"There's no market for middle-class horses. We raise middle-class horses."
Ok, so I'm a little aggitated. My husband, friend, and friend's wife were sitting around discussing what could happen if the slaughter ban was lifted according to state's discretion. My friend has worked for the last 20 years at building his very successful program, and the subject of the market obviously came out. The friend's wife (of 6 years) stated outright and bluntly, "There's no market for middle-class horses. We raise middle-class horses." To my dismay, she didn't notice the look of shock on my friend's face... the look of offense, "Did you really just say that?"
It hurt my feelings for my friend that his wife would insensitively say such a thing. My friend was obviously hurt, but maybe it just takes a horse-person to know where the boundary is?
Would you take offense to something like this? I mean, I would have felt out of place confronting the situation, but would it really be wrong to feel like she was wrong and out of place herself?
Is she wrong? Some horses are middle class. They aren't the high dollar championship caliber horses but they aren't the junk type either. If it's true then I wouldn't be offended. If I had multiple world championships and very very high dollar horses then I guess I might be troubled.
Not a darn thing wrong with middle class. I'm a proud member :D Not everyone can or wants to have a high dollar horse. I see her point, in this economy and with the pooring of the middle, but thats to political to get into here.
I can see why you would take offence to that... I might too. But was what she said true? Most people are not very good at judging their own program. I walked through a lot of herds with the horse owners, they all think they have the best thing since sliced bread, 99 percent of them are dead wrong.
I, too, am a middle-class owner. But do you think it's fair to discredit something someone's worked their tail off for? My friend feels he has the best that he could ever ask to afford and have, and for his wife to be on a different page? I know that 3 of his stallions have at the very least 2 ROM in SOMETHING. They're definitely not junk, but they're not necessarily affordable, either!
No, they're not the current/popular names at the moment, but they are the cherished names of past champions that are to never be forgotten! That's for sure!
There's a lot of foundation blood, mixed with a little bit of early 2000's popularity. We're talking Gold Fingers, Mr San Peppy, Doc Tari, Blue Valentine, Three Bars, Traveler, Skipper W, etc. On papers, of course...
That is just it and part of the problem. If what he has is middle class horses and he dose not realize this then he is going to have a problem marketing them. Also I have found that people who think that their low class horses are middle class and middle class horses are upper level horses have a hard time moving forward and improving.
There is nothing wrong with MC horses but if that is what you have then do one of 2 things. Live with it and do not take offense to it or improve. Sometimes honesty is what people need in their breeding program.
Where I'm from, people aren't into the foundation lines. A few are, but not very many - definitely not enough to breed them in hopes of making any money - so it may just be where they're located. For instance, I'd have an easier time selling an Arabian 50 miles north or in Illinois, than I would a quarter horse. In ranch country, they wouldn't look twice at a pleasure horse because it's not what they're looking for.
So if they are having a hard time marketing their horses - they need to advertise outside of their box, and get hooked up with associations in their state to help spread the word.
Edit: AND... Exactly HOW are they advertising? In a tough market, you need quality photos that aren't of Daisy grazing in the pasture or the uberly cute thing she does with her ears. You have to have every advantage possible, and it could be poor marketing on their part.
Who the heck wants to classify their horse? Classes are defined by financial status. Horses are owned by low class, middle class, or high class people. Horses are horses, they aren't keeping tabs on status. So I could see why you would find it offensive. She basically called you "middle class."
I think like a lot of you are saying is right, most people think they have something that is worth a lot more money than it really is. I own what most people would call a 'junk' horse. She's 11 years old half perchon and half paint with no papers that I bought for $300 off a lady that couldn't afford to keep her any more. I've gone on trail rides with people that had a lot more money than me in their horses, then Gypsy and I stood there and watched their high dollar, well bred, professionally trained horse act like an idiot.
That said, if I tried to sell Gypsy, she is a 'junk' horse, and I'd probably only get $300 to $500 for her. Noone would want her. Most people that can afford to feed, shoe, and care for a horse would spend the extra money to get something 'better'. I have never found a better horse, she does exactely what I want her to do.
Long story short, There's nothing wrong with having middle class or lower middle class horses, as long as you realise this and are willing to admit it. I also usually don't pay attention to what horse 'experts' say when talking about stuff like this, most of them seem to have no idea what they're talking about. I just agree with them and enjoy my junk horse when they're not around.
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