just out of curiousity

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I don't want to step on any toes so please don't be offended by my question.

I am just curious as to what people's reasoning is for breeding so many horses when the market is so bad. Yes, I know, there is always a market for quality, but when farms are breeding 5+ horses, and get maybe 1 or 2 quality horses that could potentially sell for big bucks, what happens to the rest of the foal crop?
Quality's important to me. We had 3 foals this year and it's our first year breeding. We put years of learning and showing in before breeding. We got our first mini in 1999.............

I don't know why anyone would breed if they didn't expect to get a good result, but one problem is everyone usually thinks they get a good result!!!

There are farms I admire than breed a dozen or more horses annually and they're typically all the type I would be proud to own. They are breeders who know what they're doing and do not just put two horses together because they can. They also have no trouble finding people who want to buy their foals
I don't know that I consider "five plus" foals a *lot*, but I will answer your question.

First off, I will be having a total of five foals this year, and I am breeding for what I would like to keep. Every year I choose a minimum of one, but many times more, foals to keep for myself, to show and to add to my breeding program in the future. So far this year I've had two fillies and both are keepers.
Some of the other foals are sold to established miniature owners, and some are sold to first-time miniature buyers. I also sell adult horses at times. For our market to stay healthy, we NEED new people to get into miniatures, and that is something that I tend to do a lot of.
It's very rewarding to help people learn all about minis and what can be done with them, and many times those first-time buyers turn into repeat buyers for me, and they refer other people to me as well. I've sold five horses so far this year with no advertising, and three of those horses went to new-to-minis buyers. I may not be getting "big bucks" for some of these horses but they are of good quality and can at the very minimum be competitive in performance classes if their new owners so desire.
I appreciate everyone's response and I am in no way trying to be judgmental about the topic

Personally, I think there's a difference between breeders who take the time to plan and executive a plan and then take the time to show their foals and put work into them vs. breeders who breed a lot of horses solely with the intention of selling them right away to make a profit (not implying anyone here does this)

I have had two foals myself in the past three years and both are still with me and will hopefully become my new show horses.

but one problem is everyone usually thinks they get a good result!!!
There are farms I admire than breed a dozen or more horses annually and they're typically all the type I would be proud to own. They are breeders who know what they're doing and do not just put two horses together because they can. They also have no trouble finding people who want to buy their foals

I absolutely agree

A big pet peeve of mine is seeing a farm with every single mare bred. And even worse, when those mares have nothing to show for and even worse, horrible conformation. The mare AND the stallion needs to be excellent IMO. The stallion shouldn't have to make up for what the mare is lacking.
Is the market that bad?? I think if you hear it is enough you will make it a self fulfilling prophecy. I have sold more horses in the last year then all the years I have been in this. Now granted the market isnt what it was when I first got in, but I still think its a good market. I have friends that have sold foals as soon as they were born this year.

Last year we had two fillies and I had many people wanting to purchase both of them but we kept them both. This year we have 5 coming (the most we have ever had in one year) and have already had a lot of interest in them. I have 3 people from different states that are coming after foaling season to check them all out. Im hoping to keep one but will just have to wait and see.

As to what happens to the ones that are not show quality......I think so many people concentrate on halter quality when in fact many people want driving, performance horses. I just sold one that probably wouldnt do well in halter but will excel in driving and performance. This is a really growing market as some people do not want to show in halter. I have sold other horses to families that wanted a good well trained 4H horse. People are amazed when they come here that the horses are well mannered, able to be caught and halter broke. So I guess my point is the registry show ring is not the only purpose for horses. There are many different avenues out there to have fun with a horse. We all know not every foal born is destined to be halter champion.
I hope anyone breeding intends to make a profit otherwise you're not going to be doing it for very long! I love to hear people say they only breed to improve the breed - well that is peachy, but if you can't pay you're bills then what? I guess I should clarify that as I'd be happy the horses were covering their bills as it is the goal, pure profit - what an idea LOL!!!

Elsa the majority of people that breed for the fast buck, with everything bred that can be don't read this forum - at least I think they don't! I think (my opinion) the majority of the Forum family tries to be conscentious about breeding and we're all doing our best to improve upon the breed, but therein lies the problem we don't have a set breed standard to work from so everyone's idea of the 'perfect' mini is different and will be that way as long as we're a catch-all height registry.

As to the current 'market' well it always fluctuates by the time of the year and in a presidential year the economy is always all over the board! Here we breed based on what I want to be dealing with a year out which horses will be on the sales list, retiring, etc. We have a herd that we're reducing down slowly but flucuates between 50-60 minis. Last year we had one foal, this year I have 13 coming. We've sold three minis since mid-February with three more under contract this past month, so what we'll breed for 2009 will depend on the balance of this foal crop (all due by the end of the month) as I may decide to keep a few which means breeding will be adjusted to reflect that (I don't start breeding until May).

You said - The mare AND the stallion needs to be excellent IMO. The stallion shouldn't have to make up for what the mare is lacking.

Do I expect a stallion to correct a mares faults - yes and I expect her to correct his - there isn't a perfect horse out there - if there is show me. Are there ones that too me are darn near - heck yes!!! BUT even those bred to the very best don't always produce uber-foal! Now I'm not excusing those that breed bad bites, bad legs, glaring conformational faults, etc - NO WAY - that is plain stupid and shouldn't go on but you can't stop those people. The best we can do is make sure we're not contributing to the problem!

My own herd though has plenty of room for improvement (I'd be blind or a liar to say there isn't!), but I do try and selectively with lots of thought breed better every year. That is part of breeding though - the fun, science and experience is learning which traits cross well and which don't. If there were a set pattern (like building a model car) we'd all be doing that and making a decent income - at least I hope so LOL!

The best any breeder can ever hope for is to take the best mares and breed to better stallions and then wait and see. I'd love a guarantee that would always work - but it doesn't - funny how life works that way.

Should the halter horse be a goal/standard - sure but not at the cost of useablity and function! If a horse can't move or think then we're sacrificing to much for pretty! Also if the two associations can ever come up with a BREED standard that would give everyone a place to hold and judge to.

My personal market is other breeders and people new to minis - I don't show and don't market that way - although my stock is all chosen based on their abilities to be shown (conformation, soundness of mind/body, spirit, intelligence) and comes from reputable show stock. Along with that and which I feel is very important good fertility, no inheritable genetic flaws, and breeding ability (easy to get in foal/keep in foal and good dam or easy to breed stallion - not aggressive, etc) as those qualities are extremely important and so often overlooked..

I have no problems selling horses and will refuse numerous homes until the 'right' fit comes along if need be. Fortunately I'm in a position that I can do that, I would hate for it to be otherwise, as I won't sell to someone if I think it's a bad idea - I've passed up some big $$$ NOT selling to dingdongs that have no reason to be owning a horse. They have no problem with finding them elsewhere surprisingly as there are sellers out there that well it's what they do.

Okay - novel over.
I sold 3 horses since the first of the year with no problem to very good homes.

I also have others for sale maybe but I don't care if they sell or not. I'm lucky to be able to have that choice.

I think the market is bad for that "middle of the road" type horse. I think the horses under $500 sell fast and the very high priced horses with show records sell good but the ones stuck in the middle bracket don't move so hot.

I do believe the market will ralley in time if everyone would cut down on the large numbers they breed.

Does anyone really need to breed huge numbers of horses a year?
I will agree with Magic. I also breed to try to increase my own herd with horses I can use that I like. If I could have something besides boys, that would be a plus, LOL I have handpicked the few horses I have to breed the best quality I can - that is first and foremost. At this time, I plan on keeping the little filly born this year.

There is NO guarantee that two halter or driving champions bred together will produce another, or even a horse that is above 'pet' quality- it just depends. These are the risks of breeding anything- birds, dogs, cattle, horses, etc...

I had three foals this year, and if the boys are not sold, they will be kept until they find an appropriate home. (However have already had a couple of inquiries on one that was JUST born)

We have seen a big decline in the market here- my foals have always been sold by weaning time and I still have a filly left from last year and my neighbors have noticed the market has been very slow for them too. Different areas may be more 'economically challenged' than others. The housing market went absolutely NUTS here a couple of years ago, people were literally fighting over homes offered and they were selling in MINUTES when they hit the market, for ridiculous prices. There are now brand new homes that have never been lived in that have been sitting for a YEAR that have not sold or been lived in. With gas being so ridiculous too and the dramatic increase in groceries, utilities and other things it has affected, it has not been a fun year here.

Years ago, when a good portion of the jobs started going overseas, I wondered how long it would take the 'backlash' to hit....

Anyhow, that is getting way off subject here, but I too dont breed for anything I would not mind keeping myself, and hope that others see the same qualities in them that I do.

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