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  1. #1
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    Default Breeders of NA speak up!

    As a breeder, what do you think lacks most in the business of selling and promoting the breeding industry in the NA as compared to the Europeans?
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  2. #2
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    Hands down - the cost of raising young horses aimed at upper levels of sport. When George mentioned in his article the solution of mandating show management to cap the young horse fees for classes and stabling to $200 and forgoing prize money, I thought hallelujah- finally an idea with merit. Reduce the cost of training and showing youngstock and increase the demand for young horses, thus increasing the demand for youngsters. Even good foals will have a more receptive market if an owner can put 1-2 yrs of show expenses into a quality youngster and have a realistic chance of recouping costs and possibly turning a profit.



  3. #3
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    How much does it cost to go to a show in the US? Capping the fees at $200 sounds a fortune to me!

    Over here, which is expensive compared to Germany and Holland, the biggest young horse assessment series is the Futurity. That costs £60 to enter which is considered a lot. No one hires a stable so the only extra costs are diesel and time and you travel your mare and foal/ young horse to the venue on the day of competition and return home the same day.

    Ridden competitions vary in price according to whether it is dressage, show jumping or eventing. Dressage is £15-18 a class. Prize money, if you win, is your entry fee back! Again no one hires a stable. Horses simply wait on the wagon until it's time to tack them up to get warmed up. If it's a big show such as the Regionals or the Nationals then you will need overnight stabling. Generally people only rent a stable for their horse, not for their tack. Usually a stable costs about £26 a night plus bedding at £5 for a bale of shavings.

    I haven't done showjumping for a long time but I think entry fees are similar, at least until you get to the major shows where the prize money is bigger so the entry fees are correspondingly bigger too. At young horse/ age class levels entries are nowhere near $200 a class.

    Eventing is the expensive one as you do need to hire a stable and stay away from home. Going to an event and including stabling and diesel can cost between £500 and £1000 per event.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolensilver View Post
    How much does it cost to go to a show in the US? Capping the fees at $200 sounds a fortune to me!
    For a show in my area -
    $50 per YH class
    $125 stabling (2 nights, incl. 2 bags of shavings)
    $7/bag additional shavings
    $5 per horse night watch
    $75 tack stall
    $16 USEF drug fee
    $30 office fee

    Most folks do at least 2 rides, and will trailer in on Friday for a weekend show, so they need stabling for 2 nights. That brings charges for a local 2-day show to about $350. That is assuming they get their entries in on time, and everyone affiliated with the horse (rider/owner/trainer/coach) is a USEF and USDF member. If not, there are additional fees:
    $30 late fee (for entries received after closing deadline)
    $15 post-entry (change) fee
    $25 USDF non-member fee (each), for rider & owner
    $25 USEF non-member fee (each), for rider, owner, trainer, coach
    $25 USDF Horse ID (for horse without proof of USDF number)

    Add in trailering fees/fuel costs, hotel, and meals - including for your trainer if applicable. Also, trainers taking a large group of horses to a show will also sometimes take a groom, and owners have to cover those hotel and meals, plus tip.

    Other shows in this area charge about the same for many fees, although stabling charges may vary, but in general, costs per horse can easily go over the $500 mark for a 2-day show.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
    As a breeder, what do you think lacks most in the business of selling and promoting the breeding industry in the NA as compared to the Europeans?
    Mmm...not sure it's a matter of what we "lack" the most but the idea that buyers feel the need to swim across the pond to purchase quality animals. So perhaps it's simply the need to promote what we have here to encourage buyers to buy out of their own backyards.

    It seems to be an interesting phenomenon. When we lived in Colorado, I rarely would get breedings to our stallion(s) when he/they stood there. As soon as we moved out of the area, all of a sudden he appealed to that market. Heck, even Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz noted "...and it's that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard". <lol>.

    So I guess the biggest issue I see is how to encourage buyers to LOOK closer to home.
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  6. #6
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    I think also in Europe they don't have the mult association fees that we have here in the US?? (please tell me if I am wrong - I'm actually very interested! ).

    This is my personal tally of association fees that I have to pay every year (in addition to DY's very accurate tally of show fees - for dressage shows, h/j are similar but pay more per show as more classes/divisions are entered, and events are about $350 - $400 for the event and the stall with no shavings or other fees factored in).

    ATA membership for myself $85
    ATA registration for the horse (paid prior to yearling year) $185
    USEF membership for me $55
    USEF registration for horse $35 (paid year it was born)
    USDF membership for me: $75
    USDF life registration for horse: $95
    USEA membership for me: $85
    USEA registration for horse $150 (for Prelim and above - $40 prior to that)
    USHJA membership for me: $70
    USHJA registration for horse: $30

    Did I miss any?? LOL Thank Goodness I don't have to pay the horse fees but once a year (although this year I get the joy of adding FEI fees to my horse's eventing charges - which is I think $300 for the first fee and then $15 every year to renew, and the $300 is only for 5 years I think?).

    Seriously? the association fees that are mandatory if you don't want to 1) pay extra for the show and 2) want the horse (even if you aren't the rider) to be elig for year end awards are ridicioulous.
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  7. #7
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    IMHO, many of the problems that have been discussed on this thread and many like it in the past, can be traced back to one overarching problem: The Grand Canyon size chasm between the breeding world and the competition world.

    There have been attempts to close this gap, but nothing that I am aware of except the actions of some savvy individual breeders has ever approached this problem with any measure of success.



  8. #8
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    Exorberant Registery and Association fee's, Lack of appropriate / affordable venues in which to show case young stock. Geography Geography Geography the sheer size of the US makes horse shopping in general an formidable task. Attempting to gather enough stock in one geographical area to be able to look at evaluate against one another while the prior is still either on site or fresh in your mind is often impossible.
    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by baywithchrome2 View Post
    IMHO, many of the problems that have been discussed on this thread and many like it in the past, can be traced back to one overarching problem: The Grand Canyon size chasm between the breeding world and the competition world.
    This, IMO.

    We see it all the time over here, breeders being sooo disconnected from what the riders, their clients, want that they are consistently breeding in the wrong direction.

    Then, they complain riders won't buy their unsuitable horses. Or their overpriced foals or young horses.

    Breeders don't want to hear what the riders have to say: riders want horses ready to go out and show. Get those young horses broke to ride; take them to a few local shows, fairs, the like, just for some exposure.

    That's why they are going to Europe. Buyers tell it over and over again, for the same price as here, they can get a young horse that is ready to go.

    But here, breeders will argue with buyers. There's a reason Walmart and any big business works. They listen to their market's needs and they provide what they need/want.

    Open up your ears to what your market has to say, and meet those needs. You will be successful.
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  10. #10
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    Read LucyShow's thread about the Swedish Young Horse Championships.

    We need something like that.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
    Mmm...not sure it's a matter of what we "lack" the most but the idea that buyers feel the need to swim across the pond to purchase quality animals. So perhaps it's simply the need to promote what we have here to encourage buyers to buy out of their own backyards.

    It seems to be an interesting phenomenon. When we lived in Colorado, I rarely would get breedings to our stallion(s) when he/they stood there. As soon as we moved out of the area, all of a sudden he appealed to that market. Heck, even Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz noted "...and it's that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard". <lol>.

    So I guess the biggest issue I see is how to encourage buyers to LOOK closer to home.
    Kathy , I think for some of the reasons stated above is why folks swim across the pond to buy their horse. They can make them up so much cheaper and there are way more of them made up to look at.

    I personally will never bring another young horse home until we do something about it here.

    You would be shocked if I told you what it cost for me to have a young horse with one of Germany's top riders. To start with you can't hardly get a top rider here for your 4 -5 yr old because they don't see the point in wasting time with the young horse. If you can.....they want thousands a month.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 11, 2009
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    Equus- it is not that the breeders won't listen - far from it. It is that the breeders can't compete with cost of putting the same experience into a young horse here as they can in Europe. The US does not have shows "down the road" every weekend that cost 15 euro a class, but have good footing, courses designed for young horses, and competition with quality youngsters of the same age. Where I am there is exactly 4 local shows a year appropriate for young horses and that cost less than $100. If show costs were reduced at the larger quality shows you would see many young horses in America with the same level of experience as in Europe. Also, owners who can not train/ride greenies themselves would be more likely to buy 2/3 yr olds knowing they could afford to send them to shows with their trainer in a few years and they would end up with a cheaper 6 yr old than if they saved their money for a few years and went to Europe to purchase one.



  13. #13
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    Well, it seems clear that what we need in NA are LOTS of informal non-recognized shows for young horses. If they are run outside of USEF/USDF, it would help a bit on fees, but one still needs a good facility with appropriate amenities (which of course, costs $$$).

    Seems the YHS shows are a step in the right direction, but there have been questions/concerns in the past from some quarters about how income from these shows is allocated. I know folks that will not support these shows as they are currently run.

    Of course, there is always the issue of scheduling. Trainers, etc., don't want to be spending very many weekends at an unrated show, esp. when it means they will lose out on lesson money for that weekend. Even breeders have a hard time getting off the farm for a weekend.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayhawk View Post
    Kathy , I think for some of the reasons stated above is why folks swim across the pond to buy their horse. They can make them up so much cheaper and there are way more of them made up to look at.

    I personally will never bring another young horse home until we do something about it here.

    You would be shocked if I told you what it cost for me to have a young horse with one of Germany's top riders. To start with you can't hardly get a top rider here for your 4 -5 yr old because they don't see the point in wasting time with the young horse. If you can.....they want thousands a month.
    To your point, no good young horse riders in the US, I think we should be importing them from Europe too.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayhawk View Post
    Kathy , I think for some of the reasons stated above is why folks swim across the pond to buy their horse. They can make them up so much cheaper and there are way more of them made up to look at.
    I appreciate that is a significant part of the problem. But, a bigger issue is the belief that if it is produced in Europe it MUST be better. That's what I'm referring to.

    I personally will never bring another young horse home until we do something about it here.
    There "are" things that can be done. But much of it is the tunnel vision that we suffer. I don't need a young horse to be kept at a top, big named facility to get the basics put on them.

    You would be shocked if I told you what it cost for me to have a young horse with one of Germany's top riders. To start with you can't hardly get a top rider here for your 4 -5 yr old because they don't see the point in wasting time with the young horse. If you can.....they want thousands a month.
    <smile>....Nah...I know what the costs are on both sides of the pond. I think one of the biggest issues is finding someone here that can ride and start the young horses affordably and correctly. In Europe, it's not uncommon for top riders to ride young horses which also keeps them in touch with upcoming talent. Here, often the young horses are foisted off on top riders' proteges or interns. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are paying for that top rider to have your horse in their barn, I personally don't want to find out that they haven't even looked at my horse.

    We have horses out in training and competition with young, talented riders. Top riders here had to start somewhere. Those "somewhere" riders are the ones I'm interested in. They usually have the drive and if you watch, you can truly find some incredible talent! I don't need some big named rider to do the job - especially if I'm dealing with young, unproven horses that have to prove themselves to be something. And I love the idea of hopefully finding that perfect match.

    So, while I agree costs are definitely an issue, I see other things as bigger issues. If there aren't buyers available, it doesn't matter how low we manage to make the costs. It comes back to how to make those buyers look at what we have and to shop here at home. Yeah, we're a huge nation and geography is definitely an issue, but the internet has certainly helped to make that much less of a stumbling block. It used to be that trying to get video and information would take literally weeks back and forth. Now we can do it in a matter of hours. We've been doing it long enough that I "can" remember what it was like marketing without the internet <groan>. And editing videos? That was done with a VCR and the pause and record button! That kinda dates me, doesn't it ?

    Sport horse auctions of the type that have been done in Europe have been tried, but they often are looked upon with suspicion and have varying levels of success. I remember when Glenwood Farms used to have an auction every year but I also remember the last one they held had rather abysmal results .

    acottongim - I think you also nailed it on a major financial stumbling block for breeders. In addition to those annual membership dues, if you're a breeder, many of the registries also require annual fees for mares and stallions. For one of our stallions licensed with multiple registries, we are looking at well over $1,000 in annual dues! And, it's not like being a rider that competes in one discipline. We have one that is competing in eventing and another in dressage! So, multiple memberships are required for that, as well.

    We moved to Oklahoma in part because we recognized that we "could" raise horses for less than on the east or west coasts. Considerably less. But ultimately, as long as we can't entice buyers to look at what we have here (North America), it truly won't matter how much we spend or save.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RanchoAdobe View Post
    Equus- it is not that the breeders won't listen - far from it. It is that the breeders can't compete with cost of putting the same experience into a young horse here as they can in Europe. .
    This is SO true! Most breeders are not riders - at least not young-horse riders. So they end up having to put 10 to 18 months of training on a horse, plus show fees to make it "ready for the average rider to show and WITH a show record". Well, our trainers are not cheap, so in most cases, that adds $5,000 to $24,000 to the cost of the young horse (all depending on what you pay for training). So, a breeder has bred a young horse, raised it for 3 years, then invested $12,000 in training and another $1,000 for some shows, and now a buyer is willing to pay $20,000 for the horse that the breeder has spent $28,000 on. The trainer is going to take $2800 or more right off the top as a commission - so the breeder is better off just PAYING people to take their foals before they are riding age

    We just don't have the young horse trainers available at reasonable costs here in the US. We have the quality horses, we just don't have a system that allows us to get them trained and shown. The trainers are the only ones that make anything in the current system.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownYonder View Post
    Well, it seems clear that what we need in NA are LOTS of informal non-recognized shows for young horses. If they are run outside of USEF/USDF, it would help a bit on fees, but one still needs a good facility with appropriate amenities (which of course, costs $$$).

    Seems the YHS shows are a step in the right direction, but there have been questions/concerns in the past from some quarters about how income from these shows is allocated. I know folks that will not support these shows as they are currently run.
    I do not intend to engage in a debate or --even less--a train wreck regarding the YHSs. But, as one who has co-hosted 3 such shows to date and as a strong supporter, let me say that there is NO income to be allocated! If you look at the numbers yourself, you will see that this is not a money-making enterprise, at least not now.

    The most recent YHS in Ocala was arguably an even more enjoyable experience for all- exhibitors, spectators, potential buyers and horses--than the last and we are happy to say that it has become a go-to event on the Ocala schedule, as we had hoped it would.
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  18. #18
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    I have been a breeder here for over 30 years and the abyss is my issue. I WAS a young horse starter myself. It is the biggest thing that made my program work. Now I am older with health issues, it is much more difficult. I DO have the luxury of taking on a working student interested in learning and a woman who started with me at age 8 who is now 30, and does ALL my breaking, despite the fact that she is 4'11 and 90 lbs. I do sell some of mine when they are very young, mostly to those who either ARE a BNT or the rare individual who has a fair amount of experience, can pay board , and can afford a trainer that they will use part time. Both kinds being the type who want a "replacement" horse at a reasonable price and are willing to wait on it. The hardest thing for me, is the in between of getting them started, having the riders to KEEP them rolling , AND getting them to the show ring.. The show ring can suck me dry financially sooo quickly, so we do alot of local schooling type shows, and make sure they are ready to win when we get to a rated or recognized show. This eats up an extra few months , where the horses are NOT seen by those who would have prospective clients. In any case, it also means I am probably paying a trainer a commission, and that is often a larger chunk than I will make as profit..
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noms View Post
    To your point, no good young horse riders in the US, I think we should be importing them from Europe too.
    Compete and utter bull crap. There are plenty of us here in the US. But somehow breeders don't want to spend the money to send their horses to us, so they use some cowboy, and then someone else has to spend 6 months un-screwing up the youngster, been there, done that.

    I charge $1200/month for board/full training. Board is high here because hay and feed are expensive. Why should I not get paid commensurate with my experience and proven show results of starting/training/showing youngsters? We need to make a living too.

    I'm sick and tired of people claiming there are no good young horse trainers in the US. There are 150 alumni that are invited annually to the Hasslers' Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium. 150. That's a lot of damn young horse trainers.



  20. #20
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    Dare I say it?


    The breeders that are not successful in the US market are so, for a reason?

    Then is the system really to blame?

    I always think that good horses sell, for a good price to willing buyers, no matter what the level of knowledge of the horse, even in bad markets.



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