Friday, July 6, 2007

Money well spent

As with many things, just because it has a big price tag doesn't mean it's good. Part of the problem with people who get into breeding horses without already possessing the knowledge they need about conformation, what kind of movement is desirable in their breed, etc. is that they may rely upon a large price tag alone as evidence the horse is breeding quality. Today we're going to look at what $10,000 will buy you. There is a vast range out there. Some of it is indisputably breeding quality. Some of it is not.

First up, $10K may seem like a lot for a baby, but look at this baby! This is a Holsteiner filly. Her sire has competed successfully up to the PSG level, and is still showing. Her dam is an approved TB with bloodlines I love for any performance horse (Sharpen Up/Mr. Prospector).

Look how this untrained baby trots. Dressage will come naturally to her. It won't be a struggle. This is what you look for when you look at a weanling - natural talent, and look at how balanced she is.

Now, I am NOT a warmblood expert by any means. But when I see this filly and $10,000 - sure, I can see that making sense. I can see her being worth much, much more as a 4 year old. She is a great looking baby, even if you don't know 10% of what there is to know about Holsteiners.

For the same price, you can get this "Warlander" mare. What is that? you may ask. Sounds like the latest offering from Nintendo. Well, from the ad, it appears to be a Friesian-Andalusian cross? It is 8 years old. It is unbroke. It has a fucked up stifle. It apparently won some sort of movement award as a foal, but there is no mention of any of its foals having done squat.
By the time a broodmare-only mare is 8, something out of it should have accomplished something. I see no evidence of that. Yes, she's pretty if you like this type. But ten grand for unbroke, unsound and no produce record? This breeder's website says "Can you say...rare, exotic, magical?" Yeah, I can also say "overpriced." What is with all the "magical" lately in horse ads? Does she wiggle her nose and carrots appear? Tap her hoofies together and make it rain? Ugh, I'm so sick of the ridiculous marketing aimed at targeting people with more money than sense.

Now here's another one I like for this price. First of all, she is a registered AQHA mare. Secondly, she jumps up to 3'6, goes cross country, foxhunts, games, and is described as totally bombproof doing it. She rides in a snaffle for everything.

I believe the ad, because she looks like a nice sensible mare. She looks like she loves to cruise cross-country but she has a kind, calm eye and an expression that says she is listening to her rider and not gazoinging out of control.

This is a 12 year old mare. She is not only an excellent performer with a lot of versatility, she is described as being able to tolerate novices. While her pedigree is not overly outstanding in any way, although her maternal grandsire was a good sire, she's clearly a well-above-average athlete with a great mind. Therefore I would classify her as breeding quality and a good deal in the $10K price range.

Keep looking at the spots...concentrate on the are getting do not notice the horrible post do not see the short icky croup and the high-set do not see the calf knees...just staaaare at the preeeety spots...

I like her shoulder and she has a pretty neck and head and good depth through the heart. Everything else, I hate. This mare is showing at 2'6 and doing well. She's done a little dressage, a little eventing, etc. She sounds like a good little packer. But given the set of legs underneath her, there is just no way I would pay that kind of money for her. She's like a Ford Pinto whose gas tank hasn't exploded...yet. The scary part is that when she does, inevitably, break down, you just know someone is going to breed her because she's such a sweet horse. One of the hardest things to teach beginner breeders is that sweet isn't enough. I hope this mare gets a good retirement home when she falls apart, with someone who has no interest in breeding her.