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 developments...my 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.