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buying what you want vs. breeding it...and the timing for either

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  • buying what you want vs. breeding it...and the timing for either

    Ok....what I DON'T want is a breeding argument, a discussion on 'what' breed.

    What I am interested in is: where I'm finding myself....I have one horse. We are within this year investing some big bucks (ok, for ME, maybe not for YOU) in diagnostics...trying to identify this ambiguous on again off again lameness/favoring)
    anyway...that wasn't the point of the thread.

    Point is: I may be looking at a second horse...if so, I KNOW what I want. I want a warmblood/half arab...or a large breed/half arab. I want a registered half arab that is bred for dressage/and 16 h or better.
    Now. given that (and again...please don't argue with me what I want...thats not the discussion)
    My interjection here is: would I? be smarter to find a nice, well bred warmblood (large) mare...and enjoy her, show her, but also plan to breed her to the arab stallion of my choice? so I could have what I want? I find the youngsters are reasonable.....and I can wait......
    I keep looking at half arabs, and they are either of questionable future 'size' or are already WAAAAY too pricey if they're showing and undersaddle and over 16 hs (which again...is my goal)...... what would you guys feel is more reasonable of a way to go?
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    Buying your own is almost always 100% of the time cheaper than "making" your own. Even if you buy a two year old, keeping it in a pasture for a few years is still cheaper than breeding + four years of boarding before anything can be done.

    Were I in your shoes I would also not be looking for a warmblood mare....I'd be looking for a really nice, larger Arab mare and then find the warmblood stallion to complement her.....I think the Arab will be cheaper, although I guess you have to take resale options into account if you don't want three horses.

    If you're looking at two and three year olds who haven't been started yet, you should have a pretty good idea of their eventual size without paying the price for something already started.


    • #3
      Buy what you want. Breeding is a huge risk. You might end up with something amazing... You also might end up with something that is underwhelming or completely unsuitable for what you want. Or like me you invest a sizeable chunk of money and you end up with nothing at all. You only want to breed a really quality mare and you will have to pay for that quality, plus breeding fees and vet fees to get a foal. I agree with the above poster... If you buy a yearling, 2 year old, or unstarted 3 year old with what you would spend you will be able to buy a very, very nice horse. Go for the sure thing.

      I don't regret trying the breeding thing because it's something I had always wanted to do. It will not save you money though and will likely cost you more than buying one on the ground. I ended up with a very nice yearling that I got a great deal on and I'm two years ahead of schedule compared to if the breeding had taken. It was definitely the smarter way to go.


      • #4
        I agree with buying what you want. I have a friend who opted for breeding and her mare miscarried well into the pregnancy. There are just too many variables with breeding. Go for instant gratification....If what you want is out there buy it!


        • #5
          I had a nice mare that I showed through Prelim in eventing. She was always competitive in dressage and had a great mind (though quite lazy) and a good jump. I know people always say only breed the horse that you yourself want to ride. I wanted a more forward version of my mare, so both times I bred her to TBs.

          What I learned:

          1. You really do have $10,000 invested in the foal before you even sit on his back. And I have my own farm! Think of it as buying an unknown horse on an installment plan.

          2. Even if the mare has a great mind, be sure the stallion also does. Same thing with conformation. Enlist the help of some experts to really make the correct decision.

          3. The stud fee is one of the smaller parts of the equation. Buy the best mate you can afford. The adage "breed the best to the best and hope for the best" holds true.

          4. There is no guarantee the foal will want to do the discipline you would like. One of my homebreds was destined for the hunters (though in hindsight, my mare probably would have enjoyed being a hunter more than an eventer). The other had some success in eventing, but he has really found his niche as an eq horse, so he is leased out happy doing that. I ended up buying an OTTB as my next event horse!

          5. Babies do better if they have other babies to play with. Even with my own place, my first homebred didn't have any buddies near his age to learn life's lessons from. Also, babies have an uncanny way of finding ways to hurt themselves. Hopefully an older horse will be a bit past that stage.

          6. I'm not sorry that I bred my mare, but in both cases I didn't end up with what I had envisioned. Breeding my mare was a something I really wanted to do. I think if I had set all my hopes on my foal being my dream event horse, I would be disappointed.

          7. If you decide you can just sell the foal if it isn't what you want, I found it very difficult to sell anything that hasn't been going steadily under saddle. The bigger bucks are for horses with a performance record, and that in itself takes a lot of money!

          Read the Sporthorse breeding forum if you still decide you are interested in breeding. You will learn so much and be much better prepared than I was!

          Good luck in whatever you decide. Feel free to PM me if you want.


          • #6
            Breeding is not for the faint of heart. A lot of things can and do go wrong.

            If you do go that route, I think you're on the right track, looking for a warmblood mare to breed to an Arab stallion. Foals tend to get a bit more of their size from the mare, so since you are wanting something 16+ you will have a better chance of achieving that with WB mare.

            As others have said, if you can find what you want already on the ground, you'll be ahead of the game, both in cost (most likely) and in time.

            Good luck with your decision.
            Home of Sea Accounts xx
            "LIKE" www.facebook.com/SeaAccounts


            • #7
              Without a doubt buy if you know what you want. Breeding can be fun, but it is a gamble and will take you years before you can use your horse and time marches on..lol. The half-arabian market is booming right now because of the sporthorse incentives etc., and there are some very good horses out there. Make sure the Arabian side is made up of bloodlines that are performance horses if you can. I just bought a half-arab mare two days ago. She is 15:3 and coming 5...superb bloodlines, super conformation, uphill, etc. They are definitely out there.


              • #8
                Buy what you want. Just because you breed 2 horses you like/love does not mean you will end up with your dream foal. Especially given you seem set on 16 hh - if the arab stamps height you could easily end up in the 15s even with a tall mare.

                Temperament, looks, conformation, etc could all be different from your ideal. I love all of my broodmares, but I can say there are foals I click with and adore and others that I just don't click with and am glad to find people that love them.

                Playland farm breeds vey nice ISH out of arab mares and Irish stallions and the height vary from 15.1-16+
                Last edited by horsetales; Jan. 18, 2013, 08:56 PM. Reason: spelling
                Epona Farm
                Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                • #9
                  I am also in your shoes. I have a 4 year old that I breed and have ridden a roller coaster with her! She is amazing, but I have spent so much and now due to a recent surgery cannot sit on her again till September!
                  I was contemplating breeding again, buying an investment to try to resell, or just flat out buying what I want. I have decided to buy what I want. Even though it may be a little more than I initially set out to spend, it will still be with in my means (with out dipping into savings).


                  • #10
                    Breeding is a crapshoot. I bet most of those breeders were aiming for something big, correct, etc, etc...
                    "I keep looking at half arabs, and they are either of questionable future 'size' or are already WAAAAY too pricey if they're showing and undersaddle and over 16 hs (which again...is my goal).."
                    "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                    • #11
                      Since you don't have a ridable horse right now, I would say buy what you want.

                      If you decide to breed (keeping in mind all the good arguments people have given not to), another option is to look into custom foals/broodmare leases. You may be able to find a higher quality mare than you could otherwise buy and have an idea what she produces, increasing your odds of a successful cross. And after the foal was weaned, you would not need to worry about whether to keep her, sell her, etc.
                      She Gets Lost


                      • #12
                        I have a great mare I competed on. Oh, how much I wanted a foal from her. The situation presented itsself and I sent her off to a friend who is a breeder. For two years, I spent money on semen shipments from a stallion who produced two other great foals from mares on the property...but to no avail with my mare. No apparent reason why, either. Year three, I switched stallions and borrowed my friend's proven broodmare. Four shipments later...no foal. Naturally, this mare was the only mare that didn't take to that stallion that year. No apparent reason why, either. This year, said mare is preggo and is due in Feb. Moral of the story: Don't bank on your breeding juju if you're not willing to roll the dice, because you might have bad juju. Just buy a suitable youngster. Much less stress and it costs about the same.
                        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                        • #13
                          Breeding ONE time, counting on your luck to get just what you want?
                          If you are feeling that lucky, better buy a stack of lottery tickets with that money.

                          No question, much easier to buy what you want, plus cheaper and quicker to get where you want to go than breeding and hoping the very erratic stars of the horse gods align for you.

                          I would leave breeding to breeders.

                          Now, in racing, there are breeding farms that will board, breed, foal out and raise your foals for you.
                          May even start them under saddle.
                          We had a few such customers we even went on to train and race and had some winners that made money for them too.
                          All you have to do is pay the bills.

                          Maybe you can find one such farm that raises the kinds of foals you are looking for, that would help and mentor you thru this?
                          You still will have to count on much luck, but your odds will be a bit better to end with the horse you have in mind.


                          • #14
                            The breeding part is fun, picking the stallion, waiting for the first u/s, and then 30 days and then waiting for the big day and watching the mare grow in between. Feeling the first kicks, seeing him move at your voice in utero, etc. And when they're finally born, OMG, there is nothing cuter.

                            It is expensive, if you're paying board every month like me. and takes them FOREVER to grow up. Plus they're babies and they can get peculiar and have strange ideas. Or maybe it's just mine, I don't know, he's the first and only baby I kept. He'll be three in May and I'm keeping him out in pasture until then. Or maybe later, we'll see.

                            If you want the experience, go for it. It's a joyful, wonderful experience, but can have some headaches and I"m sure heartaches. If you want to ride right now, buy one, get exactly what you want, and miss some of the headache.

                            I was told to 'just buy one' also. But I wanted a baby like my mare. And he is. And very sweet and cute and he's just all around fabulous. Would I do anything different, probably not.


                            • #15
                              Because you know exactly what you want and you are breeding a cross bred (so more of a crap shoot) just buy the horse you want. It's a sure thing and you have a horse to play with right now... not four years from now.

                              I think I saw a horse that fit your description... I'll see if I can find the add.


                              • #16
                                Buy a youngster from a reputable breeder. Also you are the kind of person I'd like to sell to. Ambitious, will be competing, and thus offspring out of my mare get to shine. But also for my part I've raised them well and done things properly. I've raised them to be athletes. Not saying you could take half off the price because I would have invested much too, but I want horses out competing.

                                The obligatory, I do not have what OP is looking for and I'm in Ireland.

                                It's all wonderful that people seem to think they will be breeding nothing but professional rides that will get to the Olympics, but starting with correct, athletic, sane healthy horses that can go on to do anything is half the battle. Breeding for mediocracy happens anyway with the best of plans, no point in breeding for it. No point in also breeding for the professional ride only either.

                                So best to invest in a well bred youngster. You will wait to long breeding and you just never know what's going to happen. Honestly in my years as a breeder I'm really surprised they make it to riding age sometimes. LOL! While I respect what you want, look at all possibilities. Warmblood Arabs are fabulous crosses as are warmbloods crossed on TB's and even types like Connemara's. Make it an adventure. Look at all you can and keep an open mind. I find the older I get and I longer I do this the more an open mind makes better choices.

                                Good luck!

                                COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks one and all. Of course, as often is the case when we come and post, we 'know' the 'best' answer already. No....trying to make what you want when you're not a breeder vs. buying already on the ground is never smart.
                                  There 'is' a lot more to consider in my case....: I've been slowly but surely working on the 'farmette' where current horse and myself (!) will be moving to when 'the time is right'. When that happens, I will HAVE to have a 'companion' of some sorts. It will also be my last move. I will not sell my current horse, nor any horse I breed, it would ONLY be to keep unless/until it was best for the animal, not for me. I will be trying (!) to have 3 animals as my goal. Two riding...one 'companion' so one may go off property at most anytime, and two can if companion ends up fine, dandy, and secure with that. It would also be....a time in my life where I 'could' breed/raise a foal, whereas before now I could not, and soon, will consider myself too old to. Anyway. Yup, I know even given all that, it is still a much better solution to 'buy'.....but thought I'd share some of the realities so you might see why I'd even consider the 'other'......I'd be making a big move...would need a companion for my current horse, and could certainly take that time to adjust/do my own horsekeeping/and have a foaling experience that I probably wouldn't get otherwise..........just some background.
                                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                  --Jimmy Buffett


                                  • #18
                                    I would say, if you raise a foal with just one or two other horses, he won't really have a chance to be well socialized to other horses, with the possible problems that will bring.

                                    We have had such foals here time and again to work with as they had from simple to dangerous problems from being raised like a pet, not a horse.
                                    If you don't have the situation to raise foals with larger number of horses, there is no way you can get around that.

                                    What seems the worst problem is a not that good work ethic.
                                    The second problem, lack of understanding of hierarchy in the world, that there are some that are bosses and need to be obeyed, who doesn't spoil their horses part of the time? and how to live nicely with all kinds of other horse personalities, which translates later into understanding humans as other than food dispenser and provider of entertainment in a rather dull world, for a horse, that a backyard horse barn tends to be.

                                    Foals raised in places like you envision there are similar to a poorly home schooled kid, that then has some problems functioning in the real world the rest of their lives.

                                    Many do what you are wanting to do, like many "raise a litter to get another like that nice dog we have".

                                    I would consider very seriously how much you want to do what you want to do and how much are you going to sacrifice to that and how much you will want to or have the ability to live with any results that are not what you were expecting.

                                    As I say, many people into horses do what you want to do, they will tell you how wonderful their foals turned out to be.
                                    I have seen way too many such that were wonderful only to their owners, with so much the owners themselves would never have accepted in a horse they were looking to buy, from questionable conformation and manners and other, but are making do because they are so emotionally attached to that horse, which is fine.

                                    Each one of us will do what we want with our animals, that is why we have them.
                                    Since you are asking, I am just pointing out the possible pitfalls in that, so you have more to consider.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      and of course (!!) I'm appreciative, Bluey. I truly have considered the 'foal without foals' scenario.....and honestly, would probably? look into being able to wean/place foal with a farm that I was comfortable with for that experience...because? if I can keep momma/original horse at home....that would free up that expense .
                                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                      --Jimmy Buffett


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                                        and of course (!!) I'm appreciative, Bluey. I truly have considered the 'foal without foals' scenario.....and honestly, would probably? look into being able to wean/place foal with a farm that I was comfortable with for that experience...because? if I can keep momma/original horse at home....that would free up that expense .
                                        That sure would help very much socialize that youngster properly, to help it learn with changes in scenery and having to adapt to the world as it comes.