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RMR's Horsepeople's Forum

Current Status of the Horse Market 2011

 

Your thoughts on the current horse market:
1) How is the national economy affecting the sale and use of equines?
2) What types, ages, breeds & training of horses are currently selling?
3) Where do you think the horse market is going over the next 5 to 10 years?

29 Comments

Comments Are Now Closed. Thank you for your comments!

 

Friday, March 4, 2011 8:25:14 PM

Washington

I own 6-15 horses

The market for the breed I raise, foundation appaloosas, is very weak at the moment and I don't expect it to improve. Horses have become a luxury item, maybe that's why I read the "high" end market is still okay. Myself and others like me are breeding horses to save a breed. there aren't many of them. The national economy is a bane for the horse market, as is the often repeated claim that a lack of slaughtering opportunities cripples the market. The feral horses that the federal government supports thru the BLM are contributing to the problem. they were never "wild" except in someone's imagination.

 

Thursday, February 24, 2011 7:57 AM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

Ah, as to the post below, I need to clarify modern with popular breeds as well. A list of endangered breeds can be found at these websites, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Equine Survival Trust, though worldwide and in Europe there likely are other endangered heritage breeds. Horses that are not on the endangered list or among the top five or so popular breeds today still need a market and numbers to assure survival during this economy and into the future. Such horses include many Baroque, gaited, draft, pony, etc. breeds. And just because a registry is considered among the oldest does not mean the breed it registers is among the oldest in the world (excluding Arabs). I also believe as horse breeders and owners we ALL need to be responsible and assure there is a future for horses and a market via equine-related events including (and forming) exhibitions, expos, local social clubs and saving trails for horseback riding. If people see horsepeople enjoying their equines, then perhaps more people will be interested in joining the horse world. Families who can get their children away from TV, computer games, etc. and onto horses are a plus. Without participation, I fear the horse market will continue to fall and quickly in the next five years.

 

Wed, Feb 23, 2011 11:37 AM

Idaho

I own 1-5 horses

To the commenter who posted below: What do you mean by "modern" breeds? You do not mention any "rare, heritage or old" breeds by name. Which are the "beautiful, older breeds"?
         Most of the breeds you mentioned by name have long, long histories. In other words, they are quite "old." Many BLM mustangs can trace their genetics to the horses first introduced to North America by the Spanish Conquistadores in the 1600s. Arabians trace their heritage back to the deserts of Arabia for at least 2,500 years, and the Arabian Horse Registry was established in the USA in 1908. Thoroughbreds can trace their ancestry to three Arabian stallions imported to England in the 17th and 18th centuries, the first Thoroughbred horse was imported to what is now the US in 1730, and The Jockey Club (USA) was formed in 1894. The American Quarter Horse Assn was founded in 1940, with foundation sires going back to horses such as Steel Dust (foaled in 1843). The American Paint Horse Assn was formed in 1965, mainly to register crop-out Quarter Horses with too much white.

 

Mon, Feb 21, 2011 3:03 PM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

I am not a horse breeder but believe there is an over population of "modern" horses. There are many people who should not be breeders and there are too many of certain breeds such as BLM mustangs, Quarter Horses, Paints, Arabs, Thoroughbreds, etc. that should not be constantly bred. I know I may have made some folks bitter by mentioning their breed here but let us get real. The biggest equines being lost are the rare, heritage and/or old breeds who desperately need recognition and a chance to survive. Once gone, forever lost. That is a tragedy. While modern equine competitive events unfortunately fuel the modern breeds (breed more to hope for THE ONE superstar), the beautiful older breeds excel as any riding horse and loyal companion.

 

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 7:08 PM

North Dakota

I own more than 15 horses

My thoughts on the market is that it is very bad. The amount of time and money spent raising a foal for sale as well as an older horse is so high that even if you do get a decent price your only breaking even if your lucky. Prices of horses now-a-days run from the so-called *free* horses all the way up to or at $5,000 to $25, 000, with a very thin grey area in between.
       What is hot right now is kid broke horses , barrel horses , show rail horses , roping , team penners..ect. Those horse sellers can almost ask whatever they want. People will also buy weanlings for 4-H but there again , most have it in their head young horses are worth nothing at all. People want the horse broke to death and able to clean it's own stalls...but pay a dump price!! Being a seller is tough all the way around especially in this day and age. You really have to find your buyers!
       People talk of abuse and neglect because of the closed slaughter plants ( What rubs me slick is the same people who closed them are now asking for money to care for all these unwanted horses!), yup that is right... so I do not need to discuss what we already know. What I DO know is that because of the market people who should not be owning horses are owning them because they can get them for free or dirt cheap, thus adding further to this neglect because these types of horse owners are uneducated in keeping and maintaining a horse. What horse sellers could do too is to stop giving the good broke animals away! All people have to do is hold off until you HAVE to sell , then they come in and *set* their own price. Prices go up for everything that has to do with a horse except the animal itself! Crazy isn't it?
       I do breed , but on a very small scale(between 1 and 5 a year) and I usually do not have a problem selling my foals. I raise all around type Foundation Quarter Horses and I am selective in what I breed. Trying always to improve. Why I do it at all? For me it is for the love of the breed and I believe in what I do. I have taken a lot of kicks in the pocket book because of the market , and like I said for all I put into them I sure do not get it back when they are sold!
       This year I chose to be foal free....stepping back to re-group and have begun pouring myself into getting some older broodmares back under the saddle. To my mind that is the worst fate you could do to a broodmare....is to not have her broke! I have always said they need a *fall back* career. I myself have a few mares I have taken in from others who could not go on affording them anymore. I plan to retire one completely , and saddle up the rest. I have begun to cut back further on my remuda keeping a even more limited group of mares thus putting more focus on future foals should I choose to hold any back. One mare I sold went to a girl who is now barrel racing her in the NBHA and 4-H and is doing very well , the other is now a 4-H horse.
       Those of us that can afford to hang in there may have a better time in the future , unless the economy declines further. My prediction is the market may come back somewhat but never like before. We have to get used to lower base prices for now. The sooner we can get those processing plants open the better! That will help in a big way set the base price, but this country will take years.... decades to recover from its plight.... if ever.

 

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 5:49 PM

California

I do not own a horse, but am interested in their welfare

Why do you guys keep on harping that it is the lack of US slaughter plants that is bringing the prices down? More than 100 000 horses are shipped annually to Canada and Mexico for slaughter so it is still existing in the same numbers as before the closing of the last of the three horse slaughter facilities. So a lack of slaughter is NOT the reason! The reason is-are you taking notes?-overbreeding! Stop breeding! Breed less and get better prices! It's economy 101:the less supply there is, the higher the prices go!
       By the way, the three slaughter plants that did exist were an environmental and fiscal disaster in the communities! And there is no way to slaughter horses humanely. The USDA has thousands of documents and photographic evidence to attest to that.
       If you cannot afford to have your horse put down humanely, then you shouldn't have it in the first place. By the way, most horses that go through auction were not intended to go to slaughter by their original owners and most are horrified to hear what happened, some manage to get their horses back. And slaughter is a great way for horse thieves to make a nice buck before the owner even knows that his/her horses are gone. After horse slaughter was outlawed here in California , the number of neglected or starving horses did not increase and horse theft actually went down significantly!
       In conclusion, everybody loses except the few hundred people who profit directly: horse breeders and the-often foreign-owners of the slaughter plants!

 

 

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 11:08 PM

Washington

I own 6-15 horses

1. National economy and perception that future uncertain hurting horse market.
       2. In Arabians: Top flight halter horses; specialized performance horses. And even the top of the market is less strong than desired. Horse market is decent for specialized horses. Few can access those markets effectively. Further, the amount of $ required to produce a $25,000 performance horse often equals or exceeds the selling price.
       3. Continued excess horses, destroying the market for lower to mid-priced horses. Cont'd excess horses (and horror stories re: same now that the humane slaughter option no longer exists in the U.S. "Rescues" are full and often have their own neglect issues)

 

Sat, Feb 5, 2011 2:23 PM

Washington

I own 6-15 horses

I was very lucky that someone wanted a mare that I just spent three month rehabing ... this mare was starved and in terrible condition and needed a lot of gentle safe care ... with worming , de-licing and good farrier care she has come a long way in just a short time ... She went from being a horse with no energy and hanging her head down low to a bright eyed and sweet talking little palomino mare ... She gained almost 150 lbs on just good grass mixed hay and senior horse grain and is now able to run and play and gallop around again ... I didn't want to take her in but felt like I had to help and thankfully I just got her a new perment home , the horse market is horrible in my area . this mare was one of six that needed to be saved from starvation and sad to say my vet feels there are many more that are in this shape that we never hear about . No one is buying horses around here . I have taken in five horses in the past two years from folks that lost their jobs and they had to move ... the folks that can afford to feed horses are trying to hang on and praying that things will turn around . the answer would be good jobs as that is why so many folks have had to get rid of their horses they are losing their jobs ... they are losing their homes ... there is a farm that has sat empty right down the road from me and it has been forclosued on and it has been over a year .... it has a nice horse barn on it and there is sits going to waste due to no jobs ... so till the economy gets better the horse market will not get any better ... People are just doing the best they can and trying to survive ... and in the end only the rich will own horses ... sad state of affairs ...

 

Fri, Feb 4, 2011 10:24 PM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

I still believe that good quality horses with training are still in demand. There seems to be a huge interest in team penning and sorting sports and continued interest in roping and gymkanas.. The high cost of grain and hay I believe is a direct result of ridiculously high oil prices by greedy oil companies that are making astronomical profits..The snow ball affect from the high fuel prices is not only affecting our food and living expenses, it is destroying the abilityof people to afford and maintain horses and other livestock..Tax breaks for owning horses of a certain quality only benefit the rich who can afford them at this time. If we could get back to reasonable fuel prices we might be able to again enjoy the activities with horses that made this country great..

 

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 8:55 PM

Idaho

I own 1-5 horses

We live in an area where most people still have some land, though it is not good pasture for the most part. There are places to ride but groups like the Backcountry Horsemen need to be constantly working to keep trail use possible.
       After more than two years of high priced hard to find hay, there are still full pages of hay for sale ads and the prices have come down a lot. Many of the smaller horse owners had to quit ownership because of the cost of feed. Some hay land will be put into other crops lowering future availability. Right now there are many less backyard horse owners, and in the future years we will also see far fewer grade colts on the market from those "lets breed our mare" people which will also mean there will be fewer of those "free" unbroke horses out there needing homes.
       Every breeder should recognize that they have a serious concern in supporting trails to ride. Shows alone will not utilize all the horses they produce, Horses that are not show quality can still find a market for pleasure riders as long as riders have a place to ride. Likewise they should consider supporting not only youth riding groups but the local arenas and fair grounds that the kids and also adult groups can use. If you are going to try to sell golf clubs you'd better make certain that there are golf courses for people to use them on.

 

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 10:08 AM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

I fear the result of a sustained poor horse market will be the loss of the all-around horse.
        The young horses currently commanding a decent sales price are those possessing pedigrees-of-the-moment in specialized events. Breeders must produce what sells, which currently means line-breeding.
        Lost will be diversity, vigor, versatility and those the great outcrosses where a horse outperforms its bloodlines.
        Who in the current industry can afford to take a chance?

 

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 8:05 PM

North Dakota

I own more than 15 horses

The current horse market is growing quickly towards non-existent....we can thank the slaughter horse ban so much for putting legitimate breeders into a real crisis. Now with the national economy so weak and fluctuating greatly it is only going to hurt everyone but the wealthy. People can't afford to feed them, they can't afford to hire a trainer even briefly, stabling is high, fuel prices are high which affects transporters and competitors, not to mention the people who grow the hay and grain......how long of a list do you want.....
        geldings well broke or horses with strong potential for a specific discipline are still selling relatively well in the quarter horse world, although mares in foal and younger horses will still bring reasonable prices if they are bred right or have produced.
        If things don't straighten out in the national economy and IF we don't get a slaughter market back, I foresee horses being a commodity that only the wealthy people will be able to afford. They will be a luxury and those of us who have spent our lives around them or raising them will no longer be in the business. Don't forget.....the world economy affects us greatly, so pay attention to that as well.

 

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 8:26 PM

Wyoming

I own more than 15 horses

I am old enough to have owned over 3,000 horses. Many became or were old, unbroken, useless, unsuitable or just plain worthless horses people couldn't afford to keep, and were destine for the human consumption market. That span included lots of grand or wonderful old fellows and mares with resume's and pedigrees better than most of the people who owned then. Most owners just couldn't face laying them down in their back yard. I probably salvaged at lease 1000 during that time, to a resourceful, productive life or extended future.
          The entire horse market is being affected, gradually, to some or a serious degree, by the elimination of horse slaughter. The weak national economy is only compounding this problem.
          The slaughter process can be managed in as a first rate system, like all other human consumption livestock utilization or slaughter programs. When it is, the end result is absolutely more humane for hundreds of horses in your neighborhood, or thousands in some states, than to be left to starve to death or neglected to death each year.
          Those ill informed, teary eyed idiots, that have voted, promoted and begged to eliminate the horse owners choice, or end options, of horses used for human or pet utilization, are a true enemy of the equine species
          The long range solution to this problem is not to join a band of these "do-goodies" and help poor lady Marilyn or Mr. T. Boone Pickens to spend their fortunes creating a nursing home for all the unwanted, deserted, neglected, devastated, lonely, wild and useless horses. The solution is to allow each and every owner of their livestock, to make the most appropriate decision for their livestock, be it horses, cattle, sheep, porkers, rabbits, chickens or any other farm animal, and make their own judgement and decision.
          The Government can not and never should, not even by ridiculous law, try do a better job for our horses that we can.
          The mid to low end horse market will get much, much worse than it is now. Watch out for the high end braggers, they too, will suffer right with us and many will disappear. I encourage our states to step up to this dilemma and create legislation that will allow for well organized and regulated facilities for horse slaughter. If these facilities fail, then we still have found a solution to OUR own problems. The Federal Government has no heart and will never find or have the solution. Even in War, we are the soldiers, we the people. We are the tolerance that reunites. We are the ultimate solution. Government is ONLY a dictator/facilitator of a popular idea or a distorted image. Nothing ELSE.

 

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 3:19 PM

Washington

I own 1-5 horses

Just as other commenters have already stated, our national economy is affecting the sale and use of horses. Horses are a luxury item and when you are forced to pinch pennies, luxury items are the first to go. Horse owners are also being effected by the fact that many riding areas are being closed down due to their states financial inability to keep riding areas open. With less availability to ride, people will ride less and the horse will be in less of demand.
          I have ridden in the high country and desert of Washington State for years. Many trail heads and horse camps are being threatened because of state budget constraints. Excellent groups like Back Country Horseman for example are working hard to keep these areas open. Many horse groups work thousands of volunteer hours each year clearing trails, building bridges, etc. to keep trails in good shape for riding. It doesn't seem that is enough anymore.
          The price of hay has really gone up over the last three years because of the rising costs to produce it and forgein markets. Sometimes the availability of good hay is a problem also. Much of our hay is exported to Japan for example leaving us with much less quality hay to choose from.
          A really good horse will always sell. I'm not sure the breed is all that important although Quarter Horses still remain very popular. The price you get for that "really good horse" is something else. I purchased a gorgeous 10 year old ApHC Blue Roan Appaloosa that had been on the Chief Joseph Ride three times for $4,000. She was a "Been There Done That" kind of horse. I did end up having to sell her as I need to get my numbers down due to cost; I could only get $1,500 and it took me several months to find her a home.
          As far as where the horse market is going over the next five to ten years? I think our economy will dictate that and I don't think that looks good. Hopefully people will stop breeding just to see "what they will get". Maybe quality will become the focus - I sure hope so. Let's get some bigger feet on some of these horses please. Gated horses may have an advantage here. As our population ages - the ones who can afford a horse - they may desire a smoother ride.
          Many Horse shows and horse clubs are hurting for money to survive now. We need to get creative. Instead of putting on several shows a year, put on a show with multiple judges so exhibitors only have to pay transportation, housing and eating out costs once yet get the benefit of showing under multiple judges to get entries up. Maybe horse groups who specialize in different disciplines like Jumpers, Reiners, etc. need to come together and share a club house and arena and share the costs.
          Horse ownership is good for us. It is part of our heritage and it can go a long way in keeping families close together and kids going in a positive direction. I don't think the horse industry or market will disappear. I do think it is going to get much smaller. I worry about all the unwanted horses. We need regulated slaughter houses made legal in the US again. To many wonderful horses are suffering.

 

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 9:49 AM

Idaho

I own more than 15 horses

I've read most of the comments about this topic. Agree, YES the economy is affecting the sale of horses, as it is in nearly all sectors of our economy relating to the sales of goods and services. We could go on about the woeful position that the horse community is in, but how many of us who have responded to this question have done or are willing to do anything remotely helpful to rectify it? As individuals, we are powerful and collectively we represent nationwide an impressive number of people!
To bring it to the attention of those who may be instrumental in changing it? Instead of sitting on your thumbs, think about this:
        1) Have YOU written to your Congressman about the issue regarding re-opening the auction market?
        2) Have YOU contacted horse industry councils in your state or national level asking them to take a stance?
        3) Write to your Congressional representatives about their responsibility to create programs to stimulate the economy, create jobs and their intentions to pass legislation to do so. YOU are their constituents.
        4) On a personal level-- Are you advertising your horses for sale and doing everything you can to actively market them to potential buyers? Review your marketing program. Why is it that horse business owners will spend money for a training clinic, but not on a marketing seminar?

 

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 9:37 PM

Montana

I own more than 15 horses

The current horse market has been good for us. We've been selling horses from weanlings to well broke at a good rate, but I think it is because we are reputation breeders and have been doing this for decades. The buyers are of better caliber than they used to be. I know our horses are going to good homes and have a great future. It is a good thing that backyard breeders are going out of business. Now if the federal government would quit spending our tax dollars to pro-create and glorify mustangs. Let's grow up from the Mustang Makeovers and encourage people of talent to train horses of quality that have been raised by reputation breeders - those breeders who operate as businesses and pay taxes! Support the working man and woman not another stupid government waste of money.
        We need horse horse slaughter facilities - for the good of the horses who are just not sound enough of mind or body to be useful in any way but to better society through by-products. It is necessary for the process to work most effectively for everybody. I raise and love my horses passionately. I have also been raised to be a wise steward and not wasteful. That is why I want horse slaughter facilities that are ethical and efficient.
        The nation's economy as a whole depends on individuals saving and spending wisely. If the personal debt and national debt loads continue to rise, the whole economy (not just the horse market) will collapse. It is up to each of us to do our part.

 

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 5:56 PM

Montana

I own more than 15 horses

1)The current horse market is horrible. Horses today are selling for less than they sold for 30 years ago when I first started in the horse business. I think the biggest problem is the lack of horse slaughter. I love my horses but if they are not useful then there has to be someplace for them to go. Shotting them or having a vet euthanize them are a waste of a valuable livestock product. As usual americans are the most wasteful of any nation. The horse market took a dump long before the national economy did. The ecoinomy has only made things worse.
        2) I raise Tennessee Walking Horses AQHA horses and Mules. Currently we have over 50 head
Yearlings sell if they are good looking have good breeding and are priced low$100-$500 After that if it is big and good looking maybe $300 up to $1000 and then horses that are 4 years and up, and have some experience and ride real nice will bring $2500 up to $5000
        3) Unless we get slaughter back the horse market will continue to decline as well as the quality of life for horses. Anyone can buy a horse or get one for free now and then will not have the knowledge base to take care of the horse, treat it properly, (like a horse instead of a dog)or have the means or desire to learn what they need to know. I just talked to a person who thinks her horse is bucking her off because it is pregnant. I don't think she believed me when I told her horses can be ridden through most oftheir pregnancy with no ill effects. I think the market has stabilized now and will not change much unless something else changes. I am not talking about the economy

 

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 10:44 AM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

The current horse market is probably the worst in US history. Considering 100 years ago horses were a mode of transportation and today they are a luxury item for most people. Serious horse people will never give up their horses, unless it comes down to keeping a roof over their head.
        Although I would never send my own horse to slaughter, my ability to keep and maintain a horse I can't use would lead me to euthanize a horse when he can no longer be ridden.
        The reason we are seeing such an increase in large numbers of abandoned horses, neglected horses and sanctuary siezures is because the average horse owner doesn't want to have to make the hard call and take care of their own. (Cull)
        There is no market for ill, crippled, crazy horses and to flood an overly bloated market with inferior animals is not only a shame, it should be a crime.
The bleeding hearts will have to change their tune once they realize that it is impossible to spare every life when they can no longer afford to do so.
We are looking at an unprecendented time in the horse market. I can not tell you how many people have offered to "give" me a free horse...one that is healthy, well bred but needs training. For a horse lover like myself it is truly heart breaking.
        I do not foresee the market ever getting back to what it was even 10 years ago because the youth of today are more interested in electronics etc then they are in being outdoors. Also, how would they ever be able to afford to own land? or keep a horse?
        I would say the only horses that are selling right now are those trained to a high level in some discipline. A good trail horse will sell if it is safe for most any rider. The price it brings is probably about half of what it would have sold for 2 years ago.
        I predict it will get much worse before it gets better. And as disgusting as slaughter is, it appears for the US market it is necessary.

 

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 10:02 AM

Washington

I own 6-15 horses

Well the horse market is my area is a sad state of affairs for sure ! Well started , registered horses are not selling at all .... our local horse publication has gone to a every other month turn out due to not enough folks being able to list or run ads ... many of our stables have been asked to take in extra horses that folks loosing their jobs can't keep ... I have taken in five horses in that last two years .
        folks that can go to shows are still buying and spending but the shows are smaller and only the very well off can afford the show fees . trainers are hurting unless they have a commitment from the folks to leave the horse in training for long enough to get it broke to show ...
        People are dumping their horses and turning their back on them ... taking them to the sale barn and paying the fee to run them thru the sale and not carring who buys them ... so the sale barns are charging a drop off fee so they don't get stuck with the horses that no sale ...
        our local 4-H groups have so many horses offer to the kids now that they can get free horses to learn on and ride . that is the only good thing about the soft market .
        I think the general owner of horses is much older and that we have lost an entire generation of new horse owners ... everyone I know that owns a farm or stable is feeding too many and wants to cut down the numbers but don't want to risk the good horses going into the wrong hands ... the breeds that are selling are anyone's guess .... I think the horse market is going to get worst, there is no horse market right now .... no buyers .... sad state of affairs ...

 

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 7:55 AM

Colorado

I own 6-15 horses

1. The poor economy is digging into leisure spending, and this includes horses. When people have to cut back, they do it in their hobbies first. Horses are a luxury item, and feeding them is costly too, so less excess cash means less horse owners out there. Also, if you have a horse, you may not travel as much to events because that's another expense (fuel, motels, entry fees can be expensive).
       2. Horses that usually sell, even in a slower economy, seem to be experienced horses under saddle, probably more geldings. Some newer breeds have better followings at times (gaited horses, for example), but I think the main idea is that horses have to be in the 5-10 yr. old range. Young, untrained stock just isn't popular (unless you're a breeder or horsetrader), and older horses (15+) are looked at as being past their prime.
       3. The horse market will not improve too much, as it will take the economy many years to improve. I don't think we'll ever see the level of income that we have in the past, as places like China are really putting a damper on our economy. Backyard breeders, who produce many inferior quality horses, will hopefully go by the wayside.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 9:30 PM

Montana

I own more than 15 horses

There are horses dumped and given away every day. Lots of people cannot afford to keep them.
           Trained not necessarily papered horses that are dependable, for anyone, will sell. Maybe not quickly.
price is a huge factor today.
           Since there is no longer a canner market in the US number of horses will decline, since we cannot dispose of the "bad" horses . I know some people just shoot them and leave them for the animals to eat, what else can we do. Cannot afford to feed and cannot sell them here as canners, so they will go to Canada and they will make bank on them.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 9:29 PM

Colorado

I own 1-5 horses

The majority of horse owners I know are enjoying and attempting to hang on to the horses they have. Little money is being spent on horse related items, shows, programs etc. Horses are definatly a luxury they are attempting to keep and in many ways are unrealistic about future prospects. ie; people still breeding, kids in equine programs who think they are going to survive in equine related fields.
           There is little selling here. There is rather a great shuffling to homes willing to take for a variety of reasons. No money is changing hands.
           Like luxury cars, as people downsize and reconstruct their finances there will be fewer and fewer horse owners. Horses will belong to those with greater financial resources or those who choose to limit themselves otherwise to own them. Likewise I see fewer avid horse owners participating in shows/competitions at either the local or national levels, rodeo etc. Horses will again be "hobby" for those fortunate to have expendable income.
           Equine professional, Northern Front Range Colorado

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 8:34 PM

Colorado

I own more than 15 horses

3) The horse market will be as bad in the future as long as we have an over population. The resources available to care for horses are less then what we can allow to really take good care of the horse numbers we have in our country today. With thousands of unwanted mustangs draining taxpayers resouces and unwanted horses being dumped off on the side of the road by irresponsible horse owners every day, you know you have to many horses. This is killing the market. Thanks Shawn Welder

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 8:17 PM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

1) we are in a sad state. Look at the sudden increase in neglect. Unfortunately , i feel that the US needs horse slaughter facilites. Ones that are heavily regulated. There are just too many horses.
       2) People have to make a choice, buy hay or buy groceries. What wins, groceries. There is no question. SO MANY people take on a horse with no clue how expensive they will be or that they live a very long long time. They are an expensive pet / hobby. More education is needed in the care of equines.
       3) For the average person, I think the well trained 5 - 15 yr old trail gelding , any breed, is the best seller. Something a recreational rider can ride NOW. And priced under $2000.
       4) It will all depend on the economy. I think once the surplus of unwanted horses is thinned out , the demand will return too. Its a cycle .

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 7:28 PM

Idaho

I own 6-15 horses

1) The current economy makes everyone's budget tighter, consequently there is less recreation dollars circulating. Sales to low/middle income households are slow. People in these income groups are using their horses closer to home, with less travel expense. The BLM wild horses are making things even worse on the local economy and local breeders.
       2) A horse of good quality and training will sell, but now it is hard to get the true value and dollar amount from the market. A private breeder that has invested years and money into good confirmation in their breeding stock plus hours of training and advertising, now has to compete with the Federal Government dumping cheap, poor quality, wild BLM horses onto the open market, falsely calling them "Mustangs" when they are grade horses. Compound this with the closing of the slaughter facilities for a good management tool of cull horses and it drives the prices of good quality private breeders horses below production costs. This lowers the overall quality of all horses in the U.S.
       3) In the next 5 to 10 years private breeders will continue to have depressed prices and slow sales for horses until the over-supply of cheap horses by the BLM wild horse program stops dumping these poor quality horses onto the horse market at give away prices. Also, first time buyers are more likely to have a bad experience with these wild horses and drop out of the horse market entirely, ruining future horse markets to these same people. Trainers will raise their prices because of an over abundant, cheap, untrained, horse market wanting their services, making it even more difficult for the private breeder to make a profit. Trainers will benefit, but the private breeder gets usurped by the BLM.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 7:13 PM

Montana

I own more than 15 horses

1) I think that most horses are a luxury, and not working horses. Therefore, when the economy is bad, people can't afford all the costs that go in to keeping a horse. They may or may not be able to keep the horses they have; but, they probably can't afford any new ones.
       2) Seems to me that the young horses take the hit. (weanlings - unstarted 2-3 year olds). Especially if they have no pedigree behind them. Grade mares, unless well broke, don't do well. Seems like the best sellers are 5-10 year old geldings that can have one, or all of three things: Good pedigree, Good Color, Well broke.
       3) I think the market will come back. There were too many horses around and people were just breeding horses, because they could, and they were worth something. Now they are not worth as much, and those folks are getting out of the business. The good horses will stick around, and one day be back on top of the market. I think the people who are in the horse business need to support all of those who are fighting to keep the market alive. BLM needs to get control over their over-population and mis-management, and they need to re-establish a humane slaughter market in the United States .

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 6:55 PM

Wyoming

I own 6-15 horses

I think the current horse market is better than it was in the last couple years. People are still being carefull about spending money. We are thinking very hard about the cost of showing and travel. In this economic downturn in the horse industry the cost of showing, registering, etc has not gone down. I hope to see things improve over the next few years, but we still have a glut of horses on the market. I hope breeders will be carefull about breeding only the best. I know in the spring it is very hard not to breed that mare in the back yard, but I hope you don't. There are so many free horses on the market that if I were looking for a horse, I'd never buy one when they're giving them away.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 6:24 PM

Kansas

I own more than 15 horses

1) Ban on horse slaughter in U.S. is impacting horse market more that any other factor...nowhere to go with old, crippled or horses that do not serve a purpose. Costs money to feed and graze them. Not being able to sell them restricts generating money to invest in useful horses.
2) Broke ranch horses...the market has remained strong. Gentle and broke is the most valuable asset. Also, broke team roping horses and well started to finished barrel horses. The opportunities to compete at all different levels in team roping and barrel racing has driven the market for those horses.
3) It all depends upon implementing horse slaughter in the U.S. again. If we don't, the market will remain as it is. If we open up humane slaughter in the U.S. , we will be able to readjust the horse population and generate more money into the equine economy for marketing and investing in good, young trainable horses. The BLM is not doing reputable horse breeders any favors by flooding the market with giveaway mustangs either. In summary, unless the political climate changes, the horse market will remain what is is right now. High quality, well-bred, in condition prospects and well broke, quiet riding horses are higher than they've ever been before. Average horses of any class will find a tough market and below par stock...well, you're going to have to pay people to haul them off. It's higher than it's ever been on the good ones...and non existent on the other end. Invest in the good, well-bred kind and you'll always own or have something to sell that's got value. Period.

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 6:23 PM

Wyoming

I own more than 15 horses

1) With the current changes in the processing market for equine, the horses with problems or illnesses will not bring the potential for income that they may one have brought. There will continue to be a need for something to do with horses with these problems and much wasted money will be spent on saving, medicating, doctoring and feeding of this type of horse. If a person is not able to feed them, then more of them will be turned out on the BLM/public lands because there is no place to take them conveniently.
       2) All horses that are better trained and the best representative of their breed will continue to sell for a good price. Those horses that are of lesser quality and not as trained or not as gentle will sell for much less.
      3) If the passifists/conservatives continue with their sympathetic bills in congress to correct something that they have no understanding about the consequences, the bills created to help the horse will cause major issues for the states to enforce new laws and will cause more problems for the horses of an owner that can't feed it and take care of it properly and ultimately do more damage for the horses than what a processing plant may have to offer. Sometimes there are much worse things in life than death. The people that create these bills should also be prepared to put out their own money to create alternatives for the animals when the laws are changed "in the best interest of the animal", instead of hind site. It's too bad that many people only worry about half the story and don't understand the full life cycle process. Intelligence is a book that is half read with reality in no part of any pages. We call our intelligent law makers "Do Gooders". They want to do good, but they never look farther than their big toe with the additional problems they are going to cause and they have no solution for those problems. No Forsight. We call them Californian's for they have realy messed up their state.
In five to ten years, there will be more laws in place, more money to be spent by states and the nation and more problems caused for the animals that these laws were created to protect.

 

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