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Market slow for sales, has it changed

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Frankie

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It is very obvious when you look at any type of sale board that prices for miniatures in general is WAY down. It appears to me to also be obvious, that even at these low prices, horses are not moving as well as in the past. I just hate it that nice, nice horses are almost being given away.

It has been mentioned before that people are gelding more horses due to the above reasons.

But, are people going to breed less mares this year for the same reasons?

Last year I bred 5 mares, sold 2 of them. Still have 7 breeding age girls, but have decided with the market the way it is and I have yet to see any signs of it improving, I am only having 2 mares bred for next year.

I have discussed this with a few large farms, and neither of them see the need to cut back in breeding. I have got to say I was somewhat shocked at their, oh well attitude.

I have only been in miniatures for 5 years and during the time the market has gone done each year. I do not see the next 5 years being any different.

I believe before we have thousands upon thousands of miniatures in rescues, shelters or starving in their own pasture, that we need to take a look and see if there is something we as responsible miniature owners need to do.

I am small and can only make a small dent, but there are tons of small farms out there and we each need to supply our own small dent to put the air back in the market.

I am only breeding 2 girls for next year, and next month I have 3 boys who will be gelded.

What are your thoughts on less breedings?
 
L

Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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I have been very lucky that all of my foals the past few years have sold before they were a week or so old or within a week of being put on the market. I will say 90 percent of them are being bought by repeat customers who have put in there "orders"
I do think that makes it a bit easier to sell them since they know what they are looking for and out of who and are waiting for them as opposed to getting new buyers and competing with the hundreds of other really cute foals out there.

But that said I dont even know if anyone is in foal for 2006 but there is only a possibility of 2 at the most. I am really trying to make some changes in my herd to ensure i am on the road to where I want to go and feel I am at least on my way
 

Erica

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Well I agree and disagree

From a market standpoint, I think that awesome horses will always bring big bucks ( IN ANY BRED ).

I have not have any problems selling what I have put up this year and have a waiting list all the way up until 07 for foals, I have people email weekly looking for something particular, and most aren't looking for the deal of the year either, many are looking for a NICE horse and are willing to spend for it...... I have also bought some this year and paid good money for them and didn't think twice as they were great horses and were an "asset" to my herd.

The horse market is saturated with low end horses and that is why you see the horse market very low and many going at sale for just a hundred dollars (and I am not making this statement just about minis or anyone that has a horse forsale that is not selling) Just a general statement that there are alot of culls out there these days.

I don't think it is so much we all need to quit breeding - I think everyone needs to evaluate their program and not just bred a mare to a stallion because you CAN.........really look at them (breeding stock) and look at their past foals and see if they are an asset to the bred, are they going to produce horses that people want to buy? want to show? win? ext.........

I see to many people who only look at one thing - some it is color, some it is pedigree, some it is height and then they bred for that "one" quality, and in so you sacrafice the others. Breeding animals need to be like show animals and have the "whole package persay". I just have to laugh when I see things like "not show quality, but would make a great herd sire"..........

Your breeding animals should be "show quality", not saying show quality, like have to be kept in tip top shape, cleaned, primped and ready to go out and win at any moment, but they should have the "qualities" of a show horse.

Sorry to get off track but that is my thoughts...........
 

CLC Stables

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I fully agree with Erica. We cannot give in to our "blindness" of how nice our horses are. Barn blindness that is. Every day I go out to my pasture and look at my horses and point out the things that need changed. In my short 7 years of breeding I have produced 2 foals. YEP 2. Heck I have been called a horse trader by a couple people because of my ever changing herd, only to get to the herd I have today, and am VERY VERY pleased with. I own 5 horses, 3 of them National Champions (one of those a Reserve National Grand Champion), one a Supreme Halter Horse Producer, and my stud colt a Supreme Halter horse. It has taken time, money and lots of evaluation, but I have not had any problem selling my foals (two mind you) but one was for over $3000 and the other (just last year) was over $7000.

It is the high caliber horses that are bringing the high caliber prices. WE all must FOCUS our breeding programs to only produce the best.

I am sorry but mediocre horses will not produce National Grands..........and when they do (because it can happen) it is very very rare.

We all need to do like Carolyn, and limit our breeding to breeding only the best. Not breeding because we can.

I have two mares in foal next year, one to a National Champion Stallion, and one to a National Top Three stallion.
 

ChrystalPaths

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No breeding here this year. Market is bad, too many horses out there for sale. Looks like my 3 will be staying, no worries but no more for a while.
 

Jill

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I agree with Erica. She's not only a great horse woman, but she has a very good business sense to go with it.

Additionally, I think many buyers are more educated now about what a good quality mini looks like and now realize it's more than color and height. I think buyers are becoming more quality conscious.

I think the market is full of what most people already have and it takes something exceptional now to inspire many buyers.
 

Frankie

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I did want to add that over the years my goals have changed considerably as I have learned more and more. I do have a few mares who will never be bred. I do not feel they will produce the quality I am looking for. They have faults I do not want passed on and will not take a chance that will happen. But they are here for the long haul and have other jobs that benefit the herd and themselves.

That said I did not breed my best two, I bred the two that I felt would give me quality foals with the stallion they have been bred to. What I mean by that, is the best two a farm has may not even be quality enough, and if that were the case for me, none would have been bred. My decisions were not just based on my thoughts, I asked others many times over to make sure my barn blindness was not coming into play. It does me no good to breed 7, have vet care for 7, food bills, etc. for 7, knowing the 5 may still be here because they may be less than the quality others are looking for. Actually I have now gotten to the point I am picky with breeding as now I am going to show what I breed. Tired of buying horses.

I see to many people who only look at one thing - some it is color, some it is pedigree, some it is height and then they bred for that "one" quality, and in so you sacrafice the others.
Great point Erica!!!!!!!!!! Newer people especially will do this and I for one was in that category. But it takes tons of listening and learning to realize what just makes a quality horse. I know I have a long long way to go, but when I look back at what I purchased, I was kind of lucky, happened onto the right web site, etc.

But this year something just hit me, I took the blinders off and truly LOOKED at my horses and that is how I came up with two.
 

Getitia

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I totally agree with the points made by Erica. There will always be a premium market for top quality equine in any breed and a demand that will result in individuals waiting in line for their opportunity to own such a horse.

Several years ago we made a decision to show those horses that we personally produced on our farm. This forces us to stay away from "fads" and the trend of the year and continue to concentrate on producing a conformationally correct, elegant, and balanced equine from head to tail. We do add outside stock to our program from time to time to continue to refine and tweek areas that need adjusting after evaulating each years foal crop and we expect improvement year over year.

We also select replacement breeding animals from our show string. To be added into our breeding program in the future the horse/pony must first demonstate at the highest levels of competition that it can compete in halter and then next in performance.

Back to your question Frankie, sadly I often equate our small equines now to the dog and cat world. You can stop by an animal shelter any day and pick up whatever breed of dog or cat you are interested in obtaining for a small amount of money (like many horse auctions), or answer a "free to good home" advertisement. These animals can be wonderful pets and companions and yes you can find a diamond in the rough to show and often do very well - normally this is the rare exception and not the rule. However if you are wanting to exhibit a (insert whatever breed of dog) at Madision Square Garden, you are not visiting animal shelters to select your next National Champion or to build your breeding program.

At our farm for each and every breeding we make, my expectation is that the resulting offspring will be of the caliber to be on our personal showstring in halter then in performance at the National level. Mother Nature does not always cooperate, however those times are becoming fewer and fewer in between.
 

Marty

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Erica and Lisa and Geticia, you are where you are because people love you and respect you and you put out great horses consistly. If someday I can only have one-tenth of your knowledge and respect I would be a happy lady in my old age.

I'm still just trying to get started here and get on my feet with all this so I am not about to help flood the market. It still remains to be seen what kind of horses will result from my mares and stallion crosses here.

I am most definately not barn blind either. I go out and just stare at everyone and say "well this one needs a shoulder, and this one could have a nicer hip or tail set" etc. etc. and who will not cross with my stallion well, and I know what changes have to be made.

Now, on the flip side, what about the buyers?

I hate to say this but if I were over loaded here with any kind of horses I could be selling the heck out of whatever I have for good bucks. I could have quite a racket going on here. But I don't because I am not a "trader" and my standards of who gets to buy my horses are quite high. I have no intention of selling a horse to just anyone because they can come up with the money. Instead, I am very very careful about who I would want to sell to and I really really do check them out as best as I can. If I can't sell, I am prepared to keep.
 
K

kaykay

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well the most foals we have had in one year was a whooping 2
This year we should have had 4 but we lost 3. We had one live colt (one in my avatar) and he sold at 4 days old as a gelding. I sold another gelding the same week. And if i had another gelding i could have sold him too. So for me this has been a very good selling year. Actually i have had an easier time selling this year then last year so to me things are up. But we have also promoted our farm much more this year. More advertising in magazines, local areas and web promotion. I think this makes a huge difference. This is our 4th year and i feel we have finally built up a small reputation of breeding quality miniatures and this is so important. Also showing our own horses at the shows i think has really helped too. The biggest advertising response we have gotten was an ad we ran in a small livestock magazine and believe it or not a color flyer i made and hung up at western stores.

I think alot of people only try to promote and sell on the internet. we promote ourselves everywhere. Locally im known as that "miniature horse woman" It amazes me how many people hear about our farm locally (by local i mean within the state of illinois) and call wanting to see horses or just wanting to ask questions--and usually they got my name from a friend of a friend. All of our sales so far this year have been local. But with our impending move i will have to kinda start that part all over again.

But if i had 5 foals and none of them sold -- i would not bred for the following season. But i have never had that happen.

As you can see from the above replies to this thread -- the farms that promote themselves and have built up a reputation of having high quality horses--dont have trouble selling them


Kay
 

Mona

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Well, it never this year, but will see what transpires between now and next year. I bred my mares back for 2006 before I found there to be any problem. Maybe it's because I only have 3 foals this year, and 2 are boys, I don't know, but sure not getting the response I normally get on them. So I will be expectiong 4 or 5 foals for next year, if all goes well.
 

capall beag

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Good Point.

I think it is breeding with a conscience not just for profit or because you can.

I think there is a market for show quality horses all the way down to pet quality(as in NOT show quality!, not unsound conformation) BUT they should not just be churned out and expected to sell.

Where I live I have never had a problem selling a mini, actually I normally have multiple buyers.

NOTE, I never make any profit, my husband keeps asking, but I DO always get good homes.

I just sold a gelding, wasn't planning on it BUT a local lady called me and asked me if I would. I had 2 WONDERFUL homes wanting this gelding. He went locally.

However, he was gelded, sweet, kind well behaved and most suitable to be a pet and he had EXCELLENT bloodlines but he wasn't perfect! HE needed tlc and I sold him with an agreement that I would get first refusal if they should ever decide to sell him.

In my area, MOST people want a mini as a pet not to show or breed BUT they want a mini that is well handled and sweet and UTD on everything.

I think when breeding, temperament, conformation and price should all be considered. There is NO guarantee a foal will be show qulaity before it is born and not everyone wants a show horse so then I think a responsible breeder should think what else could this animal be suited to.

I bred labs, dogs are now spayed. My dog was a quality dog, extremely well bred, she excelled in obedience, good hunt drive etc. I bred her to a top champion dog. However, even with all this I would be lucky to get one TRUE show quality, not could be shown, pup. SO, when I bred my dog it was key to ensure that all pups would also make suitable pets and or hunting companions because I was responisible for all of the pups. Her last litter of 10 one pup is on her way to Champion:) all others were sold with a spay/neuter agreement and a buy back agreement into pet homes. The other 9 were not show quality but they have all made excellent pets. I think it is necessary to breed horses that can be suitable for a variety of uses to ensure their marketability.

phew.........that was a lot of writing!!!!!!!!!!

I do think that shipping costs is playing a big part this year??
 

Cathy_H

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We are breeding all four of our mares. We've sold two of them to a long time customer that has wanted them for years.......... We've sold two of our 3 colts........ Lee & I have gradually reduced our herd from 23 (will soon be down to 8 ) over the last several years............. Years ago, I saw the signs of this current market situation setting in so we decided to get our horses into good homes while we could. If we would have kept them, not bred them and been hit by high vet bills we would most likely have been giving them away today. Teachers pay does not allow high vet bills in our budget & I am not one to wait & see & let a horse suffer..................... BTW, our broodmares are retired champion show mares that have produced correct quality foals that we have shown through the years. We have no problem selling the foals but in light of the current market decided it best for us to reduce our numbers. It is easier to build your herd back up than to sell if you are in a have to situation.
 

lyn_j

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[SIZE=14pt]My total herd is 9. This year we had two babies one is sold the other a filly is still here. Always when people visit the ones I DONT want to sell are the ones they want. I agreed to let Lucky go to a wonderful home. I would have rather they wanted the filly but these RESPONSIBLE people only wanted geldings because they DO NOT want to breed....they felt they are not experienced enough. I congradulated them for their thoughtfulness and agreed to help them show Lucky and they will help me show my Collie Puppy that I will get as payment for Lucky.[/SIZE]

I have bred 6 one is has been sold leaving me wiht 5 of my own. I have had people asking to buy three of these in utero which I wont do.... These people are on a list for when the foals are born. I have not had trouble selling in the past because I have shown the mares that are now in my program all but one and people know what the foals will be like. The one that wasnt shown was a sr mare when I got her, 15 years old and there is NO way you can get rid of that broodmare sprung tummy~

I agree with Erica And Getetia, a quality horse will bring a good price and buyers... the mediocre horses will bring little money if they sell at all because there are so many out there. I was barn blind for 17 years.... I thought back then quantity was what made you a breeder. I am making more now with 9 horses than I did when we had 25! I also campaign my horses to get them seen because I feel like it stimulates their marketability.

Lyn
 

Danielle_E.

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Erica and others have some very valid points but we also have to remember that not everyone is looking to purchase a high end priced horse to be the next Nationals Champion either. Now having said that of course the minis we are breeding must be conformationally correct, etc. but I would venture that more than half the population of people buying miniature horses are not in the market to pay $10,000 + for a miniature UNLESS they are into big time showing and going to Nationals on a yearly basis. Many people who are in my area here and potential buyers are looking for a "family" horse first and foremost, something the entire family can have fun with. They may take it to some local shows etc. but they aren't interested in travelling all the way to the southern States to compete. We are lucky now that we are finally getting some recognized shows up here, thanks to all the hard work of the volunteers
I still think the future of the market is that we have to promote the breed as more than just a halter horse. That is what I think will eventually stimulate the market again by showing the general public that these wee horses have a myriad of talent in other areas.

I just came back from Rideaufield Farms who put on their "Garden Party" every year and showcase their breeding stock (arabs) and their foals of the year. I saw an AMAZING saddlebred mare who had been bred to Earl Grey(arab stallion) and produced an OUSTANDING half-arab filly. The filly is jet black with a beautiful heart on her forehead. Asking price for the filly was $5,000 (Can). This filly is Arab Nationals quality. So when I see something like this, a breed that is rideable, driveable, etc. and then I see in our mini breed some horses at $25,000 U.S. + I start to wonder. Maybe the market is just correcting itself in the sense you will have the high end horses fetching reasonable prices and then the more "family" type mini bringing much less.
 
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Tammie-C_Spots

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I bred all three of my girls for next year and once confirmed via ultrasound this week two of the three will already be reserved. We typically have a waiting list each year that seems to keep growing each year that goes by. We do pre-screen potential buyers beforehand so as to make sure the babies have a good, caring and responsible home. I also keep track of where all my babies are.

If my babies are not sold by November or so I would consider not breeding but since the foals have sold immediately I will breed back the mares. If I had trouble selling them I'd definately not breed back.

Most of our babies go to families that want to do some showing or driving or have a pet around or often they go to other breeders. I myself no longer show because I love the whole breeding process. Just cause I don't show my horses doesn't mean my stock isn't good quality stock- they are. People who have bought my babies for show purposes have attained top honors in both A and R.

Tammie
 
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runamuk

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Nope hasn't changed a thing of course so far I have produced 1 foal in 12 years I seem to be on the purchasing only end of the market........this year we have decided that we are going to try and get down to our core 3 horses which means I actually have 3 for sale......this part sure does stink.....I much prefer buying over selling
 

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