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Biggest challenge for breeders in NA?

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  • #81
    I find horses to be more honestly and accurately represented in Europe
    Based on what I have observed, this is only true if you have a good broker or connection...but there is also less resistance in those circles to the attitude of "prove it." If they advertised the horse at 1.2m Jumper, they have show results at 1.2m. Not a sob story and boat load of excuses about how expensive and difficult it is to prove horses.

    When buying young horses here, it seemed like every warmblood breeder was convinced that all their stock was Olympic calibre...and as long as they didn't start any of that stock, they could keep charging insane prices for it. The ones that were started, and doing average-to-well...they STILL had ludicrous price tags, and usually a long story about how the rider sucked, or the trainer wasn't good, or there was a freak accident that delayed training...blah, blah, blah. Just let it go. They aren't all the next big thing.

    It drives me nuts how horse sellers seem to think that they'd have the next best thing, if only there was a decent rider around. If, if, if. Breeders here need to accept the idea that their precious babies are going to be ridden by people OTHER than Beezie Madden. It doesn't mean "breed down"...it means, accept that the horse might not be started "perfectly" and it might not reach its "full potential." THAT HAS TO BE OK. Quality will out. Breeding for athleticism, sound mind, trainability...that is going to show up, even if some "useless amateur" ends up with the horse. All the complaining about how "Hunters need to be started PROPERLY you know..." Really? Because while you're waiting around for someone to start a horse properly, a breeder in Europe is plunking their Working Student on a "cull" so that it is jumping courses in time to sell to some Ammy with money. It's not that they have lots of culls in Europe...it's that they are realistic in noting that a huge percentage of the produce is NOT top calibre, and DOES NOT need to be retained for breeding, and in order to move it out the door, it can't be priced at the top of the competitive market.

    If you can't be happy when the products of your breeding program are being ridden and shown in their discipline by a rider who isn't anywhere near the top...then get out of breeding. You're hopelessly unrealistic. Horses out of the best-of-the-best programs sometimes go to useless riders. They still demonstrate their quality, even in "useless hands."


    I think the biggest problem facing North American breeders is that they don't value or bother to understand their market. They breed for themselves and the ideas that they THINK should be held by the market. Stop telling your customers what they want and how you think they should ride.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

    Comment


    • #82
      What about the constant requests for NEW footage from people? Yes, young horses change alot, but making monthly videos of them is just not going to happen.
      I work full time, so does my husband. We are the staff for our place. I am sure there are lots of other small breeders in this same scenario. We live in the midwest, its winter here now, and our horses live outside, because we feel its better for their overall health and mental development. Trying to photograph and video this time of year means hauling horses someplace with an indoor arena and then hairy, sweaty horses that really do not look their best. People say they can see past that, but I have my doubts.
      We recognize this and try to take photos and videos in spring and fall.
      AMEN sister!!! Babies are babies...studying their bloodlines, sire and dam under saddle, and inspection video and judges comments will do more for a buyer than updating a video constantly when they are growing.

      Comment


      • #83
        What about the constant requests for NEW footage from people? Yes, young horses change alot, but making monthly videos of them is just not going to happen.
        I work full time, so does my husband. We are the staff for our place. I am sure there are lots of other small breeders in this same scenario. We live in the midwest, its winter here now, and our horses live outside, because we feel its better for their overall health and mental development. Trying to photograph and video this time of year means hauling horses someplace with an indoor arena and then hairy, sweaty horses that really do not look their best. People say they can see past that, but I have my doubts.
        We recognize this and try to take photos and videos in spring and fall.
        Originally posted by Sabino Farm View Post
        AMEN sister!!! Babies are babies...studying their bloodlines, sire and dam under saddle, and inspection video and judges comments will do more for a buyer than updating a video constantly when they are growing.
        I don't mean to single you out - because I know that this is a view that a lot of breeders have, particularly in the US.

        But as a buyer, I will tell you that this is why so many of those breeders are at a disadvantage when it comes to selling to the typical amateur (like me.)

        The Europeans seem to have figured out how to present their young horses very well to the US amateur market. You can get (very current) video, and the horses are shown turned out as though they are showing at the highest level. Look, it may offend you that a lot of buyers can't or won't look past the fuzzy hair... but that is a reality. (To extend this logic further... they don't look past the unstarted horse - because you didn't have access to an affordable rider/trainer - or the horse that's never been off the farm to show - because it's so expensive to show here ... when they can get all of those things from your competitors elsewhere.)

        Asking an amateur buyer to make a decision based on studying bloodlines (something most are far less familiar with than the breeders are, and understandably so) because it's too hard or time consuming or difficult to "package your product" in a way the buyer finds attractive is going to cost you business, plain and simple.

        For the record, I'm NOT saying young horses don't benefit from time outside, or that one way of horsekeeping is superior to another. Every horseman decides that for themselves, based on their own individual situation, experience and beliefs. (Not to mention resources.)

        However, I can tell you that from a buyer's standpoint - this is a big reason why a lot of us buy elsewhere. Take it for what it's worth.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

        Comment


        • #84
          I am not saying it is particularly easy to do a good video, so if you can't, then consider hiring professionals. A good video is huge when selling horses and potential buyers don't care why a person did a crappy video or no video at all. They just move on.
          www.svhanoverians.com

          "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

          Comment


          • #85
            Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
            Based on what I have observed, this is only true if you have a good broker or connection...but there is also less resistance in those circles to the attitude of "prove it." If they advertised the horse at 1.2m Jumper, they have show results at 1.2m. Not a sob story and boat load of excuses about how expensive and difficult it is to prove horses.

            When buying young horses here, it seemed like every warmblood breeder was convinced that all their stock was Olympic calibre...and as long as they didn't start any of that stock, they could keep charging insane prices for it. The ones that were started, and doing average-to-well...they STILL had ludicrous price tags, and usually a long story about how the rider sucked, or the trainer wasn't good, or there was a freak accident that delayed training...blah, blah, blah. Just let it go. They aren't all the next big thing.

            It drives me nuts how horse sellers seem to think that they'd have the next best thing, if only there was a decent rider around. If, if, if. Breeders here need to accept the idea that their precious babies are going to be ridden by people OTHER than Beezie Madden. It doesn't mean "breed down"...it means, accept that the horse might not be started "perfectly" and it might not reach its "full potential." THAT HAS TO BE OK. Quality will out. Breeding for athleticism, sound mind, trainability...that is going to show up, even if some "useless amateur" ends up with the horse. All the complaining about how "Hunters need to be started PROPERLY you know..." Really? Because while you're waiting around for someone to start a horse properly, a breeder in Europe is plunking their Working Student on a "cull" so that it is jumping courses in time to sell to some Ammy with money. It's not that they have lots of culls in Europe...it's that they are realistic in noting that a huge percentage of the produce is NOT top calibre, and DOES NOT need to be retained for breeding, and in order to move it out the door, it can't be priced at the top of the competitive market.

            If you can't be happy when the products of your breeding program are being ridden and shown in their discipline by a rider who isn't anywhere near the top...then get out of breeding. You're hopelessly unrealistic. Horses out of the best-of-the-best programs sometimes go to useless riders. They still demonstrate their quality, even in "useless hands."


            I think the biggest problem facing North American breeders is that they don't value or bother to understand their market. They breed for themselves and the ideas that they THINK should be held by the market. Stop telling your customers what they want and how you think they should ride.
            Thank you.

            This was where I was going with my comment about "upper level jumper" foals.

            I also agree 100% with your last paragraph.

            I think we could make more progress if we focused on how to adapt to our customers needs instead of expecting them to be responsible for promoting our business. I would love to see one number/one horse encouraged through steep discounts for properly transferring ownership. But I don't think requiring registration is reasonable for an open sport in a country that does not mandate it.

            Comment


            • #86
              I was talking about young horses...birth thru 2 1/2 years old. Trying to accommodate every buyer's request for a current video is ridiculous at that age and many times can add more risk (separating from herd mates-baby's can be so silly!) than I am willing to take. Their inspection video is done at the perfect time to look at a baby....3 month. After that it is one video per summer until saddle age. But, I do have video of the dams, in hand, loose, and under saddle, and showing....for reference. Also any half siblings.
              Once they hit 3 and saddle age, it is all business and horses will be shown in video and/or person bathed, clipped, braided with professional quality video. Also being ridden all 3 gaits by a professional trainer. In winter the under saddle youngsters are clipped and shown at a nearby heated indoor arena.
              I am not sure I have ever seen a super video of a baby from Europe except inspection or auction videos. My baby's look like perfection at their inspections and we don't have auctions here in the US.
              Last edited by Sabino Farm; Feb. 12, 2013, 04:11 PM. Reason: Spelling

              Comment


              • #87
                A once a year video of young horses taken during the summer is enough. Young horses don't change that quickly and it is impossible to get good video and photos with yak hair. These are horses living in fields and not horses in training who progress or digress daily. When I look back at inspection/weanling videos and compare to yearling and two year old videos then compare to the three year old horse being started, it is almost always the same horse at each stage.

                Comment


                • #88
                  Very interesting thread. I suffer the same problems. Good hearing from the buyers and why they go to Europe. So, if we can line up a bunch of horses for those buyers or an auction, they will come? VDL does it in FL. Of course everyone is there or already for the winter and it is a highly concentrated place of horses too. That can make it bit easier. Not that they have it easy. Why can't we have a similar auction in FL? We would have to be selective about the horses entering the auction. None of this, sign up and your in stuff. They are selective in Europe and part of why they are successful.

                  Doesn't the midwest already have a breeders group? Where does the money go they have for their yearly stallion auction. Do they help at all with any of the marketing? Why don't they put on an auction there that is selective and heavily marketed. Get someone very reputable to make the selections. We get one started and then the rest can follow. The marketing has to be done too.

                  Many of the breeders or brokers in Europe will take you around to several places to see horses. That certainly could be put together here. In New England and NY we have a lot of sale horses around. Finding them is hard. Ideas?

                  Devon is a great idea to marketing those horses that go there that are for sale. Our NEDA Fall Festival breed show grew tremendously last year and we had a lot of buyers looking there. I know they ask if the horse is for sale, but thinking it would be a great marketing opportunity to compile these sales lists, where the horses are stabled and owner contacts.

                  One horse, one number, one fee! Yes, we need that.

                  This year I was invited to be on the USEF Breeder's Committee. We had our first meeting and it is very interesting that there is more in work than everyone knows. Much will be announced later, but they do listen and they are working on the problems. It just takes time to change and they have to pull it together for all the disciplines.

                  I think everyone, including the USEF wants one number. It creates a hassle for everyone. Part of the problem is the cost of maintaining the database and sharing it. The interesting part is that this committee is all disciplines, which has its challenges. It is an eye opener for sure.

                  There is a fantastic program in place for registries to get the USEF Lifetime numbers for foals and they also get into the American Performance Horse Program. A lot of the registries are doing this already, like the Hanoverian. The USEF number is printed usually right on your horses papers. More organizations should do this. It helps to track our American bred horses better. And one less fee for us all. So, please if your registry isn't doing this, ask them to get it going. It will save a lot of people a horse registration fee. I'm working on the KWPN-NA.

                  Keep in mind that our registries are also a good source for marketing. They need, or should be promoting our breed and we have their breed. Ask them what they can do to help you? They want you to continue breeding too. Volunteer if you can. Many of them are non profits and volunteers are essential.

                  For the person who is printing out all those copies of registrations and memberships for shows, you can get a full page of everything from horse and rider at this place that makes it a LOT easier. Online show entries are even better!

                  If your looking at those USEF rankings and your horse is not showing up. Contact Ken Ball. He is very good at getting the information in there. Just like in USDF, we have to review year end awards to see if it is accurate. I do it every year especially towards the end and closing for year end awards. Sometimes a show didn't get the data up or something was missed. Data errors will always occur with any database and only we can help to make sure it is accurate.

                  Kathy
                  Majestic Gaits-Dutch Warmbloods,#1 USEF Dressage Sporthorse Breeder. #1 KWPN-NA Jumpers.Standing Navarone,Schroeder,Dante MG.VDL Frozen. Approval KWPN Han OLD RPSI BWP Canadian SWANA sBs SF Holst

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Originally posted by Sabino Farm View Post
                    I was talking about young horses...birth thru 2 1/2 years old. Trying to accommodate every buyer's request for a current video is ridiculous at that age and many times can add more risk (separating from herd mates-baby's can be so silly!) than I am willing to take. Their inspection video is done at the perfect time to look at a baby....3 month. After that it is one video per summer until saddle age. But, I do have video of the dams, in hand, loose, and under saddle, and showing....for reference. Also any half siblings.
                    Once they hit 3 and saddle age, it is all business and horses will be shown in video and/or person bathed, clipped, braided with professional quality video. Also being ridden all 3 gaits by a professional trainer. In winter the under saddle youngsters are clipped and shown at a nearby heated indoor arena.
                    I am not sure I have ever seen a super video of a baby from Europe except inspection or auction videos. My baby's look like perfection at their inspections and we don't have auctions here in the US.
                    ^^^ This, exactly. My previous post was regarding young horses aged in the group Sabino mentions, that are not yet started under saddle. Older, going horses should be shown well turned out, and at the level they are stated to be at. I agree with that completely. Same goes for the seeing thru the fur comment. It was also in regard to youngsters. I apologize that part was unclear.
                    Tracy Geller
                    www.sixpoundfarm.com
                    Find me on Facebook!

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
                      Based on what I have observed, this is only true if you have a good broker or connection...but there is also less resistance in those circles to the attitude of "prove it." If they advertised the horse at 1.2m Jumper, they have show results at 1.2m. Not a sob story and boat load of excuses about how expensive and difficult it is to prove horses.

                      When buying young horses here, it seemed like every warmblood breeder was convinced that all their stock was Olympic calibre...and as long as they didn't start any of that stock, they could keep charging insane prices for it. The ones that were started, and doing average-to-well...they STILL had ludicrous price tags, and usually a long story about how the rider sucked, or the trainer wasn't good, or there was a freak accident that delayed training...blah, blah, blah. Just let it go. They aren't all the next big thing.

                      It drives me nuts how horse sellers seem to think that they'd have the next best thing, if only there was a decent rider around. If, if, if. Breeders here need to accept the idea that their precious babies are going to be ridden by people OTHER than Beezie Madden. It doesn't mean "breed down"...it means, accept that the horse might not be started "perfectly" and it might not reach its "full potential." THAT HAS TO BE OK. Quality will out. Breeding for athleticism, sound mind, trainability...that is going to show up, even if some "useless amateur" ends up with the horse. All the complaining about how "Hunters need to be started PROPERLY you know..." Really? Because while you're waiting around for someone to start a horse properly, a breeder in Europe is plunking their Working Student on a "cull" so that it is jumping courses in time to sell to some Ammy with money. It's not that they have lots of culls in Europe...it's that they are realistic in noting that a huge percentage of the produce is NOT top calibre, and DOES NOT need to be retained for breeding, and in order to move it out the door, it can't be priced at the top of the competitive market.

                      If you can't be happy when the products of your breeding program are being ridden and shown in their discipline by a rider who isn't anywhere near the top...then get out of breeding. You're hopelessly unrealistic. Horses out of the best-of-the-best programs sometimes go to useless riders. They still demonstrate their quality, even in "useless hands."


                      I think the biggest problem facing North American breeders is that they don't value or bother to understand their market. They breed for themselves and the ideas that they THINK should be held by the market. Stop telling your customers what they want and how you think they should ride.
                      We're not worried where our horses will end up.

                      I have no issue with you personally, but either you’re using lots of paint and making broad strokes with a big brush, or this is far from realistic.

                      First off: There are enough ‘average’ (and used as a catch-all phrase, here) horses in the world for none of us to ever breed another horse again. A large chunk of them will do the job for most riders’ capability level and if that’s your poison knock yourself out and get one, cheap. God knows all the horse-for-sale sites are bursting at the seams with them.

                      But since the atmosphere here is now all about market and supply and demand rather than a living animal with (untapped) talent, let’s equate breeders and horses to manufacturing a product (a vehicle, perhaps) and the end users.

                      I think we’ve already established that we can’t compare any of our market characteristics to Europe, other than the ability to manufacture the same product using the same equipment. So, as manufacturers of a certain product and quality category we have committed to bust a gut not to produce more average product, and yes, in a way we are “telling” our customers how they should drive the particular vehicle, because that is what it’s made to do and is capable of doing. Actual vehicle manufacturers spend fortunes on TV ads repeatedly “telling” us how to drive whatever models they’ve designed.

                      When our product is in final tweaking or quality test phases (2 or 3yo) why in the world should we put a rookie driver in the seat and ask them to program it, or put it through its paces and tweak its final functionality before it gets to roadworthiness? Yes, they may represent the majority that could end up driving it but regardless of that, our reality is that by the time we get to this stage the product has cost far too much to fool around or take any unnecessary risks, and the finer manufacturing details that make the vehicle what is could be ruined before it even gets to the showroom floor, rendering the vehicle no more useful than an average one. So, we prefer to leave that important component to professionals.

                      Once it’s on the showroom floor it’s a whole ‘nuther story of course and anyone can buy it --to drive Ms Daisy around if they so choose. Even if it’s an off road vehicle. Or a Maserati.

                      But if the quality or functionality of that off road vehicle/Maserati is desired, then the options are: (1) Wait until you can buy it off the showroom floor and pay the price (2) Be willing to program it yourself with all the risk of performance not being at full potential (3) Become a trained test driver (4) Pick up a second hand one and hope it’s got what you need…and so on.

                      What we are saying is that there are not enough Programmers/Test drivers meaning that we have to teach/tell drivers how to use the vehicles, all the more.
                      Last edited by GGStables; Feb. 13, 2013, 06:43 AM.
                      GreenGate Stables
                      http://ggstables.webs.com/

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        To continue the car analogy, almost all car dealers will negotiate a price with you - - - to a point. Most breeders will as well. But just as you are NOT going to walk out of the car dealership with a new Jag for $10,000., you're not going to walk out of the barn for a very well bred, very well started young horse with a few shows under his/her girth for $10,000 either - as some buyers expect. A horse that's had that much time and training and possibly/probably some show experience is NOT going to go for a foal price.
                        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                        Now apparently completely invisible!

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Really great discussion. I'm glad some breeders appreciate the buyers viewpoint. Although I only buy one horse every several years, I am looking for the quality animal, and I do recognize it. I'm not sure auctions are really the answer, although they do work in Europe, most sales I suspect are still private. Just as DAD won't really work for me unless I happen to be in the market in fall, auctions will work for those looking right then (and who are willing to purchase at auction). I love the idea of breeders groups that maintain an UP TO DATE website, and are willing to refer to others in the group and perhaps even try to help a visitor find several horses to try in one trip. Some of the breeder groups are single breed, and as a dressage rider I don't have a "breed" that I wish to stay within. Currently I own one Oldenburg, One KWPN and one Trak Cross. I would like a place to find great dressage bred talent, not just one breed. Despite what some breeders think, I do care about bloodlines, both sire and dam, and I like lines that have proven to perform at a high level and to stay sound while doing it. I am an AA, but I don't want average, and I am willing to pay for above average. I do agree however that some breeders think all their horses have Grand Prix potential and are 10 movers, and some are very unrealistic, and I do hear that this is more of a problem in the US then Europe. Many other buyers that I know would rather stay in the US and buy American Bred horses, we need to find ways to make it easier!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #93
                            Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post
                            As a buyer of young horses, I (like LucasB) will give my perspective.

                            If you want to make a decent profit with the horses you have bred, and which are not sold as weanlings, the horse really needs to be under saddle. You do not need a classically trained rider to back a horse and put 60 days on it. There are tons of riders who break yearlings for the track, or Western riders who break 2 year olds for their Futurities. I have used both and gotten back well mannered young horses who can walk trot and canter -- enough so that a potential buyer can sit on it and see what the horse feels like.

                            This means that horses have to be backed sooner than spring of their 3 year old year. Purists who insist that it is not good horsemanship to back and ride a young horse will be left sitting with their inventory even as breeders who are true COMMERCIAL breeders (anyone who breeds to sell is a commercial breeder) are usurping your market. I include European breeders in this "breed to SELL" category. And these breeders know how to showcase and market their horses.

                            The Internet is your friend, but it must be used effectively. In my search, which spanned several months, I only saw two coming 3 year olds which were free jumped over a height which gave me an indication of their potential. One of these breeders is Silver Creek (SH66), and the other is an outfit in S. Dakota.

                            I do not feel it is up to me to guess how good a horse will be; SHOW ME. I don't think there is any reason that a 2 year old cannot be free jumped as high as its talent allows. I bought a horse from SJ66 which had a video of the horse easily jumping over 4'. And it was a quality video. I used to think that I was the worst videographer in the world. Well, I am not even in the bottom 1/2 if the sales videos I watched are any indication.

                            The young horse classes at WEF are a start in the right direction. Breeders need to showcase their inventory as young horses. If you think you do not have any competitions at which you can show your babies, then you need to look for some.

                            The hunter world has its 3 and 4 year old Futurity and also 2' baby green classes.

                            And the event world has a "Future Event Horse" division for 3 and 4 year olds. The horse I just bought will be started as an event horse because there are a number of Combined Tests (dressage and stadium jumping) around. They have dressage tests which are just walk - trot and call for basic obedience. It costs about $40 to tenter these. There are also horse trials with a GAG division (green as grass) which include X-rail jumping and a "cross country" of about 10 - 12 jumps, 12" - 18" high. I intend to get my baby out and about and used to competing by going in these classes. There is no reason why breeders of jumpers cannot avail themselves of the benefits of the hunters, dressage and eventing worlds, too.

                            My new horse will decide what he wants to be when he is about 5, but until then I will avail myself of whatever outings and suitable competitions I can find to give him a head start on his future.

                            Breeders need to stop looking at their babies as cute, fuzzy creatures and start to treat their product in a business like fashion. They need to start them under saddle and/or free jumping and get top quality videos of them as late 2 year olds. I am not advocating advanced work, or even constant work at that age. But enough work so that their talent and temperament can be assessed by potential buyers.

                            THEN US buyers just might stay home and travel to places at which they are assured of young stock who have something to show off.

                            Yes, there are problems that are particular to the US, but the problem of quality sales and marketing are, to a great extent, self imposed. Instead of looking to Europe and envying their breed registries and Bereiters (sp?), US breeders need to think outside the box and take advantage of what the US does have.

                            Your comments are on point, and very true except one point....the young horse classes at WEF are not a great start nor is it in the right direction. I am assuming you are talking about the YJC and not the Spy Coast YHS?

                            What we see at WEF is the same problem we are seeing with our top jumper riders and horses for example. We are asking too much too soon.

                            It is in my opinion, that when breeders are shown more support and act with a sense of solidarity, that we can build the foundation for the bigger picture. When the trainers, show managers, course designers and owners and or breeders come together in a more structured way, only then will be be able to jump start the culture we lack.

                            There are so many types of breeders and each has their own motivation. Yet bottom line is that we all have the same problems. It's expensive to produce them, it's expensive to train and show them and there is very little support.

                            So, unification is the first step in creating this culture we need to have in order to give our own horses a chance when put up against the other markets out there.

                            I'm glad this thread has produced so many responses. We have to talk about the problems, but my hope is that there becomes an opportunity for folks to become actively involved in changing the system.

                            We can complain all day long, but we have to act on our complaints in order to make change.

                            Cheers
                            Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                            Europe's Finest, Made in America
                            WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
                            Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

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                            • #94
                              Linda Allen's Benchmark layout for young jumpers has sounded about perfect to me. In lieu of that, I'm happy to start jumpers on baby green hunter courses with support work at home. I'm happy to take them eventing at the neo-natal novice level and do combined tests or ship to HITS and do whatever part of the 2' jumper course, or L. 0 course I feel the horse can reasonably do in a way that will give training benefit. We've always had a lot of interest right at the show itself in our promising youngsters.

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                              • #95
                                There is very much a mind set in our country that our horses are family rather than a business. It is important to care, but that mindset does often greatly hinder the proper development of the horse. Many are started at a much older age and are brought along very slowly. It is not uncommon to see 6 to 8 year old horses in the baby greens or 1.0 m jumpers. For a talented jumper (or hunter), jumping and competing regularly at lower levels can actually ruin the jump. We focus on developing the foundation of the horse with flat work and we move them up appropriately for what they offer. I expect a 4 year old to show a little bit and then be ready for the pre-green or first year green hunters or the 1.20 m jumpers as a 5 year old.

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                                • #96
                                  Europe has a higher 1:1 quality ratio because they just don’t keep ones that aren’t good enough. Our culture does not support culling - if that's understood as slaughter. The fallout from this, is that unless the foal is sold right away, we are forced to get it under saddle and by then it’s natural to have some kind of attachment, apart from the reality that the horse costs more for the very fact that it’s now under saddle.

                                  For example: It costs $1,600 + tax/month around here for a professional rider (emphasis on ability rather than title). That’s the equivalent of a full year’s supply of hay for a horse. I believe breeders' horses aren’t ‘snailed’ along by choice, again, it’s the lack of appropriate resources and sufficient finances to pay all the Peters and Pauls along the way.
                                  GreenGate Stables
                                  http://ggstables.webs.com/

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                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by GGStables View Post
                                    For example: It costs $1,600 + tax/month around here for a professional rider (emphasis on ability rather than title). That’s the equivalent of a full year’s supply of hay for a horse. I believe breeders' horses aren’t ‘snailed’ along by choice, again, it’s the lack of appropriate resources and sufficient finances to pay all the Peters and Pauls along the way.
                                    My general philosophy is that if breeders don't have "appropriate resources and sufficient finances" to get the 3 and 4 y/o's going under saddle so they will attract buyers, they have no business putting yet another foal crop on the ground. I have lost respect for some breeders who breed year after year, when they still have older youngsters standing around that are not started under saddle because the breeder doesn't want to spend the money to send them out for training (and often, is complaining that she can't get buyers interested in her young stock!).

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                                    • #98
                                      Agree whole heartedly. It's like collecting or hoarding of another variety, and amassing horses is dangerously easy.
                                      GreenGate Stables
                                      http://ggstables.webs.com/

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                                      • #99
                                        I just wrote a magazine article "Improving the Bottom Line for Small Breeders" (in the current issue of Warmbloods Today magazine, Jan/Feb 2013) which touches on so many of the points brought up in this thread. If anyone's interested, email me (RiverOaksFarmFL@aol.com) and I'd be happy to scan it and send it to you. Or, since the new issue is coming out shortly, the Jan/Feb issue will be available here in the Archives soon: http://warmbloodstoday.com/archive.html

                                        I'm the epitome of the "one man show", so I know how hard it can be, but you must have decent photos and video, and you must be able to honestly evaluate your stock, and then price it realistically (and with well written ads that aren't full of exaggeration.) You have to look at it (photos, video, ad writing) as an investment in your business, whether you have to pay someone, or power thru trying to do it by yourself. (I've done photos and video all by myself, even as I thought the frustration might kill me.) Or barter with a friend -- you'll help them with videos and pics, and they can help you in return. In this flooded market, it is going to be next to impossible to get someone to even consider your horse-for-sale without decent photos and video, unless maybe you've reduced the price to a fraction of their value and you can attract an investor/gambler type buyer.

                                        Breeders also have to be careful not to live in a bubble, or barn-blindness can strike overnight. Go to shows, go to inspections, see what's winning, see what's selling.

                                        I do wish there was more of a culture of "mentoring". I see breeders who are too proud (or too arrogant, or too stubborn) to reach out to others. NOBODY knows everything. Make friends with other breeders, trainers, sellers. Listen and pay attention. Ask for advice or input or a second opinion. And if you're one of the more experienced breeders, don't write off the newbies if they're reaching out to you!

                                        Anyhow, I'll quit typing since I'm well on my way to repeating my own article, but there are some interesting points made in this thread

                                        Gigha
                                        River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.

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                                        • This means that horses have to be backed sooner than spring of their 3 year old year
                                          I absolutely disagree with this and will never apply this principle to my youngsters.
                                          My babies (yearlings and 2 year olds) go off to a month long bootcamp each summer to work on ground manners, be ponied on trails, sacked out, lots of bathing and clipping, practice trailer loading, be saddled and bridled, and even have a rider sit on them. We end bootcamp with marketing day which is pictures and video for the next year. Nobody starts under saddle until they turn three and even then it is light work till the fall. After that is it full steam ahead with full time training but no jumping until they are 4. I try my hardest to encourage my buyers (who bought babies) to wait that long also. I am responsible for creating these creatures so the least I can do is give them a shot at long term soundness by being patient. Maybe that makes me too attached or emotionally evolved but I am OK with that because what I do has to sit well on my conscience too. Up till now, my buyers have been tickled pink with this process and have well adapted and well mannered youngsters that they can usually start themselves and save the expense of training.
                                          Last edited by Sabino Farm; Feb. 13, 2013, 10:24 AM. Reason: Spelling

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