Find Your Happy Place. Is There a Livable Medium?
by Kim Shogren, Marketing Specialist

The traditional PRE investor has had a fairly easily recognizable demographic. They are usually professional men and women in an age range of 40 to 55, with a median house hold income of over $75k. These folks usually have some sort of formal education and have had previous exposure to horses.

These are the investors that have traditionally driven our breed by infusing their own monies via promoting through founding associations, holding clinics, supporting shows, donating monies or horses and of course their time.

Of course, the numbers of PRE’s in the US has always been small, albeit growing daily. So when you consider the numbers we have today, go back to when there were less than a few hundred. Imagine those initial importers, with their good intentions, spending fortunes to bring over the first PRE’s into the US. Would they have any way of knowing that eons later heated debates would take place based on what they breed and bring into the country? After all, weren’t they simply trying to share this wonderful breed with those of us less fortunate souls? Well, of course they were! And for their efforts, the collective “Andalusian” enthusiast breed should give them a big “THANK YOU!”

It seems that as the popularity of the breed increased, and more well-intentioned individuals gathered to share the beauty of the horse, they also started sharing their opinions. Some wanted to preserve the breed and sought to bring the Inscription/Revision process to the US. Others wanted to improve their horses for specific functions and bred for the best characteristics to what their goals were, not intentionally driving away from the standard, just not adhering to best practices that had been perfected over time in Spain. And yet still others  saw a potentially lucrative sales market with the horse gaining popularity in the US as a “rare breed,” and bred two horses together simply to make a profit.

At the same time, trainers, owners and breeders from other breeds started noticing the PRE horse for all of its glorious characteristics. Slowly but surely they started becoming involved in the breed. Not being from Spain, and not fully understanding PRE origins and purposes, they brought with them their knowledge from other breeds and applied it to the Spanish horse.

So imagine, if you will, that the only fruit you ever ate and sold were apples. Raw apples, apple pie and apple juice. Then one day, you discover that you like oranges, too. But the only dishes you know of are apple dishes. Of course you could go and converse with other people who love oranges, but then you’d have to admit that you don’t know anything about oranges. You were supposed to be a fruit expert, right? So instead of swallowing your pride, you simply start using the oranges in the same manner that you used the apples. Raw oranges, orange juice and….orange pie??? Orange Pie? That just doesn’t sound appetizing, and unfortunately nobody else thought so either. Muffed, you created an orange that had red skin and didn’t hold as much juice as an orange, but you still called it an orange. As it turns out, the “new” orange held its shape and was better for cooking. And since your new orange was flashy and “cutting edge” people flocked to it. All of a sudden you are a celebrity since your new fruit has taken over the world by storm. One day some orange aficionados asked you to call your orange something else because it wasn’t the same as their “traditional” oranges. Of course not! Was there a law against variation? Did Darwin stop evolution? Didn’t they realize that this was how you made your money? Did they want you and your oranges to live out of a cardboard box in a third world country?

Ok, so perhaps comparing the politics/evolution of the American Andalusian is like comparing apples to oranges, but the same concept applies.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? What’s to happen to all those “bad seed” horses that just don’t measure up to the PRE standards?

There’s a home for those horses as well, as a famous breeder once told me, they always find their way. But can all lovers of the PRE and Andalusian somehow agree to disagree?

Not as long as money is involved. Sure, when face to face or even over the phone, we can all be cordial (or try to be.) However, back at the farm, once value is put onto our horses for sale….all bets are off. Why? The answer is simple, there’s money in it. A lot of money.

When some imported, black PRE stallions selling for over $100k, those owners will be keen to push out why their horses are superior in order to drive sales. Do you blame them? After all, it IS their business, and they’re just trying to make a profit like everyone else.

With the aging of the baby boomers, and the entrance of the Gen X’ers and Millenniums, it seems that there’s been a giant mess created for someone to clean up. I’ve heard many complaints from new, younger owners that they are frustrated with the system.

Since the decline of the investment home as an investment, those former investors are now looking for alternative ways to spend their money. The growing demographics are usually 25 – 35 something couples with dual incomes, living in the city and have big entrepreneurial dreams. More and more, this is the demographic of the new PRE investor.

Unlike their predecessors this generation is internet savvy, and they tend to be more knowledgeable in doing research and looking for YouTube videos. Those individuals who are publicly causing a stir should be warned, that the constant “political” unrest is hurting the breed in its entirety, and not only “their” version of an Andalusian.   

 The truth of the matter is, that all the Andalusians WILL find where they’re meant to be. Whether they are PRE, PSL, S/P or even the Halves, they will all find their way to homes. The separating factor is buyer perception, suitability and sales price. Ultimately, it’s the bottom line. Maybe it should or shouldn’t be that way, who’s really the judge of that?

So what should those do who are already immersed into the Andalusian world and are trying to make sales?

1.)    Keep a good attitude and spread the smiles.

2.)    Maintain a polished image.

3.)    Utilize smart sales tactics.

4.)    Stay in touch with other breeders.

5.)    Read up on current events, so you’ll be known as “someone in the know.”

6.)    Have faith in the stock you have, and remember that everything that anyone ever says about your horses, is just their opinion.

It’s easy to get pulled into a world of “keeping up with the Joneses,” or trying to win this or win that. Just stop and consider for a moment what you’re really chasing. Then, you may find that what you’ve been chasing has been in the stall the whole time. 

Skyhorse Ranch - Andalusian horse breeder in Texas with Andalusian horses for sale. Breeders of PRE Pura Raza Espanola horses with cartas from Spain. Selling black, grey, and bay Andalusians. Recommend Andalusian stallions at stud. Pictures, history, facts, and info. Spanish Andalusian horse farm. Bloodlines from Spain in the USA.

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