You see, to breed draft horses, you need draft horses, but to breed Appaloosas you need Apps. In the process of working up an unrelated bloodline, I needed some appaloosa genetics, so for a few years this has worked for me, but the time has come to take the next step in the transition.
This means that I have a lot of foals coming next year (for me) and many of the dams will go up for sale, while the fillies will stay. Most of the colts will be sold to help increase the available bloodlines and owners of the Sugarbush Draft Horse.
I also have some "left over" foals from my time breeding Appaloosas. Most are about 3 years old now, so not truly "foals" but they are still MY babies. These will be backed this year... if my health allows....and then sold into loving caring homes. I'm almost shocked at some of the horses I will be selling in all honesty. Dream could be up for sale. I adore this mare, but at the same time, I know that she's a very refined light horse. Phoenix, one of the daughters of my beloved Ash, is up for sale (But Oops stays!) and Tori, a lovely Chocklate confetti lined filly is on the market. Tori is the last of my Appaloosa foals I will probably be breeding (unless something really miraculous happens in the market).
My hope is to slim down the number of horses I have. My dear mother has been my assistant for many years, and lately a few medical issues (arthritis, bursitis) have made it hard for her to handle the horses like she wants. I need to drop my numbers down to what ONE person can reasonably handle and train in a single day, as opposed to the 2 full time horse people I've had in the past.
Currently, I own 30 horses. Yes, that's a LOT of horses, but remember, I do this full time, and have 2 others on hand all day long. That's only 10 horses per person, so not as scarey as it sounds. It's a lot of work, but it's also my "job". I'm hoping to be down to 25 horses by 2012, and only 20 horses by 2013. Keep in mind that I'm also breeding, so that means I need to sell about 10 horses this year. I average about 8 sales a year, so I think I'll be pretty close.
What I'm NOT willing to do though, is sell my horses just to meet my numbers! My babies will get the best homes I can find for them. If that means they get to stay a few more years and get more training, well I'm just fine with that.
What amuses me though, is the horses I decided to cut, and those that I will be keeping. Dream will be sold, once I have the filly I need from her, yet Arden will be staying a while. Amber will go, but Dee will stay always. Granted, Dee is Jae's horse, not mine, but she's also NOT one of my favourites (that mare hates me!).
I am also going to be selling many of my riding horses! Boo is listed for sale. I love that horse, but he needs some one with more special time for him. Cayenne, my darling Orphan filly is going to be worked up and offered to an approved home.
It's a hard thing realizing that you have to reduce the herd, especially in this market, but with my losing a full time set of hands, there's really not much I can do except turn into a crazy horse hoarder! I love them all, but I do know that many will do better in the hands of a single horse owner, or someone with more time to devote to each horse. There's no way I can handle ALL of these horses alone.
Ok, it's not like I'm in crisis mode or anything. My mother is still out there working, and Jae is always around, but in order to move forward, I've realized that this is what is needed. While I'm not happy thinking about my darling horses not being here, I am happy with the thoughts of the future, and I am positive that my horses will only go into the best hands. Yes, I do check references very well!
So my friends, don't be shocked at what you see starting to show up on the sales list!