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post #11 of 16 Old 09-09-2013, 01:26 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Texas
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I agree with Dreamcatcher about the acreage in Cal. You can end up spending a lot of money of hay and developing good pastures for grazing.
Buying established older broodmares is a great way to start a breeding operation. Especially if they are sold with the foal at their side and bred back. That way you dont have to feed them for another year before getting a foal and will already have a couple to sell or train .
Those broodmares are usually cheaper.
I house my stallions right next to the mares . The mares are in a larger pasture and the stallions can see, touch or smell them through the fence. This has helped keep them calm and not pacing their pens.
As long as the stallion can see the mares they remain calm.
I do not keep my herds in pastures that do not allow at least 2 acres per unit. They have plenty of room this way.
Good luck. Shalom
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-09-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Nevada City
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Thanks dbarabians. The stallions I mentioned while not "crazy" definitely would run the fence, and constantly be calling to the mares when turned out next to them, hence the question about what's really safe and what's not. Up here, in some places the grass does actually grow pretty easily, so it doesn't necessarily need an excessive amount of watering to keep it growing, but once we find a property, we'll have to see if we'd rather try and get the fields all grassy, or if we want to stick with just feeding hay. If we decide to try grass, what should we grow? The only experience I've had with grass pastures was in MD, and the subject of what type of grass it was in all the fields was never discussed. So I want to make sure that if we go the route of grass pastures that we are growing the right stuff.

Thanks for all the information so far, it's definitely been helpful. I started coming to horseforum several years ago, and don't come nearly as often as I'd like, but I love all the information I can get here, and how honestly everyone is, and that they aren't afraid to speak their minds. It makes it so worth it to post on here when I have questions about things, and it's definitely helped!
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-09-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Nevada City
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Sorry for the double post, I forgot to ask, does anyone know of Summerwood Arabians? They are a breeding farm not too far from me. I'm going to shoot them an e-mail, and see about going and touring their facilities, and asking some questions, but it would help if anyone's heard of them, and what they think.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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I think in the region you are in Orchard grass is common. What grass you grow is dictated by your soil, water and climate. I would say speak to either a hay guy or a local veterinarian. They might have an idea about what grass would grow well.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-10-2013, 12:43 AM
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Dressagebelle keeping mares within sight and sound of my stallions has kept them from running the fence line. if he can smell the mares but not see them he will then run the fence his instinct will demand he find them.
Star and Sam both arrived underweight due to pacing their enclosures. After a couple of months seeing and interacting with the mares through the fence they calmed down and gained weight. Shalom
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-10-2013, 07:54 PM
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When looking at properties, or designing barns, fence, what have you: I would center the facility around safety and efficiency. Will you stall your horses at night? Stalls connected to paddocks or will you lead your mares to them? Or do you want to keep mares out on pasture? Keep clumsy foals, and star-crossed mares/stallions in mind when planning out your pastures and paddocks. If your mares foal outdoors, what sort of predators are around? Know your neighborhood, keep in mind every cat, dog, mare, and stud. If you choose paddocks disconnected from stalls, will you halter break your foals to be able to easily lead them too and fro? Some foals, my filly included, will wander off from mom, even if the snow is a foot or two deep.

Lots of things to keep in mind. By helping out at other barns and breeders, doing the grunt work will do lots to help you plan out your facility by judging how efficient their system works. Note turnout techniques, feed, and methods of grazing, (rotational, etc,) and go from there. Do they properly manage their fields? Can they sustain horses on their property with minimal hay? Can you finish chores with time to spare for hands-on time with the mares? You can also look at what they are producing. I know people who breed four mares yearly, only to keep them for two years, bearly halter break them, and sell the buggers at auction for under $200. They don't take advantage of the miles of trail riding, and neglect to find their niche in the market. The ponies that they have could be shown young in the local pleasure curcit, broke as trail horses, and they might even break even with all their hardwork. Warmbloods are a different horse entirely, and have a different market than stock breeds, but there is no reason to be loosing that much money when you could easily break even with a bit of something left over. Try and plant yourself somewhere that Warmbloods can be marketed locally, as well as any easy place to ship. Note some big shows, and try to stay close to them so you have a place to market your animals.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, but these are just things I would want to thoroughly think over once I'm in the position that they are realistic. As far as horses go, I would recommend buying something of a package deal. Mare and foal, with mare bred back, as others suggested. You have a foal on the ground to see what she produces first-hand, and already a foal for next year. I would get something 15-19 years old, and make sure either she has a good record, or produces something real special. I wouldn't keep any stud prospects early in the game. If you build up a broodmare band, expect to be switching studs or purchasing more every few years to rotate new blood, especially if you are retaining daughters. If you had the facility and equipment, AI would be a good method to use, considering that opens up lots of studs, and then you don't need to keep your own.

Again, just my thoughts on the matter. Good luck, and make sure to do your homework.
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