How do you make a great stallion/breeding operation?

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How do you make a great stallion/breeding operation?

This is a discussion on How do you make a great stallion/breeding operation? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    10-23-2012, 03:42 PM
Green Broke
How do you make a great stallion/breeding operation?

I've always been curious, and for plans down the road in which I would like to own my own breeding stallion, how to you make a great horse?
These are all purely curiosity questions, I'm sorry if they overlap with one of the current threads going on.

  • Obviously he has to do something great, but do you wait to bring him into the show world until he is fully mature, or do you futurity him a lot as a youngster?

  • You gotta get your name out there somehow. Where do you start off? Shows, or progeny records?

  • He's probably going to need a pedigree to back him up (yes there are plenty of horses with bland records that have done great things, but people are going to look for names).

  • How much does your brood mare herd matter? Obviously if people want horses bred by you, your probably going to want to be producing nice babies. But do you look for mares that are similar in breeding lines and conformation, or do you mix it up? What about their performance record? I really wouldn't want broodmares that haven't really gotten out there and done stuff, but is it important to you? Or how well their babies have done if they have not ever shown?

  • What about outcrossing? I'm particularly interested in barrel racing and performance appaloosas, but quite frankly there are so few to pick from, and if you want to do good, you want to be able to compete with the big guys, which is dominated by QH's. Is it frowned upon to bring TB or QH lines in?

  • Some breeders breed their mares right when they go into foal heat. Would it be bad to go in rotation? Like some mares breed one year, get a year off then breed the next. The year they aren't having foals, the other set is.
  • Also, should you stick to one major bloodline? I see lots of QH Ranches that are strick on Blue Valentine or Paco Beuno lines and what not. Is that a wise decision?

  • At one time do you decide to maybe purchase a second stud, or keep a homebred baby to become your next? Also, how important is it to show your own babies?

  • How important is it to have a stud trained to a dummy?

  • Taking to consignment sales. Yes, no?

Of course, if any of this ever happened, I wouldn't have it be my primary source of income. I don't want to run a huge operation like the 6666's, just have some extremely nice quality horses that hold their own against others. Tear me apart if you want, its not like I am planning on breeding 5 trillion quarter pony/mustang/TWHs. Just a few nice foals a year.
I understand that the horse market is crap, but there are still places for nice horses.
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    10-23-2012, 03:47 PM
You need time, knowledge & $$$$$$. Lots of $$$$$.
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    10-23-2012, 03:51 PM
Green Broke
Its okay. I plan on winning the lottery and marrying Bill Gate's son.
    10-23-2012, 04:10 PM
Most stallions are shown futurity up until retirement.

You would start advertisement as you are showing him.

You are probably better off sticking to a couple major bloodlines at this time depending on what you are breeding for.

As for a broodmare band, it's essential to breed to the best so choose your mares wisely. Most people like to see the mares shown before breeding, but not every mare is cut out to be a show horse, but they might produce a show horse with the right stallion. It's just pure homework. :)

Breeding on foal heat has it's benefits if you bred the mares late in the year. You can rotate the breedings, but it depends on age and conception rate.

It think showing your own foals will benefit you because why would others breed/show foals out of your stallion if you are not even out there.

In some cases, I have thought about getting a second stallion, but you just have to look at what you have right now and decide whether you can go through it all again with all the money involved. I like homebred colts as future stallions, because then you know his personality and not end up with a fireball in your barn (not to say you couldn't).

I don't mind certain auctions such as Triple Challenge, Reicherts, World, Congress, or any other futurity sale. Anything else, you might as well not even breed IMOP.

I prefer the dummy over live cover. There is difference in personality I think. Most people now a days only breed AI. If you do live cover, do it with just your band, because you just never know what will happen with an outside mare especially. Body language speaks louder than vocal calls in a mare.

But as waresbar has stated, you need a lot of $$$$$$, time, and knowledge way before you start this kind of operation. I'm just breeding a few mares a year, nothing fancy yet.
    10-23-2012, 05:33 PM
Green Broke
Thanks, MLP! Very informative.

Something else I was wondering, is it best to get the stud young, train and show him yourself, or buy him already grown and shown?
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    10-23-2012, 06:21 PM
That is a preference. If you have money for a young stallion to show, and train then go for it. Otherwise, buy a proven stallion with foals either on the way or on the ground showing. It'll probably be more expensive but as long as that stallion has made his keep you should be fine. Here is some examples to give you an idea of what I'm talking about

I purchased my stallion with champion bloodlines, excellent foals, and a mini show record. Well, I have to get him back into the show pen next year because I know he can do it and he needs a real record. Here are expected fees for me.

Training: 7500-8400 for one year @ 750/month
Feed cost: 200/month(slightly over estimated)
Shows: 4-8,000 (circuit, futurity, state, open, world, and congress shows)

Advertisements are anywhere from 250 to 1800/month depending on where and how long you advertise. That is either direction young or old.
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    10-23-2012, 06:30 PM
Oh i'd better mention the other part. :)

Just standing the stallion alone requires the advertisement costs. But keep in mind some older stallion have to be on a fertility suppliment after testical degeneration. That ranges anywhere from 100-400/month on most products but you can google it. Collection fees to clean him out is important which for me is just $100 each ejaculate. I have been told that I had to collect my boy once a week after he went through the degeneration. It's different with each stallion. Each year you should get a stallion exam to make sure you don't come across a problem later which should be done at least two months ahead of breeding season.

I hope I didn't talk too much lol.
Your're welcom!
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    10-23-2012, 11:41 PM
Green Broke
Lol feel free to blab my ears off I'm trying my best to take in every word of it!

Advertising and such doesn't bother me too much, I've got some pretty beastin' photoshop and HTML skills. Sometimes. Kinda. Maybe...hahah

I think I would personally feel more comfortable buying a younger horse so that way any vices and such that might come up can be easily fixed without having to deal with a 1,200 pound animal.

How exactly do you get experience with all this? I would feel way over my head just jumping right on in!! I've gotten a small amount of handling experience with studs, and I certainly wouldn't want to go any further with what little knowledge I have.
    10-24-2012, 12:21 AM
Well, your best bet is to find a few breeders in your area that are breeding the same discipline as what you would like to breed and see if you can do hands on or volunteer. Basically find a stud farm that is willing to work with you. The more experience you have the better off you are. Go to breeding seminars, just anywhere you can get your hands on before you purchase your first stallion.

My stallion was the first stallion I ever stood at stud. I went to the breeding seminar at Ohio State and gained 13hr credits of continued studies. It lasted two days. All that for just $500. Lab work in which you're hands on with collection and A.I. It was an incredable seminar. I learned more from that and the lecture than any book trying to explain it. I know of a farm you can buy two DVDs to help you with shipping success if you want as well as what to do once semen is received. I have yet to buy them but that's on my list. Otherwise, I grew up having stud colts to show because that's all our perticular mare produced. Lol

On a curious stand point, what were you thinking of breeding? Cutting? Reining? Western Pleasure? I have friends all around those areas with prospects for sale all the time that can help you in what crosses are greatest.
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    10-24-2012, 12:25 AM
At a note, when I first started breeding my boy, nothing truely prepaired me for taking my stallion to get collected so just a fair warning that excitement is normal. It's good that you're trying to get educated. :)
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