The procrastinator

The procrastinator

May 16, 2021

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by Trey Nosrac

I sighed. “Well, it didn’t happen again.”

My friend clicked his seatbelt and asked, “What didn’t happen?”

“Not a single breeding farm or stallion owner contacted me to breed my mare to their stallion.”

He smiled. “Are you offended?”

I slipped the Lexus into drive and said, “Nah, I’m rarely offended, but often exasperated. Trey Incorporated may be a small outfit with just one or two products each year, but someone missed a few bucks. A simple phone call, a text, an email, even a letter would have made a sale.”

“How would they know that Trey Incorporated has a broodmare open for business?”

I tsked. “They could research who owns broodmares in their state. Stallion owners I booked with in the past know I’m a last-minute booker. They can figure who might have a May or June birth. They can research which mares foaled and when they foaled last year, and in what states the mare owners have a history. You can do a lot with computers and filters instead of just waiting for customers.”

“Why do you wait until the last minute to book your mare? Normal people sign a contract early.”

“The question is, why do people book early? Of course, I’m not normal, but I always wait for everything. Say you send me an invitation to a Fourth of July party, Trey will not commit, nor does Trey enjoy being asked to commit.”

“Why not?”

“Because your party is a long way away. Who knows if I get another invitation between now and the Fourth of July. Maybe a supermodel calls me on July 1 and asks me to accompany her to Monaco. It’s about keeping options open. I never book a cruise in advance or buy a new car until mine breaks down. Trey puts the pro in procrastination.”

“That puts you under a lot of pressure.”

“No, it doesn’t. For me, a looming commitment is a pressure. In stallion selection, it’s not like there is a shortage of semen. The day after my mare foals, I can call and book any stallion I want.”

He shook his finger at me as he said, “Not any stallion. Some will be full and closed.”

“I have suspicions that the full book concept is a bit of a gambit based on the I gotta have it psychology, I gotta be in the inner circle, or the If I don’t act now, I’ll get shutout. The same marketing pressure probably applies in the netherworld of buying stallion shares and brokers. That stuff doesn’t play into my mindset. My thinking is very primitive — there are plenty of good stallions out there. The connections of some decent stallion will welcome my contract at any point. I am not, nor do I need to be, in the clique.”

He said, “Commercially, you may not be thinking clearly.”

“Look, I know that procrastinators like me are a small, crappy corner of a small market, but it amazes me that in a dozen years of owning a broodmare or two, nobody ever knocked on my door.”

“And you don’t knock on their doors until the last minute.”

I smiled. “This breeding booking dance has turned into a yearly stalemate. Farms wait and do nothing. I wait and do nothing. The waiting doesn’t bother me. I enjoy letting the winds of fate blow. I always stumble into a sire for my mare.”

I was getting a little fired up. “I also don’t understand why every stallion owner doesn’t wheel and deal when they have open seats as the breeding clock ticks down to June.”

“Maybe people in this marketplace prefer a little stability, not a mad rush at the last minute.”

“On the other hand, some of us enjoy the excitement of Christmas shopping on December 24 when stores are buzzing with fellow last-minute shoppers. We may overpay or underpay for grandma’s scarf, but it’s more fun than ordering from Amazon in November. Besides, every day we wait to make a decision, we are a little older and wiser.”

“Breeding your horse involves a lot more money than grandma’s scarf and should require more research and analysis.”

“It’s not like I’m pulling stallion possibilities out of a hat. I have three or four sires in mind. And I’m not scraping for a deal. Sometimes I pay full freight, sometimes not. The seller makes the call on any offer, no hard feelings on my part. However, I must admit it confuses me why stallion connections refuse someone willing to pay less for a Hail Mary breeding. Money in a stallion owner’s pocket and a potential champion in the belly of my mare is better than nothing.”

He shook his head. “Dealing like that might be frowned upon if word gets out. Early bookers at a full price might be offended or want a rebate. Marketing along these lines could cause chaos. Side deals like that could hurt the brand.”

“Hurt the brand.? Horse semen is a weird commodity. The business of breeding horses is like a lottery masquerading as a business. In my opinion, every stallion breeding deal should be a private transaction. There should not even be stallion fees.”

“No stallion fees? Now you’re getting crazy,” he said.

“It’s not crazy. I find it annoying when a seller slaps a price on something and says to me, take it or leave it. A stallion breeding should be more like a Suggested Retail Price. There are too many variables that should make a difference in the breeding market. Factors such as the time in the breeding season, the quality of the mare, the number of breedings purchased in bulk, the quality of the Stakes Racing programs, etc.”

He interrupted my babbling, “Whoa, whoa, slow down, pal.”

I chuckled. “Yeah, I do get wound up. Once a therapist told me that my life could be negatively affected by my chronic procrastination. He said he could help me if I signed up for therapy.”

“And?”

“I’ll get back to him… one of these days.”

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