How pleasing it is to read The Draft Horse Journal and see the names of new Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire and Suffolk breeders appearing. This is particularly true in any livestock breed.
There is bound to be a story behind the foundation of a new breeding stable. More often than not, it includes the story of some genuine breeder offering a helping hand–not only by offering sound advice, but by putting his words into action.
Today, as always, new breeders–of Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, Shires and Suffolks–are needed.
New breeders must be welcomed. However, if new breeders remain active in breed circles for but a short time and then quit, this is far worse than if they had never become involved.
To become a successful breeder, one must be prepared to work hard. Identify the type of horse you hope to breed, purchase your foundation stock wisely and stick to your own ideals through thick and thin. Above all, cultivate patience. Don't plan for next year; plan for the years ahead.
Planning to win a major show is often considered ideal. More important, the beginner should plan to breed a stable of Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire or Suffolk horses of one type.
Then try to win a major championship.
Two things cause new breeders to quit their chosen breed, albeit Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire or Suffolk. Either they are not made of the “right stuff” it takes to become a successful draft horse breeder; or they fail to start with the right foundation stock. This is where genuine breeders can play a vital role.
Ensure the horses you sell a beginner are good. Quality rather than quantity. Advise beginners along these lines. If they cannot afford to purchase your top animals, ensure you give them good value for their money. “Hothouse plants” do little for the beginner. Likewise, a beginner's failure does little for you. The beginner needs structurally-correct breeding stock that is sound;
Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire or Suffolk horses of proven bloodlines that have a history of success and are known for their character, temperament and fertility.
It is time for established breeders to look around. Help draft horse recruits get started, whatever the beginner's chosen breed might be. You will be rewarded by their successes.
Consider gifting new buyers a membership to your breed association and definitely gift them a subscription to The Draft Horse Journal!
At least this is how I see it!