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Breeding and $$$ / foaling deaths

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  • Has anyone read Scot Tolman's recent article in Warmblood's Today? Great article about a very prevalent situation we as breeder's face in today's techno-savy world. Many of us choose stallions from magazines, websites, etc... Even though a picture is worth a thousand words it is also very deceiving. So are video clips. It is amazing what kind off flaws and faults can be missed this way. We need to focus on our mare base being the very highest quality and then pick a stallion that may or may not improve her minor faults. Do your homework...don't just fall for the marketing or the hype. Stallions are not miracle workers...the mares have to be able to stand on their own two (I mean four) feet as far as temperament, conformation, movement, soundness, etc... if they are going to be worthy of producing foals. If your mare produce an identical offspring to herself...would you be happy about it?
    Here is a great example: I live in the midwest where QH, Paints, and Arabs seems to be the popular choices. The local vet school stands a few QH stallions. Their website shows some really lovely pictures and list of awards, etc... Very appealing marketing to the eye. BUT... I was up there with my own WB mares getting AI done and saw a student walking one of the stallions to his paddock. I could not believe my eyes...the poor horse was as lame as they come on several legs and crooked in his back, overly muscled with the tiniest feet, a complete nightmare! He looked like a freak of nature. Asked my vet and she said he is only 10, cannot be ridden due to all his ailments, and had never been injured....his body just failed him due to poor breeding practices. The kind of horse I would put down to end his suffering. (My vet is also horrified that he is a breeding stallion). And....he gets plenty of business as a stallion...can you imagine where his foals are headed after a few years of riding...SLAUGHTER at best...believe me...the mares he is being bred to are equally as frightning. I am not picking on QHs...this happens within all the breeds.
    As breeders we HAVE to take more responsibilty for our programs. If you are not willing to take back (let me clarify-not buy back) any horse you have produced then maybe you should think long and hard about what you are producing. Are you breeding too many? Do you kringe at the thought of starting them under saddle? Do you expect they will break down at some point? If your thought process is...oh well, it least they are sold or not my problem anymore...that is a big RED flag.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
      YES!

      I was SO upset last year, when the local tv news ran a sympathetic story about a west-river rancher who is watching the, and I do quote this: "cowboy way of life" go away because they ended horse-slaughter in the US.

      He was mainly "breeding" (i.e. stallion/mare band running wild) for slaughter and his profits were down.

      I am assuming other "cowboys" were actually upset with the story too. A good cow/rodeo horse is worth a lot of money here and they put a lot of thought and money into their breeding.
      I remember there was a thread on this.. wasnt it a woman?
      www.windhorsefrm.org and on Facebook too!
      Where mares rule and Basset Hounds drool!

      Comment


      • The woman was from Alberta but similar story.
        I am not sure why someone would keep any breeding female around that you "culled" her offspring often. The idea of culling the offspring does not make sense, you cull the mare or stallion. Even if feed is cheap and you have land, it is a value judgment to breed when you know you have a low success rate because you are not making money on it.
        Culling should be used to increase the quality of the overall breeding stock, as in get rid of those that are not producing consistent and of better quality. But even if some Europeans are breeding crap horses and selling them for food, it does not mean that that kind of thinking is what makes quality horses overall. It just means people are universally ignorant.
        If I start with a really good mare and breed her to a good stallion then even if the foal is not what I expected, it should still be good enough for a riding horse. And the mare should not be bred again. That is the type of culling that results in breed betterment. And if a good riding horse does not have a market and needs to go for food, what am I doing breeding to start with? It is a value judgment about whether horses should go for slaughter but I will say that unless you like losing money, there in no way it makes sense financially, so why bother?
        Last edited by stoicfish; Apr. 28, 2011, 03:47 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by wehrlegirl View Post
          I remember there was a thread on this.. wasnt it a woman?
          No, the one I saw on the news was a guy from western SD.

          I thought my head was going to explode, I was so upset. I need to stop watching the ten pm news. Hard on my sleep.
          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
            No, the one I saw on the news was a guy from western SD.

            I thought my head was going to explode, I was so upset. I need to stop watching the ten pm news. Hard on my sleep.
            It is a different mindset for those people.

            Cattle are livestock
            Hogs are livestock
            Sheep are livestock
            Horses are livestock

            They see little difference and consider all of them cash crops. The notion that horses should be more "special" than the other species just doesn't occur to them.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
              It is a different mindset for those people.

              Cattle are livestock
              Hogs are livestock
              Sheep are livestock
              Horses are livestock

              They see little difference and consider all of them cash crops. The notion that horses should be more "special" than the other species just doesn't occur to them.
              Yes but even with cattle, it is a poor farmer that keeps a cow that throws crap calves. If the goal of raising horses is riding stock and you are selling for meat, you are losing money. Even if you own the land and produce your own feed (which I do) you are losing money by feeding it to a $100 dollar horse instead of selling it or using the land for other things. Ironically the "crap horse breeders" are probably annoying people who actually are trying to raise meat horses. It is hard to compete against someone that is willing to lose money. Most of the cases, which I see, of people selling for meat are not intentional and they do lose on the deal. Not sure it is that they see it as livestock, (most people that raise livestock do it for money) they just do not think it through.
              I guess if you want to hide the horse on a dinner plate, it means you are probably still going to use the stallion or mare and are scared the failed foal will tip people off.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by stoicfish View Post
                Yes but even with cattle, it is a poor farmer that keeps a cow that throws crap calves. If the goal of raising horses is riding stock and you are selling for meat, you are losing money. Even if you own the land and produce your own feed (which I do) you are losing money by feeding it to a $100 dollar horse instead of selling it or using the land for other things. Ironically the "crap horse breeders" are probably annoying people who actually are trying to raise meat horses. It is hard to compete against someone that is willing to lose money. Most of the cases, which I see, of people selling for meat are not intentional and they do lose on the deal. Not sure it is that they see it as livestock, (most people that raise livestock do it for money) they just do not think it through.
                I guess if you want to hide the horse on a dinner plate, it means you are probably still going to use the stallion or mare and are scared the failed foal will tip people off.
                I was referring to the guy who was lamenting the closing of the slaughter plants in the U.S., because he was raising horses for slaughter - not as riding horses.

                But same thing for folks who profess to be breeding "riding horses", but end up mass-selling to slaughter because they overproduced in a down economy. In the end, they view the animals as livestock, and it is the sad fate of most livestock to come to a bad end.

                Comment


                • I just made the connection between the unpleasant backyard sounding breeder on this thread, and this thread http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-horses-seized

                  Thought a few people might find it interesting.

                  Guess that whole lets breed Paints and turn our stallion loose with a bunch of mares things didn't work out so great after all.
                  "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." George Burns

                  Comment


                  • Btw, what happened to Yankee Lawyer? I miss her posting.
                    "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." George Burns

                    Comment


                    • Why am I not surprised.... ? Thanks for putting it all together, Pinecone.
                      YankeeLawyer has been very busy with her career these last couple of years. We're still in touch on occasion and I will tell her you're missing her posts here.
                      Siegi Belz
                      www.stalleuropa.com
                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                      Comment


                      • i don't know anything about the history of CC, but the economic disaster that was the last few years did damage to MANY people - breeders included.

                        I personally know many people who lost it all or almost all so i know better than to make harsh judgments.....

                        Comment


                        • I would just like to say, that a point I made earlier, in Europe they eat their mistakes, well apparently we really do!

                          As far as the CCH thing goes, yup economy hit everyone. But in 2011 when this thread started, it was already tanking. There are many situations of breeding disasters from CCH to Jill B. Living on profits in their heads. Speculating with living breathing creatures. Never really works out to well in the end. Mostly for the horses.

                          So no matter what you breed, people ought to think a bit further than what those foals will be bringing in next year.

                          And I'm as far away from the wilds as you can be in Ireland. I have a client whose main business is cattle. He breeds, correction, did breed a few mares. 4 mares starting in 2008. He now has 19 wild and crazy horses on his place. They all come to us the same way. Run through the cattle chute and up on the trailer. They come off that trailer never having had a person with them on a lead. All medical done in the chute. He has some well bred stock. Connie's mostly. After the horses spend the first week hating us, they move on with training like they've been handled all their lives. One is currently being ridden by his owner that hasn't say on a horse in 40 years. So they all turn out just fine. And I will go far as saying 100 times easier than the over handled, badly handled, spoiled brats people seem to think are well adjusted youngsters. Currently trying to get as many broke and sold as we can. He's not too happy when I tell him what he can get for them at sale time. But thankfully he finally understands what happens when you breed willy nilly for a few years. In fairness he has 2 nice mares but until he gets things sorted with moving nice but not exceptional stock, breeding is off the table. Trust me we earn our money with this lot.

                          Terri
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • fwiw, many people failed that did not live off the profits in their head, etc. it was a VERY hard time here for a while... and many many lost a lot. and i think 2010/2011 is when most of the bad things really happened because it takes a while for folks to realize how bad it really is...

                            there for the grace of god go i is something i try to keep in mind.....

                            Equilibrium - i guess lucky that Connies have such stellar temperaments I know even here there are a couple breeders who dont do much with their babies - they are basically feral raised until time for selling or showing.... and i agree about spoiling - even tho i tend to spoil mine - i wish i didnt ! lol!

                            Comment


                            • I don't know. The writing was on the wall here as early as 2008. In 2009, it was more of a gamble and in 2010 people should have known. This is a very big export country. Be it TB's, sporthorses, or ponies. When people stop coming to buy you need to start being realistic. That's how you see things from over here anyway. A country of only 4 mil people. Probably a lot easier in fact to see what was happening and when.

                              Also the farmer I deal with doesn't have all Connie's. it's a mixed bag and has been educational for sure!

                              Terri
                              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.

                              Comment

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