“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Every now again that little angel or devil on our respective shoulders makes us do it. A preface to this little blog spot, forum, a work in progress and the brain child of several who grew up putting a match book under the corner of an 8 track tape to keep it from dragging. While technologically impaired, we were fortunate enough to learn the horse world from ground up, the hard way, and from those who had been here longer than we had. Whether we came from the east, the west, the mid-west, or the south we were all privileged to be educated by practical horsemen and women. We were educated in the practical world “Back at the Ranch". The world which has produced generations of those good horses we all love to enjoy.
First off we will get one thing out of the way. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on are pro-horse, pro-slaughter. The abundance of slaughter ban supporters blackening the name, reputation, morals, and even basic intelligence of horse industry professionals, animal agriculture, and rural people who happen to share these views has kicked my little devil and those of my contemporaries off our shoulders and onto the keyboards.
We intend to introduce views, personal experiences, and educated opinions of our own, and people we consider true horsemen and women, use them to counter some opinions, insinuations, and statements being passed around by the new age cultural movement wishing to turn the horse into some kind companion species. Somewhere along the line it has become common perception one can’t be pro-slaughter, love horses, and be a decent human being in spite of it all.
There is certainly no shortage of pity stories for horses these days. The Internet is full of blogs, web sites, and comment sections. Clicking on any one of these sites will reveal bloody stories, pictures, so called data gathered to prove a point. The memberships are “educated” statistic wielding benevolent souls only trying to protect the horses from irresponsible breeders churning them out by the hundreds because the financial rewards at the auction to slaughter pipeline are so great. All the other animal agriculture organizations are supposedly running scared because they are afraid they will be next. The whole implication being we in agriculture, the horse industry, and any related fields are at long last being called onto the carpet for all our past sins. We would like to contradict this opinion by example.
A casual glance down through the supporting agencies of these groups reveals no professional horsemen/women, very few breed associations (The Jockey Club being the only one I can call to mind at the moment and we will leave that for a separate blog comment all its own), no livestock agencies, and very few vets. Definitely not the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) who I am assuming would be somewhat knowledgeable on horse welfare. Call it a hunch. In fact the majority of the anti-slaughter supporters I have had the pleasure of reading seem to fall into the category of middle aged urban/suburban people totally removed from agriculture, horse training, breeding, or any professional horse activity. Actual profit from one’s horse enterprise is viewed as somewhere below prostitution yet slightly above child porn on the morality scale. Cause for a long hmmmm……
Of course in the all greed is bad, money is the root of all cruelty and evil crusade they have conveniently forgotten one basic truth of human nature. The cheaper the product the easier it is to produce, discard, disrespect, and devalue. They have almost single mindedly geared a horse culture to produce places such as the Three Strikes Ranch with the “it is better to give a horse away “ theory.
This culture has set themselves up to fund the rescues of cripples, chronics, ill bred, ill conformed, and talent less misfits while allowing more promising animals to slip away. Personally I think most realize this actually benefits their cause, those over inflated minds have to be quick enough to catch on to this if “lil ole me” can do it. The unrideable or “pasture buddy” types play much deeper on the sympathy of donors while requiring no skill to retrain. The “senseless killing” of perfectly good horses makes a very good trump card to throw down on the table at the outrage fest. Never mind they have, at least in part, put the wheels of destruction in motion. The cheaper the horses become the more people ill equipped at horse husbandry can indulge their raising horses dream. The quality of the breeders and the horses drops and this can be pointed to as a reason “The Agenda” must be passed. Once again not even one shred of possible responsibility is acknowledged. The occasional “outing” of a web site advertising a program we and any first year 4-h member can spot as “not quite with it” is viewed not as verbal abuse of a fellow human being but as “educational”. Right…….Seriously, is this an example of the people we want calling the shots which politically affect an entire industry?
I don’t believe there is anyone involved in the industry who wouldn’t love to be naive enough to think we can do away with killing horses. But the cold hard facts here in the real world (back at the ranch) are this. We will continue to produce excess horses which, for one reason or another, have more value over the scale than under saddle or in harness. Whether this is due to poor training, poor breeding, poor marketing, poor management, poor economy, or just plain bad luck on the horse’s part is immaterial. We will have a need for destroying this over production somehow as long as we have horses being raised by humans. No law will ever change this. No law will ever insure good animal husbandry.

An interesting side note to this, ever notice how the people causing the problem is also someone other than those doing the lecturing?
Well, let’s put away the soapbox and get to the point. We intend to put some practical back in this horse debate, by some examples of common sense, good horses, good horsemanship, down to earth opinions, and take on some fads we feel contribute to cull horses in a time when that very culling system is being questioned. Except in passing on the occasional once a week “How can this possibly make sense rant” (we are aging and female, we must bitch to survive, it’s a law of nature) we won’t be preaching the pro-slaughter agenda so don’t get your panties bunched if that’s not your cup of tea. There will be plenty here you might just agree with or learn from. In our opinion the responsible horse ownership is still here. It always has been. If this interests you in any way stop back, read a bit, maybe laugh a bit, and hopefully think a lot. The subjects will be varied so the next one may be just exactly what you were thinking.

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