Bopping around to everyone's posts some things caught my eye and make me wonder.
The flooded horse market...
The crappy economy and high price of EVERYTHING is causing people to dump horses left and right. Problem is...We probably wouldn't notice this as much if the slaughter plants weren't closed in the US. Don't get me wrong, we have never raised a horse and thought "Well, if it don't work out, we can always send him to slaughter." My dad and my step-dad used to "ship" their old or crippled horses. WE DO NOT DO THAT ANYMORE. But I was raised to believe that the killer market provided the basis of value for a good saddle horse or prospect. Anything you wanted to ride or train had to be worth more than the killer buyer was paying.
But the thing that makes me go hmmmm, is the fact that the last time the slaughter plants in the US were closed was in the 80's, then the economy crashed. Wasn't that mostly due to the S&L's use of over valuing property, borrowing on it and then going bankrupt when the bubble burst? Horses weren't worth a plugged nickel then either.
And the other thing was...Why does it seem that the least educated morons out there can start breeding horses and get 100% of their mares to settle and raise crappy babies year after year, when people who spend time learning and learning and learning everything they can have about a 60% chance of getting a mare to produce a live foal?
It just makes ya think, WTF????
Edited, to add...
VaqueroGirl asked if I was old enough to remember the 80's. I started to answer her but realized my comment was longer than my post-Sheez, see what happens when the wind blows in SD? I have time to sit on the computer and contemplate things-hehe. So here is what I remember about the 80's...
I remember everyone always worrying about money, falling land prices, people couldn't get operating loans(most ranches have to have them) and poor starving horses standing in grazed to dirt pastures. My mom scrimped and saved to buy me an $800 barrel horse-he was top of the line! That was an astronomical amount at that time.
The rest I learned in college-so many classes that all preached that "it could never happen again" because they were so careful to put all of these checks and balances in-HA!! DOUBLE HA! I could see what they were doing when I worked at a bank in AZ. Make a rule, these people figure out how to get around it to make a buck. And the loans I processed? Holy Crap, a lot of these people had no business buying a house and refinancing it every time it took a jump in value? Idiots!!
It is now starting to hit home around here-cattle prices are dropping drastically. A lot of ranchers have lived pretty good for the last few years; Cattle prices were high, horse prices were high, land values were high, borrowing money was easy. A lot of them drive brand new pickups, have $100,000 tractors, bought more land, at $500-$600 an acre. I know that sounds so cheap to people who aren't from around here, but it is darn hard to get grassland to pay for itself at those prices. What farming that is done around here is dryland(no irrigation), so no corn or soybeans are grown to be sold at astronomical prices. There are very few jobs to be had. The biggest employer in our entire county is the school system. Our county is broke, due to the rising crime rate and the cost to house and prosecute the criminals, most of whom are Indians off the reservation. The tribe contributes nothing toward caring for their members, other than to scream rascism. The reservation keeps buying deeded land in the county and taking it off the tax rolls, so fewer and fewer taxes are collected. Every time the county tried to raise taxes, the people vote it down. It's a freaking mess!! Not everyone is going to survive this. I am already seeing pinched and worried faces and this area is just now starting to feel the impact of what a lot of the country has already been blasted with.