Now here comes a total shocker... I was finally able to get a hold of my first foundation pair of Hollands in July 2012. Unfortunately, I had an 11 month dry spell in my Holland program where I couldn't even get my does bred. Considering selling out of Hollands, I made a desperate attempt to contact countless breeders for their opinion as to what my problem could be. After several "I don't know" answers, I was beyond discouraged. However, one breeder's message stuck out to me. She suggested that I should try treating my older buck with LA200 to see if he had some sort of hidden infection causing him to go sterile. I treated him just once and bred him yet again to those does. I believe this was my 17th attempt to breed him to my best doe who I had purchased alongside him so many months ago. To my surprise, 31 days later, one of the does kindled a litter of four live babies! That was the beginning of my Holland programs success. Ladies and Gents, the day that my first HL litter was born was July 7th, 2013- exactly a year ago, today.
I never dreamed that I would be anywhere near where I am today in such a short time. This past year has been absolutely packed with struggles and loss but the successful outcomes far outweigh the bad. I never dreamed that I would have a chance at winning Best In Show during my youth career. However, I took home a double BIS on two homebreds, two weeks before my one-year mark.
I remember writing my 2014 Goals this last December, completely doubting myself and the thought of winning just one leg on a homebred in the next twelve months before I would be sitting down again to write yet another year's goals. However, here I sit awaiting six legs to come in the mail, four of which belong to homebreds. Although it may not seem like it, this experience has completely humbled me when it comes to the power of a "newbie". It has also taught me a great deal about my own self worth and capabilities. I learned that I was foolish to have doubted myself to such a degree; to believe that this breed was absolutely too competitive for someone such as myself. I've learned that even as a youth, if I apply myself and collect vast amounts of knowledge, I am capable of moving mountains so to speak. This life lesson has completely changed my perspective of myself as well as my barn full of Hollands, as well as Hotots.
I hope that through writing this post, I have had the opportunity to inspire my fellow youth and new breeders in some way. I hope that each of you have the opportunity to move mountains. My advice would be to trust yourself. You know much more than you think you do. Whenever you feel weak, remember those who made you strong and whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember those you believe in you.