2017 Miniature Horse World FALL 2017 - Page 43

Are there unique ways you do things that may be different from other programs? Planning breedings is a topic of conversation all year long. Since Irene is the one who usually shows the horses, she can’t always breed as many mares as she would like to because she needs to be free to travel to local and distant shows the following year. Therefore, they have adopted a “one year on, one year off” policy. This means that one year they breed all of the mares that they want to between the two farms, but the following year they breed only a few mares, primarily ones stabled at Lynne’s Southern California ranch. This poses no sacrifice for Lynne since she prefers to stick around the farm, mare watching and foaling out mares. And it works best for Irene because it frees her up to travel to shows. How to you handle the business end of things and remain good friends? “First off, we discuss everything. What protects the friendship is treating the business as a business,” explains Irene. Lynne continues, “I think the biggest downfall of partnerships between people who are also friends is that one or both take the other for granted, and either expect more from– or give less than– what they would in a conventional business relationship.” Irene adds, “Even friends, especially when in business together, should not forget that it’s still important to show each other common courtesy and respect; otherwise, one person inevitably feels taken advantage of or unappreciated.” Lynne goes on, “We also make sure to keep the money end very clear, simple and clean. If that’s handled correctly, the friendship carries the rest. For example, we each pay our own horses’ expenses, and if something comes up, we reimburse the other when necessary. I’ve even bought a horse from Irene that she had for sale, and she’s done the same with me.” Irene sums it up, “Things always work out in the end.” What are the future goals of Darkside- Heirloom Miniatures? Right now the current short term goal is to add additional barn space specifically to accommodate short-term housing for outside mares owned by customers who want to breed to one or more of the program’s top-notch stallions. “We’ve recently received several inquiries, but surprisingly, even with all of the space I have at my ranch, we just don’t have the extra space inside the barn for other people’s mares. Hopefully, that will change by next year” says Irene. A recurring goal every year is for Darkside- Heirloom to produce a few truly excellent quality show and breeding horses that they either retain or sell to others, to continue promoting their program. “We breed for ourselves, we don’t breed to sell,” says Irene. “But reality dictates that you cannot keep everything you produce, to keep your numbers manageable,” explains Lynne. “And in our case, that’s a win for the buyer!” says Irene. As for long-range goals, Lynne and Irene’s ultimate goal is to produce a “home grown” World Grand Champion, who itself then goes on to produce more World Grand Champions. Darkside- Heirloom’s mission statement slogan sums it up: “Following in the footsteps of legends... producing the legends of tomorrow”. FA L L 2017 Miniature Horse World 41