Thursday, January 10, 2008

Opportunity Knocks?

As some of you may already know, my pinto Oldenburg stallion Senter Stage is our farm's pride and joy. We invested a lot of money to buy him. He's an amazing animal with a world-class pedigree and a ton of potential.

But because of circumstances (financial setbacks, poor facilities, and too many other projects) I have not even managed to finish training him under saddle, much less promote him, or even get get my farm set up with the proper facilities so that I could start offering him at stud to outside mares (and thus let him start earning a little income for the farm).

Recently, a woman contacted me about the possibility of breeding one of her mares to Senter. She owns a breeding/training/boarding/lesson barn about 2 1/4 hours from me. She has a nice selection of Warmblood and Thoroughbred mares and stands a couple of Thoroughbred stallions at stud, but she now wants to get started breeding Warmbloods.

Because I really don't have the facilities to house outside mares here---and I already have too many other horses that I need to put training on this year---I asked her if she'd be open to the possibility of putting some training on Senter for me at her facility, in exchange for breeding to him.

Well, we've been exchanging lots of long emails since then and to make a long story short, in exchange for a certain number of breedings, she is willing to temporarily take over and "manage" Senter's career for me.

Meaning, she will train him, show him, advertise him, take him to Stallion Expos, take him to the registry inspections to get him "approved for breeding" so he can start doing full-Warmblood breedings, teach him to have semen collected so he can start doing shipped semen, allow him to stand at stud at her facility (I get the stud fees, she gets the mare care fees), and even transport him back here to my farm so he can be here for my breeding season in May.

Considering all I've managed to do with him in the two years he's been with me is get him under saddle a few times and breed him to a handful of mares, this seems like an amazing opportunity for him---especially since I'm past the stage in my life where I even WANT to be dragging horses around to shows and inspections.

In exchange, she gets breedings to Senter---which means that the better she does at promoting him and getting him known, the more her foals will be worth, so there's good motivation there. Plus the fact of having a stallion of Senter's caliber at her farm (without having to pay the big bucks to buy one) will help draw people to her program.

Of course this all depends on me visiting her facility, meeting her in person, and making sure we "click" in our ideas about how horses should be handled, but if it works out, it could be a HUGE win-win situation for both of us. The work she puts in could easily double Senter's value, as well as increasing the value of his foals.

So anyway, I'm going to her farm on Sunday to meet her and hopefully watch her do a training session so I can get an idea of her methods.

If all goes well, and it seems like the two of us will be able to work together in this partnership, then we'll start negotiating the details and sign a formal contract.

So, with luck, Senter might be going off to "school" very soon. My boy will be all grown up!

No comments: