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FarmgirlAlee
Hi Everyone!

This is my maiden post, so I appologize for bringing up a heavy subject for my first posting.

So first some back history as to why I am asking this: I have a wonderful opportunity to purchase a sweet little soon-to-be 2 filly that is beautiful with wonderful bloodlines. (Not that I am partial or anything!) My goal is to eventually breed her and have a small breeding operation that focuses on quality. I have interned with a sucessful Egyptian Arabian horse breeder and feel like I have my self pointed in the right direction.

However my husband is less than fully behind me on this. In fact he thinks I am going to fall flat on my face and take the family with me. I know the expenses of keeping a horse and breeding her. Also showing to get her name out there as well. So what really concerns us is whether I would just be buying a horse that would turn into afriend only, or will I be able to realize my dreams of having a horse ranch?

So how is the Straight Egyptian Arabian market doing? Are you having good sucess selling your foals when that is desired? Or do you feel like the current economy has really hurt the industry?

I really hope I haven't offended anyone with my questions. I am hoping you all have at least somewhat encouraging news for me so I can encourage my husband. You can fly if you never leave the ground, right?
Liz Salmon
This is a very relevant question. At the moment the domestic sales are down considerably, but the international market for Straight Egyptians has never been better in my experience. I have never had so many inquiries or sold so many for small breeders. However, I have also never seen so many breeding programmes out of control, with too many horses being bred before any were sold.

My advice to anyone starting is to buy the very best mare or filly you can afford with superior bloodlines. Study the pedigree, learn the faults of your mare and breed to the best stallion to suit your mare. Do not breed her again if the resulting foal is a colt or you want to sell if it's a filly. Be very strict about gelding colts, there are too many inferior colts and stallions out there IMO. The best of luck with this. Done the right way you can have a lot of fun.
KGH
Dear FarmgirlAlee,
Welcome to straightegyptians.com and for a first post, great question !
It will be good to read the responses to this thread, and hear what everyone is thinking about the current economical situation and Arabian horse market.

Welcome!

Kelly
StraightEgyptians.com
HLM
dear farmgirlalee

your husband is right.unless you have enough cash on hand to run the farm 3-5 years without an income, it will fail.'

liz salmon speaks of superior bloodlines, and the opinions of expert breeders can differ. most renowned breeders know bloodlines which will produce functional and beautiful offspring consistently, which are marketable. it will cost you an average of dollar 5-6,000 per year per horse upkeep. now figure out what you have in it when it is 3 years old, plus one year for mare gestation, stud fee, training etc. of course you would also have to own some property, which takes expensive upkeep.

the horses marketed overseas often do not fit the bill, and many buyers could get a surprise. some are overrated and over priced, others the reverse, due to the fact that numerous highly praised and priced champion stallions have never seen a saddle, makes it the game of russian roulette. ad ai breeding and one could have a disaster in waiting.

if you go ahead and buy a filly of your liking, look at the pedigree this way
1. what has sire or dam or both done under saddle in stress performances.
this does not always have to be in competition and can be done at home.t

2. what percentage of their get has been succesful under sadle. it does not always have to win. nobody can.

3. is the breeder an accomplished horse person- meaning in the saddle, truly able to evaluate a horse they breed, or do they have highly experienced staff to do
it..

4. has the breeders years of experiences and produced numerous foals, able to evaluate the production..

5. is the horse without breeding problems, i.e. cant carry out a foal, does not like having one, hard to get infoal,.etc.

6. what serious genetic physical or mental faults do the ancestors of up to 4 generations have, but also the good points.

7. what is the genetic disposition.

you will always be on the right track if the breeder can give you details of the ancestors, because every horse is different.no appraiser can tell you if the horse is a stumbling fool under saddle, has a bad attitude etc, because it might not show while examined in hand. it is a gamble.

now, if you just want a pet, a horse to ride etc, than you can go by what you see and feel and do not have to employ the points i made above. then you might consider buying a gelding.

therefore check around, get advice from oldtimer breeders/horsemen/woman and learn hands on work first, before you enter into an up to 30year comittment, because a horse can live to age 35.

this is my humble advice and opinion. good luck.

hansi biggrin.gif
serenity arabian farms
carol h61
The US economy has not began to tank by a long shot
Save your money , you,re going to need it
And remember the old saying

Never invest in anything that eats while you sleep
Dieter
QUOTE (FarmgirlAlee @ Mar 8 2009, 01:43 AM)
(snipped)However my husband is less than fully behind me on this.  In fact he thinks I am going to fall flat on my face and take the family with me.  I know the expenses of keeping a horse and breeding her.  Also showing to get her name out there as well.  So what really concerns us is whether I would just be buying a horse that would turn into afriend only, or will I be able to realize my dreams of having a horse ranch?
(snipped)
*
Welcome to SE.com! You have just accessed a wealth of knowledge and opinions biggrin.gif

The straight Egyptian arabian horse has brought the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows to my life. They have enriched me personally and my family of friends has grown vastly. They are the love of my life and I will have them for the rest of my life smile.gif

My advice:

Patience is key, take your time, study, study, study some more and keep in mind horses are not an "investment" to make money - most breeders are lucky to break even. More often than not, horses simply become a tax write-off. There are always exceptions. Before buying a horse and embarking on a breeding career, I would recommend buying books with the first being "Principles of Conformation Analysis" by Dr. Deb Bennett because a good structured horse is always marketable. Read it, study it, get the structure points down and what these mean to performance ability and the overall comfort for the horse. Too many are crippled from poor structure by the time they are in their prime and suffer needlessly for the rest of their lives because they were bred by someone who did not know how to produce a sound animal. Aesthetic beauty is important too, but without the rest of the horse, it is meaningless. If you already have these references, and know a good horse, without a doubt, when you see it, then define the terms of what you hope to accomplish with your breeding program, i.e. endurance, flat-racing, halter, sporthorse, whatever it is that you strive to become as a breeder producing for that. Show ring success does not necessarily mean that the champion horse is a good horse as show wins are often nothing more than industry politics steering our future (with trainers judging trainers). Show ring success does not indicate marketability . . . there are thousands of offspring from National Champions that will never be sold for what the "breeder" has into them. Leasing a mare may be a great idea for you to get your feet wet, breed a foal or two and see what you think before making a long-term commitment (and it is a long-term commitment - 20-30 years or more). Just be VERY careful in who you deal with as many mare leases simply result in you boarding a horse for another free of charge. Before I begin to repeat myself, here are some helpful hints that I have placed on my website for the newcomer that you might find useful:

Because perspective, judgement and opinion of a horse is specific to the person giving it and they are often biased by personal preference or personal gain, consider the following statements carefully:

~ Be sure to set your eyes directly upon the equine candidate under consideration for purchase before making a commitment to purchase. Don't be afraid to pick up it's feet and look in it's mouth. Disposition and attitude are not readily apparent from photos, a video tape or a DVD.

~ Secure an objective pre-purchase veterinary exam. Develop a method or a plan to insure that the horse taken to the exam is, in fact, the horse intended for purchase.

~ Engage yourself in adequate pre-purchase market research. Visit several farms both big and small to gain an impression of "in the flesh" quality, determine what type of quality is available, at what cost and if it is affordable to you. Many outstanding individuals were discovered on a small farm. If the quality you desire is not affordable - don't give up - practice patience, save your money and wait until it is. The bulk of expenses are the ongoing costs rather than the initial purchase price of a horse.

~ Research, investigate and educate yourself in the areas of your intended use for the best possible start. Conformation, breed standard, pedigree and strain often play a significant role in your success.

~ Familiarize yourself with organizational and club rules as well as their application. Be actively involved, volunteer and vote.

~ Ensure the individual horse is exactly what you want. You will be the one caring for the animal as well as bearing the financial burden, so if your friend or trainer is crazy about a horse, but you are not - don't buy it. In the long run it can become discouraging, burdensome and can take the fun out of owning a horse if it was not the horse of your dreams.

~ If you intend to engage in horse husbandry as a business, please take the time now to develop a five-year business plan to include start up costs, ongoing expenses, available assets, and time lines for achieving specific goals. Marketability and marketing must be a priority. Incorporate the costs for photos, video tapes, DVD's, a website, monthly breed magazine ads, internet networking, etc. into your business plan. Most successful business will spend a minimum of 10%, more likely 20% and sometimes 30% a year of their operating budget on marketing. Keep in mind most businesses lose money for several years after start up. Perform an honest analysis of income vs. expenses every six months to assess progress, appropriate use of assets or lack thereof and the like. Be prepared to re-write or adjust your plan at established or necessary intervals.

~ When purchasing a filly, mare, colt or stallion for breeding purposes, be sure to start with the very best stock that you are able to afford. One outstanding broodmare is worth a barn full of good broodmares. A good stallion will often make a better gelding. Cull breeding stock with a critical eye of those individuals who have been unable to meet your expectations in their ability to produce (two or three attempts are adequate to make this determination) - don't let emotions steer your farm unless you intend to support a farm full of pets. This does not imply the individuals you choose to cull won't work very well for someone else - it simply means they have not worked for you.

~ Look at the sire and dam of the equine candidate, if possible, as well as their ancestors. Consider the quality in progeny of mature breeding stock to be sure they are producing what you want to produce. Some great individuals have sired or produced many average foals. Some good individuals who may be overlooked have produced exceptional foals.

~ Study the strains and families of the pedigree - particularly the tail female family. Be aware of what their strengths and weaknesses are.

~ As always, LET THE BUYER BEWARE. Our industry is basically unregulated with little consequence to those who practice corruption, fraud, deception, thievery or elaborate con-artist scams. Most often, a lawsuit will cost more than the amount at issue. Many a newcomer have fallen prey to these highly skilled individuals losing a small fortune with little or no effective recourse. Often what one will attempt to sell you as an investment, simply results in being a tax write-off as a total loss. The deceptive and unethical practice of steering customers within a specific circle does occur often resulting in price setting. Many horses are sold for twice their value, or a substitute horse is taken to a vet check. Please be careful, ask direct questions (and make sure they're answered), look and look again. If there is any doubt in your mind, any at all, of the trustworthiness of an individual, it is reasonable to simply walk away.

~ Most of all, find a mentor that you respect, one that is ethical, has integrity and has had success in breeding fine individuals with outstanding, consistent quality, in showing their animals, in proving them in endurance or in their training techniques.

I hope you find some of what I've written helpful and

Best Wishes to you,

Liz Dieter
JEVA Farms LLC
Dave
Listen to your husband, now is not a good time to start any business especially one as difficult as breeding horses. To make big bucks, you have to breed worldbeaters and have access to the right marketing channels. No one consistently breeds worldbeaters but if you can consistently breed good useable horses, you're ahead of the game.

If you want to have some fun, get the best mare you can find and show and breed on a small scale. Keep your numbers low and your quality high. One thing that can help is if you keep your horses at home and do you own work. There trade offs such as having to find someone reliable to do the work if you want to travel. I do all my own work because I like doing it but most importantly, I see my horses every day and I know they're getting the best care I can give them.

Dave

QUOTE (FarmgirlAlee @ Mar 8 2009, 06:43 AM)
Hi Everyone!

This is my maiden post, so I appologize for bringing up a heavy subject for my first posting.

So first some back history as to why I am asking this: I have a wonderful opportunity to purchase a sweet little soon-to-be 2 filly that is beautiful with wonderful bloodlines.  (Not that I am partial or anything!)  My goal is to eventually breed her and have a small breeding operation that focuses on quality.  I have interned with a sucessful Egyptian Arabian horse breeder and feel like I have my self pointed in the right direction.

However my husband is less than fully behind me on this.  In fact he thinks I am going to fall flat on my face and take the family with me.  I know the expenses of keeping a horse and breeding her.  Also showing to get her name out there as well.  So what really concerns us is whether I would just be buying a horse that would turn into afriend only, or will I be able to realize my dreams of having a horse ranch?

So how is the Straight Egyptian Arabian market doing?  Are you having good sucess selling your foals when that is desired?  Or do you feel like the current economy has really hurt the industry? 

I really hope I haven't offended anyone with my questions.  I am hoping you all have at least somewhat encouraging news for me so I can encourage my husband.  You can fly if you never leave the ground, right?
*
Dave
I want to add one more thought. We're in for some very hard times. Some economists are talking about a depression maybe not like the great one but a very severe contraction in the economy. Additionally, they politicians don't seem to be doing anything right. They're ignoring what worked in the past and pretty much winging it.

In light of the bad times, there may be opportunities to acquire top quality horses for favorable prices. I know people who acquired some really nice horses in the 1980s after the market collapsed and their breeding programs show the benefits.

Dave
FarmgirlAlee
I really appreciate all the responses. To add a little information-

I know the horse breeder very well. I worked on their horse ranch for about 6 months learning about the breeding aspect of horses. Maternal grand dam, grand sire and the dam were all on the Ranch. Each one is beautiful but also very sweet. They all are trained under saddle in both western and English riding.

The filly's sire is also on the ranch and also has a great temperament. In addition the sire is completely drop dead gorgeous!

I have worked with the filly a bit from the time she was born. She was also imprinted by the ranch owners at birth and was one of the calmest weanlings that I had ever seen.

My overall goal is to have a horse that can be two things- my personal horse to ride and have fun with, but also to do breeding.

Her bloodlines run very strong to Halter so that is probably what I will continue to breed for. However, my local area has a lot of local amateur shows, so I might see how she does in other disciplines as well.

I am going to re-read through all of the responses again and really look at each point to make sure I have good, realistic answers to each! This is helping a great deal. Thank you so much.
carol h61
Years ago on a dressage forum there was a woman called Lucille
Her sayings made me return there time and time again
Because I really thought that had she persued it
She could be a world class phylosepher [spel]

She said [short form]

Horses make you work hard
And dream high
Robert 1
Hi farmgirlAlee,
There has never been a better time than right now to start with an Arabian breeding program of your dreams. biggrin.gif
At the present time all horses are at an all time low because of the economy in the US and now around the world. This means great horses can be bought for some record low prices as many breeders are looking to liquidate what they have stared several years ago and have paid a high price for with money and more importantly there efforts of work in there breeding programs.
I have said for many years the best possible mare needs to be purchased and some rules need to be followed here.
First and foremost after finding the high quality mare that you have spent time researching and is in the direction that you wish to pursue, she needs to be a proven broodmare, never start with a first time mare producer, the reasoning for this is that first time mare producers many times will not accept the foal for a wide range of reasons and this can be dishearting for a beginner and not to mention putting you out of business before you get into the business. Select a mare that has produced foals and now has no issues with producing a foal or getting into foal.
Next don't use a stallion that the good deal is offered on, be prepared to spend for a stud fee and when you are questioning how much, compare in your mind what you have spent for your mare and say to your self only the best will do, then only use a high quality producing stallion that other breeders only wish they had a breeding to so there aren't foals the same as yours in every barn so to speak.
Remember a stallion can't improve upon a mare that is of better quality than he is, the same as no stallion can't fix bad problems on poor mares.
It is better to have one great mare in foal to one great stallion than two of any other combination.
What is spent now in this poor economy will be worth several times that amount in just a few short years to come.
Very seldom is one persons dream the same as anothers even in married couples but, if you succeed in the begining there is a great chance your spouse will join in the cheer with you biggrin.gif wink.gif
Robert,
Echo Hill Arabians
carolmaginn
I have to agree with Dave on all that he said.

In addition I would say to get yourself some mares with great lines that are in demand now. Make sure they are the most beautiful headed horses you can find because no matter how beautiful the body if the head is plain you will have trouble selling it unless its for a performance prospect in which case they don't care. But most of what is selling now is for halter and breeding which must be pretty. It can be less dished as long as the head is short, ears are small, eyes are big and muzzle is small.

If it as a beautiful head with a lousy body you can forget that too... It must have a good body and be able to trot too and and good tail carriage. People who are buying now want the whole horse - head, body and trot... But if there are a few flaws in the body and really nice head they will overlook those body flaws. If its a plain headed stallion with a rare and desired pedigree who has produced really nice foals - who can trot with a nice bodies and nice heads the stallion will still be considered for purchase as a "breeders stallion".

I know of two plain headed stallions now that many people have tried to buy because they are great producers and have a great pedigrees. So if you own such a stallion I recommend breeding him to the best mares you can find to show how well he can produce. And if you can show that he will produce well even with an average mare - well then that really says something about his prepotence too in my opinion.

Because of the market there is a lot of selection so you have to buy or breed better horses then ever.

I would buy a mare with a fantastic pedigree, plainer but still pretty head and a great body if the "type" was in the blood and I had or knew of a stallion who I could breed her to to produce "the whole horse". But I'm not sure that I'm the norm or not. Alot of people want it all right away, but I have found that due to budgets its a little easier to plan for the long term.

If the body was a disaster I would find another mare.

Carol

QUOTE (Dave @ Mar 8 2009, 10:08 AM)
I want to add one more thought. We're in for some very hard times. Some economists are talking about a depression maybe not like the great one but a very severe contraction in the economy. Additionally, they politicians don't seem to be doing anything right. They're ignoring what worked in the past and pretty much winging it.

In light of the bad times, there may be opportunities to acquire top quality horses for favorable prices. I know people who acquired some really nice horses in the 1980s after the market collapsed and their breeding programs show the benefits.

Dave
*
HLM
dear carol

i do not understand your saying 'get mares which are in demand now'
what happens when they are out of demand tomorrow? is this not a suggestion for 'fad breeding'? it would scare me to death, a receipi for failure i think.

take care
hansi biggrin.gif
Kaitiaki
FarmgirlAlee, thanks for starting this topic. I also find myself in a similar situation, so I find all the contributions here very interesting reading.

The way I see the situation is this:
By purchasing one filly, I am not throwing myself into owning a massive breeding operation. Even if I end up just making a riding companion of the filly, then I am happy with that (I already ride my other horse). That is one of the best things a horse can be, as far as I believe. As it will be a number of years before my filly will be of breeding age, it is very hard to gauge what the market will be like then. So much may change in those years... perhaps there will be less demand. Perhaps there will be more. But if I don't jump in and get the filly... I will always regret not doing it.

But, in case there is no demand in a few years... the best thing I can do is:
Buy a filly that I want. One that I will want to ride. One that I will want to go out in the cold and feed. One that I will not begrudge the vet bills. One that I will see every morning and smile. That way if I never breed her, I will be happy with HER. So, yes, I will make sure I like her bloodlines, that her bloodlines are my idea of superior. I will make sure she has good conformation and is sound and athletic. I will make sure she is pretty (or at least not ugly!). But most importantly I will make sure I like her, that I get along with her, and that she makes me smile.

And then I will patiently grow my filly and see what happens with the economy. And cross my fingers, because I would love to breed too! Perhaps I will never have a highly successful stud... but at least I'll have a wonderful friend and beautiful horse to ride.

Best of luck with your filly and all your plans, FarmgirlAlee! smile.gif Hope it brings you much joy!
Liz Salmon
I happen to have seen the filly that FarmgirlAlee is thinking of buying. She is exquisite with great movement and her pedigree contains numerous excellent performance and halter horses, in fact I have seen many of the horses in that pedigree. The temperament was such that I could not get back far enough from her to take photos, she was so friendly and curious. Good luck with her, as she will also make a great riding horse later, I would suggest training her under saddle anyway before thinking of breeding her.
jerelkerby
The economy will come back ....it has before..we came back from the great depression and came through WW 2........this time in your life will not come back. I agree with Robert that this is a great time to buy a quality mare and with Liz S. putting in such good recomendation about the filly then do what your heart tells you. Your husband will come along and love her too. My wife Daphne had never been around horses before we got married and now I feel she loves them as much or more.
Jerel
FarmgirlAlee
Thanks everyone for the feed back!

And Liz- your recommendation means the world to me! I love the filly so much I have to be careful to not start imagining her as the most perfect horse ever! We all want to believe that of horses that touch that special place in our hearts. But ever since I first saw her when she was only about a month old, I just had to have her!

It looks like I am moving forward with my plans for having her. I found a good place to board her and am hoping to bring her home some time in early May.

If that works out, I should be able to start doing some major ground work between us this summer and hopefully by this fall we can do some of the preliminary saddle training. I don't want to rush her as she is still so young. Hopefully by next year we can be getting some nice rides in. Where I will board her at has an indoor and outdoor riding arena so winter riding will be possible!

I am so excited and awed to be entering the world of owning SEAs.
crookedcreek
Great topic everyone. I'm learning a lot. rolleyes.gif

Can anyone give their opinion on whether horses need to be shown in order to sell them, or is conformation/pedigree alone enough to attract buyers? Also what would be the best way to advertise a horse for sale? dry.gif

FarmgirlAlee, your dream is my dream too. biggrin.gif I am also fairly new to having arabian horses (about 2 and 1/2 years). I have 9 horses at this time. I have bred one of my mares for the first time for a foal this year. I did what Liz Salmon had recommended to me which was to take my best mare, a Richter MH daughter and breed her to the stallion I thought would be the best match for her, Imperial Mistaar. I also have shown some of my horses in Class A and B shows, Regionals, US Nationals and The Egyptian Event. Believe me, it can get very expensive especially if you don't have the knowledge or time to train the horses yourself. I have had a couple of horses for sale for quite a while, however I reallly haven't pushed trying to sell them. In fact I have talked several people out of buying them. ohmy.gif ohmy.gif

I look forward to reading the responses of the more experienced owners/breeders. rolleyes.gif


Jan Alexander
Crooked Creek Arabians
Arkansas
FarmgirlAlee
Thanks Jan!

I won't be able to go to the Egyptian Event this year, but I am hoping maybe next year. I think showing does help get your name out, and also maybe some of the better magazines if you are really wanting to get your name and horses out there. I don't have much experience in that department, just watching and learning from what friends have done.

I know for me personally, I would like to see what a stud especially has done in a well known show ring, but I think it is also important to evaluate them for yourself as well.

What are your feelings?

PS- Sorry if I am slow responding our internet is down for a week so I am having to use public access only!
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