Our breeding methodology
We have been breeding Andalusian/PRE horses since 1993 and our breeding model has always been oriented towards quality and it’s the result of our long experience, our mistakes, our non-stop dedication and above all, our passion for what we do.
Differently to what many other studs believe regarding quality as the result of breeding for quantity, in our opinion, quality is the result not of breeding a lot of horses, but the outcome of a deep knowledge of our mares and stallions. At the BRH stud, every broodmare has a strong dressage background with many close relatives having competed successfully in dressage at PSG or GP level. We only use mares that have a very good conformation for dressage, have been tested under saddle and show the typical wonderful character of the Andalusian breed, affectionate and generous.
We only use stallions that have competed at least in PSG level and that are complete horses, with the beauty of the breed and it’s great forgiving character.
It has been long years of heavy investment in genetics and excellent riders to come to this point, but now we have plenty of information to take bigger steps towards excellence.
Our premises are thought and designed to breed horses in the best and safest possible conditions. The young horses grow up in big fields where they can run freely. Mares also live in fields until three months before delivery. We do this to control their feeding, so important in the phase of the pregnancy, when the fetus grows 70% of its total growth previous to delivery.
We have 23 big boxes for the horses under training. We also have a walker and two arenas, one indoor where we start all horses under saddle. The outside arena has a professional footing to guarantee horses work in the best possible conditions.
The professionals working at the BRH stud
Currently 5 people are working at the stud, three of whom are young professional riders. The other two employees take care of all other non training activities, such as mares management and breeding, feeding, growth supervision of all foals and overall premises maintenance.
We also work with some other external teams of professionals, above all vets everyone covering a different vetting area.
How do we work our horses
Horses are worked everyday: soft but constant work.
Recent investigation demonstrates that three year old horses brought from the fields to the barn to be started under saddle, suffer a process of bone mass lose, that can translate into weaknesses and lameness. It is for this reason that experts recommend to move the horses every day so that their lives pattern does not change dramatically when compared to when they moved free in the fields.
At the BRH stud all horses are moved everyday and in different occasions, firstly in the walker in the morning for about two hours, then they are or lounged or ridden and sometimes they come out again to the walker in the evening when days are long. All in all our horses are out of their stalls at least 2.5 hours per day. This has, additionally, the key benefit of keeping the energy levels stable, since through a stable degree of work everyday, you set up a working pattern that gives all horses the opportunity to get rid off the extra energy, they would accumulate if not worked daily. As a result, the atmosphere at our barn is very quiet despite most of our horses being young stallions. They are happy, balanced minded horses.
Feeding our horses
Horse feeding is, without doubt, a key element in any stud and we care a lot about it at the BRH stud. Recent research suggest feeding with concentrates is one of the many different factors determining developmental skeletal diseases (OCD) in young horses. An excess of concentrates increases the chances of colics. For this reason, many years ago and with the help of professional nutritionists, we designed a concentrate high in energy and protein, but where the first comes from oils and highly digestible components. We also add mineral balancers to the mix, so that the huge development of the babies the last three months of pregnancy finds the needs completely covered.
The combination of this concentrated provided always in small amounts and combined with a varied forage diet (Alphalpha, different kind of hays, straw, etc), makes our youngsters grow strong and healthy.