Morgan Horse Future
The latest issue of TMH has some thought-provoking features. In particular, Steve Kinney talked about the coming dearth of young horses due to the tremendous drop in registration/births stemming from breeding farm’s decisions not to produce during the economic recession several years ago.
He talks about the problems stemming from those past decisions, including the lack of trained horses which can appeal to those people coming into the breed who want to get out and show as soon as possible. As a result, he predicts that horses may see an extended show career, with their disciplines changing over the course of time.
He also notes that the cost of a foal on the ground is quite often exceeding $10,000 now and at least one breeder discussed going back to pasture breeding to cut the overhead .
We have not had any Morgan-related discussions on this blog for quite a while and I think Steve’s article is very timely. I admit I see a lot of positive things about a limited supply of young Morgans, including a better market for breeders and a boost in appreciation for and desire for, older show horses. Far better more buyers pursuing a small number of horses, than the terrible situation in the QH breed, where truckloads of horses continue to make the one-way trip to Mexican slaughter while a number of QH breeders continue to pump out hundreds of foals/year. I like the fact that our big breeding farms had the foresight and decency to cut back on breeding rather than pump unwanted foals into a saturated market. The instances in the breed of entire Morgan herds having to be rescued has arisen from people who kept on breeding/hoarding in the face of a dropping market.
What do you readers feel? Is the coming shortage of young stock a serious problem for the show side of the breed? Has this recession shaken out the breeders so only big farms and hobby farms have survived? What is going to happen to prices if there is a limited supply of young stock (and of course, an even more limited supply of show-quality young stock) available to the market? Are we in danger of losing new people to the breed if they cannot get onto a show-ready horse for a reasonable price? What is a reasonable price, for that matter? Is this a problem which is going to only affect the show side of the breed which tends to need the newest and shiniest thing to generate excitement?