Would Breeding Horses Be Profitable For Me?

rbruno

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
40
Reaction score
68
Points
54
Location
Maryland
Ridfetop
First, how old is this mare? Is she broke to ride? Can you use her for pleasure once you have bred her and raised the foal? Or do you plan to sell her on? Why are the owners getting rid of her? Don't trust anyone, everyone is nice when selling something to you, get a written stud contract with a live birth clause. Better yet, If you decide to do this, have the owners breed the mare and buy her with a certificate from the vet that she is guaranteed in foal. Also with a live birth guarantee if possible.

Second, be sure about the breed registration - some registries are now demanding DNA tests from bloodwork. The Tennessee Walking Horse Association went from hair samples to blood work and foals out of registered TW horses without a blood sample for their DNA were no longer acceptable to be registered. Make sure the mare and the stud have all their paperwork on file with the breed registry. Just because they are registered does not mean that their foals will be eligible for registration. Check this out.

Third, unless this mare has a fantastic pedigree and show/performance records and wins, and is bred to a superlative stud with the same, the foal will bring hardly anything. It takes 2-3 years before you can actually break and ride the horse for any length of time. Some earlier and some later - depending on the breed some legs and backs take longer to mature.

Fourth, are you able and do you have the finances to keep the foal until it is breakable? Do you have the money to break the horse? Do you have the time necessary to work with the foal?

14 years ago we bred our TW mare. We had a terrific stud, and a live birth contract. The foal was born dead but the vet verified that it had never taken a breath so we were able to have the mare rebred to the same stud. The second foal was alive but very weak. The mare didn't have much milk so we had to supplement. My husband imprinted the foal, and bottle fed until the mare's milk came in.

BUT before we could breed either time, we had to have a vet do a clean check for uterine infections, $$$, then we took the mare to the stable for a live cover (better in my opinion than messing with AI for a maiden mare). Stud fee and boarding fee $$$$ - and remember we had to do it twice. The second cover was free but not the boarding. $$$ Then of course, there are the vet checks to verify pregnancy, more vet checks when she gets near time to foal, $$$ extra feed $$$, and for us more vet bills $$$ because the mare didn't have a lot of milk and the foal was weak.

The mare was a beautiful mare with exceptional bloodlines. She hadn't been worked for a couple years when we bought her and her previous owner had tried to do jumping, etc. instead of proper TWH stuff. We put her with a trainer (turned out to be one of the best flat shod trainers in California) Sue worked with her and then asked if she could show her a bit. We agreed and she won all her classes (flat shod) every time she was entered. The stud was a national winner. The foal turned into a gorgeous little filly and after Sue trained her she was a standout in the show ring as well. We were not interested in showing and asked Sue to sell her. We priced her at $3,000. No takers although everyone that saw her loved her. We finally gave her to DDIL1 who lives in Nipomo and rides with a group that all ride gaited horses.

We figure that we had $10,000 into her from the time we bred to the time she was broke and showing.

If you want to have fun with breeding and foaling out a mare, enjoy. If you have pulled calves and can identify when the mare might have trouble, go ahead. I delivered a stud colt from my neighbor's registered Standardbred mare. Hard work but I had delivered about 100 other difficult births in sheep and goats. The foal was just a lot bigger.

f you don't have the money, time, or experience, don't bother. Too many people decide to breed their mares and then don't bother having the colts or fillies broken when they reach 2 years old because they don't have the money.
Your "BUT" paragraph brought back some memories for sure. I too have TNW horses. My mare had really good blood lines but I wasn't showing or any of that. I bought her at an auction and got her for a great price considering what I spent to breed her. But, as I mentioned before it was something I always wanted to do. When I started looking for studs, I couldn't find anything in my area. I am in MD and there aren't a lot of TWH farms around me. As I widen my search, I found some in VA an in particular Southwest VA. I figured if I had to go that far, I might as well go to the promise land of TN. I too had researched that AI is not the most reliable for a first time mare. I found the stud I wanted, worked with a great farm and manager, packed up, and headed south. After about a 10 or 12 hour ride, we had arrived. This was during the spike in gas prices a number of years back and diesel was about 5 dollars a gallon. So there was that expense. I dropped the mare off, signed some papers, and came all the way back home. She had to stay for a while to make sure she was with foal. A month or so later, the first couple tries didn't take. The stallion had left because he was on rotation. So, my choice was go down and get her and then bring her back again in the spring or leave her there. It was about the same in boarding as I would have spent for fuel, so she stayed. Didn't expect that expense. In the spring things worked out, and I went to get her. Everything was fine after that, but she had extra vet expenses there because after the first couple times didn't work, they gave her more of a check up to make sure it was possible. Did expect that expense. In the end, I have a great gelding who is a great ride. It was a great experience and lessons learned, but it did add up on the money end.
Rob
 

ButtonHerder

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
84
Points
76
First, how old is this mare? Is she broke to ride? Can you use her for pleasure once you have bred her and raised the foal? Or do you plan to sell her on? Why are the owners getting rid of her? Don't trust anyone, everyone is nice when selling something to you, get a written stud contract with a live birth clause. Better yet, If you decide to do this, have the owners breed the mare and buy her with a certificate from the vet that she is guaranteed in foal. Also with a live birth guarantee if possible.
I think she's 17. And I know that's kinda old, but I've known her for a while and she's still having healthy foals with no issues. She is not broke to ride, but I have other riding horses. She's really polite and is nice with ground work, and I might train her to do liberty work. I would probably sell her once she can't have foals safely and healthily anymore. They are getting rid of her because the owner is moving (I know him) and isn't breeding horses anymore. I would definitely try and do that.
Fourth, are you able and do you have the finances to keep the foal until it is breakable? Do you have the money to break the horse? Do you have the time necessary to work with the foal?
Yes, I do. I'm home almost all day, so would have tons of time.
14 years ago we bred our TW mare. We had a terrific stud, and a live birth contract. The foal was born dead but the vet verified that it had never taken a breath so we were able to have the mare rebred to the same stud. The second foal was alive but very weak. The mare didn't have much milk so we had to supplement. My husband imprinted the foal, and bottle fed until the mare's milk came in.

BUT before we could breed either time, we had to have a vet do a clean check for uterine infections, $$$, then we took the mare to the stable for a live cover (better in my opinion than messing with AI for a maiden mare). Stud fee and boarding fee $$$$ - and remember we had to do it twice. The second cover was free but not the boarding. $$$ Then of course, there are the vet checks to verify pregnancy, more vet checks when she gets near time to foal, $$$ extra feed $$$, and for us more vet bills $$$ because the mare didn't have a lot of milk and the foal was weak.

The mare was a beautiful mare with exceptional bloodlines. She hadn't been worked for a couple years when we bought her and her previous owner had tried to do jumping, etc. instead of proper TWH stuff. We put her with a trainer (turned out to be one of the best flat shod trainers in California) Sue worked with her and then asked if she could show her a bit. We agreed and she won all her classes (flat shod) every time she was entered. The stud was a national winner. The foal turned into a gorgeous little filly and after Sue trained her she was a standout in the show ring as well. We were not interested in showing and asked Sue to sell her. We priced her at $3,000. No takers although everyone that saw her loved her. We finally gave her to DDIL1 who lives in Nipomo and rides with a group that all ride gaited horses.

We figure that we had $10,000 into her from the time we bred to the time she was broke and showing.

If you want to have fun with breeding and foaling out a mare, enjoy. If you have pulled calves and can identify when the mare might have trouble, go ahead. I delivered a stud colt from my neighbor's registered Standardbred mare. Hard work but I had delivered about 100 other difficult births in sheep and goats. The foal was just a lot bigger.

f you don't have the money, time, or experience, don't bother. Too many people decide to breed their mares and then don't bother having the colts or fillies broken when they reach 2 years old because they don't have the money.
Thank you, this was really helpful.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,750
Reaction score
7,670
Points
443
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
If she is 17, you will only get another 1 or 2 foals out of her since you wouldn't be breeding back as soon as she foaled like breeders do with their own barn of mares and studs.

$1500 for a brood mare of that age sounds high to me.

Why not buy a broke riding mare about 8-10 years old, registered and with good bloodlines, enjoy her and then breed her. You could probably get a nice riding mare with good bloodlines for the same price. Have fun trail riding (and showing if that is your aim) and then you can decide if you want to breed her. If you are going to sell this mare after breeding her, what is the point? And who will you sell her to? She is not broke to ride and is almost past foaling age.

Mare care on a mare that is ready to foal is more work than just keeping a horse. You have to wrap up her tail for a week or so before her foaling date and rewrap it every am and pm. You have to have a large loose box for her about 12 x 24 to foal in, and to keep her and the foal in. If you breed now you will have a spring foal which might be less valuable to prospective buyers. Some breeds are preferred to be born in the late fall for the show classes which have birth deadlines. TWA being one of them. You should check this all out with the Morgan registry. If you breed at the wrong time no matter how wonderful your little foal is it will be less valuable because of the birthdate.

Like Baymule, I prefer to buy horses that are already well broke, middle aged to give me a lovely enjoyable ride, that I can immediately get on and have that enjoyable ride. Just my opinion. Like she says there are a lot of good horses out there already trained and going cheap.

My husband wanted to breed his mare. He no longer rode and this was his project. It ended up taking about 5 years between the first unsuccessful breeding and the final product, and costing a lot but he enjoyed it. He" and "Wait for us" imprinted the foal did the earliest ground work with her, trained her to lead in halter, get in the trailer, pick up her feet, etc. She was a lovely ride, but I had no one here to ride with who had gaited horses, and i had my own older TWH who was a pistol. (Gaited horses go so much faster at a walk that standard horses can't keep up and the pitiful cries of "Slow down" took a lot of pleasure out of riding a beautifully gaited horse.

If you have the money (lots), and the time and desire, go ahead but you will lose a lot of money. It is only worth it if you already train horses, and it is a labor of love. Even then, you wil have 2 years of time the foal eats its head off, needs hoof trimming, vet checks and vaccinations, $$$ before you can even train it to the saddle. Think long and hard.
 

Kusanar

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
422
Reaction score
706
Points
152
Location
Roanoke Area, Virginia
I think she's 17. And I know that's kinda old, but I've known her for a while and she's still having healthy foals with no issues. She is not broke to ride, but I have other riding horses. She's really polite and is nice with ground work, and I might train her to do liberty work. I would probably sell her once she can't have foals safely and healthily anymore.
Ok, I have a slight issue with this statement. So, she is 17 years old, been a brood mare her whole life, not broke to ride so has no value there, you want to breed her a few more times so she will be 20ish and then you want to sell her?? A 20 year old mare with no value other than as a broodmare and you kept her until she no longer had that value either... and you want to sell her after she spent years producing foals for you...

Where do you think she will go? Likely she will be slaughter bound if you sell her because not many people want to buy a 20+ year old horse (old horses come with maintenance) that can do nothing but stand in a field and eat. Some would buy an old mare that was broke to be able to lead kids around on, but if she's not saddlebroke, likely at 20+ years old is not the time to be starting that.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
22,407
Reaction score
56,927
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
Horses are a hole in your pocket that you dump money in.

Whoa! She is 17, won’t bear but maybe 2 more foals, not broke to ride. NOT BROKE TO RIDE. There is her doom. After you get a foal from her, you will sell her. Just who do you think will want an old horse, not even broke to ride? Where do you think she will go? I can tell you in a few words. Kill buyers, and a truck to a slaughterhouse.

I have a 34 year old TWH mare. She has heaves. I haven’t ridden her in 10 years. I still feed her every day and care for her. She gave me a lot of good times, her reward will not be a truck to Mexico. Nope. Can’t do it.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,750
Reaction score
7,670
Points
443
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
This is what I was pointing out - 1 or 2 foals and she is dogmeat.

And the sellers are asking you for $1500.00. And want a stud fee? And they are nice people so would probably give a breed back if the foal was not a live birth? h wait - they are moving away.

You should move away too - from this purchase.
 
Top