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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breed, or Buy?

Hmmmm. I think I have a bit of a quandary when it comes to the whole process of adding a second four-legged beastie to my little herd of one.... I can't quite decide what I want to do! I am perpetually going over the two most concrete options in my head – breed or buy? – and keep going back and forth between the two. Doing what I WANT to do and doing what I SHOULD do are possibly two different things. Or perhaps they’re the same thing. I don’t know!

First of all, I am conflicted as to WHAT exactly I want in my next horse. If we are talking in terms of buying my next horse instead of breeding it, I have two very differing desires, and can’t quite make up my mind about either of them. Part of me wants to find something goofy and fun to just toodle around on. Not something to replace or match Gogo in terms of talent and ability, but something that I can see how far I can take against whatever odds there are. Ideally, however, I don’t want to BUY that horse. I want to free lease it. I don’t think I want something nice enough to warrant paying a lot of money for a lease, and then ultimately having to give it back. Covering expenses for a lease horse, of course! But additional money on top of that, no.
The other half of me wants to find the nicest, most promising animal I can find for the best price that I can, and nurture it until it is ready to break and ride. The problem with this is that, realistically, I’m going to have to probably pick up a weanling for this to work. It’s not likely that that same quality horse will be available to me financially as a 3 year old. The slightly selfish part of me is grumbling about this – my current horse is unrideable, and I want to ride now! But I don’t want to BUY a cheap horse just so I can sit on it today, and then potentially be stuck with it later on down the road. You know I’ll get attached to it, and then when it breaks or maxes out somewhere, I’ll never be able to get rid of it because I am a bleeding heart. I already have one beautiful hayburning poopmaker in my field, I don’t need two!

So I guess it boils down to basically this: if I am going to BUY, I should buy the best horse that I can afford, and not just a cheap project. I refuse to let my emotions get involved when there isn’t even a real horse in question to think about yet. Speaking subjectively, investing in a young talent over a cheap project would possibly bring a higher emotional/financial payout for me in the end. I don’t mean to sound so cold about it, but I have to be rational. I’m already hopelessly in love with Gogo, and could never think about getting rid of her, even if it means she has to spend the next 25 years sitting in my backyard doing nothing beyond eating and and getting groomed. That’s already being a bit irrational from a financial point of view. Money is no object when it comes to Gogo, and I know it’s going to be the same with a new horse, so I need to make my choices wisely. Horses are expensive enough as it is.

But. If we are talking about investing in a young talent, then I need to seriously consider the breeding route. And of course I WANT to breed her! I think she’d be an excellent mother, and I think the offspring would be very nice. Even if that baby came out crooked and ugly, I would love it and keep it. But I have to keep all of the potential cons in mind too. That baby COULD come out wretchedly. I have no idea what it would capable of. It might not be capable of anything. Breeding is a gamble, and you never know what you’ll end up with until it arrives. If I were to find something already on the ground, I would at least be able to see what it looks like conformation-wise, and get an idea of an attitude. I think there is a large chance that the nicest horse I will be able to really afford is one that will come right out of her directly. But I can’t sugarcoat her faults: that terrible topline, her less than perfect front legs, her narrow chest. Nobody’s more aware of her faults than I am. And am I taking a major gamble by breeding a lame horse? Usually, lame horses make more lame horses. While the vets and I strongly believe that this is a matter of bad luck and an acute injury rather than a long-term, conformation-related issue, you still can’t help but wonder: is baby going to break at some point too? All horses can get hurt, and all horses probably will get hurt in one way or another in their life, but it doesn’t make it any easier. No matter what happens, I cannot guarantee the soundess of anything I breed, buy, or lease. If I breed a youngster, it might break at some point. If I buy a cheap project that may have inherited issues, it might break at some point. Hell, even if I buy the nicest horse on the planet, you know full well that it could break at some point too. You just don’t know. You never know. Look at Gogo… never so much as has a stone bruise for three years, and then bam! One day, it’s all over.
The other consideration I must make is Gogo’s comfort level and soundness. Currently, even with an acute injury, she is marching around as sound as ever at the walk, completely happy and comfortable. I don’t dare jog her out, but Jen did say that yesterday she was prancing around in her field in the morning of her own accord, and that afternoon her leg looked better than it ever has since the reinjury. Since she’s been on turnout, her attitude had improved 110% from when she was at the other barn. At the other barn, when I was riding her every day she was perfectly content to go about her daily business and be happy, but once she reinjured she was mopey and weirdly quiet. Now, she’s completely delighted and more than satisfied to go out and eat 10 hours a day. If we are thinking of a breeding, it would be in May or June, about six months out from the original injury. Baby wouldn’t hit the ground until the following April or May. That gives us well over a year before the foal would get big enough to put additional weight stress on her body. I don’t think at that point that her hind legs would be compromised in any way… mares are tough cookies. I remember a mare at the farm I interned at that had a pastern fusion from a career-ending broken pastern, and she was a tiny thing with a big colt. She kept tromping around like nobody’s business even though she wasn’t exactly what anyone would call sound. I also remember having not one but TWO mares at school who had DLSD and carried more than one foal to term without issue. (Now why you’d breed a mare with suspensories so degraded that their fetlocks pretty much were sitting on the ground is beyond me, but they did it anyway, year after year. And that’s a major genetic issue that is definitely inherited!) I think she’d be fine, but I can’t rule out her discomfort as a potential limiting issue. I’m not going to do anything that is going to hurt her. Although I guess you can argue that carrying and birthing a foal can be pretty painful….!

What I would LOVE to do is plan for a springtime breeding in 2011, and find something to lease in the area during the interim. Something I could have a blast with, but not have to invest in long-term in case it doesn’t end up being suitable for what I want to do in the end. Once baby hits the ground, or possibly in the year following when baby hits the ground, I could send back the lease and concentrate on the munchkin. Following weaning, I think it’s quite possible that I might be able to reevaluate Gogo’s riding career and see what I have. I’d really like to give her two years of as much turnout as I can possibly provide, and then seeing what we have at the end of it.

That’s in the ideal world. I could just as easily pick up a lease and NOT breed her, or pick up a young horse at a good price and bring it along instead of breeding her.

You know it can’t hurt to dream though. You know who I really, REALLY would love to breed her to? Catherston Dazzler. I had never considered him until recently because I was trying to stick to Holsteiners, but once I took a better look at him, I about died and went to heaven. If there ever was a dreamier dreamboat for eventing babydaddies, I’ll eat my helmet. And you know what they say about breeding like to like:

Catherston Dazzler has hundreds and hundreds of offspring competing in eventing, and many at the four star level. His son Midnight Dazzler is 18 and competing at the four star level, and has been for MANY years – so the soundness is there. Dazzler crosses REALLY well with TB-type mares like Gogo, and the resulting crosses are proven black/brown, flashy, uphill XC machines.

One problem. He’s dead. Frozen semen only. Yes, I know that first-cycle pregnancies in maiden mares are higher than any other type of mares (meaning foaling or barren mares), but still. That’s quite a risk. And it’s not cheap. There are less than 10 doses of his semen left in the US as we speak. So the chances of that happening are KIND of slim.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream. MAN what a foal that would be.


Kelly said...

you don't necessarily need to buy a weanling, there are nice two and three year olds now on the market that are decently priced out. The market is currently geared

I would not breed until she is sound and she has been through her inspection. I also wouldn't consider frozen for a maiden, it's expensive.

kippen64 said...

Please buy and not breed. There are so many horses out there it's not funny. I advise you against leasing. It's a potential minefield. You have to deal with the owner, major decisions must be referred to the owner and veterinary decisions are a nightmare when you cannot decide on the spot what to do because you have to ask the owner. The owner and not you is going to benefit from any work or feed you put into the horse. With so many sound and sane ex-racing horses out there just crying out for a home, there is no need to lease. So I recommend a former racing Thoroughbred or Standardbred. You can get them free or for their meat value. Standardbreds tend to be lower maintenance than Thoroughbreds if that is a concern.

Melissa said...

Hm. If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely pursue the free lease option, or just make a deal to put some miles and shows on a horse whose owner doesn't have time (or skill) for it. Once people get to know you and your skill set, I'm sure you'll have plenty of options! And it'd be good for you to get back into the saddle, without burdening you with too many responsibilities if s*** happens.

I'm sure you know this better than I do, but I'd advise waiting a few months before making any major decisions. Your life is changing awfully fast right now! Give yourself time to get settled in Texas, make sure the job is going to work out, and look around at your options before taking on any more major responsibilities. If you're working towards doing professional hoof care, how much of your time and money is that going to eat up?

That said, once life's settled and you're sure about having the money and time to commit to it, I do like the idea of breeding a Go-baby. How gorgeous is that stud?! You'd probably face stiff competition for the last of his sperm though. :-) You were talking about Cicera's Icewater a while ago - is he still an option?

Alighieri said...

I have to add to the please buy and don't breed side. I know you love Gogo, but the fact that she had a severe injury from just slipping on hard ground, and those tendons have failed to heal screams inherently weak tendons that have low propensity for healing.

There are dozens and dozens and dozens of quality weanlings and yearlings out there, TB and sporthorse purpose bred. Most of those will never even make it to the track. Hell, here in Texas we have a Fasig-Tipton mixed sale at Lone Star once a year and trust me, those yearlings don't go for much in the racehorse industry. I know a family who picked up a couple of yearlings last year for under $1000 with the intention of turning them into eventers down the line.

I strongly feel that breeding should be reserved for accomplished, sound mares (and stallions, for that matter). I know the soundness issues kept Gogo from having an upper level record, but those same issues would make me never want to have another animal ever have the same issues as her.

I know it's hard to separate the emotional aspects out of this decision, but if you had never met Gogo in your life, and you read her stats on paper, would you consider her worthy to pass on her genetics?

I'd save your pennies and buy a young one if I were you. You might be surprised the quality (cheap) TBs you can find if you're willing to be patient until the right one comes along.

Unknown said...

Delurking (hi Andrea!) just to share a little bit about my story. I have an Oldenburg mare which I am leasing to buy from my trainer. She is fabulous and fancy, but had a hind suspensory injury about three years ago. We rehabbed her and she has come back strong, but while we were in the midst of that my trainer bred her. Her pregnancy has only resulted in good things for her - she's stronger, sounder, and if you didn't know about the injury you wouldn't be able to see it. Amazing!

But - couple things here: 1) Faith's injury was old; it had healed and formed scar tissue. So our only issue was when the lesions stretched out and broke up. There was no concern about aggravating an injury that was acute and still healing. 2) I know that my trainer spent much more on breeding/caring for a mare and foal than she would have spent on a decent younger horse. Faith did not take her first cycle and we had to breed her a second time (using shipped semen both times). My trainer bred her to a young stallion (Diamondhead) and since it was his first foal crop, the stud fees were luckily not very high, but there was the expense of insemination both times. Plus mare care (which admittedly you would have already with Gogo), the breeding fees, and then feeding a lactating mare and foal (which: holy crap, she eats sooo much!). I know that my trainer could have bought one of her "dream" weanlings or yearlings for less than what she has spent on breeding this mare (who admittedly is very very nice, as is the colt!).

Anyways - just thought I would share my experience. If you want to breed Gogo, I am not one to tell you not to (hell, I'm thinking of breeding my mare in a few years for my next show horse), but don't do it thinking that you will necessarily be saving any money. There are always hidden costs that you just can't anticipate. It would probably be much cheaper just to buy a young horse if that's what you're looking for. But I definitely think a free lease would probably suit you very well - give you something to ride for a while!

Renee Davis said...

I'm not sure if you'd consider traveling a bit to find a prospect, but there is a 2008 mare in Oregon that has similar breeding to my mare (same stallion, similar dam lines) and the asking price is quite I'm sure she'd go for even less.

Quite a few of Gatsby's get are successfully competing in or headed toward eventing careers, my mare included. Here is a link to the filly's ad:
Good luck in whatever you decide, gogo is one lucky horse to have such a dedicated and caring owner.
Adventures In Colt Starting

Terry said...

I'm on the buy side. I'm sure you'd love and keep the baby "no matter what", but it's even harder to find a good safe place to raise a baby than it is to board a horse.

ridinfar said...

Another thing to consider is the inherent risks of birthing for the mare. My hubby being an equine veterinarian, I can't begin to tell you about the number of mares that have trouble giving birth and end up dead, or end up with a dead baby, or both. Could you live with yourself if something happened to Gogo and/or baby that resulted in a loss? Yes, I know horrible things can happen in the pasture on their own, but breeding is your choice, not hers, and I think you have to be good with that risk. I have a mare that I love like your Gogo, but don't think I could breed her because of those risks. I am going to look for a youngster that is bred similarly to my mare, which also lets me be picky, because God knows I am.

Good luck to you guys!

manymisadventures said...

No, no, nobody go look at the filly that DS posted! We have been emailing back and forth with her owners and I am seriously interested in her :)

Abby said...

I honestly think you should buy as well. There are SO MANY horses here in Texas for very cheap right now. I would know, I am currently horse shopping for something around 5,000 dollars. That is very little money to spend on a horse! I have only been looking for a few days and have already compiled a folder FULL of beautifully moving hunter prospects, most of them under budget! In my searches I have found so many quality warmbloods for very cheap!
This website is chock-full of all sorts of warmbloods in my area of Texas:

Andrea said...

Take the TBs out of the equation. I really don't want one.

Anonymous said...

I am also in the "buy, don't breed" camp. You can certainly find a nice, even upperlevel prospect for low $ if you're willing to spend some time and creativity looking. I spent sub 3k on my new horse and I am already convinced I have a real dressage talent on my hands (dressage being my interest). And OTTBs are a HUGE goldmine of upperlevel potential at bargain prices, again if you're willing to look and vet carefully. I don't think you need to spend above 4k for a very nice horse in this economy, for real.

Also, I would not risk GoGo's possible future soundness and health with breeding. Anything can happen to mares in the pregnancy/birthing process. Why risk it, if she's your heart horse?

Anonymous said...


The free lease option wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Put an ad up on COTH's riderless horses thread. I found a few free lease options through there.

And I agree with Kippen--don't rule out standardbreds!! The BEST jumper I ever rode (short of my old OTTB) was a STB. I evented her at training level and her jump was incredible. Lots of them can jump, and they are generally very sound and easier keepers than OTTBs. Her temperament was excellent too--they are greatminded, talented horses, and full of try for their riders.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Andrea, we posted at a similar time. Is there a reason why you've ruled TBs out? Just wondering. I respect your preferences, just curious about your reasons.

I would try the COTH riderless horse thread while you're in decision mode.

kippen64 said...

What about a classy Standardbred then as you don't like Thoroughbreds. As you are an Eventing rider, I am utterly fascinated as to why you don't want a Thoroughbred. Please tell, I am aching with curiosity.

Andrea said...

Violently unsuitable for anything I want to do.

Albigears said...

LM- Jessica Wisdom's Diamondhead? What a nice boy he is!

Nicku B said...

I loved leasing other people's nice horses. Yes owners can get crazy, but if you have a good contract up front and can just take a deep breath when it gets tough, it's a great thing to be able to do. 2-3 year olds are fun and there is so so so much you can do with them on a daily basis that's really fun prior to riding them. Breeding...I dunno...your heart and head are going to have to come to some consensus. While she is getting older, she's not old. It's not a decision you have to make this Spring. Babies are a blast, but they take for-freaking-ever to grow up. While it's joyous and the bond you'd have with the baby would be amazing, it's a big gamble and a long wait like you said. Just take everything one step at a time, it will all work itself out and you'll see clearly which path is the right one :)

kippen64 said...

What is wrong with Thoroughbreds? Or was it Standardbreds that you were objecting to? I understand that Thoroughbreds are not your cup of tea and really am curious as to why. I'm not trying to knock or you criticize you. Just suffering from intense curiosity. Please tell as I can feel my curiosity about to burst out of me like a scene from the movie 'Aliens'.

Andrea said...

I am really just NOT a TB person. Yes, there are good eggs out there! However, there are so many TBs with annoying vices (weaving, walking, cribbing, screaming, chewing on crap), TBs with major soundness issues (horses started too early on the track, horses with major keeping/ulcer issues, and horses who are generally just frail... interesting articles out recently about the 'frailty' of the modern TB), TBs with mental issues (violently sensitive, hot, reactive, irrational)....... it's just not the kind of horse I can deal with, it's not worth risking that I'd end up with one of those (or all of those) issues. Maybe I'd get a good quiet totally sound one! But probably not. I don't have what it takes to deal with all of those things and actually enjoy myself at the same time.

Anonymous said...

TB's certainly aren't "violently unsuitable" for eventing, if that is what you want to do. You are entitled to your preferences, of course. I just wouldn't rule out an entire registry based on that, though. I wasn't looking for a Welsh Cob Pony/TB when I was shopping. But I am now so glad I widened my search, since I am so happy with my young horse.

And believe me, I know about having ( and losing) a heart horse. I know you still have Gogo, but I also know that the loss of her as your primary partner is a big loss. When I lost my horse in 2008, I was casting about for what to do with my horsie I hear you and I empathize with the "lost at sea" whole identity as a horsewoman was wrapped around this one magnificent horse...and trying to be a rider without him was the hardest thing I've had to do. Good luck whatever you decide--you have my support!

kippen64 said...

Hi Andrea,

Thank you for telling me why you don't like Thoroughbreds. I have a challenge for you. We have both recently retired horses due to soundness issues and so are both currently without a riding horse. I am going to buy a green, unproven former racing horse. Either Standardbred or Thoroughbred. If you buy a green horse with little or no schooling, let's see which one of us can get their horse to the one star level first. How about it? Are you up for the challenge?

Anonymous said...


Okay, another overlapping post.

I agree that TBs are hardkeepers. That, more than any mental issue, is a legit deterrent. That's why my 2nd horse isn't a TB. I wanted something that could stay fat on air, and that's what I've got.

Andrea said...

Ok, so maybe "violently unsuitable" is a bit harsh. Violently unsuitable for ME is more like it.

Kippen.... YOU'RE ON!

kippen64 said...

Hi Andrea,

That's brilliant!!!! I'll let you know when I get my hands on a horse. Will have to start looking. Thank you for taking up my challenge. So happy about that.

Unknown said...

Been following you for a while but don't usually post a comment. Felt like I had to share my experience in response to this post though. I totally get the appeal of breeding your mare strictly because it would be amazing to have a baby of the horse you love and adore, and it's tough to put a price on that. From a strictly financial perspective though, I can tell you that I have a 2 year old who I bred, and I've already spent over $25,000 on her from the time I got the mare pregnant until now. If I hadn't done that, I could definitely go out and get a comparable 2 year old (or even an unbroke 3 year old) now, for about $10K less. That said, I love my filly and I'm happy I bred her, but from a purely dollars and cents perspective, it makes no sense to breed. Not sure how that info will impact your decision, but thought I'd pass it along as food for thought.

eventer79 said...

You know, something I think you are totally not considering --

There are heaps of cheap projects out there who are great horses!!!!!!

You certainly don't have to spend five figures to get a horse who can take you up to whatever levels you want!

I mean, my goodness, it doesn't have to have a big fat pedigree and "10" gaits to climb to any level you can think of. I think you also need to be realistic about what level YOU are going to ride it at. It's such a common trap for people to look for a horse who "might" make it to Advanced, but in reality, they are only going to ride to Prelim or Training or Novice.

And we all know that potential talent amounts to a hill of beans once it hurts itself, everything is a risk, so why spend a bunch of money on something when there are hundreds of nice horses coming off the track and out of private farms every day??? Are there unsound horses off the track? Sure, but if you think there aren't unsound horses in breeding barns, you're kidding yourself. If you start shopping horses as individuals and not shopping breeds or labels or generalizations, the picture shifts quite a bit.

Remember -- expensive does NOT mean better. It just means they suckered someone into paying more money for it. Don't write off a horse just because he doesn't have some schmancy breed name or high-end price tag attached to him, open up your mind a little, and I think you just might find yourself with a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, that's my two cents, or whatever it's worth, thoughts to consider. I stepped outside my box and found a horse who changed my life and that story is wayyy more common than you think. :-)

Nicole Redman said...

I actually have some experience with Standardbreds, remember? (don't tell my hunter peeps). I have found them to be athletic, sound and sane as a generalization but you have to do some searching to find one that can canter (rather important for jumping!) I'm glad people brought that up because I wouldn't have though about it for you, but I bet if you found the right one you'd ADORE it!

Also, your extended trot would be awesome. Just sayin'

Muriel said...

I second Marissa, breeding is MORE expensive than buying.

Even buying an expensive young horse does not mean anything, my friedn did, and he bowed his tendons in BOTH front legs. They were not happy as tehhorse was not even in "performance training".

Horses are a gamble. Reading your long post, it sounds like you have thought of all the different angles.

Anyho, I believe people always make the best choice according to the oportunities available at that moment.
I am sure you will make the perfect decision for you, and dazzle us all ^-^

Daun said...

Tough love time.

Andrea, you wrote: many TBs with annoying vices ... TBs with major soundness issues ... TBs with mental issues (violently sensitive, hot, reactive, irrational)....... it's just not the kind of horse I can deal with

Gogo runs and spins to come in from turnout (I know she's better now, but I consider that a vice). She attacks other horses over stall walls. Another vice. Soundness issues? Yep, Gogo's got them, since she was five she was supposed to be injected. Mental issues? Rearing? Fussy? Check.

Check your ego at the door. Gogo, as a warmblood, is just a "temperamental" as a TB. Hey, I am not a fan of TBs either, but I understand that are WILDLY suited for eventing and fox hunting, my two loves. And, honestly, you would be SO LUCKY to have a 20 year old, stiff, knobby-legged mare like Hobby who is SOUND over the most ridiculously slidy and rocky terrain and continues to lead first field hunting at 35 MPH. So lucky.

Breeding is for people who are not very good at math, even if you have the BEST PROVEN MARE.

Do not breed a mare that broke down in the entry levels of your sport. Aside from weak topline, she has a weak hind end, a fact you have challenged many times when pointed out by others. She is not a great specimen, but she was expensive...

Now go find a great specimen who is also cheap and ride the tar out of him/her all the way to the top. Learn what a fundamentally sound horse is capable of and learn what they DON'T need (injections at five, constant wrapping, icing, etc). Don't be so quick to dismiss any horse in your situation.

You know I love you, sorry for being an ass.

Andrea said...

When was she supposed to be injected at age 5!? This is news to ME Daun! She was never supposed to be injected at all, I opted to do that because I am stupid!

Did you ever stop to think that maybe I don't want a TB because I don't WANT a second horse with temperament issues? Gogo is a fairly decent specimin and was NOT expensive. No, she's nothing special, nobody knows that more than me.

Also remember I don't want to go to the top. At all. Ever. It's too hard on the horses. Also, I don't have the talent or money.

I am going to smack you the next time I see you! I am in a fragile emotional state as it is and you made me cry!

Gina said...

Here is the thing, I was not against you breeding go go at all, BEFORE I read your responses to these posts. Go Go is your baby, you have this over whelming connection to her that I think has made you a little blind to her faults. Do I think she is awful, no not by any means. She is much nicer than my horse who I dream of having a relative of (he is a gelding so no babies).

I know you are going through a lot now both physically and emotional. My advice is to get that project horse, get Go Go sound enough for Inspection and see what the registry says. I am not going to comment on your critique of other breeds or your horse because I think that a. you are not in the place to be completely rational which is fine! I am not either. and b. I think that if you take her to an inspection more knowledgeable minds than mine can help give you a better Idea over all where she stands.

I know this is a really long post from someone who rarely posts, but I read everyday and really feel for you and Go Go and I can see how distressed I would be if I was you.
I wish you all the best as you move to Texas, I hope that you find what you need to be happy and keep Go Go moving forward.

Amy said...

It sounds to me that your mind is going a million miles a minute. You are going through some pretty huge changes in your life so I can see why. These are all questions you are asking us(the blogger world) and you probably don't even need to. You are a smart girl and it will all fall into place in the right time and you will see how it all worked for the better in the end. The only advice we can give is the "what would I do" advice which isn't all that acurate. So my advice is to go where you are feeling led to go and wait for doors to open. You will figure it all out. If you want to breed her then breed her and I know you will do it in the safest way possible because you love her. If you want to lease, then lease. If you want to buy a young project then do so. I think you could find a beautiful prospect in a very reasonable price range. TB and STB rescues are every where and here in Indiana you can find a TB prospect for under $1000. Each of these are great options and will all bring you great joy and great trial because that is just how life works. I am sure you know you are not going to get any guarantees in life. The best we can do is make informed decisions with the information we have and enjoy the ride. Hang in there it will all work it self out soon and you will start to get some answers. In the mean time try to calm that brain of said than done I know.

Renee Davis said...

@manymisadventures: Good luck! I've yet to meet a Gatsby baby that wasn't amazing and a massive improvement over the dam, so I hope the purchase works out for you!

Adventures In Colt Starting

Aced: said...

Hi Andrea- I rarely post but read every day and it is blatantly obvious that you have thoroughly thought through all your choices. There is no doubt that you know and understand the pro's and con's of each side- especially breeding since that is what you went to school for. Please don't let others influence what you do or don't do. I know deep down inside you have a little inkling to sway one way or another and I hope you follow it. Whatever it may bring you; I believe that it is something you need to go though to be the best possible person you can be!

As far as not wanting a TB, I understand more than anyone. I am the classic story-bought a nice young SOUND prospect to go to training with (Hopefully) after months and months of soundness issues I'm just happy I can trot him most days. It sucks, and it cannot be denied that there is little "useful" OTTB stock left. Ask any of the big names- they used to LOVE buying OTTB's and bringing them though all the levels and none of them will do that anymore. It's simply not an option.

As I said, I hope you follow whatever your heart is telling you and best of luck to you and GoGo.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

EEEks, there are some harsh comments here. So, you know I am a OTTB owner and I do have to agree with Andrea. Unless you are a die hard lover of the TB breed (which I am) they may be appealing and that is OK. It's better for someone to realize what breeds work for them and purchase/breed/lease correctly so the partnership is happy on both sides. I would NEVER judge someone saying they don't want my breed of's a difficult and sensitive breed and there are many options out there. They are immensely talented but I think you are either a TB person or not. No judgement.
Now..that being said...Andrea, I know u are from Michigan and I can assume it's similar around the US but there are SO MANY talented (or young, healthy) horses for FREE right now, it's crazy. My friend who runs a rescue has drop offs every 2 weeks of GORG horses that are in great shape-owners just can't afford board, etc.
Perhaps that is a route you can take and it would make sense financially. As long as you are open to mixed breeds, etc....

Andrea B. said...

Wow, talk about being narrow minded. I don't know how you can say all TBs have temperament issues and vices. You've never seen the TBs at my barn! I just got a 4 y/o OTTB (restarted by someone else) who is the calmest, quietest, sanest, safest, not spooky horse. He is green, but has been easy and uncomplicated. He is an easy keeper and sound with clean legs. I think you are doing yourself a huge disservice to rule out all TBs. Talk about being narrow minded.

Andrea said...

I am not ruling out the good individual. Remember, Gogo is half thoroughbred! I'm just saying that the stereotypical OTTB is not the horse I want. Really, it's just not!

Andrea said...

Also, I fully believe that to get anywhere near the top at all, you need a horse who is at least half thoroughbred. That's what I'd like to own. Just not a hot-headed running machine.

Anonymous said...

Wowzas. The internet is full of douchebags.
It doesn't matter what her opinion of TBs is, you guys. It doesn't hurt YOU monetarily or physically. Live and let live. Everyone has their own biases when it comes to their passions (horses), based on personal experience. I applaud her for sharing her opinion and asking for advice on an issue she cares so deeply about. Shame on those who judge her based on a simple opinion. There is one reason we are all here on this blog, and that is because we love horses and sharing our own personal experiences. Everyone has different beliefs/experiences with horses, but I think it's safe to say that if you dedicate an entire blog to your equine partner, you love them more than most people would imagine.
I wish you the best of luck, whether you choose to buy a second horse or not. :) You go, girl.

Andrea said...

Thank you, I agree! You all could tell me you hate Holsteiners and think they are the ugliest, least talented, worst-tempered animals on the planet and I'd say... cool, I don't care!