How do you think prices of horses can get SO low?
Too many horses, not enough demand, hay is too expensive. Nobody wants the horses, and the owners can't (or won't) afford to feed them.
How does the market get so flooded with horses that cannot be supported?
Idiotic breeders, the collapse of the economy, the rising price of feed.
How do so many untrained horses end up out there?
Many of these idiotic breeders don't take the time/effort or don't have the skill to train their horses. It's easier to dump them at an auction than actually ensure they get the training they need--which would take time and money.
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?
Uh, 'cause they're stupid?
What, if anything can be done about the flooded horse market on a large scale basis (in theory anyway)?
Bring back slaughter in the US, have government regulations on breeding (which will never happen). Educate people (which will never work). Possibly have some sort of government-regulated slaughter operation, similar to the pounds for dogs and cats. The meat could either be sold overseas or used for animal comsumption on a local scale. This would eliminate profits for the kill buyer, but still give horses an alternative to starving to death.
What can be done on a small scale basis?
Stop breeding, especially poor quality, but even mediocre/average, decent, pretty good, and good horses shouldn't be bred when the market is this flooded. Only exceptional quality animals should be allowed to reproduce. Instead of breeding your own, buy weanlings. Also, rescue as many at auction as you can afford.
Is this a problem everywhere (countries)?
It's hitting the US really hard right now after the recent slaughter ban.
Will this problem be around for a long time?
Unfortunately, yes. It's a direct result of human selfishness and stupidity.
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!
Yes, there are a lot of crappy horses and a lot of good horses. The young and unbroke are often diamonds in the rough. One of my good mares was en route to the kill lot when I picked her up for $500 (this was a few years ago, when the price of horses was higher). I could sell her for close to $7500, now. Some horses need rehabilitation, either in terms of health or training, and some will require more care than others, but the auction is a great place to pick up a nice, cheap prospect and save a life.
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?
Yes, the more common and overproduced breeds (Standardbreds, Arabians, Quarter Horses/Paints/Appaloosas, Thoroughbreds, draft horses, the color breeds that have no value other than a pretty hide, grade horses etc. You won't find any Friesians or Marwaris there. Because they're more rare--and exotic--they're priced much higher and aren't in excess quantity. People pay a lot of money for them.
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??
Same as above--too many horses, not enough feed, gas and hay are more expensive, the economy took a nosedive, and the slaughterhouses closed down.
How can private horse sellers compete with auctions that sell horses between $10 and $300 without blinking?
Uh, they can't. See your question above. The only thing is, some people either don't trust auctions and would rather buy from a private seller, or are uneducated and will pay much more for a horse than they need to.