Exactly -- They're animals. They're livestock. They're 'owned' and can be bought and sold.
No one ever told anyone that they had to sell a horse and no one tells the rest of us that we have to keep one and cannot sell one. What is so difficult about the concept of private property ownership?
Because to many people lead with their hearts, instead of their heads. ( I am not one to talk, btw. I have my gelding who is not able to be ridden, but he is my heart so he stays. Now since I can only afford 1 horse,his upkeep is expensive, I don't get to ride.)
We tend to be unable to fathom that horses are still treated as they were 100 years ago, as a commodity, not your 4 legged friend. I don't see anything wrong with you selling YOUR horse where ever you choose, to whomever you choose. All sales are a crap shoot. You can do all the research in the world and still private sale a horse into a bad situation.
And I don't think it is so much grasping the concept of private sale as it is media coverage, internet coverage, talks show exposure, and general consensus that ALL horse auctions are evil and populated ONLY with a fella waiting to abuse the horse the rest of his short life. All the while he is awaiting transported to a slaughter house in Mexico or Canada. DO I think kill buyers frequent auctions, well umm YEAH. It's an auction, a fast moving sale. Money and paperwork change hands, everyone walks away with what they came for. That doesn't make the auction evil or dirty.
What makes it horrid is knowing that you are taking "Red" to his death. It isn't the auction, it is our minds eye. We see "Red" in a kill pen waiting for the executioner. Most of us have looked at the videos of slaughter plants/killer auctions/kill pens more times than are good for our minds. So we have to project what we know about auctions into the situation. Most people only know that they are killer places.
I think the "horse sale" of my youth would amaze most people who were never privileged to attend the old school auction. Were the horses all in show shape, LOL not on your life. Were their idiots who mistreated the stock going through, Yes. (Idiots will be idiots no matter where) But the auction served a purpose then, and still does now. So in my minds eye, the auction isn't the evilness, that comes from the nature of the people.
Some folks breed them without thought, hurt them, ruin them, then POOF dispose of them. The crying shame for the horse world is that the auctions of yesterday were reshaped by people who see the horse without ANY heart or compassion. They are still a tool. The auction itself is not inherently evil or bad.
Cherie, I have looked at some of your horses. I haven't found anything that would make me not buy a horse bred to one of your studs. From what I have seen they are decent enough to add to the value of a mare going back to an auction. Plus the fact that you send them back better than you got them (training) is a plus for the mares. While you could very well leave them in the pasture until the orphaned foal and their offspring are waiting to be weaned, and do nothing. You make a choice to add to the mare, training, good groceries from the looks of it, and a breeding for foal with a decent chance of a future. Where did the mare lose out in the deal? I don't see it. AND it is really none of my business.