BY ESTHER BERGER

continued from Part 1 of this 2-part post

In the last post, we saw that the costs of maintaining the breeding mare, if you want to do right by her, are high. But back to the foal, because that is what it’s all about. We start with basic teaching and training from the age of 2,5 to 3 years. We teach them small things like basic groundwork. We take our time. Of course, the youngster has seen the therapist several times to make sure everything is ok. Before we use a bit for the first time, the dentist comes. After that, for about a year, or year and a half, we work with them in hand and lunge them. That means the youngster is already strong, has confidence, stamina and is balanced. Only after that we mount the horse for the first time. Never earlier. You see, it’s not about commerce here, it’s about the horse. If you buy a horse from us, he will have already received 2 to 2,5 years of training. That itself is a big investment. Apart from all other costs. 

BREAKING DOWN THE COSTS IN DETAIL

  • Purchase costs for the mare (around 10.000 EUR and you divide this by the number of foals you get (with us, not many), so let’s say the cost per foal is 750 EUR – this is probably higher in practice)
  • The sperm and veterinary costs (1000-2500 EUR)
  • Maintenance of the mare (minimum 400 EUR per month, 4800 EUR per year)
  • Maintenance of the foal in his first 6 months (400-500 EUR)
  • Relocating the foal to a specialized facility where he can socialize with other youngsters for two years (3250 EUR)
  • Training for 2,5 years after the foal reaches 2,5 years of age (600 EUR per month, 18.000 EUR for the duration of the training)
  • Castration if the foal is a stallion (300 EUR plus potential veterinary costs if complications occur)

This is not including any of the costs that occur if anything goes wrong in this process. The sum total cost of a sustainable five-year-old amounts to 28.400 EUR. 

of a horse

THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE

The purpose of this article is to create awareness about the fact that breeding and training young horses costs a lot. Breeding a foal costs about 7000 EUR. And that is just the start. Please, do not expect to buy a healthy and talented four-year-old sport horse for 6000-10.000 EUR. Save up for longer and invest a little bit more. It will save you a lot of grief and costs in the future. Or you can buy a foal and do all the work yourself. It spreads the costs, but you will have to wait longer, invest more time and hope that it works out the way you want it to. You will however, build a stronger relationship with your equine partner and you will enjoy this amazing journey. After rearing a foal you will better understand why the breeders and traders demand so much from their horses. They must show themselves as being nothing short of spectacular, to earn as much money as possible. The costs are really high. This is logical. But it is at the expense of the horse.

There is a reason why we have – unfortunately – stopped breeding more foals. The business model simply is not feasible. Every reader probably understands that at this point. This year we are selling three or four horses. The same next year. Our healthy, young horses with a very good start in life are scarce. They are sold below their costs. But they are not cheap. They are not “expensive” either. They do have a high price. The five-year-olds that are ridden under the saddle can be purchased for 15,000 EUR. There are also a few three-year-olds and four-year-olds that can be bought. But they are only sold to horse lovers who keep and train their horse in a sustainable way. This is an absolute requirement. And oh yes, don’t expect spectacular videos of our horses. They can move really well. But we like to show videos of them moving in a balanced, not exaggerated way. After all, it would be a little strange otherwise, don’t you think?

If you found this post interesting, you may also like the content below:

ONLINE COURSE: Compassionate Training for Today’s Sport Horse: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/shop/compassionate-training-for-todays-sport-horse/

VIDEO: Training Without Fear: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/videos/training-without-fear/

BLOG: Training your Horse in Vertical Balance: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/training-horse-vertical-balance/

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