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  1. #1
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    Default issues within the breeding world

    in your opinions, what are the greatest issues horse owners face in the bussiness of breeding horses?



  2. #2
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    One of the biggest issues --I guess may not really be an issue more a fact--but attempting to breed for a profit. Does not happen often.
    Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
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  3. #3
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    1) Qualified help (staff). Breeding is very time intensive and good veterinary/repro knowledge is key before starting.

    2) If breeding warmblood stallions, the hight cost of advertising coupled inexpensive semen from Europe and the desire of the market to want to breed the newest, "stallion du jour" across the pond.

    3) If breeding mares to market foals...breeding costs, veterinary costs in the event things don't go well, raising the foal to weaning etc., when there are relatively inexpensive young horses that are bred en masse (volume) which sell for low prices from Europe compared to their counterparts here.

    4) Be realistic and plan your finances accordingly.



  4. #4
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    Mar. 21, 2007
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    Chehalis, Washington
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    hmmmm you could go in many many directions with this...

    - to many people breeding there avreage to okay mares just because " they have been such a nice mare for us " so people dont really look at bloodlines, conformation, and all of that alot of the time.

    - mass productions, to many farms out there with 100 mares and breeding them every year. there are also people doing embryo transfers and getting multiple foals on the ground from one mare. really people should be cutting back, not totally stop breeding but rethink our programs,etc.

    - to many avreage joe stallions.. if you have seen a gelding nicer then your stallion then.. snip.. snipp.. SNIP!! lol

    - the horse market is flooded in alot of areas, hay is scarce in alot or prices are just sky high, so you can find alot of free horses are ones decently bred for dirt cheep. so profit if that is what you want is next to none unless you keep your costs as cheap as you can.

    - oh and help yes that is a issue... im one person.. i breed very small amount of my own mares each year... i live an hour or more from civilization lol and my husband is next to non on the horse knowledge and is scared to death of them so its me tieing up mares and breeding them lol.. very funny sight..

    there are tons more things we could talk about but we could be here all day and im way to tired......
    [COLOR="DarkOrchid"]Proud owner of: AQHA 1996 Red Dun Gelding - Dun in a Zillion and AHA 1993 Bay Mare - Saud El Schmarra/[COLOR]



  5. #5
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Too much rubbish flooding the market.

    Ordinarily produced by those who haven't got a clue, out of a mare with awful conformation and being bought up by those who know no better.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    Too much rubbish flooding the market.

    Ordinarily produced by those who haven't got a clue, out of a mare with awful conformation and being bought up by those who know no better.
    And having the attitude "I own a mare, I can't do anything with her because she is lame / difficult / unridable / unathletic / so I will breed a foal from her so she "has a job"

    And then a year later they realise that once they had one horse that they didn't know what to do with and now they have two - and STILL have a mare that is lame / difficult / unridable / unathletic / ... so they breed her again because she has to have "a job"

    Oh and I shudder at the attitude that a stallion - ANY stallion, can fix everything that is wrong with a mare, and when it all goes pearshaped it's the stallion's fault

    I'm sick of following my dreams, man. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
    Figiel



  7. #7
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    Feb. 12, 2006
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    Maryland
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    I feel common sense is lacking. People are breeding for horses that are not necessarily suitable for the average American rider. People are breeding for jumpers as they seem to bring higher prices and quite often people can not ride a stick horse to water, let alone something that is a little quirky to start with. The pool is not all that big that you are trying to market to, therfore a glut seems to form and these same horses are then given away to Universities (Cornell, etc.) for tax write offs. This includes stallions,and when you talk to these breeding directors, they will tell you that they are turning down mares every day and only accept ones that they are forced to because they may have accepted quality ones in the past from same said donor and they can not cut off theiir nose to spite their face. I hve recently talked to German friends about this very thing and they realize the American infatuation with jumper prospects but feel they would be better off with rideable horses. Twenty years ago, Paul S. was running a barn in Reminton, Va., and horses were being reurned to him regularly because there were not enough talented riders to handle them, Now he breeds 2000 every year in Germany to sell to riders that have not improved in that same time. German riders were riding old style type horses and needed more go from their horses and loved the tb. They added horses with quick twitch muscles to their base, and now we find atletic riders can pick and choose their mounts cheaply here as owners pay them to ride them and look like models and hope they sell. Common sense has fallen off on the way side.



  8. #8
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    Sep. 22, 2001
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    Dayton Oh
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    I am not a breeder but have been looking at breeding my mare.

    I am amazed at the attitude that the mare is worthless. I have had multiple stallion owners tell me "As far as i am concerned mares are not worth much."

    It is like they think the mare is a incubation tube for a copy of the stallion. I just don't understand it. But then again I am not a stallion owner, however, I do understand that breeding is a risky business.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 22, 2005
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    Abingdon VA
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    Smile

    [QUOTE=tic tac;2350968]I am amazed at the attitude that the mare is worthless. I have had multiple stallion owners tell me "As far as i am concerned mares are not worth much."
    QUOTE]

    That really gives a bad name to stallion owners.... the best foals by our stallions are usually out of the best (or best bred) mares!

    My German friends say always to start with a good mare. Some go as far as to say that a great mare with many generations of proven blood will produce good foals with practically any decent stallion. Now they do have pretty hard criteria for what is considered a "decent" stallion.

    If you start with an average or worse mare, some of them can not be fixed right away by any stallion: you may need two generations to produce a superior foal. Keep the best filly out of the mare, breed her to the right stallion, and you may hit a homerun.

    Out of the above posts I especially agree with sid.

    Apart from that I think that too many MARE OWNERS think that the mare is an oven to bake a copy of the stallion that they have seen in a glossy magazine.

    Or alternatively they breed to a stallion that is at a nearby farm and is not worth very much in any respect, but the owner thinks he is... anyway, he's cheap and convenient, or to a stallion who is competing in x discipline and therefore "proven" but actually is not a great sire nor a good match for the particular mare.

    Anna
    Last edited by holsteinersrock; Apr. 10, 2007 at 02:21 PM.



  10. #10
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    Feb. 5, 2003
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    I think too many non riders and non trainers are breeding horses. Then they complain that they can't afford to hire someone to break them when they are old enough and they can't afford to show them. They are dependent on inspectors to tell them if they are breeding a good performance horse because they can't tell or don't know what a performance horse is - they are very removed from the actual sport. But the inspectors can only tell them how the horse relates to the european markets and may or not be familiar with the American markets so the horse may or may not be competitive here or marketable here.



  11. #11
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    It is a natural fact that people get into breeding as they age out of the riding. That’s the way disposable income and available time goes – it’s inverse to youth and vitality. When we are young, fit and riding, we neither have the time or the money to build a farm, and then stay home from work to foal out, get the breeding work done, etc.

    There was no way in hell I had the money in my 20s or 30s to do this. It was ALL I could do to keep one horse, and I ate a lot of Oodles of Noodles to be able to do that.

    Now, after time and injuries have taken their toll, our 20 year plan has come to fruition, I have the $ and the farm to devote to this enterprise, and a job that is extremely flexible. And a lot of us certainly consider what an inspector has to say, but I’ve got a brain in my head, and I know what type of horse I liked to ride, and incorporate that knowledge daily into my breeding decisions.

    The ONLY young people I know in the business are professional trainers without their own farms, or young women that have been fortunate enough to either be born into family farming enterprises, or have married into them.

    And if you are 50 and don’t mind hitting the dirt while breaking a youngster, good for you. You are in a fortunate minority.

    My biggest concern for the breeding industry is the scarcity of affordable farmland, and hay production. You need land to properly raise babies, and breeders are being pushed farther and farther out of population centers.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Number # 1 problem....selling your product! Number #2 - Finding good, affordable riders to start the younsters. The flood of OTTB's is hurting sport horse breeders of TB's. ALL TB's are NOT equal and the cheap OTTB's give people the wrong idea about "Sport Bred" Thoroughbreds. Ours (and many others) are as quiet and sane as anyone would want - NOT hot and/or neurotic!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  13. #13
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    Perth WA Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windswept Stable View Post
    One of the biggest issues --I guess may not really be an issue more a fact--but attempting to breed for a profit. Does not happen often.
    My sentiments exactly.
    If only prospective purchasers would take the time to work out just how much it costs, in money, time and risk, to produce what we do.



  14. #14
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    Why should they? It isn't any of their business. When you shop for a car, do you do an analysis of what it takes to produce the car? Do you research what child labor in China costs when buying clothes? Do you research how Wal-mart pays their employees when you go buy a lawn chair?

    No, of course not! People buying horses are going to buy the best horse they can find within whatever budget they think they can purchase it for. It is up to the producers of whatever product, horses included, to be competitive in the marketplace. If all the american wb breeders went out of business tomorrow, buyers would still be able to buy good horses at good prices.



  15. #15
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    Nov. 19, 2005
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    I wonder whether european breeders are under similar price (gas, feed, labor, etc,), land (hay) pressures? I understand many breeders in Europe like in the USA are small two or three mare "hobby" operations?



  16. #16
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by tri View Post
    Why should they? It isn't any of their business. When you shop for a car, do you do an analysis of what it takes to produce the car? Do you research what child labor in China costs when buying clothes? Do you research how Wal-mart pays their employees when you go buy a lawn chair?

    No, of course not! People buying horses are going to buy the best horse they can find within whatever budget they think they can purchase it for. It is up to the producers of whatever product, horses included, to be competitive in the marketplace. If all the american wb breeders went out of business tomorrow, buyers would still be able to buy good horses at good prices.

    Do you actually read what you post?

    Car manufacturers are NOT questioned about the price they charge.
    If you want a new car you pay the price, no questions.
    Yes you can get extras thrown in, but this is allowed for in the original price.
    Do you really think you would pay the same price for Porsche as you do a Ford.
    Why do you think that is?
    Because they include import costs, prestige etc in the price.
    Similar to sport horse breeding, wouldn't you say?

    I am not in the US market but the Aus market is similar.
    I find it offensive when you breed a good quality frozen semen baby and people, knowing the price, come out, have a look and say I can get a Warmblood down the road for much less than what you want.



  17. #17
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Right now, in our area anyways, the biggest problem is 'backyard breeders'. They breed crap to crap... and what do they get? Crap. I know of one woman's horse who just had every issue under the sun... prone to colic, leg injuries, suffered from navicular, had a tumor, and they STILL bred her. When I breed my stallion, the mares I choose are all SOUND of both body and mind. I want good conformation, good brains, good health. If an animal is prone to injury or illness, why have the chance of reproducing that?
    Take, for instance, the Halter horses. You've got these MASSIVE horses, (1500# or more sometimes), on these teeny tiny little legs and hooves. Then when they're crippled from navicular or founder at age 7, we breed them and just reproduce the same problems in yet another generation.
    It seems to be harder and harder to find people that actually think about the end result and the pros and cons of it before they breed. Quite frustrating!
    Megan
    turningpointfarm.webspotusa.com



  18. #18
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    Jun. 21, 2006
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    What she said - Chazdookiesally:

    Take, for instance, the Halter horses. You've got these MASSIVE horses, (1500# or more sometimes), on these teeny tiny little legs and hooves. Then when they're crippled from navicular or founder at age 7, we breed them and just reproduce the same problems in yet another generation.
    It seems to be harder and harder to find people that actually think about the end result and the pros and cons of it before they breed. Quite frustrating!


    Once, when my 25 year old thoroughbred was a yearling, I thought he was so beautiful I thought it would be fun to take him in an open halter class at a schooling show, against quarter horses, a few arabs, etc. To me, he had flawless conformation, except for being slightly base narrow and toeing out slightly. I wasn't very old and was crushed by the judge's placings, we weren't even in the ribbons, behind almost everything else in the class.

    My colt went on to race for two years, won a few races, worked out faster than a lot of Stakes races are run, then I took him home, took him to the hunter shows, rode him out on the trails, put lesson kids on him who rode him into the ground practically - and he's never been lame. He's still sound, with one small bump on him from banging his pastern hard on a fence. His legs are clean.

    I'll wager you a ton of money that the quarter horses that placed above him in that class are no longer functional. They were tied in behind the knee, small knee joints, tiny feet, toed out, offset kneed, pogo stick pasterned, and weighed about 1500 lbs at 15.1 height. One of them had stick straight hocks and the other sickle hocks. I had such high expectations and ideals regarding judges back then. I went up afterwards to ask the judge his reasoning (very politely) - he was very polite also but didn't really give me any reason for his placings (it was a local show, ok to ask).

    I knew that my horse wasn't the type - but I still thought that good conformation would be rewarded and bad discouraged. Duh, should have known.

    And that is the kind of thinking that was/is shaping breeding decisions for all of those people at the show and all the shows he judges (BNT), for his clients. I had studied and studied and studied stallions, mares, pedigrees, gone and looked at horses, their records, paid attention to horses who were still sound and going strong past their teens and those who were not. I really worked at my breeding decision to produce my horse.

    So, yes, I agree wholeheartedly that those who are really conscientious breeders are up against those who have no idea and are breeding crap, and the trouble is, it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to figure out what a good horse is, and most of the buyers aren't going to know this stuff until they have enough behind them to be the breeder. I think that's always been a problem in horse breeding. And now, with the knowledge that we are heading for a huge glut of horses, particularly quarter horses, it makes it even worse for those who deserve to be horse breeders, who should be breeders because they are bettering the sport for everyone in every possible way.

    Bad horses turn people off to the sport quickly as well, so those deserving breeders are treasures to the industry and should be rewarded accordingly, not ground down and forced to compete with junk.

    It's kind of like what goes on with dogs. The indiscriminant let their dogs run around and breed whoever whatever, or breed because they think the dog should have a litter to help her disposition, etc., and responsible dog lovers go to the pound to adopt and try to save all of the poor puppies who are abandoned, unwanted and need homes. Where does that leave the breeders who so carefully try to breed dogs with good dispositions, good health, soundness, health certificates, top quality food and vet care - plus they produce appealing animals with unique colors and/or special talents on top of it? They will have their customers but it's a shame that they do compete with those who couldn't care less.

    Sorry for the rant, it's an important subject if you love horses as far as I'm concerned, and always has been. I've seen more suffering than anyone should (as I'm sure most of the people who post on this board have) due to that sort of carelessness. The best breeders really should be rewarded, IMO. Rant over!
    ***
    Spotakiss, now a two year old colt, born 3-22-07 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhf7Bkb_4Gs



  19. #19
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    Well, I'll throw my two cents in here. I think there are two serious problems facing US breeders. Actually, make that three.

    1. A lack of knowledge about various lines, regardless of discipline, and the importance thereof. Example: those people that say "Papers don't matter--you can't ride the papers." are completely correct. But if you're going to buy a jumper, Voltaire (just an example--I do not own any Voltaire horses) in the bloodlines is PROBABLY going to get you a better start than "unknown."

    2. Lack of national sales venues. This really hurts the US breeder the most; trying to get your babies/youngsters out there and seen is very very tough.

    3. Training. Because of our lack of formalized training infrastructure many people use the guess-work system of finding a young-horse trainer. As I have discovered first hand, there is a huge difference between a "trainer" and a "young-horse trainer". And yes, Tri, it does have to do with price. I don't know what the answer here is as the "young-horse trainer" needs to price him/herself to what the market will support. And many breeders can not afford a 1K+ monthly bill.

    These are issues we have tossed around back and forth on the SHB forum for years!!! I don't have any answers ... I suspect the system will have to evolve to suit the particular needs of our geographic needs.

    P.S. Don't get me started on QH Halter horses. I have one that has been retired for a number of years for the very reason you cite... but he was a champion at age 3! Too bad HE has to pay the high, high price of those very inexpensive ribbons.
    "For God hates utterly
    The bray of bragging tongues."
    Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders



  20. #20
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    Jan. 15, 2004
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    Well I think some issues are general (like finding a young horse trainer you can afford in your area to start youngsters u/s and still keep them affordable priced to move) and some are breed specific.
    For the sporthorse TBs say I have a 2 YO that I figure I have 5K into by that age accounting for breeding expenses/vet bills/feed etc. (I am not talking race stud fees here). Never mind any profit margin for my 2 years of labor raising the kid or anything. The horse is now well mannered and has no track vices from being stalled 23/7, will not have to be retrained out of bolting into the bridle since he is not race trained, has clean as a whistle legs, was bred for his job as a sporthorse w/ siblings that are showing well etc. I have nooo problem with the wonderful folks at CANTER etc. but I do find it frustrating when folks look at my horse bred and handled for his intended job and to have pots of folks tell me "why would I pay 5K or more for an unstarted 2 YO when I can get an OTT already started u/s for that?". Because you MIGHT get a sweet quiet horse that was so slow it got off the track before it got any chips or was sound enough to avoid it and did not pick up a lot of bad habits and does not need tooo much reschooling and has good conformation and the bloodlines/movement suited for the SH discipline of your choice.....but in all likelihood you are going to have to deal with at least one of those issues for your bargain. And keep in mind that though that horse is cheap now it is because it already did not succeed at it's intended job. That is NOT NOT NOT to say that because it could not run does not make it a great horse that will make someone a fabulous hunter instead. I am talking strictly financially....prior to that horse being no longer able to run for whatever reason he was not originally selling for that price as a 2 YO with a lot of potential. After buying/training that youngster that did not work out someone is generally willing to take a loss to move it along. Getting to the car analogy. First, yes......cars are priced at x.......but if Ford was willing to sell all their cars for what folks really WANTED to pay for them they would soon be out of business. There are in fact cars for every budget....but Ford is also not going to sell you an F250 King Ranch edition if you have a Festiva budget! Their prices are set by what it cost them to make the car (whatever that may be and no I do not have any clue about what that may be nor do I ask....) plus a bit of a profit margin. Nope...I don't know the price of supplies and labor that went into making that WalMart lawnchair but WalMart does and they are not going to price their product to lose money either. Though in the WalMart analogy they can sell closer to the production cost with a SMALLER profit margin being a "big breeder" so to speak that will sell in volume. Soooo getting back to the OTTs and car analogies.
    My 2 YO is the shiny new truck on the showroom floor. He has no scratches or dings or maintenance issues. He was a custom built and handled model for his job. The OTT is the used truck that is for sale by owner. He might have some scratches and dents in him. The "dings" might be physical (chips, strains, slightly puffy joints from starting to race at 2) or mental (bad track habits from being stalled 23/7 or just a lot of reschooling as all he knows is running into the bridle). The used truck may be perfectly serviceable....but taking into account the depreciation and condition (might need some time and money fixing the scratches and dents or in equine analogy fixing the mental and physical dings) I don't think you person shopping for the shiny new truck is going to go into the Ford dealer and say "your new showroom floor model is 50K. Why should I pay 50K for your shiny new truck with nothing wrong with it when I can go to the used car lot and get an older truck with a few nicks and dings for half that price? " Ya have to keep in mind that someone already took the depreciation on that truck. Just like that cheap OTT was probably once a more expensive horse when he was shiny and new. You have to decide if you want to drive a shiny new truck that is not likely to have any maintenance issues for quite a while or if you want to pay less and drive a truck that might need a bit od engine maintenance and have the scratches and dents buffed out. There is a place in the world for both....especially since not everyone can afford the 50K truck......but ya just can't expect to pay used car prices for the showroom model. That's all. Though weather it is at the track or the used car dealer every once in a while you CAN find a creampuff!!!!!



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