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Status of the Horse Market 2010
thoughts on the current horse market:
1) What types, ages, & breeds of horses are currently selling?
2) What hopeful signs do you see in the market?
3) Are "unwanted horses" still impacting the value of horses?
Are Now Closed. Thank you for
Dec 26, 2010 12:48 PM
in EQUUS" have created this dilemma for the horse, compounded by government
legislation or lack of. There have been decades of mismanagement from the single
horse owner to the mufti-horse owner and breeders. I liken this debacle of the
horse to that of our lack of good government (Oxymoron?). 'We the People"
are at fault on both counts.
Oct 5, 2010 3:47 PM
first thing that people need to realize is that horses are
"LIVESTOCK!" They are not pets!! I have 8 horses of my own that are
part of my family, but at the end of the day they are livestock just like cows,
sheep, and pigs. And, because I love my horses, I believe that horse slaughter
houses need to be re-opened. Yes, I agree, there needs to be some reform in how
they are treated and handled at these facilities. But, closing horse slaughter
houses has been as disservice to the horse and the industry. The people who
oppose horse slaughter are out of touch with reality and refuse to see all sides
of the situation. What about the nearly 5000 horses in
that have been turned loose to starve to death? Are they being treated
humanely? Would these people rather see a horse starve to death than withstand a
short time in a slaughter facility? It is the close-minded, erratic mentalities
of people wearing blinders that refuse to see the entire situation who are
really causing the horses to suffer!!
Sep 20, 2010 10:07 AM
being said (and there is A LOT being said), there needs to be regulation in both
horse breeding, through the organizations, and the slaughter houses. For for
either to take an extreme approach will only lead to further division and the
continuation of the horse to suffer. Until people start to come together for a
solution to benefit all, the horse will continue to carry the burden. It is a
real shame for those of us who 'truly' love the animal. As far as I'm concerned,
the horse should NOT be exploited for any agenda, political or otherwise (do you
hear me PETA?) God help the horse should people not be able to work for a
solution. Afterall, there are no problems in this world, only solutions. Let's
step up and do what is right for the horse this time: Kinder means of
processing, and responsible breeding programs with regulations.
Sep 7, 2010 12:13 PM
market is soft. Good well broke handy geldings bring the best. Broke horses in
general bring the best. Foals , broodmares...you need to find your buyers....and
you need to spend the time on them , not run them through like cattle....I
believe those days are over. Quality not quality not quantity sells way better
and you will have to work for it. I try to sell what I would buy. Horses trained
for a specific event sell ok too. If you are going to have use your mare as a
broodmare at least ride her so she can have a second career if she ever has to
I am sick
to death of finger pointing at the breeders.....easy for the ones who started
the problem in the first place to do. As always, when pointing fingers, PETA ,
the HSUS and all those like-minded will never notice the three fingers pointing
back at them. On top of that we now have to deal with a crappy economy!
as I had known it has ceased to exist.
FACTS I KNOW TO BE TRUE:
lines closed......flooding the market. Some of these big barns suddenly had
hundreds of horses no longer bringing in an income. Some were sold for meat ,
others bred again for foals bred for meat.
come the closing of the slaughter plants....now what? Bottom dropped out of the
horse market. The vets, the hay dealers , the tack dealers , trainers ect. Never
dropped their prices...had I mentioned the VETS?
Fact: I had
a friend who recently had her horse put down, how much you ask? Almost $400
dollars!!! Good thing they could bury it themselves!
too often the low horse prices attract low income type people into horse
ownership. The lower price of horses does not negate the monetary needs of the
horse as they are the same for someone like me as they are for those who are
poor or uneducated and think they can pick up a free or cheap horse and it ends
there, thus leading to neglect in many cases, and or the horse becoming
just observations I see everyday. Never thought this country would go this far
as to debate a livestock issue with such a simple solution.
Sep 5, 2010 9:09 PM
very careful about who you donate money too. HSUS and the likes are trying to
create the cost of having a horse to expensive and they are very creative about
how they go about it. They finally got slaughter houses closed. They are also
trying to get all cats and dogs spayed and neutered too. Guess what that
means....the prices for purchasing a pet will go up but the real agenda is that
no one owns a domesticated animal and that means they would become extinct.
Sep 4, 2010 7:52 AM
got into a situation by upping the horse population way out of reason. Horses in
some communities were worse than "pets", they were evidence of status.
You know how much stuff we accumulate to show off. But horses are alive, need
care, and have a long relationship with humans around their work, which can
benefit both species.
In 2000, there were many times more horses nationwide than there were
before the automobile, and only a few Americans, like the Amish, allowed horses
a role in moving people and their goods. In areas with lots of land and smaller
populations, horses had a natural environment, but limited opportunities for
support in a killer economy.
So, we are left with a comparatively large, increasingly burdensome
financially, equine population. We should have seen it coming, I guess. But
horses are an attractive, always interesting, creature--so it's understandable
that we encouraged their growth, and looked on them more personally than other
livestock. It's the horns of a dilemma--with our choices looking like
"lose/lose" either way we go.
It is a tragedy to now look on horses as "a lot of meat." What
choices are out there to respectfully divest ourselves of horses we can't feed,
and to look at feeding ourselves as a first priority?
Aug 6, 2010 2:07 PM
current hay prices are forcing me out of the horse business. What's more
irratating is to drive down the highways in
and see hay still baled and going to waste in the field or in the stack, at a
time when the price is so high. Horses are still considered
"livestock" in the state of MONTANA, not pets- The economy is
destroying the horse market as well-, as well as livestock owners are resorting
to 4 wheelers to replace the horses- Montana needs the slaughter houses and yes
it does create jobs and help dispose of unwanted horses- Horse associations
should be monitoring the horses market and advising the members of where and how
the market is doing the best- WHEN are farmers and ranchers going to start
working together again? I have not bred any mares for three years now- don't
know if I can hold out another year- Do-gooders back east should stay back east
and quit passing legislation on issues they know nothing about in Montana and
May 5, 2010 10:49 AM
all I resent the comments on the PMU rescues being the cause of the problems
with the horse industry. Not all PMU horses were only fit for horsemeat. I
personally adopted two. I adopted a PMU yearling, belgian/QH cross, which turned
out to be a wonderful performance horse. She was High Point Pleasure Driving
horse in the Washington State Horsemans assoc and Northeast Zone in 2009. She
has taught me so much and is one of the most versatile horses I have known. She
has the potential to be a working cow horse, I found her to have cow sence the
first time we met cattle, one of the best trail horses I have ever ridden,
potential as a combined driving horse, dressage or english pleasure horse. I
have leased her to a woman for trail riding and driving. I also adopted a
belgian PMU mare that was in foal 5 years ago. She turned out to be the most
wonderful confidence builder. As bomb proof a horse as you can get. She gave me
the most wonderful filly who now is my show horse. Yes a full belgian mare that
will be shown this year in western and english pleasure, trail and halter and
hopefully next year in pleasure driving. She is the most gorgeous belgian I have
ever seen. She was High Point All Other Breed halter in the state as a three
year old and in the zone from a yearling to three year old. Yes this is what
horses you are saying are deserving of slaughter. Not all the PMU horses were as
wonderful as mine, but many are.
As far as slaughter being a humane way to dispose of unwanted horses, I
disagree. Untill slaughter is done in a humane way, not bleeding out horses
alive, killing horses that are only stunned, shipping horses in dangerous over
crowded trucks, inhumane handling at slaughter plants, overall horrible inhamane
treatment, I think it should be illegal and illegal to ship to mexico and Canada
where its even worse.
You say ranchers are breeding responsibly. I don't see that. As long as ranchers
are having production sales with 50 or more horses up for sale, your
contributing to the glut of unwanted horses. As long as the AQHA promotes the
over breeding of quarter horses just to keep the # of new registered horses up,
and keep the association as the biggest in the world, its just wrong. I can't
imagine any true horse lover or horseman being so irresponsible to breed just to
keep the registered numbers up even though many will end up dying a horrible
inhumane death. I think anyone who thinks slaughter is a humane way to dispose
of horses, needs to spend some time at one of those slaughter plants and look
into the eyes of a wonderful companion who taught so many and was trusted and
loved for most of their life.
Untill we face facts, horses will suffer one way or another. The only humane way
to dispose of an unwanted horse is by the hand of a vet or by someone
knowledgeable in putting a horse down.
Mar 16, 2010 8:41 PM
first of all to thank the responsible and compassionate horseowners and
breeders. Those who put their horses' welfare before profit, even though more
difficult economic times. The unfortunate truth is that the horse slaughter
industry and horsemeat prices having been the baseline for the value of a horse
is what has created irresponsible breeding and ownership all along. The
slaughter industry actually has created more abuse and neglect, as has been
The recent toss-out of the
bill which attempted to repeal the horse slaughter ban in that state will
hopefully set a precedent for other states to follow sut. Horse slaughter
facilities have destroyed the environment in their communities, brought no new
jobs or profits, paid no taxes, and these facts have been well documented. I
urge everyone to oppose any legislation in
to legalize slaughter facilities. The people of
will pay a heavy price, and so will the horses.
Unwanted and neglected horses will hopefully become fewer in number as those of
you who are models of ethical, responsible and compassionate horsemanship lead
the way as examples for others to follow. Many of you have also opened your
barns and pastures and provided care to neglected and abandoned horses, without
fanfare, out of your own pockets, and that says a lot about you.
Mar 1, 2010 10:08 PM
1 The horse
market is very soft,and not looking to change very soon. One thing I don't here
many people talk about is AQHA now allowing multiple foals to be registered each
year per mare. Talk about killing the industry. (along with all the other resons
everyone else has metioned) 2Proven perfomance horses and well broke gldings are
doing ok but not great. 3 Unwanted horses 500.00 value and under affect the
value and sale of the 10, 15, and even the 20,000 dollar horses. When people
can't sell their cheaper or older horse, they can't afford a better horse. This
becomes a chain reaction all the way up to the high priced horses.
Feb 26, 2010 3:59 PM
broke horses for pleasure or rodeoing are holding their own on price, the rest
are very cheap or you are unable to give them away. So many are unsuitable for
use, either age, unsound, or rank and until they reestablish the slaughter
houses for these " unwanted horses" there is going to be a problem.
Lots of individuals stop caring for them and starve them or turn them loose on
public land to fend for themselves. It is more humane to slaughter them than let
them starve and be abused. Let's work on getting the slaughter houses
Feb 25, 2010 2:02 PM
's in a serious market
adjustment in the horse industry compounded by the slow national economy. Good
horses are selling to knowledgable buyers. Those horses tend to be older, proven
performers, safe to be around, with an ability to win at the level the rider is
As a show and barrel race family, we don't see much light in the show market
which has been really impacted by the overall poor economy and probably falls
into the luxury items when families are cutting back. It was never a market
driven by the cheapest horse, but is a market with too much breeding and too
many young unstarted horses. We'll continue to show, but will be buying select
new prospects not breeding for our own.
Juxapose the show market, is the emerging growth in youth rodeos in our area.
With demand for the old, and even older horse, that has some talent and is kid
friendly. This opens a market for the next step-up performance mount, as kids
age into faster competition divisions. The new families become more knowable
about what can get rider into the winners circle and if they're looking at high
school rodeo...that's not the cheapest horse from the auction yard.
Over production is impacting the entire market, at a time when slaughter houses
are being curtailed and cost of supporting horses is raising every year. We need
slaughter houses for those unwanted horses. However, I think we need to be
bolder in our education about what horse ownership means. As horse owners, we
must assume responsiblity to support our retired and injured horses, who have
serve us so well, through their aging years or coordinate for their humane
ending, rather than sell them into the auction yard system to be past around,
starved and abused.
Feb 25, 2010 11:52 AM
market for the average horse is about like the market for the average dog, there
is none. The horse has been downgraded to a pet. We use our horses and mules,
about 40 of them. As they get to where they are no longer needed in our
business, we get rid of them. We have been getting most of our horses given to
us for the last few years, good young broke horses, 3-8 yrs. old. We have been
giving our older horses to good homes for 15 years, when we are finished with
them. They still have a lot of good life left in them, just not up to the hard
work we have for them. Most of our horses still work hard until they are around
20. Some longer, others not as long. I don't see any signs the market is coming
back. Hay prices are too high for the hobby horse owner in most places. If there
is no market for the horse when you want to get rid of them, for whatever
reason, who wants to own them. Some folks have horses around for their kids.
When the kids leave the house, so does the horse(s). The only hopeful signs for
the horse market is for the meat value. If you look at the price of a steer, say
$800-1000, then go look at a horse for less than $100. There is a lot of meat on
a horse. People may decide they like horses a lot.
Feb 25, 2010 9:59 AM
horses. As long as we have too many horses in our country the market will be
2) All living thing should be respected but there is a fairly small group of
people that don't think humans should use horse as a ag product. This has
resulted in a explosion in the horse population. It's a shame that the folks
that shut down proccessing plants didn't have the forsight to see what problems
they were creating. These folk should be shouldering the responibility of the
problem they created and not the taxpayers. Also, the horse market is being
flooded by wild mustangs that have been rounded up with no home to go to. I
understand we have at least 30,000 wild horses corralled today costing tax
payers $$$. Wild horses got wild over the past 400 years by living and dying
without government "management". It cost up to $1,000 just to roundup
one mustang. That same $1,000 could go the kids that have no money for education
or other people in need. No wonder our country is in the mess that it's in.
3) Unwanted horses are the main reason there is no value in the market. Last
year in New York PEDA killed almost 100,000 cats and dogs, not because they
don't love these animals but, because the huge over poulation. Responible
breeding and ownership can help at lot in this issue.
Thanks Shawn Welder
Feb 25, 2010 9:46 AM
seems to be a market for proven, good to go, well trained, safe and dependable
trail/4-H horses. We use to raise a couple foals a year, but have stopped doing
that, because I can go out and buy anything I need for way less then I could
ever raise that foal. Hopefully, more people are doing the same so we can better
take care of the horses that are already out there.
Until we get our base market back, which is the canary market I don't think
things are going to change. We need to realize that horses are livestock not
dogs or cats and treat them as such. There is a market out there for these
dangerous and unwanted horses and thanks to the Humane Society we have shut the
door on it.
The other thing that is totally out of control is our Mustang (feral horse)
populations. We have about twice as many horses on the range then the range can
support and millions of dollars spent each year to feed feral horses in holding
Feb 25, 2010 9:10 AM
have noted, well-broke, sound, mid-aged, no-holes geldings still bring similar
prices to those of 5-10 years ago. Young stock and mares? Forget it......
I do get weary of hearing breeders being bashed, as the majority probably don't
contribute more than 10 new foals to the population each year, which normally
would be easily offset by natural deaths. However, when the whole 'rescue'
mentality hit the horse industry several years ago in the form of PMU farm foals
and mares that entered the market when estrogen therapy started getting bad PR,
and PMU farm lost their quotas, it was the beginning of a domino effect that
certainly contributed to the current state of affairs. They'd been sold almost
exclusively for overseas horsemeat markets prior to the intervention of US
animal activist groups, and suddenly all the rage was to 'adopt' (for a fee)
these critters to 'save' them from being slaughtered. The PMU farmers had quite
a racket going, as did some 'rescues'....unbroke, unhandled, crossbred
youngsters and mares were flooding the US, and the guilt factor became an
issue....buyers who considered a nicely bred domestic papered foal or youngster
were often chided for not taking in a Canadian 'rescue' horse instead. Added to
the PMU burden was the growing number of BLM mustangs....instead of controlling
the populations and only holding adoptions to relieve the excess on the range,
the government seemed to realize that it might have a new 'cash cow' on its
hands, and private breeders were now faced with competition from that quarter
also(at taxpayer expense, no less). Our then Senator Conrad Burns tried to
offset that by initiating the 3-strike law that would have required BLM to
euthanize or send to slaughter mustangs that failed to be adopted at three
events, but about then the squeaky wheel activists pushed for the national
anti-slaughter legislation....with the help of celebs like Willie Nelson and Bo
Derek, clueless lawmakers effectively put the nails in the coffin of the horse
industry by passing the bill. I personally have 19 head at present -no donated
feed, etc., even though I actually took in 4 'freebies' last year - the term
'rescue' makes me grind my teeth, frankly. I try to be optimistic, but unless
the plants reopen........well, who knows?
Wed, Feb 24, 2010
unwanted horses are still impacting the current horse market! As long as folks
can get horses for "free" they aren't going to buy. I still think we
need to get the horse slaughter plants back on line and going. Then we at least
have a "base" price that folks have to meet to purchase their horse.
It also gives the unwanted horses a place to be used in a practicle manner, with
Wed, Feb 24, 2010
depressed current horse market should be no surprise to anyone who has been
involved for a long time. Even in 2000 there was evidence that this slowdown was
coming. So many people jumped into the business and like the inflated housing
market there is tipping point. The combination of over breeding and economic
recession created a saturation point in all markets. Like any other consumer
good, supply is greater than demand , so prices fall. Unfortunately, we are
dealing with living, feeling, sale items and they often are the ones left
unwanted and uncared for. It is up to breeders to pause in their activities.
Quality should have always been a precedence in breeding rather than quantity.
The market will continue to fluctuate as a sifting process, separating out
quality breeders, happens. The ability to produce large numbers of animals and
mass marketing schemes does not always mean quality is the goal of the breeder.
It is the time for the consumer, the buyer to also place quality as a
precedence. Buyers are in control of the market now, and hopefully their
influence will be towards quality not quantity.
Wed, Feb 24, 2010
market is still way off it's norm.. We raise show and sell miniatures horses
. All though the horses are still $$ valued and continue to show and score in
the top of their program, people want, if they can afford anything, a fully
trained horse for $300. And most of these people have no idea what 'take care
I do not see the trend going up for awhile yet.... And unwanted horses need not
be slaughtered, there are plenty of us that will take the horses and feed them
until they are able to find homes for them.
I sold a miniature to a teen age girl, talked to the mother delivered ourselves,
now this is a guy who taught me to cart and needed a light weight person to show
him some and be gentle with his work program. All of that was made clear...
I discovered, he has been getting under fences, getting out and on the road, and
is way to fat! That leaves me worried sick about any other horse i sell, you
really don't know what the other person is going to do after you drive away
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
the horse market is terrible!! I blame the anti-slaughter and the Humane Society
!! They are a threat to animal agriculture!!! Their whole agenda is to stop all
use of animals for anything!!! We need to have a slaughter market for unwanted
horses or the horse will turn into our "Sacred Cow"! What is wrong
with people wanting to eat horse meat anyway!! And for that matter whats wrong
with people eating dogs and cats!!! There are too many people out there that
think they can tell everyone else what they can and can't do! This used to be a
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
We are in
the quarter horse breeding program. We stand one stallion, a nationaly ranked
barrel horse sire. Since the slaughter horuses have closed down, we have seen a
decrease last year of around 30%. This year looks to be even worse. People we
have talked to say that they can't sell their foals because no one can afford to
feed new horses along with their unwanted ones. The horses we are selling
ourselves have decreased in price from $7500.00 down to $4,000.00 We get a lot
of people interested, but they want to trade, not buy. A lot of our friends who
raise slightly less well bred horses can't even give them away. One of our
friends had 2 older, well bred mares they booked to a sale. After they paid
commission and other fees, they recieved $0.75 for the pair! I believe this
situation will not get better, only worse. It will mean the people tryng to make
a living with their breeding program are going to quit. Only the wealthy-those
who get their income elseware- will be able to stay in the business. Thank you
for being concerned with this issue. Iva Korell
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
I am a
trainer in the Bitterroot Valley, MT and I currently have lots of horses for
sale that are my clinets as well as my own. Here is a list of what is currently
13yr chestnut TB gelding, 2yr bayTB filly, 3yr chestnut TB/APHA filly, 5yr
Tobiano APHA mare, 3yr buckskin grade filly, 4yr grey/roan AQHA gelding, 5yr red
roan AQHA gelding, 4yr black overo APHA mare, 4yr liver chestnut TB mare.
I am constantly on-line looking at horses as well as attending auctions.
Everyone says how bad the horse market got last year. And yes, horses were
cheaper and still are currently. But I had an exceptional year in 2009, selling
7 horses. A record for me as a new and upcoming trainer in MT. I think the
market is picking up a bit and will get better over this year.
There are lots of unwanted horses out there and we need better organizations out
there to help with these "unwanted horses". Hay and feed need to be
donated. Many are still without proper food and water and I just wish we had
better "rescue" organizations to help rather then seeing decent horses
sell to these "canners" at the sales. I go to sales all the time and
lots of "wanted, useful horses" are being wasted. They are keeping the
market cheap but people that try to buy theses horses are bidding against
"canners", that's not fair. It also makes people who want and need to
sell thier horses, not want to take them to the sale because of the
"canners". Also, the terrible flaggers on craigslist don't help the
horse market. Many people need to sell horses and are trying to find them better
homes but flaggers are taking thier ads off within minutes. The horse world
needs to come together to overcome all these issues and get the market and horse
values back up to where they belong. Thank You
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
We have a
nice QH 5-year old mare with 70+ days professional training that does not have
any papers. She is not selling even at a low price of $800. Looks like the only
horses selling are the really broke horses with papers, good breeding, and
experience at shows, events, or trained for a specific event. Not sure it
matters on breed, or age, but that it is broke and trustworthy. I don't see any
sign of the market getting better soon in our area. The unwanted horses that are
being given away are making it more difficult for others to sell a fairly nice
horse for any price. If you can get a horse without any exchange of money, then
why buy one unless it is really broke and has great bloodlines or trained for a
specific event you want to do. It is a difficult time for people presently with
the economy and looks like in our area it is not on the upswing, still going
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
current market for well trained, correct confirmation, and solid bloodlines is a
little off, but overall, still viable. We sell quarter horses, foundation bred,
and have no problem getting our asking price. So long as breeders and or the
recreational breeder watches what they are breeding, trying to not dilute or
cross everything in the world to there "champion" the market will
rise. Too many back yard breeders are crossing their "unrideable"
horses to something or anything cheap, and this is bad for the horse industry.
Lets try to keep pure our QH's, Arabian, Paints, Saddlebreds, Drafts, Warmbloods....instead
of crossing everything to death to create the New and Improved World Champion of
I do think the "unwanted horses" that are crippled, are sad, and I
believe should be put down. The neglected horses should be fed and helped and
placed into good homes. There are alot of good ol' boys that need homes, and are
competing with these groups that are trying to save everything, not at all with
the best interest of the horse in mind. These horses are often traded from home
to home, and mistreated because the person that "usually" picks one up
is not equipped to handle these types of horses.
Tue, Feb 23, 2010
performance horses are still selling, although not as well as before.
Unwanted horses are still impacting sales. The
needs to be able to dispose of dangerous, poor conformation and unwanted
horses. Horse owners need to slow down breeding--quit producing horses that are
not wanted/needed..most legitimate breeders ar eslowing down, it is the "unresponsible
breeding" that is hurtig all of us.
Are Now Closed. Thank you for
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