Is it possible to make money as a small-time breeder? - Page 2

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Is it possible to make money as a small-time breeder?

This is a discussion on Is it possible to make money as a small-time breeder? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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        09-14-2007, 03:39 PM
    I think the difference is that you say you intend to breed yearly for profit, whereas others might breed once for a horse they intend to keep forever. Huge difference in my book. My Arab pictured left was a stallion until age 16, mainly because my Dad was one of those guys that would not neuter male dogs and did not want to geld a stallion. Luckily, he was very well-behaved and it was not an issue. He bred three mares in his life. Two belonged to a close friend of mine who adored him. She still has the resulting foals who are adults now - they have a home for life. The third mare was mine. I gave the resulting filly to a close friend when I started nursing school because she was ready to train and I had no time for her. She is now preparing to be an exceptional endurance horse. She has a "forever home" and if anything happens she will come back to me, no questions asked. None of these horses will end up in an auction, but when you breed for profit, you never know.

    I gelded my horse when my father passed away because as much as I loved my Dad, I knew he was wrong for his reasons on keeping him a stud, and I knew my horse would have a happier life as a gelding. He is currently enjoying retirement in his paddock with my 2 other horses (geldings) and is truly a much happier gelding. My only regret is that I did not so it sooner, but I knew it would break my Dad's heart.
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        09-14-2007, 03:54 PM
    I do understand what you're saying Nurse_In_Boots. I understand your opinion that breeding just brings more horses into a world where there are already plenty to be had.

    So my point is, why do you breed when you want a horse to keep forever instead of going out and getting one of these perfectly good horses from the auction? Both you and eltinseltown have done this, and yet you both say there are plenty of good horses out there. In my opinion, you're not backing up your argument.

    Someone said in another post that there are horses that go to auction because nobody wants them. They are lame, or too old, or untrainable, etc. I'm trying to breed horses that are special. And I believe part of it will be in the breeding and part of it will be in the upbringing. I will breed horses that are athletic, have good minds, good conformation, good temperaments and are pretty. I will sell them halter-trained, able to load in a trailer, able to be lead, bathed, clipped, tied, stand for the farrier, etc. Isn't that what people are looking for in a horse? (btw, the baby I raised this year is 4 months old and is already trained to do all those things, and more)

    Anyway, again, I respect your opinion, but I do not necessarily agree with it. That's okay. You don't agree with me, and that's okay too. That's what makes the world go 'round.
        09-14-2007, 04:00 PM
    I have done my share of rescue, believe me. I bred my friend's mares for free - no profit on my part - she could not have afforded to buy the quality of horses she ended up with. As for the one foal I bred for myself - sentimental reasons. I have had this horse since he was two - 18 years to date. He is getting older - I wanted a part of him to live on. I fully intended on keeping the foal but put her welfare before my own desires and gave her away (again, no $$, see the theme here?) I could have sold the filly for several thousand and helped tremendously with my tuition, but my priority was seeing that she has a good home and is taken care of. I have never brought a horse into the world for my own financial gain.
        09-14-2007, 07:01 PM
    If I may point out Nurse,that if you charge money for your foal,and sell him/her for a high price, the owner will be sure to take care of a horse they had to pay an amount of money for,although I'm sure you made sure the buyer was going to take good care of your foal, and you probably knew them..... :)
        09-15-2007, 08:24 AM
    Actually the highest priced horses I've known led the saddest lives. Lived in a 12x12 stall, no turnout because they were too valuable to risk them getting hurt, developed bad habits like cribbing or weaving. I worked at a very well known Arab farm when I was in college (produced the Nat'l Champ stallion a few years back). Show Arabs, especially halter ones, are often mistreated in and out of the ring in an effort to get them to have that animated look everyone wants. People who saw my filly always said she should halter. No way - not going to let that happen. Inevitably when these expensive horses break down in the legs or start having GI problems or for whatever reason are no longer useful, they get dumped at sales.

    The lady I gave her to I have known for many years. I have seen the way she takes care of horses and I am confident that my filly will have whatever she needs and be treated with respect. If she were no longer useful, she would be a pasture ornament, not shipped to be sold to the highest bidder.
        09-15-2007, 10:14 PM
    I am sad to say that my husband and I are getting out of the breeding business. We have a small breeding ranch and breed a few very good horses. Unfortunately with the market being what it is, I have found that we are spending more and more $$ and making less of a profit (as in none really when it's all said and done.) We are going to geld our Paint stallion and our Palomino stallion prospect and at this time we are only keeping our personal riding horses.

    I suppose it is possible to make money doing it, but, I found that I made some decisions with my heart instead of my head. Although I can't say I would really change anything I did, because it was the best for my "babies".

    It is my hope that in the next 5 years or so the market will change upwards again. If it does, I hope to do it again. I truly enjoy it. But it doesn't make sense (for us) to "hang on" for another 5 years in the hopes of it improving.

    We are going to concentrate on upgrading our facility in the hopes of increasing the boarding end of the business at this time. (if not, then we'll just have a really nice place! )

    I don't agree with the fact that you only have to have million dollar horses to make money. I think that there will always be a market for decent bred, well trained horses. But, we've lost our trainer, and both my hubby and I work full time and just can't dedicate enough time to the babies to do it properly. And for me, if I can't do it the right way, I won't do it at all.

    I wish you luck in your business and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.
        09-16-2007, 02:02 PM
    I'm soory about that! I hope the market gets better soon!
        09-17-2007, 01:43 AM
    I breed purely for me. Unfortunately I am not interested in buying another persons problems, sounds harsh I know. I have and will consider picking up broodmares only if as mentioned, they are something special.

    As for your breeding for gain question, go for it. I would not however breed very many to start off with as eventhough your first is well recieved by people who to say if you breed 5 the next time, they will all be the same quality. That's the breeding game.
    But a hobby that brings in some extra cash is worth it. You mentioned that you intend on bringing on young/problem horses as well, this I would recommend more than breeding, more work to be sure, but people will learn about you more by this than breeding and may be inclined to bring horses to you either to train and sell for them or to help fix problems.

    As with anything in life you have to be really good to get a head, being mediocre will get you nowhere. You just have to be your hashest critic and assess yourself.
        09-17-2007, 08:56 AM
    I just want to say good luck with everything. I would eventually like to have a small breeding facility (2-4 babies a year) of select qh. I wish you luck not falling in love with all the babies, that is my fear. I love baby anything. Oh you should get "Equine Reproductive Physiology, Breeding and Stud Management. I am taking courses through the university of guelph and this is one of the books they use.
        09-17-2007, 02:29 PM
    TxHorseMom... sorry to hear that you're having to give up something you love. That's a bummer. Hopefully the boarding end of it will work out better for you. It will at least be fun to make improvements at your place!

    Thanks Frog and prettypalfrey for the words of encouragement.

    As for not falling in love with the babies, that will be hard. I'm hoping that we'll be able to keep in touch with their new owners and hear how they're coming along.

    I will look for that book. Thanks. I've been researching books online so it's nice to hear of one that's a good one.

    I don't plan on breeding many to start off with. We had one baby this year, none coming next year, and our plan is to have two the year after that. After that... we'll see. I'm just trying to keep an open mind and see where this goes. Like you said, if we can have some cash coming in instead of only going out when it comes to these horses, then that would be great.

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