I live in Canada, so maybe I can introduce a different aspect..? I'll give you an idea of our horse market here in Alberta: Your average trained horse (not stunning, but certainly not ugly. Good conformation, not lame at all) will pull in maybe $700 at auction.
How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?
The economy has been going really well here in my part of Canada, which has led people to buy luxuries that they normally wouldn't, i.e. horses.. the economy is starting to cool off now and people are starting to get rid of their horses, either because they didn't know what they were getting into financially, or they can't affoard it anymore.. or they lose interest in it.
Supply and demand. If there's a ton of supply and the demand stays the same, the price of the supply goes down, because it's not a rarity anymore.
How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?
Irresponsable breeders and owners. Too many people want a "cute foal" from their conformationally incorrect mare, realize they don't want to deal with the foal when it grows up and try to sell it. When the market gets saturated with cheap, uncorrect horses, the prices of the good horses also goes down.
How do so many untrained horses end up out there?
See above. Also, why bother training a horse when you can buy a trained one cheap?
Why do people breed so many more horses than they could possibly ever train or hire staff to train themselves..sending them into the market with little chance?
Maybe they're attracted by the allure of having foals running around, but forget that they grow up and need care. Or they don't account for the fact that hay prices fluxuate with supply and demand levels, so when a drought hits, prices soar. I remember back a few years ago when a drought hit Alberta, ranchers were literally giving away well-bred, goodlooking, trained horses.
What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?
Short of taking all the horses and training them, not a whole lot right now. Education would be best... or perhaps a mandatory gelding program for all stallions that don't pass an inspection?
What can be done on a small scale basis?
Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?
Certainly in North America. I can't speak for other countries.
Will this problem be around for a long time?
I hope not! But I don't see it changing anytime soon.
I am also interested to hear if anyone has gotten one or more of their horses from auction, and what kind of an experience that was?? It seems like there are some real gems that go through those auctions very cheap!
My friend just recently purchased a stunning gelding from an auction for just over $600, and sold him the next week to someone who saw her working him at a show for $12000.
One theme I saw on the auction report was young, untrained, broodmare, or lame. I saw that there were both grade and registered horses, there were QHs, paints, tb, percheron, and others.
Is there a breed that ends up at auction more than others?
if so, why?
All the more common breeds are there (i.e. QH, TB) as well as the "non-showey" breeds (i.e. Percheron, Clydesdale). A lot of sore or non-workable horses end up there because they are no use to ride, and considered "hay burners." Other horses are there just because their owners don't have any use for them anymore, e.g. older broodmares.
When we have members having a hard time selling good horses for less than $1000, I think that is ridiculous....good horses should cost in the thousands of dollars...they are a luxury, and cost a lot to care for. How does this happen??
I worked at a ranch and sold a few good trail horses (by a few I mean 12) and their average price was around $1000. And that was considered excellent.. the market is saturated with "bad" horses (lame, dangerous, etc) so it drives the prices of good horses down as well.
How can private horse sellers compete with auctions that sell horses between $10 and $300 without blinking?
They can't. They have to lower their prices as well.
I'd like to know another thing: I search around for horses all the time, regardless if I'm looking at the time or not, and I've noticed that there aren't as many good Warmblood showhorses (I look at hunters/jumpers and dressage horses mostly) on the market as a year or two ago.. has anyone else noticed this? Also, is there a lack of good trained horses for sale as well? It seemed to me that a couple of years back I could find a good prospect for under $10000, and now there's nothing!!
Regarding mare spaying: EXPENSIVE!!!!!! Many people won't do it because it is expensive and there is no financial benefit as it also drives the mare's price down. I don't think many people would want to buy a mare that's spayed just because there is NO breeding future for her regardless of the owner. I'm a responsable horse owner, and would not get a spayed mare, mainly because I would buy a well-conformed, well-bred mare and train it up, so it would be a mare I wouldn't mind breeding.
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