I actually addressed the matter that has you so riled up, on this blog:
Just the past few weeks I have seen some horses for free, to horses with little or no training for thousands. These are the same horses that would bring a pittance at any auction in the L48, btw. There are a very few some what reasonably priced weaners and yearlings-and I even know (not for a fact, mind you) of at least one family is dealing with being your own backyard breeder by simply harvesting the foals for the freezer.
In case you've missed it, I have taken in an oldster too. This guy is horribly crippled up from arthritis from two blown knees, and was given to us by someone who "didn't want to deal with him". Besides, he had been over to visit a number of times-usually when we weren't home ;) I found a wonderful horse person who agreed to pasture him for the summer, and he has the companionship of three mares and runs on 100s of acres. I can't imagine a better last summer for him, considering he spent the last five or so years pretty much by himself in a small pasture. The summer turn out and exercise has helped him tremendously. He is getting around much much better than earlier in the year, and he has slimmed down and toned up and is generally content to be part of the small herd. I am still determined to put him down as I cannot see subjecting him to yet another hard winter here. That horse is just one of a string of older horses I have rehabbed, and then either found a great last home or had to be put down. I don't like hauling horses to the musher, but of course I am a practical person and realize this end is *much* better than starving to death in someone's back yard.
Since we have no retirement facility, and no auctions, and no sanctuaries-there just isn't any place for them to GO, when the owner has had enough. Of course, I thought of a practical solution, but I can't see being able to make it happen.