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Hobby breeders/small-time breeders: What's your setup like?

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  • Hobby breeders/small-time breeders: What's your setup like?

    I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

    1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

    2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

    3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

    4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

    5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

    6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

    7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

    Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    I'm super small time/hobby breeder, so here goes:

    Originally posted by oharabear View Post
    I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

    1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

    I have one. Yes--once a year.

    2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

    Buy breedings.

    3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

    Board horse on a farm consisting of 75 acres or so. Mare pasture is approx 8+ acres. Foal and mare pasture is more like 4 acres--gently rolling hill. I think good turnout is critical.

    4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

    I'll let you know. First foal is a keeper for me. I imagine it comes down to advertising and I think a good website that is UPDATED is huge. As a buyer I don't go to the big breeders website before I go to anyone elses, I generally check warmbloods-for-sale or breeder's listserves and talk to my trainer's first. Network with trainers. I also think the quality of your broodmare and stallion make a bigger deal than sheer size...

    I know one larger breeder with some *really* nice youngstock but they usually don't sell until they have gone off to a trainer's because they are minimally handled and shaggy, and really I think some good pictures and video would take care of it.

    5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

    Hunter/jumper

    6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

    I will do ground work and maybe sit on the horse fall of it's 2 year old year (or wait if it is really slow maturing) and then send to the trainer in the spring.

    7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

    I currently work 58 hours a week (yes, I know how many exactly ). I sent my mare to the vet's home to foal out and she will stay there until she is bred the first time.

    Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm a small breeder, too!

      Originally posted by oharabear View Post
      I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

      1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year? 4 broodmares, usually have 1-5 foals/year.

      2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings? Buy breedings; trying to go with mostly frozen semen at this point.

      3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why? We primarily keep the horses on 40 acres (divided into smaller areas), but do own 92 and rent another 40.

      4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same? If you have good quality, it will sell, but you need to have good photos/videos, etc. I have had no trouble selling my babies, most before weaning.

      5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed? Specialize in jumpers for the upper levels

      6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"? I have done both. I enjoy starting them, but if I feel like I'm not going to have the appropriate amount of time to devote to them, then I will send them out.

      7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such? My full time job is as co-owner of a vet clinic. Being owner gives me some flexibility, but we also foal mares out for other people, so that is my job. If I have to leave the farm during foaling season we have other employees that take over foal watch duty so that the mares are, literally, never alone.

      Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
      Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

      Comment


      • #4
        I have 4 mares and 2 geldings. I have an older broodie and just started breeding my first offspring. I bred my 4 yr old. I aim to breed 1 to 2 foals a year to cover costs.

        No stallion...don't want one. Too much of a headache and I like having different options.

        I have 48 acres.

        This will be my first foal for sale so I will keep you posted. I was lucky enough to have 3 fillies which was just fine by me!

        I do alot of the work but the actually breaking I leave to someone else.

        I have a full time job but take some time off when the time is near.
        The rider casts his heart over the fence,
        the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

        –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

          1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

          We picked up a few more in the last year so we have 5 broodmares at the moment. The last 2 years we had 1-2 foals but we're breeding all 5 mares this year. Will probably eventually settle around 3-4 mares depending on how the leased mares work out. We're pretty happy with our broodmare band now.

          2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

          Buy breedings. I got lucky and have a few freebies to use- that's the main reason we picked up a few more mares.

          3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

          We live on a dairy farm so in total have over 200 acres but don't use them all for the horses. We probably only use about 15 for turnout. I'd really like more turnout space but we're at the bottom of a very large hill and I do not really like to turnout on the hill unless I have to. We have plans on building a new barn eventually and will move the location for access to better turnout.

          4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

          Not sure yet. We just started out (first foal in 2008) and the economy made it tough the first few years but we have sold everything we put up for sale (except for my 2010 in-utero (due any day!) and my keeper filly that we put back on the market last week).

          5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

          Hunters but end up with some dressage prospects too.

          6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

          Haven't kept any that long yet...so it has not affected how many I breed. Ask me next year when I have 5 foals on the ground instead of 2 though!

          7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

          Full time stay at home mom since September...but taking over again at the vet clinic a few days a week temporarily when one of the new employees goes on maternity leave. Hoping my foal watching is done by then!

          Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
          www.NorthHillFarmNY.com
          Like us on Facebook!

          Comment


          • #6
            1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?
            I currently have two, new one comes when she's weaned. Have another I'm not breeding yet. I like to have two foals a year. Sometimes just one, but I prefer 2, 3 can be a bit much. My goal, long term is to have more stallions than mares. I love working with the boys. I'd like to add a very particular stallion... and cut down to 2, 3 mares tops. Just enough to keep me in foal watch.

            2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?
            Own my own stallion and a Jr. Stallion, but have done and will continue the occasional outside breeding. Have retained breedings on a stallion son that is local as long as he stays intact.

            3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?
            8.5 acres. I wish I had just a couple more for pasture rotation reasons--but truly, what I have is just perfect for me to manage

            4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?
            In some ways I think *some* people don't look at horses below a certain pricepoint. Since my GOAL is to stay affordable for the blue collar ammy, mine are priced accordingly. I've sold everything I've had for sale, so far I call that success. Sometimes I think maybe it's harder, other times, I see the high priced/current flavour WB sitting in the paddock too.

            5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?
            Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs. Definitely Niche. Arab (approved WB) crossbreds, Iberian Crossbreds. (Azteca and Barb-Arab) They compete right up against everything else and win... that, I think is important. But by 'reinventing the wheel' so to speak, with American breeds (APHA, ASB) Crosses, I can keep the prices affordable.

            6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?
            I've never had any not sell before backing. Of course, that keeps the price lower. I back my own myself. If I do not sell, I do not rebreed. I have a set amount of space--once I run out, I am out.

            7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?
            I work evenings or overnights, which generally is ideal, since especially in the winter I'm out doing chores during the day. Also, for vet calls--ultrasounds etc., I have to trailer in, and again, I can do this during the day which makes scheduling tons easier.

            For foal watch I rely heavily on milk testing, since my shifts have to be filled if I book out. Before pH testing I could lose up to 3-4 days... since pH testing I've never had to book out more than 2 nights. Nothing's foolproof, but it's as close to it as you can get. Obviously you go by all other signs too, and it is FAR easier with mares you know. Next year will be two brand-new-to-me mares, on a maiden... so ask me again then.
            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

            Comment


            • #7
              I am a small breeder too.

              Originally posted by oharabear View Post
              I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

              1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

              I have 3 active broodmares right now (with 2 upcoming and one retired). I generally have 1 - 3 foals a year with the most I"ve had being 5.

              2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

              I own a stallion (who is not on my property) and I also breed to outside stallions.

              3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

              I'm really on not enough land - I have 5 acres (FL this is not totally uncommon) but I would really like to be on 10 - 20.

              4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

              It depends - I have sold some and the market/inquires is picking up slowly. I"ve also found that since I am a newer breeder, if I discount the sale and get them in the right/show type home I"m helping myself in the long run.

              5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

              I breed Trakehners and don't specalize in any one dscicpline although my horses tend to be event or dressage type.

              6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

              I generally send out for the intial and finish them and show them myself.

              7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

              I have a very understanding/flexible job that allows me to work weird hours.

              Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
              Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!

              Comment


              • #8
                Let's change the title from "small-time" to "small-scale". The magnitude may be small but the standards high!

                1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                We have eight of our own mares at this time that we breed from, two on lease, and three recipients. We try to ensure that each breeding mare has a competition record, whether in hand or under saddle and, because of that, use ET and alternating mares that are bred as a matter of course. We like to breed for at least three foals and five or less, but this is not always possible.

                2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                We do not have our own stallion at this time.

                3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                We have 15 acres, but keep our mares with foals at side and youngsters with our "young horse nanny" where there are large fields with hills and trees and the young horses can frolic with their peers, yet be handled regularly.

                4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                Can't say- never been "bigger" !

                5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                We produce jumpers and hunters essentially. Our horses are mainly Holstein by bloodlines although we consider the KWPN to be our "home" registry.

                6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                We start our own horses. We factor in the total number when deciding how many to breed, but actually expect to keep them until riding age. This gives us a pleasant surprise when they sell younger.

                7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                My husband and I are retired, or "re-tired" as he says. Darling Daughter has graduated from college and starts and competes our young horses. She will be returning to school, although hopefully close to home. Our mares foal out at our repro vet's farm, with the "foaling mid-wife".
                Sakura Hill Farm
                Now on Facebook

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree, the idea of a "Hobby Breeder" makes me want to scream. Better not be doing it for a hobby. Too many folks call themselves breeders when they shouldn't be.
                  Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oharabear
                    I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

                    1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                    2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                    3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                    4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                    5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                    6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                    7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                    Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
                    1. We try to never have more than four foals a year. We have had as few as one.

                    2. We don't stand stallions at this point in the game.

                    3. 39.1 Acres. Works just fine.

                    4. We frequently have a waiting list for our foals and sell them while still by their mother's side.

                    5. Welsh & crossbred (TB x Welsh) Hunter ponies.

                    6. We occasionally (and intentionally) keep them and break them ourselves. Not the norm here as we have so many requests for our ponies.

                    7. You just do it.
                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                      I agree, the idea of a "Hobby Breeder" makes me want to scream. Better not be doing it for a hobby. Too many folks call themselves breeders when they shouldn't be.
                      Is this directed at me? I assume so, since I used the word "hobby breeder." Please, if you have a comment to make about me or my horses/breeding philosophy do so directly.

                      When I said "hobby" that's because that IS what it is: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...l#chapter01_00

                      Or maybe not, I just reread the title of this thread...perhaps that's what you are referring to?
                      Last edited by TrotTrotPumpkn; May. 24, 2010, 05:11 PM. Reason: clarity
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn
                        Is this directed at me? I assume so, since I used the word "hobby breeder." Please, if you have a comment to make about me or my horses/breeding philosophy do so directly.

                        When I said "hobby" that's because that IS what it is: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...l#chapter01_00

                        Or maybe not, I just reread the title of this thread...perhaps that's what you are referring to?
                        Truth be told, I hadn't read your response! So, no not directed at any one in particular, just a general comment about the phrasing.
                        Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                          Truth be told, I hadn't read your response! So, no not directed at any one in particular, just a general comment about the phrasing.
                          No worries. I'm in a bear of a mood (sleep deprived) and was quick to jump!
                          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oharabear View Post
                            I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

                            1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                            Down to 2. Sold one last year. I have not bred either of them for two seasons now. Market sucks and it's just plain cheaper to buy a youngster. However, I will breed both next year because they are middle-aged and I want a Cunningham and a Redwine before I die.

                            2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                            No. I don't have enough aspirin for that.

                            3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                            Just over 20. I want a minimum of 1 acre per horse. A lot depends on your climate and grazing, I suppose. I like the horses at home out all the time, even the foals.

                            4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                            I generally breed for my own use, but send sale prospects to the trainer. I just don't want the hassle and the trainer tends to get A LOT more money for them than I could.

                            5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                            Hunters. Holsteiners, but do have one Hannoverian mare, who I breed to Holsteiners.

                            6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                            I send mine out. Hanging onto one longer than expected MAY color my choice to breed mare, but for me, it's more the economy. I can simply buy a good prospect more cheaply than breeding one.

                            7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                            I'm semi-retired now so can watch myself. But we have a real good repro vet locally who will board your mare and take care of the whole process for you. I haul the preggo mare over about 30 days prior to foal date, and voila...totally painless for me and not that expensive, either.

                            Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
                            I'll probably slow down in the next couple of years...I really hate getting up early in the morning.
                            Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

                              1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                              I'm assuming you mean less than 5 per year? I have consistently had 1-2 broodmares and variably breed one or both or neither depending on external factors like who I want to ride or leaving mares open to move up foaling dates. This year I am breeding both. I produce 0-2 foals each year.

                              2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                              Used to own a stallion and still have several breedings retained though I no longer own him. I am fortunate to receive free or discounted breedings from stallion owners who want to see foals out of my mares, and occasionally I purchase outside breedings.

                              3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                              I own 10 acres but right now am using only about half of that for the horses and the rest is in conservation preserve. I would say I am using the minimum space I would feel comfortable with due to grass availability, manure management, and erosion.

                              4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                              Not difficult. About the same.

                              5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                              Irish Draught breeding stock

                              6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                              Haven't had any homebred sale horses here until riding age, but the purchased youngsters I've ended up re-selling, and the homebred breeding replacements that have stayed, I've started myself. I have a one-two horse wiggle room (currently filled with a rescue).

                              7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                              No sleep when this was the case (I have been a stay at home mom for a few years but heading back to work full time this year).

                              Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
                              Last edited by Waterwitch; May. 24, 2010, 08:49 PM. Reason: clarity
                              Liz
                              Ainninn House Stud
                              Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                              Co. Westmeath, Ireland

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                              • #16
                                I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

                                1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                                I have 3 broodmares (just bought the 3rd this year) and usually have anywhere from 1-3 foals/yr.

                                2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                                I buy breedings

                                3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                                We are on 160 acres of which 140 is hayfield. The horses graze it most of the year and only pulled off when actively haying it.

                                4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                                Haven't had too hard a time selling the foals. Some go faster than others though.

                                5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                                I breed for dressage

                                6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                                I start most of them myself though sent one out last year that was a bit hotter and need more work than I had time for. Not a problem hanging on to them as we put up our own hay and have lots of space with only 6 horses total.

                                7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                                I have a full time job but since it is a stay-at-home mom, I am always here ;-) I also bought a Breeders Alert this year to help me "watch" and was really pleased with it.

                                Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
                                Cindy's Warmbloods
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by oharabear View Post
                                  I guess this is for those of you who have >5 foals a year:

                                  1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                                  3 full time mares, but this year we retained our 1st homebred for a 4th mare (but she is for sale) We try for 2 foals, so 0-2

                                  2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                                  We do not own a stallion, so buy

                                  3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                                  We have about 10 in pasture with 18 more available

                                  4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                                  Being a new breeder is harder as we don't have the connections or reputations of the more established breeders. You also have fewer to choose from, so some buyers may prefer larger farms with more horses available for viewing in 1 trip

                                  5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                                  Irish Draughts and sport normally for dressage, jumpers or eventing

                                  6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                                  Outside trainer. we have some wiggle room, so normally it no effect on breedings

                                  7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                                  I work out of the house 4 out of 5 days/wk. My boss is also an animal person and will accomodate me if I have a mare ready to go on my office day

                                  Just for my own curiosity. Thanks in advance!!
                                  I love being able to focus on just 1 or 2
                                  Epona Farm
                                  Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                                  • #18
                                    1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?
                                    Started with 1 last year, and am now up to 3. My goal is to breed all 3 each year, but would be happy to produce 2.

                                    2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?
                                    I own the stallion, but he is with me 3 provinces away from the mares, and I only have frozen available as he has since been gelded. All 3 mares were chosen with him in mind.

                                    3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?
                                    The mares are at another breeders, and are on a property with 40+ acres. His set-up seems to work very well for him, as it is well divided and he is set up to be the provinces Mare Station.

                                    4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?
                                    First foal this year sold within a few days of birth. I've already had a ton of interest in next years foals by my boy, so I do not think I will be more challenged than any other breeder.

                                    5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?
                                    FEI Dressage, but a few of the mares as well as the stallion himself have talent for jumping.

                                    6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?
                                    I am a trainer, so would simply get them sent out to me and break and train them myself. What would affect me more is if too many need to come out at once... lol! Board is not cheap in this area. The point of my program is really to secure high quality horses for myself to ride. In my case it is more economical to breed and raise it to riding age than to simply go buy the kind of quality I want in a 4 year old.

                                    7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?
                                    This is the best part - I don't have to watch them at all seeing as they are so far away! Now having said that - it is also the WORST part. That said they are well cared for and I have family back east as well, so I am there a few times a year anyways between clinics and visits. Also my Mom leaves quite close to them, and is out to visit them at least once a week or so, so I live through her during foaling time!
                                    www.dressagevision.com

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                                    • #19
                                      1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?
                                      - We own 1 mare and have options to lease several others. We produce 1-2 foals a year. This is mostly because we have a smaller property, so we need to keep our #s down. I also like having a smaller operation as hubby and I both have outside jobs - if we had more horses, I don't think we'd have enough time to give them the focus/attention/handling they deserve.

                                      2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?
                                      - We own a stallion.

                                      3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?
                                      - 5 acres (plus we lease 2 large extra pastures in the spring/summer/fall from our neighbors). This is definitely a minimum size, I would love to have 10-15 acres instead, but land is very pricey around here...

                                      4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?
                                      - We've done well with this so far. I think a lot of it is because of our marketing online & our networking among local farms/trainers. I'm sure this gets even easier once you've been around longer than we have, too. Word of mouth definitely spreads if you have quality youngsters, whether your are a large or a small scale breeder.

                                      5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?
                                      - Warmbloods. As an eventer, my focus is on breeding horses that excel in both jumping and dressage.

                                      6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?
                                      - We start them ourselves, but so far I've only had a chance to work with the ones that we are keeping under saddle, since most sell as babies. We try to keep 1-2 horses that are for sale at a time, so if we sell one, we breed one, or if we sell 2, then we breed 2 for the following year.

                                      7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?
                                      - We give the office a heads up when things are close that we'll need a personal day or 2. Since we only have 1-2 foals a year, this hasn't been a problem so far.
                                      Blacktree Farm
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                                      • #20
                                        1.) How many broodmares do you have? Do you breed them every year or...? How many foals do you produce on average every year?

                                        We have 2 broodmares and are looking for a third. We produce 0 - 2 foals each year. This year both mares are in foal.

                                        2.) Do you own a stallion or buy breedings?

                                        Buy semen - usually frozen.

                                        3.) How many acres do you have? How many do you think is the bare minimum for YOUR herd? Why?

                                        We have 14 acres - I think a New Zealand acre may be bigger than a US one but I'm not too sure. We live in a very temperate area where the grass grows year round. We are always well under stocked and could probably get away with half the acerage.

                                        4.) How difficult is it to sell your foals if you're not well-known like bigger stud farms? Do you think it's more difficult or about the same?

                                        I have had little issue in the past. Repeat buyers often call asking for more.

                                        5.) What type of horse do you specialize in producing? Hunters? Dressage? Ponies? A specific breed?

                                        I breed dressage/eventing horses from a Thoroughbred mare base.

                                        6.) If you still have a few youngsters when they turn riding age, do you send them out for training or start them yourself? Does hanging on to one longer than expected affect how many you breed for the following year, or is there more "wiggle room"?

                                        We have tons of wiggle room regarding space and grazing but I don't want too many riding age youngsters hanging around as I am too busy to do them justice. I do most of the ground work myself but would send them away to be broken in. Fortunately most of my foals sell well before riding age.

                                        7.) If you have a full-time job outside of horses, how do you handle the foal watches and such?

                                        I have a young family and a horsy job with flexi hours. I foal my mares myself but my coffee intake can treble during foal watch time!

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