Hiya everyone, in this blog I thought I’d talk to you about the excitement of breeding horses and a little about some of our homebreds!
The price tags of quality well-bred young horses are increasing rapidly, for a nicely produced athletic 4yo sport horse you can easily say goodbye to £15-20k. Unfortunately for us buying horses at that price or unbroken 3yo’s that still fetch 5-figure values, is not an option. We cannot afford to lose that money if it doesn’t work out with a horse, and so we decided in 2015 that we would have a go at breeding instead!
At the time we had a lovely big Irish draught mare by Grange Bouncer and a KWPN jumping-bred mare. We decided to use a young local stallion, Galerius, on both mares with the hope that he would put some quality and lightness into both the foals. We used AI and thankfully both mares took in foal first time, so we were over the first hurdle! 11 months of waiting then began!
The foals were both due mid-June/July and so heading into the summer we were anxiously keeping an eye on them both! In typical horse fashion the ID mare decided that it would be great timing to have her foal the one night that we were away in Exeter for my brother’s wedding (we live in Leicestershire)! The morning after the wedding we are woken up to a call from one of the liveries on the yard saying that we needed to get back as Rose had had her foal, but she wasn’t letting him suckle. I don’t think we’ve ever got from Exeter to Leicester so quickly! Thankfully by the time we got home one of our friends that had experience with breeding horses (the lady that bred my now Advanced mare Hattie!), had come down to the yard and helped to calm Rose and she had accepted her colt foal, whom we have called Bryson, as he was born on my brother’s wedding day!
A few weeks later our KWPN mare had her foal with no difficulty, a very pretty filly! Both these two are now 3yo! We sold the filly to a friend of mine, who keeps her with us at the yard and has now lightly backed. We are planning to back Bryson at the end of the event season, and although James and I have backed many horses I think this one will feel a lot more special!!
Since then we got the breeding bug and have bred another now yearling colt by Galerius and this year had a colt foal by Sula Blue. Fingers crossed they turn out to be the stars of the future! Breeding the horses has been a brilliant experience so far, but now the fun part begins with actually riding our first homebred!
We are considering doing an embryo transfer from my top horse Hattie so who knows what the future holds!