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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2005
    Location
    missoula. mt
    Posts
    1,578

    Default breeding from a rural (and somewhat remote) location

    What are the chances of selling quality young horses when you are in a more rural location (as you can see, Montana- and in this part, rarely a true dressage or hj person to be found) I have my first nice homebred filly by Balta Czar now, and would like to breed her in a year or so. What are the chances of selling a young prospect from such a long way from anywhere? How often do young horses sell from simply a video or over the internet? Breeders? I am not looking to start a large breeding operation, just perhaps one foal per year.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
    Location
    Norcross GA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default

    We are working from a somewhat remote operation. Ours is only start-up -- we have not sold any young horses yet -- so I can'tgive you a results overview, but maybe a few things to think about. Our operation is located about seven hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota in Stratton, Ontario Canada. We have three Thoroughbred broodmares, and occasionaly use a fourth Quarter Horse mare who is reliable and easy to breed.

    1] Before birth...veterinary care. Many breeding contracts require clean uterine samples of the mares, ultrasound at specific dates, etc. For us, the nearest vet is a travelling vet who only comes back to the area every few months for certain dates, usually dictated by the needs of cattle farmers as it is big "cattle country". Thus, the vet wasn't going to be around on the exact dates we would need. We have been upfront with all stallion owners on this, and usually agree to do the ultrasound as near the dates as requested, with no guarantees we would be able to at all. Because, in addition to a lack of vets in the area, the district also does not have its own ultrasound equipment .. a request must be placed six months prior to the needed dates in order to have the equipment borrowed from a different district. So, take the availabiity of veterinary care and equipment into consideration. Also, Artificial Insemination. Who will do it? Since we had limited veterinary availability, my aunt decided she would do AI on all the mares. She has a BS in Animal Science, so she had the basic idea of what she would need to do. She then flew to the states for a week to take an AI course/seminar. Upon return to the farm, for her first breeding season, she worked with a friend/local Arabian breeder to learn more and be guided as to what she should do. Additionally, we had a stallion contract issue with this, as many require that the breeding be performed by a certified AI technician. We were upfront about this, explained my aunt's qualifications, and so far everyone has been fine.

    2] Post birth marketing... Our goal is to have three foals per year. So far it has been 2, 1, and 2. Our hope is to have more than one horse in a buyer's interested age range. We just don't feel that someone would want to travel this far to see just ONE horse. That being said, if you can coordinate with other horse owners in the area to let prospective buyers see their horses, too [kind of like real estate!] it might be easier for a buyer to justify a long journey. At three or four years of age [depending on the development of their bodies and brains] they will be shipped to Atlanta GA for me to train into Hunters, show, and REALLY market -- an more accesible location where I have more local connections. Until then, they are advertised on our website and "offered for sale" but not really marketed. We provide information on how to get to our location [airport/airline suggestions] and hotels. Having good photos and good video equipment will be beneficial, but I wouldn't count on these tools alone selling your babies.
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Loudoun County, VA
    Posts
    10,412

    Default

    If I may make a suggestion, based on a number of comments I keep hearing, for those in remote areas I think that forming a regional breeder's group or network -- to the extent possible -- can be invaluable, as a concern for a lot of potential clients is the (perceived) inability to see a number of horses on one trip from out-of-town. There is definitely strength in numbers.

    Also, the ability to get very good videos and photos (you really only need 1 good video clip and 1 or 2 excellent photos) would help A LOT, particularly if you want to sell the babies very young. A lot of purchases are made just based on that.

    If you are planning to keep them until they are started under saddle, one approach is to send them to a good baby starter who is NOT in a remote location and who has good contacts. One in my area - Lauren Dearlove -- often gets babies in to start under saddle from other areas in the country. A number come to be started and sold. And from what I have seen, they go to very nice homes.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2005
    Location
    Oxford, USA
    Posts
    3,663

    Default

    People will go the distance for quality. An acquaintance recently trekked to Montana to look at a stallion for breeding, and then had semen shipped in to Pa. last week. Contact me if you want some names to connect with in Montana.
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Loudoun County, VA
    Posts
    10,412

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by not again View Post
    People will go the distance for quality. An acquaintance recently trekked to Montana to look at a stallion for breeding, and then had semen shipped in to Pa. last week. Contact me if you want some names to connect with in Montana.
    I agree that some will. I do. But there are people who simply will not -- and if you look at that thread re buying in Europe, you would think no one can be bothered to leave their living room except to get on a transatlantic flight.

    But, if you have only one or two nice ones to sell each year, you only need one or two buyers, also. .



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,774

    Default

    With the price of fuel to go ANYWHERE, you will need really nice marketing material.

    People do buy off video and photos and inspection results.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    12,079

    Default

    I am pretty remote and VERY rural. I *am* a 'day trip' (albeit a long one) from Boston. If you are within 4-5 hrs of an airport or major metro, that seems to be ok for folks. I'm 5 hrs from Boston, but have a very easily accessible airport too.

    I have sold all the youngsters I've had for sale, prior to or by age 2. I have horses in MD, PA, NJ, MI, VA and WY. One went to LA before VA.

    I'm probably in a different market--lower priced than the majority on here--so the shipping (up to $1k and now of course, probably close to double that) is figured into it when I price them. I am willing to do payments on foals, until weaned or while still boarding here. I've had several board with me until yearling or 2yo. I don't make money on that at all, and I'm not sure I'll do it again in the future unless it's for profit, as it gives me a heart attack when there is an injury or illness. (one that with MY baby I just deal with and carry on... )

    What's funny is I've only recently sold my second foal locally. No one locally knows what the heck I'm breeding. "Oh, pretty Paint, will ya barrel race him?" Um, no. That's an RPSI foal out of my Trakehner mare...

    I guess my take on it is that you can sell very high end animals--to the people who can afford to fly in, rent a car, rent a motel room-- or keep them affordable enough that shipping can be factored into things. I think that's going to be harder to do, and I do think the folks who might have looked at my foals in the past are NOT necessarily going to be able to pay shipping now or in the near future... so I'm changing my focus a little bit and going very, very specialized.

    We'll see.

    If you'd asked me this question five years ago, I would say "ABSOLUTELY you can do it and be modestly successful." I've not had any babies on the market in 2 years. (last year's was a custom foal bought three years ago... ) Now, I'm not sure at all I won't loose everything...

    As far as keeping them until under saddle, or marketing a stallion, it's difficult for me because shows are so far away. Again--five years ago, NO BIGGIE--it's just my time, and I love doing it.... today, it's SO MUCH MONEY in gas... no breed shows for youngsters, no competition to get the stallion out there and get his show record... That might be what is the end of me too, you know?

    Getting to Inspections, affording the travel on top of the fees... that is problematic now too... something to consider.

    If you can afford to keep them until they sell... I think the internet makes it a small world.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2005
    Location
    missoula. mt
    Posts
    1,578

    Default

    [QUOTE=pintopiaffe;3320293]

    What's funny is I've only recently sold my second foal locally. No one locally knows what the heck I'm breeding. "Oh, pretty Paint, will ya barrel race him?" Um, no. That's an RPSI foal out of my Trakehner mare...

    YES!!!!!!!!!! That is exactly what I'm dealing with here.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    Quebec (Canada)
    Posts
    806

    Default

    People will go the distance for quality.
    humm not so sure...
    I have a premium Brentano II yearling filly, had received lots of inquiries via email and phone calls, but NOBODY travelled to my place (who is up north in province of Quebec) to see her, despites lots and lots of excellent comments and compliments about her. Well, I will probably just ship her down near Mtl next time someone is interested about her... When you are near big horsey areas, people just stop by your place, have a look and TALK about what you have... When you are far, nobody stops because nobody is just "passing by"... so there's less "free publicity"... And no young teenagers around who would give a hand without a 2years course about "what IS a horse" on weekends...

    And not to speak about AI vet service who gives me headhaches each year. Hay is more expensive, and less of quality than near big cities... (surprising isnt it?) And shavings barely at same price even with FOUR wood transformation factories around... Grain is around 2 or 3 $ PER BAG more expensive than my friends around MTl are paying, and NO delivery to the farm.

    No way it is possible to offer and actually get clients for boarding to have a little income... unless you offer a full care at less than 100$ a month...

    We've moved in this area as lands were affordable... but that's it... After 2 years, we have built a home, a new 4h barn, paddocks etc and we are slowly looking to sell and come back in the "world", i.e. nearer the city...

    It feasable, but very hard, both mentally and monetary...
    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
    Visit EdA's Facebook page!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2003
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    6,637

    Default

    Wow Spike. How discouraging!!
    Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
    Now apparently completely invisible!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    Quebec (Canada)
    Posts
    806

    Default

    lol I agree.... It looks discouraging héhé... but there is funny things about it... as.... "how much is your baby horse?" (me answering: 7....)... " hey 7 hundreds??? (me answering: no... 7 thousands..) "*&?&&?%&*&*&?&... I can buy SEVEN horse for this price!! Each with a saddle and a bridle!!"

    or:
    " why are you putting things to blind your horse in their face?" (me answering: it's flymasks... )

    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
    Visit EdA's Facebook page!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 1999
    Location
    Clayton, CA USA
    Posts
    4,910

    Default

    Although not particularly remote, I have a very small breeding operation. I have sold all of my young stock, ranging in age from sucklings to long yearlings, primarily to buyers from way out of this area. I have sold them via internet ads, with videos and digital pics. Only one or two of the buyers have visited. Several of these foals have sold to buyers on the East Coast, so they have been shipped cross country. You will need very good quality pictures; I use the ones taken at inspections, plus we have good digital cameras. I also have the capability of sending digital video, and I can take limitless digital stills to answer questions about conformation, or anything else that comes up. You will need to be very good at communicating through e-mail promptly. I think the disadvantage to remoteness would be the reproduction work, but not so much the sales.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    3,913

    Default

    Boy, do I identify with the barrel race comment. I live in a region where you'd swear, there are only two breeds of horses - the QH and the Fox trotter. A lot of people simply can't imagine that something else is out there. What's hilarious is the body language that accompanies. "Oh, you have horses. Do you run the barrels? (with acting out of running barrels)"

    What I've figured out to date in my small breeding operation (2 foals bred and sold so far, both well out of state) is:

    1. There ARE more people in your state/area doing your thing than you think. Keep turning over rocks. They're out there.

    2. The people who don't do your thing actually are quite nice and willing to learn something new exists, even if they don't do it themselves.

    3. The most valuable asset I have is a trainer with extensive history and connections in many states. I'm incredibly fortunate in her being within a couple of hours driving distance. Just because of her regular mileage from here to there and around again, she sees what everybody has, and when she thinks a match would be a good one, she speaks up. I bought my Pregelstrand schoolmaster years ago sight unseen from a distant state on her recommendation that this was a great horse for me. I'd do it again. Somebody else bought my first foal from a distant state at 4 weeks on her recommendation, and she'd do it again.

    4. The internet is a great invention, and people really do buy from video and pictures.

    Good luck!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2005
    Location
    Ronan, Mt
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Springer you should come up and visit us! We are practically neighbors. I have 3 horses shipping to the east coast this month. Videos and lots of comunication is a must. I love Montana. My horses love Montana, and you can't beat the scenery.
    7-Mile Ranch Paint Sport Horses
    HTTP://www.paintsporthorse.com



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2002
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    3,606

    Default

    My advice, learn how to take good photos, work on a website (keeping it updated) and learn to put video on the web.
    Im in IL but not close to much. I never sold a horse instate. The most "local" was to MO and then KS. Everything else had a multi day trip.
    It can be done, just be prepared for it to take a while. Your location does you no favors but dont give up hope, but be prepared to work at it.
    ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    869

    Default

    it works well for us. We find that the key is communication, We are lucky enough to send our coloured spothorses all over the world.The internet has certainly made this a lot easier..We tend to almost insist that people come and see what they are buying if possible, We try to help with the cost of internl flights and travel for overseas clients, aswell as obvioulsy providing them with accom and wine and dine when they are here. Clients love to meet the stallions and know where their horses have started out!Interestingly enough there was one who we recently sold through the UDBB for sale page,so advertising did work in that case!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    I second those who have said make sure you can get yourself some very good pictures and video. Get a website going, if you don't already, and keep it updated. Reply promptly to every inquiry and don't hesitate to call people.

    I breed Hanoverians and I have many breeder friends. In the past year or so, I've seen people decide to get out of breeding and who roll their eyes when I tell them I just bought my next broodmare. She's all of five weeks old right now!

    What I noticed during my search for her was that there are lots of horses available for sale in the US, but that the link between those horses and the market (as Edgar recently pointed out on one of the breeding in this economy threads) is very tenuous. I was shocked at the number of people who have out of date websites, zero digital video capability, poor picture quality, or poor video (when the VHS tape finally arrived via snail mail), or both. Pictures or decent video of dams was rare. (Photos and video of stallions, in contrast, is generally available and professionally done).

    Speaking on the phone with some breeders, I was, on ocassion, shocked. Some expected me to get on a plane based on a verbal description. Some questioned me about my riding abilities, facility, and lifeplan. (In these cases, I felt I had to prove that I was WORTHY of buying the horse in question... LOL) Some questioned my criteria. (Hey, I thought that, as the buyer, I had the right to choose...)

    It was frustrating, in some cases, but the experience really clarified, for me, the things one needs to do to get horses sold in the US, from any location. If you are welcoming, are prompt about your replies, can provide sufficient information about the horse, including good video and photos, and don't give the buyer the impression that you need to personally approve of his or her barn before you'll sell, you should do well.

    As you may be aware, there's a "I just bought a horse at Verden" thread on the Dressage forum here. As I've been writing this post, it occurs to me that, at Verden, one doesn't run into these problems. I hate to say anything against US breeders -- hey, I am one! -- but I think that there must be those who go to Europe because they know they'll be treated like stars when they buy a horse (note the champagne, public celebration, and publication that follows the purchase in the article that OP wrote). They may pay more -- in some cases, MUCH more -- but at least they know they (1) will be able to see the horse, and (2) won't be judged.

    Oh and one other thing: make sure you ask a fair market price. You can price yourself right out of the market very quickly. If someone comes shopping for a foal, and yours is priced at $18K, that person is likely to keep looking. Of course, some seem happy to pay this, plus shipping, in Verden....

    Just my $.02

    Kendra
    Last edited by RunningwaterWBs; Jun. 28, 2008 at 10:17 AM.
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,163

    Default

    When shopping, we look everywhere... of course with fuel prices, that may cut back on some shoppers from the coasts.

    As a buyer, we've purchased off just photos... and off videos several times in the past. Additionally, I've sold two off of videos without having the buyers see the horses in person. Have great pics and very good video uploaded online somewhere, so buyers don't lose interest waiting. Be willing to take the time to return calls, talk to people on the phone, etc.

    A nice website with great pics that is kept updated regularly speaks volumes! Make it easy to read and navigate.

    When we were in the midwest, the prices our horses commanded were lower than now that we're in Florida. We don't breed, but occassionally have a horse for sale. I'm guessing if your area is like ours was, hardly anyone knows what a WB is and the majority of people's saddles had a horn on them.
    Platinum Equestrian - Florida, USA



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2005
    Location
    missoula. mt
    Posts
    1,578

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Platinum Equestrian View Post
    When shopping, we look everywhere... of course with fuel prices, that may cut back on some shoppers from the coasts.


    When we were in the midwest, the prices our horses commanded were lower than now that we're in Florida. We don't breed, but occassionally have a horse for sale. I'm guessing if your area is like ours was, hardly anyone knows what a WB is and the majority of people's saddles had a horn on them.
    My husband (native Montana guy) wont even get on my horse wearing a dressage saddle for fear someone might see him and blackmail him! HA



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Loudoun County, VA
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    10,412

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    Quote Originally Posted by springer View Post
    My husband (native Montana guy) wont even get on my horse wearing a dressage saddle for fear someone might see him and blackmail him! HA
    LOL! At least yours will get on a horse. Mine is a confirmed city slicker.



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