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Small business plans, holstein breeding

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  • Small business plans, holstein breeding

    I've read some great advice/threads on small business plans. In an attempt to avoid piggy backing off of someone else's topic, I thought I'd start my own.

    I'm an amateur rider who competes in the 1.20-1.30m jumpers. I am not someone who can go out and buy horses at that level, and so I've had to develop all my horses from young stock. I currently have two 2008 holsteiner fillies that I'm trying to decide if I should breed this year. They are well bred, well put together and both have great minds (check out other posts for more info on them. 1)Campione/Laval 1/Calvados II and 2) Campione/Cassini I/Caretino)

    This is my dilemma. I am not a breeder and would need to co-own my horses with my cousin who is a breeder (very knowledgeable). I do not have my own land, and so paying board on them for the years before they either sell and/or are rideable would not be feasible. Co-owning them would allow me to keep the mare/foal at my cousins place in exchange for 50% ownership and sharing costs.

    I bought these two as sport prospects, not broodmares, and I'm a bit scared of ruining their sport careers with the risks of foaling. I know this is done all the time.

    I also would need to either 1)improve on the mare and keep the offspring therefore selling the mare or 2)At LEAST cover my costs by selling the offspring.

    I love the advice given by RyTimMick about keeping within a registry, REALLY know your mare family and fill a niche. Mine would be the jumper ring, and I do have an in house rider (myself). I would be able to start and campaign anything that didn't sell as young.

    So...do I breed one of them this year, or forget and keep them for their original purpose? And what are the opinions out there of the co-ownership. How would YOU work that arrangement?
    Thanks for all the input!

  • #2
    My advice would be to train and sell the fillies, set aside money from the sale of those two and purchase their replacements as 2 or 3 year olds instead of breeding them.

    Without your own property and the "right now" practical breeding knowledge (there is a learning curve), you may end up on the losing end. Things can go wrong with breeding and it doesn't sound like you are setup to lose one of those fillies or "hold" an offspring that ends up with a problem.

    In addition, co-ownerships can go wrong real fast when problems develop.

    Just my two cents given your OP.
    Richard, Approved Black KWPN Stallion
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    • #3
      Have you considered breeding them by ET? That way you would limit the pregnancy/foaling risk, and allows you to keep them in training...
      http://www.selahwaysporthorses.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sfstable View Post
        My advice would be to train and sell the fillies, set aside money from the sale of those two and purchase their replacements as 2 or 3 year olds instead of breeding them.

        Without your own property and the "right now" practical breeding knowledge (there is a learning curve), you may end up on the losing end. Things can go wrong with breeding and it doesn't sound like you are setup to lose one of those fillies or "hold" an offspring that ends up with a problem.

        In addition, co-ownerships can go wrong real fast when problems develop.

        Just my two cents given your OP.
        From a business standpoint, I totally agree. You can eat a ton of money breeding and have nothing to show for it. That said, if you really want to, go for it...

        What I hav seen work really well (w/an excellent contract) is if you are a trainer/rider and there is already a breeder who has 3-4-5 year olds that need campaigning to either sell, or increase the value of their offspring. They pay all raising and upkeep costs, but you do free training in exchange for $$ when the horse sells. Could be a percentage or a percentage plus 50/50 on any amount above $____. Then you each focus on your strengths.

        Edited to add, that is what the breeder above did--ET on the mare in training and I think the breeder bore the cost, but some of the compensation to the rider may have been $ from the ET. The ET's were worth a lot more for an FEI level well-bred mare vs. what she was getting on well-bred mares that were pasture puffs.
        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Have you proved yourself. Have you taken a nice young prospect all the way to a successful trained jumper and sold it for a good price. I would say what you have are the horses you need to prove this with...it is harder than you think. Train both of them to a good start...ready to go in the ring at the lowest level and offer them both for sale. Learn how to market a nice young prospect to the people you want to do business with in the end who can pay good prices for good candidates...believe me it is harder to do than you think. Purchase another young prospect to take the place of the one sold. You might be able to purchase an older horse you can start training earlier or perhaps upgrade to a better quality/pedigree of young horse. Take the remaining mare of the original two and continue advancing her up the levels...show and enjoy her. If she turns out to be very talented beyond your level of jumping comfort...sell her for a good price. Replace her with another youngster. If you find you can do this successfully then talk to breeders who have youngstock you like about working together to breed and sell jumpers. There are many small parts that make a successful sale in the end. The good start is one where the average amateur can get on and be comfortabe and feel confident. You always look like a successful trainer and rider...no slumping around. Your horses are known for being beautifully presented both at home and at shows. You take advantage of the bnts by driving your lovely mares in for lessons. Develop relationships that can help you sell for good prices long term. Breeding would be for when you have a mare who is injured but was successful or has aged out of her jumping career or who needs a break for a year. Have fun. PatO

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          • #6
            Boy we are so smart..we all posted the same thing at the same time...funny. PatO

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              thanks

              Thank you for the input so far. I think I need to be a bit more clear...
              I have actually brought along many horses, both for other people (primarily www.carletonwarmbloods.com) as well as my own resales. I have started many of these horses from only being halter broke, or I've restarted them in their 4 year old year. This includes "Double Whammy" who I sold to Atlanta, Georgia (I live in Canada) as a medium pony hunter who went on to pin 6th at USEF finals the first year the new owners showed him. My current jumper is a horse I started english as a 4 year old and is now a successful 1.30m horse. So starting and bringing along is something I'm very comfortable with and have a lot of experience doing.

              I purchased my fillies at a very reasonable rate thanks to a perfect storm of situations. I am unable to replace them for any where near what I paid for them. I am willing to sell them once they're going (as was mentioned) in the $25000-$30000 range, so not super motivated or negotiable due to their talent and pedigrees. They are exceptionally well bred.
              I want to move up. To buy a horse at the 1.40-1.50m level is in the mid 6 figures. I will never afford that. I have a great education and non horse career ahead of me, so caring for multiple horses is not a problem. BUT, breeding something you have to board makes for negative profits. Also, both these fillies have the potential to be upper level jumpers and were bred with the hope to go in the grand prix ring.

              My dilemma is: Do I keep the mare's valuable genetics through breeding her and risk her health through breeding or not? And, of course deal with the possible problems associated with co-ownership? Has anyone ever tried this and how did they set up the contract?
              Hope that helps clear up the scenario a bit!

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              • #8
                Go ahead and move forward with their training and performance career. With the market upside down, breeding is a money pit right now and partnerships have a tendency of going south. You can always do an ET down the road.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by showjumpers66 View Post
                  Go ahead and move forward with their training and performance career. With the market upside down, breeding is a money pit right now and partnerships have a tendency of going south. You can always do an ET down the road.
                  I agree with this. Also, will you be in a position in the next few years to own your own place? That would mean you could proceed with competing these mares and bring them home later for breeding.

                  It will be hard to have an arrangement such as the one you mention with your cousin and come out whole in the end. I don't think paying expenses and 50% ownership sounds like a great deal. You would be better off iff you could find a stallion owner with a stallion you are interested in, to lease your mares and for a foal for them and then return the mares in foal later. You might get lucky if they are nice mares.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    It will be hard to have an arrangement such as the one you mention with your cousin and come out whole in the end. I don't think paying expenses and 50% ownership sounds like a great deal. You would be better off iff you could find a stallion owner with a stallion you are interested in, to lease your mares and for a foal for them and then return the mares in foal later. You might get lucky if they are nice mares.[/QUOTE]

                    Hi Sketcher. Can you explain what you mean here? (With the stallion owner bit?)

                    I won't likely breed them once their in sport (unless of course, they need time off from sport for injury, rest etc.) My plan is to sell them once they are in the smaller grand prixs. The change to this plan would occur if they turn out not to have the scope for that level, then I would sell them earlier.

                    For those that recommend ET once they're in sport, which would allow me to breed them once I own my own property: Any experience with breeding high end sport horses in busy careers? I have heard it is very difficult to successfully take embryos off a mare while she is in full training. I suppose it probably depends on what sort of hormone balancing the mare requires. This is sort of the ideal situation for me (the ET route) but I was scared off of it from various breeders in my area who are also grand prix level riders. They have not had success taking embryos off of their in-sport mares.

                    It sounds like everyone on here feels that the co-ownership combined with the economy is the big deterrent. I'm guessing that the reason everyone here continues to breed despite this economy is that they are A) already established and B)Can maximize profits by owning their own land. Is that a fair assessment?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LPiper View Post
                      It will be hard to have an arrangement such as the one you mention with your cousin and come out whole in the end. I don't think paying expenses and 50% ownership sounds like a great deal. You would be better off iff you could find a stallion owner with a stallion you are interested in, to lease your mares and for a foal for them and then return the mares in foal later. You might get lucky if they are nice mares.
                      Hi Sketcher. Can you explain what you mean here? (With the stallion owner bit?)

                      I won't likely breed them once their in sport (unless of course, they need time off from sport for injury, rest etc.) My plan is to sell them once they are in the smaller grand prixs. The change to this plan would occur if they turn out not to have the scope for that level, then I would sell them earlier.

                      For those that recommend ET once they're in sport, which would allow me to breed them once I own my own property: Any experience with breeding high end sport horses in busy careers? I have heard it is very difficult to successfully take embryos off a mare while she is in full training. I suppose it probably depends on what sort of hormone balancing the mare requires. This is sort of the ideal situation for me (the ET route) but I was scared off of it from various breeders in my area who are also grand prix level riders. They have not had success taking embryos off of their in-sport mares.

                      It sounds like everyone on here feels that the co-ownership combined with the economy is the big deterrent. I'm guessing that the reason everyone here continues to breed despite this economy is that they are A) already established and B)Can maximize profits by owning their own land. Is that a fair assessment?[/QUOTE]
                      ----------------------------------------------------
                      I don't know, the BO where I keep my filly got embryos from her mare that was in full training. I don't remember her saying there were any issues. Especially if you are the trainer-owner...you control the schedule.

                      Paying someone board on a broodmare eats your profit. Ask me how I know...(luckily I was breeding this one for me). Also, it is just plain stressful from a care management standpoint.

                      A lot of the breeders on here have established broodmares with pipelines for selling foals. In addition to owning broodmares, they also probably already had semen or studfees when the market tanked (my guess). It is/was a great time to cull your herd and increase your quality.
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        "Paying someone board on a broodmare eats your profit. Ask me how I know...(luckily I was breeding this one for me). Also, it is just plain stressful from a care management standpoint. "

                        Although I wouldn't being paying any board and only some of the vet and stud fee costs, I would be paying through giving up part ownership of the resulting foal. Her lease fee of the mare would be to cover the majority of the costs.

                        Another thing to consider is that the economy in Canada, particularly in Alberta is unscathed. Though, truthfully, a poor US economy significantly decreases our market up here.

                        I think I have been significantly discouraged from this process. Thanks I am still going to sit down and talk about possible contracts/conflicts/how to resolve said conflicts. Doesn't hurt to talk. I'm also going to discuss with my repo vet her opinions/experience with ET from mares in sport. We'll see.

                        I don't want to close this off, as I'm getting some really interesting input. Maybe we can steer this conversation towards starting up a small breeding operation when one does own appropriate property. What has worked for others and why? What hasn't worked and why?

                        Thanks all.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Oh forgot to mention, if I don't breed her I will be paying board on her for that duration of time. I've started them both and will be turning them back out to grow up for a year. So, no riding and the cost of outdoor board, which, thankfully is not to gruesome in this part of the country ($300/month). So the only way to get out of paying board and care costs is by breeding her. Which, OF COURSE is not a reason to breed. Though does need to be considered in the overall costs.

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