The horse market these days
 
 

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The horse market these days

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  • Average time horses are on market
  • Why is the horse market flooded

 
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    02-02-2008, 12:00 AM
  #1
Yearling
The horse market these days

I just read the latest auction report on the fugly horse blog...depressing, but it got me thinking.

I live in Alaska, where I think it is a little harder to get in over your head with number of horses and breeding, etc...because it is pretty expensive to keep horses up here, a lot of maintenance, etc. I think that is different than some places in the states where horses flourish and prices are much lower until there is a drought, hay goes bad on a large scale, or someone gets in way too deep before they realize they are in trouble. We also don't have horse auctions up here, so that is really an unknown to me aside from what I read.

I just want to have a MATURE discussion about this...

How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?

How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?

How do so many untrained horses end up out there?

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?

What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?

What can be done on a small scale basis?

Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?

Will this problem be around for a long time?

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!

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?

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??

How can private horse sellers compete with auctions that sell horses between $10 and $300 without blinking?

I would really love to discuss this, but I would like to encourage us to keep from getting too deep into discussing the slaughter aspect of the whole thing (no need for gruesome details)...we have young members :)
     
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    02-02-2008, 03:39 AM
  #2
Trained
Re: The horse market these days

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKPaintLover
I just read the latest auction report on the fugly horse blog...depressing, but it got me thinking.

I live in Alaska, where I think it is a little harder to get in over your head with number of horses and breeding, etc...because it is pretty expensive to keep horses up here, a lot of maintenance, etc. I think that is different than some places in the states where horses flourish and prices are much lower until there is a drought, hay goes bad on a large scale, or someone gets in way too deep before they realize they are in trouble. We also don't have horse auctions up here, so that is really an unknown to me aside from what I read.

I just want to have a MATURE discussion about this...

How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?

in my opinion this happens because people are so desperate to get rid of their horses as they can't afford them that they put whatever price they think will help the horse sell quickly without thinking that selling a horse cheap doesnt promote people caring as much about their horses as they didnt pay much for them

How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?

it doesnt happen as much here is australia but from what I can gather backyard breeders are mainly to blame. Not every backyard breeder but the ones who arent responsible with it. Its not just that but its the people who breed without thinking about what they are going to do with the extra horses.

How do so many untrained horses end up out there?

IMO too many people breeding horses that don't have the knowledge to train them

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?

cause they think foals are just too cute

What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?

pass some kind of law. I don't know how it would work but like here is australia at the moment you have to have a permit to move horses. Maybe a permit to breed them would be good and you would have to meet certain criteria to be able to do it. If people are caught breeding without a permit they face huge fines etc

What can be done on a small scale basis?

who knows :)

Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?

that I know of, it isnt a problem here at all. If anything sometimes there are very few horses for sale. It can take quite some time to find a horse and most of those that are for sale are quality horses (from what I've seen anyways)

Will this problem be around for a long time?

personally I think it will only get worse in places where it is a problem

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!

i havent personally but I know people who have. Auction horses here though seem to be of reasonable quality. Im actually thinking of checking out some auctions soon

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?

Don't know


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 totally agree. Once again I think desperation causes people to sell them for whatever they can get

How can private horse sellers compete with auctions that sell horses between $10 and $300 without blinking?

they can't unless someone is looking for a ready to go horse and is willing to pay $$$$

I would really love to discuss this, but I would like to encourage us to keep from getting too deep into discussing the slaughter aspect of the whole thing (no need for gruesome details)...we have young members :)
oops! Everything I wrote ended up in the quote box :)
     
    02-02-2008, 08:37 AM
  #3
Foal
How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?

Simple, the market is flooded. There are too many horses out there both good and bad and not enough people who are willing to purchase and care for one of these no so cheap animals.


How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?

OVer breeding is the obvious answer. Every one wants to breed their horse and they all think that they can turn a quick profit until they realize that there is almost no market for horses these days.

How do so many untrained horses end up out there?

Suzey wants a horse for christmas. Mommy and daddy don't know what they are looking for in a horse and are too cheap to purchase a good one so they buy the least expensive one out there. Suzey's new horse sugar is a nut case yearling. Because mommy and daddy don't know what they are doing and are too cheap to get a trainer Sugar becomes a lawn ornament that no one can get near unless they have a bag of feed.


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?


Quick profit. It costs money to train a horse. Many breeders aren't even considering training a horse any more. The horse market is so low that they would be losing money. It is easier for them to just send the horse out as is.

What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?

For dog's and cats they have seminars and spay/nuter clinics. At every pet store and on ever comercial there is something about fixing your pets.. why not something similar for horses?


What can be done on a small scale basis?


Educating people on the truth of what happens to the ill bred horse with no training is the first step.

Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?

I have no clue.

Will this problem be around for a long time?

It will only get worse until some one acts upon it.

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!

I purchaed my big QH out of a local auction. I was probably 13 when I did. There were some really nice horss go through there. A few guys would bring loads of ranch broke horses from out west. The western guys thought that $2,000 was a great price for a dead broke ranch horse. My horse came from Jersey. He was an 'A' circuit hunter but his rider was going off to college. Her grandfather consigned him. I paid $850 for Cash (my horse). That horse has done everything with me, sort cattle, trail ride, jump, showmanship, pleasure, barrel race. He is one of a kind.

Is there a breed that ends up at auction more than others?
If so, why?


Around here you see alot of quarter horses at auction. Then again, that is the single most popular breed to own.

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??

Horses aren't worth the hay it takes to feed them these days. I have a few horses of my own I am trying to sell but it is next to impossible.

How can private horse sellers compete with auctions that sell horses between $10 and $300 without blinking?

They can't and that is why more people send their horses to auction. An auction is almost a guranteed sell.
     
    02-02-2008, 12:26 PM
  #4
Weanling
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!

I bought Mercedes from a lady who purchased her from an auction. She was taken from her mother before she was completely weaned and while she was being lead around the ring was repeatedly hit in the face with the lead rope. I'm not sure how much she paid for her, but I'm assuming it was cheap because she bought 2 horses that day. When they brought her home they called a vet out and had to drain a sore above her eye and put stitches in. As well as also be put on a milk replacement diet. She was head shy and very unsure of everyone and attatched herself to the other yearling that was bought with her.

But anyways, now she almost 2 and the best first horse I could have ever asked for! She absolutely LOVES humans :P She would rather spend time with us than walk around with the other horses and no more head shyness! I can wave my hands in her face and get closer and she won't even flinch. So she has healed alot since then, both mentally and physically. She's a quick learner and the most trustful horse I know :)

Oh, and she is the cutest dun colored breeding stock paint out there!
     
    02-02-2008, 01:35 PM
  #5
tim
Weanling
Re: The horse market these days

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKPaintLover
How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?

How do so many untrained horses end up out there?
Banning of Horse slaughter in the USA.

Quote:
What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?

What can be done on a small scale basis?
I think it will have to happen either one of two ways. The result of the ban has definitely flooded the market, and without any large scale action, things will stay this way untill it eventually passes. The only thing that can be done is for the state governments to recognize the problem and offer incentives and such to large rescue barns and possibly create a program whereby you need a liscense to breed horses and a liscense to own them.

On a smaller scale basis, I think equine service providers need to do their part. Vets, in particular generally have a good deal of influence within their individual equine communities, and people will listen to what they have to say. When they come upon a horse owner who is in too far, or who is thinking about breeding just for the fun of seeing a foal around, they should definitely talk to those people about what is happening, and help them to consider different options. This approach is something everyone can do as well, not just vets and farriers and trainers.


Quote:
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 think another reason for the problem is the polarization of horses on the scale of showing ability. These days, most horses are either great for showing, or they are not. It's less and less common that you see people out there with a young child that owns a decent horse for trail riding and pleasure. That's how I got started, but I've seen less and less of it. They were the people who would buy the $1000 - $7000 horse and keep it for the rest of it's life boarded at a nice local lesson barn.

Now, though, it seems like those people have left and they've left a big hole in the market. Horses that are fairly well trained, a little past their prime, and in relatively good health just don't sell as much anymore. Poeple are always on the lookout for the next showing champion, and they don't pay any mind to the companion animals. If it didn't win shows, it is not going to sell, no matter how deserving it is of a good family.
     
    02-02-2008, 02:09 PM
  #6
Weanling
I'm sorry, but I have to admit that I'm a fan of Fugly...I just think that the person can be really mean, however it's mainly towards the owners.

I just want to have a MATURE discussion about this...

How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?
Simple - people are paying too much for the houses, people want to get rid of their horses asap.

How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?
backyard breeders, for sure.

How do so many untrained horses end up out there?
again, backyard breeders. They have a stallion and a mare, and "sometimes" they don't "know" if it's a stallion or a mare, because they just have them as pets. Things happen, and you'll have a foal in 11months.

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?
I think it's either them being backyard breeders, or they just think that their stallion is just SO great, they need to get a ton of foals out of him. Thinking that their "fugly" stallion is the best horse in the world, they keep breeding until there's way to many foals.

What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?
try to geld all of the stallions out there that don't have great conformation, mind, etc.
Get stupid owners to GET OUT OF THE BUISNESS!


What can be done on a small scale basis?
hard to answer that.

Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?
i don't think so. I've seen a lot of the problems in the USA, but that's just my opinion.
Will this problem be around for a long time?
     
    02-02-2008, 02:46 PM
  #7
Yearling
The Fugly person definitely is mean, but I have been sickeningly drawn to read the blog every couple of days regardless :) As a side effect I have actually leaned a lot and been clued into a horse problem that I was really unaware of.

Jazzy,
That is interesting about this not being a problem where you are...I wonder where the difference is?? I am sure people would be just as capable of over-breeding without knowing what they are doing, and yet, the problem is not really there....

I also think that some sort of licensing program for horse ownership and a different one for breeding would be a good start for large scale change.

And, I agree that educating people, especially by trusted, educated community members would help. 4H could focus on it a bit, pony club, pamphlets could be made by the above groups or rescue groups that vets, farriers, and others could have to give out to clients. Vets could have neuter, (even spay?) clinics each year for horses. I know the fugly horse blog is crass, but she sure gets the point across, and she seems to be getting really wide spread - maybe she is making a difference?

I agree that there seems to be a huge gap in horses these days (not here, but elsewhere - we are a fairly different part of America). There are the ones that sale for really good prices that can do really well in a discipline, or there are the young stock and mediocre horses that sale for a few hundred at the auction....but then that doesn't account for the many gems that seem to be found for a steal at auction also. What about the race industry, and ex racers with fabulous lines that end up at auction?

It seems like people should be educated to the point that if they are not willing and able to take a foal through training until it is fairly trained, than they should not breed with the intention of selling.

Also, why do people breed many many horses when they know they will just end up at auction and sale for $300 or less....how can they make a profit that way...mare care has to be more.

Also, the problem always gets equated to bad stallions being, bred, and how they should be gelded - and I agree, I also agree that a stallion can produce many, many foals in one season of breeding. But, it seems that everyone who has a mare seems to think, "maybe I will breed her one day", or "I am thinking about breeding her"...just because it is a mare. So few horses are left stallions in the US, but all mares are left in tact. All those unwanted foals come out of mares...so, why don't we spay our mares?? Other places do, correct?
     
    02-02-2008, 02:51 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?
I think part of it is because people get horses when they're younger and when they go off to college, the horse gets sold, or they out grow a pony. I've seen some ads where the horse can jump like 3-4' and they're selling because the owner wants to jump higher.

Quote:
How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?
I think people have a horse they put for sale, and then buy another one before their first one gets sold. Along with people that want to breed their horse and are hoping to sell. Maybe once one of their foals sold, they bred their stallion to a bunch of mares.

Quote:
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?
I think that's a lot like dog breeding. People will breed massive amounts of dogs, for the money, and not want to spend the time training them to make them good pets.

Quote:
What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?
I really liked Jazzy's idea of a permit. I'm sure some people will still do it, but I think it would cut back on the majority of people breeding.
     
    02-02-2008, 03:49 PM
  #9
Showing
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?
See above


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.
     
    02-02-2008, 04:21 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
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.
It is expensive huh...didn't really know much about it, but it is too bad that it is, because rescue mares, and badly conformed mares could be good candidates as to not keep increasing the gap between the $10 horse and the $10,000 horse.

I think that is just the problem with the lack of good trained horses for sale. The ones that are, are so expensive because there are so, so many three years and under, untrained, grade, etc. horses out there. The over-saturation seems to be more in the stock type breeds, so maybe the trained warm-bloods and such, get snatched up really fast. The gap between low end and high end seems to just grow...not to mention the numbers of low end vastly outnumber the high end.

I have good quality, well trained horses. They are not low end, but they are not the highest end either..they are upper middle horses. The market for middle horses in the states is gone. If if did not live in Alaska, I would not be breeding my stallion because he would be a dime a dozen, but up here, he is a pretty nice stallion. I also will never breed him more than I can support the foals.I have one foal coming out of him, and if I do not keep it forever...it will be well trained before it goes anywhere else..up here, I will get a decent price for it...although the issue in the states is even driving our prices down. People can buy a cheap horse from the states and pay the $2000 to ship it up here making their overall cost easily under $3000. That makes it hard up here for horses that used to sale for between 6-10,0000 to still be sold for those prices...those horses prices have to be dropped to be competitive for what can be brought up.

Also, as a personal choice, I will limit the number of outside horses I breed my stallion to, and will limit the breeding to registered mares who will have registered foals. I know there are plenty of registered horses at auctions, but I want to be able to have some idea of what kind of foal my stallion will produce - I can not do that if he is bred to a mare that is a mix of several different breeds.

I know this would probably never happen, but in theory...what would happen if there was a minimum sale age of like 3 years old. People who might breed might think twice about how much it would cost to feed the horse, and might put more effort into training so that the horse would sale better. OR, maybe they would rethink breeding all together. Any thoughts?
     

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