I thought I'd start a new thread with this question. We've all impatiently awaited the arrival of our new babies and are not only crazy silly about them but feel that we have a maternal stake in each other's foals too. I know some of us have bred for foals to keep, but I'm guessing that some of us may have bred to promote their stallion or with the intention to sell their foals.
My original intention, as this was my first year at breeding, to sell these foals and breed the mares back. I didn't anticipate becoming so emotionally attached to Malik...but the little stinker certainly has stolen my heart. I have received a very decent offer for both Chasse and Malik and realize I've fooled myself into thinking I could be prepared to part with him.
Does anybody else plan on selling their foal? If you've sold them in the past, how do you cope with saying good-bye? Is it difficult each time or is it just harder to part with the first foal you've been waiting to be born for what you could swear would be 2 years of agonizing impatience, sleep deprivation and enough worry you could have started a wart factory????
Cyndy: Hey buddy. I too have bred my mares to sell these foals. Not to promote my stallion, but unfortunately, there is not enough room in the inn. We are building our home this year on our 40 acres and when that is completed, it goes up for sale. My husband and I really want to have 100-150 acres...so he can increase his cattle herd and so "Bobbi can keep her babies and promote them." Unfortunately, I love my mares and they were bought for specific reasons. Not only for their riding abilities but for their traits in breeding.
Echo is a solid paint breeding stock. She is full of top notch performance quarter horse and is a stunning example of quarter horse qualities. My stallion is a registered loud paint but also has quarter horse AND thoroughbred lineage. He is more the "running quarter" build and has both agility and stride. Which brings me to Blossom and her purpose in foaling...a nice leggy, TBish baby.
I am promoting the sale of Echo's baby in the typical performance/agility type market. He is already amazing with his build and future performance qualities.
I am promoting the sale of Blossom's baby in the paint horse racing industry. This baby will have incredible build and performance promise in this arena.
Lena's, when it is born in June, will be more of a halter horse quality. Lena is an amazing reining/cutting horse who is built like a brick wall. She is a foundation bred quarter horse mare and her foal should be a real stocky example.
How do you say good-bye...you are picky about who you sell to. Then you cry alot. You do get attached to them. When you breed with the intent to sell, you have to keep that in the back of your mind. Prepare your little one to go on in life. Its a good idea, in my opinion anyway, to take the time to have lots of people meet and greet your baby while he's in your care. I find that if you develop a human bond and keep it to yourself, when the time comes that they must go and trust another human they don't know...its very stressful for them. These babies need to learn that there are more humans in the world other than just us. It certainly makes the transition easier on them when they have to go.
And yes, its difficult each time. I can't imagine that you could pour your heart and soul into the care and delivery of these babies without the pain of saying goodbye. (OK...now I'm depressed!)
I cope with "saying good-bye" by thinking about the great price I am getting for my hard work and good breeding selection. That the horse is going to a good home that will be able to promote him/her as he/she should be. That the price for the foal is money I can re-invest in my own breeding and/or show program.
i.e., I don't just sell a horse to anybody that decides they want it. I think you can ease some of your anguish be being selective about who you sell your foal to. I am now breeding for Western Pleasure horses and I want to make sure my foals go to "show" homes. Foals that are ultimately shown and campaigned just boost my mare(s) reputation and the price of future foals. When my mare's reputation is boosted, then great stallions are easier to breed to, etc. I want stallion owners to WANT to breed my mares. The better stallions I can breed to then the better foals I have and hopefully the process continues to escalate.
My quest for the perfect foal and mating is still unresolved. There is always next foaling season and you will get just as "attached" to those foals/foal.
If you are having a really anguished time selling a foal, then maybe the breeding business isn't for you. There isn't anything wrong with that. Its okay to keep one or two (or three or four), we all do that. I do that for my own show stock and to get new/better blooded broodmares.
But if it is truly a heart-wrenching experience to sell a foal/broodmare, etc. then think twice before you breed that mare/mares again.
Geez, Bobbi, it's good to know others struggle too. I thought all along that my plan was perfect! hehehehe. That these babies would be superb in halter performance and when it came time to transitioin them on to their new owners, it would be non-traumatic I guess!
I agree with you completely about the importance of teaching them to trust humans and develop those bonds before sending them off. Leaving mom and of course, surrogate moms ()has got to be stressful and frightening for them. Silly me, I just underestimated how fond I would become of the little stink! He really cracked me up this morning when I turned them out. He'd run up to the front of the tractor and rear up at it like he was a big stud then crow hop a few times before galavanting off to the safety of mom!
Hey I don't know where to go....April or May Foalwatch! hahahah...Sassye is as big as the side of a barn and waddles like an old mama duck! No bag yet and only 21 days till her due date of May 6th. Don't know if she'll make it. Poor thing.
Catherine, you are so right about being selective in who purchases the foals. I've declined selling horses to people before that I had a bad feeling about or got really negative vibes in regard to their ability to provide for the horse. And I agree, the $$$$ is a nice incentive to sell the foals each year I isn't that it is too much of a heart wrenching problem...I think it was more just catching me by surprise like it did. And, if I was going to keep one, this colt would definitely be a keeper, as he is the spitting image of his sire who is very desireable (in my opinion anyway) and sucessful in show thus far. But, like Bobbi, my acerage and facilities do dictate how many horses I can realistically maintain.
Cyndy: Poor Sassye...she sounds like my poor Echo who was sooooo miserable. (I think she's more miserable now with little stinker out!) Really...no bag at all and she only has 3 weeks to go??? Is she a maiden or a pro? Hehehe...you may have to roll-over to May.
I'm struggling with the whole selling part too I bred my mare three times with the plan of selling 2 foals. I still have all three and the youngest is about to turn 4. I still play with selling the youngest (she's the chestnut sabino that I've posted pictures of) but then I start worrying who will buy her. Now that the horse market is in the crapper I worry even more that my horse could end up in a bad situation.
I have a 5 (soon to be 6) yr old stallion that I NEED to get a foal on the ground to show what he can produce but it worries me at the same time. I guess all you can do is promote any stallion you have and then make sure you are breeding to great mares so you produce the best you possibly can. Like Catherine stated, my program is directed mainly towards show homes (arabian sport horses) and hopefully that will be enough.
Tracy: Hahaha...I call that accumulating horses. Been there, done that. Funny how we can find so much potential in these babies that we hang on to them!
And you are right...the horse market is in the crapper, along with the hog market and the cattle market. I went to the local horse sale last month and people tied up 3 horses to the sale barn and drove off because they couldn't afford the hay to feed them anymore, left a note posted by them-free...no one at the sale even bid on them! How sad is that? I just wonder how many show/performance people will be affected by the higher gas/feed/expense involved and will reduce their own stock, much less take on the purchase of new stock?!?!
She's a maiden Bobbi....so who knows what is going to happen. I swear that baby is turned completely sideways in her with his nose stretched out one direction & his back feet the other!
Tracy I do think that when you promote your stallion, as Catherine said, by breeding to good quality mares, you not only boost the reputation of your mares but of your entire breeding program, including your stallion. Then, when you market to show homes, whatever the discipline may be, you want to believe that if anybody is going to pay good money for these horses & show them,(at a time when like u said, the market is in the crapper) they will likely take good care of them too. At least, I want to believe that is how it works.
Cyndy, He is a cutie. He will grow to be a yearling stud colt though so keep that in mind.
Only you can make the decision of whether or not to sell your foal. Keep him if you want to and just don't breed your mare back until the market gets better if you don't want to crowd yourself.
I agree the market is totally flat right now. Of course there will always be a level of people who show horse that aren't affected by gas prices, etc., but a vast majority ARE.
I think there will always be a market for good horses in any discipline. That is why getting the best bloodlines I can afford, etc. is important to me. I would like to think my foals go to the top shelf types of folks.
However, the reality of each and every one of my babies being sold to such people is not highly probable.
I too always have it in the back of my mind the foal that "could have been" but the owners went bust, or lost interest, etc.
An absolutely excellent thing to bring to a prospective buyers attention, particularly if you are a bit "leery" about the buyer is Tom Lenz "Owning Responsibly". Here is a link to more info about it. Lenz is a reasonable fellow that has some good advice. http://www.imh.org/news.php?articleID=77&pageid=73§ionid=9
If you really get the "willies" about a buyer, then DON'T SELL your colt. Sometimes its better to wait on someone "better" to come along. Just because someone wants to buy doesn't necessarily mean they are the right person to own your horse.
One option is to sell the colt with an option that you will take him back at an agreed up price if things don't work out for him with his new family. Now this is barring some catastrphic event that would render him worthless or something. This can get complicated as things can happen to the foal once he leaves your place and you aren't in control. But it can be an option if your heartstrings just won't let you let go entirely.
Cyndy: He is adorable...and look! He's got that lil bit of "stinker" in his eye. Hahaha! Just have to razz you a bit!
Catherine: I hope you're right. I'm just afraid that the economy is going bust and I'm old enough to have seen this before where GREAT horses ended up being sold down the line. My greatest horse...my long-time friend (and stallion for 12 years) ended up being sold from the person I sold him to, who sold it to someone else...several years later I tried to find him again. His registration papers were never updated and I was shown as the last owner. No doubt in my mind that he ended up with a sad fate. Makes me ill to even think about it. But...like you said...there are no guarantees. Wouldn't it be nice if we all had 500 acres and no need to have a job to support us? Wow...now that's what Horse Heaven must be like!
Cyndy,I am so glad you asked that question. I, with one foundation broodmare, am already thinking of expanding. Of course, that means, more babies and some must be sold. I've had the same thoughts; "will they have good homes," and "can I stand to part with them?"
Thank-you all for sharing on this issue.
Bobbi, I too crave a hundred acres or so. May never get it, but I will in time have 40+ acres. I am finally back into horses. Took a divorce to do it!
Which brings me to another question, very basic as it is. I want to get involved and know not, how to start. I don't even know what futurity is, that's how ignorant I am of all this. Of course, I can and will look it up.
I have this lovely QH mare out of doc bar and baby to be, out of Fresno's Poco Badger. Don't you just love the way we sort of leave Mom out?
Anyway, I think I ought to take advantage of such good breeding. I've seen her foals out of the same stallion and they are nice. Even as a novice, I can see that.
So how does one begin? Do you enter into halter classes? I don't even know how to show and don;t have a truck and trailer. Do I go to a trainer for me and the foal?
I have tried to find clubs and organizations nearby. So far, none, but I'm sure they are here. Lots of horses in the area. Perhaps I ought to ask at the university where I bought the mare. Might be a good start. Any ideas are appreciated? Thanks.
Jan Owen Senior Stallion or Mare Username: 1frosty1
Post Number: 1417 Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 04:10 pm:
Cj~You live in CA too Where abouts? Up in the Fresno area? My family has been going to Huntington Lake since I was 4 (now 47!) Long time. I mostly trail ride and of course I have a different breed of horses but I joined the CA Paso Fino horses association and have gotten lots of support and information. Showed my home grown year old gelding for the first time in March and he took 1st and 2nd..for a novice to the show ring I was pretty excited...but more important he has a sound mind, bomb proof and is a wonderful trail horse...
I have had many a long talk with myself regarding selling my babies but here is my logic....
I spent a lot of time and study choosing my mares who are all young at this time. My loyalty is to them. I have made them broodmares and know that without proper care and love their lives are endangered by the year in, year out breeding SO my loyalty is to them....to care, protect, and give them a good home for what they give me...beautiful babies.
These babies must be sold to ensure the future of their mothers. I see the babies as an extension of the mares I care about so much but not the same as the mare I chose and promised to care for.
So my energy goes into good homes for the babies, and breeding to the best stallions I can to enhance the reputation of the mare.
I may keep a filly from time to time but each really great foal causes me to give thanks to my mare and secures her place on my farm.
Jan, I do live near Fresno. I guess I'll just have to keep looking for something local. I don't ride, just because my mare is not sound; poor thing. But I will be buying a good riding horse and potential broodmare as well, within six months I expect. I also want to start taking riding lessons.
Where do you live? You have trails near by? I'm glad you have such a nice gelding and congrats on your win! I think I'd like to show my foal.
Terry, I like your philosophy. I love my mare dearly too and am committed to her care. I think you are right; you strive for the best you can get. I am lucky to have gotten such a nice mare that I could afford, bred to a nice stallion.
I'm thinking of going for both a nice stallion and color next time around, if I breed her again. I will do so, providing the vet says it is okay.
A palomino with white mane and tail, or paint or overo would be nice. She will more than likely throw a bay this time, I like them too. I am planning on keeping this foal.
Anyway, this is a great site and I'm learning a lot! Lots of great people out there with horses.
Terry, thank you for really putting it into proper prospective for me. Don't know about anybody else, but I agree with you completely and in viewing it that way it will definitely make it easier for me to part with this stinker. Your horses are truly lucky that they have you as their herd leader!! hahaha
Catherine I am considering sitting this breeding season out to see what happens with the market.
Bobbi, Cj, I'd like to have 100+ acres some day too. I can always dream can't I? If it wasn't for all my four legged kids I might could retire early....nawwwwwww....I like having them around even if it means keep working!
I breed pony hunters(welsh x tb and welsh x arab). I don't sell them young so I don't have the worry about sending my babies out into the big world. The market for sell them under the age of 3 has always been poor, there are very few show to compete at in Florida for the babies and it is quite expensive to boot. Yes a few do sell for big $'s but most don't. You can usually get the pick of the litter for $3500 or less as a weanlings and the rest you can get for $1500 or less. So I keep my ponies until they are 4 yrs old and train them before selling, the ponies don't cost that much to raise. The price of my ponies range from $7,000 to $25,000 depending on their size, training and ridablity. I always keep my eyes open for a steal, like Bucky who is a Reg Welsh Arab 8 month old colt I traded for a breeding to my stallion which cost me about $10 for extender and other collecting supplies. I'll probably end up buying that foal next year for $500 when it is weaned, it would cost me 3 time that to feed the mare and get the foal to weaning age. It would be very disturbing for me to sell my ponies at weaning no matter how big of a check I got but by the time they are 4 I'm so glad to get rid of them.
It is hard....... I make sure to find a GOOD home that fits. I also have kept in touch with my first foals new family--they send updated pics of him.. He sure doesn't look like my baby anymore.
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: