Horses are expensive to keep, they eat a lot, they need regular vet care, they need farrier care, and they ALL need training. It has been said it is just as expensive to keep a free horse as an expensive horse and this statement is true.
Here at Horsemeister we try our very best to make sure our horses are well fed and comfortable. The training they receive is the best we can provide and I'm pretty sure the results of Karin and Rhoda efforts are easy to see, how well behaved, quiet and respectable they are when the horses are taken off the property, either at the vet clinic, trail rides, performances.
So all of this now said, why is this post written? Below are a few of the questions we have been asked and honestly I kind of get tired answering them.
Why do you keep breeding horses when there are many horses dying of starvation?
But NONE of our horses die of starvation so does this really apply to us?
You have no idea where these horses are going when you sell them, how do you know they will not end up at an auction, so why do you keep breeding?
These horses are expensive, When someone pays $4000-$8000 do you really think they won't take care of that horse?
Why are your horses outside when it is this cold out?
We DO stall but usually that is when it is TOO HOT outside. Young Friesian foals cannot regulate their temperature and it is critical to keep them out of the sun. We actually have an airconditioned stall barn JUST for this purpose. They actually do very well in the cold.
Is it true you make your horses stay out in the rain?
A horses hair coat helps the horse shed the rain without chilling them, we do make sure the very young or very old are inside when the rain is steady and the temps are in the 30s.
How come NONE of your horses are EVER blanketed?
Do your research on this question, blankets are NOT advisable (there are exceptions) we blanketed Raven toward the end of his life. A horse in good flesh does not need a blanket unless you plan on working that horse hard during the winter where the horse will sweat, then it takes much to long to make sure the horse is dry before putting them out after the work out. Blanketing is more to keep the hair coat from growing.
We really want one of your foals but can't afford it, will you give him or her to us for free, we have a special needs child, or will you take a lot less for such and such foal or you have so many will you trade our 25 year old quarter horse gelding that rides amazing for a foal?
See the answer to question 2: If you cannot afford the price how will you afford to take care of the foal. No we will not donate for a special needs child, again horses are expensive and we have special needs right here. No we will not trade. I've had to tell many people geldings are not suitable for a breeding farm and we don't need any riding horses, we already have plenty.
Why don't you use only approved stallions on your mares?
I learned very quickly we could not afford to use an approved stallion. The cost of that easily added up to $2000.00 and that was BEFORE the foal was born. I was that person that someday wanted to own a Friesian and found out there are many people just like me. By standing our own stallions and having the very best quality mares we could afford we could make this dream of owning a Friesian possible for the average person not just the very rich.
Are you just a back yard breeder?
Yes, but that is nothing to be ashamed of. Technically, we keep our stallions in our back yard of 30 acres. Our mares and stallions are amazing and were chosen for their beauty, movement and yes breeding ability.
Why do you have so many horses?
They are all gifts from God and we have been blessed, not sure how else to answer that question.
What do you do with the horses that you no longer breed?
That's ONE of the reasons we have so many horses, we just seem to get attached to the inventory and they end up as lifers.
Will you donate a breeding to an auction?
Nope, we tried that twice and both times it ended badly for us. Once the mare brought here could not be bred and even though we did NOT receive the auction money, those people wanted their money back. The other time we were brought a mare that would not tie, kicked Raven in the penis and he was out for the rest of the breeding season.
My children, grandchildren, friends, cousins want to come riding, could we come over OR we want to drop our child, grandchild, friend, cousin to spend the day with you helping out?
We use to actually do this but all of us got burned out. One week we had 3 different people ask and none of them could understand why we would say no. It takes many people to make this work, someone needs to tack up horses, watch each child or adult carefully and try to keep everyone safe. The work involved alone was overwhelming. We also learned that even those that tell us they ride all the time really cannot be trusted to know what they are doing. It was just too stressful for those asked to help. For some reason everyone that asks thinks they are the only one asking. Now only Karin arranges trail rides or pony rides. They COST money, we have to pay help. We are not baby sitters and are much to busy working to watch your child, grandchild, friend, cousin "help" us.
Can we come take pictures?
This was another thing we use to do but quit. It takes too much time away from the necessary work. People don't always use good sense and we cannot just turn people loose taking pictures. Even though our mares and stallions are well behaved it is easy to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
WE KNOW we are not the only 'back yard breeder' (which is NOT a bad thing) and would like to hear from others if they have had the same questions. Anyone else out there stand their own stallions and have rude people question their motives?