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?
Welcome to SE.com! You have just accessed a wealth of knowledge and opinions
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
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,
JEVA Farms LLC