Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
There are actually numerous factors in why people often reply with "you shouldn't be breeding him/her".
The biggest one right now is economy - you only have to look out your backdoor to see how the economy is affecting people. If ever there was a time to REALLY not be breeding horses, it is now. The only people really dealing in horses right now are the professional breeders who make their livelihood from breeding, training and showing and continue to do so to generate a sort of income, which is what the same people who are buying these animals are doing. The average horse person has bigger things to worry about now then buying new horses, so the market for these subpar and mediocre horses is practically non-existant. This factor may subside a bit as the economy improves and a market for cheap family horses increases.
Another big factor is that typically to me, the average backyard owner who is so blinded by their love for their own mare that they don't objectively see her faults is not experienced enough to be breeding anyway. These are the people that want to haul Bessie down to the local stud and get a foal for $200. They think it's that easy and never bother thinking of vet visits, vaccinations, proper nutrition or what the bill will be in emergencies. They are risking the life of their horse and their foal and for WHAT? For a badly conformed monster that maaaay have his dam's sweet temperment? He also may inherit the desire to bit your nose off everytime you look at him from his stud! These people don't stop and think about the consequences of their actions. And more often then not, if you can ONLY afford a $200 stud fee, you have no business even owning another horse because chances are you'll be forced to starve them or sell them anyway when things go wrong.
It's not that I'm against breeding mediocre horses - it really IS your perogative. I have just virtually yet to see someone come on the forum and say "This is my mare, I know she has a few faults, but this is the reason why I want to breed her and why I feel I NEED to breed her, and price isn't an issue here, so could you let me know which of these studs you feel best compliments her?"
I am a lot less against someone breeding with a very specific plan or goal in mind. No, we can't all be breeding champions, and some of us may not be interested in picking up the cheap PMU foal. But more often then not, when you examine all the actual costs involved with a proper breeding, you can almost guarantee you will be paying more money to obtain that foal then you would be to buy a weanling of same or greater quality anyway. It doesn't matter if your mare is a trail horse or a champion, the costs of breeding are always the "samish", so why waste your hard earned money on something like sentiment when you could be spending it on an already visible foal that has what you're looking for?
My aunt has always said she will NEVER breed because it's such a crapshoot. You can have two of the finest parents and they still produce a fugly monster because of a flaw his great grand daddy had. She said for what it will cost her, she'd much rather spend her money on a horse she can already SEE has winning points. And she has an excellent point!
Basically it all boils down to not breeding for emotional reasons - which is essentially exactly what the backyard breeder does. They are not breeding an animal for profit, they are breeding it because they "want a baby from their mare". Which is just a really super lousy reason with all the fine quality horses already for sale, bred by the professionals who know what they're doing.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.