I don't understand why the TWH, as a breed, doesn't reinvent itself as a pleasure horse. Maybe the top show horses won't be worth as much but wouldn't the the average TWH bring a fair sum marketed to trail riders? There would be less "waste" in the breed and the average horse would have a purpose.
They seem to have a strong market here (out west) as pleasure horses. And they generally ask $2500 +++ for them. Many are at least $5000-$6000. No fancy training, just a decent trail horse.
I have been told they are not really bred to run/walk anymore, which if true, is a crying shame.
But if the TWH wants to improve it's image and stop the abuse, I don't know why they don't reinvent themselves as the Cadillac of trail horses. Is there a reason that can't happen?
I used to think I could NEVER afford a gaited horse. That is what the prices were like out here. And then I found a Foxtrotter ex-broodmare at a steal. But the average gaited horse still brings more than the average stock horse in Arizona. There are a lot of retired folks looking for a smooth ride!