What the Auctioneer said

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Marty

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I heard about this the other day locally and thought it was worth sharring with you.

Just some food for thought:

A horse auctioneer in Tennessee took quite a stand against over-breeding at his own auction. His comments were directed at the Walking Horse farmers standing there after having spent 1 hour watching the bids drop below $200. for good well broke riding horses. He told the people to just stop breeding. He asked where the buyers were because mostly everyone there was selling. No good bids, no buyers, mostly no-sales. He suggested a voluntary moratorium to the breeders. He said there was no reason for people to keep breeding 40, 50 to whatever amount of horses on their farms a year because there aren't enough homes out there to support this kind of breeding. He kept asking over and over why would anyone continue to breed that many horses on their farm per year contributing to the problem and knowing full well the prices of hay and grain has gone through the roof and then they complain about that. He said nobody wants your horses anymore. He said if people would stop breeding this year, or just breed half the horses they did last year, it would help the horse market rise up again back to where it should be in time. Although there was some negative grumbling, he also got a very small round of applause. He also mentioned that he used to be able to auction off plenty of farm equipment, tractors etc. horse trailers and they are not selling either. Farming has become a lost trade in this state and crop farmers are hanging on by a thread.

I feel his thoughts are dead on and apply to many breeds. What would really happen to the market if there were a voluntary moritorium on breeding? Could it gather strength and rise again? If you watch the sales board, you will see a lot of people selling out and prices reduced drastically for really good, wonderful, well cared for horses. Some may say there will always be a market for an exceptionally good horse, but now I may I disagree, because we all know of good horses, even great horses with championships under their belts are going for far less than they should be. We also know of wonderful horses that have gone through public auctions. This is such an awful shame. I also see the difference in quality of horse being bred now by both small breeder and larger breeder in comparrison to those just ten years ago.It seems like even though the quality of horse is improving in leaps and bounds, the market is not improving at all. In fact, maybe our breed is in more trouble than others because our horses are not riding horses. I feel it is still a buyers market, only this time, with higher quality horses out there to choose from.

Your thoughts?
 

Jill

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I've spent so many years planning this and future foaling seasons... Given the horses I personally have bought and seen others buy, I do not think the market is dead and I hope people with good horses continue their pursuits.
 

Leeana

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Amen
. We need more people like this to really step up and speak out, especially in that manner. I agree Jill, but from what I have seen ..most of the people selling at some of these "lower" auctions have done little planning and do not give a hoot about where there horses go and are not looking to "improve" anything (the breed ...there program ...goals), they are looking to make top $$$$ which they are no longer able to get because there are to many out there just like "them". You have to realize where the market is and where your goals and program sits in where the market is.

He also mentioned that he used to be able to auction off plenty of farm equipment, tractors etc. horse trailers and they are not selling either.
I would gladly take a nice big horse trailer right now
 
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ontherisefarm

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I totally understand where that auctioneer is coming from. I am not a large breeder.I normally only have about 1-2 foals a year. Last year I had 4 and this year 3 possibly coming but I have pretty much decided not to breed this year. I may change my mind but if I do it will be for foals for myself and not the intention on having to sell them. But for me as I am not trying to tell anyone what to do with thier animals, Prices on feed and essentials keep going up and work pay seems to be going down or staying the same.So it makes it harder to afford the things I could in the past. I am responsible for every little life I bring into this world so they shouldnt have to pay for something that was entirely my fault and could have been prevented. Sure I do have horses for sale but until I find the right homes and through private sales they are mine to take care of. Cutting back on breeding should be given alot of thought......
 

Maxi'sMinis

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I agree. I have seen the market drop out for selling miniatures in the short time that I have had them since 2000.I have bred one mini myself and I bought a mare in foal this past year, she just had a lovely little filly. I decided that I would not breed any minis that I wasn't going to keep myself. I have sat next to some very nice people at a local mini auction that were selling horses. They came a long way to bring there horses to sell. They didn't even make enough from the sale to pay for their trip. It is sad.
 

bingo

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No farm no matter who they are always has quality foals. It doesn't matter how many nice show foals are produced the reality is that compared to all who own miniatures the show market is a very small one. Yes IMO even those producing top quality foals are adding to the problems and yet pointing the finger everywhere else but back at themselves.
 

Jill

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I'm not sure anyone's pointing fingers but I am sure I have invested years of planning into producing these coming foals that I hope will make myself and others happy. I've owned and shown miniatures since 1999 and these will be my first foals. The two prior foals were out of mares I purchased dispite the fact they were in foal (including one I'd let a friend breed to my then stallion, now gelding).

Anyone who's seen me comment on these threads knows I do personally think one of the biggest problems with this breed are people out there breeding pet quality to pet quality. So many get their first miniature (which is often their first horse) and w/in a year, they are "breeders" knowing not much about conformation, horse management, etc. I think it would be a big step forward for our breed if people took breeding more seriously and did their homework before diving into creating animals that may be around for 30 or so years.

It's also interesting thinking back over the years and seeing so many people that speak out against breeding and bring it up often have put desperate attempts into producing their own foals and/or have had many miniature foals themselves but decided not to breed LAST year, etc.
 
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bingo

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I was talking in general of course not directed at anyone. Of course we have farms that consistently produce top quality foals and good horses will always sell. This breed seems to have more of an issue with over breeding then any other.

I have only respect for those that put time and effort into the program they have and are able to honestly look at the horses in front of them and offspring they have to further not only their own program but the breed as a whole. Those type of breeders certainly do exist!
 
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Katiean

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I totally agree. I have 3 mares. Not one is due this year. I might have one foal next year just because one of my mares is just plain mean and can't be in with the other mares. She is in with my stud and she gives him a run for his money. She is real good at putting him in his place. I may end up with a foal but, I will also have a stud with manors.
 

crponies

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The last year I purposely bred any myself was 2003. I had accidental breedings in 2004 and 2005 but no longer have a stallion so don't have to worry about that. So, no foals here last year, this year, or next year. That said, I would love to breed again but it won't be until I can breed animals that I think will produce a good quality foal.
 

Marty

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This year we experienced a drought in this state which compromised our hay supply.

Most cattle farmers near me sold out but there were still lots of people who kept their walking horse herds.

Those horses are HUGE! They require a lot of groceries to keep their bones covered. But many didn't have enough to eat and got very thin and boney and through it all, they kept breeding then anyhow.

Yes Jill I hear you and know what you are saying. What concerns me is there are a lot of people who have taken great measures to build a worthy herd of very nice high end horses such as yourself and poured their blood sweat and tears into it. They should be able to market their horses at a good value and deserve it. I for one didn't breed anyone last year either but for many different reasons, but when I see such good quality horses out there going for pet prices, that is very disturbing. .

Will the market be able to recoup and rise again? Will more people strike an interest in this breed because they are cheaper to feed? Will more youth get involved? What happens next is anyone's guess.
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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For what it's worth (maybe not much) I personally decided a couple of months ago that I would take the number of mares I had thought about breeding for 2009 foals and cut that number in half. I'm small potatos so it's not like I think this is going to have some profound impact on the numbers, but it's my way of trying to be even more selective and improve my own personal program quality.
 

maestoso

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I'm putting on my flame suit.....

Perhaps those more experienced, smarter, more responsible breeders should lead by example if they feel that this is such a problem. If you feel that breeding should be reduced, then start with your own. I never understood the "you shouldn't do it, but it is OK for me to do it" mentality. I understand there is a difference between quality and cruddyness, and I understand that that plays a role in this topic. But I also know that there are PLENTY of quality horses out there, that can be bought just as easily as they can be bred, in fact, it's less of a gamble if you buy them, as you already know what your going to get. Everyone says "dont breed pet quality because there is too much of that" Well there are plenty of good horses out there too.
 

Kitty

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I too have been watching the market over the last couple of years. Some horses the prices have dropped ALOT and some the prices have gone up.

I do not bred to make money that has NEVER been my intention. I bred to produce a QUALITY horse with a good pedigree. I watch each year that the quality of my herd gets better and better and continue to do what I need to so that happens. I would never breed a mare just to have a foal. I research pedigree, conformation and attitiude and pray that the combination is correct. Sometimes it is and sometimes I won't do a repeat. I intentionally didn't rebred some of my mares last year because of the lateness of the year and that not everyone needed to be rebred. And this year I decided a revamping was in order so I am offering a large number of nice horses. Not because I don't like them but because they unfortunately won't do what I need to do but I won't give them away I will offer them for a fair price because they deserve that and they offer another program a great opportuntiy.

So should I dump them at a auction. NO and I have NEVER except for one year at the Hertiage Sale ever taken a horse to auction. I would not/could not do that to my horses. I don't know what would happen to them and I respect them too much to not give them a decent life.

I have received ALOT of emails on 2 particular mares of mine. I have heard alot of comments on one of them bred to a superior stallion "I really like the mare and would love the foal but the market is so bad I can't chance it". That is fine with me. I will happily keep the foal there isn't that many out there and all of them have titles.

Does that deter me from breeding a dozen foals a year. Somewhat but I will make sure the crosses that I make are superior with the best bloodlines and conformation that I can afford. My thoughts are if you are just breeding to bred please stop. Have a goal if you need a foal to hug ask me I'll borrow you a mare and foal to love for awhile. And while it is not us small farms that are the major problem we too can make a difference. But I wish the larger farms would really step back and take a look at their programs also. Alot of the foals I see I wouldn't repeat the breeding but they do year after year. And then they dump them at auctions for next to nothing. Wouldn't it be better to just sell the mare open as a pet without papers?

So hopefully this will be a good thread and we will all sit back in our chairs and think about this breeding season and if we are making the right decisions and if that colt is REALLY stallion material or should be gelded immediately. Myself I won't let that colt go ungelded and if I have a ounce of doubt in my mind about a breeding I won't do it.
 

maestoso

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"And while it is not us small farms that are the major problem we too can make a difference. But I wish the larger farms would really step back and take a look at their programs also. "

Kitty, I mean no disrespect, but this statement really erks me. You are certainly not the first to make such a statement. But EVERYONE who breeds contributes to the "over-breeding" problem, everyone. Weather you breed 1 or 100 you contribute.

Do I think everyone should stop breeding? No, people need to make their own choices that they feel are responsible. Some pople are so quick to point the finger at someone else. Someone else is always to blame.
 

Jill

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I'm putting on my flame suit.....

Perhaps those more experienced, smarter, more responsible breeders should lead by example if they feel that this is such a problem. If you feel that breeding should be reduced, then start with your own. I never understood the "you shouldn't do it, but it is OK for me to do it" mentality. I understand there is a difference between quality and cruddyness, and I understand that that plays a role in this topic. But I also know that there are PLENTY of quality horses out there, that can be bought just as easily as they can be bred, in fact, it's less of a gamble if you buy them, as you already know what your going to get. Everyone says "dont breed pet quality because there is too much of that" Well there are plenty of good horses out there too.
I'm not more experienced (in breeding) or smarter but I feel like 1999-2007 were an example. I put time in learning, showing, building a quality herd before I bred a horse. As seriously as I feel about these foals, my beloved mares... I do not understand why so many others just jump into it without a lot of planning and learning first.
 

Kitty

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"Kitty, I mean no disrespect, but this statement really erks me. You are certainly not the first to make such a statement. But EVERYONE who breeds contributes to the "over-breeding" problem, everyone. Weather you breed 1 or 100 you contribute. "

I am sorry this erks you but I am a person that trys very hard to not be negative. I have been around awhile and have seen alot that many haven't seen. And I do bred yes- my goal is a Grand National Champion and consistent quality- and I intentionally don't bred some of my mares but I don't bred just to bred. Via be horses, dogs, cats, hamsters or children I agree everyone has to take responsiblity for their actions. I do take responsiblity for my actions and and I say what I know to be the truth.
 
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Miniv

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This subject has been discussed before, but Marty brought it up again with a new angle......through the eyes of someone who makes money on SALES.

Everything......even the sales of animals we love, goes in a pendulum. The market and the economy swings the same way. I think they are all connected. We personally are only breeding certain mares right now. If a person cares at all about where their foals end up, that's the responsible thing to do, IMO.

This is a "buyers' market" in a lot of things. And since we love miniature horses and ponies, if we had the cash, this would be the time to shop, IMO. Not to breed, but to keep right now. And eventually that pendulum WILL swing back and we would have some wonderful animals in our herd to go forward with.

In the meantime we can only do the best for our horses and for the breed that is within our ability. No, not everyone will, but if enough do, it may make a difference down the road.
 

Maxi'sMinis

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Unfortunately I don't think it is the good people on this forum that are the problem. I have seen breeders bring in large herds of poor quality, no pedigree animals that they have bred to auction, these animals sell for almost nothing,of course all the mares are with foal and bred back and they sell for 5-600.I don't see how it is worth it for these people but I have seen the same people do it year after year. Granted there are some quality animals also with nice pedigees go for a reasonable price but I have seen good stock not even bring a few hundred bucks. Of course the most of those were no sale. These breeders that continue to flood the market with seriously pet quality animals are the ones that are taking the miniature down the wrong path. Of course every joe can have there mini at these prices but they are breeding these animals too because they don't know better.I have to stallions that will be gelded real soon, nice pets but not for breeding.
 

dangerranger

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heres my take on it. minis are a pet industry. very few people are truly making a living off of there minis. you cant ride them , you cant plow with them . they are for our enjoyment. in an economy where large amounts of people are loosing there jobs, houses, cars,etc.., adding a new pet to the family is just not in peoples budgets. for the same reason farmers are not buying new equipment. they will just repair what they have and get by for another year till money gets easier to come by. as to the breeding, just like any other comodity why would I grow hay if the market is flooded with quality hay? better I rebuild my ground for when money starts to flow again and I could grow the best hay. if I was a breeder [ and Im not ] Id be looking to buy the best at the bargains that they are being sold now . and be prepared to sell quality when the market turns around. taking a year off could do nothing but good for the horse market and resting those brood mares couldnt hurt them either. just my opinions , DR.
 

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