Breeding horses – everything you need to know

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Owning a horse is a dream waiting to come true for many people

Motivations are different and often go back to the childhood. Sometimes it’s about the possibility of improving riding skills, other times it’s about breeding a remarkable animal on your own miniature ranch. But first you need to have some knowledge, which will allow you to consciously consider such a responsible step. Here is some important information.

Breeding horses as a luxury investment?

The enthusiasm for breeding horses can be not only an original hobby, but also a way of business. It is assumed that in case of sport horses, profitability begins when they achieve results at the Olympics. Their price rises then to about 20 thousand zlotys. You have to be aware though, that the differences in the prices of animals are huge. You can buy a horse for 5 thousand zlotys, but also for several million. An example is the mare Perfinka, who was sold at the “Pride of Poland” auction for 1,25 million euro. However it is not the most expensive mare coming from Janów Podlaski: in 2015 1,4 million euro was paid for Pepita. Celebrities have also bought horses from Janów Stud – Shirley, the wife of drummer Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, bought the mare Pieta in 2007. Other business uses for horses include agrotourism, hippotherapy and a riding school

The most expensive horses in the world

However it turns out that the prices of horses from Polish studs differ from those bought in the world. Here are the absolute top 5 most valuable mounts on our planet:

  • place 5: Green Monkey bought in 2006 for 16 million dollars,
  • place 4: Totilas, a Dutch stallion sold for $21 million,
  • place 3: Shareef Dancer, who was sold in 1983 for $30 million,
  • place 2: Fusaichi Pegasus sold for $60 million,
  • place 1: Frankel, which is the highest scoring racehorse in the world, valued at $131.6 million.

Keeping a horse is neither cheap nor easy

It is worth being aware that the average life expectancy of a horse is 25-30 years. From this comes a huge range of responsibilities that will fall on the owner throughout the years. The purchase is relatively cheap in comparison to the expenses which have to be put out on the upkeep of the horse for a number of following years. It is estimated that the monthly cost of maintaining such an animal is from 350 to 500 zloty – provided that we have our own stable. Of course the prices of hay, straw, oats and specialist supplementation vary depending on many factors. It will also be necessary to shoe the horse, trim the hooves, carry out veterinary inspections and – if necessary – also treat the horse. You also need to add to this the cost of the riding equipment, where, however, there is a certain freedom. How much can a saddle cost? For luxury models of sport saddles (jumping) we will pay even several thousand zlotys

You must have the necessary infrastructure. Luxury stables

To raise a horse, you need a sufficiently large and well-equipped stable. The animal needs its own box. It is estimated that one horse needs 9 m2, a mare with foal needs 12 m2. Safety is important: the floor must be even, the walls must be strong, and the manger and drinker must be well and comfortably fastened for the horse. There must be no protruding parts that could injure the animal. There are, of course, luxurious stables for horses. The Heilan Horse Culture Museum in the Chinese province of Jiangsu is a place that combines the function of an equestrian center and a museum. Nevertheless, it seems extravagant that in addition to 43 breeds of horses you will find statues, chandeliers and marble floors inside

What kind of horse do you need? Imported steeds

When planning to buy a horse, it is essential to realize what kind of animal we will need. We can choose between sport horses, horses designed for work or typically recreational horses. It is also recommended that an inexperienced rider has a steed with a calm temperament – older and arranged. You can choose a steed from a Polish stable or decide to buy an imported animal, which requires a considerable financial investment. An animal with sport predispositions imported from Germany costs at least 15 thousand euro, provided that we’re talking about lower class horses

Before buying a horse it is necessary to visit the breeder

This point seems trivial, but some people still make the mistake of buying at a distance. First of all we should see the animal ourselves, get to know it and its character. We should find out if this particular horse will suit us. Besides, if we make a long distance purchase, we run the risk of falling victim to fraud

Get advice from an experienced breeder

Even a personal visit and inspection doesn’t guarantee that we won’t make a mistake or be cheated. So it is necessary to go for a visit with an experienced breeder, who will be sensitive to issues that may escape the novice.

Check the documents and do some research

A valuable source of knowledge about the horse’s history is its passport. You should verify its authenticity if there are any doubts about it. It is advisable to buy a horse in the case of which the seller doesn’t want to show the passport. You can also check the chip implanted in the neck. It’s also worth doing a TUV examination by a vet right before the purchase/sale. Its cost is high, we’ll pay even PLN 1500 for it, but sometimes it allows to avoid unexpected consequences of buying a horse without sufficient knowledge

The reputation of the seller and the content of the contract

It is very important not to buy animals from people who have a bad reputation. A source of information can be industry internet forums, other horse breeders, sometimes even mutual friends or neighbors. The contract should be drawn up according to the prevailing standards so that there are no doubts about the rights to the animal

Photo Philippe Oursel/Unsplash

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