Getting started

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Getting started

This is a discussion on Getting started within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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  • 1 Post By Cherie

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    02-10-2012, 06:19 PM
Getting started

When starting a breeding business, how many mares do you think is efficent in starting? Would you think 2 mares are enough?

PS. I have my own stallion but I might alternate to have at least one foal out of my stud and bring in new lines to cross with in the future. This can be used as a discussion too.
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    02-10-2012, 07:04 PM
I think you need to ask yourself a few questions and do a bit of research. What breed and quality of horse do you plan to breed? What discipline are you going to breed for? Is there a demand for these kinds of horses in your area? Browse the local sales and look at online classified ads to see what similarly bred horses are going for. It's important to keep in mind that the horse market isn't as strong as it used to be and even big name breeders are starting to cut back on the number of horses they produce.

Next ask yourself how much you can handle financially. Work out a budget for feed, vet and farrier costs. You'll need to give yourself enough wiggle room to be able to support both the mares and their babies in the event you can't sell them as quickly as you're hoping. How much training are you planning to put into the foals? Do you have the experience necessary to do this on your own, or will you need to hire a trainer? Finally how much space do you have?

There are a lot of things to consider before you get into breeding horses. This is just the tip of the iceberg but hopefully it will help us point you in the right direction.
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    02-10-2012, 09:49 PM
First what is your budget? How much do you have to spend. This is going to play a big role in how many broodmares you can have. If your have only $5K to spend then you might find one that is not bad that will cross with your mare. If you have $50K you might get 2 really good broodmares or 1 really great proven one.
    02-11-2012, 03:42 PM
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If you want to make a decent living raising horses,


It takes a large fortune to make a small fortune in the horse business.

First of all, you really need to start with a mare or two and NOT a stallion. You can breed a mare out to a very proven and very expensive stallion for a reasonable stud fee. You can get stallion genetics for a fraction of the cost of a proven stallion or of proving a prospect. Buying a stud prospect is a very expensive and inefficient way to get good genetics. You can pay for dozens of stud fees and it will still cost less than proving a stallion.

But before you even do this, you need to be very sure there will be a ready market for your foal(s) or that you are fully qualified to keep them 3 or 4 years and train and finish them to be marketable.

While the horse market is coming up some, you can still buy good prospects for almost any event for a fraction of the cost of raising them.

This is something you really need to sit down with an accountant or financier and work out a complete business plan. If you aren't rich and looking for an expensive hobby, it will lose a little (or a lot of) money if it is not thoroughly thought out.
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    02-11-2012, 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by MyLittlePonies    
When starting a breeding business, how many mares do you think is efficent in starting? Would you think 2 mares are enough?

PS. I have my own stallion but I might alternate to have at least one foal out of my stud and bring in new lines to cross with in the future. This can be used as a discussion too.

I tend to think MLP, that you have not enough horse experience under your belt, to be asking about breeding.

Very few make a profit breeding horses. VERY few. A business is a venture which should make a profit or living for the owner. Breeding horses is not a profit-making business, to start up at this time.

Your stallion will not be the correct stallion for all mares you might wish to breed. This is the reason most would purchase top quality mares first and then breed them to top outside stallions.

What breed are we speaking of here?
Where in the world do you live?
Have you enough money, to purchase top quality mares?
Is you stallion top quality and known in his breed for already producing top quality offspring?
Vet bills and bills during foaling, can run into the thousands of dollars. Have you a large budget to cover the cost, if necessary?
Have you a farm with solid fencing and a good barn with a foaling stall?
Have you access to quality feed and lots of it, at all times? Quality hay has been very difficult to obtain, the world over, during this past year.
Have you had experience in foaling?
Do you have a thorough knowledge of the market for your breed?

There are lots more questions I could ask. Show us pictures of your stallion here, so those experienced in the breed, might give you their thoughts.

    02-11-2012, 11:49 PM
I have had experiernce with horses my whole life. I've bred mares and foaled them. I know what my stallion has crossed with and succesful bloodlines he crosses with. But the question I haven't had answered was an opinion on how mares should seem good enough for a small breeding business. So far, It's just amount of money you can spend on each mare to buy, keep in foal, and just the care and feeding it's self. I do appreciate the questions to be thinking about, but even professions have questions. Neither of us are perefect know who, what, when, where, and why ALL the time and tat's where questions arise.
    02-12-2012, 01:01 AM
There is no such thing as good enough. They need to be the best you can afford and if that is only $1000 then that is not going to be very good. That is why I asked how much your budget is. If you only have a few grand to spend then you can really only get one mare. If you have $20K then you might be able to find 2 good mares. So yes it comes down to money and getting the best you can. One good mare is better then 2 ok mares.
    02-12-2012, 01:08 AM
I think the point the previous posters were trying to make we're a reputable, experiences and responsible wouldn't be asking these questions to an Internet message board.

The number of mares is based on your ability to afford the top quality mares paired with your space and financial resources to care for them.

Even the largest breeders are scaling back due to the flooded market, especially in Paints and QHs.

Without knowing your breeding focus, setup or financials honestly I would only breed 1 per year. Show and campaign the foal in breed or USDF or competition halter /in-hand shows. Sell as a yearling or two year old. Do this every year for 2-3 years and then depending on your success. Add another mare after 2 years or do that has a better show record than your previous mare. The mare should have as good of breeding and show record as the paired stud.

Hope this helps!
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