Many things can go wrong between the time of matching a stallion to a mare and finally riding the consequential horse four (or more) years later. Problems can occur during gestation, foaling, weaning, and starting. Thousands of dollars will be spent—stud fees, veterinary fees, feed, farrier, and trainer. And then there’s the need for an appropriate place where a young horse can grow up with room to run and plenty of social interaction.
But when the horse you bred and raised turns into your dream horse, it feels like magic.
Those in the breeding business deserve our gratitude. If you’re riding a well-bred horse of any breed, someone took the risk to bring that good horse into the world. They put in the time studying pedigrees, genetics, and nutrition. They bought a good mare and crossed her with an excellent stallion. They trained the resulting foal how to lead, tie, pick up his feet, be clipped, stand politely for vet and farrier, have a bath, and much more.
Horse breeders don’t get involved in the business for money; they do it for love. (There’s that old joke: How do you make a million dollars in the horse business? Start with two million.) Horse breeders are sometimes devoted to a certain breed and want to see it promoted, like this month’s cover story; or they’re passionate about the process in general—the study of genetics, pedigrees, and nutrition. These are people who are motivated by the hope that surrounds a newborn foal.
My young horse Gus was bred by my friend Julia Murphy, an Oregon sport horse breeder who has devoted many years of her life (not to mention sweat and tears) to the art and science of horse breeding. Gus truly is my dream horse, and I’m so grateful to Julie for her efforts in bringing this wonderful horse into my life. I fell in love with him when he was a six-month-old colt at his inspection. Now three, Gus is learning to carry a saddle and soon he’ll be carrying me. I know there’s a lot of work ahead, but I can’t wait to see how the journey goes.
Enjoy our Breeding & Buying issue! As always, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.