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Pet Peeve of the Day II: Selling your aged producer

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  • Pet Peeve of the Day II: Selling your aged producer

    Timely, in view of the economy thread.

    So, you've decided to get out of the breeding business. Fair enough. We all have to sometime. THis concept should not have caught you by complete surprise however. Everyone needs an exit strategy - even in your 20's (when you are still "immortal").

    But you know what? That 18-22 yo mare that's given you 8-15 foals OWES YOU NOTHING. Not a damn thing. You owe HER. You owe her feed, shelter, good veterinary & farrier care and a dignified end of life.

    So...you say...she's got a couple more foals in her. What, exactly, do you think will happen to that old mare once she leaves your hands? How do you think she's going to handle all these changes when she hasn't been off the farm for 10 years? How fair do you think this is?

    There comes a point in a broodmare's production record and life when returning her to competition, or selling/handing her off to someone else is just plain wrong.

    I'm sure I'm not talking about any breeder on THIS board but I see people doing this that I would never have thought capable of it.

    To be fair, life changes, illness and debt can loom large. So...think about it now...while you are still whole, healthy, and solvent. Make a plan. Put it in your will. Make sure your family knows. Set aside something from your estate to make this happen. Find a way to separate your older broodmares from your "assets" in the case of divorce.

    Every time that mare laid down to foal out - she put her life on the line for your grand ambitions. We owe them, they do not owe us.

    Item number one in the Broodmare Bill of Rights.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

  • #2

    Truer words were never spoken and man - I agree with every single one of your points

    Puchi Trap has exceeded my expectations with every single foal she has produced for me and I pray that she still has it in her to produce several more, but if that is it - thats fine too. She HAS done her job and she then deserves a comfortable retirement for as long as she lives and if we no longer have our own farm, I know just the place where she can live out her years in comfort and be well looked after ... and I will pay to look after her until she draws her last breath ...

    Thanks for posting this at a very timely moment ...

    True Colours Farm on Facebook


    • #3
      Very well said and I completely agree.


      • #4
        Member of the Redheads with Redheads clique.
        I have a blog about Sammy: http://www.sammyssaga.blogspot.com/


        • #5
          I agree, I have a soft spot for the broodies.


          • #6
            Agree completely.

            I love my Old Grey Mare - she owes us NOTHING. I'm thrilled to have retained a daughter from her. She's given us 6 foals with 5 fillies in a row. She's produced 14 foals total. She owes nothing and can spend the rest of her life bossing around younger uppity mares and playing nanny to foals and lead-line pony for kids - or just snoozing in the sun. She's deserved it.
            *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
            Like Us on Facebook


            • #7
              Really glad to see so many agreeing with this. It makes me just sick to see someone dumping a 20 year old mare for $500 to "make room for next year's foal crop!" - that's far worse than someone running into bad circumstances and having to give or sell an older mare.


              • #8
                thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this.


                • #9

                  But I think you're preaching to the choir here. In my area there are so many aged mares that are dumped at the auction. Really p*sses me off! They have no handling (usually) to attract someone looking for an older, packer type of horse.

                  Seems no one wants an old, unrideable mare. And who made them that?
                  Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.


                  • #10
                    I've seen it.

                    I've still got my 15 yr old mare that has given me 5 wonderful foals. She has also babysitted me around event courses and foxhunting. She is the sweetest mare and will be with me forever. I also have a 32 yr old gelding that owes me nothing.
                    -Painted Wings

                    Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted


                    • #11

                      My dream, should I win the lottery or manage to get my finances in some semblance of order to be able to do it, is to own a farm specifically for these mares. I'd go to the auctions, call the advertisers, whatever it took to give old broodmares the retirement they earned but their a$$hat owners don't feel is their responsibility to give to them.
                      Not all who wander are lost.


                      • #12
                        I was so lucky to have a client who drooled over my elegant older mare. The mare had won at Upperville and produced some of the nicest horses I have every had. When I was forced to reduce my band (difficult divorce)...my cleint was delighted to have my special gal. She was given a nice home and produced a few more babies. In a way...giving her a chance to produce for someone else was more like passing on a legacy.
                        Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
                        GRANDE SOVEREIGN 2014 USEF 8th Leading HB Sire
                        & Sire of OWN IT - USEF National HB 3yo Champion

                        Grand Affiar, Grande Desire, GR Impression, Couture du Jour


                        • #13
                          I know the kind of mare you guys are talking about... the grande dames of sporthorse breeding. But I'm proud to say that I and several folks I've been honored to meet are dedicated to providing happy homes to PMU broodmares.

                          Some of them are still broodmares; believe it or not some impressive pedigrees and awesome temperaments found their way onto the pee line. Some of them shouldn't have been bred at all. But they gave a lot and in general got less than the norm. Not necessarily less basic care, but less love, personal attention, stability and reassurances. That's what we can give them for the rest of their lives. And cookies! My girl loves her cookies!
                          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TWF View Post
                            I was so lucky to have a client who drooled over my elegant older mare. The mare had won at Upperville and produced some of the nicest horses I have every had. When I was forced to reduce my band (difficult divorce)...my cleint was delighted to have my special gal. She was given a nice home and produced a few more babies. In a way...giving her a chance to produce for someone else was more like passing on a legacy.
                            As someone who may make the plunge into breeding this year, I am thrilled that someone may give me the opportunity to own an aged, but wonderful, mare. They are also quite happy to know that if I decide to take the plunge and breed her, she will have a lifelong home at my family farm

                            While I agree that people shouldn't actively seek out homes for their older mares, possibly being the recipient of such a grand old girl is very rewarding (under no circumstances was the mare in question looking to be placed - I was actually looking to place her in my backyard )


                            • #15
                              I agree with everything you said and more. I will go one better and tell you what happened this winter. At the moment we are in the middle of moving to another farm and really couldn't handle another horse at our old place, but I am flipping through the TB sales catalog and I'm looking through mares pedigrees and I happen upon an 18yo mare in foal. I see that she has had something like 12 foals all in a row, no barreness, no missed years, just foal after bloody foal. And all most all of them are winners. So I said to hubby look I have to go up there tomorrow and I have to buy this mare. We don't have the room really and don't have the money to spare, but I said she deserves a home for the rest of her years where she can retire and know she's safe. So husband says off you go. I went up to the sales and discovered she was "out". Owner was there with a younger mare so I quizzed him about his other old mare. He said he's not going to sell her now, well she's in foal of course. So I said, if you do want to sell her please contact me and I gave him my info. Obviously haven't heard a word.

                              This fall we will have more room and this fall I am going to the sales and I am buying a mare in the 18 and up category and she is coming home and living the rest of her life knowing she is safe. I throw a wing dingy every time I see people casting off their old broodmares. So I shall put my money where my mouth is and bring one home. I know I can't save them all but geez I just want one to have a brighter life at the end of her road.

                              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.


                              • #16
                                Good god this is why my mother gave her mares away when her RA got so bad she couldn't manage the horses. Two went back to the people we bought them from (per the first refusal clause in the sales contracts) and one is happily continuing her broodie career with a nice couple in AL. The last one has returned to her pony club roots and gets to event again (she was a happy horse when she found that out!). And you know what? My mom still goes visiting to make sure they're being cared for. It's just what you should do if you are no longer able to care for them. And if you don't have room/money/time for more then don't breed that year.


                                • #17
                                  I was just thinking about this because in the latest Hanoverian magazine I saw an ad for the MOTHER of one of my mares and I was thinking how old she had to be and wondering why she was for sale (for a fair amount of money, no less). My mare is 12 now, so you know this mare is not younger than 15 or 16, probably older. I've promised my mare a home for life since she has already had 7 foals for me. I wish I could do the same for her mother.


                                  • #18
                                    What a great post! I don't have a mare that old and that far into a breeding career yet, but I've seen the ads for 18-24 year old broodmares for sale. I was actually considering taking one and offering her a retirement home as a babysitter, but the owner was asking 3k for her. Hadn't been able to keep pregnant (uterine problems), advertized as embryo transfer mare. Had been breeding her since 2 years old! My offer was declined. I felt bad for the old gal, I just don't know how people can kick them away like yesterdays trash.

                                    Heck my rescue mare adopted by a COTHER was going to be SHOT by this gals boyfriend b/c she couldn't get her in foal any more. 18 years old, like 7 foals on the ground for her all of which sold for 5k or above.

                                    Sad. It's nice to hear from the folks who care about these old gals.
                                    Celtic Pride Farm
                                    Become a fan on Facebook!


                                    • #19
                                      Couldn't agree more. But AHF, you've got yourself in hot water now. You've started an excellent project for this forum: production of a Broodmare Bill of Rights.

                                      Can we put one together and have it published in CoTH? Mods? AHF? SHBF? Think we can do it? (I think we can!!)
                                      "For God hates utterly
                                      The bray of bragging tongues."
                                      Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders


                                      • #20
                                        Very good post. We got a very old gal here that will remain until the end. She no longer has babies and she costs a fair amount to keep healthy now since she is a beautiful 26, but she is worth every penney. I get a kick out of her on days she feels really good and runs around bucking and playing with her daughters. She is on joint supplement, yucca and hoof supplement, gets rice bran oil, Ultium, rice bran pellets and Ultimate Finnish all this to maintain weight and keep her happy...or is it to keep me happy? I love to see her run and have fun and want her to be happy and healthy as long as possible. I hope the one daughter of hers that we are keeping can keep her legacy going.