Breeders Come in All Shapes, Sizes
by Jan Austin
copyright © 1997 The Arabian Network NewsletterTwo of the most-asked questions to the Arabian Network Newsletter are, “Where do I find an Arabian?” and “How do I know the owner or breeder is reputable?” Fortunately, finding an Arabian is easy; knowing if the seller is reputable takes a little more work. There are many honest people out there. Unfortunately, it is the disreputable ones that give everyone pause before making such an important purchase.
Once upon a time, the owner of a large breeding ranch referred to all those she felt beneath her as “backyard breeders.” She stuck her nose so high in the air that when she finally looked down, her business was in bankruptcy, in spite of owning some very nicely bred Arabians. Why? Well, in addition to many mistakes, two large ones stand out: She failed to take into account that it is not the size of the operation that makes it reputable or successful, and she ignored the fact that her so-called “backyard breeders” are the backbone of the American Arabian industry.
Many breeders with only a few mares have bred to the finest stallions in the country, producing quality foals one season at a time. Others have their own lesser-known stallions, every bit as correct in conformation and talented in performance, treated with caring and kindness to sire marketable get.
So how does one tell if a breeder is reputable? Here are some guidelines:
Ask for referrals. Not just one, but many from previous buyers, from those in training, from owners at shows, and from veterinarians.
If you are new to the industry, do not be afraid to look like a novice. Any reputable person will gladly help you learn simply because they love the breed. Many have very interesting stories to tell about the industry past and present on Arabian clubs and other activities.
Those truly interested in promoting the breed will want their horses to have a good life with people who will treat their Arabs well and continue extolling the versatility of the Arabian horse. Whether it is a large breeding facility with 40+ years of experience or a small backyard breeder creating that quality foal, it makes sense to buy from the reputable breeders and owners, and weed out the bad.
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