Sunday, December 30, 2012

My horse has intact reproductive organs - should I breed?

*Rant warning*

My horse has intact reproductive organs - should I breed?

Probably not.

See, if you have to ask, that means you probably shouldn't. The only people who should be breeding are those dedicated to improving the quality and standard of horses and breeds. This requires a lifetime of knowledge about what breeding actually involves, the skill to select an acceptable sire and dam, and then the ability to follow through with the required commitment and responsibilities - which, if you are planning on breeding, you should expect to last for the next 30 years.

  • I want to experience having a foal! Well, that foal is going to require a lot of care before it's born and for many years afterward. Talk to a vet - I'm sure they'll help you experience the creation of horsie life.
  • I want to raise my horse from being a baby! Have you considered the risks and expense of doing something like this? What about the time commitment? What if something goes wrong? And when it comes time to train it, do you have experience starting a horse? Can you handle maintaining its training after it's been started? Even if you have the money to send it to the trainer, you will have to be able to handle when your horse conveniently *forgets* its training and you need to give them a refresher. This is critical for youngsters.
  • It'd be cheaper to just breed my horse than buy one! Add up the cost feed, training, farrier costs, vet bils, training, etc. up to when you could consider your horse "broke" - and I think you'll find it's cheaper to buy that already-broke horse.
  • I want to make a business out of this! Horse businesses don't make much money, if any. In fact, there is a specific tax law that says horse businesses can have a loss for more than twice as many years as a regular business and still keep their business tax status. Then, think about the economy - in many places, you can't even give away a good horse anymore.
  • My horse is amazing! To you. But to anyone else looking for a horse, it's just another horse.
  • I'm sure someone will buy the baby! No, you can never be sure. You have to be willing to commit the next 30 years of your life to this baby just in case.
  • I'll keep it its whole life! 30 years is a long time. You dont' know what will happen. If you died tomorrow - what would happen to your precious baby?

And the same goes for those who want to keep their colts studs. Unless you have the qualifications to be a reputable breeder, know what you're doing inside and out, and you're committed to campaigning your stud and making him breed-worthy to others, you don't need a stud. This puts you, the people around your stud, and the stud himself at risk of so many accidents and sad endings. Not to mention the complications of owning a stud...

I'm sorry but if you're asking whether you should be breeding your horse, or whether another horse is a good match for your horse, or if you should keep a horse as a stud, then you dont' have the expertise to be breeding at all.

There are too many good, healthy horses looking for homes to bring another horse into this world. Breeding your horse, for whatever reason, is what contributes to that situation, even if it's just taking away the opportunity for another horse to get adopted because your needlessly-bred baby was chosen over the one in need. Please, just don't do it.

*End rant*

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