And if so, how has that affected your breeding plans?
The rising price of keeping a horse is something I’ve seen discussed frequently on other forums, both here on COTH and elsewhere. The sales prices of horses has ridden dramatically - which is great for the sellers! But not many people can afford those prices.
I’ve been following the hay community as well, and their input prices are absolutely skyrocketing… Which means the price of feeding a horse is going to skyrocket too. A lot of hay farms are just parking their equipment and refusing to produce because they know people will dump their animals (whether that’s through selling to a cheaper location, selling to slaughter, or economic euthanasia) before they pay the new prices. I don’t blame them one bit - I wouldn’t want to do that kind of thankless labor for no profit either.
I don’t see this getting better. Most “normal” folks are already priced out of horses. What happens when even people with good, stable incomes are priced out too?
What do you folks think? Do you worry about future sales for the offspring you produce? Or even beyond the sales - do you worry about the horses you’ve brought into the world having subpar welfare due to the expense of just maintaining the basics?
So far, my breeding plans are staying the same for this year. But I’m considering taking a break from producing for a few years after that…