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  1. Here we are in April and thankfully having some April showers to help the grass along. As we now have a hosepipe ban here in South East its very welcome as have lots of grass seed and plants that need it for our other venture the Wedding Reception Venue.

    Our first foal arrived on Saturday 7th, a filly out of a mare that belonged to one of my Dads oldest friends, his family asked if we wanted to keep the 2 mares of his as they had always been here with us. Of course we agreed, Sam who they belonged to had always wanted a filly and of course thats what she had now he isn't here to see. Although I'm sure him and my Dad are looking down on them all keeping watch. This is first foal we have from Thomas the hairy homozygous stallion we bought when he was 8 months old, he is now 4 and not quite the height we hoped but his babies very pretty and he has a nice bit of bone so should be good types of foals.

    sams mares foal


    The 2nd foal who we have named Worsenden Mariette (from Darling Buds of May) is out of Willow a filly we bred by King, she is 3 this year and this is her first foal, again by Thomas and is very pretty with long legs.


    Worsenden Mariette

    So we are off again on another year of foals, all this years will have names beginning with M, so all suggestions welcome! Have at least 3 mares who shouldn't be long before they foal and one will be by King which I am very pleased about as wasn't sure the old boy managed much last year lol. In total we hope to have 12-14 mares foal this year, could be by Thomas, King and Shoey so an interesting year.

    We are also about halfway through lambing so several little ones about, a lovely time of year.

    Have been talking about having an open day in the Summer, so people who are kind enough to follow us on here or on facebook can come along and see the babies in the flesh, could also have a picnic around our beautiful lake which is now beginning to look very pretty and will do once all flowers begin to bloom. Keep watching for more updates....

  2. I keep seeing comments on various sites from people regarding breeding horses just to make money. Now this is a subject quite relevant to us as when my Father died 5 years ago we had to make the decision of what to do regarding all the brood mares that he left us with. Horses were far more of a hobby than a business to him, he would keep foals until 3 or 4yrs old, and if you worked out what it had cost him to get them to that age he would have lost a fortune on them, but horses were his love and he enjoyed nothing more than sitting in the field watching them.

    This was something we could no longer afford to do so we made the decision to register the prefix of Worsenden with Chaps and to try by the powers of the internet to sell the foals at weaning, this way there was a chance we could keep them and make a little money at same time. 5 years down the line I would say we probably just about do this. But times are hard as we all know and keeping horses is not cheap, so what will this year bring? The way our horses are kept is the most natural and cost effective way that could be done, being a working farm as well we have contacts and the machinery needed to be able to buy large bales of hay/straw/haylage. We have large yards where the mares can be kept all together with stallion as well. Currently it is costing us around £200 a week to feed and bed down 12 mares and 1 stallion, and this will be until turnout in May. Working this out it totals around £6000, so over £400 per mare. Summer grazing is on our own ground so not costing us anything. Of course there is still all worming costs etc to be added. So really what I am getting at is that by charging £900-£1000 per foal we make very little money as not all mares will be in foal so making cost of each foal even more.

    Breeding horses is something we have always done and I hope always will in one way or another, but at some point we have to look at the figures and decide what will pay the bills. This is another reason why we started the retirement liveries, enabling us to be on farm each day and pay our way, but by no means will we ever be rich.The retirement livery side of things we hope to expand even more this year and would like to build numbers up to around the 20 mark if we can, this is a manageable number for us.

    Talking of the retirement liveries we had another two arrive in last month, Gilly a proper coloured cob and Brandy a sweet little mare, they have settled in quickly and happily to the routine.

    So thats got that off my chest, it just makes me a little angry when people make such flippant comments regarding making money out of breeding, we do it because we love it not for the money, we would be better off stacking shelves if we added it all up! But you can't beat waking up to a new foal and all the pleasure of selling to new owners and then watching the progress of them. We have a lovely bunch of owners who all follow each others experiences with the babies, and our facebook page is a friendly place to keep track of everything on a day to day basis. So lets hope for another good year and that we can find more people eager to buy our foals so we can carry on for many more years to come.