I have mentioned before that I feel that horse prices here in Alaska are artifically high. Mostly this is a false threshold that is established by the expectations of the sellers. If the majority of the sellers have the idea that their horse is worth "x" amount of money, then that becomes the entry level for that caliber of horse.
For many years, this has been roughly around $1500, and anything with saddle time (loosely described as training) being "worth" at least a thousand more. Show experience, points, additional training, sought after performance pedigree, etc, would add quite a bit to the horses' relative value-and still does today. A well trained and accomplished horse is always going to be at a premium because people do recognize the investment in time and training that takes. Marketable horses even in poor economic conditions are always well trained.
Which leaves the large number of "green" horses to change hands. When I see "well started" and "green broke" horses on the market for month after month, I have to wonder about the expectations of the sellers. I learned the hard way some years ago, that some horses have no "value" whatever in the Alaska marketplace. In this category I would put seniors with special needs, foals and weanlings of marginal ancestry, or any part bred that is unstarted.
Just above that, is the green broke or barely started horse, or any with serious behavioral issues. This is true across the US as I have picked up from sales websites, traders, dealers, rescuers, and trainers. When OTTBs go to the kill buyers for $25 to $50 each, and the same for 100s of paint, quartherhorse, TWH, Arab, (any breed, age, or mix, actually) in the L48, a person has to wonder why they become magically worth more money here in Alaska, where the care and feeding of such horses-and training too, for that matter-is easily twice the cost of elsewhere.
And when veterinarians, farriers and our rescue group have lists of people looking to give away horses (or nearly so), one has to wonder about the future of horses here......After horses are on the market for months, the seller starts to get desperate and starts dropping the price-which will raise questions in any prospective buyers' mind of course. I surely don't envy anyone attempting to sell or rehome a horse this summer and fall-it's going to be fairly tough to place any horse unless and until, asking prices are adjusted to reflect the true market. Which is, of course, "what the market will bear".
And we aren't there yet, sad to say :(
My point is, if you are reading this with a horse you would like to sell-get out there and start working with it. The better manners, the more training it has, the better chance your horse has at a good home. If it's beyond your ability to do that, invest in your horses future by hiring a professional! There are a number of qualified individuals up here who can start and/or finish a horse, call one and get started :)