Breed.Ride… Compete?

Ya know how sometimes you just get on a roll and one idea spins off into another idea and then another idea? That’s kind of what’s happening here. This blog spawned more interest in the breeding stuff, which spawned some other opportunities, which spawned the Patreon, which then spawned my latest idea – Breed.Ride.Compete.

If y’all are here reading this blog at all, you know all about my nerdiness when it comes to the breeding stuff. You probably already know my history with breeding, you know the work that I do for breeders and for EN (my last EN piece, in case you missed it), you know about my plethora of spreadsheets, and the data that I’ve provided for live streams. I won’t go over that all again.

It will also probably not come as a surprise to any of you that I get asked breeding related questions A LOT. Like a lot a lot. It made me think that there might be a need for some kind of (very reasonably priced) service to help provide some information and guidance to people who are interested in breeding and/or pedigrees, but have not dedicated their entire adult life to researching it and don’t really know where to look or who to ask. I get several messages every week about it just from people who know me personally (almost exclusively amateur riders or first time breeders) so I do think there’s a lot more interest in the topic than we might think. I was already going to create all the branding for a business to put all of my live stream information under (see above logo) so that it has a more professional appearance and I got to thinking – maybe there are other services this little “business” could offer as well?

A few things immediately sprang to mind, given all the questions I get from friends as well as pain points I see with breeders.

1) As mentioned above – continuing to offer pedigree data services for live streams (I give a lot of information, like the breeder name, country bred, what the sire and the dam did, any successful related horses, the blood %, etc… assuming it’s possible to find it within any of my 14ish sources). At this point I give this data away, because just getting people to take it and use it is still an uphill battle. Someday it would be nice to be able to charge for it because it’s hours and hours and hours of work, but… ya know. I’m not that delusional.

2) “Research Packages” – a few page pdf document full of information about your horse and it’s family – pics and videos of ancestors, information about what they did and produced, what they were known for, other related horses from those lines and where they are now, etc. I have subscriptions to several databases already that I can use to research and pull data from that the average person doesn’t have access to or knowledge of, plus my spreadsheets, plus I know the vast majority of lines pretty well by now in my own head, given my general decades-long obsession. I’d only be able to offer this for TB’s and Warmbloods, since they’re my knowledge base. But basically like… you send me the pedigree, I send you a book report about it. There would be a fee for this, but nothing crazy.

3) Offering phone or email consultations for first time/hobby breeders, to talk about things they should consider, what bases they should cover, how to prepare, discuss their mare and how to analyze her strengths/weaknesses, talk about things to look at when choosing a stallion, etc. I don’t want to make the decisions for you, I want to arm you with the knowledge you need in order to feel good about making a decision for yourself. This service only occurred to me because I did this as a Zoom call last week with someone who “knows” me from Instagram. Thinking back on who I was when I took my first foray into breeding, I would have felt a lot better if I’d had someone experienced to talk to, bounce ideas off of, etc. Particularly someone who was NOT a stallion owner, NOT trying to influence me to buy semen or a foal from them, etc. There would also be a fee for this, but again nothing crazy.

4) Data entry services, like entering people’s mares and foals (fully and accurately, for crying out loud, which is RARE given how much fixing and entering I have to currently do of even the top level horses) into all of the main pedigree databases. Not only would horses get entered correctly, people wouldn’t have to create accounts or buy subscriptions or learn how to use these sites (some of which are buggy when it comes to data entry, to say the least). Having all of that data easily accessible in these big databases helps us all in the long run, since we can’t learn about what we don’t know. This would be a cheap service geared more towards pro breeders that either don’t have the time/energy to enter all this stuff, or are not computer savvy enough to do so.

actual footage of me trying to make datasheets for big events and NONE OF THE BREEDING DATA IS COMPLETE

So my question is – do you think any of these things would interest the “average” horse owner? Are there other things relating to breeding that you think would be helpful to offer? To be very clear – I’m definitely not doing this to try to make money (HAHAHA that would be hilarious) I’m doing it because I think breeding is important, and I think that breeding knowledge especially is a very big gap in our overall horsemanship knowledge in the US. This is a hill I am prepared and willing to die on. We don’t know our horses the way Europeans do, and a lot of it is because it’s just not as engrained in our culture, not talked about as much, and the data isn’t as easy to find or track. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to Europe but this is one piece of it I don’t think we look at hard enough. They know their horses and where they come from so much better than we do.

I know that anything I do to try to change our overall mindset about breeding is really just a drop in the bucket, but I’m passionate about the cause and if I can help influence even just a handful of people… it’s worth the effort to me. As long as, of course, I’m not just giving my time away for free to the point where it’s detrimental to everything else I’m trying to do.

At this point I’m months away from any of this coming to fruition. I want a website in place first and I have a lot happening in the next few months that won’t grant me much time to work on this project or get a website up and running. But I do want to keep thinking on it though and letting it stew in my head, and part of that is throwing the idea out there and seeing what the response is like… would appreciate any feedback y’all have!

28 thoughts on “Breed.Ride… Compete?

  1. YES YES YES!!!

    Definitely the #2 idea, super interested in that. And #3 should I ever have a mare I want to breed. I think these 2 ideas are more for the general public (both ammys and pros) who just want to know their horses better.
    And I love the others, and the info for the live streams, but they wouldn’t be for me personally.

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  2. I think they are great ideas! Humble brag, I suggested similar for your Patreon☺️. Even if your fee is small you will also benefit from the research yourself, growing your mental and other databases.
    My horse is a complete mutt so I personally won’t be requesting your services but yes it’s important to know breeding and background.

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  3. I definitely love the idea of #2 specifically, as my TB was a complete accidentally breeding (stallion got loose during a coyote attack), and I would love to know more about his family tree! I think these are all great ideas, but #2 would definitely attract the “average” rider who wants to know more about their best friend.

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  4. Good morning Amanda! I now regret the lengthy reply I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago regarding this topic… In that now deleted reply, I supported the idea of you starting something just like this breeding consulting idea. It truly seems to be a passion of yours and you know what they say about following your passion.. I shared how the TB industry has a computerized program that will match your mares bloodlines to stallions and give a calculation on competitiveness of the offspring. Harris Farms here in California offers it for the stallions they stand. I also told you about the cutting horse industry and the show stats (dollars won) that they compile on horses being shown so you can determine winning stallions to breed your mare to. I think Quarter Horse News owns that service.

    I support your idea 1000%. I think the hunter/jumper world really needs to start appreciating breeding programs in the industry. Because of the internet, your info is valuable on a global basis. Don’t think small on this project. Your information is proprietary and I think you can monetize it more than you think. You are on the ground floor of a service like this. Think big and Bravo to you!

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  5. I think this is SUCH a fantastic idea and am so excited to see you potentially making a business out of the breeding information you have so much passion and information about. I think you do all the ideas and narrow your focus as you need to. No way to know what’s wanted until you offer it? Also, do Irish horses count as Warmbloods or are their pedigrees so effin messed up you’re not touching that one? Finding anything on Henry is a nightmare. I would gladly pay someone else to try and find out more…
    One thing to consider- as anyone would be, you’re more knowledgeable and excited about certain stallions. How would your consults take this into consideration? Would it be, here is what you’re looking for, and here is what I recommend on my knowledge? Or would it be broader, more like “OK, you should look for xyz in your stallion” but not give actual stallion names. I think either way is fine, I think that people just need to know ahead of time that they’ll be responsible to find the stallion or that you are giving knowledge based on what you’ve seen/know and there are lots of other potential stallions out there.
    I am REALLY excited for you, and hope you make it happen! I love when people have great ideas centered around their passions 🙂

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    1. If I couldn’t find enough to justify a full report I’d either offer to do it for half price or just tell them that I couldn’t find enough to be worth taking their money. I have some resources with the Irish horses but sadly a lot of that information wasn’t recorded in the first place and therefore just doesn’t exist now.

      As far as the consults, I definitely do not want to be analyzing people’s mares for them or telling them what stallion to breed to. I don’t think that’s my place and I’m not comfortable doing that even with my good friends. What I DO want to do is give them a full criteria of things to evaluate their mare on, guidance for HOW to evaluate their mare, and in turn what that means as far as picking a stallion, and the best way to evaluate a stallion. People still need to be making their own choices since it’s their foal and their money and their undertaking, I’d just want to help give them the full scope of what all they should take into account and the process by which they should go about making their decisions.

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  6. I think this is a super idea! I would definitely be interested in an analysis of my thoroughbred mare’s breeding, since my knowledge of thoroughbred breeding ends with the well known refining stallions like Laurie’s Crusader, Furioso, black sky, etc. I consider myself fairly well-versed in Warmblood breeding and I’m always so surprised when I ask fellow competitors at horse shows what their horses breeding is and they have no idea. It’s so important to me as someone who has worked in the breeding industry extensively and who also breeds for my own use. I think every single person who learns just a little bit more about pedigree and breeding will contribute to the bigger picture and increase awareness

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  7. I would have loved this service when I was trying to find more about Promise’s breeding! I had very little info to go on to begin with, but even as recently as 10 years ago, the equine databases and google stalking were just not turning up any results that gave me any concrete information to follow up on.

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  8. Awesome idea! I would check with those subscriptions services terms of service and agreement to make sure that you are not violating them by either receiving money for the data they have (capitalizing) or being able to distribute outside their sub.

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  9. Such a good idea! I’m taking a mare to be bred for the first time this spring. I eventually found the right person to chat with, but would have loved to have just been able to pay someone like yourself for some impartial feedback and knowledge at the beginning of the process.

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  10. As an owner of two TB mares that I may or may not ever breed, I’d love the “book report” just for curiosity’s sake, and would definitely appreciate being able to purchase the zoom/email consult if I decided to proceed with breeding one/both. The idea of choosing a stallion is so daunting!

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  11. Amanda, your knowledge base and fact-finding experience continues to astound me! What great ideas you have here and what valuable information you have to share. The industry is fortunate to have you “working for” the future!

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  12. I think it’s a great idea. There’s a gal in the Arabian horse world that does pedigree analysis for a fee: Most Arabians have reasonably complete pedigrees (at least until you hit a “desert bred”, which are the native lines from the Arabian peninsula), but there are several sub-lineages (Crabbet, CMK [yes, different than Crabbet, depending on who you ask], Egyptian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Shagya, and possibly even a couple more). What this gal does is work out the percentage of each sub-lineage your Arabian is, as well as fill in any holes she can. I don’t know what she charges, but her services seem to be reasonably popular.

    Thus, if there’s enough demand for that within ONE breed, I can only imagine there would be enough Warmblood and TB owners out there interested enough to pay a small fee to find out about their horses! If I owned one I would be interested.

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  13. I personally used your various breeding blog posts to help me decide if I was batshit crazy for breeding Marley or just slightly nutty 😉 I ultimately decided it was worth the gamble but if you had offered those services for a reasonable fee I know I would of hired you to help guide me in making an informed decision. I think I’ve been lucky so far (though Rey is just turning 2 this year and so much more can happen!) and can’t help but crack up that I got a carbon copy of Marley- it’s a good thing I liked her in the first place! The mare really is important!!! 🙂

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  14. I would 10000% pay for #2!!! I think it’s all great – people should pay you for your time and knowledge.

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  15. I think this is a great idea. You put so much effort and time into this, you should be able to get something back for it. I would definitely pay for your knowledge if I ever made the terrible decision to breed my pony!

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  16. I’ve always been pretty fascinated with my mare’s pedigree, even contacted her breeder for pics (but unfortunately they were all lost!) so I would totally take advantage of your talent, knowledge and access to resources and pay for the #2 option!
    A lot of people have told me other the years that I should breed her, but I think that that ship has sailed due to her age now (maiden and in her late teens), otherwise if she was younger I would definitely link option #3 with option #2 (maybe you could even consider doing “bundles/packages”?). I trust your research and it would be invaluable to have that sort of guidance and realistic expectations delivered with no bias, through the whole process! I hope you go for it when things settle!

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  17. I think a lot of us would even just sentimentally be interested in knowing more about the lineage of our horses. I’d for sure get my OTTB done. And you could even do consults on people in the market before they buy depending on turn-around time.

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  18. One suggestion from long experience … Although you may not be trying to make money from it now, do point toward that for the future. Maybe have some criteria that, if met as you go along, points the way to making this at least a small profit enterprise. Maybe it would earn enough to pay for a couple of horse trials every year? Airfare for one trip to Europe each year? Anyway, earning something will make it more worthwhile to continue giving your time, knowledge and energy, long term. 🙂

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  19. I love all these! I would pay for a research package on my horse today, even though he’s a gelding, just because I’m curious. While I haven’t spent much time thinking about breeding, following you on your blog for a while has definitely sparked some interest. I learn a lot from you

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  20. Obviously I would not benefit from this service at all unless you want to start camping in Nevada and/or interpreting genetic tests…! But I do think you probably have the knowledge & research skills to do this for Morgans as well.

    And – I might suggest an added service. For people who have a clear sense of a breeding line, or particular breeding that they want, helping to find a horse out of that line. I have some personal specific ideas about what I want in my next horse in terms of Morgan bloodlines but WOW is it hard to wade through these things for someone who doesn’t do a lot of window shopping.

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  21. I would pay cash for this right now (#2) even though there’s no breeding involved (gelding). I would love more information and possibly be able to recognize his lines elsewhere as I’m looking for the next horse.

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  22. I love this idea! There’s so much use for this even in making good mare & stallion pairings. I can imagine you having a set of annual clients that do a full analysis before every breeding season. This would be especially useful with up & coming stallions (and I guess mares, too) to see what direction their breeding is sending them in. And hopefully it’ll be a catalyst to better understand oddballs. Best of luck! You have so much to offer!

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  23. As one of the people who has asked you questions regarding this topic, I LOVE IT!!! It is ridiculously difficult to find good breeding resources as someone who is very gently considering dipping my toe into the realm of hobby breeder/first time breeder. I would absolutely pay you for services like this because its very needed for all of the “average” people trying to get into it.

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  24. Yes, yes, and more yes! I’ve been hoping for years you would offer these services. Just take all my money already. lol!

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  25. I love this idea Amanda! I have always wanted to pick your brain on my Tullabeg mare but did not reach out because I know how busy you are. Something like this would make me feel a lot better about contacting you on something like this!

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