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Buying babies or buying made

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  • #21
    Originally posted by RyTimMick View Post
    I personally disagree with this sentiment. I know my mares, and I know what they produce. I know what their dams produced and what their sires produced. There is no question whether or not my foals will jump. The only question is if they can go up to Grand Prix or not. As we have discussed on this board, there are way too many factors that lead up to that.
    My experience is that you can't tell whether they have the "eventing brain" until you actually get them going cross country.

    Even with full siblings.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

    Comment


    • #22
      Well, I do the Hunters and a weanling is a pretty big risk...I really don't like the Jumpers (not brave enough and too slow) and no matter the breeding, you just never know if a weanling or yearling is going to get around the hunter courses with an 80 or better. There have been some pretty well bred duds-and some average bred at best that were superstars.

      But, I have no objection to still green 3/4 y/o or so, well started with enough O/F exposure to show what it's got stylewise. Those are usually well priced before they get any show miles and you can see what you are getting.

      Another obstacle with the babies is most people board out these days and that can add up to 10k a year in a heartbeat just for board and basic vet and farrier. Buy a weanling if you board out and you are looking at 20k easy down the hole before you can ever ride it.

      Whoever mentioned most of the ammies they knew who bought babies were not successful and/or ended up dumping a ton into trainer fees. Bingo. For every one that is successful there are 10 that bought the wrong baby or should not have bought a baby at all.

      If somebody had their own place and had the talent to bring them along or just get the first 90 days put on them by a trainer? It is a good option. Otherwise, not so much.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

      Comment


      • #23
        I like buying babies -- I can't afford made of the quality of horse I want to ride. I can start them myself and still produce a nice product, which helps keep the costs down.

        If I want to sell I get them really ready and send them off, though -- the price I can get magically triples when my horses walk into a BNT's barn.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by findeight View Post
          Whoever mentioned most of the ammies they knew who bought babies were not successful and/or ended up dumping a ton into trainer fees. Bingo. For every one that is successful there are 10 that bought the wrong baby or should not have bought a baby at all.
          The same could be said of ammies that bought "made" horses too.
          "I always remember you as quite the desk chair contrarian." - APirateLooksAtForty

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Janet View Post
            My experience is that you can't tell whether they have the "eventing brain" until you actually get them going cross country.

            Even with full siblings.
            Well that explains your answer. Most people will say you don't breed an eventer, you make or discover one. I breed for jumpers, so a little different. However, there are those that breed for eventing, so I don't want to slight them, I bet they breed for athletes, and then pick and choose the top ones.

            I think it would be helpful if the OP would chime in and give us some more specifics, that way we could be more helpful as a breeding community.

            Tim
            Sparling Rock Holsteiners
            www.sparlingrock.com

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            • #26
              Originally posted by findeight View Post
              Another obstacle with the babies is most people board out these days and that can add up to 10k a year in a heartbeat just for board and basic vet and farrier. Buy a weanling if you board out and you are looking at 20k easy down the hole before you can ever ride it.
              Even keeping horses at home, and without excessive training fees (just the lesson fees I would have whether riding a green or experienced horse), it isn't an economical proposition. But that isn't why I do it.

              Whoever mentioned most of the ammies they knew who bought babies were not successful and/or ended up dumping a ton into trainer fees. Bingo. For every one that is successful there are 10 that bought the wrong baby or should not have bought a baby at all.
              Depends on your definition of "wrong baby".

              To the extent that she was bought to be a serious event horse, Music was the "wrong baby"- she just doesn't have the right kind of brain and attitude for cross country above Novice, and she wasn't reliable even then.

              But once I stopped trying to event her, she turned out to be quite good at dressage (competing up through 2nd level and schooling all the 3rd level movements), great on trails, and could hold her own in local jumpers and hunters.

              If I have been sick for a while, and this is my first day back riding, she is the one I ride. If I need to work on MY position (extensive time in 2-point, or without stirrups) she is the one I ride. If I am going to pony other horses- either just for exercise, or for training a young horse, she is the one I pony from. If I need to do some horseback-level trail clearing (cutting the low hanging branches that I can't reach from the ground) she is the one I do it from.

              Currently (Music is now 25) my sister is using here once or twice a week to teach low level jumping lessons, and repeatedly says "I can't believe how perfect she is" (she didn't even LIKE her when she was younger).

              Definitely NOT the "wrong baby".

              If somebody had their own place and had the talent to bring them along or just get the first 90 days put on them by a trainer? It is a good option. Otherwise, not so much.
              Even then, it is only a good option if you ENJOY the process.

              I don't "send them out" to be trained- why would I pay someone else to "do the FUN stuff"?

              But if you don't actually enjoy working with a yong horse, if that isn't "the FUN stuff" to you, you are better off getting an older horse.

              Yes, I know that a professional trainer could bring them along better, and faster, than I can. But they are my hobby and I am more interested in the process than the final result.
              Janet

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

              Comment


              • #27
                As a breeder, there is something very special about knowing your horses from the moment they are born. It is funny but their personalities and temperaments are present from the moment they hit the ground. As they grow you are there watching and learning how they behave with mom, in the herd, in new situations, etc...Once they are ready for saddle I know exactly what to expect...which ones will be easy, sensitive, lazy, needs lots of repetition, etc... Anyways, if I was going to create my dream horse i would get a baby and ask lots of questions from the breeder about both the parents and the foal. Make sure it is raised outdoors with lots of sunshine and buddies and room. Handle it and work with it but don't overdo it. Then at 3-3 1/2 start under saddle with a trainer that is very experienced with young horses...get references and do your homework...be involved too...even if you just saddle up and cool down...you want to be part of the process with your baby. Anyways, my thoughts....

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by RyTimMick View Post
                  I breed for jumpers, so a little different.
                  Tim
                  I do think this makes a bit of difference, jumping is such a heritable trait. Hunters are much more of a risk.

                  I buy hunter prospects but if they lack something as hunters, they go to the jumpers, no problem. So I don't really have the "what do I do with my mistakes?" issue. I've never had one flop so badly I couldn't move it as a nice Children's/Adult Jumper. Gosh, anything with 4 legs and sound can be a nice Children's/Adult Jumper with the right training.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Janet View Post
                    My experience is that you can't tell whether they have the "eventing brain" until you actually get them going cross country.

                    Even with full siblings.
                    Soooo, just wondering...is the "eventing brain" not a heritable factor?
                    Would it be difficult to measure the heritability of the "eventing brain" because the majority of eventing horses in the US are "found", not bred?
                    http://www.selahwaysporthorses.com/

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I define "wrong baby" as one unsuited (and not bred for) for the discipline it was purchased for by a buyer who does not want to switch disciplines. I know several right now in that situation with 4 year olds they have had for 3 years now (and are into for a considerable amount of $$$$) and just are not going to be what they were bought for.

                      Closely followed by a baby from lineage not known to be particularly ammy friendly, kind and/or forgiving bought by an ammy with little or no experience in breaking and training. Know one of those too. None of these colts are in happy situations.

                      Alot easier to see these babies are suitable or not in something 3 and up.

                      Yeah. People buy the wrong made horses too, but they find out alot quicker they made a mistake.

                      You know, I am not convinced many weanlings and yearlings are well suited for typical boarding/training barn life either...and many, if not most, boarding and training barns are not well suited for weanlings and yearlings.

                      Going back to my theory buying a weanling or yearling works alot better if you can keep it at home or very close to it in a suitable barn that is equipped for babies.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        All your perspectives are well thought out and grounded – thank you.

                        Tim – my question was broad-based to learn about other opinions and experiences. Kudos to breeders who know what they’re breeding for. So many ads say for example, H/J lines but movement for dressage. To me the conformation differences can strongly indicate a specific ability as a starting point at least. I’m also finding that quite a number of places ‘let them grow up’ at pasture with very little exposure to what I feel horses should have from the baby stage, not at 2 or 3. To me, this is an opportunity missed that takes a long time to get back, if ever.

                        Agreed, I doubt raising a weanling would be conducive to a boarding situation - you'd want to be the on-site f/t care-giver. You'd also want proper facilities; stable, stalls, fence, sand-ring, etc.

                        Some are ingrained traits, but I can’t help but wonder if one had a horse from a baby it might at least have an opportunity to form its being well.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          OP, I think you've gotten some good points to ponder. Ultimately, you'll have to decide what works for you, your situation, and your goals.

                          FWIW, I was leasing my third schoolmaster when I fell in love with a 2 yo filly. Did I break a cardinal rule and become emotionally attached? Ohhhh yeah. But she was everything I could have asked for and more in a potential amateur mount: incredible mind, great conformation and movement, athletic, a good start in life, and more of a tomboy than a mare.

                          So for me it really came down to this--I would have needed my next horse to be a 3' horse. Finding a lease every year wasn't something I wanted to do forever (I don't lease cars either). So I could purchase a made 3' mount, or spend a bit less up front for something younger and spend the money over time to train it. Financially the latter worked better for me. The situation also was easier in that I board at a hunter breeding focused barn and my trainer specializes in showing and starting youngsters. I wouldn't have been able to start her alone.

                          Watching her grow and learn new things has been an unexpected joy. Is it easy peasy everyday? No, but I'm sure years down the road when we're competing in the big kid divisions I'll be able to laugh about most of it!
                          "It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know--and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything." Joyce Cary

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I have always boarded the weanlings/yearlings i have bred or bought. Never had much of a problem finding inexpensive pasture board that provided them with a safe, healthy but non-fancy environment to grow and flourish in.

                            Anyone who is spending 10K/year on board + expenses for a weanling/yearling is SERIOUSLY wasting their money!! Good GRIEF!

                            I will never, ever buy a made horse. Or even a going 4-5 year old. Even the most "well-behaved" ones often aren't made the way I want them. There's always *something* that wasn't properly instilled... sometimes it's a little thing, like fly spray (rearing and breaking crossties and generally losing their mind over being sprayed), or bathing.. sometimes it's a big thing, like a nasty buck thrown in just for fun once in a while, or going bonkers with fear on a solo hack.

                            There is simply nothing like breeding or raising your own from a very young age. No amount of money can BUY the sense of complete and total trust i have in my homebreds, i know every single solitary detail about them, every quirk, every scratch, every look, i know them like the back of my hand. Their entire history. No holes. No surprises. No frustrations. Just pure enjoyment, comfort and trust.

                            Besides, i always snicker when people whine about not being able to doooooo anything with them for 2.5 years.. please. There are tons of things you can do with a weanling/yearling and upwards. Tons. Use your imagination. Enjoy the interaction, the bonding, the discoveries, the groundwork, the exposure, the breed shows, the handwalks... just being around a baby is a wonderful experience (assuming they're not rank, dangerous heathens - but there are just as many rank older horses, thankyouverymuch, and those ones are much bigger & stronger!).

                            And there's an incomparable sense of accomplishment you get when you trot into the show ring on a horse you raised and/or trained yourself. There's just nothing like it.
                            www.jlsporthorsesales.net

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Blazergoose View Post
                              All your perspectives are well thought out and grounded – thank you.

                              Tim – my question was broad-based to learn about other opinions and experiences. Kudos to breeders who know what they’re breeding for. So many ads say for example, H/J lines but movement for dressage. To me the conformation differences can strongly indicate a specific ability as a starting point at .
                              In my view, a good athlete is a good athlete, and a well-bred horse should be able to at least have the aptitude to negotiate a 3 foot course and do basic dressage respectably to third level or so - which more than covers the needs of the vast majority of buyers, which are amateurs. So I would not be surprised if many of those ads are actually accurate in their representations.

                              In addition, few horses are bred for or aimed at upper levels, but even among those, it is a fact that many of the top international level dressage horses have jumper lines in their pedigree (though you rarely find the reverse - int'l GP jumper with dressage lines). I make a point of incorporating jumper lines in my program and all of my dressage horses can and do jump. Several would be competitive as hunters and one would be a good derby horse, IMO.
                              Roseknoll Sporthorses
                              www.roseknoll.net

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                "Eventing brain"? I think I know what Janet means there...heart. When they give you everything and you ask for more? They find more to give you and never say no.

                                That is something few have and there is no way to know until you find yourself asking for that extra something. If it is inherited at all, IMO, it would be from the mare who rasies that baby. And that "heart" does not necessarily translate to particularly kind or easy.

                                Have owned about a dozen over the years and worked with a bunch of others, only had one like that. Not an Eventer but she would have died trying for you and there was nothing she would not try to jump if you pointed her at it. Should think that is more from the TB side where the best ones would die trying to get a nose in front of a rival and they have been bred for that for 300 years+...yet not all or even the majority have it.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I bought a baby. I'm one of those re-rider ammy's that probably shouldn't have. But I went with my gut and heart on this one and a year into it and a few months into riding, I have no regrets.

                                  I went into int knowing that I had dabbled in a lot of different disciplines. People ask me what I'm going to do with him and this is my stock answer:

                                  "I'm going to figure out what we're good at and we're going to do that."

                                  But my horse is so danged good at everything I may never choose!

                                  I didn't do it to save money. I could have saved what I spent on his board and training over the last 12 months and bought a more expensive, fully trained pony.

                                  But then I would have been 12 months without a pony. And I'm enjoying the process a lot.
                                  ==================
                                  Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!

                                  http://reriderandpony.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    To me a baby is a weanling/yearling (just for clarity). There is a lot of waiting.

                                    I guess I respectufully disagree based on my experience, I don't think there is really that much to do with them. Mine bathes, ties, trailers, stand for the farrier, has met the swimming noodle, the beach ball, the tarp, we go for walks, etc. and we've done some breed shows (which I will pass on in the future--bah). But once they get it, they get it and if you've been handling them all along then there isn't a whole lot to do (when compared to getting a riding horse ready for a show season, etc.). Having gone from a yearling and a riding horse to just a yearling, currently, I guess I have realized that I, personally, do not get much out of having a baby and *really* miss having an adult horse to work.

                                    If you are a rider then it is not the best thing, unless you have another horse to ride. Also, you have to be really careful to wait until the horse is ready. It is tempting to push that young horse once it looks like an adult, because you don't want to wait...

                                    Just my two cents.

                                    (I also agree with Yankee Lawyer that pretty much any sporthorse should be reasonably decent at lower levels of most competitions, except perhaps having a decent hunter jump/trot & that jumper blood is good for dressage horses, but not vice versa )

                                    Now it is four cents...
                                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                      "Eventing brain"? I think I know what Janet means there...heart. When they give you everything and you ask for more? They find more to give you and never say no..
                                      That is part of it, but not all of it. What I am talking about really does involve the thinking process.

                                      It is a combination of being VERY OBSERVANT, and figuring out VERY QUICKLY how to deal with a new situation.

                                      Belle has an eventing brain, Music doesn't.

                                      When I gallop into an open field with Belle, before we have gone 2 strides, she has noticed EVERYTHING in the field that could possibly be a jump, and is prepared to take it. If we come around a corner and there is a 2 stride approach to a previously hidden jump, she adjusts her feet and gets over it clearly. Belle's "hyperalertness" to everything around her can be a real pain in other circumstances. But it is what goves her an eventing brain.

                                      On the other hand, with Music, when I galloped into an open field she didn't particularly notice everything in there. And if I turned her to a jump she hadn't "noticed", I would get a response that said "Hey! Where did THAT come from? Wait a miunute, I've got to figure this out." Same thing with coming around a blind corner to a short approach "OK, Give me a second and I'll figure it out". But by then it was too late.

                                      At the same time we were having difficulty getting around a Novice course, she was happily SCHOOLING Prelim fences. But in schooling, she had the time she needed to think it through.

                                      Music actually has plenty of heart. It is more than once that she has taken the right jump IN THE RING after I lost both reins and one stirrup, and she would be perfectly justified in stopping. But it was IN THE RING, and she had already figured out which jump she was supposed to take, and how.

                                      She just isn't mentally "quick" enough for cross country. SHe is not "stupid", and she learns well. She just doesn't react well.
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                        Closely followed by a baby from lineage not known to be particularly ammy friendly, kind and/or forgiving bought by an ammy with little or no experience in breaking and training. Know one of those too. None of these colts are in happy situations.
                                        I was the person who originally posted the comment, and this is more closely what I was getting at (although I also know of plenty who have bought babies and the horse was NOT good at or into the owners chosen discipline).

                                        It is really sad how many ammys buy a baby (weanling/yearling) because of the cost combined with the "I want to raise a baby" childhood dream, then end up with WAY more horse than they can ride. I literally know of people who bought very athletic and regally bred babies only to discover that they simply cannot ride the horse. The few very specific people I am thinking of have had the horses for a decade or more (because it is their BABY..) and watch others ride the horse, and occasionally get on and walk it around. The sad part is because they bought a baby because of their budget, they cannot afford a good trainer to ride it consistently, so the horses suffer through a hodge-podge of poor local trainers.

                                        At least with a horse that is broke or trained if you are honest with yourself you will know if it is truly a horse you can ride or not. Not so much with an athletic and fancy baby that grown up to be a athletic and hot horse.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                                          I was the person who originally posted the comment, and this is more closely what I was getting at (although I also know of plenty who have bought babies and the horse was NOT good at or into the owners chosen discipline).

                                          It is really sad how many ammys buy a baby (weanling/yearling) because of the cost combined with the "I want to raise a baby" childhood dream, then end up with WAY more horse than they can ride. I literally know of people who bought very athletic and regally bred babies only to discover that they simply cannot ride the horse. The few very specific people I am thinking of have had the horses for a decade or more (because it is their BABY..) and watch others ride the horse, and occasionally get on and walk it around. The sad part is because they bought a baby because of their budget, they cannot afford a good trainer to ride it consistently, so the horses suffer through a hodge-podge of poor local trainers.

                                          At least with a horse that is broke or trained if you are honest with yourself you
                                          will know if it is truly a horse you can ride or not. Not so much with an athletic and fancy baby that grown up to be a athletic and hot horse.
                                          My experience is that frequently buyers will not listen to breeders when they tell them which horse(s) have better temperaments, are more suitable, etc. It is as if they think that the fire breathing dragon you are trying to tell them is a pro's horse, at least as a youngster, MUST be the better horse. It is one if the most frustrating things I encounter as a breeder. I really wish people would trust that the breeder actually knows her own horses and their strengths and weaknesses.
                                          Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                          www.roseknoll.net

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