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Michael Pollards breeding program vision.

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  • #81
    I know this is your lead in for the rest of your post but wanted to make a point off of this. Most buyers shopping in Europe for competition horses want something that is ring ready or close to ring ready. There is no way anyone will develop a ring ready horse in the US for $1,200. In Europe, it is much easier to break even. Not every young horse will sell for $36,000 but the ones selling more much more will cover for those that don't.

    For example:

    Europe
    Cost to produce a young horse - $5,000
    Raising to 3 years of age - $7,200
    Starting under saddle - $4,200
    Training and showing 4 and 5 year old years - $19,200
    Total - $35,600

    US
    Cost to produce a young horse - $6,000
    Raising to 3 years of age - $12,600
    Starting under saddle - $9,000
    Training and showing 4 and 5 year old years - $84,000
    Total - $111,600

    Originally posted by elly View Post
    Wow, lots of information in this thread - some makes me want to scratch my head. Here are my 2 cents.

    We, as US breeders, produce really nice horses
    We, as US breeders, can not afford to pay $ 1,200 - whatever to get a horse started.
    We, as US rider, would love to ride quality US bred horses.

    Comment


    • #82
      Originally posted by showjumpers66 View Post
      I know this is your lead in for the rest of your post but wanted to make a point off of this. Most buyers shopping in Europe for competition horses want something that is ring ready or close to ring ready. There is no way anyone will develop a ring ready horse in the US for $1,200. In Europe, it is much easier to break even. Not every young horse will sell for $36,000 but the ones selling more much more will cover for those that don't.

      For example:

      Europe
      Cost to produce a young horse - $5,000
      Raising to 3 years of age - $7,200
      Starting under saddle - $4,200
      Training and showing 4 and 5 year old years - $19,200
      Total - $35,600

      US
      Cost to produce a young horse - $6,000
      Raising to 3 years of age - $12,600
      Starting under saddle - $9,000
      Training and showing 4 and 5 year old years - $84,000
      Total - $111,600
      On the east coast the prices you quote are seriously overstated.
      I usually have three young horses showing at a time.
      No way I'd be doing that if I paid what it seems to be costing you.

      I have two trainers. One is in the Hunter Hall or fame. The other is an experienced trainer of youmg horses who competes in Young Jumpers.

      I'm at an AA show right now. Only one horse at this show but after paying all showing expenses and subtracting out the prize money the horse is winning, my cost for three weeks will amount to the shipping cost ( $950) plus a small amount of day care expenses.

      You can make it cost whatever you want and the prices are certainly regional. In the NE there is a show every weekend within 75 miles. While shipping can play a huge part it really does depend where you are and how far you are traveling,
      Fan of Sea Accounts

      Comment


      • #83
        If I had a dollar for every time a buyer disappeared without a courtesy email to withdraw interest...I'd be making a lot more money than I do breeding! Add another dollar for every time I get a picture or video sent and never hear back and I'd be retired by now! Lets remember the definitions of breeder, trainer and buyer...instead of blending them and blaming each other. Breeders are breeding horses as good as breeders in Europe...things start breaking down after the foal hits grounds....marketing, training, uneducated buyers, horse drama in general, etc...
        Example: There is no lack of organic and healthy local food almost anywhere, but why isn't it popular....the growers are producing it...it is the breakdown of marketing, educated buyers, having a supplier, etc....I would not fault the growers for this....they are growing it.

        Comment


        • #84
          "I'm at an AA show right now. Only one horse at this show but after paying all showing expenses and subtracting out the prize money the horse is winning, my cost for three weeks will amount to the shipping cost ( $950) plus a small amount of day care expenses."

          Are you doing your own work?

          That is the only way I can see you doing it for that, which I think is what folks were saying--you can only do it here if you do it yourself in whole or part.

          The last AA barn I saw a bill on you if you were the "Owner" you paid day care (use to be around 75-100 a day), stall 125 per week, split on motel for rider/trainer each week (??100 week) , groom/ rider food split food (??) (never understood that as they have to eat at home...), split on tack stall for week, split of feed stall per week, split on grooming stall per week, miscellaneous expenses, entry per week for YJ classes or 2 hunter divisions(?), rider per class fee, shipping fee, maybe a set up fee....plus you might have to pay for the empty stall back at the trainers....

          Comment


          • #85
            Yes, Young Jumpers can earn prize money and pay their way in the ring if they're good. I had one compete up to 1.3m and qualify for the mid-west league young jumper finals - and she had not only started to pay for showing, but started to earn some other money. Not so in dressage. Even in the very rare instances where there is prize money, you can earn $60, for example, in a Young Horse Championship. Do you have any idea just how much it costs to get the horse to that class to win that BIG money? The entry fee is more than that.

            That mare, a double King of Diamonds/Spectacular Bid mare is due to foal late May/early June bred to a Galoubet/Good Twist stallion who won everything at GP in Monterey, plus many other GP classes. I will probably have to foal it out, raise it, train it, show it and wait how long? to sell it. Why? Because it didn't come from Europe and someone won't get the chance for a European vacation and all the schmalz that goes with it to buy a horse that they will probably have to give to their trainer to ride in the long run.

            And Marydell is a good friend with outstanding horses who is generous to a fault. PP, you were suppposed to come and look at one of my horses, for whom I DID send photos and videos and the way I found out you weren't coming was through this forum when you said you bought a horse in Kentucky, I think and never let me know you weren't coming. The road runs both ways.
            Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
            Now apparently completely invisible!

            Comment


            • #86
              Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
              Horse breeding in this country of the type discussed here is basically going to be a hobby business for most. If you can't see that then it's time to take off the rose colored glasses and put on some real ones. If I was a breeder I'd be thrilled to break even and produce good horses for people to ride. And yes I know how much it costs to breed a horse and raise it from the ground up, and that horses cost money. I've owned horses for many years.

              If a breeder can't find some way to make a business work, well, that is their problem. The world won't end if that breeder and a bunch like them quit breeding, and it'll still be possible to find good horses.
              I don't know what you do for a living, but I sure hope it's something that pays your monthly bills. Why is it that breeding horses is looked upon as a hobby by so many folks out there? Do you really think I muck stalls, lead/groom horses, keep foal watch, mow fields, etc. etc. 364 days a year (since the 1980's) in order to maybe "break even"?

              No doubt you can "own horses for many years" without breaking the bank, but try breeding the next FEI Young Horse champion and you will see that everything gets a "little" more expensive, starting with the price of the mare, vet care, breeding and registration fees, keuring entries, etc. etc. - all things you don't need to do for your next backyard horse.

              For the sake of argument, let's assume you're a teller at a bank.... How would you feel if somebody told you that most tellers should regard their job as a hobby?

              'nuff said!
              Siegi Belz
              www.stalleuropa.com
              2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
              Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

              Comment


              • #87
                Or try telling the car dealer for your next new car that you think you should get that car for about $5,000 to $10,000 less than it cost to produce it, get it to the dealership, pay the salary for the car salesman, pay the rent, heat and utilities on the dealership, etc, etc, etc, . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . And cars don't have to be fed and trained.
                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                Now apparently completely invisible!

                Comment


                • #88
                  I know that you have said so before, but we have showed in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Illinois, etc. and it is always about the same to attend an A show with the biggest difference depending on how far hauling is and how expensive hotels are.

                  From the Aiken prize list:

                  Stall per week - $185
                  Bedding - $100
                  USEF fee - $16
                  Zone fee - $2
                  Office fee - $30
                  Nominating fee - $125
                  Entry fees - $135
                  Total show fees - $593
                  Total trainer fees - $650 to $900 (grooming, day care, rides, per diem)
                  Total per week at "A" show - $1243 to $1493 (less prize money won)

                  With some trainers there will be stall splits for grooming, tack, feed, storage stalls as well as set up fees. There is also per diem (food and housing splits for the trainer and groom). Different trainers charge differently for day care, grooming, and rides. Some charge for each separately and others charge individually. There is also hauling to and from the show and tips for the groom.

                  If showing 2 weeks out of the month at about $1,000 per week plus training and board at $1,500 to $2,000 a month, than it is not unrealistic to expect to spend $3,500 and upwards for showing and training. Yes, I understand that prize money can cover entry fees and stall, but it is certainly not something to depend on.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    I feel like this thread is deteriorating which is unfortunate because I think it is a very important topic....how to get our quality bred warmbloods trained and into ownership with the AA, YR and pros that are still continually turning to Europe to purchase...and potentially make a profit (or at least not lose too much $ in our effort).

                    One thing I think that is important to remember is that there will always be folks who just want to go overseas....it is a vacation trip for them, it is an experience (and a fun one at that most times), it is prestigious. I get all that, I understand all that. The folks we need to work on are the ones that go there "reluctantly" because they can't seem to find something here. Some perceptions/ risks I think buyers need to be educated on are:

                    1) the cost of importation today is much higher than most folks think. Closer to $8-10K, not the $4-6K I here thrown around.
                    2) that the quality of HORSE is better there. We have the quality HORSE (just not the quality young horse training/ starting)
                    3) that veterinary pre-purchase exams overseas can be a bit sketchy.
                    4) without a good agent overseas purchasing overseas can be a disaster at best
                    5) if things go wrong recourse is going to be difficult (it is even hard here in the US, but almost futile for an overseas purchase)

                    I do think we need to somehow make trips in the US worthwhile. That may require some customer service on the breeders/ sellers end with helping to network the buyer to see other horses in the area, helping them make hotel reservations, travel tips, etc. When you make a trip overseas the breeders there have amazing customer service and make it a whole "experience". They will get you at the airport, take you to lunch, show you their homes, etc. It is an experience that we need to somehow build.

                    Now, to a few points in this thread I think that need to be clarified:

                    1) A lot of breeders here are hobby breeders...that does not make them unprofessional and they certainly aspire to produce the highest quality possible. Also, the majority of breeders (at least Hanoverian) in Germany are also very small with only have 1-3 breeding mares. I think we get star struck by the Schokemohle's of the European World....but even there there are not that many of them.

                    2) On this thread many breeders and riders/ buyers and venting their struggles to each other (cost of training, cost of travel, poor video, etc.). I think it is important to LISTEN to each others challenges (aka problems) instead of throwing out comments of "I don't care about your financial problems". By hearing each others challenges, processing them and trying to figure out how to overcome them is the only productive way to maybe cross this chasm. There are valid points. For example:

                    1) breeders need to present their horses professionally in pictures and videos
                    2) buyers need to be more communicative with breeders if they are no longer interested in a horse they have for sale, what there needs really are, what their budget really is, etc.

                    3) As breeders we really need to continue to foster relationships with fellow local breeders, trainers, etc to aid buyers in making trips worthwhile. Maybe this can be done more effectively through Regional Breeder Clubs (like we have with the AHS...aka midatlantic hanoverian club). Maybe it is better off as a separate entity. I am not sure but it is worth discussing, exploring and attempting. IMO I think this could be a huge benefit to breeders AND buyers

                    4) We need a more unified system of recording HID numbers with USEF (at least this is one point we all agree on )

                    5) We need more affordable training for our YHs. I do not need to pay Stefan Peters to get my young stock started. I do not need my trainer that I ride my 3rd level horse with. I also do not want a cowboy. I want a solid, soft handed, capable young rider just getting into their riding careers to send my 3-4 year olds. And yes, I feel they should be paid, but they do not need to make the same amount of money as my seasoned competitive trainer. This is not unreasonable. I am a veterinarian for 12 years. If I went on a job interview now you bet I would demand a much higher salary than I did fresh out of school. We need the "fresh out of school" yet capable riders for our young horses. This is what Europe has that we lack. They have gaggles of capable, competent young girls and guys filling the aisles of these barns, auction houses and stallion stations such as Celle. Now if I bred the next Farouche I would have my mare with Ulf Moeller and be paying top $$$$$$$$$$ to have my horse at the YH Championships in Verden (first I would have to win the lottery though). But for the rest of the 90% of quality WBs give me a competent YR that is getting their careers started for a fair and reasonable price.
                    The AHS is trying what I think is a GREAT idea and I think a great starting point by compiling a list of farms that offer breeding services, raising YH services, training services, etc. These farms have been INSPECTED and shown to have the minimum requirements as set out on their guidelines.

                    6) We need affordable shows to get these young horses out there showing. However, we also need these shows to be attended by folks other than the owners and ones showing the horses Devon is great...but that is our Bundeschampionate. We need the smaller shows too. They are starting the YH series which I hope proves to be successful. But we needs to keep attempting and trying these things until something "sticks" and succeeds.

                    7) IMO a unified breed association won't work. Europe doesn't even have that. People have too many opinions and differing goals to be under one umbrella. Plus I don't think it solves any of the real problems we face as US breeders. A unified USEF identification system, as previously pointed out, is what is necessary.

                    Lets keep this a thread that is constructive in a positive way because I think the conversation needs to be had!
                    Last edited by Blume Farm; Mar. 8, 2013, 05:05 PM.
                    Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
                    http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
                    http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      So for a hobby I'm to spend a large fortune to produce an animal to sell for a very small fortune. I don't think many people are going to do that very often.
                      I love producing the youngsters but if I'm doing it only for "the love of the sport" I am not likely to produce more than what I need for my own purposes. I can control my costs in that I can break and show my own locally (which lowers the sale price), but if the best I can do is break even on my hardcosts nevermind my overhead and time, I am realistically subsidizing someone else's riding hobby, so no motivation to produce for sale. I do not see where the "good horses" to keep the industry going are going to come from.
                      Constructive ideas on how to make production more economically realistic would do the horse industry much more good then telling breeders it just a hobby so don't complain about loosing large amounts of money.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        I didn't read the whole article, but I feel it was created from the trickle down effect from the US's poor performance at the Olympics and the subsequent excuses of "we need better horses in the US". Honestly, I think our horses are fine, and I cannot believe the amount of upper level people throwing the blame of poor performance outcome on the horse (not saying anyone in particular, just tidbits of my collective memory). So many trainers I have worked with time and time again would instill the fact that the horse is not at fault if your show score didn't turn out right.
                        To me, what the US needs is better instruction. More opportunities for education, something along the lines of what the Germans have. What is the sense of producing fine athletes of superior quality with international prowess if our riders have no idea how to work with it?
                        I LOVE my Chickens!

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          I brought up having a MidAtlantic Breeders Group, was told it was a great idea... thankfully I have a person helping me with it but if it takes off it will be volunteer based. We will take objective listings with uniform photos (left side, right, movement optional and up to the lister) and video. They will go on the FB page and website, goal is to have show cases and coordinate trailering in multiple horses for one buyer to look at that fit their needs. Please get in touch if you are interested in helping out, this could truly help. There will also be an e or paper newsletter with listings sent to trainers/buyers. Again volunteer based we need to work together to lower costs not add additional ones.

                          Personally my goals are always to be a hobby breeder. I am happy to break even and possibly cover part of my grain bill. It would be great to someday make a profit but really I cannot wait to see my foals grow up and (hopefully) compete at the levels I imagined when I bred them for. I am just starting out but I don't see my goals changing.

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            A couple observations: Breeders are saying it's way more expensive to raise, train, and show young horses here than in Europe. And that there aren't any/enough/ cheap enough/people who are good enough young horse starters here in the U.S. So if this is true, why are you all complaining that the buyers go to Europe? Can you really blame them?

                            I am a trainer and a breeder, so I try to look at both perspectives. Training and showing are where I make my living, and the breeding is my personal passion. Fortunately, this business model creates a pipeline for my young horses, who I breed, start, and show myself until sold, oftentimes to people in my barn who then keep them in training and send them to the shows. Works great for everyone. The young horses I produce allow many of my clients to purchase higher quality animals than they'd be able to afford as older, made horses. And they don't have any baggage- I know exactly what's happened to them since the day they were born. They're the easiest horses in my barn. On the other hand, if my clients have more to spend on something further along, I suggest an import, for which I have several contacts who know exactly what I'm looking for. The imports are the second easiest horses in my barn, much to the dismay of many of you who seem to think they're selling us only difficult crap. To the contrary- they're well started, sound, have lots of local show mileage over real sized jumps, and yes, it's true- they're cheaper even with the import cost than what I can find over here that's comparable.

                            Couple more points I just can't let go: It's not a buyers responsibility to let you know they're not interested in your product after they've seen pix/video. I can say this, because I've had many people over the years who have inquired about a sale horse, I've sent them more info, and then never heard from them again. Obviously it wasn't the right horse for them- no problem. They owe me nothing. It's part of doing business. And enough of cowboy bashing as far as starting young horses! It's all about the individual, not the discipline they practice. I'll put the "cowboys" Ive used to help me start youngsters up against any of the young, inexperienced trainers just starting their business that many of you suggest! My "cowboys," many of which have been nationally recognized reiners, create soft mouths, and horses who know how to go forward- the biggest things severely lacking in soooooo many badly started horses!

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Couple more points I just can't let go: It's not a buyers responsibility to let you know they're not interested in your product after they've seen pix/video
                              I consider it a courtesy not a responsibility. Maybe I am just tired of people without manners.

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                I don’t know how anyone can argue with what is being said on this thread.

                                Very few people shoud be breeders. Breeding horses is not a good financial investment, nor is it a “good” choice for how to make a living. If, before you got started, you did a business plan, and factored in all costs, including your labor, a percentage of your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, something for both retirement and vacation, and of course - health insurance, in addition to the cost of feed, farrier, vet care… and all the rest… it is simply NOT a good return on your investment. When you add in career ending injuries, breeding mis-calculations, and then all the other problems of finding the right trainers, and funding a show career, and carving out a profitable niche in the market… it’s just a hideous way to try to eek out a living. If you do not have a vibrant outside source of income, you will probably be upside down financially in a very short time. We have all seen over the years that people come and go in breeding, some with very deep pockets, impressive purchases, eye-catching farms, etc., and even though there may be a spike of success here-and-there early on, almost all are out of this in a relatively short time, and many are broke by the time they quit (and the farm is liquidated through a dispersal sale).

                                If you also factor in that video about what horses go through on their way to slaughter in Canada and Mexico - that fannie mae posted a while ago http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...port+slaughter ... look at the very nice quality of those horses going to slaughter… and look at how they are treated. This video should really make breeders stop and re-think all of this.

                                What we’re saying repeatedly in this thread and others is that in the USA, “our organizations and our culture don’t support breeders, we don’t have the market, and breeding does not make sense financially.” That is not going to change, at least not in the USA. If you can’t afford to fully fund every aspect of your breeding goals (if the need arises), through to and including the competition career, then don’t breed.

                                For those who want to breed in a modest program “for the amateur market” STOP!!! Amateurs should not be raising foals, amateurs should not be training young horses. Amateurs will ruin a young horse, which guarantees a life time of misery for the horse. For those who want to market to amateurs, great! Just don’t create more horses (that end up going to slaughter because of poor raising / training). Instead, go to the horse auctions that the meat man is at, buy horses there that need to be saved, re-train them to be safe rides for amateurs, make your profit by saving lives (instead of adding to the problem) and help decrease the numbers of horses abandoned and sold to slaughter.
                                Last edited by Cartier; Mar. 9, 2013, 09:36 AM.
                                Logres Farm on Facebook
                                http://logresfarmpintowarmbloods.com/
                                http://logresdobermans.com/

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  One of the temptations I find in europe is the sires. I cannot seem to get the frozen "goods" in the US so I can't breed my mares to the top sires. Instead of griping tho, we're working on getting the "goods" certified and shipped.

                                  If I were horse shopping, which I should NOT be doing, I certainly be tempted by all the offerings for offspring from Nabab de Reve, Quidam de Revel, Baloubet du Rouet, Darco that I'm seeing on the Continent.

                                  And thank you for all your kind words about Welton Gazelle -I'm considering breeding her granddtr this year and it was heartwarming to see Welton Gazelle acknowledged and appreciated.

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by Cartier View Post
                                    For those who want to breed in a modest program “for the amateur market” STOP!!! Amateurs should not be raising foals, amateurs should not be training young horses. Amateurs will ruin a young horse, which guarantees a life time of misery for the horse. For those who want to market to amateurs, great! Just don’t create more horses (that end up going to slaughter because of poor raising / training). Instead, go to the horse auctions that the meat man is at, buy horses there that need to be saved, re-train them to be safe rides for amateurs, make your profit by saving lives (instead of adding to the problem) and help decrease the numbers of horses abandoned and sold to slaughter.
                                    Not quite sure of the point you are trying to make here. Most Amateurs don't buy foals, raise them or start them. They (in my experience) tend to buy sane, sound, rideable horses that are under saddle and ready, or at least close to ready, to show. They also are the most numerous "potential customers" in the horse industry so I sure wouldn't be painting them all with such a broad brush.
                                    Patty
                                    www.rivervalefarm.com
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                                    • #98
                                      Originally posted by showjumpers66 View Post
                                      I know that you have said so before, but we have showed in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Illinois, etc. and it is always about the same to attend an A show with the biggest difference depending on how far hauling is and how expensive hotels are.

                                      From the Aiken prize list:

                                      Stall per week - $185
                                      Bedding - $100
                                      USEF fee - $16
                                      Zone fee - $2
                                      Office fee - $30
                                      Nominating fee - $125
                                      Entry fees - $135
                                      Total show fees - $593
                                      Total trainer fees - $650 to $900 (grooming, day care, rides, per diem)
                                      Total per week at "A" show - $1243 to $1493 (less prize money won)

                                      With some trainers there will be stall splits for grooming, tack, feed, storage stalls as well as set up fees. There is also per diem (food and housing splits for the trainer and groom). Different trainers charge differently for day care, grooming, and rides. Some charge for each separately and others charge individually. There is also hauling to and from the show and tips for the groom.

                                      If showing 2 weeks out of the month at about $1,000 per week plus training and board at $1,500 to $2,000 a month, than it is not unrealistic to expect to spend $3,500 and upwards for showing and training. Yes, I understand that prize money can cover entry fees and stall, but it is certainly not something to depend on.
                                      I think you missed the point ( again).
                                      Why would I pay for bedding when my trainer supplies it for free?
                                      If you want to pay that much for trainer fees go for it but understand that many trainers charge much, much less than the fee you quoted.
                                      No tip for the groom. it's included. If you get sucked into paying extra expenses again that's up to you but realize there is no standard deal ( no matter what your trainer tells you)

                                      I usually have horses showing in two states on a given weekend and i show up and down the East Coast. Zones 1-4.

                                      I did mention shipping. 800 miles each way. Quite inexpensive, Shippers give discounts for large scale farms.

                                      Nominating fee is not in every division.

                                      If the horse can't win some prize money back why compete?

                                      Trainer brings a camper. $185 a show at Aiken divided by the number of horses showing. Usually $18.5 a week.

                                      Board and training at $2000 a month? LMAO. I'm sure you can make a better deal than that.
                                      Fan of Sea Accounts

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                                      • #99
                                        Sadly, many aspects of the horse business do not have good financial returns Most trainers are just eeking out a living. They need to constantly be looking for sponsors or owners that can supply them a horse. Even most of the top BNT aren't doing it without a big sponsor funding their endeavors.

                                        I agree that most breeders need to have an outside source of income to finance their hobby. However, I still believe that does not mean we can't continue to investigate ways to make breeding, training and marketing our horses more affordable (and maybe even make a little profit once in a while). I think the farms that go out of business are ones that have a dream of making it rich just breeding horses. Honestly, that doesn't even happen in Europe. Most small-mid sized breeders have other sources of income: raise pigs, cows, crops or run a large scale equestrian business with boarding, training, lessons, etc.

                                        I disagree with not breeding for the amateur market. I understand what you are saying (I think) in that we shouldn't be attempting to just produce the "mediocre" and with that I agree. But I think even with the best breeding program the Totilases of the world happen infrequently and the rest can become good solid nice AA horses. Even the majority of Schokemohle bred horses end up in the AA market.

                                        Regarding slaughter...I hear you on that too. It is something I think about constantly (especially as a vet and see all the dogs and cats that get euthanized). However, I find that most responsible breeders really try to breed the best and do good with what they produce. It is the irresponsible breeders that add the bulk to the overpopulation....and sadly they are usually not spending as much time on forums like this trying to educate themselves. The others that add mass amounts are the Schockemohle's of the world that produce the huge numbers of horses to hopefully get the diamond (here in the US is is probably the large scale QH guys that fill that niche). It is a problem, I don't argue that, but I still think the responsible breeders are a needed commodity.

                                        For those that have figured out a system to keep their showing and training fees down...Kudos! If you can train your own youngsters, great, if you found a great affordable trainer, fantastic. I too am lucky in that my friend is a great rider and is able to help me with my young horses. She has brought my homebred pony up through the levels to now 3rd and consistently wins at our shows. However, I feel as a community we should still work on developing some sort of structured equestrian program to make the US succeed and become competitive with our European brethren.

                                        Great discussion everyone....super valid points all around.

                                        Originally posted by Cartier View Post

                                        Very few people shoud be breeders. Breeding horses is not a good financial investment, nor is it a “good” choice for how to make a living. If, before you got started, you did a business plan, and factored in all costs, including your labor, a percentage of your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, something for both retirement and vacation, and of course - health insurance, in addition to the cost of feed, farrier, vet care… and all the rest… it is simply NOT a good return on your investment. When you add in career ending injuries, breeding mis-calculations, and then all the other problems of finding the right trainers, and funding a show career, and carving out a profitable niche in the market… it’s just a hideous way to try to eek out a living. If you do not have a vibrant outside source of income, you will probably be upside down financially in a very short time. We have all seen over the years that people come and go in breeding, some with very deep pockets, impressive purchases, eye-catching farms, etc., and even though there may be a spike of success here-and-there early on, almost all are out of this in a relatively short time, and many are broke by the time they quit (and the farm is liquidated through a dispersal sale).

                                        If you also factor in that video about what horses go through on their way to slaughter in Canada and Mexico - that fannie mae posted a while ago http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...port+slaughter ... look at the very nice quality of those horses going to slaughter… and look at how they are treated. This video should really make breeders stop and re-think all of this.

                                        What we’re saying repeatedly in this thread and others is that in the USA, “our organizations and our culture don’t support breeders, we don’t have the market, and breeding does not make sense financially.” That is not going to change, at least not in the USA. If you can’t afford to fully fund every aspect of your breeding goals (if the need arises), through to and including the competition career, then don’t breed.

                                        For those who want to breed in a modest program “for the amateur market” STOP!!! Amateurs should not be raising foals, amateurs should not be training young horses. Amateurs will ruin a young horse, which guarantees a life time of misery for the horse. For those who want to market to amateurs, great! Just don’t create more horses (that end up going to slaughter because of poor raising / training). Instead, go to the horse auctions that the meat man is at, buy horses there that need to be saved, re-train them to be safe rides for amateurs, make your profit by saving lives (instead of adding to the problem) and help decrease the numbers of horses abandoned and sold to slaughter.
                                        Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
                                        http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
                                        http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

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                                        • Couple more points I just can't let go: It's not a buyers responsibility to let you know they're not interested in your product after they've seen pix/video
                                          If you are answering my post, I'm not talking about people to whom I've sent a video and they don't respons. Fine, what I have isn't what they're looking for. What I was talking about is the people who make an appointment and then don't show up. Or, the people who come 3 times to ride the horse, profess to absolutely love it, say they're going to make an appointment for the vetting while you hold the horse off the market and then you never hear from them again.

                                          I have absolutely no problem if my horse isn't the right one for them. Just learn to say, "No thanks, it's not quite what I was looking for". I have no problem with that, and much less of a problem than all the promises and they refuse to return emails or calls. Just be honest, folks.
                                          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                          Now apparently completely invisible!

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