Saturday, December 12, 2009
What you don't have you don't need it now
Seriously. I have issues. It happens every year that the stallion issues in the trade magazines come out.
I'm addicted to breeding.
Those glossy advertisements, enticing videos and dreams of putting my next super pony on the ground is really almost too much to bear. Stallion auctions are the worst too. Low-cost breedings from very classy stallions. I frequent the GOV-Oldenburg, the KWPN and New England Dressage Association's yearly ones, with the hope to someday add my own superstar to the roster.
I also live in an area that is the cradle for thoroughbred reproduction. People ship their mares from here and yond to reproduce with the top players in the game.
To tell the truth I'm not unlike others who breed.
Breeders continuously live in the world of 'if', 'could be' and experimentation. They're part dreamers, part historian and alchemist. They devote their time, energy and most of their discretionary income on reproducing in hopes of their next star.
I've already purchased the first breeding for Sinari when she retires out. He's pictured above.
So when I see a super nice mare, or even a relative of Sinari, who I think would be an excellent riding pony and producer, it's all I can do to say no. I've stopped looking at classifieds, stopped going to auctions and listening to people who insist I buy. It's not because the individual isn't nice. Contrary, the economy has given me a steady stream of premium, proven and keur mares within budget range.
It comes down to time.
Lately, I've only had two horses to work, and one to seriously ride for the first time in a few years. It's nice. I've been able to progress twice as fast with Sinari, concentrate on Sincere, assure that the barn is in good order when I leave it and still make it home, by latest- seven in the evening. Three to three and a half hours.
I found that as you progress through the levels, the more time you spend conditioning, keeping that condition and keeping everyone mentally at ease. In addition to doing my own stunts, I do my own work. From cleaning stalls to ordering feed. I do it all. And there aren't vacations until I leave the physical area.
On top of this, I have the pesky rule that all mares who I intend to breed must be proven via performance. I love strong damlines, I love riding good mares and it commands stallion owners that much more easily.
Creating these individuals, again, takes time.
Time is also relative to money. Currently it takes 80 hours to produce the pay that I earn. It's decent pay that gets me a lesson a week, feed, board for the lot of us and assures that there is gas in the car. But it's still 80 hours. Breaking it down out of 240 hours (five day week) total:
80 hours at work
80 hours of sleep
40 hours at the barn
3 hours in the car
10 hours eating
10 hours working on individual projects
5 hours during-the-week errands
10 hours shower/bath
2 hours for the misc. stuff I can't think of
Doesn't leave much time during the week to accomplish much of anything.
To produce another Sinari right now is not only out of question, but unfair to another mare who deserves the attention and love that she would get.
I made the executive decision not too long ago to concentrate on quality, not quantity. Any breeder can produce quantity year after year and eventually get results. However, the difficult task is to produce consistency, quality and results at equal pace.
Right now, to produce that, I need to produce FEI. Can't produce FEI until I ride FEI, can't ride FEI until I train to get there.
Following this vein, I've turned down my magazines, banned myself from auctions and automatically deleted emails about mares. I'm here to train. Eventually, I'll feed the repro monster. But now, credentials first.
We're hitting stride at work, and won't be able to post consistently over this week and the following weeks due to schedule. If I do, it will be short. Sinari is doing wonderfully, Sincere is doing much better since last week. Saturday sessions will resume at Christmas.