Noob question: Buying an Arabian-Purchasing foal options?
   

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Noob question: Buying an Arabian-Purchasing foal options?

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    08-08-2012, 12:12 PM
  #1
Banned
Wink Noob question: Buying an Arabian-Purchasing foal options?

Hey all, horse noob here. :)


For starters, I'll tell you all that I've wanted a horse for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I didn't have barbies...I had plastic horses!
Anyway, fast forward to over a decade and now I finally have the chance to get myself a horse within this next year.
I'm already decided on getting an Arabian, but was hoping to get some advice on a few other things by people who have more experience in this hobby than myself. Speficially people who have experience with Arabians.

At this point, I'm kind of set on also getting a foal. I'm more interested in being able to bond with my horse above everything else. I'm also not sure which discipline I'd like to pursue, that's all up in the air at this point as I have some health issues that I need to overcome first (but many of them such as endurance, dressage, jumping etc sound fun).


So, after doing lots and lots of research; it seems like Arabians are essentially split into two categories:
(Is this correct?)
Halter/show horses and physical sport horses

I really admire the appeal facial wise of the halter horses, but many of the stallions that I've seen seem to be lacking in the muscle department. My question is, can I get a horse that was bred for halter and still one day use for a more physically demanding sport? I'm assuming not, but figured I'd ask.

Next, I'm looking at a few pros and cons over different buying options when it comes to a foal:


Live foal purchase: You know what you're getting. Such as gender, conformation, disposition, coloring etc. But this one seems to also be pricey when looking for a horse with good bloodlines (whether for halter or "sport"....not sure if I'm using that term correctly).


Breeding Lease: With this option you can pick your own sire and dam. Contracts differ, but so far; it seems like this is pricey as well. Although it may end up being cheaper to do this instead of purchasing a live foal with good bloodlines. Not sure if I could find a place that would allow the mare to leave their property though.


Embryo Transfer: This method seems pretty risky. I keep reading that flushes have a lot of risk, as well as the embryo transfer. Equine specialized facilities seem to have the highest success rate (and also seem to be the priciest), so I'd go with using a facility if I chose this option. They also may have recipient mares that you can lease and have on your property for your foal embryo.


In Utero Purchase: I think this option may be the cheapest out of them all. I've contacted a few places and it seems like this option is usually priced the cheapest. I probably won't get choice of sire, but may end up getting a really good foal out of the deal.


I'm really not wanting to spend more than a couple thousand. To be honest, it's kind of hard to rationalize spending a lot of money on a horse that I may never even be able to show/use for any type of sport (especially when there are so many rescue horses out there that need homes). But, if I can end up getting a really nice Arabian for my price range that I would be able to grow with and learn from, I'd definitely spend the money. I was actually thinking my best bet may be to find a really nice typey mare with great halter/show bloodlines and pair her with an actual sport horse with either an embryo transfer (probably won't do this due to risk) or breeding lease. Although, I did find an in utero foal option with this exact combo (actually, it's from this mare that I LOVE), but the owner quoted me at 10k for the in utero foal whose sire is this sport
horse that doesn't really have a lot of credentials (his stud fee is also $1,200 if memory serves me correctly). So that quote just seemed a little inflated to me.

Lastly, I'd really like the opportunity to imprint my foal. So that kind of weighs in on the decision as well. Any input from Arabian owners is greatly appreciated. :)
     
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    08-08-2012, 12:17 PM
  #2
Started
Have you ever raised a horse before? Specifically, if you have to ask, you're not ready for a foal.


Breeding for a foal is one of the most expensive options you can ask for - especially embryo transfer. Most breeding options will be at least $5k.
Annanoel likes this.
     
    08-08-2012, 12:23 PM
  #3
Showing
Subscribing - I want to PM you with my thoughts and opinion :)
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    08-08-2012, 12:25 PM
  #4
Showing
You can bond with an adult horse, and they have the benefits of generally having some training already put on them. They're also ready to ride, which if you get a baby, you won't be able to do for at least 3-4 years.

As a newbie, getting a foal is the very worst idea you could have.

Raising a foal is completely different than purchasing an adult horse. Plus, Arabians tend to be sensitive, intelligent horses who can easily be ruined if you don't have a clue what you're doing.

Save yourself some time and grief, and buy an adult horse. If you won't think of yourself, at least think of the foal. You have no experience, and the horse will be the one who suffers the most because of it.

I've owned Arabians for the last 34 years, but never ONCE considered buying a foal. I simply don't have the skills or talents to raise and train one properly. It's a lot more difficult than training a puppy!
     
    08-08-2012, 12:26 PM
  #5
Trained
You are nowhere near experienced enough for a foal... I have been in horses my WHOLE LIFE and only in the past year and a half-ish have I been even close to being experienced enough for babies. AND my first was easy and well-handled when I bought her. My second had (has) some issues, but is ALSO essentially well-handled.

If you are dead set on an Arabian, which IMO is not a good option for you either as many of them are quite fiery and sensitive, then I would look for something older and dead-broke. Older is no big deal with Arabians, I know several that have lived to their late 20's and even longer. But, in theory, they will have the experience and training to be just perfect for a newbie. ESPECIALLY one with health issues.

Foals are not EVER a good idea for a person with health issues, because all horses will need a firm hand at some point in their life (not harsh, but firm and fair!) and if you have health issues, are you going to be physically strong enough to put them in their place? I know someone who bred her own foal, and he is a rude, evil thing, because she is not physically strong enough to hold a whip in her hand - forget actually using it!
     
    08-08-2012, 12:28 PM
  #6
Banned
Arabians are great horses and very versatile, so can be used for many disciplines.

My advice, for what it is worth, is to choose your primary discipline first, and then buy an adult horse that is already trained in that discipline.

I am a former breeder, and both know and advocate raising and training a foal. However, in your case you have no horse ownership experience. Improper imprinting by a novice can do more harm than good. The same can be said for training. While you can bond with a foal if you get one, it will cost you far more to have it fully trained than what the horse will cost you, to say nothing of the cost of feeding and caring for it at least 3 years before you get any use out of it, and you indicated a hesitation to spend too much money.

While the "learn and grow together" philosophy may sound good, you have to be well in advance of your horse to train properly. Think of a teacher - would you want a teacher to learn and grow with your child, or would you want a teacher that only knows a little more than your child? Of course not - a teacher must, or at least should, have advanced knowledge to teach basic knowledge.

The last thing you want is to buy a horse, work with it for years, and not end up with what you want. This is a buyers market and there are lots of horses out there that you can buy that will suit your exact needs...
     
    08-08-2012, 12:42 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
I don't know really anything about the breeding sides of things but one thing to think about about the Arab types is that halter bred Arabs have a tendency to be somewhat "hotter" and possibly flightier than a performance bred Arab.

I personally really enjoy performance bred Arabs. Halter types are ok but some of the ones I've met seem to have had their "brain" bred out of them. The performance types have always seemed to have a working noggin (though I'm sure there are a few nutty performance bred Arabs out there!!).
Both make good horses but I, personally, just prefer a horse that I can feel thinking about the ride, thinking through the scary things, and just thinking in general.

Also, though I'm sure someone else will be able to explain this much better, a "bond above everything else" doesn't nessicarily start from birth.
I got my Polish bred Arab girl (performance type, ftw! Haha) when she was 23. She had been owned by her previous owners for her entire 23 years of life. She was born on their farm from their mare and their stallion, she was raised and trained by them, etc etc.
HOWEVER, after owning her for 4 years, we now have a bond deeper than whatever bond she had with those owners, she trusts me, I trust her, there's no other horse I would prefer to ride.
She's my best buddy. I would have liked to have experienced her younger years with her (I met her when she was 23 and basially bought her on the spot) but in terms of our bond, those years are nothing.
She's going blind now and as she does, it's even more a testament to what we have. We still go on trail rides, even though her sight is mostly gone, we canter/gallop, we pretty much do everything a normal pair would do. She trusts me like crazy to tell her where things are and to guide her correctly. She used to be a very willfull mare who enjoyed the "Are you suuuure you want me to go THAT way? This way looks better!" reparte but these days, as soon as I give her a cue, her reaction is immediate. She knows that I'm her "eyes" and she trusts that I'm a good set of them.

Basically, all have to say is don't discount the bond you can create with an older horse. 4 years ago I would have told you that you were crazy if you told me about where I've gotten to with my mare. Pretty much the only way I can believe it is because I've lived it.

And yay Arabians! They're my favorite. Haha
     
    08-08-2012, 01:00 PM
  #8
Green Broke
For what you want, you're not getting anything like it for a couple thousand.

As a "horse noob", I think you're romanticising the amount of money and work involved in breeding and raising a foal. If you're only wanting to put in a couple thousand NOW, what about the vet visits the mare will need, the stud fee - what if the mare dies and you have to compensate the owner? Without horse handling or training experience, how we you going to train the foal? How will you back it for the first time safely? Where will you keep it? Not everyplace has the facilities to keep a pregnant mare or mare and foal or even just a foal. Your plan has you spending thousands of dollars every year for several years before you can even think of riding. But you want to stay under $2000? Not happening.

Bad idea all around.

You can absolutely bond with a grown horse. They aren dogs. Raising one from a foal is more sentimental to you than it is to the horse. Get some lessons, learn about keeping a horse then when you're in a good place buy a grown one.

(this is coming from an Arabian owner)
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    08-08-2012, 01:29 PM
  #9
Trained
Hey all, horse noob here. :)

So, after doing lots and lots of research; it seems like Arabians are essentially split into two categories: (Is this correct?)
Halter/show horses and physical sport horses

Unfortunately for the breed, many people believe that if a horse has halter lines it can't be ridden. This comes from the notion that top halter horses are "too valuable to be schlepped around to shows and ridden". (As an aside: But they're not too valuable to schlep around to shows to stand up at halter?....HELLLLLO!)

As a breeder I always bred for athleticism AND looks, because if it can't do I don't care who pretty it is.

Because of some of the intense training some of the halter horses get, they truly can't be ridden or it may take them a long time to calm down enough to trust someone enough to ride them. That's a whole 'nuther issue.

You mention a lack of muscling in some halter horses. Arabs are not Quarter Horses and do not muscle up the same way. Also, Arabs are fitted using swimming pools, tread mills and things like that, to develop the smooth muscle because as Arab at halter must be SMOOTH not bulky. When fitted for riding, they can and do bulk up a bit more.


Next, I'm looking at a few pros and cons over different buying options when it comes to a foal:

A reputable breeder would not sell you an untrained foal. I have 3 foals right now that I'd dearly love to sell and find good homes for, but I won't sell them to someone who has never handled foals and training before. I especially would not sell a foal to someone who has never owned a horse, period.



I'm really not wanting to spend more than a couple thousand. To be honest, it's kind of hard to rationalize spending a lot of money on a horse that I may never even be able to show/use for any type of sport (especially when there are so many rescue horses out there that need homes). But, if I can end up getting a really nice Arabian for my price range that I would be able to grow with and learn from, I'd definitely spend the money.

$2000 will not even cover most DECENT Arab stallions stud fees. The Arabian world has gotten a little out of touch with reality (IMO) when it comes to stud fees. A new colt who has not yet been shown or bred is frequently advertised at an "introductory" stud fee of $2500.00.

That was ok back in the day when a foal was priced at 3X the stud fee the day it was born, but now there's very few that will even be able to sell that foal for 2X the stud fee. When you add the costs of stud fee $2500, plus collection and Shipping $500 PER TRY, vet costs $1000 PER TRY, and then the care, feeding and vetting for the pregnant mare, you're probably looking at a minimum to $5000 to $7500 in cost just to get the foal on the ground, if the mare takes on the first or 2nd try and absolutely nothing goes wrong in the meantime. I'm bringing this up because of the ET, In Utero and Breed Lease options you mentioned.

Very few people will allow an off site breed lease these days. Too many have sent prized mares to what SOUNDED like good situations and had to go rescue their mare or never got her back because she starved to death while off site. I won't even send my mares off site to be bred, let alone to do an off site breed lease.

I went the breed lease route back in 2001 to get my very best mare who was finally born in 2004. I leased her dam, she stayed at her owners, so I paid board, $400/month X 42 months, stud fee, Magic Dream CAHR $2500 plus $500 shipping & collection X 6, vet costs $1000 X 6 (there were some human caused issues with this mare but as lessee I inherited the problems), and a lease fee to the owner of the mare of $3000. Oh yes, and the mare failed to produce milk with her first pregnancy so we had to give Domperidone injections X 10 at $120 per shot. I also had to carry full insurance on the mare with the owner as loss payee. $60,000 mare, $5K insurance. My mare cost me appx: $35,000 just to get her on the ground. That was almost 10 years ago, I don't think things have gotten cheaper. Needless to say, if I let someone breed lease my mare, she's not leaving my sight!

Lastly, I'd really like the opportunity to imprint my foal. So that kind of weighs in on the decision as well. Any input from Arabian owners is greatly appreciated. :)

If you were experienced enough to handle a foal, I'd have no problems overseeing the imprinting process, but you'd also be paying for me to train that foal to accept a halter, learn to lead, tie, bathe, clip, stand for vet & farrier and to trailer. I call it Foal Kindergarten and won't let a foal leave my place without it. You also have to pay board for the foal once it starts eating solid food, some charge a 2nd board fee the minute the foal is born.

So, my best advice to you is: Go buy a trained mare. One who's been trained in the discipline of your choice, take riding lessons and in the future if you desire, buy a stud fee and breed her for a foal of your own. Just make sure you buy the very best mare you can before you think about breeding, we have too many Bint Bint Backyard by Ibn Shouldabeengelded out of Bint Backyardigan horses running around now.
     
    08-08-2012, 01:47 PM
  #10
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
Have you ever raised a horse before? Specifically, if you have to ask, you're not ready for a foal.

Thanks for the tips. I actually did find a pretty good in utero foal option for $5k. I was hoping I could find something cheaper, but $5k is probably the max amount I'd be willing to spend if I do decide to get an Arabian bred for halter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
Subscribing - I want to PM you with my thoughts and opinion :)
I'd love to hear them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
You can bond with an adult horse, and they have the benefits of generally having some training already put on them. They're also ready to ride, which if you get a baby, you won't be able to do for at least 3-4 years.
As a newbie, getting a foal is the very worst idea you could have.
It seems to me that there's a clear split in horse people. People who have horses primarily to ride (more like a hobby) and people who have horses because they well, just love horses. I might be a noob, but I have done my homework in a lot of areas these part few months that I've been researching. I'm aware that I wouldn't be able to ride my foal for a long time and that's not an issue with me. I would love some more insight though as to how a new horse owner who is willing to research and learn could ruin a horse. From what I've read, if I'm unable to train my horse; I could hire a trainer. But I've never owned a horse, let alone a foal; so any insight on how you can ruin a horse would be appreciated.

For the record, I've never trained a puppy...let alone owned one. (I've always had rescue animals growing up). This idea of getting a foal isn't because I want a cutesy babe horse that I can sell when it's an adult because "I'm bored of it". I want a foal that I can bond with and create a lifelong friendship with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
You are nowhere near experienced enough for a foal...

If you are dead set on an Arabian, which IMO is not a good option for you either as many of them are quite fiery and sensitive, then I would look for something older and dead-broke.

Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for my horse), I'm not going to be able to get a horse unless my health issues plateau out a little more. But, my boyfriend is in this with me and also is going to be getting a horse. So, he's my backup firm hand. :) Although, I have been seeing progress so I'm trying to remain optimistic. I'm still unsure if I'll be able to compete in any type of event in X amount of years, time will tell. I also have to say I disagree with you on the breed. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
While you can bond with a foal if you get one, it will cost you far more to have it fully trained than what the horse will cost you, to say nothing of the cost of feeding and caring for it at least 3 years before you get any use out of it, and you indicated a hesitation to spend too much money.
The last thing you want is to buy a horse, work with it for years, and not end up with what you want. This is a buyers market and there are lots of horses out there that you can buy that will suit your exact needs...
I really have no idea what discipline I'd do. I was hoping to get a horse and try to multi-train her and see which one she prefers. Like I started previously, I'm not getting a horse just to compete or do events...that is more like the icing on the cake. I'm getting a horse because I love horses. If I ended up getting a horse that I really bonded with and she was unable to do anything or even ride, then I would be fine with that. I'm not the type of person to just get rid of an injured animal because I just want to ride it.

My hesitation on spending too much money was in regards to how ludicrous it is to buy a horse for a lot of money when I may never get to compete with that horse and also when compared to just the absurdity (in my eyes) of buying an animal for a high dollar amount when there are so many rescue horses out there that need homes.

As far as your comment on me having to wait 4+ years before I get any use out of it....(maybe I'm posting on the wrong forum? Lol). I don't view having a foal that I'm unable to ride for awhile as useless.

Also, as far as training a horse goes. I have quite awhile before this all goes down. In the meantime, I plan to research and study. If the concepts of training and raising horses cannot be fully grasped through extensive reading, then maybe I'll consider interning at a horse farm that raises foals until I'm ready for my horse. I do have about a year as I stated in my original post.

I'm indifferent about owning a horse that "doesn't suit my needs" as far as what discipline I want to pursue. Again, I want a horse as a pet not a hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
I don't know really anything about the breeding sides of things but one thing to think about about the Arab types is that halter bred Arabs have a tendency to be somewhat "hotter" and possibly flightier than a performance bred Arab.
Basically, all have to say is don't discount the bond you can create with an older horse. 4 years ago I would have told you that you were crazy if you told me about where I've gotten to with my mare. Pretty much the only way I can believe it is because I've lived it.

And yay Arabians! They're my favorite. Haha

The brain being bred out of the halter horses is actually one of my primary concerns. Being that they (seemingly?) only seem to be bred for their faces, whereas performance horses require their brains to perform (dressage for example!) has made me develop a real concern over getting a halter bred horse. I thought I may be safer if I had a horse whose dam was halter bred but sire was bred for performance...not sure how that would turn out though.
Anyway, thank you for your input regarding the bonding issue. I lost my childhood dog about 6 years ago (still not over it lol) and haven't had any pets in a long, long time. So, I was really looking to get one horse that I could bond with and keep for the rest of their life. I kept reading that it's easier to develop deeper bonds with foals, and getting an in utero/other breeding options to get my desired foal is just the icing on the cake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
For what you want, you're not getting anything like it for a couple thousand.
As a "horse noob", I think you're romanticising the amount of money and work involved in breeding and raising a foal. If you're only wanting to put in a couple thousand NOW, what about the vet visits the mare will need, the stud fee - what if the mare dies and you have to compensate the owner? Without horse handling or training experience, how we you going to train the foal? How will you back it for the first time safely? Where will you keep it? Not everyplace has the facilities to keep a pregnant mare or mare and foal or even just a foal. Your plan has you spending thousands of dollars every year for several years before you can even think of riding. But you want to stay under $2000? Not happening.
Bad idea all around.
You can absolutely bond with a grown horse. They aren dogs. Raising one from a foal is more sentimental to you than it is to the horse. Get some lessons, learn about keeping a horse then when you're in a good place buy a grown one.

(this is coming from an Arabian owner)
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It amazes me how often people jump to conclusions due to their own miscomprehensions or assumptions.
As a "horse owner", you're clearly jumping to conclusions on what type of horse owner I would be. Please refrain yourself from categorizing all new comers and instead ask questions before you automatically make assumptions.

Also, you can bond with adult dogs.

Sigh.

It's so irritating when people completely ignore what I say and automatically assume that because I'm new that I'm lazy and incompetent. I get it, most noobs that post probably are lazy and incapable of comprehending any type of information that isn't overly simplified. I'm not that type.

Please take the time to read my post instead of stigmatizing me as a moron. I should have put this in my first post. Also, please be sure to reread this so that you do not to miscomprehend what I'm saying in this paragraph. **Lastly, I'm looking for input from horse LOVERS not hobby horse owners who just sell their horses because they didn't suit their needs. Would you sell your dog because he barks too much or drools a lot? If yes, then no offense but I don't want your input.
     

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