Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One simple rule that would fix the entire problem

On the last thread, Trojan Mouse commented "We need a shortage of horses to shore up prices and limit the number going for slaughter." Exactly. It's not any more complicated than that. So if you are a breeder, all you have to do is ask yourself one question: Is what I'm producing (a) in demand and (b) in short supply?

This is not really THAT tough to figure out. Let's say I want to breed AQHA horses and l;et's say that while I know conformation and pedigrees, I don't know what's in demand. Well, I could first go and look at the World Show results from last year and see who is siring the horses that are winning. I'm a hunt seat rider, so I'm going to look at the hunt seat classes. Well, you don't need to be good at math to see that Skys Blue Boy's get are kicking ass. There are a bunch of them winning and placing at the World level.

OK great. Now let's move on to Dreamhorse and look for 2008 foals by him. Hey, here's a colt by Skys Blue Boy. It's selling for $15,000. And he is freaking gorgeous. You can see with a look that, barring injury or stupid training, this colt is going to grow up to kick some ass. He isn't going to have problems finding a home. He is not the kind of colt that there are too many of. On the contrary, he is the kind of colt people are likely to fight over.

Look all over the Internet. Do you see a lot of gorgeous, correct AQHA colts by a top siring stallion that are easily going to be 17 hands? Nope. No you don't.

Now, crappy little foundation bred colts with fat necks and bad shoulders and no balance that are going to mature out at a whoppin' 14.3? OH HELL YES. They're as common as mosquitoes and about as valuable these days.

(By the way, you know how many weanlings by Skys Blue Boy are on DreamHorse? One. That one. SUPPLY AND DEMAND, people...BASIC economics!)

Let's continue. I'll try this with a breed I know less about - Hanoverians. It didn't take much research to discover that Don Frederico is really freakin' hot. He's proven himself both as a show horse and as a sire. Here's a filly by him on Dreamhorse. Yeah, she's in that gawky, ribby yearling stage but this is a very nice filly who's already a champion in hand. She's $15,000. That's a pretty good investment when you see that trained offspring of Don Frederico are on the site for $50,000! Sure, anybody can price anything at anything online but when you consistently see those high prices on a stallion's get, it's because they really do sell for that.

Again, how many youngsters by Don Frederico are on DreamHorse? Two yearlings. No weanlings.

Foals like that are simply not the problem here. Here's the problem.

Weanlings, yearlings, two year olds and more for sale. Please vitit our website listed in My Contact Details. The site is still in process. We had 43 babies this year and are still working on getting them all listed. We primarly have roans, palominos and buckskins, $500 and up."

WHY? WHY? WHY? OK, first of all, I'm gonna make a bet there's not a single future World Show top ten finisher in the bunch. Their pedigrees all read like Who's Not Who in the QH world. (Nobody cares what's four generations back. NO ONE.) Second of all, I've been on too many of these sized ranches not to know that the odds that these FORTY-FREAKING-THREE foals are being handled regularly, clip, tie, load, etc. are about the same odds that I will stop biting my nails at my age. These people have SEVEN stallions and I see no indication on their web site that any one of them has accomplished a damn thing. They have over SEVENTY mares and they're all bred. Probably none of them have accomplished a damn thing, either.

Now, had they applied my VERY SIMPLE rule and done a little market research to see if the foals they intended to produce were (a) in demand and (b) in short supply, they would have quickly realized neither of these things were the case. Instead, they breed on in merry ignorance, producing animals that are about as common as field mice.

It's just not that hard! If you MUST breed, breed something that people want and there isn't enough of. And don't believe your neighbors' opinions about what people want - go online and find out! Go to an auction and see what sells for under $1000...that would be known as "what you don't want to breed." Take breeding seriously. Look at it like a business. Don't produce seventy wrenches when there's a surplus of wrenches and people want to buy hammers. These are living creatures and it's just not fair to them.

P.S. A side note to Bill Brewer of the AQHA: SHUT UP! For god's sake SHUT UP and STOP ENCOURAGING these people, you ASSHAT! We need to breed LESS LESS LESS LESS LESS horses! NOT MORE! Are YOU gonna buy their hay? Bill, I realize from your pic that you're approximately one million years old, and perhaps when you were a kid, there was a shortage of Quarter Horses, but NOT ANY MORE. Right now Quarter Horses, heck, all breeds, are dying DAILY in the slaughterhouses. The only way to effectively stop slaughter is to make horses so rare that their value increases and no one can afford to eat them. Make horsemeat as pricy as caviar and you're just not going to see very many of our horses dying hanging from a hook with their throats cut.

And I don't want to hear any claptrap about how we need cheap horses to make horses accessible to everybody. The hell we do. We need to make PROPER NUTRITION and PROPER CARE accessible to every horse, and driving up the prices will do a hell of a lot toward that goal.