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Starting a Horse Breeding Business

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

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        05-03-2013, 12:02 AM
      #21
    Green Broke
    The best thing to do is find qualified people who are successful in your area and explore what the market supports. Online info is great to a certain extent.., but everyone's an expert here and has an opinion. Some are extremely useful, and some aren't worth a crap..
    Put your trust, time, and money, in someone who is worthy of it.
    dbarabians likes this.
         
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        05-03-2013, 12:10 AM
      #22
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jalter    
    That is why I am asking this question.. I am looking for other people's opinions on how to make this work better. So far, I like the first poster's idea about the stallion. I can get a stallion and if his stud fees are successful, then I can get a few mares and sell live foals.

    Does that sound better?
    In all honesty, nope. Stallions need to be campaigned and advertised, and need to keep up their breeding-worthiness.

    A dressage stallion worth keeping its nads? We're talking Grand Prix. Purchase price $50,000 for a "meh" prospect, and up from there. Keeping a stallion is no small order - I was naive enough once to think that it would be profitable on its own.
    On paper, it sounds great. Buy a stud for a decent price, then breed it out at $1500 a pop. Sounds great!
    Uh.. till you get to the nitty gritty...
    Campaigning a stallion you're looking at Anebel's costs for training/showing multiplied a few times over. Stallion housing isn't something to be taken lightly - and a breeding stallion needs a crapload of food and a very special feed program so they don't drop too much weight during breeding season.
    Even campaigning him in advertisements is going to be expensive. You have to hire a professional photographer and keep up with current ads. Not cheap.
    Owning a stallion isn't about buying something made, sitting back and watching the bucks roll in, which a lot of people seem to think it is...
         
        05-03-2013, 12:29 AM
      #23
    Yearling
    Here's another thing to think of, do you have the funds to pay people to keep up with the books and the orders for semen? I know everyone says 'oh it's no big deal. I've got this!' but really, looking back at another BNB and all the HELL she put her clients through, no semen, dirty 'handling' tactics, bounced checks etc. Do you have the ability to hire someone to cover those bases for while you're running your business?
    Speed Racer and Muppetgirl like this.
         
        05-03-2013, 12:52 AM
      #24
    Banned
    Just to add here Jalter, it would really pay for you to get involved with a high end professional breeding facility that handles hand breeding, collection and AI. Actually you'd be surprised how many people advertise stud services online and post pretty pictures on a website, yet they have deplorable tactics and facilities but hide online because they've made a mess in the real world. REPUTATION is vital.

    Sometimes breeding is romanticized by pretty pictures of mares, foals and stallions. That's just smoke and mirrors - successful breeders campaign their horses vigorously and get real world results. It requires extensive planning, time and energy on the breeders part.

    Really to stand above the rest it's all a matter of results, clients want results, they want to know what they're breeding their mare or stud to is successful......if you don't have results all you have is a picture of a pretty horse.

    Planning is key, realistic expectations, A GOOD REPUTATION, HONESTY and a hell of a good work ethic. Because until you get on your feet with breeding you're going to need a day job!
    MsBHavin and BrieannaKelly like this.
         
        05-03-2013, 12:59 AM
      #25
    Weanling
    Just tossing in my two cents. Equine Majors give you a good background to basic horse care etc & really help you kinda get a feel for the world. The thing they lack? Getting the experience to really jump into a specific aspect of the horse world & understand how it ticks. Someone looking for a nice pleasure horse to take into breed shows looks at a horse entirely different than someone who's looking for a top level Dressage horse. I'm not talking just breed either. I'm talking movement, collection, quality of the horse. Bloodlines do NOT mean everything. I've seen horses bred out their ass that weren't worth a dime because of some reason or other.

    I would advise really involving yourself in the Dressage world. If that's the market you want to target you need to get an understanding of everything involved. Not just from the breeding end. Just watching it on tv & saying 'man that's an awesome horse' isn't enough. A lot of the top breeders got where they are because they know what specific traits they try to breed for each time. And try to produce quality every time. Like everyone else said I would jump into a top quality run breeding program, but don't just pick any old one. Jump into one that is specific to what YOU want to do. That way you can really ask questions of why they choose each pairing, what they look for in their matchings, etc.
    Druydess and MsBHavin like this.
         
        05-03-2013, 07:00 AM
      #26
    Trained
    Your best bet is to buy a few older mares with performance records or foals that are already showing.
    Breeders sometimes sell older mares after retaining a couple of the fillies . Hopefully bred ones 13-20 YOs so you can still get a few foals from them. Then perhaps you can raise and campaign your own stallion.
    Al Marah arabians sells every mare after she is 12.
    You also need to sell the foals as early as possible. This cuts your expenses and brings in cash.
    Getting established is going to be expensive.
    If I were starting over the first thing I would do would buy or lease the farm. No need to pay for boarding and you can cut down on expenses buy raising your own hay.
    Breeders sell foals if you are going to wait 9 years to get one to the level you want before breeding another then you will never get established.
    You also need to be brutal about culling any mare that does not produce or cannot be used in the program. No matter how attached you are to them. Shalom
         
        05-03-2013, 08:12 AM
      #27
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dbarabians    
    Your best bet is to buy a few older mares with performance records or foals that are already showing.
    Breeders sometimes sell older mares after retaining a couple of the fillies . Hopefully bred ones 13-20 YOs so you can still get a few foals from them. Then perhaps you can raise and campaign your own stallion.
    Al Marah arabians sells every mare after she is 12.
    You also need to sell the foals as early as possible. This cuts your expenses and brings in cash.
    Getting established is going to be expensive.
    If I were starting over the first thing I would do would buy or lease the farm. No need to pay for boarding and you can cut down on expenses buy raising your own hay.
    Breeders sell foals if you are going to wait 9 years to get one to the level you want before breeding another then you will never get established.
    You also need to be brutal about culling any mare that does not produce or cannot be used in the program. No matter how attached you are to them. Shalom
    This is what I was thinking, and I'm surprised it wasn't a more popular idea.

    I'm certainly not a breeder, but I am interested in taking the same path as you. (e.g. Get a good education in this field and try to establish a sound business with horses worth breeding.) And what dbarbians said is the wise choice. Buy older mares that have a previous show record, or even a proven broodmare that puts her stamp on her foals and maybe doesn't have a show record, but consistently produces nice, athletic foals. There is no problem with having a starting point, as not everyone can afford international dressage quality warmbloods. Doesn't mean you start out with a different breed and cross until you have a decent horse. You have to spend the money it takes to get some quality, and sometimes it takes a bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time, or even having the right friends.

    My breed is a different breed (by this I mean not a sport horse), but I will outline what I plan to do. I started out with a younger mare of that breed, 4 years old, and we broke her to ride, and now she is being trained to drive. Later we got an 17 year old mare, registered foundation mare, in foal to a good quality stallion. I got my filly, and am hoping for her to grow up to be a nice driving horse, and maybe some day a broodmare. (But that is long ahead of us.) I am looking at another proven broodmare, the size I want with new bloodlines that not a lot have. When we can see it as a viable option, we plan to find a very good quality stallion of their breed. (Stallions that have offspring on the ground, and produce outstanding foals that have a good market.) These mares all will be trained to drive and work at the farm, and hopefully go to some shows and events for a bit of publicity. I want to cross them with something still retaining the heavy-boned trademark of their breed, but adding some refinement, height, and stamina. Weanlings would be up for sale, but we might retain one out of the crop to begin training and show what they can do.

    I live on 240 acres so their are no boarding fees involved and we can grow most of our own hay, and for the level of training they need we can teach them the basics, and we also have good trainers who can get our horses to where they need to be in their training. I know plenty of breeders who have been very willing to give me advice throughout the raising of my first foal. I won't be going from rags to riches, but I hope within 10 years to have something up and running, and as I progress I hope to put my own 'stamp' on my horses, and be a known producer of quality.

    As long as you get a real idea of the costs and losses of horse breeding, and are realistic, you can put forward realistic goals that can be accomplished.
         
        05-03-2013, 09:37 AM
      #28
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    That is a seriously low balled estimate :P I'd say:

    Purchase price of dressage-worthy mare: $30,000 (as a 4 year old, minimum price if you are lucky!!)
    Showing mare to 3rd level: ~ $30,000 per year to keep and maintain horse (low balled when compared to boarding - this is keeping the horse at home), complete and get training, if you're good you can do it in 2 years, budget 3 in case of lameness/illness - $90,000 total
    Stud fee/shipping/container fee/etc: $3000 (for mediocre or not heard about stallion)
    Vet fees, etc: $2500 (if there are no complications and if the mare catches first time)
    Boarding foal (@$400/month) for 3 years, farrier, inoculations: $16,000 (more realistic)
    Professional 90 day start to foal: $4500 ($1500/mo is going rate)
    Campaigning foal at 6 shows/year for 3 years @$500/show: again, $30,00 per year = $90,000

    So a more realistic total is $236,000 if you are breeding a foal that is truly something special and not what the current market is absolutely saturated with. If you want a "warm-blood" that can "do dressage" go on horsetopia and they are everywhere.
    To breed a truly nice foal which has a fighting chance to do international competitions, this is the cost. Even then the foal can still be born with birth defects which make it unridable, it can run through a fence, break a leg, etc.. etc.. or your mare and/or foal can die during birth. It is a huge gamble and I would not suggest it as something to be taken lightly.

    Unless you yourself are a really great dressage rider with the potential to bring horses up at the rate at which the young horse tests progress (ie PSG by 7 years of age), I would not suggest you even attempt to breed dressage horses. Unless you are a rider and a trainer, it is impossible to understand what are desirable traits to have in a dressage horse and what a "collectible" gait looks like.


    That's just my $0.02 I've seen lots of friends get into breeding and fall flat on their faces, and they know what they are getting into!!
    That is a good point; I didn't think about the time it would take for a dressage horse to be "good", even under a good trainer. Then again, that is why I am asking a few years ahead of time :P

    Maybe I would be better off with jumpers? Jumping is also really popular in the area, but the only breeders in the area breed tiny Arabians or Quarter Horses. Some jumpers may do well there. I do have more experience with jumping anyways. A horse still needs to wait a few years before it should jump, but a lot of horses catch on pretty quickly.
         
        05-03-2013, 10:29 AM
      #29
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jalter    
    That is a good point; I didn't think about the time it would take for a dressage horse to be "good", even under a good trainer. Then again, that is why I am asking a few years ahead of time :P

    Maybe I would be better off with jumpers? Jumping is also really popular in the area, but the only breeders in the area breed tiny Arabians or Quarter Horses. Some jumpers may do well there. I do have more experience with jumping anyways. A horse still needs to wait a few years before it should jump, but a lot of horses catch on pretty quickly.
    Do you know what lines are popular for jumping? Are you able to keep up with the cost of training, and going to each and every show, including ones on the east coast? What will you do for marketing? Can you build a website on your own or would you pay someone?

    I've seen a ton of websites lately that looked as if they were built in the early 1990's, gaudy colors, sparkles, etc and that puts me off from ever even looking at any of their stock. Would you hire someone for photography? These are small details but none the less very important ones.
         
        05-03-2013, 10:38 AM
      #30
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsBHavin    
    Do you know what lines are popular for jumping? Are you able to keep up with the cost of training, and going to each and every show, including ones on the east coast? What will you do for marketing? Can you build a website on your own or would you pay someone?

    I've seen a ton of websites lately that looked as if they were built in the early 1990's, gaudy colors, sparkles, etc and that puts me off from ever even looking at any of their stock. Would you hire someone for photography? These are small details but none the less very important ones.
    I do not know much about different lines, but that is one of the things I plan on learning before I start. I plan on doing the training myself. I know how to teach jumping, but I will get more experience before I begin with a breeding farm.

    As for websites, I am good with that. I am pretty good with Photography, and plan on getting better.
         

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