Thursday, July 31, 2008

See What Happens??

The previous post is what happens when you post in the middle of the night. Restless Leg Syndrome has always been a problem for me and sometimes no matter how damn tired I am, I cannot stay asleep. Doesn't mean that I am coherent in the middle of the night, but sure can't lay there and handle the twitching in my feet and legs.

So when I decided to just get up and post, I had something on my mind, damn if that is what turned up when I hit publish. What I had actually wanted to "talk" about what this darn horse market and what can happen to good horses. So hopefully this is more coherent...

A couple of weeks ago, my mom was contacted by the lady who owns Pistol...
Pistol is a horse we raised out of my old mare and by our King stallion. He is a finished barrel horse, head and heel horse and has been used on the ranch since these people bought him from my brother. The lady sold him to a high school barrel racer a couple of years ago for $40,000. He proved to be too much horse for her and he went back to his owner...with a little knee damage. I don't know the whole story-but Pistol is supposed to be sound again and ready for action. However, the people who own him slimmed down their herd considerably(at a monumental loss) and would like for me to take Pistol...for whatever I can afford to pay. WHAT????
How is this possible? How the hell does a horse go from top-dollar, winning pro-rodeos and placing in the top 15 at the NBHA Finals to "Please take him for whatever you can come up with"? And how do I say No to that?

That isn't the end of this crazy story either...Just 2 days ago, another guy who bred his NCHA money winning, daughter of Boon Bar to our King stud called mom and asked if we wanted to buy that filly. For just over kill price! WTF-this guy probably has a couple thousand invested in this mare in training.

Both of these phone calls have my head spinning. I know how bad the horse market is. It isn't just affecting the low-end, unregistered, why-did-you breed-for-that stuff. But d.a.m.n-this is beyond ridiculous. These people are desperate to find good homes for these horses, because they really do think a lot of them. These are not starved, or ruined or old horses. The desperation of the horse market has finally hit home.

So while I was working Mr. Smoke, it made me think about the fact that my brother turned down $3500 for him as a yearling and now he is worth...maybe a couple of hundred dollars? Kill price! Who in their right mind would take an 8y/o, badly scarred, unbroke horse for more than that? All the potential in the world wrapped up in this cute little package and if he left our place...his future would be a short trip across the border.

Smoke isn't the only one on our place who's future would be short if we ever HAD to get rid of some horses. I would say, about 1/2 of our herd would have no future if they were hauled to a sale. We basically have three types of horses: finished horses-between the ages of 10-24, broke to ride horses that need miles-between the ages of 6-14, and unbroke horses between the ages of 3-10. Good lord-how did this happen?

The only thing that separates us from a lot of people in this predicament is the fact that our horses are not starving and we own our own land. Worst case scenario for our bunch is that they sit in the pasture for the rest of their natural lives, fat, dumb and untrained. We are lucky. Our horses are lucky. So many others are not.

So, with much discussion-we are going to look at the Boon Bar mare and will more than likely bring her home. And if the lady who owns Pistol can hold on until this fall-it is likely he will be coming home too. Good lord-the goal has been to get some of these guys doing something in the hopes that there is still some sort of a market for good using horses, but with these hopes are dwindling.

Its rather heartbreaking because the big problem with horses is that they don't have a shelf life. It's either use them now or they get past their prime. The goal is still to get everything broke to ride. Whether they are 10 or not. There are some diamonds in the rough standing out there and while they may not turn into barrel or rope horses because they got a late start in life-there are tons of things they can do.


Latigo Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Latigo Liz said...

OK, fixing typos!

Aw man. That sucks. I know it’s pretty bad all over the place. Too many horses and not enough time/money/people to take care of the mall. I feel for you. Thanks for stepping up and doing what is right by the horses you have produced/raised. Not many folks out there do that.

Mrs Mom said...

BECG-- hang in there. Save who ya can. Ride 'em like ya stole 'em, and



Look for an email from me woman ;)

Mikey said...

Unreal what's going on w/horse prices. That's a heck of a story though. Nice nice horses going thru the auction right now. No hope for the 8 yr old unbroke horses. Wade says this will weed out all the crap horses and hopefully leave better quality. I think people are just going to have a hard time this winter.
Hope you get him back, that's a horse I'd dang sure like to have!
Now I have to go find something sexy to wear to the PBR, lol.

Mikey said...

PS, love this new header pic, lol. That's exactly what they're saying- "What's up?!"

M. C. Valada said...

Here in California both horses and dogs seem to be give away items right now. We saw an add for a purebred Golden Retriever with papers for $25. 70 horses are available through a local shelter for adoption. Another bunch are available in another part of the county. We are hearing tales of horses abandoned at the barns where they board. It's hard times, and for us who don't own horse property and can't raise some of our hay, it's only a matter of time before the price of a bale of hay ($17 for three way, $23 for orchard) gets so out of hand, there will be a lot more horses going begging.

I hope you get your horse back. He sounds amazing.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

LL-We are fortunate that we have ability to do take the horses back. I feel for small breeders who know that some of the good horses they have raised are going for peanuts and there is no way for them to take them back-limited space and funds makes it impossible for most.

MM-Feels like we are hanging on by our fingernails-but we are. At least Megan and I will never have to worry about being well-mounted.

Mikey-Have fun at the PBR-shot girl-you could wear a gunny sack and turn heads.
I understand Wade's philosophy-You would think that that is how it would work. But a family friend hauls horses across the border to Canada-he says that by far the biggest number of horses going is registered mares, especially the older ones. He used to raise some fantastically well-bred horses, went broke in the 80's with them, and he says the stacks of papers he has for these mares makes his heart bleed for the lose of good bloodlines. Sadly, a lot of the horses that need to be removed from the gene pool are not even good enough quality that the killer buyers want to mess with the expense of hauling them that far. How sad is that?

m.c.valada-abandoned horses at boarding facilities has to put an incredible strain on the facility owners. I just heard yesterday that SD opened a rescue in the eastern part of the state. I guess there are a lot of starving horses over there.

Laura said...

Wow - that is a crazy story. It is lucky for the horses and current owners that you might be in a position to take them back.

The situation sounds much worse down there than here in Canada. I guess it's because horses just go off quietly to slaughter. *gulp* The whole thing makes me queasy. I can't imagine having to abandon an animal that I own.

Hay here is around $4.50/bale - so a far cry from some of the prices in the US.

Crazy times. Hopefully we can all ride it out (sorry for the pun) and come out ok on the other side...

20 meter circle of life said...

The horse market is STUPID!! A friend of mine has a nice dressage horse for sale (3rd/4thlevel) with piaffe and passge. She had lowered his price to 7500.00 and no one was calling, then she gets a hair up her a** and re lists him at 17,500.00 (not a typeo) and the phone is ringing off the hook and she has been mailing out videos for a week. HUH?? I dont understand. I did a little shopping myself today, and just was blown away. They were either 500.00 or 25,000.00- not to much between. So hey if anyone has a Gran Prix horse they cant afford to feed, I will give him a home!!

Callie said...

Congrats on your award first of all! It's not just the horse market here. This is a recession and people are struggling who've not struggled before. It's sad really, but glad they thought to call you and your Mom first!

Andrea said...

My father in law tells me all the time that it won't be before people start just turning their horses out in strange pastures or on the streets. Down here you can go to the sale barn and buy a good ranch gelding for around $250. Now there are a bunch of crazy horses going through the sale barns, but if you go and go often you often see some good ones being run through. And those horses are going for dirt cheap. It might sound really stupid, but we had a really nice guy come by and buy a yearling stud colt from us, while the man was here he told us about some goats he has and I asked him if he wanted to trade a Boer goat for our Peppy San Badger bred pony filly. I had her advertized for $300 bucks for over 6 months and no bites. So, I traded her to a good home for a goat. At least I know she is at a good home.

Oh, and my friend had a jumper mare and she had her priced at 5,000 with no bites. It wasn't until she priced the horse at 12,000, did she get any calls. Sometimes if you price them too low, people wonder what the heck is wrong with the horse.

Pony Girl said...

Interesting post, BEC. That is pretty exciting to be able to get back a good horse, that once was going for $40,000!
Times are tough. I was able to get a good deal on my gelding, thanks to his owner's divorce. That was when gas prices were still in the mid to high two-dollar range, and hay was only $11.50 a bale. Now, I'm paying $17 a bale! That is just mind boggling. I just keep my fingers crossed it doesn't get much worse. I don't need anything else to worry about, LOL!

Jamie said...

it seems times are rough all over huh?! I hope you can get both of the horses back and put some loving on them. I hope Smoke comes around for you and he becomes a great riding horse.

kdwhorses said...

WOW what a story! Times are crazy! Especially in the horse market. And everything else. Thanks for doing your part!
We all are going to have to hang in there, I'm sure the worst isn't over.

Mrs Mom said...

Hey Fellow Woman Shooter ;) look for another email from me here! :)

Paige said...

I would not let anyone between me and the Boon Bar mare---good stuff is still bringing good money in the right place--and sounds like she has something to offer.