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kayla221444

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I first started with minis in 2003 as a christmas gift. An AMHR yearling colt, and a 4 year old AMHR mare. I just wanted them as pets to play around with and never thought of breeding but while my mom was in search she had found Silver Lining Miniatures which she purchased these two AMHR minis from. So she thought it would be cool to breed them. Well I had the minis for a year and my mom really liked them so she bought a pregnant mare. And during foaling she had lost the baby due to only the head and 1 front leg coming out. So I was scared to breed my 2 but then I got up the courage and bred my mare to my stallion which was turning 3. And she did in deed get in foal, but aborted the baby at 6 months. As the time went on my mom kept getting miniatures and now she has 7 to date but are all pet quality. And I sold both my AMHR minis because I never did anything with them after she aborted. And just went back to showing AQHA until prices for everything got to expensive, I decided I would search for my minis again. I purchased 3 wonderful minis over the winter but now I think I am ready to try and slowly start my business since I will be moving to my own farm in a few months....we still have to get it mini ready but it is coming along! So I would love some advice as I am just use to pet quality minis and thats all I ever needed them for....but now I want to further my business with quality show miniatures. so some questions...... :DOH!

What sells in the miniature horse industry for a half way decent price for what the market is?? I see alot of overos sell and buckskins, any thing else?

I know I want to have arabian type miniatures(as thats what is apealing to me, and they seem to do good at shows and selling) what bloodlines do you's find create that nice arabian look and that is well known? Or what bloodlines are well known?

I want to show on a national/world level, so what is a good conformation in a miniature horse? I am use to the AQHA horses! Pictures with examples would be great, like of top lines, necks, etc. I know straight legs and a good bite play a big part in the minis conformation.

What would you guys say a good starter stallion would be if I want to have great quality show foals. Would I buy a stallion that is already on his way to fame, with a good show record? Or buy a young colt with the right looks and show him my self? All though I am new to it....or Do I wait a few years and maybe retain a colt that will help get my farm name out their by showing him after I get experience?

Should all the mares I get have a show record, or mostly just have that wonderful conformation?

Do I have to be in a good state where there is alot of miniature business? Or will just advertising them on the internet be enough? It worked with the AQHA horses
.

I would love everyones input and my plans are to grow over the years not right off hand take it slow and see what I like and what farms are producing what I like and buy a few mares, and that perfect stallion/colt would love arab types and dilutes. I will be keeping the mare in my avartar although she may not be able to get in foal she has a nice show record and that perfect build, but might be selling off my other 2 mares...(not sure yet
)
 

Keri

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I think your best bet is to visit some local (nationally winning farms) and see what stock they have. You also need to decide what you want to show (halter vs. performance) becuase horses are different for each showing areas. Same with breeding. Do you want to breed for halter horses or performance horses??? If you want to breed, you'll also want to show to promote your name. If you don't want to show, are you willing to pay a trainer??? But visit these farms, see what they have and go from there. Good luck! Some minis may look "pet quality", but watch out if they get to jumping and carting.
 

OhHorsePee

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I think if you jump in believing that you will make a lot of money you need to revisit the idea. You will have lots of people pulling you this way and that. Never buy "pretty" look at the whole picture. I like the AMHR/ASPC the best but that isn't true for all. What appeals to you might not appeal to others. I say start off with a pair and see how it goes if you are dead set about breeding. Try it before you buy into it whole hog and lose your patootie.
 
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kaykay

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Like any new business it takes years to see a profit and in horses even more years. Breeding is very stressful and can be very expensive with one bad vet bill and a lot of heartache. Go slow!! Build you herd slowly. Buy only the best you can afford. Go to shows and learn all you can. I have a link at the bottom on a book I wrote on miniature horse conformation. (profits going to cmhr) really know what good conformation is before you pick out breeding horses.

Color is just the icing on the cake but color alone does not sell. Great quality horses sell.

Also keep in mind if you buy a 10,000.00 horse from a well known farm and have to re sell it later YOU will probably not be able to get that big price tag. It takes years to build a reputation etc. I have seen many new people spend huge money thinking they can get it back if they have to sell but it rarely works that way

When buying mares in foal BUY THE MARE not the foal shes carrying. That way if she loses the foal you still have a nice mare that you wanted. There are very few guarantees in breeding.

Get contracts on every horse purchased!! Cant stress that enough!

really research and study different bloodlines to see what you like and what crosses well.

Ill stop now before I write a book LOL

Wishing you the best!
 

bevann

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I read somewhere many years ago- "To make a small fortune in the horse business-start with a large fortune." Many of us have spent lots of money on horses hoping to make money.In my case it didn't happen, but I have had such fun and met such nice people.There are many fine breeders out there who will give you good advice.
 

choclat dreams

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The only thing I can say is you did pick a great breed to use as your horse business. I have worked with big name Arabian trainers and AQHA reining horses, and dressage people. And by far the nices people to do business with and show with are miniature horse people! And the little guys arent bad either
:love
 

JWC sr.

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Advice is a hard thing to judge as far as what t is worth, but with that said here goes my input.


1. Move slowly, educate, investigate- know what you like and are interested in.


2. Buy the best you can find, quality always sells. This does not mean the highest priced horse is the best though, but be prepared to pay for what you get in most cases. :DOH!

3. Attend a bunch of shows and also join a local mini club to surround yourself with people of like interests as a support group.


4. Double registered horses give you the ability to market to a wider range of potencial customers.


5. Color is nice, but conformation and movement are more important. You can add color as a secondary goal.


6. Be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort promoting your horses as that is what it takes to become recognized within the industry. things such as shows, magazine advertising etc.etc. always helps.


7. Establish a breeding plan and stick to it. Evaluate your results each year and hoenstly adjust/cull your breeding horses.


8. Have fun at this, if you don't you will not last long.


Good Luck with your endeavor, it is a ambitous one.
 

Jill

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I think John has some excellent advice.

The only thing I would add / stress is to have a good career. I've done and do what John suggests and it's my career as a financial coach that makes it possible
 

RobinRTrueJoy

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oh my.... you have received some good advice. I can only add a few things.

Be prepared to have your heart broken at times. As you have seen with your mom's mare, foaling isn't always easy. Sure, we hear of foals born without anyone attending them but they were lucky. Be prepared and educate yourself. READ and study, find a mentor and work with her to learn. Watch videos of foalings. There is no time to sit and wait for a vet. In a dystocia or red bag, you have to get in there yourself and just DO IT!

DON'T BREED if you DON'T have some sort of alarm set up like a Breeder alert, or equi-page AND a barn camera. At VERY LEASTyou need a baby monitor and a foal buzzer (this set up will cost about $125 total)so it will wake you up hearing the buzzer. Even if you set an alarm every hour and check on the mare, bad things can happen in that hour and it will be too late to save the mare/foal.

Don't expect to make money. Be prepared to SPEND a lot of money. Be prepared to be in debt.

Be prepared to lose MAJOR amounts of sleep..

Breed only the best that you can afford. Don't buy a bunch of average or less horses because they are inexpensive. Better to buy one good mare and one good stallion. or send the mare out to be bred to a great stallion.

The market is flooded with minis. It's hard to sell right now. Will you be able to hold onto the babies as they grow and not get sold? Do you have the room and can you afford to feed them and vet them well if they all stay?

If you can do all these things for the love and betterment of the breed, enjoy, have fun, and good luck in your new venture.
 

sfmini

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I strongly suggest going to Nationals and Worlds and WATCH! Go to the AMHA regional shows. Go to the World Show sale and WATCH.

Set goals, write a business plan, grow slowly, especially in this economy.

Have fun.
 

Genie

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We bought videos from the National Show and can watch them over and over, because distance to travel to the show is prohibitive.

We have a specific plan with regard to size and we prefer certain colours.

We also prefer double registered, but have some "R" only horses which we have bred from our own stock.

Make sure you have "a plan" and STICK to it.

I believe "Quality over Quantity" should be the "watchword"

We have on occassion purchased at auction and when we do it will only be "mare with foal at side" or weanlings, yearlings or 2 year olds.

There are too many stories told at auction and it's "buyer beware" if that's where you shop.

If you buy at the gate ask lots of questions and see how honest you think the seller is judging by the answers to your questions.

I try to be as honest and open as possible because word of mouth travels fast and I want to keep being able to sell my stock.
 

ontherisefarm

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Alot of good advice on here... Horses are not what you would call a profitable business. Breeding especially.Those that make money get lucky most people lose or break even. I love my horses and they are my hobby. If I ran them as a business I would be belly up from vet bills and such. LOL I get love and enjoyment from mine. I do wish you the best of luck though... Take care,
 
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Carolyn R

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Great advice given to you already. One othe rthing that I need to add, be honest with yourself about the horses you may or will breed. Don't try to justify breeding a horse with (stifle, bad bites, dwarfy plus many more) confirmation issues by saying that you can match that horse with so and so and eliminate their faults.

And hold your integrity and honesty above all else. When it comes down to it, that is all you have. I would rather have someone say they have never heard anything about my horses, than that they have heard all bad stuff about my horses and me.
 
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Reijel's Mom

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Talk to local breeders (I'm not sure where you're from) and see what the market is like in your area right now, to see if it's a smart time to be breeding.
 

Riverdance

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Buy Quality over quantity!!! That goes for color too, as well as some pedigrees. What is a fad today, will not be a fad tomorrow, but a quality horse will always sell.

There are too many farms breeding for color or pedigree. They will be sucessful for a couple of years, because they have the color, or the prdigree. BUT, often they do not have the quality because color or pedigree always comes first on their farm. They can not see what a quality horse looks like, so they go for cute, color or the pedigree.

Look throught the magazines, go to some shows and look to see what you like and what wins. Remember what wins at local shows may not win at the World show.

Go to the AMHR National and the AMHA World show. see what is winning at those shows and what you like or do not like about the horses.

To be educated, will go a long way towards making money.

You do not have to spend a fortune on the big farms, as you will often be paying for their name. There are smaller farms that have the same or similar qualitly but their horses are priced half of what the big farms are charging.

Remember that it takes years to build a good herd and a reputation for good horses. It also costs as much to feed a poor quality horse as it does to feed a good quality horse.

PET QUALITY SHOULD NEVER BE BRED!! So get the best you can. If you can only afford horses in the low price range, then perhaps you should buy a good quality gelding and just have fun showing it. Still today, a good quality horse is going to cost a few to several thousand dollars, even on the farms that are not as well known, but still have quality horses.
 

kayla221444

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Thanks all for the inputs and great information. I wont be able to visit any local show farms as their are none, I am in UPSTATE NY :DOH! . So another question when do foals normally sell in the early spring, or later summer?

I guess I will add a few things now. I have 3 quality minis right now but I just consider them pets because I dont show them I breed them occasionaly and am happy with the results and the foals have always sold after weaning. But now I want to get into showing and breeding more with better quality mares and stallions with show records, and promote my farm. 1 of my mares has a record in showing but hasnt been shown by me yet and to me she is everything I would look for in another mare
(so maybe I can post pictures for your critics, to see if you's consider he quality).

I do have some advantages to the business, as the new farm I will have my miniatures at we have over 40 acers of good quality hay fields, and we get the hay for free because we let someone else cut and bale the hay and they just get some free hay out of the deal. So that is one GREAT advantage. Which helps save up money for vetting etc., or outside breeding to great stallions.


What does a good quality show mare/filly normally sell for? I know the colts and stallions go for a little less depending on the quality.
 

bevann

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Be prepared to do lots of travel.If you are in upstate NY there are not many Mini shows in your area.The big shows where you can see lots of quality Minis are in KY, TX and OK.There are a few big Mini farms who show in MA,NY,PA DE, KY TX etc.You will have to travel lots.
 

Michelle@wescofarms

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Lots of good advice already.

Best advice - put your wallet away for at least a year. Then study study study!

Subscribe to the magazines (we hae three really good ones now!), attend shows, watch videos, read the books out there, join both registries and get their studbooks study the bloodlines that keep coming up or you are attracted to, visit all the farms online you can, join local or regional clubs, make ranch visits, attend auctions - anything you can - until you know what a 'quality' mini is and can answer all the questions you're asking now.

That will give you time to get your plan in place, determine what you like and what sells, (what if what sells isn't what you like - are you prepared to breed that?) and put money aside for your breeding stock, vet bills, etc. Otherwise you will get some 'horse-trader' to talk you into the next best thing or a package deal you can't live without or the great-great-great of what-his-name that you just have to have or . . .

As one of those that was talked into horses I didn't need and have done things very backwards - I always tell new people educate yourself before not after the sale! It's okay to buy on emotion when it's a pet that is just going to be your ga-ga to play with and enjoy, but not when it s breeding animal. I truly feel your breeding stock should be the best quality you can get and be double registered, DNA/PQ tested, great pedigrees, solid conformation, good movement and decent temperament.

Good advice from an old time big horse breeder - buy the best mares you can and breed them to better stallions.
 

Margot

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There are actually quite a few miniature horse shows in NY state, the closest to you may be the NY state fair show in August. This is an AMHR show but many of the horses will be double registered, there are currently no AMHA shows in NY, and at that show you will see horses that are already AMHR National Champions and are very high quality. It is certainly a good place to go and just see quality horses, a little farther away is the Area ! show in Horseheads, NY where again you will see top quality horses from New England, NY, PA, Maryland, Del. etc. Watch the judging, talk to breeders, see what type of horse you like and than look around for horses for sale that will meet your expectations. I would not advise buying at sales as many of the horses at sales have unknown problems, buy from a breeder and get a contract that spells out things like guaranteed breeder etc.
 

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