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Biggest challenge for breeders in NA?

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  • #21
    Well, trying to get back on track and answer the OP's post...I'm reluctant to respond to this thread because I breed very few horses at this time, but I think that economics are a big challenge right now. Frankly, it is difficult to breed and raise young horses and sell them profitably. Running a professional quality operation with experienced staff and a decent facility is very expensive, and breeding and raising young horses is risky on top of that. Add to that that there are fewer and fewer buyers in the market for young stock. There are just very few people out there with the facilities and experience to properly care for and develop a young horse. The average buyer is an adult ammie who boards their horses and wants something to ride now. Even trainers want something that will be ready for competition sooner rather than later.

    Should a breeder choose to keep young stock to age three and get them under saddle prior to selling the number of potential buyers expands considerably, but so do the costs. Fact is, many breeders do not have access to reasonably priced riders who know how to properly start youngsters. In many cases it is ridiculously expensive to send young horses to another facility to be started under saddle or to get enough training so that their promise and potential shines through. I really think that is what is holding US breeders back.

    The last point I will make is that while I think that US breeders as a whole are becoming more educated, more sophisticated, and more particular about choosing breeding stock, I still see a lot of inferior mares being bred. Oftentimes nice mares are too valuable as riding horses to be bred and people end up breeding mares that couldn't stay sound or that just weren't useful for any other purpose. I don't want to sound harsh here, but I've seen more than one sporthorse breeding program based on mares who were IMO, culls. But again, I think this is driven by economics. Breeding is not terribly profitable and I think in many cases the profits are not enough to support the purchase of quality broodmares.

    Comment


    • #22
      I am quite a small breeder, but here are the challenges that I think we face:

      1) a lack of venues to sell and market horses. In Europe auctions are prestigious, very well attended and gala like events. These auctions not only sell horses but help breeders have a place to sell and showcase their offspring. They also help registries market & advertise themselves and hence their members.

      2) a lack of young riders that are competent in starting young horses properly and effectively. I think this is improving but still is a giant void.

      3) a lack of enthusiasm in english equestrian sports in this country. I just recently attended my first rodeo...it was in a huge stadium (that routinely hosts large concerts and sporting events) and the seats were FULL. It had the feel of a rock concert with fire works, smoke machines and great MC. I now know where all the "horse" folks are in the US...the Western world! In Europe dressage and jumper shows have that kind of attendance. Here we are lucky if there are four people in the stands that are not related to the riders It just is not part of our culture. Even the local mare shows in Germany are well attended!!

      4) We don't have generations of family knowledge passed down. I would hazard to say that most breeders here in the US had parents that had nothing to do with horses. Hence, we are starting from a knowledge of null and having to learn on a fast track.

      5) A lack of folks willing to educate themselves BEFORE they start breeding. Most folks start breeding, get "hooked" and then BEGIN their education.

      6) I think it is critical for serious breeders to attend educational programs offered here and overseas. I think it is critical to attend shows, inspections, watch videos, etc to train their eye.

      Just my two cents!
      Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
      http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
      http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by bluehof View Post
        I am quite a small breeder, but here are the challenges that I think we face:

        1) a lack of venues to sell and market horses. In Europe auctions are prestigious, very well attended and gala like events. These auctions not only sell horses but help breeders have a place to sell and showcase their offspring. They also help registries market & advertise themselves and hence their members.

        2) a lack of young riders that are competent in starting young horses properly and effectively. I think this is improving but still is a giant void.

        3) a lack of enthusiasm in english equestrian sports in this country. I just recently attended my first rodeo...it was in a huge stadium (that routinely hosts large concerts and sporting events) and the seats were FULL. It had the feel of a rock concert with fire works, smoke machines and great MC. I now know where all the "horse" folks are in the US...the Western world! In Europe dressage and jumper shows have that kind of attendance. Here we are lucky if there are four people in the stands that are not related to the riders It just is not part of our culture. Even the local mare shows in Germany are well attended!!

        4) We don't have generations of family knowledge passed down. I would hazard to say that most breeders here in the US had parents that had nothing to do with horses. Hence, we are starting from a knowledge of null and having to learn on a fast track.

        5) A lack of folks willing to educate themselves BEFORE they start breeding. Most folks start breeding, get "hooked" and then BEGIN their education.

        6) I think it is critical for serious breeders to attend educational programs offered here and overseas. I think it is critical to attend shows, inspections, watch videos, etc to train their eye.

        Just my two cents!
        I feel like I wrote this.

        And I have one more thing to ad: We are so widely dispersed that its tough for serious $$ buyers to properly shop for horses without also spending huge amounts of time and money on travel. Our geographic spread just doesn't lend itself to efficiencies -- in any of the above points. No commercial entity can survive if their goods aren't readily available to its target market and this rule seems to apply to the equestrian industry, too.

        We are going to have to learn to work together, and share the burdens (and wealth) to make homeland shopping viable and more profitable.
        GreenGate Stables
        http://ggstables.webs.com/

        Comment


        • #24
          want to add...

          I wish there were five or so main "breeding" regions here in the US. This would help make horse shopping in the US a bit more feasible. For example, I am in the Midatlantic area. If all the breeders within 6-10 hours of me could REALLY join forces with advertising, showing, etc we could make this region a place where buyers come for a few days to do some shopping.

          Then there could be the northeast region, south, northwest and southwest.

          I wish breeders were able to "concentrate" themselves into these regions. A pipe dream I know as jobs and family usually dictate where we live!
          Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
          http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
          http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

          Comment


          • #25
            My honest feeling, I think the biggest challenge that North America will face and potentially will always face on the sport horse breeding front.

            We lack dynasties/Legacy. Both regarding horse lines and those willing to Shepard them.


            For the most part if we want sport horses we have to depend on someone else s dynasty to get them. We don't have generations of our own mare lines. Or even generations within families that have cultivated and sculpted those lines.

            In Europe generations of families breed generations of horses. Here there are very few and far between instances where what is started by one is carried on by another.

            So the progress is choppy , goals are not fluid .

            Maybe its a cultural difference that horses / breeders in Europe are given more respect , for lack of a better word have higher status. With status comes interest and support.

            I am interested in sport horse breeding because of self. I am not part of a family that has bred sport horses 50 years. I can't promise; and in all likely it will not be adopted by my daughter. So what I do now ,my goals, my art comes to and end with me. Even if someone were to pick up some of the stock and continue on, theirs is a different vision..its not homogenized. Breeding lines that are predictable and consistent takes decades ..longer then one lifetime might have.

            What North America needs is legacy
            Last edited by Lynnwood; Feb. 10, 2013, 11:08 PM.
            "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by bluehof View Post
              I am quite a small breeder, but here are the challenges that I think we face:

              1) a lack of venues to sell and market horses. In Europe auctions are prestigious, very well attended and gala like events. These auctions not only sell horses but help breeders have a place to sell and showcase their offspring. They also help registries market & advertise themselves and hence their members.

              2) a lack of young riders that are competent in starting young horses properly and effectively. I think this is improving but still is a giant void.

              3) a lack of enthusiasm in english equestrian sports in this country. I just recently attended my first rodeo...it was in a huge stadium (that routinely hosts large concerts and sporting events) and the seats were FULL. It had the feel of a rock concert with fire works, smoke machines and great MC. I now know where all the "horse" folks are in the US...the Western world! In Europe dressage and jumper shows have that kind of attendance. Here we are lucky if there are four people in the stands that are not related to the riders It just is not part of our culture. Even the local mare shows in Germany are well attended!!

              4) We don't have generations of family knowledge passed down. I would hazard to say that most breeders here in the US had parents that had nothing to do with horses. Hence, we are starting from a knowledge of null and having to learn on a fast track.

              5) A lack of folks willing to educate themselves BEFORE they start breeding. Most folks start breeding, get "hooked" and then BEGIN their education.

              6) I think it is critical for serious breeders to attend educational programs offered here and overseas. I think it is critical to attend shows, inspections, watch videos, etc to train their eye.

              Just my two cents!
              Great post. I was certainly guilty of #5

              I would add to #6 that we need to learn to objectively critique our stock.
              I have to wonder what jumper breeders are thinking when they use the term "upper level" when describing a foal, yearling, or even two year old. Seriously, it takes so much more than a correct athletic baby to reach success at that level. Save the marketing for the buyers. I would find it much more helpful if we could discuss both strengths and weaknesses (we know they all have them) without it turning into a trainwreck.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                My honest feeling I think the biggest challenge that North America will face and potentially always face on the sport horse breeding front.

                We lack dynasties/Legacy. Both regarding horse lines and those willing to Shepard them. \


                For the most part if we want sport horses we have to depend on someone elses dynasty to get them. We don't have generations of our own marelines, or even generations withing families that have cultivated and sculpted those lines.

                In Europe generations of families breed generations of horses. Here there are very few and far between where what is started by one is carried on by another.

                So the progress is choppy , goals are not fluid .

                Maybe its a cultural difference that horses / breeders in Europe are give more respect , for lack of a better word its has higher status. With status comes interest and support.

                I am interested in sport horse breeding because of self. I am not part of a family that has bred sport horses 50 years and I can't promise and in all likely it will not become adopted by my daughter. So what I do now ,my goals my art comes to and end with me. Even if someone were to pick up some of the stock and continue on theirs is a different vision..its not homogenized. Breeding lines that are predictable and consistent takes decades ..longer then one lifetime might have.

                What North America needs is legacy
                My only words are WOW. How insightful. It is one of the major differences between here and there. Every great breeder I know in Germany has received their mare herd, farm and knowledge from their elders. We don't have that legacy to look to, we only have theirs.

                Tim
                Sparling Rock Holsteiners https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/c...milies/yes.gif
                www.sparlingrock.com

                Comment


                • #28
                  Excellent post Reece, very well said and I could not agree more!
                  Prima Equestrian / KWPN GOLD Level Breeder
                  http://www.facebook.com/PrimaEquestrian
                  2017 foals by - Diamant de Semilly, Chin Chin, Cardento, Balou du Rouet, Quasimodo van de Molendreef and Hennessy.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by tuckawayfarm View Post
                    Great post. I was certainly guilty of #5

                    I would add to #6 that we need to learn to objectively critique our stock.
                    I have to wonder what jumper breeders are thinking when they use the term "upper level" when describing a foal, yearling, or even two year old. Seriously, it takes so much more than a correct athletic baby to reach success at that level. Save the marketing for the buyers. I would find it much more helpful if we could discuss both strengths and weaknesses (we know they all have them) without it turning into a trainwreck.
                    Fair comment, and maybe the word 'prospect' needs to be attached to every mention of 'upper level' describing those youngsters. I think these terms have been adopted because it's harder for jumper breeders to differentiate good stock from every other 'jumper' at that age ("Every horse can jump, but not every horse can jump well" ) and they don't have the advantages that dressage breeders might where good movement is almost immediately apparent in their foals.
                    GreenGate Stables
                    http://ggstables.webs.com/

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by tom View Post
                      Catoki does not need tall mares because his mother is small. Catoki needs tall mares (if your goal is to produce tall horses) because his damline is small.

                      Catoki needs tall mares because the long-run "normal" size of sport horses for the last 50-60 years is consolidated in Catoki's damline. What I mean by this is that 16 hands = 1.625 m is probably the "normal" or average or mean size of sport horses for the last 50 - 60 years, +/- 3 cm. And this is the expected size of mares in Catoki's damline. We see smaller horses all the time and we see larger horses all the time, but the mean in the population of sport horses is probably about 16 hands; this also appears to be the mean size of Catoki's direct damline. With studbook stallion inspection committees and breeders almost always preferring "bigger" stallions -- 169 cm and bigger -- over smaller stallions we may see the average size of sport horses increase in size in the next 50 years. But this will be a slow process of change.

                      Why? Because by definition the mean size of about 16 hands is consolidated in the damline of the majority of breeding mares.

                      If the data in horsetelex are correct, here are the sizes of the mares in Catoki's damline, starting with his dam Bilda:


                      Bilda 1.63 m

                      Vordula 1.69 m

                      Limburg 1.63 m

                      Gilda 1.60 m

                      Oldmarie 1.63 m


                      (horsetelex does not report the size of Bilda's other progeny, and especially the daughters and grand-daughters. That's a shame because it would be interesting to look at that data to "test" my theory.)

                      Bilda is the product of Silvester (1.73 m) bred to Vordula (1.69 m). If you look at the mares in Catoki's damline Vordula was a "freak" -- a tall mare. But we see that the direct damline immediately reverted to the expected size of 1.63

                      If a photo of Vordula had been shown and you were told Vordula had been bred to Silvester, and that was all the information you had, you probably would predict a 1.70 m daughter named Bilda (+/- 2 or 3 cm). But if you were also given the list of mares in the Bilda's damline and their sizes I do not think many of you would predict that Bilda would grow to 1.70 m +/- 2 or 3 cm. So a photo of the mother is only one piece of the puzzle. The sizes of the mares in the damline is what is most important.

                      In my experience the size of a horse seems to be predicted more by the size of the horse's damline than by any other variable. In other words, along with athleticism and jumping ability I believe that size is strongly influenced by the damline. A breeder can use very tall stallions but if "small" (or actually, average size) is consolidated in the damline it may be a long process to reliably and predictably breed taller horses from that damline. (We will leave the effects of "regression to the mean" to another time.)
                      And here we have the most fundamental challenge to the knowledge here. Breeders like myself and those in Holstein and most of Europe for that matter are breeding for an ideal type sporthorse. 16 hands is generally not an ideal type and having said that , most don't want a bunch of 16 hand Catoki's being born.....hence the common theme that Catoki needs a bigger mare.

                      People like you have to come on here and break it so far down into simplistic terms that I don't even think in this manner. It's automatic for me to investigate every mare for 5 generations back of the stallion and mare. This always gives an indicator for potential size , among other things.

                      I know the sizes of every mare in the stamm you mentioned. When the photo and size were released of Bilda , of course she wasn't the sole indicator of size potential and I hoped that it would prompt further thought and investigation into said stamm where the real knowledge is revealed.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                        ...

                        We lack dynasties/Legacy. Both regarding horse lines and those willing to Shepard them.

                        ...


                        What North America needs is legacy
                        You will find more of the legacy concept in pony breeding circles. Randee Beckman at Otteridge and her late mother, Molly and her late mother Thalia at Helicon spring to mind although I am sure there are more. It is (or was) also more common among hunter breeders, not to speak of thoroughbred breeders, especially in Virginia and Maryland.

                        Which brings me to a question in the original post which I failed to address..."Why ..." We began the breeding operation in 2005 when I retired and we moved to Florida as a way to embody a legacy to be given to our daughter...a way to consolidate what I know (little, it would seem!) and am learning with what she knows, her special talents, and what she is learning in a tangible way...farm, bloodstock, knowledge and circles of acquaintances, clients and friends both here and abroad. Yes, it is a slow process of accretion but, like every worthwhile endeavor, has its own rewards, even in the face of criticism and hardship, because it is being built with the future firmly in mind.
                        Sakura Hill Farm
                        Now on Facebook

                        Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Sakura Hill Farm View Post
                          You will find more of the legacy concept in pony breeding circles. Randee Beckman at Otteridge and her late mother, Molly and her late mother Thalia at Helicon spring to mind although I am sure there are more. It is (or was) also more common among hunter breeders, not to speak of thoroughbred breeders, especially in Virginia and Maryland.

                          Which brings me to a question in the original post which I failed to address..."Why ..." We began the breeding operation in 2005 when I retired and we moved to Florida as a way to embody a legacy to be given to our daughter...a way to consolidate what I know (little, apparently!) and am learning with what she knows and is learning in a tangible way...farm, bloodstock, knowledge and circles of acquaintances, clients and friends both here and abroad. Yes, it is a slow process of accretion but, like every worthwhile endeavor, has its own rewards, even in the face of criticism and hardship, because it is being built with the future firmly in mind.
                          I agree you will find legacies in pony breeding, hunter breeding as you pointed out , Arabs, QH's , and several other "breed" registries, think of all the great names in racing MANY of them legacy operations.
                          All long lasting , all enjoying successes.

                          "Why" sport horse breeding does not find the same I wish I knew the answer too.
                          "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                            .

                            "Why" sport horse breeding does not find the same I wish I knew the answer too.
                            Money... Plain and simple. People in the halter-world will buy a young show quality Arab/Morgan/QH based on its parents, and they'll pay for it. And the'll pay for pro training and handling, and not blink an eye. A breeder can pay for ALL their expenses with the sale of a single baby - if it is the right baby. A friend has sold halter Arab foals for over $100k.

                            Most sport horse people are buying a riding prospect. They want to see it under saddle. In most cases, they are AA riders who want something they can ride themselves, and they are working income people who can't afford $100k for a prospect.

                            Most sport horse breeders are actually supplementing the rider world - they aren't making a profit. Most buyers want the horse already under saddle - which means the breeder has to find a young-horse rider who is competent AND affordable. I think this is one of our big challenges (not the only one, but one of the top 5).

                            Another challenge is marketing - too many people still think an overseas horse is a better buy AND a better horse - and they don't factor in the cost of import when making those comparisons. Marketing and education - convincing people that "made in the USA" is worth the investment.

                            And until that happens, you won't get multi-generational breeders - because who can afford to stay in this business that long?

                            Finally - I see the lack of support between breeders as a huge issue - and this thread just shows a taste of that.
                            Last edited by MysticOakRanch; Feb. 12, 2013, 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling errors ;-)

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Sakura Hill Farm View Post
                              It is (or was) also more common among hunter breeders, not to speak of thoroughbred breeders, especially in Virginia and Maryland.

                              .
                              But this is part of the problem. 'Hunter' breeders are breeding for in hand horses not performance horses.

                              There are many Jumper breeders in the US who have had success.
                              The Chapots, for example, have been producing jumpers for 50 years.
                              Newsprint Farm, Grey Fox, Joan Smith have been successful for years.

                              But they don't post here. This board is made up of a dfferent group of breeders without the decades of experience of the American Breeding success stories.
                              Fan of Sea Accounts

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Mystic has it.

                                Our money is largly funneled into breed showing, western, and hunters.

                                Then that model for breeding based largely on performance quickly breeds horses specific to that and most are unable to do top sport or be competative to a high degree *(rarely it does happen).

                                A few other reasons beyond being that we have our own horse culture tied up in saddles with a horn is the cost of being a horse owner in the US is skyrocketting and being a land owner in certain areas would make you a mil in assets. It is more common to see boarders paying a house payment in board vs putting those funds into starting a breeding operation or into your mares if you already have them its going into feed and the cost of living.

                                On another note my trainer (from Germany) and I both talked about the fact that here in the US there is no way to test and get your medals in dressage or as an instructor for any without leasing/buying a horse vs. in Germany you can go through a course for a few weeks to be ranked so that at least someone who is talented can get started without dumping tons of money into showing year after year.

                                If we had MORE trainers and instructors to help people on their way it would create more business.

                                The sport horse industry is starving due to pay to play IMO. Too expensive for young horses, for feed and care, and for trainers to be made.
                                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  [/QUOTE]But this is part of the problem. 'Hunter' breeders are breeding for in hand horses not performance horses. [/QUOTE]

                                  I intended to mean breeders of hunters, and not limit what I was saying to hunter breeding.

                                  [/QUOTE]
                                  There are many Jumper breeders in the US who have had success.
                                  The Chapots, for example, have been producing jumpers for 50 years.
                                  Newsprint Farm, Grey Fox, Joan Smith have been successful for years.

                                  But they don't post here. This board is made up of a dfferent group of breeders without the decades of experience of the American Breeding success stories.[/QUOTE]

                                  I entirely agree with you!
                                  Sakura Hill Farm
                                  Now on Facebook

                                  Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    From a cost standpoint there really is not lack of money for prospects. There is lack of venue with enough status, profile , even atmosphere to sell them.

                                    The VDL has sent several groups of young horses over and their auctions have been VERY successful. I think in part because it draws the "right" crowd. Its part social scene part horse sale.

                                    I would wager if they sent a truck full of weanlings/yearlings it would be met with the same income producing potential.

                                    Europe has stallion shows , Inspections , etc all coupled with a gala atmosphere. Bring in the right scene and their $$ to have a good time and then sell them some horses when the night is over.

                                    Our riders , have sponsors and backers and horse owners. Why we do not capitalize on creating those type of events I don't understand. There certainly are plenty of venues/events they could be tied too.

                                    WEF is a perfect example it by its nature draws and condenses some of the best in the horse world. I think the YHS series during WEF is a step in the right direction now couple it with a show/breeding stock auction. Give breeders a place to show off and then sell their babies and make it something the buyers feel is exciting , prestigious to be a part of.

                                    I know it sounds like used car sales but if you want to sell sport prospects like the Europeans do ..we are going to have to glam it up just like they do.
                                    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                                      From a cost standpoint there really is not lack of money for prospects. There is lack of venue with enough status, profile , even atmosphere to sell them.

                                      The VDL has sent several groups of young horses over and their auctions have been VERY successful. I think in part because it draws the "right" crowd. Its part social scene part horse sale.

                                      I would wager if they sent a truck full of weanlings/yearlings it would be met with the same income producing potential.

                                      Europe has stallion shows , Inspections , etc all coupled with a gala atmosphere. Bring in the right scene and their $$ to have a good time and then sell them some horses when the night is over.

                                      Our riders , have sponsors and backers and horse owners. Why we do not capitalize on creating those type of events I don't understand. There certainly are plenty of venues/events they could be tied too.

                                      WEF is a perfect example it by its nature draws and condenses some of the best in the horse world. I think the YHS series during WEF is a step in the right direction now couple it with a show/breeding stock auction. Give breeders a place to show off and then sell their babies and make it something the buyers feel is exciting , prestigious to be a part of.

                                      I know it sounds like used car sales but if you want to sell sport prospects like the Europeans do ..we are going to have to glam it up just like they do.
                                      We spoke with VDL at great length about the auction as well as about the one that was held in New York last summer at Old Salem Farm which fell flat on its face. VDL as we know independently has a superb marketing team promoting this auction. Also, in the words of VDL, they are sending over good stock whereas that was not the case with the NY auction.

                                      Thank you for the shout-out for the YHS series. It IS a work in progress but does yield fruit. This year for the first time since the Finals there will be a printed program with photos and descriptions of entries for both of the Wellington shows as well as the two Ocala shows. Teaming up with the Young Jumper Development program at all the shows should give more opportunity to breeders to get their youngsters out over inviting courses and in front of the public. Also, this should draw more pros and trainers to the event.

                                      Rumor has it that sometime in the future there may be an auction, but it is far too early to speculate....
                                      Sakura Hill Farm
                                      Now on Facebook

                                      Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

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                                      • #39
                                        I am a buyer, not a breeder, so take this for what it is worth.

                                        I am an adult amateur with the usual family & work responsibilities. I board my horses at professionally managed facilities because those other responsibilities preclude me from being able to properly manage them at home. And I usually buy in Europe - because I've found it's easier and less expensive (and trust me, I always factor in the cost of importation; it comes out of the same checkbook!)

                                        I don't consider that European horses are "more prestigious," though. Generally what I *have* found is that they are further along in their education, and it's easier to see a bunch of really nice quality youngsters in a weekend than what I've found here. For someone with time constraints and a not-unlimited budget, those are huge advantages.

                                        I can buy one plane ticket and go to Europe for the weekend and see as many nice young horses as I care to look at. For $25-30K, I can get a really nice youngster, already lightly started and very well handled on the ground. I buy geldings for myself, and so the quarantine is not too long or expensive, and when they get home to me, they are generally well set up for me to finish them with the help of my good professional.

                                        I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for domestic breeders to have to compete against this model, but the reality is that I simply cannot fly somewhere in the US each weekend to look at 1 or 2 or 3 horses per trip. And the US horses are generally not at the same point in their training compared to the European horses, making it *very* difficult to evaluate them for the average amateur. (And remember, for someone who boards their horses, the penalty for being wrong about a young horse's potential is enormous; they cost the same to maintain as one that turns out to be a rockstar.) A horse at the point of training similar to what I have been offered in Europe tends to be priced anywhere from $15k-30K more here.

                                        I wish I had a simple answer for you because I believe there are many potential customers out there for your programs like me. We'd buy in the US if *the process* could be made more similar to the one they use abroad. I don't know if or how that might be possible, but I'd urge you to consider it.
                                        **********
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                        -PaulaEdwina

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                                        • #40
                                          I don't consider that European horses are "more prestigious," though. Generally what I *have* found is that they are further along in their education, and it's easier to see a bunch of really nice quality youngsters in a weekend than what I've found here. For someone with time constraints and a not-unlimited budget, those are huge advantages.

                                          I can buy one plane ticket and go to Europe for the weekend and see as many nice young horses as I care to look at. For $25-30K, I can get a really nice youngster, already lightly started and very well handled on the ground. I buy geldings for myself, and so the quarantine is not too long or expensive, and when they get home to me, they are generally well set up for me to finish them with the help of my good professional.
                                          I think this is one of the biggest challenges for NA breeders. Lucassb explained it well and it's been discussed before, the sheer geographic size of NA is a determent to many shoppers. Even a generous budget is quickly eaten up if a person is flying all over the country to look at one horse here, one horse there, and maybe two at another place.

                                          That's just trying to find a horse. Add to that how difficult ( read expensive) it is for the seller to get the show experience on a young horse without breaking the bank and it makes Europe look even more attractive for the buyer.

                                          It is frustrating to admit that for many, it makes good financial sense to go to Europe to find their next horse. The question becomes, how can NA breeders make shopping at home a better option?

                                          Unfortunately, it's not a question that I have an answer to.

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