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Carolyn R

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Sadly true and sadly not just the minis, but due to their compact size and ease of care ( or so one perceives) it is more common with minis in inexperienced hands. I see this with the gypsy vanners. Highs price tags, but people will buy what they can afford, then realize, hey wait, it has repro organs, I can offset my purchase price with a few breedings or a few foals. There are some ugly ducklings out there with shoddy conformation, and there is a huge span in price from high to low. Unfortunately, like the minis did over time, the high end will be pulled down by the low end and by individuals that can not tell quality from non quality. My GV is being gelded tomorrow, can't wait, vet wanted to wait till sping hope all is a go ahead in the morning.

As for minis, been there, done that, gelded the boys leaving, regardless of being nice quality, sorry if one does not agree. Some think that it is extra money a breeder needs to shell out and then it limits their potential client base. It comes with the territory, just another added expense responsible breeders accept ( unless of coarse you are grooming that excellent show colt into an exceptional stallion with the intent to breed or keep within the realm of breeders) but more often than not, geld, geld, geld..... I have to say their was a seemingly offensive thread quite a while ago, but it is a wake up call for newbies that do not realize the commitment it takes the heartache that follows. We all start somewhere, but it must be evaluated and researched seriously and not on a whim when it comes to breeding. The thread was Newbies Wake Up.
 
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JaySTL

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I'm very inexperienced with horses, but may I ask why a gelding would make a better pet than a mare? Is the primary concern in regards to backyard breeding or are there temperament issues with mares that I need to be aware about? What are your opinions about shelters, rescues or older mares? I'm not ready for one and probably won't make a decision for at least a year, but the mare I like is a rescue and 15 years old. Would that kind of mini be appropriate for a newbie or is there something that I need to know about mares that makes them unsuitable?
 

targetsmom

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To answer the question about mares being useful, we are turning our former broodmares into 4-H projects and they are doing great. We turn out geldings and mares out together with no trouble and pretty much treat them the same - as in everyone has a job other than making more minis! Well, we did breed 2 for this year but then we will be DONE breeding, One of the pregnant mares was a 4-H project last year and did great with everything from showing at the 4-H Fair to working with our special needs member,. I happen to prefer mares to geldings, but that is a personal preference. Some mares can be moody and geldings are felt to be more uncomplicated (mood wise anyway).

ETA: Just like anything else, not ALL mares would be suitable for newbies or 4-Hers. I don't have experience with rescues, but if an any animal has been abused there could be issues that a newbie would find hard to deal with. Some rescues have been in fine homes and just need a new one. Like anything else, do you homework and know what it is you want.
 
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Riverrose28

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To respond to JST about mares, we have several grandchildren that like to show, and believe me, we do 4-H plus the open rated shows. Geldings don't have the hormonal issues that a mare has when being shown by a child. We once had a mare that was open, ametuer and youth champion in the rated shows, plus 4-H, but, if she was in season, sometimes she would act up, if you know what I mean, in the ring when surrounded by stallions and geldings and it would embarress our young granson. Seems the judges would understand her position, but it would upset my grandson to no end, we breed her and sold her. It was a shame as she was was an awesome show mare, but we couldn't afford to have her sterilized as prices here on the east coast are outragious.
 

MountainWoman

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I love mares. My mares are so loving and fun to be around. Some people will tell you they can be moody during their seasons but I think it depends on the mare. Each horse is an individual whether it is a gelding or a mare or a stallion. If you have the opportunity to work with a rescue and you can go and visit the horses and see how you get along with each one and what the rescue people think of the horse you are interested in that would be a good way to start. I wouldn't let the fact the horse you like is a mare deter you at all if you are a match in other ways.
 

Jean_B

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JaySTL - If you are as inexperienced as you say - a rescue is NOT something I would recommend because they USUALLY have needs that go way above and beyond the "norm" in terms of specialized nutrition, specialized farrier work, specialized dental work, specialized muscle and social rehabilitation...the task can be very daunting even for someone with as many years of experience as I have (well over 40 years of hands-on experience). I've taken on two rescues over the years (a yearling filly and a 4 year old stallion), and the amount of time, energy, knowledge and dedication required is HUGE, not to mention facilities, etc. They can have so many things go wrong that are not immediately apparent, and you really need to know what you are doing when things go sideways.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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JaySTL - If you are as inexperienced as you say - a rescue is NOT something I would recommend because they USUALLY have needs that go way above and beyond the "norm" in terms of specialized nutrition, specialized farrier work, specialized dental work, specialized muscle and social rehabilitation...the task can be very daunting even for someone with as many years of experience as I have (well over 40 years of hands-on experience). I've taken on two rescues over the years (a yearling filly and a 4 year old stallion), and the amount of time, energy, knowledge and dedication required is HUGE, not to mention facilities, etc. They can have so many things go wrong that are not immediately apparent, and you really need to know what you are doing when things go sideways.

I think that would depend on the rescue. Jay could buy a horse from someone and still get those problems and maybe even worse.... a genuine rescue will at least tell you what issues the horse may have, whereas a seller may just "wanna git rid of it" and Jay gets the horse home, finds it's been tranked, can't touch it, can't catch it, can't get ahold of the people he's/she's bought the horse from. We've ALL heard/had THOSE horror stories.

Bottom line- do your research before you buy/adopt!
 

Jill

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Bottom line- do your research before you buy/adopt!
And really know that the purchase price or adoption fee is such a small fraction of what it will take to simply maintain your horse. I want all animals to have good homes, but when it comes down to what's going to work well for us... I don't want pre-set issues if they can be avoided. When "we" make horses every day, the issues really can be avoided (meaning there is so much to choose from). When superior quality can be bought for not too much right about now (and the past several years) and when that price is contrasted to what you just will spend in maintenance, I think people should first be educated about what it takes to own and keep a horse, and what to look for in a horse,, and then go and get what will make them happy -- a lot of times, their best bet will be a reputable breeder.
 
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Riverrose28

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Jill just made a wonderful comment on buying from a reputable breeder! Problem that I'm seeing is that a lot of reputable breeders are now retireing or no longer breeding. There are still some great ones out there, but, most of their clients are already informed, educated people. I think the problem with a lot of new people is education! I do two or three breed promos a year and it really is not reaching enough people. We also show at the local 4-H shows to promote what a good miniature should look like, and we do real well up against the big horses. Just as Jean has said we are our own worst enemy as some people that want to get into minis for the first time, do so without an education, they look on Craigs list, or buy rescues because they want the biggest bang for their buck, then when there is aproblem like papers needing to be straighned out or conformation problems they are stuck. Some people buy a horse with their pocketbook and their heart. I feel that more education is the key to solving this problem and it is up to us.
 

BBH

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I got my first mini in '08 and had no idea what to do with her.....now have 3 and they all have a job. I do not show in the breed shows but have gotten into cde/pleasure driving and really enjoy it. We also do local programs at the library, parades and visits to nursing homes, rehabs etc trying to promote the breed. Coming from large horses there is a slight learning curve for the minis but they are horses and treated as such. When presenting to the public we can expect to come across the sincere person that wants to learn but it seems more often you come across the person that wants a pet mini for the kids to keep in the backyard and already knows it all......it does not take long to learn who they are and well being nice or not, I tend to just stay clear of them. The CL ads for minis just makes me want to save them all which is obviously not possible, but I do respond to some ads with questions and it is clear most of the folks have no idea when they think a breeding cert is a registration cert., how to measure, or will not respond if you inquire about stud being gelded or how much breeding he has done. Most breeds really promore geldings and minis are no exception.....geldings are great for just about anything......
 

JaySTL

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I think that would depend on the rescue. Jay could buy a horse from someone and still get those problems and maybe even worse.... a genuine rescue will at least tell you what issues the horse may have, whereas a seller may just "wanna git rid of it" and Jay gets the horse home, finds it's been tranked, can't touch it, can't catch it, can't get ahold of the people he's/she's bought the horse from. We've ALL heard/had THOSE horror stories.

Bottom line- do your research before you buy/adopt!
The Humane Society of Missouri offers classes on horsemanship as well as volunteer opportunities. I was probably going to try to get there this weekend to see about volunteering and to figure out when their classes normally start. From my understanding, it sounds like I can work with an animal for weeks or months before adopting and it's somewhat common for volunteers to adopt the horse that they were taking care of.
 

Amoreminiatures

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Thank You Jean for this post, it is so very sad to see the amount of foals being born, the prices of the miniature horses, when I closely remember a day when you could not even begin to buy a registered miniature horse for no less then $2,500 now, it makes me sick to see the prices they are being offered for, breeders are quite honestly stating that their horse have very little value, when you REDUCE the market to $300 ..... VERY VERY SAD, how can you bring a mare through their pregancy and deliver the foal, raise it up, feed it properly, worm it, vaccinations, and hoof care teach it to lead and give it a solid foundation to grow upon for $300.................................... WOW, it is beyond me... I have NEVER been a BIG breeder only having 3-4 foals a year, if that, however all our foals move into wonderful homes and come equipped with VALUE, and a foundation...... Remember folks YOU set the value of YOUR Investment.... I have worked my fingers to the bone taking care of our beloved animals and I rather limit breeding then to be a mill for what..... and why...??..

Again great topic, remember the GOOD Ol' days when our horses were of value... and a HONOR to be able to purchase one...
 

MountainWoman

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Amore Miniatures, I think this is what happens with any popular animal. I just purchased two neutered KuneKune pigs but right now they are commanding very high prices and the breeders sell the breeding stock as soon as they are born and have waiting lists too. Some obviously are going to people who want to preserve and work with the breed and others are going to people who see dollar signs from a litter of piglets. Then, as more are born and they become more common, the price will drop. Happens with everything. The problem is we are speaking about living animals who deserve and require a life of care.

I can't imagine offering stud service for 100.00 nor can I imagine contacting anyone about a 100.00 stud. I think as the other thread started by Riverrose illustrates, we need to be taking our horses out and about and showing people they have more value than as breeding machines.
 

AngC

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So who decrees which one is the "reputable" breeder (vice just the person with an opinion?)
 

MountainWoman

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To me, it a reputable breeder is someone who has a reason for putting two horses together to make a baby. They can afford to care for the baby (give it shots, vet care, proper food, farrier, etc.) and they make a commitment to socialize the baby and work with it so it's a good equine citizen for the owners. Oh, and then there's the paperwork issue which should be in order and correct.

Who decrees who is a reputable breeder? I think we each decide for ourselves. Not all of us are looking for the same thing in a mini or the breeder.
 

targetsmom

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I think as the other thread started by Riverrose illustrates, we need to be taking our horses out and about and showing people they have more value than as breeding machines.
I think this is the real crux of the matter and why "we have met the enemy, and he is us" applies to breeding minis. Breeding minis seems to resemble a Ponzi scheme. Someone suckers someone else into giving them money (selling minis to breed), with the idea that they can get others to give THEM money in the same way, and everyone will get rich. But there is no thought given to an end product (a mini that can do something besides multiple itself). Those schemes (besides being illegal) are doomed to fail. I fell for it, although my goal was to "improve the breed".

And yes, Riverrose has the right idea about promoting minis and what they can do. I really don't think breeders or the registries are doing as good a job at this as they could. Just one example: I know there are a lot of baby boomers out there that enjoy riding and many of them (I know a whole bunch personally) ride dressage. There are probably many - like me - who when their current horse is too old to ride, or dies, don't want to give up horses but may think long and hard about taking on the risk of falling off a new horse. Some of these people would be prime candidates for minis! I just wrote an essay for a Dressage Today contest called "My light bulb dressage moment". Anyone who has ridden dressage should understand that wonderful moment when you finally get your horse connected and you feel the power under your seat and through your hands. Well, my light bulb dressage moment came when I realized I could get that same marvelous feeling when driving a 32" mini who was correctly on the bit and working off her hindquarters.
 
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Riverrose28

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To the poster adking about a responsable breeder, it would be better for me to tell you of an non-responsable breeder. That is someone who buys a few mares, a couple of studs and throws them all together, for monatary gain. They have no idea about conformation, or pedigree, they are after money only. They don't keep up with paper work and don't even know the dates their mare were bred or when they are due. They leave the mares in with the stallions even if the mare shows signs of being in season then they abort because being bred again my cause the penis to hit the cervix causing an abortion. Foals are born in the field, mares are not monitored, so if a foal is born in the sack and can't can't out, oh well. Red bag, delivery what is that? They think dystocias only happen to other people, not them. The new buyer picks up a new foal, oh it's so cute, it doesn't walk in halter, the papers are not up to date, but the little babie is so cute! On the other hand we are our own worst enemy becuase of dishonest breeders. Case in point, you read an add, it states, AMHA registered horse, $6000. World reserve Champion, coming on three years old. The new person sees this, wow, buys the horse, and has it delivered sight unseen. It is indeed a beautiful horse and well worth the money, maybe. The seller hasn't been totally honest. The horse measures in at the the new owners first show at 35"s. What! The new owner has to hardship into AMHR and now has a horse they have fallen in love with, that is only recognized in one registry. Really I could go on and on, but yes we are our own worst enemy. Some are making money and some aren't and some are getting out. It doesn't pay sometimes to be honest.
 

Riverrose28

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Sorry, but I need to ad this: We need to educate the new people and the youth, they need to be informed, not preyed on. They are this industries future, we should not take advantage of for a few dollars. If you must then give a kid a good horse, for free! These people are our future!
 

fourluckyhorseshoes

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I think this is the real crux of the matter and why "we have met the enemy, and he is us" applies to breeding minis. Breeding minis seems to resemble a Ponzi scheme. Someone suckers someone else into giving them money (selling minis to breed), with the idea that they can get others to give THEM money in the same way, and everyone will get rich. But there is no thought given to an end product (a mini that can do something besides multiple itself). Those schemes (besides being illegal) are doomed to fail. I fell for it, although my goal was to "improve the breed".
I have totally seen this, not just in minis but in many novelty livestock breeds and pets as well.
 

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