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WWYD? Former client asking for advice on yearling colt. . .

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  • WWYD? Former client asking for advice on yearling colt. . .

    Well, this is a bit of a sticky situation. . .former client emailed photos of her yearling colt and stated that she would like to keep him intact and raise him as a stallion prospect. . .he is a nice looking boy but I might have a different opinion with regard to bringing him on as a stallion. . how do I express my honest opinion without coming off as totally rude
    Willow Run Connemaras
    Home of: "Willow Boy" (*Chiltern Colm ex *Sillbridge Miranda by Thunderbolt)
    ~Irish Connemara Ponies for Sport and Pleasure~
    www.willowrunconnemaras.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by erinwillow View Post
    Well, this is a bit of a sticky situation. . .former client emailed photos of her yearling colt and stated that she would like to keep him intact and raise him as a stallion prospect. . .he is a nice looking boy but I might have a different opinion with regard to bringing him on as a stallion. . how do I express my honest opinion without coming off as totally rude
    you can't...they are prob going to hear what they want to hear...and most people do not really ask for advice but affirmations on what they already decided to do...


    best
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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    • #3
      Tamara is absolutely right.
      Eliza
      www.foxwoodhanoverians.com

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      • #4
        Speaking as someone who has never had a stallion, if I was the owner and it was my yearling (love CAN be blind ) I think something along the lines of the different ways that an intact horse needs to be managed and handled, and the realities of how few stallions get enough breedings to actually make a positive impact financially would be perfectly appropriate. If you want something to ride and/or show, there are no benefits to leaving it intact.

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        • #5
          While both of the above posters are, sadly, correct -- I would respond if I were in your shoes, and I would blame it on the economy. I would say he's very nice now, but she/he needs to understand how much work and money it will take to make him stand out and prove he is exceptional.

          Otherwise... "raising a colt up as a stallion prospect" is really no different than "not gelding right now". I actually did the latter, realizing later that my boy was NOT exceptional nor did I have the resources to put him out there. There's no shame in gelding at 2 or 3 years old when you come to that decision. So you could also go along with this person while advocating the wait-and-see approach, i.e. "He is a very nice colt right now -- what is your plan to train and show him? Why don't you go ahead with that plan for six months or a year and re-evaluate?"
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
          Starman

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          • #6
            I have only sold one colt (they all leave my farm as geldings), the minute he left I regretted it, but luckily the woman contacted me when he turned 3 and asked for my opinion. I was completely honest with her and said, "although he is a nice horse here are the reasons I would geld him now":

            1) He was a puppy dog and did not have the presence expected of a stallion
            2) She had a 2 year old son, did she want him to wander into the paddock by accident and possibly get hurt? (this might have been the point that worked?)
            3) Did she have the where with all to pay to put him through the stallion testing?
            4) If she did not go through the entire process how many breedings would he get being an unapproved Hanoverian stallion?

            Within 3 weeks she contacted me to say she had gelded him and didn't regret a minute of her decision. So, I breathed a sigh of relief that she did it and vowed to never let one leave in tact again.

            I think they have to be exceptional to become approved and although the one I described above was BEAUTIFUL (dark bay with a blaze and 4 high stockings)-he is now 18 hands. Personally, I think that is too big so she wouldn't have gotten many breedings and frankly, today many of the stallion owners are not getting enough breedings to make it worth their while. It is a tough life for these guys, especially if they are also showing.

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            • #7
              I would explain that stallions do not usually have a good life. They usually cannot go out with buddies to play horse games. Most people don't want to be next to a stallion at a show, and don't want their kids near the stallion. He will miss out on so many of the fun, horse experiences. Neighbors will not be happy to know that there is a stallion with a first time stallion owner in their midst.

              My neighbor did not geld her baby. Now, at age 2, he is a handful. Fortunately, she sent him off to a big farm where he will get the training he needs. A lot of us in the neighborhood breathed a big sigh of relief when he left. He is a lovely stallion, but I am not sure he will add anything exceptional to the gene pool.

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              • #8
                You might even suggest she take him through an inspection process or to a few sport horse in hand classes and see how he scores. As a stallion prospect, he should score quite well. If he doesn't then an outside party (aka, the judge or inspector) has given feedback, so you are now an innocent party
                www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                Director, WTF Registry

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                • #9
                  Or you can use me as an example . Walk the Line. Super, super horse. Beautiful pedigree. Lovely gaits. Going well under saddle. Incredible temperament. Completed the 30 day Stallion Testing successfully with very good scores for his gaits and his temperament and rideability....we gelded him last month. Why? Well, he's a super nice horse and will make someone an absolutely phenomenal ride, but he's got to be even better than phenomenal to be a stallion in our opinion. So, when you consider that we've had him since he was a weanling, put all the time energy and money into getting him to this stage (he's five now), sent him through the 30 day testing and while he would have made a very good stallion, he will now make someone a SPECTACULAR gelding. Is your friend willing to make the commitment we have and accept that her colt may not be up to snuff? And, after all of that, be well aware that she will probably only get around 6 breedings a year.

                  Feel free to have her call me if you think it will help. But I think the best thing you can do is be brutally honest. Kind, but honest. Raising a stallion and attempting to get him licensed is NOT for the faint of heart!

                  Good luck!
                  Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                  Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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                  • #10
                    Suggest she get an opinion from the breed registry.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                    • #11
                      This is a Connemara colt.

                      I have zero feel for that market.

                      Warmblood stallions here are competing with frozen from stallions competing in Europe.

                      Somebody in one thread somewhere in this forum said we are gelding so quickly now that late bloomers are lost. Some foundation stallions were late bloomers.

                      The gene pool is shrinking.
                      www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you all for your input. This client has a FILLY of mine and has another purebred colt (from another program) that she is considering keeping intact. She asked my honest opinion and I told her initially that I thought he was "nice" and perhaps a good mover, but "rather plain". That is all I could muster to say, I don't want to tell people what to do with their own "eye" for ponies/horses but I did feel that my program via my filly might be a touch at stake and so really wanted to be honest. I did also offer my advice for what type of stallion I thought might best compliment the filly (mentioning attributes that she would benefit from and, coincidentally attributes that this colt did NOT have!!) etc. Gosh, I really don't like to be in these sorts of situations. . seems like there is no real good way about it. . .
                        Last edited by erinwillow; May. 31, 2009, 01:28 PM.
                        Willow Run Connemaras
                        Home of: "Willow Boy" (*Chiltern Colm ex *Sillbridge Miranda by Thunderbolt)
                        ~Irish Connemara Ponies for Sport and Pleasure~
                        www.willowrunconnemaras.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ask her loads of questions and get her to come to her own conclusion. Be honest though. I've been in this game for long enough to know that if you flatter her - or her horse that you end up ultimately with your reputation tarnished or in tatters.

                          Be honest and people will come to respect you for that.


                          Picture this..... 10 years on..... "Well I know the foal is awful / I'm struggling with him (*delete as appropriate) but Erinwillow helped to convince me he was stallion material and I really respected her judgement"

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                            Ask her loads of questions and get her to come to her own conclusion. Be honest though. I've been in this game for long enough to know that if you flatter her - or her horse that you end up ultimately with your reputation tarnished or in tatters.

                            Be honest and people will come to respect you for that.


                            Picture this..... 10 years on..... "Well I know the foal is awful / I'm struggling with him (*delete as appropriate) but Erinwillow helped to convince me he was stallion material and I really respected her judgement"
                            You are absolutely right! Thank you. I was trying to use the word "plain" to mean "non-stallion material" but I think I can do better, lol!! She is to call me later today so I'll just be blunt--no harm in being honest. . .take it or leave it. . it's what I think and since my own breeding has entered the mix, I suppose I shouldn't "feel bad" about what I think. Gee, thanks Thomas 1!!
                            Willow Run Connemaras
                            Home of: "Willow Boy" (*Chiltern Colm ex *Sillbridge Miranda by Thunderbolt)
                            ~Irish Connemara Ponies for Sport and Pleasure~
                            www.willowrunconnemaras.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              erinwillow, I was in the same situation a few years ago and I was also very honest in my opinion. Fortunately, I also had the forethought to be tactfull as well.

                              I simply told the woman that her colt was very attractive and he had a very nice temperament. However, in my opinion, that in itself did not make the colt a stallion prospect. I felt that stallions need to be absolutely exceptional in every way. After some more thorough conversation and examination, we both agreed that this colt did have some flaws (although they were not major, they were still there...). And those few flaws were enough to dismiss him as a stallion prospect in my opinion.

                              I was very careful to point out that this is *my* opinion and that *if* he were mine, he would be gelded without hesitation. That way, should she keep him intact and should he be that one in a million late-blooming superstar, I didn't have to lose face either. She was not offended and we remain on very good terms.

                              Good luck!
                              Belindale Farm
                              Breeding quality ponies for show and pleasure.
                              Home of Clay Creek Woodstock - visit him on Facebook

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                              • #16
                                Just tell them what you think, really they asked you and if the person in question didn't want an honest response then they should never have asked. Your response is the honest answer to a question posed by a 3rd party that you know. Be nice and gentle but honest at the same time.

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                                • #17
                                  I am of the same mind as EquineR & Thomas. Ethically, that is the only way you should handle it. Obviously tactfully

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've always found that saying "In my opinion, it's not a good idea" works well. That way, if they are open to hearing actual advice, they can ask. If they aren't, it's not worth your breath AND you've made your thoughts pretty clearly known.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The yearling year is difficult to assess a stallion prospect at the best of times. If there are obvious flaws which would disclude him from being a licensed stallion then you should gently point them out. However, if he is easy to handle and not being a nuisance, and there is a chance that he might be a stallion prospect, then why not wait one more year.
                                      As a 2 yr old you get a better chance of evaluating him. Also the ISR/Oldenburg will do a
                                      pre-inspection and will let you know if they would like to see him again.

                                      We have been raising three colts, two for clients and for the longest time I had my doubts if any of them were serious stallion prospects but especially during their yearling year.
                                      www.trevelyanfarm.com
                                      Follow us: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tre...1609022?ref=ts
                                      Breeders of Sport Horses & New Forest Sport Ponies

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