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Breeding average horses to get average horses for average people

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  • #41
    Originally posted by tannaman
    i must deal with more realistic riders then because many know they will never make it to FEI and don't bother trying to overmount themselves. a lot of people know they are average and just want to have fun at the lower levels, so why would it be wrong to meet this need? why breed them a horse that has the jump for prelim but the riders get left behind terribly? why breed them a horse that is so elastic they can't stay with it across the diagonal?

    there are some nice average horses out there that we just need to make better for them IMO.
    Is there a lack of horses for this market? Seems to me you can find them anywhere. Its the special ones that take looking for.
    And by special I dont mean such huge gaits they cannot be ridden. I mean they have the whole package as mentioned by many here like Maple Brook.

    But you know what is funny. I had a friend with such a gelding for sale last fall. He was unregistered but was 75% WB (Trak, Westfalen) and the rest Tb. He was a perfect example of what you are talking about priced under $5000. Started and ready to go. He was the perfect size, right sex and really sweet. (unfortunately for her she lives WAY out in the country, no website, internet etc which didnt help) Perfect for someone to have a nice, inexpensive dressage or jumper if they put a little work into him. But nobody wanted him.
    What a waste.
    .
    ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...

    Comment


    • #42
      I think that, in some senses, we're comparing apples to oranges here. I find it difficult to compare the amateur eventing, dressage, and hunter/jumper markets.

      I breed Hanoverians principally for dressage but I use a fair amount of jumper blood. My criteria are temperament, movement, soundness, conformation, and bloodlines. I also believe strongly in breeding a registerable horse and adhering to the standards of a registry with high standards, inspections, and performance testing. I believe in breeding the best to the best and hoping for the best.

      But back to my point. Even in the dressage market -- and especially at the lower levels -- I see two very distinct types of amateurs. The first is the rider who just plain loves horses, who is mounted on what I'd call a backyard horse, who doesn't spend more than about $5K on a horse, regardless of breed or age. They don't want to move far up the levels or, in some cases, even compete. The second type is the person I'd describe as serious, likely mounted on a warmblood, and who means to go up the levels.

      In my humble opinion, the most noticeable difference between these types is not necessarily skill but competetiveness. As I see it, all horses cost the same to keep -- board, shoeing, vet bills, and riding lessons cost the same whether you're on a rescue horse or an imported WB. There are people out there in the first group I describe who won't budget for the fancy horses and they are one market, who, from the sound of it, some of you are breeding for. It's the second group that I'm breeding for.
      Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
      Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
      'Like' us on Facebook

      Comment


      • #43
        I would also say that I am breeding for that second group. I don't price my horses out of the general "amateur" price range. My foals generally sell for $4000 when they hit the ground, $5000 weaned, and go up from there. Once they are lightly started they run from $8000-15000 depending on the individual. They are geared towards the amateur who wants to be competetive, not the amateur who wants a horse that will just sit around and go for the odd hack - that would be a real waste of the horses that I breed. Even the one "reject" I have right now is too nice for a completely non-show home - he may only do 3' or under and should not do collection work due to his in-utero development issues, but he's plenty nice enough to win on the Trillium ("B") circuit and would be a fantastic Pony Club or young rider's horse.

        One problem I see with only breeding to the "top" bloodlines is cost. Right now it costs me about $3000 to get a foal on the ground. If I raised my stud fees to $2500+ (what it takes for one of the "better" stallions) and the purchase cost of my mares to the level of the imports many breeders use (let's say $20,000 +) I would have a FAR higher cost to get the foals on the ground. Sure, I could charge more for the babies, but then I would be priced out of the market for the clientelle I am aiming for.

        I like breeding for the amateur market. I truly believe in what I am doing. I have no problem with those who prefer to breed for different markets. I would never put them down for what they are doing. We DO need to produce upper level prospects who will be competitive on the international circuits. I just can't afford to work at this level, nor do I WANT to breed horses of this caliber - there are others who can better afford to breed them, better afford to train them, better afford to market them, and better find the right kinds of proffessional homes for them. To be honest if I were breeding horses of International caliber I'd have a terrible time selling them - I'd always fret that they'd be going to homes where they would not be developed to near their full potential. I'd probably turn away more buyers that I sold to *sigh*. We also need breeders who breed for the first type of amateurs - the ones who really never will go anywhere and are happy with that fact. There is nothing wrong with producing decent, safe animals for that market. The costs tend to come down with lower stud fees and lower cost breeding stock. The buyers are willing to pay less money for the finished product, so the costs have to be lower. It is not what I breed for (and I have dozens of requests for horses of this caliber all the time - I just don't have them), but many do. I see nothing wrong with that.

        The breeders I have issue with are the ones who produce horses who do not have a real market in the first place. Breeders who prioritize bloodlines so much that the forget the rest of the picture (or decide that the genotype will overrule the phenotype in the breeding shed with sub-standard mares/stallions). I've seen many incredibly well bred horses who were not built well enough to even stay sound in the long run, let alone be worth anyone's effort at development into competition horses. These sub-standard horses still seem to be priced at the same levels as their better quality peers - the bloodlines say it all... I also have an issue with those who breed foals with the intention of dumping the ones who do not sell privately through the auctions. How many times have I been to the local auction only to see several young horses being sent through from one breeder or another who decided that these ones need to be culled... I personally find that irresponsible.

        Bad breeders come in all shapes and sizes. The horses can be bred for any market, be of any "quality" level. The problem is not in what purpose we breed for, but in how we go about it. Bashing other breeders because they breed for a different market is just stupid IMO. If the only horses ever bred were Warmbloods for International level competition, where would we get the schoolie types for kids to learn on? The safe, reliable bottom end competitors who will plod their way through the low level courses and tests without a blink for the beginning competitors? The nice sane mid-level horses who help those intermediate horses develop the skills to be competetive in the upper levels? We'd end up loosing the steps for the riders to develop into the proffessionals we need for those Internationally bred Warmbloods...

        Saying that beginners/amateurs should stick to rescues and/or auction horses is not an answer. That only encourages the irresponsible breeders who create those rescues and auction horses. Off-track horses are not generally the best options for the "average" rider - even very skilled riders with trained animals can be intimidated by a hissy fit by a hot Tb fresh off the track. Riding school cast-offs are not suited to riders who want to further develop their skills. Auctions horses often have more issues than good qualities and are definitely not suited to the average amateur without months of retraining. The list goes on.

        I think that because this site is geared primarily towards Warmblood breeders, there is a real prejudice against horses of "different" breeding. It is sad that we have to argue amongst ourselves over things like this, putting down breeders who do not choose to do the same thing that we ourselves choose to do. As long as the breeders are being responsible in their breeding programs and making educated choices according to their breeding goals I don't see a real issue with them. To each his/her own.

        Comment


        • #44
          So, in my experience, I have not witnessed the existence of a market for average to below average sporthorse foals for the lower levels.
          The "average" rider isn't in the market for a foal AT ALL.

          The average rider is in the market for a horse they can get on and rider NOW.
          Janet

          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Janet
            There is a BIG difference between "breeding average horses" and "breeding horses for average people".

            Horse that are ideally suited for "average people" are by no menas "average horses". They are EXCEPTIONAL horses with regard to specific criteria. If you just breed "average horses", you are unlikely to get horses that are "exceptional" for average people.

            If you are breeding horses for "average people", the important criteria are:
            -soundness, and the conformation to stay sound without a lot of "management".
            - the temperament that will tolerate the kind of mistakes (both on the ground and in the saddle) that "average people" make.
            - The ability to easily do the lower levels of a particualr discipline-
            --For Hunters, you want a horse that shows very good form up to 3'. It may not matter if the horse's form gets weaker at 3'6", but you don't necessarily want a horse that only shows "average/poor" form at 3'.
            -- For Dressage, you do not need a horse that shows tallent for piaffe and passage, or that has "extravagant" gaits, but you want a horse that finds has excellent rhythm, balance, straightness, pure gaits, etc.
            -- For eventing you don't need a horse that can "make the time" at the upper levels, but you need a horse that can gallop "lightly" over the ground, that thinks fast enough to "figure out" cross country questions, that has the self confidence to leave the group, etc.
            -- and so on.

            To breed for this market, you STILL need to "breed the best to the best"- it is just that "the best" is measured against a different yardstick.
            I couldn't have said it better myself! You are 100% correct

            Patty
            www.rivervalefarm.com
            Patty
            www.rivervalefarm.com
            Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

            Comment


            • #46
              There are PLENTY of average horses out there that need homes. Some ok bred, some not so decent bred. The point were trying to make is a new breeder should not be coming into the mix trying to breed and promote a finished "AA can ride now" horse for under $5,000 as they are going to go BROKE! You cant even raise one for much under that if you do it correctly and even if the breeder is also the trainer and the one who starts the horses under saddle, I seriously dont think your going to even break even.
              Let Canter and Lope and the auction site fill the gap, there are plently of horses that can make it to 1st level out there.
              BUT.... in all the years I have known horses and riders, I dont know many who really deep down dont have the goal to go higher! They may not say that due to the fear of failing, but having a 1st level or a 2ft jumping goal sounds nice, but prob. not what they are dreaming up.
              And someone posted that riding those elastic gaits are hard. Ummmmm, no!!! Its those elastic gaits that make it easy to sit. Its the tight, hard back trot that is difficult to sit. Elastic is a good thing!
              www.spindletopfarm.net
              Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
              "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

              Comment


              • #47
                What a lot AAs can't ride are the HUGE gaits, even if they are elastic. My trainer constantly tells me that most amateurs couldn't ride my mare but she is actually easy to ride. But, you have to let her go and not be afraid of BIG gaits. Lots of AAs are afraid to get on a forward horse that is a really big mover. They just aren't comfortable with all that power.

                I can see both sides of the issue because lots of the uber fancy horses are honestly NOT suited to 80% of the AAs even if the horse has a good temperament and good rideability. But, got to agree with STF that you will most likely go broke trying to produce a horse that is safely going w/t/c that you can sell for $5K. Just routine hoof care, vaccinations, grain, hay, etc. can cost a heck of a lot until the horse is 3 1/2-5 years old and really steady under saddle. There are plenty of those horses already out there without specifically trying to breed more.

                Comment


                • #48
                  THAT is the bottom line, isn't it?

                  What inca wrote: "But, got to agree with STF that you will most likely go broke trying to produce a horse that is safely going w/t/c that you can sell for $5K."

                  It's why the whole "average" issue just makes little sense. Reality may force breeders to compromise into the average range, but I sure hope in doing so (if they are not simply breeding for their own pleasure--which, IMO, is somewhat irresponsible if they keep doing it and doing it and doing it), they still themselves HOPE to beat the odds and improve upon stallion and mare to create more than "average for average" in SOME area.

                  The thing is, as someone implied earlier, there are so many competitive venues out there. Average here may be exceptional over there. And the "nature or nurture" question will never go away, either.

                  I've come to conclude that the concept of "average" is a little on the useless side. More important than anyone's assessment of a breeder's stock is the breeder's own honest assessment of his or her goals.
                  Sportponies Unlimited
                  Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    If your goal is to produce horses to sell going w/t/c for prices under $5000 I would also say - don't bother breeding. Go to the auctions and pick up the weanling/yearling/two-year-old horses that no-one wants to buy, raise them to riding age, start them and sell them. I have many a time wanted to pick up VERY nice young horses at the auctions with that in mind. If I was not already into breeding I would think long and hard about doing just that. I have been favourably impressed with the quality of some of these animals (some papered, some not). Most sell here for $300 or less - even late two-year-olds who would be ready to start next season. I've even seen some very nice unstarted three-year-olds sell for well under $500... Sure, they may not be show stoppers, but many have been nice Trillium/"B" level horses who would hold their own in low level competition. It is a much more cost efficient way to do it - lose the actual breeding & foaling costs and get good $ on the turn-around in the long run.

                    It is a difficult market for ANY new breeder, no matter what their goals are.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Freehold
                      It is a difficult market for ANY new breeder, no matter what their goals are.

                      Or just do it for an expensive hobby and ignore the bottom line every year! LOL (Thats what I do!!!) LMAO
                      www.spindletopfarm.net
                      Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                      "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Let Canter and Lope and the auction site fill the gap, there are plently of horses that can make it to 1st level out there
                        But so many of us who work 60 hour weeks WANT to go further, but cannot afford to have the horse in training... or actually have the riding talent--and end up held back by a horse whom they have grown to love but just isn't suited to go any higher and cannot do the work well...

                        What *I* personally end up perceiving in these threads, (before they tumble down into the realm of inanity) as a breeder of non-traditional dressage horses, is that I am a substandard breeder because I choose 'other than' WB lines.

                        For me it is an exciting, challenging, fulfilling mission to find that RIGHT APHA, or Morgan, or Connemara/Welsh/ASB who compliments my program, and allows me to have a horse with the mind, soundness and movement to go FAR beyond first level if their rider so wishes--and yet still be really truly affordable. I'm also proud of the very American breeds I use, I think we have treasures here which are overlooked.

                        NOW--Predjudice goes both ways. I'm sure my *perception* of what people are trying to say about this subject is coloured by my desire, pride, hope... all of those things that make us breeders in the first place. But I absolutely agree that the definitions of "the best" are what we are splitting hairs about. AND--again, as has been mentioned earlier, the difference between Sporthorse and Wb. I do NOT breed WB's. (well, except for the Trak mare!) I breed SPORTHORSES. And SPORTHORSES do not have to have a drop of WB in them--though many do.

                        I will never agree that you can go out and find 'any old horse' at a rescue, auction or dealer who will go up the levels with you. BTDT and lived the frustration for years. There is NOTHING wrong, *in my opinion* though, with breeding less-than-well-known lines and breeds for about half the pricetag.

                        I also think it is wonderful that people BELEIVE in their breed, registry and program (dream!) enough to passionately defend it and their ideals. I think if we can keep that in mind, we can understand the LOVE that goes into the choices made... whether that's staying within an established WB registry, or breeding crosses... or liking the 'frosting on the cake' of colours...
                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Janet
                          There is a BIG difference between "breeding average horses" and "breeding horses for average people".

                          Horse that are ideally suited for "average people" are by no menas "average horses". They are EXCEPTIONAL horses with regard to specific criteria. If you just breed "average horses", you are unlikely to get horses that are "exceptional" for average people.

                          If you are breeding horses for "average people", the important criteria are:
                          -soundness, and the conformation to stay sound without a lot of "management".
                          - the temperament that will tolerate the kind of mistakes (both on the ground and in the saddle) that "average people" make.
                          - The ability to easily do the lower levels of a particualr discipline-
                          --For Hunters, you want a horse that shows very good form up to 3'. It may not matter if the horse's form gets weaker at 3'6", but you don't necessarily want a horse that only shows "average/poor" form at 3'.
                          -- For Dressage, you do not need a horse that shows tallent for piaffe and passage, or that has "extravagant" gaits, but you want a horse that finds has excellent rhythm, balance, straightness, pure gaits, etc.
                          -- For eventing you don't need a horse that can "make the time" at the upper levels, but you need a horse that can gallop "lightly" over the ground, that thinks fast enough to "figure out" cross country questions, that has the self confidence to leave the group, etc.
                          -- and so on.

                          To breed for this market, you STILL need to "breed the best to the best"- it is just that "the best" is measured against a different yardstick.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            In view of risking my neck here, I will make just a few "gentle remarks". First off, "I do not support breed prejudice of any kind and this thread wreaks of it."

                            I do support the need and struggle to develop and breed horses who are specifically talented and capable of the discipline required, but I do not see that apart from the fact that these animals may or may not have unusual talents that they should be considered superior to any other four footed "beast of burden".

                            It's all a day's work after all be it yarding logs, or jumping puissance walls, or giving pony rides at the petting zoo, or dancing to the latest in front of a crowd of thousands. If you place your thoughts in the minds of any one of these horses, what do you think they are feeling? That they have worked the past twelve years doing boring day in and day out drills to produce for you some titilatting moment in the spotlight and for what I may ask, a carrot, a good meal.

                            They are all wonderful as individuals each in their own rights. I think the only thing ordinary being discussed here is the human mind.

                            Enough said.
                            http://regcorkumlive.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              breeding average horses for average people is something that automatically happens when one tries to breed superior horses for more advanced riders. it's not something one gears oneself toward.

                              slc

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                By breeding the best you can, it makes no difference if you are breeding WB's, QHs, TBs, Sporthorses, etc. Just strive to have all the qualities of temperment, conformation, athletic ability, trainability, and soundness. My goodness my favorite horse of all times was an Appendix QH. I wish I could have reproduced him again and again. I adore any horse with these qualities no matter what the breed or breeding.
                                Photos and videos of my beloved boys and girls!
                                http://community.webshots.com/user/cathykb
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                                • #56
                                  hhmmm...I was really trying not to be breed specific (or discipline specific) in my previous posts. The joy of horses is that there are breeds for everything imaginable...much like in the dog world. I love my specifc breed and of course think they are just the be-all-end-all , but I can appreciate all the other dog breeds as well. The same applies for horses. And I think what I have been saying can be applied to all breeds...

                                  If you breed arabians, then you should breed the best to the best of the arabian world.
                                  If you breed welsh ponies (who I just adore, by the way), then you should breed the best to the best of the welsh world.
                                  Same for quarter horses, tbs, etc. Even if your breed is the purple spotted, sabino, pony draft...then you should breed the best to the best of the purple spotted, sabino, pony drafts.

                                  I don't agree with the argument that amateur friendly temperaments = inexpensive...any one who has gone shopping for a child-safe pony can attest to that. There is nothing inexpensive about child safe ponies...they are worth their weight in gold! I also don't agree with the well he has the equipment still, so lets use him as a breeding stallion or well she is a mare, and she can't be used for anything else, so lets breed her. Or the stallion down the road is only $xxx stud fee so lets breed to him. There is nothing breed specific here. These are general opinions and beliefs that can be true of any breed/discipline.
                                  Linda
                                  Home of EM Day Dream, SPS Pakesa, & SPS Destiny
                                  Breeders of USDF HOY Reminisce HM and USDF Reserve HOY Legacy HM
                                  http://wbstallions.net/hof-mendenhall/

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Quote by CathyKB -
                                    "By breeding the best you can, it makes no difference if you are breeding WB's, QHs, TBs, Sporthorses, etc. Just strive to have all the qualities of temperment, conformation, athletic ability, trainability, and soundness"

                                    Thank you, I dont think any of us mentioned breed. Its about the whole package! Granted, some of us breed proven and approved stallions for a little more genetic control in what we MIGHT get. Even breeding approved and proven bloodlines we get horses that are average in quality. This is not rocket science!

                                    *SIGH* *SIGH*
                                    www.spindletopfarm.net
                                    Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
                                    "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      I have not read all the replys...

                                      I take issue with the notion that *average* is something bad. To me it's more like the *golden Median*!

                                      When breeding TBs for the track my dad offered this as statstic law of probability: About 1/4 of the product with be good, 1/2 average a, the last quarter....weeeelllllllll, parlez vous francaise....

                                      But that is for the track, where speed only counts.
                                      WB or better yet ridinghorses, to use a more generic term, have a totaly different objection and purpose!

                                      And lets face it, the majority of people qualifies for average only as well.

                                      I am average and have no qualms about it. I do not need and deffinetly don't WANT a horse like Salinero or Gem Twist, I would not know what to do with it.

                                      To me a sound horse with nice disposition and willing attitude is worth so much more than the super mover or jumper. No matter how good the horse was, it would not be a good horse for me.

                                      It is IMHO OK to breed the average mare, as long as she has no glaring faults, just does not shine in particular. (Stallions is a different matter, but even here, there are differnt levels of excellence! And a three digit fee is also a reason...)

                                      Nicole Uphoff's Rembrandt was a great horse, we do agree? But would he have been a great horse with a different rider, or as a schoolie?

                                      I believe there are lessons to be learned from the founding of the Warmblood in the 18th century. They where most definetly going for *The average Horse*: about 16 hands tall, three gaits and a good temperament and work ethic, to fill up the ranks of the cavallery.

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                                      • #59
                                        Ok I dont understand where this thread is going (and frankly there are a lot of people posting now who never post on the breeding forum which I think is interesting).

                                        This is a Sport Horse Breeding forum of a nation english riding magazing.
                                        I would say that most of the regulars on this forum are pretty engaged in research, bloodlines and breeding very good quality foals.
                                        If your dream is to have a trail horse and show at the local 4H shows to have fun then you probably arent looking to buy from us. Our vet bills alone is more then the budget for those type of horses. There is nothing wrong with that but what I take exception to is people telling me that I should dumb down my program because they cant afford it.

                                        You know, a Yugo (car) can get you to work just as well as a Ford or Toyota but how many people are driving one? To each there own!
                                        If you think our horses/foals are too expensive thats OK too! I can open my local paper and see plenty in there for $3000 or less. The market is filled with those.
                                        ~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by slc2
                                          breeding average horses for average people is something that automatically happens when one tries to breed superior horses for more advanced riders. it's not something one gears oneself toward.

                                          slc
                                          I couldn't disagree more. An average show horse is usually a poor pleasure horse. Breeders should be striving to breed the best, no matter what "the best" is. A superior pleasure horse needs to be just as superior as a superior show horse, if not more so. Breeding for show horses with the expectation that the culls will go to amateurs is a huge mistake.

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