Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yes, I discovered the "poll" feature

The longer I do this blog, the longer I see that careless breeding and lack of training go hand in hand and they're the combination that puts horses on those double-deckers. I really think we all have to think very seriously about who is going to train the horses we produce. The consensus from our trainer thread is that good training is hard to come by, and getting pricier every day. If you can't train your own, and can't afford the cost of paying a competent trainer, should you really be breeding at all?

I was thinking about the Appaloosa train wreck from yesterday...let's assume maybe 7 of those are broke (potentially the old broodmares she got from another farm). So let's say 50 need to be broke. 50 horses times $500 (probable monthly cost in rural Idaho) for at least 60 days, and that's being conservative but she does claim they are handled and have basic manners. That's FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Who has FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS to train those horses? I think it's a safe bet she doesn't. Who is going to pick up the tab? And are those horses going to be worth $1000 after those 60 days? In this market? Some are. Some aren't. And some aren't going to be very safe and solid yet after 60 days, either.

When I was shopping for a beginner lesson horse for my friend a few weeks ago, I looked at a truly sweet little grade Arabian mare. She was green broke. She was cute. She had bad conformation, there was nothing special about her, and no papers. She was $500. I felt bad for her because she'd been abandoned for back board, and clearly had been ridden by yahoos who cowboyed her around. I thought about picking her up as a resale, but then the light of reason and logic came on and I realized that 60 days of training later, she was going to maybe be a $700 horse. That was where her value was going to top out in this market, no matter what I did with her - she was trail quality only. That's why I say these horses shouldn't be bred in the first place. Whether you like it or not, your breeding operation has to be economically viable. There's nothing in it for anyone to invest the time and money to train a horse who is going to be worth $700.