This year I have decided to breed my mare.
The horror! You and I both know it.
Horses are starving, the economy is in the gutter, slaughter is once again going on in the US, and instead of rescuing some down on their luck horse and giving them a lifetime home I am choosing to create another. Let the flaming commence!
I'm selfish. But before everyone starts lighting their torches I should explain my reasoning.
- I want a purebred horse- I know a ton of wonderful grade horses, and everyone of these horses are special and valuable in their own way, but in my own pasture, as in my parents you will find registered Quarter Horses. I like their build, deposition, and versatility. As another may prefer Arabians, minis, or mules; I really like a well bred very nicely put together Quarter, so sue me. I also know that while; papered, well bred, and put together young horses do find themselves in terrible situations in need of being rescued, these horses are few and far between. Frankly the horse I want to ride (and own the next 30+ years) is not generally found in a rescue situation. While I am very happy to support, train, and love grade horses until (if ever) I have more money then I know what to do with my pasture will remain a permanent home to only well bred papered Quarter horses.
- I want to know my horse's history- I am breeding for athleticism, conformation, personality, and longevity. I will know that this foal came out of a wonderful, extremely athletic, very correct mare (who I have owned all her life, and did I mention she is beyond broke); and a well mannered, well built stallion still ridden in his late teens by young boys. Even better my father has a 10 year old mare out of this stud who he will never sell. I know that both my foal's parents have never been lame a day in their life, and that both, a long with it's half sister have great personalities. Buying a horse (especially a young horse) is a gamble as is breeding one but at least I will know where my foal came from and all of it's life experiences to boot.
- I am breeding for myself- I have waited over 14 years for this foal. Waiting for the right place, the right time, and finally after all these years it is here. I know the risks involved and the possibility of complications in pregnancy, and frankly I'm not willing to risk my perfect mare's life to create a horse for anyone but myself. Regardless of sex or color it will be registered, and I plan on keeping it forever as I plan on keeping it's mother. But if I did ever have to sell my foal it would have the manners, conformation, breeding, and education to afford it a wonderful home no matter the situation.
- I want to do it right- this day in age the horse industry is really hurting. The cost of feed and hay has risen 200% in last year alone in my area, and many people who are still breeding are cutting corners to keep afloat. This means less feed, less hoof care, and less health care for broodmares and the foals in their barns. I firmly believe that good nutrition, hoof care, health care, and exercise in the early years is paramount to rising a healthy horse long term. I have the space (acres of my own, and access to 100s), the time, the ability to let it live like royalty (as it's mother and uncle already do), along with the skills to train it from birth to a finished horse and do it right.
- The future market- The people breeding quality horses are not breeding as much, if at all. The quality of horse I am able to afford to breed for now will cost big money a few years down the road (keyword being quality). Fewer young horses being brought into the world now means there will be fewer quality horses available 5, 10, and 20 years down the road. All the while I will have a perfectly trained 5, 10 and 25 year old horse down the road for my future children and family to enjoy.So please go ahead and think what you want to think. But I am only guilty of two things; creating a horse that any one of you would be lucky to have, and of being selfish only because I don't plan on sharing.