Keep Them For Life, or Train and Re-sell? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,053
• Horses: 3
Keep Them For Life, or Train and Re-sell?

This is more of a rambling inspired by my current restlessness and boredom, but I would love some out side opinions. I board, and have no way to afford a place to keep my horses where I can live as well, so I have to keep horses to a minimum, 2 is comfortable, three is pushing it. I also work full time and have a half hour drive to the barn, so I just really have time to ride two, and maybe squeeze some ground work in on a third.

I grew up riding draft crosses, and loving their size and sturdiness. Then, when I was 15 I used my life savings(and started working evenings and weekends) to rescue a neglected and abused filly, welsh/tb. I broke her out as a three year old, and around that time was given a weanling qh filly. I sold the welsh cross as a kids jumping prospect, as I felt she was too small, and I wanted a challenge. The I bought a warmblood x tb colt when he was a couple days old. that was the first horse I ever thought I would keep for his whole life. I lost him as a yearling in a freak accident, and spent the next several years looking to replace him, which I never have. I've owned qh, appy, warmblood crosses, ottb's, saddlebred x paint, arab, arabx paint, a mustang, clydsdale and now my current appy filly and arab mare. I typically bought babies, untouched or problem horses that had no where else to go, then trained them either to have great ground manners, ready to start, or just started(or restarted) them myself, then sold them to great homes.

through all of this I have learned that I love working with babies and I really enjoy the training side of things, while at the same time I enjoy having a really well broke horse to fall back on. I have always wanted to have a saddle horse for myself, and a horse visitors can get on that is beginner safe.

Which brings us to the present. I haven't bought a horse in a year and a half, which I think is a record for me. I have my arab, who is lovely and broke, and due to circumstances is bred to a thoroughbred stallion for a 2014 foal. She is everything I want, with one exception; her size. she is small, barely hits 15hh and is narrow. she also has a short neck. I joke all the time that she is like riding the wrong side of a 2x4, and flexible enough to be a noodle. In other words, a pretty typical arab. I have put hundreds of miles on her, and I still wish she had a bigger rib cage, I keep reverting to my old comfort zone of how lovely it was to ride a nice, big horse. I also have Pickles, who promises to break out into a nice little horse, with a bigger barrel than Pretzl. But to be honest, I still think about selling one and buying something new to work on. I'm really excited for pretzles baby, and it **should** be taller, with a bigger rib cage and longer neck.

I should just be happy that I have two great horses that are suited to what I want, but I keep thinking about picking up a new project, or picking up a draft cross foal to play with.

does anyone else do this?
BlueSpark is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,446
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I would, if I could afford to run two. I have bought a project before, a youngster who I backed and then sold on for more money than I bought him for. And then I concluded that when you board, this makes no economic sense since you're sinking a year or two's worth of board as well as vet, farrier etc. into the horse. The thing better be an upper level prospect if it's going to make you any kind of profit, doing it that way. I suppose if money were no object, that wouldn't really matter.

Last edited by thesilverspear; 09-20-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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When I find the 'right' ones, they are lifetime keepers. My two riding horses are 9 and 14 this year and they are still learning new things, so training never really ends. Combine that with the fact that I don't enjoy babies as much as I do the mature ones, I am pretty content with what is in my barn.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,296
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I have for the past 6 years. I always had 2, my main horse and a project. I'd resell the project. I always buy normally with intentions to keep but then decide I can find something better. I want to move to the next big thing. I sold my main mare when I bought my next horse to replace her showing and happened to find the perfect home at that time. My current and only horse Link is staying as long as he lives. He's competitive, consistent, fun to ride, pays to take to shows and I love him. He's everything I want so I have no reason to sell him. I only sold my old main mare because I had outgrown her showing wise and I wasn't having fun anymore, now a little girl has her and is having fun and learning on her.
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BarrelRacer23 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 563
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I don't breed or train (I'm a novice, and my horse life-plan is kind of the opposite anyway — I bought a gelding recently with the goal of working to a point where our relationship is smooth with no big challenges or surprises on the training end in the future). So from that perspective, I think what you do/want to do is great. There are so many people like me who don't/can't train and don't desire a challenge or at least don't want to start from scratch. As one of those people, I appreciate that there are those like you out there who care about the horses and have your heart in working with them.

Granted there are lots of horses who need homes, so I think working with rescues is the best thing you can do. The fact is that not everyone — very few people, actually — have the talent and willingness to take a horse and turn it into the kind of animal that's easier to put in a good home than it was before.

And even if you end up working primarily with babies, by training them and then sending them off safe and ready for someone else to train, you're doing a lot to give those horses the best chance of landing in good homes for life. The more opportunities people have to buy horses that come from good, kind trainers, the fewer horses will end up at auction or neglected because their owners gave up on them.

Maybe it's a naive view, but I see horses as a bit different than dogs and cats, in that I feel that people should be responsible for house pets for life. With dogs and cats, giving one away usually means someone else isn't going to a shelter. But the philosophy doesn't apply to horses in my view because there's nothing noble in adopting a horse you can't handle and can't reasonably commit to caring for

For you, if you enjoy working with new horses and you carefully send them to good homes, I think you should.
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"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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