OUR BREEDING & RAISING PHILOSOPHY
It is incredibly important for a prospective young horse buyer to understand the environment that their horse comes from as well as the needs of a developing horse once they arrive to their new home.
Murder Hollow is a special place for both my husband and I - while we have full time jobs unrelated to the horse industry, horses are our passion. Allen is a four-in-hand driver who grew up showing Morgan horses both under saddle and in harness. I grew up riding hunter & jumper in Bucks County which is an hour east of our current home. We are very actively involved in the day-to-day training and raising of our horses and understand the importance of well built, and well-mannered animals.
Knowing the breeder behind a foal and how they truly raise their animals and select mares for breeding is incredibly important for several reasons. Our goal is to produce exceptional, athletic, and well-mannered horses that are physically and mentally sound. Our horses are extensively radiographed for any congenital abnormalities and genetically tested with UC Davis. We place a huge emphasis on the mare and not just the stallion when we make our breeding decisions. Many of our mares remain active in work and only retired after a show career. While we do put emphasis on bloodlines, we feel strongly that a mare and a stallion must prove their athletic ability – and their temperament - to be considered in our program. A good mare can contribute more than 70% influence on a foal - the upbringing of the foal should be just as important as the time spent researching bloodlines. A proven mare – one that has had a successful career and has also produced quality offspring - and has a solid brain, is worth her weight in gold. A dam very often passes on character - a dam that easily spooks and is nervous in cross ties? You get a foal that is spooky and learns that nervous behavior. Brave and intelligent dam? She’ll teach and pass along these qualities to her foals. A foal out of a stellar mare and a mediocre stallion is always a better choice over a foal out of a stellar stallion and a mediocre mare.
We are constantly investing in our program by importing new and unique bloodlines to North America and by bringing along younger horses in training to include into our breeding program as proven in sport. We take a scientifically backed approach to breeding, foaling, and raising young horses into healthy & capable adult horses. This document will hopefully help provide a framework to help guide foal owners.
The first few months of life for a foal are the basis of everything. Nutrition that does not overfeed a growing body, exercise and turnout that promotes the foal to find balance, socialization within a herd of various aged horses etc. are all lifelong qualities. A breeder that handles their foals in a positive manner is essential for a young horse to develop positive experiences with human handlers. We will break out each of these sections below.