hard to deal with. More than likely I will go the route of picking one up from a local race farm and raise it my way.

Bobbi

lwk
Dec. 26, 2006, 10:53 AM
I've been able to buy 2-year-olds from small breeders at a reasonable cost (cheaper than I could raise one myself). I'm talking about a TB/WB cross, that has had decent handling and is ready to start the groundwork/longeing/driving stuff. I do not aspire to the upper levels - maybe T3D.

Debbie
Dec. 26, 2006, 11:41 AM
I've got two. One I bought as a long yearling. She's now 3.5 and has had health issues for the last several months. We're cleared for riding again and she's off to the trainer next month. The second I bought as a 2 year old when the first started having issues.

I board for now (farm shopping in the spring) and I'm two years into owning and paying for a horse(s) but not having anything to ride. It's been a painful journey and the jury is still out on whether I feel it was the best way to go for me.

Both of my girls were bred for athletic ability combined with an amateur-friendly temperament. Here's hoping all that comes to fruition starting this spring, but even if it does, I easily have $28K plus and counting into these two young horses without the first event in sight. (I hate when I add it up.)

As a busy adult amateur with aspirations of the T3D some day, I'm probably taking the most circuitous route imaginable. :rolleyes:

szipi
Dec. 26, 2006, 12:13 PM
I think eventers have started changing their mindsets. The problem I see is that they are not sophisticated enough to know what works and what doesn't. To most eventers a very average warmblood is so much more comfortable, has more movement, have a lot better jump and more laid back than most OTTB's, so they will buy those, rather than the high quality warmbloods - just because they cost less. What they do not think of, in general, is that they will save years of training, riding, instruction and frustration if they buy something that is truly bred to do the job. If you are a duck hunter, you do not get a jack russell instead of a retriever.... And even if most will realize that they need the retriever, it will take a long time before they realize the difference in quality between the well bred ones and the so-so ones.

www.prairiepinesfarm.com

maxxtrot
Dec. 26, 2006, 12:19 PM
i also raise my foals as event or hunter prospects. what about someone(like me) that breeds tb's for sport. full tb's not crosses. i have one broodmare, very nice mover and a great sporthorse pedigree, i breed her to local stallions here in town. i work for a equine vet here in town and do a lot of research on the stallions i like. temperment,looks,way of going,if they raced, how sound did they retire,and of course conformation. and how easy are they to handle. i have a coming 2 yr old that is going to be unbelievable and a coming 3 yr.old paint/tb filly that is very fancy. also a weanling filly that looks to be a really nice upper level dressage horse prospect.so, is there a market out there for homebred tb's that never race? i would love to know. most of these guys i started out breeding for me, but have fallen behind getting things broke and going(am busy at work), so would love to hear if eventers and hunters alike are looking for unbroke young stock. thanks, stacey

ThirdCharm
Dec. 26, 2006, 12:20 PM
i do both.... I train OTTBs and I breed youngsters for eventing. I love my OTTBs, they have been great horses. I love my youngsters and have been fortunate that they are nice enough to get decent prices. OTTBs are great, you get some 'instant gratification' which is The American Way, right (which is why overseas breeders are still beating us like a drum). While a youngster might be difficult for someone who boards, they can be great for someone who has their own farm or can find a way to get a 'deal' on board (it's not like the baby needs much!) until the youngster goes into training. What I like about the youngsters is no icky surprises lurking (I know three OTTBs who had significant arthritic changes by nine and needed injections and other maintenance, which I have personally not seen in any non-racing horses). I have a rising 5 yo and I love the fact that I know exactly how much she has done, how many fences she has jumped, that she has NEVER had a bad experience, etc etc. My latest OTTB shows a TON of potential and I do find myself looking at her legs with suspicion, just SURE that an old, unmentioned racing injury is going to pop up!! I look forward to competing her, but once she has gone as far as she will go what I'm REALLY looking forward to is retiring her to breed and competing her foals without that worry lurking in the back of my mind.

I think with more and more people coming into the sport, the YEH series, etc., we will see more people with the money to put into nice youngsters. Then we'll see more top riders on 'purpose bred' horses, which will help change things a bit also.

Jennifer

okggo
Dec. 26, 2006, 12:52 PM
I think eventers have started changing their mindsets. The problem I see is that they are not sophisticated enough to know what works and what doesn't. To most eventers a very average warmblood is so much more comfortable, has more movement, have a lot better jump and more laid back than most OTTB's, so they will buy those, rather than the high quality warmbloods - just because they cost less. What they do not think of, in general, is that they will save years of training, riding, instruction and frustration if they buy something that is truly bred to do the job. If you are a duck hunter, you do not get a jack russell instead of a retriever.... And even if most will realize that they need the retriever, it will take a long time before they realize the difference in quality between the well bred ones and the so-so ones.

www.prairiepinesfarm.com

I have to disagree with some of this. First of all, I think a lot of eventers have TBs or WBs with a high % TB blood. I don't think "most eventers have average warmbloods." I also think, those "average" WBs you speak of, are NOT much cheaper than the high quality ones. It seems like most foals with a WB tag come with a 8-10k price range (some more and some less) regardless of how "special" they are. It's obvious to see those that have been presented to registries, scored, been to breed shows, etc. but those plunked out in a field with a sale tag really range in the "quality" side but not much on price.

I also don't feel you will save years of training, $, frustration, etc. by buying a WB. Obviously if you are a top level rider you will need a very talented steed with a big heart (no matter what breed), but for most people picking around at the lower and mid levels, those OTTBs are wonderful animals. My personal experience has been they are EASIER to train, I love the TB sensitivity and have not strayed from the breed for ownership purposes until now, and would never rule them out and they will always be a part of my life.

On your dog analogy- if the hunt field was populated with retrieving terriers (as the event venue is with TBs) perhaps, just perhaps, they are better suited to the job then nay-sayers would believe.

I'm a TB lover through and through. No way to hide that.

But I think the OT is more of a buy a foal vs buy a OTTB thing then a WB vs TB thing (heck, how many great TB sport breeders are on this board alone?)

retreadeventer
Dec. 26, 2006, 12:53 PM
I think specifically we are talking about EVENT bred young horses, not general crossbreds, or warmbloods with jumping and dressage pedigrees. I believe that more and more we should see event-bred horses being produced, and I believe that is the kind of young horse the expert panelists were recommending, and they specifically agreed that a 2 or 3 year old were the ages where you could find the best bang for the buck so to speak; a horse ready to go into training and could be competed in a year (in the case of a nice 3yo) or two.
I am an OTTB person myself but I agree with Bornfree in that the issues you deal with will cost you in the long run. If you take a serious black and white look at the balance sheet I think buying the green young event bred horse will indeed save the average amateur event rider over a three year period.
Yes, you can take OTTB's, get lucky, and compete at upper levels -- but as one panelist said, you're buying a lottery ticket -- altho one has a risk with every horse, buying a horse BRED FOR THE JOB probably lessons the odds for you.
I feel there is a small but definite difference between Event bred horses and all other general warmblood or other crosses. I think that is the reason for the YEH development.
I personally can't afford the PP on nice youngsters or I would certainly give up the OTTB market in a heartbeat.
And I don't think every event rider makes their own. I think there is a huge percentage of lower level riders who buy horses already trained, and smaller percentage who buy horses and put them in training full time or periodically, and very small percentage that make their own, smaller nationwide than in the pocketed areas of high eventing competition, such as Areas II and III.
We have to keep looking at the bigger picture.
That is why a united breeders front, across the country, needs to be developed and nurtured. You breeders need to communicate and develop a working group that promotes and sells on your behalf. Can you say "Futurities"?

tractor queen
Dec. 26, 2006, 02:06 PM
This same topic gets repeated over & over...and even the dressage breeders ask the same thing...

I don't think it is a matter of putting a quality baby on the ground...it is a matter of training that quality baby to the 2/3 star level at an early enough age that they are of interest to the upper level riders.

Contrary to what you post...a lot of Upper level eventers import their horses, horses that were specifically breed to event. Why? because they don't want to start from scratch and a lot of these horses have already been successful at prelim.

It is not enough to breed quality horses - you have to plan for their career. If you do not want to train/show them, then I wouldn't count on the big bucks coming your way.

OTTB's - are usually wonderful quality animals...were would they go if they didn't have second careers as riding horses? I love them and have one of my own (the third for me actually {the first two are retired})that I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China. I also bought a Hann 2YO to bring along myself direct from his US breeder...so see you really just cannot generalize about a whole sport.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 26, 2006, 02:08 PM
I believe that is the kind of young horse the expert panelists were recommending, and they specifically agreed that a 2 or 3 year old were the ages where you could find the best bang for the buck so to speak;

I'll repeat again that I'm not disagreeing, but I must note that sometimes BNTs aren't real good at being realistic about the "outside world," and so while the recommendation makes complete sense logically, it is unrealistic. I sometimes wonder, in fact, whether the BNT, busy with riding, training, competing and clinics, is out there enough to recognize what the average buyer or seller experiences (and do note I said "average," not the "buy me a Adv or YR horse" buyer).

For example, in order for the breeder just to break even on a quality animal age 2 or 3, they have to price the youngster in a range that most eventers (and by "most" I mean a number that would help keep the breeder going) simply can't or won't accept, except possibly for the extra-ordinary mover...but then the breeder knows the extra-ordinary mover, too, and isn't going to give it away either! It just goes round and round.

Another example is that while there may be less expensive 2 and 3 year olds out there, they might be waaaay "out there," such that their location adds to their price in getting to see, try, vet and ship them. Remember, a really nice "event-bred" beastie probably was produced via a stud fee starting at $1000 (and going up from there) and probably cost at least $2000 just to get on the ground (including vet bills and mare care). Then each year that baby is waiting to become the 2 or 3 year old the BNT says "you" should want is costing another MINIMUM of $1500 and usually, especially on the coasts, a LOT more. Add it up and it comes to around $10K for a three year old, maybe $8K for two, minimum.

Indeed, I believe I can pretty categorically state that it is highly unlikely that a breeder breeding to proven eventing stallions can possibly raise a foal to age two for less than $7500 unless hubby is a vet or some other special situation exists. And that doesn't even include the initial cost of purchasing a "event-bred" or suitable mare (one with traits that you and/or the BNT would recognize as attractive for eventing, that is--not just some retired something or other, and also not just one mare, but rather the multiple mares the professional breeder requires to maintain a real breeding program).

[Note, however, that if the BNT is talking about scouring the woods for that amateur's product--the lovely event mare who retired and was bred to the event stallion--well, that may be out there being sold by the one-mare owner, but not only is it not that common, but I doubt it's price would be all that much less either.]

Remember, too, though, that all breeders who aren't just looking to give away the money they invested are looking to sell the baby the best (i.e. most lucrative) way they can. So if the two-year-old is a fabulous mover, a breeder seriously in business isn't going to keep the price down just so an eventer can buy it. A fabulous moving two-year-old is worth decent money in the hunter ranks, so that, too, will push that ideal event-bred baby's price up AGAIN.

Indeed, that's the sad thing about the BNT recommendation that started this thread. I've found out from direct experience in talking now to a fair number of BNTs that eventers aren't real aware of what goes on in the hunter world--and as a result, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of BNTs who realize the impact of the hunter industry (and dressage industry) on the price of a nice young horse. And the way the sport is going, with more and more emphasis on dressage, that is only going to exacerbate that as the need for a really good mover becomes more and more paramount. In short, the competition for that really nice youngster is going to keep its price well out of the range of the "average" (or maybe, put more accurately: the "most populous") event horse buyer, IMO.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 26, 2006, 02:31 PM
Indeed, that's the sad thing about the BNT recommendation that started this thread. I've found out from direct experience in talking now to a fair number of BNTs that eventers aren't real aware of what goes on in the hunter world--and as a result, there don't seem to be a whole lot of BNTs who realize the impact of the hunter industry on the price of a nice young horse. The way the sport is going, with more and more emphasis on dressage, is only going to exacerbate that as the need for a really good mover becomes more and more paramount. In short, the competition for that really nice youngster is going to keep its price well out of the range of the "average" (or maybe, put more accurately: the "most populous") event horse buyer, IMO.

I guess I know know different BNTs...most UL event riders that I know understand that a quality 2-3 year old NOT off the track is going to run 10-20K...because they are marketable to the hunter world or dressage world as well. Perhaps an all TB one MIGHT be priced slightly lower but not much. A nice horse is a nice horse and if the breeders current owners have knowledge....they will price the horse accordingly. Those BNT that have those nice youngsters are RAREly buying them themselves but are riding them for the breeders or have owners that buy the prospects. There is a market for them...but it is a small market. The largest market for event horses is the lower level ammy market....and most of those riders are NOT looking for young green prospects.

TBXCFan
Dec. 26, 2006, 02:59 PM
There is a market for them...but it is a small market. The largest market for event horses is the lower level ammy market....and most of those riders are NOT looking for young green prospects.


I agree with this. I think it depends on what one is looking for. If I were looking to make it at the upper levels, I'd want to stack the deck in my favor. I think there is a market there. But as a lower level ammy, I'm happy to just plug along on my inexpensive, yet wonderful, OTTB.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 26, 2006, 06:53 PM
Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on it, bornfreenowexpensive. I'll admit I was thinking about the following statemetns from early on in this thread:


...at the Area II Meeting with Phyllis Dawson, Kim Meier, and Courtney ...All of them agreed that the homebred young horse on the whole was a lot better bargain in terms of risk and investment, and in terms of trainability, than an OTTB.

I don't see how they can be "a lot better bargain" given the price of a good prospect, not if it's priced as you and I have stated. At least with the OTTB, you'll find out some essential things pretty quickly (like trainability, size, substance, courage, soundness) and pretty indisputably. With the baby, no matter how well bred it is, breeding is still not a science--you can't know for sure whether that baby is going to have what it takes. Seems to me that if you add it all up, you could go through half a dozen OTTBs (to find the real and lasting talent) in the time it would take for you to discover the same in the youngster.

But then again, maybe that's a subject for a different discussion: If you are breeding for the upper levels (and thus willing to put out $10-20K for a two-year-old, as bornfreenowexpensive indicated), how much of a guarentee IS the well-bred homebred (in terms of "making it")?

And then there's the cost of the made eventer to consider, too. Why pay $10-$20K for a two-year-old when you can buy a proven yet still young horse for what? Twice that, maybe? I'm as disappointed as the next person that UL event horses go for so little compared to their hunter and jumper cousins, but doesn't that, too, have to be factored into the challenge of breeding and selling a youngster specifically for the sport?

Granted, IMO, on the flip side of all this is the fact that if you breed for eventing, you are also breeding "for" hunters and jumpers and even dressage, unlike the other way around. So I'm not saying one shouldn't--that's for sure. But I do think expecting a significant number eventers to pay the price for them that h-j-d does doesn't reflect reality. Would that it did!

ThirdCharm
Dec. 26, 2006, 07:17 PM
I dont' know, proven young horses around here at least are going through the roof. If its doing novice, is brave, a nice mover, and has jumped some big fences, it is $18-20K at least, possibly more. I have a client looking for an uncomplicated, decent Novice horse that might, possibly, go training, for under $10K and am finding the pickings slim.

You can find some bargains but they tend to have issues.

Jennifer

maxxtrot
Dec. 26, 2006, 08:47 PM
ok, i said eariler that only have one mare that i breed to a quality tb stallions here in town. i have a 4 yr.old that is one of the fanicest hunter types i have seen in awhile. he is priced at 30k. and have interest, he has only been under tack 11months. so yes, the hunter types will bring more money. i have two ottb's also. one is a novice packer ready to go training, never raced. and a 5 yr.old raced 5 times but makes a noise at the canter. he just did c.c for the first time with ralph hill in a c.c. lesson. ralph said he is one of the nicest most honest young horses he has seen in awhile. he is 15.3 and that has made it hard for me to sell him. if he was 16.0 or 16.1 he would have been gone forever ago. seems that everybody is looking for a big horse. not sure why? so i agree that ottb's or homebreds can both do the job, just depends on how much work you want to put in. of course something going is going to be more expensive, we had to put the work and training into that horse before said buyer buys it. or buy a youngster and see how much work and money really go into training one from the ground up.so i guess i agree with both sides.:)

Perfect Pony
Dec. 26, 2006, 09:12 PM
Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on it, bornfreenowexpensive. I'll admit I was thinking about the following statemetns from early on in this thread:

I don't see how they can be "a lot better bargain" given the price of a good prospect, not if it's priced as you and I have stated.

I am learning first hand how much more of a bargain buying a nice, young, well bred WB is over an OTTB. I lost my shirt on my last couple horses, in between temperment issues and soundness issues, and dealing with all the re-training and baggage and heartache. So I spent 6 months searching high and low for something purpose bred and it's been such a different experience! I got lucky in the sense that I bought my new mare for not much more than OTTB prices, just barely broke but a well bred Hanoverian who happened to not grow enough for her breeder to keep her. She has her baby moments but it's so wonderful not having to teach her basic things like engagement, suppleness or rythym. I am finally after several years enjoying going to the barn and riding everyday. For me it's been much cheaper to spend a little money up front this time and buy something that as been bred to do what I want to do.

gillenwaterfarm
Dec. 27, 2006, 09:08 AM
I'm a minority in that I PREFER to breed and raise my own. I have a small farm where I can and have done, and I consider myself lucky to be able to do so.

The biggest problem I see for breeders is that there is not market for a foal, especially a well bred one. The average buyer whats something 4 and older, AND broke and going. Most breeders can't raise them for four years and get them trained for less then $8000, and thats if you are raising them like cattle.

So then the question becomes "What are eventers willing to pay for that broke and going 4 year old?" Because the average eventer/buyer right now wants it for less then $10K, which gives the breeder of that foal NO profit to show for the hard work, sweat, and tears that went into it.

Just my two cents,

Hilary
Dec. 27, 2006, 09:50 AM
Here's a question for the breeders who have posted - what do weanlings and yearlings tend to sell for - by selling early you save yourself the time/feeding and initial training fees that would make the horse substantially more valuable but people don't want to take the risk (and time) of a really young baby.

I'd be more inclined to buy a weanling than a 2 year old since i have the space and the time (and hopefully, now the know-how) to bring along another young horse. I would be less inclined to get a 2 or 3 year old because if they've been running around in a herd without much handling that's not a project I want to deal with.

Janet
Dec. 27, 2006, 10:14 AM
...at the Area II Meeting with Phyllis Dawson, Kim Meier, and Courtney ...All of them agreed that the homebred young horse on the whole was a lot better bargain in terms of risk and investment, and in terms of trainability, than an OTTB.
That isn't quite right. I was at the meeting, and I am the one that ASKED THAT QUESTION.

The question _I_ asked was whether it was a better gamble to buy an OTTB or to BUY (not breed) a wellbred but unbroken weanling or yearling.

They agreed that it was a better gamble to BUY a wellbred youngster than to buy an OTTB.

That is a SIGNIFICANT difference.

tractor queen
Dec. 27, 2006, 10:36 AM
[QUOTE=gillenwaterfarm;2094589]"The biggest problem I see for breeders is that there is not market for a foal, especially a well bred one. The average buyer whats something 4 and older, AND broke and going. Most breeders can't raise them for four years and get them trained for less then $8000, and thats if you are raising them like cattle. "[QUOTE]

This is exactly the point I was trying to make...it is expensive to train a horse to even the novice level. There are plenty of people willing to pay the increased cost for a horse with the proper training & experience, but far fewer willing to pay even 8K for a green broke horse that hasn't been off the farm.

Breeders who are not interested in training shouldn't wonder why the prices they get barely cover their costs. Most people know the expensive part is yet to come (training / competing).

OTTB's are bargains since you can hop on their backs right away and (with luck) get them going prelim in 2 years. A successful horse at prelim has roughly the same profit margin - whether it came from the track or was imported from England, or was breed specifically for eventing.

Anyone who wants eventing to be more like Hunterland & Dressageworld should be careful what they wish for!

Janet
Dec. 27, 2006, 10:38 AM
I am an eventer that buys young unbroken horses from the breeder. But, except for the one I bought 19 years ago, I doubt I covered the breeder's costs (and I doubt I covered the breeder's costs on the one I bought as a green broke 5 yo either).

SimpleSimon
Dec. 27, 2006, 11:10 AM
I might buy a youngster bred specifically for the sport - if - it fell into my lap and it was cheap. I'm not one to spend a lot of money on purchasing horses - purchase price is no guarantee of success or soundness. Fortunately, I’m one of those types who likes to bring along green horses and I do it for myself not for resale.

Over the last 25 years, I have had 6 OTTBs. 5 of them have gone on to compete – the 6th is still too young to compete yet. Of the 5, 2 have gone on to the Intermediate level. The grand total cash outlay for all 6 has been $4,200 (that is total – not per). My current competition horse cost $500 and despite the fact that most events don’t offer cash prizes he has managed to win back more than his purchase price.

So with that in mind, you’re far more likely to find me on the back side of a track looking for my next horse. All horses are a gamble and I just prefer the penny slots to the high roller tables.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 27, 2006, 02:15 PM
I lost my shirt on my last couple horses, in between temperment issues and soundness issues, and dealing with all the re-training and baggage and heartache.

But that's just your experience. Your system may have been a bit flawed, while those that produced Nova Top (I think), Tsunami, Poggio, The Foreman and the like have better systems and so perhaps less risk (in the sense that they test and reject more quickly, perhaps, that you did--and so don't lose quite so much...all "perhaps," BTW).

In other words, just because some "lose their shirts" on the OTTB, doesn't mean that others do--in fact, I dare say there are quite a number of pros out there in various sports making a decent living off of finding, developing and reselling the OTTB.

On the other hand, I can see the point made when Janet asked her question: for those WITHOUT the system to develop the OTTB, buying a baby MAY be less risky since at least you can do something with it, even if it doesn't make it up the levels (because it's still a well-bred and probably sound, typey, nice moving beastie, unlike the way some OTTBs may end up).

But we've moved away in this discussion from the most essential determinant: the facilities, time and funds to raise a baby-baby. Someone asked "what do you sell your weanlings for," BTW. I'm no expert on weanlings because I don't even try to sell mine, but hanging out on the sport horse breeder's forum has pretty much hammered into my head that NO ONE except those with enormous financial backing and the contacts that come with it sell weanlings hardly at all. There's always some thread or another bemoaning that fact. Americans don't buy weanlings. Americans don't want to wait. Americans rarely have the land to raise them.

I dunno, folks. I just don't see much point in belaboring a point that only applies to and/or is relevant for a few people.

Janet
Dec. 27, 2006, 02:21 PM
But that's just your experience. Your system may have been a bit flawed, while those that produced Nova Top (I think), Tsunami, Poggio, The Foreman and the like have better systems and so perhaps less risk (in the sense that they test and reject more quickly, perhaps, that you did--and so don't lose quite so much...all "perhaps," BTW).
Or maybe just bigger numbers. In the panel mentioned at the beginning of the thread, Phyllis said she has probably bought 200 OTTBs. Of those only a handful have made it to the upper levels, about half have made low-mid level eventers, and the rest have gone to other careers, from hunters (field or show) to dressage horses to trail horses.

The numbers work out OK when you CAN turn over 100 looking for THE one. They work out very differently when you have to choose ONE- or even just one at a time.

elizabeth Callahan
Dec. 27, 2006, 05:50 PM
Pwyn,
I actually do sell and advertise my weanlings/yearlings. I only have 1 for sale right now, and he has had 2 people out to look at him so far ( and I hope to buy!) I can usually sell them for between 6500 and 8500 as babies and then up to 10k as unbroken 2 year olds. They are handled daily, yada yada and I have had an advanced and Intermediate and several prelim horses ridden by ammies and pros alike. The only ones I haven't sold before breaking are ones I have kept for a little while b/c I wanted to see how they would develop( or they were chestnut mares....)

I find some of them sold as dressage prospects that are now eventing later on under different owners. I guess I would love to see eventers more willing to wait - to buy a nice prospect and wait, instead of instant riding. Dressage people do - hunters don't. Is it b/c we want instant gratification or is it b/c people don't have the place/time or knowledge to break or raise them - I don't know.
Interesting to hear the reasons brought up though. I guess since i wait and ride my babies, it is hard for me to think about people who consider it such a long time. I guess breeding is more a long haul thought process, so a few years is small change when I think about the generational aspects of my breeding program

EventerAJ
Dec. 27, 2006, 08:01 PM
I can't add much-- most of it has already been said.

For the breeder's price to recover the cost of producing a quality young (unbroken) prospect, it is just easier to get castoff TBs from the racing industry. It costs money to feed and keep any horse; why would I want to buy a weanling, keep it for 3 years, and then figure out that it doesn't want to be an event horse? Maybe I could make money back selling as a hunter or dressage horse... maybe not. OTTBs are similar, but you don't have to wait 3 years. Get a 3y/o off the track, you have a better idea of what you're buying. You figure out in a year how successful he is as an eventer, and keep him or sell him. Sure, you have OTT issues-- soundness, etc-- but at least you have a developed animal to start with.

I'm not saying sport-bred horses aren't worth it-- last year I started a WONDERFUL 4 y.o. Hann/TB who is fancy, a fabulous mover, excellent jumper, has heart, talent, and personality plus. He did quite well in the YEH series this past summer, as well as regular HTs (ridden by trainer, not me, he's not mine). From the first day I first sat on him, he was easy. Dressage and jumping comes so naturally to him-- breeding DOES make a difference. Who knows how far he'll go in eventing, but everybody loves this horse... hunters, jumpers, dressage people. That's why breeders do what they do, for horses like that. It's very, very hard to find any OTTB as nice as this guy. However, his price (if he were ever for sale, even as a weanling) would be way, way beyond a my budget. (He's probably worth every penny... but meanwhile I can get a good TB under 10K and have it going intermediate in two years.)

Still... breeding is such a crapshoot; for every 1 exceptional horse, there are maybe 10 (+/- ?) average ones. That's how we end up with OTTBs in the first place-- race breeding "failures." And in that industry, there is PLENTY of money, plenty of resources to produce *the* best horses for their purpose. Yet how many are successful, and how many aren't? That's what makes me skeptical... living in the middle of TB breeding land, all the big farms and big bucks, and yet so few "make it." Breeding is so risky-- buying babies is so risky. How many seven-figure Keeneland yearlings actually live up to their price? Some of the best-bred, best-conformed individuals just lack athleticism or the desire to do their job. (We won't discuss the "breeding for breeding..." philosophy.) It doesn't matter that his daddy won the Triple Crown and his mommy sired two stakes winners... he might still be a dud but no one knows until he's a 3 y/o.

I prefer to let someone else raise them, it's just easier to see what you have when it's wearing a saddle. I like a nice-moving, sound, athletic young horse no matter what-- whether it's OTTB or sport horse. But it comes down to it that the TBs are usually more affordable, making their risk more appealing; you may have to do some thorough searching to find a nice one, but it will be cheaper than a comparable WB cross. Horses are horses... any of them can colic, run through a fence, or get hurt doing something stupid; breeding and price can't prevent that. ;)

secretariat
Dec. 27, 2006, 08:25 PM
For us, it's a matter of economics:
1. OTTB's -- unlimited resource, buy 10 of them as 3 year olds at $1500 per (we don't like to pay LESS, because those are the injured ones), turn out for 6 months. In next 6 months of riding, 2 wash out of the program and we wholesale them (usually mental issues, sometimes health but not usually), 6 are Novice/Training candidates, and 2 are upper level candidates. All 8 are doing Training within a year, and the UL candidates will do Prelim in 18 months (one this year ran his first prelim, successfully, in 3 months). So, in one year, I've got 2 at $600, 6 at $15000, and 2 at $25000 minimum. Roughly $150,000 on $15,000 investment plus $50,000 cost (average cost for us is at least $5,000 per horse per year). So, we've netted about $80,000 for our efforts, and/or we have 2 Advanced prospects plus $30,000 for expenses.
2. Warmblood/ 3 year olds. Pay $15,000 each for them, generally futz around at Beginner for a couple of years waiting for them to grow up. When we do show, we usually win because their dressage and "style" is superior to the TB's at the lower levels (our OTTB's move up so fast we rarely ribbon at the lower levels; Randy's first blue ribbon was at Intermediate). Finally run Novice in the third year, Training in the fourth. So after 4 years I've got $20,000 in expenses, $15,000 in capital, and a $20,000 horse that odds are is too slow and/or too behind the leg to do upper level stuff. The OTTB's generally catch the WB's at about the preliminary stage & pass them in both ribbons and scores. So, for each WB I start, I'm losing $15,000 every 4 years on the off chance that I find one that fits eventing. Less work with the WB's (fewer horses) but more time and lose money unless I hit the jackpot.
3. Warmblood/foals. Can probably get a superior animal for less money at this stage, say $8,000. Hope it's better -- if my eye is good enough. Hope he doesn't get hurt and washed out of the program (odds increase with each year of retention). But I just added 3 years to the development cycle, so now on a comparable basis I'm something like 6 years into the program, with $30,000 in operating cost and $8,000 capital versus a $20,000 horse. That math still isn't very good. And when you're losing money on each horse, you sure as hell can't make it up on volume.

That's the conundrum, and it may actually be simpler than that. I think most eventers just take the OTTB because we don't have much money, we don't have much time, and we can be having a hoot on a fast horse in 6 months or so, with the chance to win the lottery if our eye and our judgement is good enough at the track. If not, we haven't lost much and can go do it again. And the satisfaction of making your own, successful horse...........

Unfortunately or fortunately, in the real world, we do all of these things -- our philosophy is to buy when the right animals become available, not just when we're looking. We bought a 3 year old Holsteiner a few years ago on that basis, and he was/is spectacular (but turned out to be a better hunter than eventer). We bred an Anglo-Trakehner, so I've got 3 years invested in a 2-year old Windfall baby with another year to go before we back him -- and then another year before he events. And we just bought a Wap Spotted grandson, 5 months old, so loudly colored that we issue sunglasses to our boarders -- just because we've always wanted one.

So, we break our own rules, we pays our money, and we takes our chances!!!

ThirdCharm
Dec. 27, 2006, 08:36 PM
If you can get a nice TB for under $10K and have it going intermediate in 2 years, let me write you a check!

Or do you mean "I can find a nice TB for under $10K, and if it is the one out of twenty that I buy and work with that has the ability, it can be going Intermediate in two years"? I think we are back to looking at the numbers. If one out of twenty has the ability to go intermediate (which considering they are not even bred for that purpose, is pretty good), and you can keep, say, five horses in work at a given time, and you give each horse six months to go through basic training, that puts you at four years to get a horse to Intermediate, meanwhile paying board for at least two of those years on five horses at a time... or at least feeding them if you have your own barn.... if paying board that is about $18K/year, if just feeding them that is around $8K a year.... not to mention lessons and training expenses.....

then I look at the many succesful offspring of particular horses (say, a Fine Romance for instance, or Fleetwater Opposition, or Stream Lion, etc.!) and I think "Hmm, maybe I'd rather stack the deck, pay $10K for a nice yearling, pay $1500/year to feed it until its four, or $3600/year to board it, and in five years instead of four maybe I'll have an Intermediate horse. And if not its a fancy youngster and I can sell it as a Hunter/Jumper/Dressage horse and maybe come close to breaking even."

Of course a promising youngster can have an accident or many other things, as can an OTTB, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. I think it is a very individual thing, but I think that eventing is starting to move toward purpose-bred horses an increasing amount. but there will always be a place for the OTTB for those who would rather put in the legwork and save money (or at least spread out the expense over years and multiple horses instead of putting all the eggs in one basket, as it were).

Jennifer

Perfect Pony
Dec. 27, 2006, 08:36 PM
Or maybe just bigger numbers. In the panel mentioned at the beginning of the thread, Phyllis said she has probably bought 200 OTTBs. Of those only a handful have made it to the upper levels, about half have made low-mid level eventers, and the rest have gone to other careers, from hunters (field or show) to dressage horses to trail horses.

The numbers work out OK when you CAN turn over 100 looking for THE one. They work out very differently when you have to choose ONE- or even just one at a time.

That's absolutely right. A local woman (the one I got my 3 OTTBs from) has brought several horses up through Advanced and 3* level, but to get those half dozen? She's gone through literally hundreds, as many as 10 come through her barn a MONTH from the tracks. She makes pretty good money flipping them quick. Funny enough the one she is currently competing and keeping for herself is a Han/TB gelding she happened upon cheap.

We see in CA more and more people importing nice purpose bred event horses from Europe, and I think, at least here on the West Coast, we are going to see more and more people raising event horses from youngsters.

EventerAJ
Dec. 27, 2006, 09:22 PM
If you can get a nice TB for under $10K and have it going intermediate in 2 years, let me write you a check!

Jennifer

Of course it's all about luck. :winkgrin: No 20 horses for me... got one, and got a good one (with help of course, wouldn't trust my eye alone). I'm definitely aware that this is the exception to the rule (the one horse, cheap, working out successfully, and quickly). But it's true. I took on a TB as a resale project... turned out so good I sold her to myself! I got lucky. My intentions were to take a 6 y/o TB (not off the track, I might add... failed broodmare), start her at novice, sell her at training for $10+K within 6 months. I ended up keeping her, from 1st novice to prelim in 6 months, from 1st novice to Int in 18 months. Special horse, special case. But aren't we all looking for that special horse? I just happened to get lucky. Probably won't happen again, which is why I *didn't* sell her. ;)

You may have the odds in your favor looking for an event-bred horse, but the price may not be. That's all I'm saying. Sure, I'd love to put all my eggs in a better basket, but I just don't have the start-up funds. The way I see it, only a small percentage of horses make it past prelim, no matter what they are or where they came from. Stack the deck in your favor if you want, but that still does not guarantee success. If I ever come upon a supportive sponsor, I'll gladly take on sport-bred horses. But as long as I have to spend my own money, I'm forced to look within my means...and unfortunately those horses are out of reach.

Here's how I see it: in theory (!!!), it's easier to make money (in the EVENTING market) off a horse that cost you $5000 than one that you spent $15,000 on. Let's say in this area, N/T horses are $10-20+K (very, very loose range), T/P is 15-30K, P is 20K+, Int is 30K+. Say the $5K and $15K horse progress at about the same rate... you can make a much quicker profit off the $5K horse. Get him solidly to novice, ready to go training, and he's ready to sell. The $15K prospect has to be going training+ before you recoup his purchase price (nevermind the expenses). Now of course the $15K horse is *probably* much nicer, fancy, and may sell easier... or he may not. There are still enough buyers out there that want a safe, steady horse (and the lower price tag); not necessarily the uberfancy or the UL prospect (and the higher price tag). All depends on your market... a lot depends on luck. ;)

secretariat
Dec. 27, 2006, 10:13 PM
Well said, excellent points. And there are 4 buyers for $15,000 horses for every one buying a $25,000 horse.

frugalannie
Dec. 28, 2006, 05:33 PM
Just happened on this terrific discussion. I breed for fun (and I hope to break even when I sell one), and I have a couple of OTTBs I'm playing with. I find it easier to sell my homebreds if they aren't perfect for me as I can get a better price. If the OTTbs don't suit me, it's because they are too difficult, and that limits those who would be interested in them.

BUT... I'm not really breeding for the upper level market, although I'd be thrilled of one of my darlings made it to that point. I'm breeding for people like me: probably a little more (ahem) mature, looking to have fun, safe rides that are competitive at the lower levels. I think there is a strong market for those horses, and that the people in that position are willing and able to pay a bit more for the horse that will be their partner for many years, if not forever.

Heck, I don't have the skill or guts to go around even Prelim anymore (ah, sweet bird of youth!), not to mention higher. But I do have the skill and patience to make a sweet-tempered, cooperative horse that likes its job, does it well, and nickers when its owner comes to the barn. And while buyers for those horses may not come in droves, they do come at a steady enough pace that my young'uns find wonderful homes.

Loved the economic analyses being done, but won't be showing them to Mr. Frugal anytime soon!

mbj
Dec. 28, 2006, 07:43 PM
To the Ocala Fla breeder-- I hope there is a market for tb sporthorses. I would expect them to be wonderful. Personally I would prefer them for eventing. And you have some real deals in great bloodlines in Fla. We would love to get another Skip Trial, for example. But as others have said, it is hard to make $$ breeding for sport.

OTTBs are just hard to beat as they are very high quality breeding efforts sold at a great loss. You get a very classy horse at way below his actual production cost. We personally have found there are more great-minded,clean-legged,athletic and pretty ready to go ones than we could ever buy.We don't try to get a $500 deal, tho I know there are really good horses at that price as well. We pay the $2500 asking price without trying to bargain, as it seems more than fair for a really nice prospect. We are in Pa near several tracks, so that helps of course.

My mother successfully bred a few tb's as eventers, because that was the sport she liked. She also bought tb's off the track and we retrained and sold them for a better profit margin.

My daughter and I have , knock wood, yet to have a bad ottb. We have also bred one full tb (rising 3), have a Dutch/tb due in 2007, and bought a 7/8 tb yearling because we wanted A Fine Romance (TB) baby. We don't expect to make $ on babies-- they are hopefully to keep, unless they really really want to do dressage, hunters or jumpers instead of eventin, or those OTTB's are just too nice and we have to sell something because there are too many horses. BUT...having some warmblood in the babies is an insurance policy making resale easier if they don't want to be eventers. And the full tb is by a race sire whose babies win online as hunters at Devon. Nevertheless, I personally like a full, or at least mostly full, tb as an upper-level event prospect, and hope for the day when thoroughbred lines that make good eventers are as well respected as warmbloods.

maxxtrot
Dec. 28, 2006, 07:53 PM
mbj- hi, i am one of the ocala all tb breeders. i have a skip trial grand daughter. my weanling is by skip to the stone out of my tb unraced mare daring lady. she is fancy,fancy, fancy. but i really do not get along with mares. but this one is special. she just has been so easy to handle since day one. she is now 9 months old on dec.30th. she is beautiful. this will be my first skip trial line.she is going to be big to. looks like she might be able to do upper level dressage. i do hope whoever buys her does at least try to event her as i think she would be great at it. she is unfazed by water,puddles noise and other stuff. just an all around nice baby.:)

mbj
Dec. 28, 2006, 08:21 PM
Maxtrot,
One of our absolute favorite OTTB horses is by Skip Trial. He was too small for my daughter and he is now a loved young rider horse (I cried when we sold him tho I knew he was going to a great home) who has a permanent offer for a retirement home with us. Gorgeous little guy, super athletic and the best mind and personality in the world! Super clean legs (on the track til 6) too. Good luck with your girl. I'm envious!

retreadeventer
Dec. 28, 2006, 08:53 PM
Pwynn, the panelists I am referring to attended and spoke at the Area II annual meeting. This was a very affordable meeting, located at a very central location, in Leesburg, VA., at an excellent hotel, had superb food and very nice meeting rooms. The topics were all well presented, and included experts like Wendy Murdoch; one of the topics was stem cell therapy and another, shockwave therapy; there were rules and other topics in addition to a very entertaining awards ceremony complete with a superb slide show of the Young Riders AND even a surprise marriage proposal!!!. I highly recommend to anyone in eventing they attend their area meetings that way they can hear the speakers firsthand. To say that people who sell hundreds of horses to eventers all over the world don't know what amateurs need is ridiculous. Phyllis Dawson, Courtney Cooper and Kim Meier have all made horses to advanced level, sell TONS of amateur and young rider horses and all three have bred young horses as well. And all of them have trained and ridden probably between them maybe 300-400 horses off the track? (Just GUESSING JANET..) So I think they definitely have a very good idea of what people can spend, what ams/jrs want to ride, and what they SHOULD be buying to ride. They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget. In addition to that they all felt that Americans need to start riding mares, start looking at horses under 16 hands, and buy good jumpers over good movers, especially amateurs.
Look at the kids in our area that event on all kinds of horses. There's too much doom and gloom here. Eventing is still a sport where you can make your own horse and get somewhere, and kids can ride backyard ponies and do well, and rescues end up champions! It's nothing like dressage or hunters...lest we scare away any converts!

KellyS
Dec. 29, 2006, 07:28 AM
They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget.

Well of course they did--that's how they make their living! Perhaps I'm being cynical, but professionals have to make a living--they want to encourage people to buy horses that have to come to them for "training."

Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.

I know there are plenty of clients that buy the horses and let the professionals do the riding, but for everyone one of those, there are 10 people who do this on their own and don't have the big bucks that the professionals seem to think you need to do this sport. Reminds me too much of h/j or dressage--the pros telling you what you have to spend to get a "good" horse and "good" training.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 29, 2006, 07:54 AM
It sounds like it was a very useful discussion, retread, and hearing only part of it doesn't help in reacting to a point someone made. However, I'll repeat that, IF (and maybe? it's a big "if"--I dunno about that either) online bulletin boards are in any way representative of reality, then even if a few breeders (like one who posted here) sell babies and a few buyers buy them, the vast majority do not. Look, I'm a breeder but I absolutely, positively cannot deny reality--no, not just as I see it, but as I research it. One thing I don't do is rely on a few folks experiences to make a decision--sorry, but that's no matter who they are. Maybe it's because I'm an academic at heart. A ton of people can convince themselves of something that simply isn't true.

I think there have been a ton of convincing arguments on this great thread about why for most people, buying a baby, while IDEAL, is simply not ever going to be reality.

Oh, and whoa a minute about what the panelists were saying: how many folks are even buying to find that Advanced horse anyway? IF the discussion was how to find that Advanced horse, then, sure, buying the breeding if you can afford to makes sense. But if the discussion was "how to find your next event horse," it really doesn't make sense for MOST people, does it? Again, getting it out of context doesn't help one be fair about what was said. I haven't really heard yet, but would like to, about the "vs. hunter-jumper-dressage" angle here because, as I implied earlier, knowledge of those markets should include indicating that a great baby is an expensive baby (Did they mention the cost? Y'know, the more I think about it, the more I'd LOVE to hear more details!!! )--and there's just no evidence that eventers are willing to compete with h-j-d'ers in buying babies to get to the top of their sport (no, not "no eventers," but yes, not "many eventers"). Indeed, I dare say I've gotten the sense that most eventers take GREAT PRIDE in NOT PAYING the prices h-j-d pays, not even for made horses.


So I think they definitely have a very good idea of what people can spend, what ams/jrs want to ride, and what they SHOULD be buying to ride.

Uhm, no disrespect intended, but unless they base their business on selling four-figure horses, which looking at the horses they advertise they do not (and why would they? They, too, can't make enough off the cheaper horse--it takes as much time and $$$ to develop a cheap horse as an expensive one, after all), I don't think this statement can be supported. It isn't their business (as the previous poster stated) to work out how to sell a horse cheaply; it isn't their business to show that "you don't need this to do that" (and pelase note: "don't need" is the operable phrase there). Ergo, no, I don't think they DO account for the competition (from other sports) for a good young horse and how that influences it's price, availability and/or suitability for eventing.

Y'see, the thing is, about those "other" sports? They are specialized sports. It's a heck of a lot easier to recognize the specialized talent than the generalized talent--and that's also the difference between the UL event horse prospect (if we're back to considering it again) and the UL dressage, jumper or hunter prospect. That, too, MUST MUST factor into the cost and risk of buying one (and the advisability thereof). Meanwhile, amateur horses? Whoa a minute, there, too: Who needs to buy a baby to get a nice amateur horse? Someone correct me, but do you really need to spend $8500-$10,000 on a baby that, two to five years down the line, is going to take you safely around prelim? Or only training level? Who needs to do that, realisticall speaking again? Who?

Indeed, more guidance for the amateur on how to pick that off-breed horse, horse from a different sport, or OTTB--given the numbers who have no choice but to go that route AND for whom that route simply makes more SENSE--would be a better use of some folks' expertise...IMO.

[BTW, SUPER KUDOS to the person who talked about how racing TBs have the very best information available on how to produce a great horse--and one with a relatively simple job compared to eventing: just run fast--and how rarely they succeed. This, too, is one of those "people can convince themselves of anything even if it isn't true" examples, I think. It is no more true for eventers than for racers that great breeding will produce a great horse--or even a suitable one. A far better predictor of producing a suitable eventing prospect is how much money the owner is willing to invest in it--by both buying it AND developing it. Put the nicely bred baby under a pro, and you up your chances considerably. Develop it yourself, and are your odds any better with that baby than with an OTTB, from-another-sport or off-breed horse? Did the panelist consider these issues/options?]

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 08:12 AM
I think you are conusing two separate issues
A - Buying an OTTB vs. buying a well bred yearling
B- Riding/training yourself vs sending it off to a trainer.

My question was definitely A, not B. I may even have said "assuming you can do the training yourself"- but I may have just thought it and not said it.


Well of course they did--that's how they make their living! Perhaps I'm being cynical, but professionals have to make a living--they want to encourage people to buy horses that have to come to them for "training." That seems a complete non-sequitor to me. Why would you "have to" send a yearling to a trainer? And why would you "NOT have to" send an OTTB to a trainer? It seems to me that an OTTB is going to be MORE likely to "need" professional training.

They DID talk about the fact that is was going to cost $5000/ year (seems a bit high to me) to keep the yearling until it grows up (WITHOUT any training). But they still felt it was a "better gamble."



Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.

Clearly the "cost of entry" is different, but that is different from "what are the odds?".

(And look at situations like PePo who had seveal OTTBs "flunk out" . Sure, it spreads out the expense, but it doesn't necessarily reduce the "cost of entry" significantly.)


But we were clearly talking about "a horse for the buyer to ride", not "a horse for the trainier to ride"


I know there are plenty of clients that buy the horses and let the professionals do the riding, but for everyone one of those, there are 10 people who do this on their own and don't have the big bucks that the professionals seem to think you need to do this sport. Reminds me too much of h/j or dressage--the pros telling you what you have to spend to get a "good" horse and "good" training.

Not sure how you got THAT out of the discussion.

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 08:15 AM
They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget. I certainly don'r remember "putting it in training with a profesional" as part of the recommendation. I DO remember "waiting for it to grow up, which will coat $5000 per year- and more if you put it in training". But I certainly didn't interpret that as a RECOMMENDATION to put it in training.

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 08:18 AM
Oh, and whoa a minute about what the panelists were saying: how many folks are even buying to find that Advanced horse anyway? IF the discussion was how to find that Advanced horse, then, sure, buying the breeding if you can afford to makes sense. But if the discussion was "how to find your next event horse," it really doesn't make sense for MOST people, does it? The discussion was CLEARLY focused on helping the Novice/Training rider find a horse to ride/competer themselves. In fact, quite a lot if the discusiion involved recommending an experienced horse over a green one.

But then someone ASKED about OTTBs.

ThirdCharm
Dec. 29, 2006, 09:29 AM
The argument claiming that breeders specializing in breeding racing TBs, ergo having only one goal, "speed", are failing to meet their goal (due to the high numbers of 'racetrack rejects' we are all painfully aware of), ergo breeding for even ONE quality is a tremendous gamble, is fallacious.

You have to keep in mind that each year the racing industry produces what, 40,000 or so foals (not sure of the exact figure, but A LOT). If we simply looked at an individual TB, compared to a fast horse of any other breed, you would probably find that the darn thing is pretty bloody fast, comparatively speaking. TB breeders ARE producing that skill, in abundance. Unfortunately, they are up against 40,000 other TBs of the same year model competing for the owners who can afford the best care, the most capable trainers, the best races, and the available wins. There is only a few seconds difference between Affirmed and the $2500 claimers. Does that mean the $2500 claimers aren't fast? No, they're just not the FASTEST. But by definition only a certain number can be the FASTEST, just like each graduating class only has one valedictorian. But in that industry whatever is not the fastest at a given time is disposable.

Jennifer

RunForIt
Dec. 29, 2006, 09:58 AM
Would it be possible to HOPE that the discussion at the Area II meeting by Phyliss and the rest was videoed? The dialogue by panelists and attendees would be so interesting and educational! :cool:

Perfect Pony
Dec. 29, 2006, 10:54 AM
Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.

Clearly the "cost of entry" is different, but that is different from "what are the odds?".

(And look at situations like PePo who had seveal OTTBs "flunk out" . Sure, it spreads out the expense, but it doesn't necessarily reduce the "cost of entry" significantly.)


And to further elaborate on my experience - 2 out of 3 OTTBs I bought I ended up spending bucks sending to trainers because I really needed a break from them (and neither trainer was able to get any more out of them btw, so they were sold on to someone at a considerable loss to me to people who were willing to deal with the issues to "save money".

On the other hand, I could easily deal with my new mare 100% myself, I adore riding her and have no anxiety or fear that she'll melt down or blow up. And she just gets "it". I can actually work on things like my position and NOT worry about the basic things. I DO plan to work with a trainer (I am on her wait list) but that's only because she is such a lovely mare spending that $1000 a month feels like a good investment rather than a desperate attempt to salvage all the time and money I already put into the horse.

I KNOW there are some awesome OTTBs out there that people have done wonderful things with. My horse Vegas, had he not had a slab fracture in his knee, would have been one of those super stars I have no doubt. He was special, and I still get teary eyed thinking about him. But the gamble, for me, both financially and emotionally was too much. I don't think this is an either/or argument that can be won. But I do think the answer to the OP question is a resounding YES, I do think more and more eventers (or wanna be eventers) will buy youngsters.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:08 AM
Although I'm a breeder, Perfect Pony, I do have to hope your prediction won't come true (in great numbers, that is--otherwise, to each his own, of course!) because if it did, it would price the average rider right out of the sport.

Nevertheless, it's a great discussion. Flightcheck, that is a good point, too, about racebreds, but I'm not sure it addresses the 4 million dollar Fasig Tipton sale-topper failure(s) and its like. And, Janet, thanks for that clarification about the nature of the panel's comments. Did they mention off-breed horses (i.e. horses not bred for eventing specifically, but good horses nontheless: Connemaras, Morgans, Quarterhorses, assorted crossbreds--all of which are cheaper, even to buy young) and/or horses from other disciplines (an angle near and dear to my heart having heard more than a few times that this or that is "too much pony" or "too much horse" for the hunter rider or division it was under/in! :D )?

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:10 AM
Would it be possible to HOPE that the discussion at the Area II meeting by Phyliss and the rest was videoed? The dialogue by panelists and attendees would be so interesting and educational! :cool: Not that I know of.

juliab
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:19 AM
To most eventers a very average warmblood is so much more comfortable, has more movement, have a lot better jump and more laid back than most OTTB's, so they will buy those, rather than the high quality warmbloods - just because they cost less.

www.prairiepinesfarm.com

Not everyone wants a WB you know - some people actually prefer a good TB.

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:20 AM
Did they mention off-breed horses (i.e. horses not bred for eventing specifically, but good horses nontheless: Connemaras, Morgans, Quarterhorses, assorted crossbreds--all of which are cheaper, even to buy young) and/or horses from other disciplines (an angle near and dear to my heart having heard more than a few times that this or that is "too much pony" or "too much horse" for the hunter rider or division it was under/in! :D )?
Yes, but more in the context of buying a mature horse (at least "green broke") than buying a yearling.

Perfect Pony
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:24 AM
Not everyone wants a WB you know - some people actually prefer a good TB.

And that is a good point. I considered any sport bred horses when I was searching. I looked at QHs, Paints, TBs, Appys, you name it I saw it! I found any nice young horse that could make a decent dressage horse, eventer or jumper, no matter the breed, was priced close to the same (with the exception of BIG WBs, which is why my mare is 15.1 and was in my budget ;)

But a really nice sport bred TB isn't that much cheaper than a WB IMO.

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:27 AM
Since we are talking about the panel, Courtney brought up a new (new to me and to the rest of the panelists, though she got it from an old horseman) "string test" to use on TBs you are looking at at the track.

Use the string to measure

A- from the poll to the withers (this is the least consistent measurement, and changing position will change the length).

B- from the withers to the point of the hip

C- from the point of the hip to the point of the hock.

C (hip to hock) should be longest

B (withers to hip) should be shortest

A (poll to withers) should be in between.

juliab
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:55 AM
Here's a question for the breeders who have posted - what do weanlings and yearlings tend to sell for - by selling early you save yourself the time/feeding and initial training fees that would make the horse substantially more valuable but people don't want to take the risk (and time) of a really young baby.

I'd be more inclined to buy a weanling than a 2 year old since i have the space and the time (and hopefully, now the know-how) to bring along another young horse. I would be less inclined to get a 2 or 3 year old because if they've been running around in a herd without much handling that's not a project I want to deal with.

I have 2 young TB cross geldings that I bred for the eventer market. I am not looking to make much of a profit if any and a good home is much more important to me. They are rising 2 year olds and have been well handled from birth. They lead, load and stand for the vet and farrier. I would love to get them homes with eventers or someone who would bring them along properly. Young event prospects are out there and for reasonable prices.

Wench
Dec. 29, 2006, 01:12 PM
I think it really depends on what you want as well as what you have. I recently bought a 2 year old mare whose mother went Intermediate and whose father was a stallion owned by BNRs. I know her mother and she was in my price range and I really wanted something of my own, so my trainer and I went and looked at her, liked her, had her vetted and brought her home. I've done a little work with her, but I'm planning on waiting until the spring when she turns 3 to get serious.

So in this situation I got a nice two year old, bred for the sport, and I will only have had to wait about 8 months to ride her, in the meantime I can do groundwork but mostly she hangs out.

That being said, if I didn't have something else to ride, I most likely would not have bought such a young horse. I bought my first 2 yo after I had only been riding 2 years and it was a long hard road. She had 3 months of under saddle training when I got her. She turned out to be a very nice horse that was unstoppable in the stadium ring, I sometimes wondered if she just should have been a show jumper, and I think she would have been a really nice prelim horse (unfortunately she got killed in a freak accident). For a green rider it was a lot of work and frusteration and in the 7 years I had her she was she just a novice level event horse (but could easily have done 3'6 jumpers, probably more). It was that horse that spurred me to get another 2 year old, this time doing all the work from the ground up. This time around I have a whole lot more experience and feel up to the task. But I also bought the new one knowing I had other horses to ride. I am lucky enough to half lease a seriously nice mare that I am learning boatloads on and I also get the chance to ride other horses at the farm I'm at. My trainer is amazing with young horses and I trust her and the help she gives me inplicetly. If my situation were different and I didn't end up where I am now, I would have been much more likely to buy something off the track so I had something to ride immediately.

I don't think buying something very young and unbroken is the best route for most eventers, because most ammys only have one horse to ride, and having a youngsters can be a very slow and frusterating road. But for riders looking for a second horse or who have other horses to ride and compete, I think buying something young and bred for the sport is a promising and fullfilling road, not to mention how much you learn from riding a greenie!

pwynnnorman
Dec. 29, 2006, 01:22 PM
I like that. It would exclude a lot of draft horses and the draft crosses that get bits and pieces of their parents instead of a compromise, wouldn't it? BUT was she talking about a horse that could go all the way, or just any? And these weren't traits associated with soundness, were they? Just good movement and likelihood of a decent jump and gallop?




C (hip to hock) should be longest

B (withers to hip) should be shortest

A (poll to withers) should be in between.

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 01:27 PM
Just general proportions for riding horses of all disciplines.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 29, 2006, 01:38 PM
It is an interesting disscussion. I have done both OTTB and sport bred. For me, the economics and my goals work out better with the sport bred horses. For the OTTBs, I only made money if I could flip them in a year....and if you can do that, no doubt the profit is much higher. The homebreds took longer (but not much longer) and were easier to sell/ sold for more when I did sell them. So in the end, the numbers crunched better for me with the sport horses since I really didn't have the heart to send the difficult (or lame) OTTBs down the road to an uncertain destiny ...which from a business perspective is what you have to be willing to do if you are going through 10 OTTBs to find 2 or 3 really nice ones....where I have yet to have a sport bred horse that isn't easily going training/prelim with an ammy....or very marketable outside eventing.

All that said, I have three horses now and no desire to sell any of them (or buy any more for a while!)

KellyS
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:15 PM
That seems a complete non-sequitor to me. Why would you "have to" send a yearling to a trainer? And why would you "NOT have to" send an OTTB to a trainer? It seems to me that an OTTB is going to be MORE likely to "need" professional training.

Janet--I never said you would not have to send an OTTB to a trainer; in fact I didn't specify that you had to send a yearling to a trainer. It was just interesting that the advice given (on how to best use your horse buying budget) revolved around getting a horse and SENDING it to a trainer to train.

Buying/selling/training is how these trainers/ULRs make their money and many trainers want you to buy a horse that they can make a commission off of and then charge you to train it. Of any horses out there, OTTBs are the least profitable in the buying/selling market for trainers--no commissions involved. Are all trainers out there like this--of course not, but this is a business for them and they are motivated by producing income

There's also a big difference between what they buy for themselves to turn around and what they might want their clients to buy. How many trainers are going to recommend that someone buy a $2000 OTTB when they can tell them they need to buy a fancy 5-digit youngster that they will train for them.


(And look at situations like PePo who had seveal OTTBs "flunk out" . Sure, it spreads out the expense, but it doesn't necessarily reduce the "cost of entry" significantly.)

And how many more successful OTTB stories have we all heard--LOTS! I just look at my guy--he's an OTTB and the neatest horse I've ever sat on. I wouldn't trade him for all the "fancy" horses I've ridden. Just because someone has difficulty with a certain type of horse, doesn't mean that all of them are going to be problems. I just don't think you can put one situation out there (PePo's) and say that's why OTTB don't work. Lots of homebred/warmbloods/etc flunk out as well. It's a difficult sport that takes a special horse. I think it is interesting that there is a concurrent thread about difficult 4-year-olds--there are examples there of young horses (not off the track) that have training difficulties and don't seem to be making progress. There are going to be training issues--whether you have a baby or an OTTB.




But we were clearly talking about "a horse for the buyer to ride", not "a horse for the trainier to ride" Not sure how you got THAT out of the discussion.

When the direct quote has the experts/trainers saying that the buyer should buy a young horse and send it to the trainer to ride, then YES, we are talking about a horse for the trainer to ride. And there's no need to question how I "got THAT out of the discussion"--just because we have different views on the matter, doesn't mean that my reading comprehension needs to be brought in to question. ;)

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:33 PM
OK, lets get the context.

The panel was about buying a horse for the amatuer to ride.

MOST of the discussion was about ways to get more for your money- a mare, a horse under 16h, a horse in a different discipline, an older horse.

Someone asked about OTTBs, then I asked about OTTB vs young stock.

The answer was restricted to "wellbred youngstock is a better gamble than a fresh OTTB". (And I do NOT remember "sending it to the trainer" as part of the answer, but my memory is not perfect)

NO ONE said that buying youngstock was "the best way to spend your money". Only that "youngstock" was a better gamble than "going to the track for an OTTB." Both are MUCH bigger gambles than buying a "going" horse.

Buying an already going horse (which includes an OTTB that has been off the track for several months and is now doing "riding horse" things) was clearly presented as "the best way to spend your money."

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:36 PM
When the direct quote has the experts/trainers saying that the buyer should buy a young horse and send it to the trainer to ride, then YES, we are talking about a horse for the trainer to ride. And there's no need to question how I "got THAT out of the discussion"--just because we have different views on the matter, doesn't mean that my reading comprehension needs to be brought in to question. ;)I read (and responded) to your post before carefully reading the post that had the experts/trainers saying that "the buyer should buy a young horse and send it to the trainer to ride".

IMNSHO, THAT poster was misquoting the panelists. That is NOT what they said.

KellyS
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:37 PM
Just opened this thread and it made me think of the discussion here:

http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=77680

KellyS
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:40 PM
I read (and responded) to your post before carefully reading the post that had the experts/trainers saying that "the buyer should buy a young horse and send it to the trainer to ride"

Thanks for explaining the misunderstanding. :)

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
Originally Posted by retreadeventer http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=2098622#post2098622)
They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget.

I have to disagree. That was NOT what I heard them say.

What I heard was that buying a young horse (bred to be an eventer) was A BETTER GAMBLE than going to the track to look for an OTTB- even if you factored in the cost of keeping the horse for a couple of years before you could ride it.

THEN they said that it costs $5000 a year to keep a horse, more if you include training costs.

Buty NO WHERE did _I_ hear a recomendation to "buy a young horse and send it to a trainer".

NOR did I hear that buying a young horse was "the best" (or even a "good") use of your money.

Simply that it had better odds that buying an OTTB straight off the track.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 29, 2006, 03:08 PM
Simply that it had better odds than buying an OTTB straight off the track.


This I have truly seen to be true. It doesn't mean that there are not nice OTTBs...of course there are. There are lots of them... or that every sport bred horse will be a nice wonderful horse. But in general, something that is bred for sport and doesn't have the baggage from the track is easier to bring along and often less of a gamble then taking something straight from the track....but of course there are wonderful horses that come from the track.

And I have to agree....most ammys do best buying something that is going...whether it is an OTTB or not. Riding young stock or fresh OTTBs is a skill....and takes a certain type of trainer to do well at it.

dressageUK
Dec. 29, 2006, 03:31 PM
well, I have a rising 4 year old that I purchased as a foal for dressage. He has a 10 walk, a fabulous canter & has just found the strength & balance for a "big" trot :D
The bonus - this horse is the best jumper I have ever has the pleasure of loose jumping.
If I was looking for a 4* eventer, buying this horse would be a no-brainer. He has the paces to be in contention after dressage, the jump & speed for XC & the athleticism for SJ. Did I mention he is calm & trainable??

I would take him, with his proven pedigree for the sport & blank state for training over an OTTB any time. There is also less mileage on these legs!

I think there will be a big swing towards WB lines, with a high percentage of TB blood to create the next generation of top eventers.

However, the OTTB will still offer a diamond in the rough situation for those not willing or able to pay a realistic sum for a sport horse youngster.

ThreeDays
Dec. 29, 2006, 05:07 PM
Great topic!

I hope to follow this closely. I believe that there will be an ever slowly growing market for more 'young prospects' and 'prospects bred for this sport'.

As we all know - new concepts are not 'bought into' over night. So I think we will be realizing this change in the market over the years to come. Several heavy weight international event riders have now been focusing on their own breeding programs approaching 20+ years now.

Sometimes it takes a few consistent producers to lead the way and excite the market with something relatively new.

There's Bruce Davidson, Phylis Dawson, Denny Emerson, Mike Plumb etc (the list goes on) who have dedicated many years to breeding event horses.

I think the many riders who are capable of turning a green OTTB into a good event horse - will be the same market who will eventually be more interested in buying one well bred event prospect. These are the riders who are able (and have an interest) in bringing their own event horse along.

From a marketing stance I think those who hope to market their breeding program down this road - need to actually do so. I can't tell you how turned off I am when I read ads for young horses that state the horse is ideal for dressage, eventing, jumping and hunters. The jack of all trades is master of none.

Trainability, mental stability and soundness are traits required for a good event horse. Endurance is another. Then jumping ability followed by movement. You'd be hard pressed to sell me an 'event prospect' who screams dressage horse. I'd also be less than interested in something that has the natural endurance of a bulldog.

In short - I'm both optimistic and eager to see this market develop and succeed. I hope to be a part of it one day.

But I believe the farms that will lead the way are ones which have no doubt in their minds what their horses were bred to do.

Confidence is infectious. So are selective sales. ;)

pwynnnorman
Dec. 29, 2006, 07:44 PM
Simply that it had better odds..

Hey, Janet, would you clarify again, please? Better odds to do what? Get to the top or just get around an x-c course someday? (I mean, the former is obvious, I suppose, but I remain curious about the context.)

Janet
Dec. 29, 2006, 08:09 PM
Hey, Janet, would you clarify again, please? Better odds to do what? Get to the top or just get around an x-c course someday? (I mean, the former is obvious, I suppose, but I remain curious about the context.)
Well, it wasn't spelled out. But given the rest of the context I would interpret it as "better odds at turneng into a solid N-T-P competitor for a typical non-pro rider."

Perfect Pony
Dec. 29, 2006, 09:08 PM
I just don't think you can put one situation out there (PePo's) and say that's why OTTB don't work.

To be fair, every single one of my close friends has had the same or very similar experience as me in the last few years, a few that are on this board that are just not posting about it! ;)

tannaman
Dec. 29, 2006, 11:32 PM
after retiring a wb stallion from eventing, i decided i would buy a nice MARE to event and possibly breed in the future, geldings make bad plan B mounts. well the mare ended up to be an OTTB with a set bowed tendon so it was a gamble given the bow. the mare is schooling prelim and 3rd level dressage, so i think i found a good buy, but i'm always holding my breath about the bow. but i paid $9k for her from someone who developed her from a track retread. $9k-$12k is about what i see people buying horses who have done a season at novice.

now at the same time, i leased a TB mare from a hunter judge and have bred my next event stallion, i hope, from this mare by the wb stallion. but he's coming 2 this spring so i still have 2 years to wait before we'll be doing the YH events. he's already dinged his knee jumping out of his paddock. so yeah he can jump! but now i have the ding to worry about..so i could have spent 5 years total breeding my own event horse and end up with nothing.

recently, we became part owners in a coming 3yo mare by Salute the Truth. this is one nice TB, very uphill build, looks better than some of the fancy wbs in the barn. this mare was bred for eventing. this mare is worth $18k based on breeding and her current status.

but the 'want it now' crowd sees a $2k OTTB reject as a better option. you'lll find out real soon if it works out.

i also saw something that didn't sit right..at one of those auctions that happen every 1st & 3rd friday of the month, an obvious OTTB came through ridden by an obvious eventer. you could see a very slight limp in the warmup if you looked closely. this "event prospect" sold for $600. i'm afraid to suggest that this was an OTTB that didn't work out in the event barn and it got dumped through this auction.

KellyS
Dec. 30, 2006, 06:41 AM
To be fair, every single one of my close friends has had the same or very similar experience as me in the last few years, a few that are on this board that are just not posting about it! ;)

It's interesting how people's experiences vary--every single one of my friends who has an OTTB loves their horse and has had good experiences. The person I take lessons with (who rides at Advanced/has ridden at Rolex multiple times) just bought an OTTB because she loves these types of horses and has had great success with them.

I'm not saying that every OTTB is perfect or that it's the only type of horse I would look at, but I think it's a shame for people to paint them as problem horses. Perhaps they weren't the right horses for your friends or yourself, but they are the right horses for quite a few people, from BN to four star riders.

retreadeventer
Dec. 30, 2006, 08:15 AM
Here are my notes from the meeting. (Janet -- please! give the schoolmarm thing a rest :( )

Phyllis: You are better off to get a green horse, if on a budget.
Horses that are less experienced are less expensive; look for one with good basics and has been well started by a professional.
(There was a point made here about having only $15k to spend and wanting a horse for example that has done a CCI***, will be easy to ride, pack on XC, super mover, young, and will vet and how impossible that is to find with a budget. All agreed they hear this request often and it's not realistic.)
Courtney: Mileage is important in an ammy horse. If there's a choice between a good mover and (good jumper) buy the mileage, nobody really gets killed in the dressage ring. If it's a quality jumper vs. movement - get the jumper
Courtney: Many people are frightened away from using professionals -- there are very good ones -- don't be afraid to ask. There are pro's and con's - you will get an (educated) answer from a good professional. On the whole, go to a professional, don't be afraid to use an agent (to find a horse.)
Panel: Take a compromise if you don't have top dollar to spend.
Compromise on:
Kim: Riding mares is something America has to learn to do.
If we don't get performance records on them, and breed them - we won't have good horses for the future.
Courtney: A good mare is better than a good gelding, real tyers, bear pain better.
Kim: I've ridden have a dozen horses to advanced level and three of them have been mares and (not sure) some under 16 hands
Courtney: Temperament will save you more often than not. "Good Joes' often go from rider to rider, resell over and over because they are solid
Panel: size of horse has nothing to do with jump and length of stride. Larger horses soundess question
Panel (Phyllis) Give on sex, give on size, give on movement; we jump from canter and gallop, courtney; look for good overstep at walk and a good canter, you can make a trot
Panel Perhaps accept a horse with less potential in order to get experienced packers.
Then there was a discussion on the European buying experience, the wiles of the Irish horse dealers -- using the round pen to show a horse off altho the horse was really very unbroken, how savvy they are at showing horses to Americans and getting them to buy, and how shocked everyone is when they get them home and they are terrible, and the costs of importing, and then how the dollar dropped and importing horses to sell became less profitable.
Then into the discussion of buying young horses which we have already covered ad naseum.
Then they covered conformation. All agreed ammys must brush up on educating themselves about conformation. Phyllis likes a sloped rump, easier for a horse to get underneath themselves. Don't worry about crooked legs or straight legs, watch the jog at Rolex or Fair Hill, those horses are all kinds of crooked and get the job done at a high level. Then Courtney talked about the string test and having the parts fit, neck, back, hindquarter.
Soundness and vetting, I think Kim (or Courtney) said vetting is only a soundness snapshot for today, meaning the day the horse is examined, and doesn't reflect how he will be in the future or what WAS there if anything. I didn't hear all of that discussion it seemed to me they skipped over that a little - they didn't want to get into vetting.
That's what I have.
I really think they all have been in the eventing business for about a 100 years total and their thoughts as well as experiences in selling horses (and hearing what buyers want, and what they do) are very, very legitimate, Pwynn. I don't think you're on the right track by saying they don't know, I think they do, they are down in the trenches showing horses to ammys and juniors every day of the week, answering phone calls, and talking with people as well as riding and training and competing themselves on all sorts of horses at all levels. I see all three at horse trials every weekend in my area. All teach, as well, and Phyllis is ICP faculty. I feel strongly they DO know what people want and do not have "an unrealistic view". If you make your living selling horses you had better be tapped in! Or you don't eat!
I really appreciated hearing all the speakers at the meeting and wish there were more people there. It was very educational. I highly recommend EVERY eventer support their area meetings. If your area doesn't have speakers then volunteer to get them!

tannaman
Dec. 30, 2006, 11:59 AM
Kim: Riding mares is something America has to learn to do.
If we don't get performance records on them, and breed them - we won't have good horses for the future.
BINGO! that's why i'm bringing along mares and a stallion. i don't have all the problems people talk about with mares, i even have a red headed chestnut mare :gasp: now if a mare gets injured and can't compete anymore, then you have possibly a decent mare to start with in a breeding program. if she was doing prelim+ especially. now if the mare was peaked at Novice, not sure this is the mare for the breeding program. but if you buy an OTTB mare, and they excel and break down in the future from some track related issue, they still have the potential for breeding in eventing. not their fault they weren't born into eventing to start. we have however found TB mares that have never raced or competed that make nice broodmares.

Hilary
Dec. 30, 2006, 02:40 PM
Well if it gives any of you hope, when the time comes for me to look for another horse, I will probably look for a nicely bred young one - perhaps very young, since I have the place to "store" it while it grows up. However, my barn is full, I have one retiree, and one nearly there, and Star, who keeps me very busy, so it won't be for a few more years.

I know there are plenty of very nice OTTBs out there - I've had a few, but only one has been a good eventer. My other good event horses (and I'll count my brother's horses in there too) have been TB/QH, TB/Perch, 3/4 TB, 1/4 Clyde, a Morgan/TB cross (most successful horse in the barn), and Star (3/4 TB, 1/4 ID) . Clancy had been raced once, then did a bunch of other things and was eventing when I bought him - he went prelim, and for a big guy with crooked legs and shady history has held up very well.

But we had 3 others (OTTBs) that washed out at or before Novice. And Star's dam was a loss too - TB from a sport horse breeding farm. I chalk that up to just plain bad luck.

(can you tell I had a dynamite lesson this morning where Star showed off what all that talent can do besides buck??)

retreadeventer
Dec. 30, 2006, 02:46 PM
IMNSHO, THAT poster was misquoting the panelists. That is NOT what they said.
Janet I was there, and Phyllis did indeed discuss the two year old and three year old prospect, and both she, and Courtney agreed that it was more economical for an amateur/junior rider to put the proper training on it with a professional or competent person -- I believe that was how the phrase was put. Kim said buying an OTTB was "like buying a lottery ticket" and that soundness was always a question with horses off the track -- and that is when Phyllis said she had the 200 off the track figure and discussed the odds of an off track thoroughbred "making it" vs. the event bred horses.

Personally I can't imagine why anyone who had the money WOULDN'T want to put a horse in training with one of these top end professionals who have competed at the highest levels of the sport and train beautifully presented horses everywhere they go! If I had the money I sure would! How easy it would be to ride a young horse already schooled up. Because I am poor I must do it myself and you know sure everybody CAN but it takes years off your life! If they were too modest to recommend it themselves, I will do it for them. Of course they make money doing it. You ride 12 hours a day on orangutangs and greenies in nasty weather week in and week out and do it for free? I don't think so. What is the anti-trainer sentiment thing about? Why begrudge somebody a living? Until one has walked a mile in someone's shoes, as I have, I have ridden 10-12 a day for a living -- don't knock what they do and the money they make. After 25 years of work like that they should make something if they sell it!:)

pwynnnorman
Dec. 30, 2006, 02:52 PM
Actually, retread, I have to retract slightly what I said simply because I wasn't thinking at all about upper level riders who sell horses as their primary activity other than competing. I was thinking about BNTs (and I guess we define that differently, too) who ride and teach and train as their primary activities. I should have made that distinction before, but I kinda thought it was obvious (because someone who spends most of their time developing horses to be sold--rather than to compete for owners--would be pretty unwise not to know all the markets in which to sell a horse). I think we've discussed before the kind of focus it can take to ride at the top levels and as I've talked (and I DO have a habit of getting into conversations with folks), I cannot help to have noticed that focus.


Personally I can't imagine why anyone who had the money WOULDN'T want to put a horse in training with one of these top end professionals who have competed at the highest levels of the sport and train beautifully presented horses everywhere they go!

But I sure agree with you there! If there's one sure thing about this subject, it is that there are some riders who have making up horses down to a real science. IMO, if you can afford it, it has to be the most efficient and reliable way to go. (Y'know, and you might even save $$$ by saving time in that they do it so efficiently and effectively, while doing it yourself might result in a lot of stops and starts and wrong turns.)

retreadeventer
Dec. 30, 2006, 09:09 PM
I was just going over that in my mind today because my main horse is on the shelf. I'm riding greenies now. And I was thinking back to when he was green, and the mistakes I did make with him; and the mistakes I've made with others, and how I know not to do this and that on the green ones now. Like Jimmy says, experience is what you get right after you need it. And I've been riding OTTB's all my life, my first one was obtained when I was 14 years old and I'm pushing the half century now. I think I counted up once and I've done over 40.

KellyS
Dec. 30, 2006, 11:43 PM
IMNSHO, THAT poster was misquoting the panelists. That is NOT what they said.


Not sure if you're talking about me or not, but the quote I used came directly from your post...and hopefully you were not misquoting the panelists. I was not there and can only respond to the information that you and other people that were there are posting.

If you're talking about someone else, sorry! :)

Not sure why everyone feels the need to jump all over people bringing different view points into the discussion. Isn't that the point of having discussion forums? :confused:

KellyS
Dec. 31, 2006, 12:07 AM
What is the anti-trainer sentiment thing about? Why begrudge somebody a living? Until one has walked a mile in someone's shoes, as I have, I have ridden 10-12 a day for a living -- don't knock what they do and the money they make. After 25 years of work like that they should make something if they sell it!:)

Nobody on this thread is "begrudging" trainer's their income or "knocking" what they do...but there is nothing wrong with pointing out that trainers are going to suggest options to clients that are economically beneficial to themselves. After 25 years in the business, I'm sure you understand this. ;)

This is certainly a touchy subject!

pwynnnorman
Dec. 31, 2006, 06:22 AM
I don't think the subject is all that touchy. It's just that whenever anyone (especially "names") give advice, it always lead to interesting discussion! (And I sure do hope that the fact that such happens doesn't end up making individuals resist giving advice or expressing opinions in public forums.)

KellyS
Dec. 31, 2006, 07:46 AM
I agree PWynn--about it being an interesting discussion. :yes: It just seems a bit touchy to individuals on this thread--I mean, how often does Janet get told to cut the "schoolmarm" thing out? ;)

There are no right or wrong answers to the questions raised here--just many ways of looking of things. :)

I also want to point out that I've never said I disagree with what the panelists said--of course having an already going horse or youngster bred for the sport is going to be a good and, most likely, rewarding prospect. But I have a real place in my heart for the track horses--horses that do not have happy ends many times if they do not find homes. What I've always liked about eventing is that it provides a place for these "unwanted" race horses--a place that is not usually available at h/j and dressage barns.

I am sad to think that down the road, homes will become less and less available because people are passing the track horses over to get something "better." Maybe that will never happen, but maybe it will.

Call me a bleeding heart, but the OTTBs I've worked with "know" they've received another chance at life. When I look at our TB and think about where he almost ended up, it just breaks my heart. He has the biggest heart of any horse I've ever known and everyday he gives us joy. I look forward to being able to provide a home for another horse like that down the road--we may not be able to save them all, but I'll happily take some "issues" to give a horse a second chance.

That answers the question of why I would buy an OTTB versus a young prospect. And I realize that many other people make different choices. You have to do what is right for you.

Tamara in TN
Dec. 31, 2006, 08:17 AM
the wiles of the Irish horse dealers -- using the round pen to show a horse off altho the horse was really very unbroken, how savvy they are at showing horses to Americans and getting them to buy, and how shocked everyone is when they get them home and they are terrible, and the costs of importing, and then how the dollar dropped and importing horses to sell became less profitable.
!

this is a standard operating procedure in the "recreational horse market" (a friend of mines way of saying ultra cheap :lol: :lol:

use the walls and and the corners to your advantage,turn him quickly and lightly to his preferred side...three steps in reverse and hop off and proclaim his wonderfulness to the assembled :)

it's not just any irish folks :winkgrin:

Tamara in TN

ThirdCharm
Dec. 31, 2006, 10:55 AM
I don't think trainers are necessarily just looking out for themselves by suggesting that people buy horses and send them to pros/buy horses that have been well-started by pros. It can take a long time, lots of board bills and lots of lessons for the 'average' amateur to get a young horse competing from when it is started u/s. Not to mention possible injury. I'm sure they have seen it a lot... I sure have, and have had to repair the damage for those smart enough to finally seek professional help, and seen horses wasted by those who don't. Not to say it can't be done, and an amateur who wants to train their own horse under the supervision of a professional is in fact quite profitable! And great experience if that is what the amateur is looking for. But if competition results are the goal, and they are not already very experienced at bringing on young horses themselves, it is more cost-effective to have their young OTTB OR fancy prospect started professionally.

Jennifer

Avra
Dec. 31, 2006, 12:55 PM
I suspect that if you really ran the numbers, for unrecognized as well as recognized eventing (OR H/J OR dressage) the average amateur would be someone who couldn't afford to buy a well-started horse, or a purpose -bred one, or put a year + of professional training on a horse. For everyone I know who has done one of those things, I know a dozen people muddling through on OTTB or "just a horse" horses they purchased green for under $10k and have largely made themselves, while taking a couple of lessons a month and doing the odd clinic.

Is there a market for eventing-bred babies? We have some for sale, so I certainly hope so. But I think it will be a long time, if ever, before it is a huge percentage of event horse sales.

retreadeventer
Dec. 31, 2006, 07:27 PM
Those of you on this thread that are event breeders, what do you think would help your situation? Do you think that getting together as a group you could market your horses better? Do you think that advertising as a group, (buying a page every issue of the Eventing USA magazine by USEA or something like that), or holding a young horse sale perhaps in conjunction with the YEH championships or something might help? (Knowing that sales are not always about selling horses, but promotion and publicity, too.)
I mean, how many of you posted on this thread that have young horses? Quite a few! There's power in numbers, guys!
?

pwynnnorman
Jan. 1, 2007, 07:01 AM
While I'll look forward to hearing replies, too, I have to disqualify myself from doing so since I don't really consider myself an "event horse breeder," per se. I'd like to, but I can't honestly state that I'm willing to invest more than one stud fee (Teddy's mom's next hubby) toward that idea. It's just that I think an athlete is an athlete, but you can't really say what discipline until the athlete has tried that discipline. I know breeders might say you "need the right mind" for eventing prospect and hence you need to breed to proven stallions, but, controversial as this may sound, I think, ultimately, the "event" stallion only adds the name that gets attention. That increases the odds that the great baby will be desirable to eventers, but I'm really not at all sure that it increases the odds that that great baby will will do what it is bred to do any more than the great baby without the name and who is just bred to be an athlete (with movement, stride, trainability, heart, etc.) will do.

That said, though, the one thing I think could make HUGE inroads into this process for the sport itself would be if stallion owners and the owners of their offspring would work together to promote themselves. Every event stallion standing at stud has a webpage, just about--right? And yet some of the most "successful" of them have few or no pictures of their get on their sites and little or no description of what the get have done, much less that they are for sale (or have been, nicely, sold).

As I've looked around for a hubby for Melody, this is what I've noticed. Rather than another sale, another ad, another event or whatever, how about a CONTINUOUS effort to promote the "purpose-bred" where people looking can FIND THEM? If stallion owners would just put up a page and the owners of their get would SEND PICTURES and descriptions, the sheer nature of the internet--with a little help from event announcers, maybe--will help spread the word. You see a talented baby competing: who's it by? If the announcer can squeeze that in--and I think they can because I've noticed how willing event announcers are to announce what you want them to announce--then all it takes is an internet search to find out more...IF the "more" is out there, right?

I think, right now, there are many nice purpose-breds out there that aren't known. A lot of them are BY stallions who ARE known. So why the heck can't the notoriety of the stallion help sell the baby, too? Why does the baby's owner have to go it alone in terms of marketing it? (I know some stallion owners help, but no where near enough do. What a huge different it would make if they did!)

Blue Yonder
Jan. 1, 2007, 09:52 AM
Late to this party, but as an almost-exclusively-TB eventing breeder, I thought I'd add my two cents. We're all making educated guesses on this topic -- here's mine, which is hopefully well-considered as it's what my business plan is based off of.

2 issues, really, not 1:

FIRST, will eventers buy something young and unbroken? Not so much.

--The occasional rider who has space and keeps horses at home may take that gamble -- after all, you can often get a great TB yearling from an event breeder at a dang low price. (Yearlings are ugly b/c of growth and don't sell well. Look at the baby pics and parents -- buyers can negotiate a whopper deal.) Assuming no accidents growing up, it still works out in the wash that you have an excellent prospect, well-raised, with no baggage, ready to go at 4. This kind of buyer often has minimal costs related to horse-keeping and does the work his/her self.
--The occasional rider who has the funds to compete one and "grow" another may buy, too, but that's not so usual. Some people want to love and bond and whatnot with their next partner.

WHY don't eventers buy young? Eventers want soundness -- you can't guarantee Baby Horsey won't run into a tree while growing up a pasture. Eventers want to compete -- something that is years away with a youngster. Will the classes designed to show off young horses help? Certainly can't hurt. They show off potential. We all love potential. And they may get the average-eventer-brain thinking that a 2yo or 3yo is almost ready for those style of classes....backing up the age of young horse "usefulness" by a year or two.

SECOND, will eventers buy something green but specifically bred for eventing, verses an OTTB, at a higher cost?
To this I propose YES.
Caveat: there will ALWAYS be OTTB buyers who can find, train, and flip diamonds for very little $$. I get that. And I like that, because there are plenty of OTTBs who can excel at the job.
BUT:
--Our sport is becoming more aware of the TB bloodlines that compete well. Show people some genetic predictor of performance, and the price they're willing to pay goes up.
--Our sport is becoming more....refined? Dressage sure counts. Show people a TB with fabulous movement (predicted by blood, in a good breeding program), and the price they're willing to pay goes up.
--People, especially lower-level riders (Training and under) want good-minded horses with no baggage! There are A LOT of riders who have the skill set to ride a green-but-trusting young horse who hasn't learned grown-up-horse evasion techniques at the track, but who may not be able to undo an OTTB's bagage safely.

Summation? Only my experience....I breed TBs specifically to event, selected for EXCEPTIONALLY good, smart, trusting minds, excellent movement, and big-time scope. I don't expect to sell young very often -- that's not the majority of the buyers in the market. I DO expect my young horses, once under-saddle with Novice and maybe Training experience, to sell at a fairly high price, enough to keep me profitable.

Sorry for the long-winded musing. Just my estimation of the situation.

abrant
Jan. 1, 2007, 11:03 AM
From someone who sells horses directly off the track:

-What is an eventing-bred horse? Is there really a huge benefit to say, breeding a race-bred mare to a warmblood or some such. It seems to me that thoroughbred bloodlines dominate the sport enough that focused breeding would likely incorporate many of the same lines you can get at the track much cheaper.

-Isn't an "eventing-bred horse" defined mostly by the individual it produces?? I think breeders should worry about pedigree and buyers should worry about individuals. But's JMO.

-Is the benefit in the breeding, or is it in the horse not having gone to the track? IMO, the benefits do override the negatives, but the negatives do deserve consideration. In that case, there are cheaper state-program TB auctions where weanlings/yearlings can be picked up for $500-$1500. (Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, etc.)

-A note - I am horrified by these top competitors talking about not worrying about leg conformation. My industry gets tons of flack for supposedly breeding crooked, unsound horses... but it's ok for eventing BNT to be justifying the purchase and competition (and like breeding) of crooked horses??

~Adrienne

elizabeth Callahan
Jan. 1, 2007, 11:51 AM
Abrant
My idea of an event bred horse is one whose dam and sire have competed at the higher levels ( Prelim and up for mares) and Inter and up for stallions) or breeding stock that have produced babies that are eventing at the higher levels ( a Fine Romance is one who comes to mind) or who are closely related to a successful upper level horse ( half or full siblings). I' d like some Grade 1's in there - on both sides , if possible. Mares have to be competed and get performance records. AND I'd like to see those babies be worth more than a $1500 horse b/c of what their parents have done.

You can't breed in the bravery issue or the desire to compete no mater how hard you try, but I do think you can increase your odds by picking athletes who have been there and done that. Yes, there will be some who won't have what it takes but I think that you can cut down on that number through narrowing your odds. A great baby IS a great baby and hopefully people will look for that.
If both parents are successful, shouldn't that mean something? Or if those bloodlines have produced advanced horses multiple times, isn't that less of a gamble than the OTTB who hasn't been tested.?

As far as how to help the situation, I would love to see stallion owners be able to track their get, so they can announce ( and publish) that so and so has produced x number of prelim horses. That goes back to the whole USEF system ( and USEA) which can't do that at all right now ( or at least correctly). Plus the whole issue of multiple names/numbers for horses ( although not as bad as in h/j). Stallion owners can't put it in their ad, b/c they can't find the offspring after 2 owners and 3 name changes! data is incorrect and unless you are the breeder and have lots of time on your hands to correct the errors, it is not easy. Plus, as breeder, I'm not listed anywhere so how are people to know that i have produced these great horses ( provided I can find them after they are sold.) I'm giving my babies lifetime USEF numbers as foals, but that doesn't stop the next person from simply registering them again under another name.
I'd like to see easily accessible data for horses . I'd like to see sires, dams and bloodlines listed and tracked so that Joe Buyer could see that Stallion X has produced 3 advanced horses and Mare A has also produced 2 advanced horses. Or that they have produced 10 prelim or lower horses. What a great way of narrowing your odds.!

And I'd like to see the breeding of these horses announced, like pwynn mentioned( or even written somewhere!!!). I think the USEA YEH classes are a start, but those horses are precocious - I would love people to know that there are full/half/ other horses available by those breeders with those bloodlines so they could go look at them.
So that's a start I guess

GotSpots
Jan. 1, 2007, 12:47 PM
One of the things USEA is putting substantial energy into this year is improving and growing the Young Event Horse program. There are a number of big developments planned, including raising the profiles of the breeder and the pedigree of the top performers in the series, and revamping entry forms so as to enhance the ability to track youngsters and stallions. Encouraging breeders to use the success of their youngsters in the program as a marketing tool, along with raising the profile of stallions whose get are consistently successful will hopefully together enhance the breeding of quality youngsters, as well as introduce more eventers to the importance of great breeding. In just the short time the program has been in place, we're already seeing substantial improvement in the quality of the young horses entered: the winners at the Championships this year in both the four and the five year old divisions were absolutely gorgeous youngsters with HUGE futures ahead of them. While not all of these youngsters were purpose bred to be eventers, a substantial portion were bred as either event prospects or as sporthorses, and I suspect that percentage will only continue to grow.

Moreover, as an owner and rider, I can say for certain that we definitely look for youngsters with great breeding as a way to develop and build our string. We've very excited about a number of young horses we have right now, several of whom are definitely bred to event and even as youngsters, showing a substantial amount of talent. I think as more folks begin introducing purpose bred horses who are successful in the sport, we'll see an increase in people shopping for quality youngsters from breeders.

elizabeth Callahan
Jan. 1, 2007, 01:01 PM
Got spots,
I agree, the quality is to drool over. What beautiful animals we breeders have produced! . THAT is why I continue to breed . When i saw some of those horses at the YEH classes , they were absolutely gorgeous - and talented.
So another question I have is, "As a breeder, how do I make you, an owner and rider, aware of my product?" I certainly can't take out huge ads in the horse mags to advertise but I want you and other ULR's to know i have quality youngstock. How do you find out about youngsters to buy? Word of mouth? Previous sales? Competition records?

luveventing
Jan. 1, 2007, 01:30 PM
Just a thought from GotSpots post--- in respect to the USEA young event horse series..... It is an excellent program to help develop and breed event horses specifically. But how does one who BREEDS event horses, feel about an OTTB competing in the classes alongside their raised and bred youngsters? If an OTTB would win the championship, would that somehow water down the program since obviously that horse was not BRED to event, and it would be unlikely (but not impossible) for someone to seek those lines and breed from that stallion or mare since it was actually racing bloodlines? I have often thought about this.... should there be seperate divisions for OTTBs and Bred to event youngsters? or is there a place for them to compete in these classes together and still accomplish what the program was designed for? (just my two cents- I am actually pro OTTB, but I can see both sides)

ThreeDays
Jan. 1, 2007, 01:58 PM
The marketing ideas suggested over the past few posts are very interesting.

How do you suppose we could start compiling a list of breeders or begin to contact breeders to make them aware of an effort?

Should we try to organize a website and small organization - something like the 'Event Horse Breeders Society of North America' ??

I for one think it would be great to try and track and record performance results and sire / producing mare lists.

$15 activation fee? Something low.

Organized website that can link to breeders contact names and websites.

Offer a few year end awards.

Perhaps even offer awards at certain events for the top placed 'event bred'.?

Trying to throw some ideas out there. I know several people on this BB have compiled their own small databases of bloodlines frequented in event horse pedigrees. That could be a start.

I for one would be willing to do some of the leg work to get things rolling - but how do you get the word out and begin contacting people who don't spend much time in front of the computer? LOL

Very interesting concepts - I think there is a genuine interest here to foster.

sidepasser
Jan. 1, 2007, 03:52 PM
I'm late to the post (getting over a stomach virus courtesy of a wee grandchild) but I think there are positive points made for both buying a youngster and raising it:

1. You have a blank slate and not much baggage
2. Youngster bred to be an eventing type
3. Opportunity to train horse oneself OR send it out to a pro

Negative points:

1. Long wait for baby to grow up
2. Possible physical or mental problems that mean all those years of waiting are for naught
3. No space or extra $$ for boarding and training

That said - most posters are concentrating on TBs (be off the track or homebred) and that is ok for those who can handle the temperment and sensitivity of the TB.

How about those of us who are older, now have some $$ due to children out of nest or settled in our career and are making decent wages but are at the point that we cannot handle the TB "moments" but still want a competitive horse (even at the lower levels)? While I understand that everyone would like to breed or buy and sell a 4 star horse..there just aren't that many four star riders out there realistically.

Who is the market primarily? Young riders without a lot of cash or older people with cash but not the desire or physical ability to ride a four star horse? Would the market be better served to produce level headed, calmer, mounts that a novice could handle?

I am not knocking off trackers - I've had three in the last year. All were nice horses but none could do the upper levels in eventing due to either soundness issues or mental issues. All have new careers with good people. Two were way too much horse for me, one was not enough horse for anyone except a beginner (meaning at her age, she was content to just trail ride).

My point is that it is not just TBs that should be considered as some of us older people just cannot handle their "moments" - they are quick, sensitive and agile while alas, we are slower, break easier, and not so responsive as we were in our 20 and 30's.

What sort of breeds are being developed for the over 40, coming into a few dollars and can finally afford a trainer market? Personally I like the fire of the Arab and TB but have come to realize that while I can ride one, I don't enjoy it like I used to and would rather have a calmer mount that perhaps isn't as much fire, but more about "getting mamma around the course so she'll drop carrots in my bucket" type.

Guess not all of us need a Porsche or Jag, some of us need a nice dependable Honda instead.

Anyway, I guess form to function is the way to go, but only if one is sure that everyone wants the same type of functioning form. And that is the problem I see with breeding a certain "type" of eventer - sure I'd love to own a horse that was bred by a BNT that could do four star events, but in reality, my trainer would end up riding said beastie as it would like have way too much oomph for me to enjoy.

PS- as an aside - I absolutely believe that if one is a novice, one should have as good a trainer as one can possibly afford especially if one is totally new to the sport - it saves much $$ and mistakes and if one is older, one doesn't really have time to make a lot of mistakes and then relearn the correct way..just from my "old" perspective.

Whisper
Jan. 1, 2007, 05:21 PM
I am definitely not qualified to get a youngster, whether event-bred or OTTB. I think sometimes both need a lot of time, patience, and milage to get there. When he first came off the track, people kept telling his trainer (who I sometimes work with) that she should give up on him. He reared, and was otherwise extremely difficult. After a couple of years, he settled down, and my current main trainer brought him up to Training Level eventing, 2nd Level dressage, and 3'3" Hunter and Jumper showing successfully. Now, in his teens, he's a pretty solid BN/N packer. He's been wonderful at showing me the ropes of eventing, and a little kid is learning how to jump on him. Sure, he still has his TB moments, but they're usually of the "freeze and look" or "scoot off for a few steps" variety.

ss3777
Jan. 1, 2007, 06:29 PM
As an ammie that loves the OTTBs, I am really enjoying this thread and all of the great input. I am one of those ladies that grew up on crazy horses, worked at the local barn, did the hunters/foxhunters and I am now a mom (enjoying my 40s) with a career. I fall into the "enjoy the process more than competing" niche. I think that whether I bought a young horse bred for the sport horse or a freebie OTTB (on my 4th freebie) I would spend the same amount of lesson/clinic dollars. So I figure that a freebie works better considering there is no guarantee for either. I could go out and spend 10 grand on a 3 year old home bred or pick up a free OTTB (I previously galloped on the track and still have friends in the business). At this point I would rather be ahead the 10 grand. At the barn that my trainer owns/runs I am in the minority. Everyone there has a made horse and they compete from BN to Training.

Now having said that, I have not broken the novice ceiling (I started eventing in 2002). I have schooled up to training and want to compete at Prelim at some point. So, if my freebie OTTBs are not suitable at that level than I may have to change my ways and ante up the money for a homebred. At this point I am not ready to give up on my beloved OTTBs, who knows if I am wrong???

PS – keep up the great work Janet, I REALLY love your posts.

ThirdCharm
Jan. 1, 2007, 09:16 PM
sidepasser.... try an Irish Sporthorse! Not a jag, not a honda... more like the updated Volvo! Stylish AND dependable.... :-)

Jennifer

gillenwaterfarm
Jan. 2, 2007, 09:44 AM
;) Hear Hear Jennifer!

elizabeth Callahan
Jan. 2, 2007, 10:25 AM
When i mean bred for the sport - it doesn't automatically mean a pro ride. I think there is an assumption that we breeders all intend to breed 4* pro rides. I don't - most of mine go to adult ammies - such as myself - an almost 50ish person who does not aspire to ever do advanced. I think you can breed ammie event horses as well - I hope my guys have temperaments for most peole to deal with - b/c the market for difficult horses is slim indeed.
A nice young horse hs to be ridable first and talented later b/c if he is a pro ride, I'm ging to have a hard time selling it.
so I hope people will realize "bred for the sport" doesn't make it an incredibly difficult ride.

juliab
Jan. 2, 2007, 12:13 PM
I'm close to 50 and have an OTTB mare and her "TB mind" is what I like best about her. She is smart, willing, focussed and incredibly honest. I'd take that over a horse that needs a ton of leg any day. I retrained her with the help of a wonderful advanced eventer/trainer and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I'm too old and not brave enough to try eventing, but I love dressage. Don't write off TBs for older re-riders - there are plenty of great ones out there and if you are not aspiring to 4* level, don't write off smallish OTTB mares either.

Much has been made of the TB temperament that I believe is just not true. I have 5 OTTBs and they ALL have great temperaments. You find difficult horses in every breed. I do agree that the track experience can be both positive and negative, but a TB bred and raised to be a sporthorse would in most cases, make a wonderful eventer. All that "will to win" could be directed towards excelling at dressage, cross country and stadium from the beginning rather than having to teach a horse that there are other ways to please humans and that they no longer have to gallop till it hurts!