Maintaining and looking after your ranch can be quite tiresome and time-consuming. Managing such a large quantity of quarter horses is no exception. My wife and I absolutely love our herd and they, in turn, are fond of us too – I mean who doesn’t love the person who feeds you right?
We are blessed in the sense that they come when we call them. As we have found managing stallions quite hard work, we do not keep many. We make use of AI instead. The risk to our mares are less and we have the opportunity to select bigger bloodstock.
We have a few stallions used to breed or go to trail horses but our competition horses are bred in the purple featuring lines such as raise your Glass, Dash for Cash, Jet Deck and Mr. San Peppy.
We try to breed horses that are a mixture of what one would classify as “Older breeding” more on the racing side and then cross breed with horses who are breeding reflects amazing cutting horses.
Because we believe horses should be kept as naturally as possible, our horses are turned out all year around. We usually clip our competition horses so rug them – The rest have their own built-in blankets aka grow rather thick coats in the winter. We make use of night vision binoculars to keep track of them at night if there is an issue. Occasionally we have some wildlife come down and bug the herd.
While our Journey hasn’t always been an easy one, we have taken full advantage of the upturn in the cattle market and quarter horse market.
Both my wife and I have sacrificed plenty of luxuries in our lifetime to make sure that we can keep and maintain our ranch. Horses are our absolute passion so although we do not necessarily keep our horses in 5-star barns. We do breed quality horses that are happy and well cared for. Here are our top 5 tips for running a breeding farm correctly.
- Outsource your stallions. Stallions are hard work and they are heavy on fencing. Stallions are also more dangerous. Although we have been blessed with wonderful stallions, they are unpredictable.
- Breed quality over quantity. Owning more horses costs more money. If you invest your efforts and time into breeding something that is of good quality, it will fetch a price 2 -3x more than something that is bred badly.
- Set up your gazing and paddocks in such a way that they are easily accessible and so that you can keep an eye on your heard quite easily.
- Be aware of spending money on luxuries. Some years we have amazing sales and are feeling rather flush. Other years we can’t make a mortgage payment for a month or two. Buying things that are not necessities in the good months is bound to ruin you. Upgrades to the ranch should only be done if you have had several good years.
- Try to keep your horses as naturally as possible. It is so easy to get carried away by all the fancy things available in the riding industry nowadays but it isn’t worth it. We even try to feed our herd as naturally as possible. Here is an interesting article touching on the importance of Pasture time for horses.
Above all, owning a ranch and breeding facility is really rewarding. When your first crop of foals are born the ranch is just a frenzy of cute. Enjoy the journey!