Rescue or breeding?
I do a little of both.
I do breed (0 to 4 foals a year, using a stallion who has sired res. World Champions and etc., and mares who are sired by champions/have produced champions in my breed). Out of the last 6 foals born here (over 3 breeding seasons), I have kept 2, and I know exactly where the other 4 went and still are.
I also have saved a few horses over the years who were headed to a not so nice place and I was pretty much their last resort. A couple were very high quality mares that for reasons of injury-related unsoundness (not genetic weakness related) were not ridable and not so easy to find homes for as they were "niche" type mares as far as breeding choices, but they work for my program and I am willing to deal with their needs.
Another was well trained mare who was a bad match for her owner, and who also cribbed like a son-of-a-gun, and her owner was dumping her-- I didn't feel she was breeding quality for what I was doing, but I got her and was able to re-sell her to a good responsible barn who is using her for schooling intermediate hunter/jumper students and they love her and could care less if she cribs.
I also adopted 2 OTTB mares from CANTER (one would never be sound for riding, the other had an old chip in her knee and would probably be OK for flat work), had them for a couple of years, got them totally acclimated to life as pampered pasture puffs, bred them to my current stallion (who sires winners from that type of TB mare) and a few months ago sold them to another approved CANTER adopter for the price of the stud fees, happy to see them and the upcoming foals at a new sporthorse facility where they will get top care and the foals will be given every opportunity they are good enough to get.
So, none of my "rescues" were from auctions-- they were all from private sellers/orgs-- three mares came from people I knew and/or had purchased from before, who called me specifically to see if I was interested in the horses as they knew I liked the type/bloodlines and they could be upfront with me about the mares' issues without turning me off.
I adopted the first mare (the unsound one) from CANTER and a few weeks later they called me, wanting me to take the second mare thinking she would also be a good match (she was a 1/2 sister to the first mare.)
Two of these mares (not the CANTER mares of course) were going to be donated to research (and eventual euthanization) and another was headed to a sale, if I didn't get them paid for and picked up ASAP. So, rescues they were, in that sense.
Over the years I have also been contacted about horses I had either bred, or had once owned, that the owners could no longer care for or no longer wanted due to life changes or whatever, and if I couldn't help them find a buyer or suitable home, I have taken them back and re-homed them-- including one I had shipped from MN to MI and another I had shipped from AZ to MI.
So.... do I choose breed or rescue?