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Sunday, August 2, 2009

A momentous decision

We've come to a turning point in our life as a Lippitt breeding farm. For a number of months now, we've juggled poor health, bad weather, and a plummeting economy, and we realized recently that we're just not well established enough to survive this unfortunate collision of misfortunes. Caring for Eric and fighting the rising tide of the financial meltdown have taken just about everything we've got in terms of time and energy, and our horses are the losers--it's only a matter of time before they become "decorative" horses unused to human company. Since this is counter to our own standards, we've come to the conclusion that it's time to scuttle the breeding program (fortunately, we did not have a chance to get a mare in foal this year so that's one less worry) and find new homes for the broodmares so they can get on with life, while we turn our focus to training our young males. One or both of our colts will clearly have to be gelded--it made no sense to have 2 juvenile stallions before!--but we're going to keep the boys and sell the girls.

I haven't had time to update the sales page, but here's the summary. We'll give preference to Lippitt breeders for Mist, since she has the best bloodlines of the group and is young enough to have a number of good foals. A breeder who is willing to take Maggie with Mist will get even more preference--the two are very close and I don't want to break them up, and even though Maggie is too old to produce more foals, she lactates at the drop of a hat and could be valuable as a wet nurse. Bessie is still young enough to produce more foals too, but I'd almost rather see her go to someone who wants to use her for riding more than breeding--she's presented the world with 3 fine colts, one of whom has continued her lineage with a number of Morgan and Lippitt offspring, so I'm not worried about her representation in the gene pool. Cameo can only go to an experienced rider who has the time and desire to work with her daily - she's come a long way since her arrival on this farm, but she still needs a great deal of training to reach her full potential. She's breathtakingly beautiful and elegant, and with the right rider she'll go places.

We'll likely geld Ray, or Pete, or both this winter. It just about kills me to consider gelding Pete because a) he's one of a kind and b) he'll probably grow up to be just as handsome as his big brother. But attitudinally, I think Ray is going to be the easier of the two to keep intact. So we're going to watch and wait and see how he grows.

That's it for now. More updates soon. 

6:55 am edt 

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