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Market correction or the fad has passed?

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  • Market correction or the fad has passed?

    The arab horse registry has dropped nearly 75% in the past two decades.
    http://www.arabdatasource.com/NewsDisplay.asp?id=9
    Is there something going on more than the bottom falling out of the market?


    Don't think there was this dramatic a drop with either TB or QH registries so what gives with arabs?
    A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
    Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

  • #2
    Market correction. The Arab thing was an artificially induced bubble, like the real estate market or Gypsy Vanners or Cabbage Patch Kids.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Who made money and jumped out before the bubble* burst?

      I remember ads in magazine in 1984/85 by Wells Fargo of all banks promoting special loans to buy Arabian horses and it was in non horse magazines (Perhaps business week, newsweek, sports Illustrated or some non horse magazine like that)

      I don't remember any other breed being promoted by the banks like the arabs were. Oh you had high dollar horses in every breed but the others tended to 'do' something beyond just stand there and look pretty. Not that a pet you can ride horse is a bad thing, as I recall (and memory may be off) but I remember a lot of them were not even ridden. they were promoted as 'living art' possibly in the bank ad - which might make sense if you are loaning money on a horse and the person defaults you don't want to repossess a nag crippled from a bad step or bad riding.

      I would love to get a copy of the loan contract and the accompanying restrictions.

      Is the breed better or worse for the bubble?
      As far as I can see from the old photos the pre bubble working arabs were bigger boned, shorter legs, lower set tails few if any seahorse type heads.

      The wells fargo ad may have been in this issue I remember reading the piece about the same time. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...ne/MAG1064442/

      Edit to add Ohhh Plot thickens-
      According to this article the sports illustrated piece may have contributed or at least accelerated the 1986 tax law change.
      http://www.equiery.com/archives/Augu...ianMarket.html

      FWIW - It is not a secret that I don't put much stock in papers. A good* horse is a good horse and you don't ride the pedigree/registration papers.

      Good horse = Correct, sound and trainable and may vary slightly as to discipline goal.
      Last edited by 5; Mar. 29, 2013, 04:06 PM. Reason: new article found
      A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
      Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

      Comment


      • #4
        There has actually been a huge drop in TB registrations in the past two decades:

        http://jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp?section=2

        Not 75% but still significant.

        Comment


        • #5
          the TB drop in mares covered and foals registered was 1/3 from 2008 - 2011 according to Blood-Horse magazine. Each State in the report varied slightly, as I recalled.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Tax Reform Act of 1986, which ended most "tax shelters," spelled the death knell for schemes involving Arabians. There were many others and they all ended badly for a lot of people.

            The hard truth is that the "salad days" for most equine activities are gone and not likely to re-occur any time soon. In a world where gaming about stuff is more popular than actually doing that stuff it easy to see where the money is. And most folks follow the money. Us aging Baby Boomers were often motivated by Gene or Roy or Liz or Bret or Bart or Annie. What motivates kids whose world revolves around texting and a smart phone?

            That rates an SUX, but there it is.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

            Comment


            • #7
              All breeds, all horses, all countries, all sports

              There are fewer people involved in horses in general today. The horse market has been like a drunken sailor staggering around the dock. The world has changed and the horse world with it. Arabians have changed so much from the 1970s to be nearly unrecognizable. The horses that are todays Arabian show horse and the classes that are dominant in the Arabian show world are very different as well. The Saddlebredification of Arabians and Morgans was a huge market change. Face it a much smaller potion of the public is interested in saddleseat style performance. Those of us who have a history in the Arabian world fled long ago and I for one get a shiver when we see what is called a top quality Arabian today and see no place for the type of Arabian we could support. The Arabian world was taken over by this trend...in my opinion they made the Arabian Horse into a cartoon of what the Arabian Horse's unique traits were. The Morgan world had a very similar occurance but for sure considerable illegal Saddlebred blood was incorporated to change type. There were huge splits in the QH world but it is so large that there were more people that could collect to repare damage to the breed and take performance in their own direction like todays ranch performance shows. The repulsiveness of breeding thousands of horses and discarding those that were not suitable for halter or futurity performance or western pleasure was totally ignored...add the fiasco of deliberate breeding for HYPP in QHs and the blind eye in Arabians to SCIDs and their genetic diseases became a serious issue, one the internet brought to public awareness. The level of riding ability is dropping rapidly...people want well broke easy sensible sound as they can't ride well enough to manage more complicated horses any more. Unless people start moving away from their cable, computers, games and get active and off the sofa it isn't going to change. Breeders will need to be smarter and breed far fewer horses and understand their markets and treat their customers much smarter as well. A lot has changed. PatO

              Comment


              • #8
                We quit breeding in 1984 because we didn't like the world in which we were selling our horses.
                The horse market used to be people that were raised with horses, or with a neighbor with horses, or with some mentor that helped them work with horses.

                Now, we had people with money, a new affluent middle class, that were buying horses, many of them, with no more tough to it than if they were getting a motorcycle.

                We sold our last stallion and broodmares and kept training, but breeding was just head shaking any more and we didn't want to have to worry about where our horses ended up.

                Some of the last we sold were a pricey, well bred and promising yearling colt and filly.
                The fellow had a trainer lined up, was going to do so much with them.
                Six months later our vet told us the horses were in his junky backyard, behind two strands of smooth wire and both ended up at his clinic with cuts from who knows what they ran thru, the filly probably bred by the half brother and, while well fed, not really well cared for otherwise.
                We tried to buy them back, but the fellow was so very proud of his "good, well bred, super nice horses" and was not about to sell them.
                That was the last straw, no more breeding after that.

                I don't see that the world has changed that much since, too many that don't understand horses and never will, horses that get along because they are nice horses, but are really having to catch up to clueless owners.

                I do think that the internet is slowly changing that, education is the key and the information is out there and more and more are, I think, learning and caring for their horses better again.
                At least most of those involved with horses seriously today, with some far out there, strange and odd ones.
                We will always have those, just hopefully less and less over time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just asked the Welsh Pony & Cob Society the day before yesterday about their registrations and they are most definitely down.
                  Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    AQHA reported that in the past 6 years, their registrations average 50% of what they were before that.
                    A couple of years ago, they were 1/3 of what they used to be.

                    Market forces at work, contraction of the horse industry for several facets of it, although some competition venues have steady yearly sizeable % increases, year after year, like reining, penning/sorting, barrel racing, roping and such, where people still can participate at some level without breaking the bank.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Last I read the stock horses were down 50% and TBs an average of 40%.
                      Providence Farm
                      http://providencefarmpintos.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Being old enough to have been around in the 80s and now involved with Arabs once again....definitely the bubble thing in play here. And, just to add more complexity to the situation, the 80s had the unfortunate effect of giving Arabs the reputation of the rich man's plaything, a horse you didn't do anything more with than show at halter and breed. Oh, and they were crazy too! Look how they behave in the ring!

                        Of course anyone who has had much experience with Arabs knows that the stereotype is not true, but in marketing, perception is reality. Even though there are lots of using Arabs with great dispositions, the QH people have pretty well co-opted the family horse market. That leaves Arabs good for what segment? AHA and every Arab breeder I know is struggling with that question and no good answers yet. Add to that the general drop in horse ownership and here we are.

                        Very very sad. As someone on ABN said, pretty soon Arabs are going to be reduced to an exhibit at a zoo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Someone in tune with the Hanoverian Verband in Germany told me that the registry lost beaucoup money (millions of Euros) either last year or the year before due to declining registrations, coupled with some very big expenditures (mostly related to marketing and promotion). It is one of the reasons they elected to do away with the 50% blood rule.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                            Of course anyone who has had much experience with Arabs knows that the stereotype is not true, but in marketing, perception is reality. Even though there are lots of using Arabs with great dispositions, the QH people have pretty well co-opted the family horse market. That leaves Arabs good for what segment? AHA and every Arab breeder I know is struggling with that question and no good answers yet. Add to that the general drop in horse ownership and here we are.

                            Very very sad. As someone on ABN said, pretty soon Arabs are going to be reduced to an exhibit at a zoo.
                            I have a bit more hope than that for the breed, but a shift needs to occur in marketing AND in the breeding directions. Those of us with good "using" Arabians need to get them out in the world to be seen and ridden. In order to claim some territory in the contemporary horse world, we need to showcase our horses wherever they can fulfill a need. Focusing on the AHA show world is not sufficient; we need to carve out niches in the open world, IMO. It won't be easy, but there are some paths forward.
                            Dawn Jones-Low
                            Faerie Court Farm Arabian Sport Horses

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Some years back I "rescued" six Arabians. The ACO was a friend and these horses were identified during a heavy snow storm in a field with a creek for water but no hay. The owner "hayed" them until I was able to pick them up almost a week later. I paid the owner $300/ea. for them.

                              They were the product of a "tax shelter" that collapsed after the 1986 Tax Reform Act. I had met the breeder while we were shopping for a farm in East TN. He walked us through the barn and bragged about this mare being worth $50,000 and that stallion being worth $75,000 and on and on. He was full time preacher, by the way, at big, local, Baptist church. We didn't buy his place. But I remembered him. He was dead when I bought the Arabs about three years later.

                              They were all "stereotype Arabians" with cute, "tea cup" noses and less sense than God gave a billygoat. Their conformation was average, their gaits rough, and temperaments "squirley." I sold them later for $600/ea. on average. It was a "break even" for me. I consider it an important part of my equine education.

                              The breeding operation, and a couple like it, were responsible for most of the Arabs around us. Their reputation for being poor quality animals is earned. They are "stereotypes" of what an Arabian ought not to be.

                              A good friend of mine rides an Arabian gelding at the National Cavalry Competitions. It is one of the best behaved horses there. The only way you can tell it's an Arab is the tail set. It has excellent conformation, a comfortable way of going, and superior temperament. It's the first, and one the very few Arabs, that I'd have in my barn. It's what you get when you start with a good horse and add good training and then put a horseman on its back.

                              Many breeds (Arabians, QHs, TWHs, etc.) have suffered severe genetic damage over the past couple of decades as a result of "fad" breeding. This can be corrected, but it will take a large commitment of time and money. Frankly, I don't see it happening in today's economy. I do hope I'm proved wrong; I'm not holding my breath.

                              G.
                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                A good friend of mine rides an Arabian gelding at the National Cavalry Competitions. It is one of the best behaved horses there. The only way you can tell it's an Arab is the tail set. It has excellent conformation, a comfortable way of going, and superior temperament. It's the first, and one the very few Arabs, that I'd have in my barn. It's what you get when you start with a good horse and add good training and then put a horseman on its back.

                                Many breeds (Arabians, QHs, TWHs, etc.) have suffered severe genetic damage over the past couple of decades as a result of "fad" breeding. This can be corrected, but it will take a large commitment of time and money. Frankly, I don't see it happening in today's economy. I do hope I'm proved wrong; I'm not holding my breath.

                                G.
                                The temperament and rideability of a GOOD old fashioned working type Arabian is what brought me to the breed. Your friend's Arabian gelding is MY image of the breed because those are the horses that I know and love to ride. Big feet, huge joints, broad deep bodies, strong broad loins -- you can find horses that have been bred for those traits for generations. I started with mostly older broodmares and used aged stallions, but I've got a little nucleus herd now of young horses that I hope to breed forward. My focus over the next few years is going to be on riding and showing to test the youngstock and to show people what great little horses they are. I am hoping to be in this for the long haul. I've already devoted years and resources to building a base, and I'm just moving into phase 2. I think this kind of Arabian is worth saving --and breeding forward. There have been breeders who kept these grand old lines going (without infusions of fad lineages); I am grateful that they did so. I hope a few of us can breed good Arabians forward in a way that is relevant in the 21st century. Only time will tell.
                                Dawn Jones-Low
                                Faerie Court Farm Arabian Sport Horses

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It isn't just the Arabians. Ten or 15 years ago, there would be 15 or 20 foals at an Oldenburg or Hanoverian inspection - they would do foals all day long. Now there are 5 or 6 or 8. And the stallion inspections would be several really nice quality boys - it was exciting! Numbers are way down, and I don't feel like quality is way up.

                                  And prices... I can remember the Glenwood Auction days, when people would bid $15 or $25k for a foal - and these weren't Totillas foals, they were just plain ol, nothing fancy Warmbloods - the fancy ones would go up and up and up. And still not Totillas or Valegro fancy.

                                  There has been an overall market correction. Part of it is fad - any fad breed will eventually correct - Arab, Morgan, Gypsy, Friesian, Andalusian, all of them had their crazy highs and are now at regular prices. If a person is lucky enough to get in on the ground floor, they'll make money - everyone else will see this and jump in, and voila, we have basic economics, supply and demand. Supply goes up, demand levels off, prices drop. Time to find a new fad. And the breed suffers because people get in that aren't committed to the horse, they are committed to the dollar.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Morgan registrations also way down -- well under half what they were around 2004. It's a small breed already and registering only about 1200 foals a year, last I heard, will send it into rare breed status. Problem is there are few new younger breeders coming up, and lots of older folks, the most senseless of which keep breeding and breeding and piling up young stock, not realizing that they can't get the prices they once did, and most casual horse owners want a trained horse rather than a baby.

                                    As with Arabs, there is some hope for the breed if one looks to the sport breeders, the Lippitt/Cornerstone/Foundation breeders etc. But most of them are breeding sparingly. A lot of the new babies are coming from Amish breeders, who want something that's hot and trots fast... not really much good for the rest of us.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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