Monday, January 16, 2012

The Future Awaits....

Breeding horses is a lot like trying to predict the future.  You have to anticipate what the economy will do, what the horse industry is going to do, what bloodlines are going to be most marketable, and be able to satisfy both the need to have stock on hand in the future and the need to keep a balanced budget now.  It takes such a long time between the moment you decide to breed a mare to the point of having a saleable animal from that pairing that it is imperative that breeders be excellent planners and budgeters.

I haven't had any new foals at my farm in several years.  I have sold embryos from my best mare, but I haven't bred any of my other broodmares because I felt that the market was poor, and I couldn't reconcile the amount of money that I would have to put into a baby to get it to sale time with the prices that nice horses were going for.  But I see that things are changing, both for myself and for the industry as a whole.  I see that there is some renewed enthusiasm in performance horse sports, and some indications that our economy is slowly recovering.  It is really a buyer's market, for both horse sales and stud fees, and I see more opportunities for people to invest in performance horses at reasonable prices.  For myself, years of careful orchestration of my mare's embryo career has started to pay off, and I am hoping that I will be able to do some investing of my own this year.  If all goes as we hope, the spring of 2013 will see some foals running around in my pasture.

Never before have these decisions weighed so heavily on me. Predicting the future isn't easy.  All the 'what ifs' are enough to make a person crazy!  So I battle the anxiety by doing my homework, running the numbers, studying the pedigrees, making the phone calls and arming myself with as much information as I can.  And after that, I just close my eyes and envision those pretty babies....and my anxiety turns to excitement!  Yay!  It's breeding season!!