How/Where to start? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 333
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How/Where to start?

I want to breed in the future, but have no idea where to start, how to get involved.

I'm past my prime for being an elite competitor in the equestrian world. I'm still doing the adult ammy circuit. I'm quite happy where I'm at, but worried that this will limit my horse career in the future.

Ultimately I would like to breed coloured Canadian warmbloods, but have NO idea where to start. And I want to make sure I start out properly.

My coach has bred before and said she would help me when the time comes for me to start my own project.

Any breeders have any advice for me? I'm open to all suggestions.
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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If you want to become a reputable breeder, it comes with a TON of responsibility. You have to have a goal in mind other than "color" - and I'm sure you do, I'm just pointing it out.
My thoughts:
- You must have a specific goal for breeding. That means you have to know EXACTLY what your target market is. In addition, you MUST have a specific discipline that your target is, and your stock MUST excel at it in competition.
- If you are standing a stallion, you must must must be able to campaign him in the bigger circuits. Especially with Warmbloods, you don't want a stallion that just does well at schooling shows or small shows - there are enough WB stallions out there doing big stuff that small-time stallions should be gelded. If you yourself can't campaign a stallion in the showring, you must hire someone who can.
- If you are a stallion owner (again, especially with the WB crowd) he must always be presented well to potential clients and at shows.
- If you are just going to have a broodmare band and ship semen in, you must have good lines and good mares to begin with. This is where the specified discipline comes in - certain lines are "hunter" bred, certain lines are for "dressage"... etc etc. More to that, you must research and find out which lines cross well which which lines to produce the best results.
- You MUST have knowledge about what sells. Here in Alberta, names like Donner Bube and Arkansas are a dime a dozen now, and don't sell well unless they're exceptional. I strongly suggest attending the Fall Select sale - you'll see what's selling and what isn't.
- It is a costly venture. Very costly. Are you prepared to shell out big bucks to get a couple of excellent, breeding-quality mares, a breeding-quality facility, etc? What about a stallion? $$$$ - it all adds up very quickly.
- Breeding is a business and in my very humble opinion, MUST be run like one. It is a HUGE responsibility.

I'm not trying to scare you off by any means, but in today's market, one has to be very cautious doing anything in the horse business.

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JustDressageIt is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stroudsburg, Pa
Posts: 984
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Learn what type of conformation makes quality and WHY it makes quality. Learn your bloodlines and what lines cross well. Watch the top horses in your breed of choice and look at their conformation, trainability, temperament, movement, bloodlines, etc. Research all the money and time that goes into breeding. Do not ever think that you have nothing more to learn, because there is ALWAYS something to be learned.

And go to work for a breeder. It will help you immensely.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 333
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Thanks for the quick response, guys.

JDI - I'm aware of how HUGE a venture it is. Family friends of mine used to breed Friesens. I saw first hand how hard it was for them and the countless time and money they put into their business.

My passion is hunters, so I would breed for hunter horses. I'm not competely solid on the coloured WBs, again I would need to research the market. I just really like them.

My MAIN concern is my lack of competition time. I'm NOT a huge high-level rider, although I work my hardest to be the best that I can be. This concerns me because I know that if I stood a stallion, he would need to be campaigned at bigger events. This would cost me even more money, because I may need a rider to compete with him for me.

Money isn't too much of a concern for me. I have a current income that doesn't require me to work very much, and will allow me to focus on horses. I also know there is a lot of money that needs to be spent, with no promise of return. This does not scare me. I'm not in it for the money, just for the experience.

I realize that after all my learning and money spending, that this may never work out. But I'm willing to at least see what it takes and learn as much as I can, to see if this is something I can do.

I just wanted some feedback to see what exactly it takes! I can't even begin to imagine, though I know it's a LOT of hard work and dedication.

kassie - thanks for the suggestion of going to work for a breeder - that is a great idea, and will give me some exposure to the industry.

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-30-2010, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 127
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I would sugest taking the breeding course at Olds. They have an intense 4 day course that teaches you about breeding, collection of the stallion, insemination of the mare and covers other topics that are basic to the care and maintenance of breeding stock. Just the basics, but a great start.

Working for a breeder (as metioned above) The best education.

I would not sugest standing a stallion for the first few years, take time to aquire the best breeding mares you can and breed them to stallions who are already proven.

If possible, the best breeding stallions to start out with are older stallions who have already had thier show career and have established a name through thier babies. This is by far cheaper than buying a colt, raising it yourself, campaining it and then hoping that he will sire the same.

Write out a business plan including costs and expected income.

Then throw that one out and write out a second one that applies to REAL life.

Breeding is great, it can be so rewarding, but it is filled with extreme highs and very low lows. By starting out (as you have) with questions and attaining the education you need, coupled with good luck and realistic goals you will find success.

RenexArabs is offline  

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