Going for Magic – Breeding Horses is a Job for the Passionate

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 kim@nwhorsesource.com.

 

See this article in the 2021 January online edition:

January 2021

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