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Breeding in this economy???

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  • Breeding in this economy???

    I know this subject has been covered a number of times. But, as gas and hay continue to go up, now we have droughts, fire, floods which will effect hay prices again, What are your breeding plans?

    I'm not trying to bore you to death, and I know I've already complained about this in a couple other posts, but I am now paying $4.60 a gallon, for the cheapest gas, and $19.00 a bale for a 120 lb. bale. With everything going on politically and environmentally, it's hard for me to see these prices going down.
    Chris Misita
    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
    Victor Hugo

  • #2
    It is so hard to know what to do. The horses I am selling mostly are my own homebreds of my stallion that I have promoted....so if I don't breed, and there is some demand...I will have no youngsters to sell. If I do, and I end up stuck with them for years...then I screwed up. Feed is going up and prices are not. All of us breeders are probably completely nuts for being in this business to begin with!

    I do know that many breeders are cutting back very hard...especially those in the West who generally count on low feed prices and grazing to help keep down costs. Horses are much slower to sell now...especially the wild unhandled young stock.

    My market is more of a niche market though..people looking for a heritage or rare breed. If I were breeding something a bit more plentiful, I'd probably take a year off for certain.

    My plan for the rest of this year is to focus on getting some 3 and 4 year olds started under saddle and sold if possible. I have a number that I bought as resale projects that have not sold as well as I'd hoped.

    Comment


    • #3
      If things don't come around, I think many of us breeders will bail! Some already have - there was never really a profit in this business, but now... Gulp... I wonder where the nice foals will come from a few years from now, when we've all quit breeding and people are looking for sport horses? The few big breeders may stick it out, and of course, there will always be people pumping out cheap horses, and there will always be the reject TBs that didn't run fast enough.
      www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
      Director, WTF Registry

      Comment


      • #4
        so if I don't breed, and there is some demand...I will have no youngsters to sell. If I do, and I end up stuck with them for years...then I screwed up. Feed is going up and prices are not. All of us breeders are probably completely nuts for being in this business to begin with!
        That's about it in a nutshell, isn't it?

        I have none due this year, which is fortuitous, and yet not. I had one last year, but it was a custom and already sold/paid for. It hurts to have nothing for sale, as I'm considering mightily putting the 4yo on the market, when she is the granddaughter of my Grande Dame mare, and should be a keeper. She's all I have to sell though... ya know?

        I am for sure breeding the Big Bay Broodmare Extraordinaire(TM) to Sempatico, as that breeding is a miracle. She is 21, and will retire after this one. Her back dropped with the last big filly. If I could afford it, I'd sex the semen. That's how bad I want/need a filly from this cross. A colt will be for sale.

        I am also breeding one other. Breeding paid for last year... For an Azteca that I'd just as soon keep as sell. If it's the right foal, it WILL be a keeper. I am more interested in standing a couple of good stallions these days than keeping up with mares. I have one yearling broodie prospect, and we'll see what next year brings as far as a second. The boys are what interest me at this point in life.

        I took on a project mare to start under saddle/breed/sell. The way I'm looking at it, you don't have anything to sell if you don't have anything for sale. Absolute armageddon worst case, I am pretty sure I can place in good homes for free.

        And really, REALLY worst case, I'll have transportation when other folks don't.
        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5

          Pintopiaffe-And really, REALLY worst case, I'll have transportation when other folks don't.


          And we'll have fertilizer to sell (trade?) for all those home grown gardens.

          I'm really trying to be optimistic about our Nation's financial future, but I want to be a responsible breeder too. And, I don't have unlimited funds to turn to. I'm lucky because I have a lot of pasture, but it's all dried up already.
          Chris Misita
          www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
          To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
          Victor Hugo

          Comment


          • #6
            I am cautiously optomistic and am picking up a new broodmare that I just bought this week to add to my mare roster ...

            The two 2008 foals have both sold. One filly was sold in utero and the colt was sold this past weekend at 2 weeks of age, to a perfect show home so I cannot complain at all

            4 mares will be bred to my stallion this year and I have bred my 5th mare (race mare) to an outside race bred stallion and that foal will be slated for the 2010 yearlings sale at either Woodbine or Keeneland. That mare would probably always be bred to race stallions rather than my own stallion as long as the value of her foals remains high and they remain commercially attractive.

            Out of the 4 mares bred to my stallion for 2009 foals, 1 is sold in utero and 2 have in utero sales pending on them which would leave me with one to sell. One client that bought my 2009 colt has indicated that she might well buy each future foal from this mare, do some line classes with them and then put them up for sale so if that happens, that will be a steady buyer for all of those foals as well. Which would then mean "0" foals to market and sell each spring.

            Its the same for the 2010 foals - 1 is already sold in utero and I have a few people also interested in 2 others in utero which again would leave me with only 1 to sell out of the 4 foals.

            Here is a picture of my new mare. She is a really lovely mare that will fit into my breeding program perfectly!



            For the record, one sale was to Canada (my first in about 6 or 7 years), several are to the States (my strongest buying market), 2 are to Australia, 2 are to Europe and it looks like I have some future in utero foals sold to Capetown, South Africa as well. The Australian clients are looking for several more TB mares to buy as well

            If sales continue to be this strong, we are talking about adding on to the barn and picking up a few more mares this fall but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it and I just worry about the bottom falling out one of these days as I very well realize that it could do
            www.TrueColoursFarm.com
            www.truecoloursproducts.com

            True Colours Farm on Facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              Well I have 3 mares I would like to breed this year if they would cooperate. We just moved from BC to AB and my costs have now gone down considerably. We are on 160 acres (120 acres of hayfield) so I have my own hay. I have a neighbor hay it for a percentage but it leaves me with enough hay for my horses as well as some money from the hay that sells. So my feed prices are not going to be high but the gas prices are killing me as we are a ways out of town!
              I only have 6 horses and kind of like to keep the numbers under 10. I would be nervous getting too many with this soft of a market but keep hoping we can ride it out and it will turn in a few years time.
              Cindy's Warmbloods
              www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
              www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!

              Comment


              • #8
                One thing to keep in mind, is that the ecomony is always fluctuating, and this is a very important time to figure out the direction you are looking to go. For instance, misita has a wonderful new stallion, Bravo. Now, in 3 years when the economy is on it's way up (assumption), Bravo will be old enough to have offspring in the ring, which can either create additional interest or (hopefully not!), turn people away. However, if he doesn't really have anything going, then his chance of becoming a very popular & successful stallion has been made more difficult. Not everyone takes into consideration the sample size Quite the pickle (and of course this totally depends on a SO's goals and definition of 'successful' - misita just happened to be an easy example and the OP)

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Goodmorning-that, right there, is the biggest reason I want to breed all my mares this year. Plus, my best mares are all 17-20. They put the best foals on the ground with fabulous bloodlines. If I wait to breed, not only will Bravo not have many offspring in the showring in a few years, but he'll miss the opportunity to take advantage of my fabulous older mares with their classic bloodlines.

                  Decisions-decisions!
                  Chris Misita
                  www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                  To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                  Victor Hugo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it's risky. Very risky. I don't have to pay vet bills, as I have a vet in the immediate family. But I am still taking a hit from the feed/gas.

                    I got three new broodmares this year, two for free, one for a very low price. They are just such quality mares. My hope is that the economy will turn, and these mares will really have well selling foals. Depending on the market next year, I may or may not rebreed 5 of them next year. As long as foaling goes well this year with my best mare, she will be rebreed next year. Although her foals will be kept for myself if they are fillies.

                    I have a Welsh stallion as well, this is his first year breeding outside mares, as I bought him earlier this year. His stud fee is very low for the same reason that Chris has Bravo's so low. They are new, unproven stallions. They are nice individuals, but who really knows how their foals are going to do under saddle? I have a 2 year old Selle Francais, that I bought at 4 months old as a stallion prospect. I am planning on getting a peformance career under his belt before even offering him for breeding to outside mares. I am one of those people who is going to wait it out, I know I have quality mares, being bred to quality stallions. And I also realize that I may have these foals until they are like 4 years old, and have to pay for training. But I am also optomistic that the market may turn...
                    Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
                    Quality Welsh Ponies and Welsh Crosses bred for sport
                    Facebook Page.
                    Section A and Section B Welsh Ponies at stud

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think it is risky and it would be prudent to think carefully about your target market and how the economy is or is not affecting the buying decisions of your potential clients. I do think there is almost always a market for top foals, but of course there is no guarantee that even top parents will produce a foal meeting your expectations. On the other hand, quite a few breeders have cut back a lot, and fewer foals will mean less to compete with for sales.

                      Personally, I don't breed anything I wouldn't be willing and able to give a forever home to, because I feel that is my responsibility. Consequently, my program is small! We have 2 foals coming in 2009, and have people who have expressed interest in them, but I am not sure I am interested in doing in utero sales (I prefer that the buyer see the foal before signing a contract).
                      Roseknoll Sporthorses
                      www.roseknoll.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While I think DB summed it up best...
                        Feed is going up and prices are not.
                        ...at the same time, I think this may be the time to carefully position oneself for the future. Streamline and focus to widen your profit margin for when the market turns up again.

                        I'm basing this opinion on what other sales threads seem to be indicating: the soft spot (well, not "soft," I suppose it might be best called an actual "hole"!) in the market is/seems to be the $10-30K range (that's what others are saying, but I actually think the $5-$25K is more like it).

                        Here's why I find that intriguing and I'd love to hear others' impressions: Wouldn't you say that that is ALSO the price range with the narrowest profit margin???

                        Interesting, huh?
                        Sportponies Unlimited
                        Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          misita - if I was in your position and those older classically bred mares were mine, I would 100% breed them. If you wait, you may not get another chance to do so as we all know with these older girls, when *you* want them to get in foal, isnt necessarily going to work

                          Perhaps you wont be able to sell these foals as weanlings or yearlings and may have to wait until they are 3 or 4 to get them sold, but IMO, its better to have them "waiting in the wings" to be sold, then to miss the opportunity entirely to have any foals at all from these mares

                          The market is definately cyclical and I remember at some of the weanling and yearling TB sales in tough years gone by, foals by stallions with hefty stud fees werent even meeting the reserve bid ($750.00 at the time I believe) and they were being sold or given away in the parking lot so the owners didnt have to take them home again. It turned around and those "pinhookers" that had the ability to scoop a bunch of these babies up, did very very well at the 2 year old in training sales when the market DID turn around a year or so later

                          Tough decisions to make and I think everyone's individual circumstances will dictate how they are comfortable proceeding
                          www.TrueColoursFarm.com
                          www.truecoloursproducts.com

                          True Colours Farm on Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am not breeding any mares this year. One is 22/had her last foal this year and since she has repro issues has earned her retirement. One is 17...would prefer to breed her at that age but I have 2 of her foals here for sale yet so she stays open. I have another 17 YO mare that has not been bred in 2 years (not last year as she had a bad hock injury and not this year due to the economy/foals not selling well). IF something sells here soon this summer I will breed her...otherwise not. She is turned out with my yearling stud colt as a buddy. If he manages to get her in foal not a big deal.....but as a yearling with ZERO apparent knowledge of libido yet: probably not happening.
                            Providence Farm
                            http://providencefarmpintos.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is a difficult market, yet if we can ride the wave of the economic times, it always shifts and the market will return.........the question is who will be in it. We have had a horrendous year this year, with fuel, feed, and fertilizer off the charts, we got hit with a very sick foal (6 weeks in the hospital) and a nasty injury on our stallion prospect (he will spend the next month in the hospital). Yet we still managed to get all 5 mares in foal and get a contract on one of the 2009s. In my opinion, the market is still there for the top quality horses which are obviously priced at the high end of the scale. The lower the price, the less they seem to sell.

                              Hang in there everyone, it will likely get worse before it gets better, but it will come around again..............it always does.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We are slowly phasing our WB breeding down and have been for several years. I won't buy any WB mares for the forseeable future and we've put some of our mares back into work under saddle. We are breeding more ponies and will do that for a couple more years to have more foals by our stallion Popeye on the ground. I'm keeping several pony fillies for future breeding but in all honestly they take up less room and do eat far less than the big horses.

                                We are fortunate to have local hay available to buy and our biggest provider has not raised prices. But we are certainly seeing the increase in feeds - but I do feel the feed companies may be pushing the prices more than they have to.
                                Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The market is difficult to be sure. I made the decison to breed four mares this year because for my market, most buyers want a pony started under saddle. So, I have to be thinking several years ahead. Perhaps I am also optimistic However, even in the worst case senario, I have pleanty of land and could care for my ponies. It would be differnt if I was boarding or on a small piece of land.
                                  Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
                                  Standing the stallion Burberry
                                  www.germanridingpony.com
                                  www.facebook.com/HighlifesBurberry

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                                    I think it is risky and it would be prudent to think carefully about your target market and how the economy is or is not affecting the buying decisions of your potential clients. I do think there is almost always a market for top foals, but of course there is no guarantee that even top parents will produce a foal meeting your expectations. On the other hand, quite a few breeders have cut back a lot, and fewer foals will mean less to compete with for sales.

                                    Personally, I don't breed anything I wouldn't be willing and able to give a forever home to, because I feel that is my responsibility. Consequently, my program is small! We have 2 foals coming in 2009, and have people who have expressed interest in them, but I am not sure I am interested in doing in utero sales (I prefer that the buyer see the foal before signing a contract).
                                    This is my feeling exactly! I have one foal due in 2009. I will not breed unless I fully intend to keep the foal forever. Fortunately, my horses don't support me, I support them! The cost of diesel has driven up the cost of everything, (though carrots are still the same price ) Hay has come down a bit, and grass is plentiful for now. Grain is expensive! I've done what I can to lower expenses, and cut back on showing

                                    Breeding is a gamble! It is very difficult to predict whether a foal will be really sellable, even the best bred ones. Sometimes breeders have to keep horses for many years, before the right buyer comes along. With this economy, being careful of expenses, is really the best choice. Hopefully, next year the economy will take a positive step again.

                                    There are many, many cheap horses out there right now, as a backlash of the ban on slaughter. Until many factors balance out, the horse economy is going to be taking a hit. The good side is that some lovely TB mares may be very available...even free!
                                    http://www.herselffarm.com
                                    Proud of my Hunter Breeding Princesses
                                    "Grief is the price we all pay for love," Gretchen Jackson (1/29/07) In Memory of Barbaro

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The economy in Canada and the US are apples and oranges now.

                                      The US is not in a normal business cycle.

                                      Assuming the election in November will clean house, there is reason for hope.

                                      My two key mares are 13 and 14 this year. I have three really nice daughters among the two of them. In a different economy, I would be keeping at least one but I want all three to have a sports career rather than going into breeding like I did with the moms.

                                      I try to have 2 foals a year but that hasn't worked out in two recent years. To get two, you need to breed three mares.

                                      I am leaning towards breeding the mares but it is possible I will sit out the year and reevaluate in the spring. I need sales.
                                      www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The economy is rough, for sure, and I think it will hit horse shows the hardest which will ultimately affect breeders, too, as it will make it even harder to afford training and showing for young horses to bring. On the flip side, it is going to continue to be more and more expensive to import, so more buyers will be shopping at home.

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