A thought about breeding...
This is just my personal opinion and I am interested in hearing others opinions.
I know the economy is poor right now and like most have no idea when it will pick back up again. Horses being considered a "luxury item" tend to be on of the first things people cut back on along with the other "luxury items. Personally, I don't consider them luxury, I learned a long time ago that horses in my life are almost as neccesary as breathing.
So to the breeding issue. Many people say that responsible breeders should stop breeding due to the poor economy and the surplus of unwanted hroses.
My opinion is that is if all the responsible breeders stop breeding that will only leave the irresponsible breeders breeding (because we know they are not going to stop), which will lead to a surplus of poorly bred horses in the future and little quality to build back upon once things turn around again.
Total numbers need to be cut back. Good breeders shouldn't stop entirely; they should just limit the numbers produced, and strive to make the quality of their foal crop that much better.
I agree with you that it does leave a lot of back yard breeders (you know, the stereo-typed ones that really suck, not the small time people who actually breed in their back yards, so please, don't jump on me for saying that) but the thing is, the responsible breeders are still having foals that are still worth a lot. So I don't think that they should stop breeding all together.
There seems to be two categories of horses being bred: the expensive, top quality performance horses, and then the "average" horse, registered or not.
The "average" horses are what need to be stopped being bred. So you could have a completely responsible breeder only breeding one fairly well built, well bred horse a year that is going to be sold to the average rider. Those and the lesser horses are what I feel should not be bred anymore.
It would help if the mindset of "I don't need the best of the best for just trail riding/whatever lower-end division" was lost. And I know there are arguments about those who can't afford the best of the best horses. But supply and demand laws will come into play, sure it wont be next year, or even the next 5 years before the prices drop on the best of the best horses, but after that adjustment period there will be much better bred/conformed horses for the price of the "average" horse now days.
That's my opinion I guess. I also totally think that BYBs will jump on the best of the best horse band wagon as soon as the settling mind set is lost. They are out to make a buck after all.
I wish more people who have sub par horses or breed for the wrong reasons would stop. There are a lot of these type of horses out there and then you add in the well bred that are culled from different programs there is a good supply for the average market.
I know that If I did not have a market for what I breed I would not be doing it even with the quality of horses I have. For me there is a good market and in reality talking to quite a few people there is a shortage b/c the responsible breeders who have the better stock have cut back yet the demand is still there. B/C of this the prices have continued to go up.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person that feels this way.....
I have never understood the breeding of "grade" horses. They don't add any value to the horse industry and to me, it's just asking for conformation issues which turn into vast medical expenses because the horse is now unsound. I once had a converstation with a "backyard breeder" (like DesielPony described) who said he bred his mare, who was very VERY badly put together, because she has a "good mind". So he bought a grade stud that wasn't built any better (and got a "great price!"... imagine that?!) and had the most worthless little colt I have ever seen. He's sway backed, post legged and has horribly narrow and tall withers (he'll never be able to hold a saddle, not even an Arab saddle!) but he's "a good lead line horse for the grandkids". He poor horse is only 3 years old and already unsound!
My answer to his story: Why didn't you just invest in one horse that was conformationally correct, with the bloodlines for the dicipline you wanted to work (which is where you get a "good mind" for whatever you want to do), you are going to put as much money into three worthless horses as you would of buying and keeping one GOOD horse. He actually said "I never thought of it that way." :shock:
I'd rather see quality grades bred than poorly-conformed registered stock, honestly.
And to add to bubbas point...
At one point in time, the breeds we like were grade horses, until the breed was standardized with traits and such.
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I think theoretically it is a valid point. In practice however, the "we won't stop until they do" is a dangerous game plan.
One of the problems with grade horses even ones with good conformation is how do you know if that horse is a fluke or not? What will the next generation bring to the table. Will it have the good conformation/traits or will the traits of others in the pedigree come out? With a grade horse you just do not know.
You know my Dusty is a grade because his AQHA papers got lost in his shuffle of owners he was a trail riding out fit horse and everytime someone bought him they would eventually sell him back well after my auto accident life flashing before eyes event I set out with my settlement to buy a horse I could ride one I could get on and be safe so I looked at reg horses grade you name it then i thought a trail horse who hauled green riders around all day would be pretty safe I went picked from 3 rode one and the girl and her son rode the other two I got on Dusty and never got off lol that horse has taught me so much he has taken care of me countless times helped me thru some rough times in my life I can put anyone on him and he takes care of them. People tell me he's ugly and that he looks like a mule but to me he is priceless and beautiful he has allowed me to live out my dream.
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