Blogs

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...

What to feed growing foals-Part 1, the source of nutrients.

New research shows that young horses do not need to be fed high calories or cereal-based supplement in order to grow well. For years we have supplemented our foals diet starting at about 3 months of age all the way to weaning and beyond with a combination of beet pulp, soaked alfalfa cubes, minerals, and some commercial diet formulated for foals (we use Hoffman developer-as it has no added grain or starches- more on that later). The idea was that beet pulp and alfalfa, being high in fibers, we were working with what nature intended for horses to eat but the added minerals and commercial diet supplements contributed...

You are enough!

One thing that bugs me is reading posts or ads for horses that are for sale (or  “looking for a new zip code”-as seems to be a popular way of saying things) it’s when I read that it’s because “I can’t do this horse justice “, or “this horse has too much potential. ” Now, I realize those might be formulas to make the horse seem more attractive than it might be in order to attract more attention but I really don’t like the sentiment. (Does it even work?) I don’t like to think that some owner thinks that if their horses are not out competing then it...

How tall will my horse be?

Perhaps the most common question we get as breeders is: "How tall will he be?" Can you actually predict the future height of a foal? The answer is yes you can predict its future height if you are willing to accept a range.  There is however NO methods that can give you a definite precise height (16.1 1/2!)  and we will see why. You will find a few rules of thumbs here and there (the string method and the cannon bone method are the most commonly used and mentioned- I will touch on that later) and a whole lot of anecdotal evidence of this and that. Some will...