As for the horses. All are doing fantastic. We had caught Ivan the other day and locked him up as he looked a bit swollen in his privates - nothing wrong just over-weight gelding syndrome. So, threw him back out with the mares along with Ray. We still have Woody locked up, as he's just not putting on weight and his feet still look suspiciously like he'd like to founder. So grass hay, a handful (literally!) of alfalfa and we've let him in our backyard to what passes as my lawn to mow.
Woody and Ray our pet geldings
Silhouette, my gaga mare gets away with murder. She ate at least 25 peaches off this tree, evidence was there from all the pits she left behind. She went after the roses next and was booted from the yard!
Charm and Lalique seem to be improving weekly, they're actually walking fairly well without any pain, or at least not hobbling like they were in May. Lalique has fallen passionately and vocally in love with Demon. It would be a great cross if she was sound, but alas not meant to be.
We did 'try' to take photos of the munchkin crowd - April and Vanna measured in out in the field at 26.25-26.50", but the only two photos I have of April that would have been nice have a thick cotton lead rope blocking her nose. Anyway the two dinks are doing well. I've been talking to a few people about stallion prospects for them in 2013.
Speaking of stallion prospects - did everyone watch the Double Diamond auction? OMG!!!!! I almost cried at Vermilyeas Snippets Red Tape selling for $1,100. He has been one of my favorite stallions for years. The whole Snippet line has a look I like. If life wasn't constantly throwing curve balls at me this year - I know where he'd have been coming. I did bid, but my angels were having a fierce battle over bid more/no don't! Regretfully I had to stop - and yes all my friends will hear about this for at least 5 years as I whine and complain about not getting him. The other stallion I bid on was Double Diamonds Mister Meaner - what a gorgeous guy! Double Diamond Catalog
Besides those two, there were some mares that definitely caught my eye. If I had the funds or was new to breeding Minis - what a great start to get some quality mares in this market. People just 'getting into minis' don't realize how badly we've been hit with the recession, and what a great buyer's market it truly is. Which segues into my next topic, one that I'm going to be expanding on over the coming months, but the topic at hand - Why do we breed?
Questions, I'm going to sit down and ask myself, honestly answer, then post here. I'm not sure I'm going to like the flat self-honesty though - lol! I hope some of you will use this opportunity to consider why you breed too.
To get it rolling these are my "homework" questions the next month or so. I tend to find Fall/Winter is when I get into my ambitious breeding plans that get scaled down alot by Spring!
1. Why am I breeding?
2. Am I breeding for myself or am I breeding to sell?
(pleasing yourself vs the current Mini horse market and who is your clientele - pet homes not quality/other breeders/show homes ?)
3. Can I buy versus breed the type of horse I want to produce/market?
(get a true cost of raising a foal to breeding age - including showing if you want a show record versus buying what you want/need)
4. Evaluate your mares
(gets in foal easily, foaling issues, ease of foaling, good dam - milk, attitude, flaws or faults, disposition, movement, color - if that's important appy/pinto breeders)
5. Stallion choice
(proven show record, flaws/faults, disposition, movement, how are his progency, breeding ability - aggressive? must be hand or pasture bred, percentage of mares covered, foals saleable?)
6. Linebreeding vs outside breeding
(lines that can be double or what's a good out cross? how well do you know your pedigrees and what is/isn't a good cross)