Blogs

The Agony and The Ecstasy of … Frozen Semen.

I really struggle every few years when it is time to re-stock the semen tank with frozen semen. Owning horses is risky, breeding them even more so. But breeding them with frozen semen can be both extremely convenient AND extremely risky financially speaking in this case…. The ecstasy: The choices Frozen semen can truly be the candy store of the Sporthorse world. The selection and variety are just incredible. You can breed to old favorite stallions as well as the up-and-comers. Olympic caliber stallion, or their sire. You can breed to stallion stationed in Europe or in Australia. Rare breed or rare colors not available anywhere near you....

Speak stallion to me…

  This the season. Stallion service auctions are in full swing, the glossy magazines are being printed. You are casually looking at some stallion to maybe breed your mare and you come across an ad that advertises a good-looking lad for what looks like a very reasonable stud fee. Before you think this might be a good deal let’s understand the meaning of what is really being advertised here. Like everything horse breeding has its lingo. Here are some terms to help you keep track of all the glossy advertisements flashing around if you are considering breeding your mare. Stallion: what is in a word? Stallion: a male...

Why breeding horses is not really a business.

Breeding horses is not really a business. (Or at the very least: a business like no others.) Tax season is around the corner and I have to compile expenses and revenues. This time of the year is always a moment of brutal honesty when it comes to the money aspect of breeding and selling sport horses. Numbers don't lie. Pretty pictures don't pay the vet. Once more I have to ponder the economic realities of the year that was and look for ways to improve and to "sharpen the tools" as one might say. I do breed horses in order to sell foals and young horses. I do...

Top 10 questions to ask a breeder.

So you’ve found an ad that catches your eye, something about that young horse makes your heart leap and you think to yourself: “This is an interesting prospect!” You probably have your own set of questions that are right away popping up in your head. I wanted to share with you what questions I, as a breeder, wished I was asked more often and as a bonus, I will tell you why I think those answers matter. (This is not just for sport horses, in fact, I purposefully tried to remove any specific breed bias here.) For those in a hurry: here are the top 10 questions and...

A study in contrast- the foals of 2020

The 2020 foals have reached their 6 months birthdays. Every year, every foal comes into the world with its own characteristics and they slowly evolve into the horse that they will be as adults. Watching the beginning of this journey is always fascinating. In almost all aspects this year’s foals couldn’t be more different from each other. One is small, refined, sensitive, insecure, and black. The other is big-boned, self-confident, quiet, and pale palomino. The black colt-Pavarotti (aka Zoom)-Fabregas x Kreation This little guy is like a little butterfly coming out of his chrysalis. He was vulnerable and soft and sensitive but he is learning to cope with...

Shame in the breeder’s mind.

I recently came across the work of Brené Brown. Nope, she is not a pedigree expert or a famous dressage rider you never heard about. She is a scientist that studies strong and complex emotions, such as shame, the same way other scientists study supernovas or platypus. She wrote a whole book about it, about shame called “I thought it was just me.” Like any scientist, she first defined what shame was, found what its natural habitat was and where we were more likely to find it. She also studied how it is created and how it adapts to its environment. She went further and also proposed ways...

Good bye 2020

The solstice, the shortest day of the year is for me the real turning point of winter, the start of the New Year as the days begins to lengthen. On that day I always like to reflect (as I wait for the sun to finally appear over the horizon so I can go out and do chores!). 2020 was a terrible year for so many and I feel that every day in the reports we hear and the stories we tell and share. The way society dealt with the pandemic this year has both elated and depressed me. But for us here, 2020 was a great year. What...

Things you HAVE to know about Vitamin E.

Of all the lines on the nutritional analysis you can find on the bags of feed you might have in your feed room one line, in particular, has come under quite a bit of attention in the last few years: vitamin E. The last four or five years have seen some conclusive research on the importance of it and more importantly: how much our modern way of keeping horses has created a severe deficiency in a large number of them. If you hate reading all the way down to get the key messages I will make it easy for you in this case: Unless your horse is on...

What to feed growing foals- Part 3-the minerals.

Are my foals getting enough minerals in their diets? What of these new studies that say that foals and broodmare can really benefit from more Copper? Are my animals getting enough to ensure they have a long sound life ahead of them? Like any breeder and foal raiser, I ask myself those questions pretty regularly. We want the best start in life for our foals and I find myself pretty bewildered at the wide array of feed and supplements out there being offered and touted as the best solution to this niggling worry. But when I go looking for actual data on what foals actually need I am...

What to feed growing foals-Part 2, the proteins.

What should I feed my foals? How much? How do I know if it’s too much or not enough? Like any breeder and foal raiser, I ask myself those questions pretty regularly. We want the best start in life for our foals and I find myself pretty bewildered at the wide array of feed out there being offered and touted as the best solution to this niggling worry. But when I go looking for actual data on what foals actually need I am faced with a couple of challenges. the information in other blogs and articles are so vague that it is of no use. “Make sure the...