“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

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday Satire #1

Well it’s Saturday. I hope that means you are reading this late in the evening after coming back from your favorite horse event or after spending a day in the barn or the pasture. If you were competing I hope you won. If you went to a sale I hope you bought too many and spent too much. All pleasantries aside it’s time to be nasty.
One of my favorite people to be nasty about is John Holland, the self appointed champion of low end horses everywhere. He really likes them and wants to make sure all horses are treated equally. I am not sure if that means he wants all horses to be treated as well as one that works for a living or if he wants all horses to be as worthless as the low end. He’s really working hard on the latter. Either way if your horse won this weekend, don’t get to thinking he’s better than John’s grade cryptorchid stud, oh excuse me, now gelding. This horse and his circumstance will be the subject of our Saturday Satire # 1.
Simply because your horse has a job, he’s good at, you spent time teaching him, he has the natural ability to learn and do that job, and you had the skill to train him, don’t you go thinking that makes him better or your time any sort of investment. Oh no, all other horses are just as good and are just as valuable. Real true horse lovers get so much satisfaction from just being near a horse they should want to do this for all horses for free. We could make this rescue thing work if trainers would donate their time to the local rescue. Nope, not working for me, how about you?
I would like to get side tracked here for a minute. I have donated time to teaching many of my owners how to handle their horses. I have re-homed many less educated horses for my owners who were having life problems with the horses caught in the middle. I would, if I had children interested, donate time and horse power to 4-h (ranch manager has done this for many years) or other youth organizations. I believe that horse people (we have to grow those children into horse people) are the horse industry. This is a big part of why the, doesn’t matter if you know anything about “real” horsemanship as long you will give them a loving home, I want the government to protect me and my horses from all the pitfalls of the industry, refuse to take responsibility for my own horses quality and future, people like Mr. Holland rub my fur so wrong. Professional horsemen and women producing the best animal they knew how have always been the teachers of the next batch of horse junkies. I am truly glad I am past my prime when I think of the John Holland Kool Aid Klub heading up the next generation of the horse industry.
I suppose John was too busy with all his writing, speaking engagements, research, rescuing, and other things to make a 5 minute phone call to set up an appointment to spend 3 hours to get his horse castrated. Of course that’s assuming the horse was broke to lead and load. I have had them throw a wild eyed fit over both of the above so these could also be viewed as stressful to the horse by some.
I first became acquainted with Mr. Holland in 2005. I was on an anti-slaughter (I know I should have known better than hang out there and try to talk market and sense) site. I googled HR-503 and found a boat load of sites none of which sounded all the horse savvy to me so I thought they should hear some opposing views. Silly me. While he was making less than polite references to my intelligence, knowledge of the horse market, and general moral stature, I may have made some snotty comment about how totally uninvolved in the horse industry he was. I can’t imagine meee making a snotty comment but it happened and I am rightfully sorry. Whatever the reason, he felt I should know he did indeed have horses, several of them. All of them, uhm the polite term would be common, yeah that’s a good way to say it…. common. The most interesting to me at the time, since I had gotten the “nasty over producing idiot breeders” speech, was a grade stud.
“If I may ask” I typed “why is this stud not a gelding since you are obviously against breeding?” He has a retained testicle and I don’t want to put him through the stress of castration surgery. It would be too traumatic for him when I can keep him safely without doing that. I don’t honestly remember now if that’s exactly what he said, but it’s close. It was supposed to be an excuse for keeping a grade stud that by my rough, I really don’t care, calculation had to be at least 6 before Mr. Holland got around to having him castrated only recently as my sources in the Holland arena tell me.
When referring to the Anything for a Buck See How Much a $75 Colt Can Really Cost Rescue Project colt at my house, the statement sounds more like this. Damn, he’s crypt, now I’m gonna be $500 deep in his belly before this is all over. Worse yet, I’ll write a $500 check after he has already died under anesthesia. (I suppose that could be termed as humane euthanasia?) Alright, but if that does happen the clinic can figure out how to dispose of the carcass. If I were the true greedy, heartless, horse killing, anything but a white woman, I’m made out to be, I could just haul him to the nearest sale and off him. But I have this terrible problem, I actually like horses. I like this colt a little more than some so in my simple little horse selling brain I have the idea he might turn into something worthwhile.
Those who know me know the term “rescue” gets me up on the bit. Those adoption fees of $1,000 or less and $1,000 or more for those rehabilitated, upgraded, re-fabricated, re-homed “rescues” of varying quality charged by 501c rescues look suspiciously like selling prices to me. Difference being these “rescues” can and do receive donations to cover their overhead, are not required to pay tax on the sale of their horses, and can play the pity card if one of their “traders” turns out to be a royal screw. Maybe it irritates me so much because I never thought of it. So when I bought a starved out but well bred, nicely colored yearling stud colt last spring at the Triangle Sale for $75.00, the Anything for a Buck See How Much a $75 Colt Can Really Cost Rescue Project was Incorporated. This has long since been shortened to Willy. The starved out part is also my excuse for buying a crypt. Best one I can come up with.
Here is how the surgery John couldn't bear to put his horse through went for Willy. I unloaded him at the clinic around 2:15 p.m., loaded him back up after paying the $290 bill at around 3:30 p.m., and he was back home in his stall eating hay at 5:00.
The surgery was done with him standing, from an incision between his last rib and his hip socket, the muscles were separated not cut, he had about a 5” cut sewn shut, and was put on antibiotics for 3 days. He never stopped eating, he hardly swelled, and in general never broke stride or had a bad day. I didn’t have to write as big a check as I thought so all is good. Hardly an ordeal any informed or practical horseman would term as horribly stressful for either of us. Granted Willy does possess the basic leading, loading, tying skills, and intelligence necessary for him to participate with little or no ruffling.
I wonder if Willy is even aware he has been put through any “horror”. I wonder what spurred John into making that heart wrenching decision. I guess we’ll never really know the answer to either for sure.
I have an educated guess on the Holland change of heart. I’ve been around enough undisciplined horses not to form an opinion on that. I’m sure you all have too. I would like to have sold tickets when Studly, in spite of all that his friend had done for him, and in a total lack of gratitude, decided to send Ole John to bottom of the pecking order in a fast hurry. Or could it have possibly been Mr. Holland had actually taken enough heat from people like me over the years? No, I suppose not.
If you would like information on the vet who handled my horse so well talk to the ranch manager and she will email it to you. Might not be of much use to you if you’re not in my area but then again maybe someone can use it.
Trivia for the day: While chatting with vets during this life altering not so bad ordeal, vet statistics estimate one in ten colts are born cryptorchid. The main cause is genetics and of course the rest is just dumb luck.
Donations are still welcome for The Anything for a Buck See How Much a $75 Colt Can Really Cost Rescue but I ask you. please send them care of the American Horse League (see donation information in the "show our support" post above.)
ranch hand 1


  1. ahh yes, john holland. and the "rescues" that are in fact glorified horse dealers with a better story line. and we wonder why the industry is such a mess, when those involved can't even be honest about who and what they are.
    there's not a thing wrong with a "common" horse...they deserve a chance right along with the rest. but to champion them at the exclusion of the others is what is really causing concern, and making the solid citizens of the equine world lose not only monetary value, but a chance to find a good home. they are simply overlooked in favor of the drama of the day.
    and as for mr. holland and his crypt stud.....now a gelding, i can only guess that indeed, mr. holland received a lesson in equine behavior that helped his decision to geld along. isn't that the way it always is, though with those who really don't understand that horses are not people?

  2. Hi g810 girl and Ranch Manager.

    Ah, I can guess who you are Ranch Manager. There was only one other person I can remember who thought I was young! You must be the guy who used to call me "little Johnny" and talk about my mother paying for my horses (a mother who has, incidentally, been dead since I left for Vietnam in 1969).

    And such hostility over gelding a cryptorchid! But for the record, that boy was never bred and not one but both his testicles were retained.

    And g810, I have not sold a horse in 40 years, so I am not much of a dealer! And no, Smokey never "taught me a lesson." In fact, I never gelded him and he is a perfect gentleman. He obeys voice commands, and takes a peppermint more gently than any horse on the farm.

    If you are going to slam someone, I suggest you guys go buy a fact first.

    Our rescues come here for life, and most of them were castoffs from "professional horse people". At least half are registered. And guess what? The ones with clear genetic defects almost all have wonderful papers.

    But if you want to rag on me some more, the truth is my favorite old riding horse is a TWH stallion and will remain one. I do not breed him either, but I always loved the fire.

    I have always been puzzled about the hatred some "professional horse people" seem to have for stallions. Is it because they don't put up with crap? Is it because you have to prove you are fair and get them to like you? I like all those attributes. But then if I didn't have the courage to use my real name, I might be afraid of stallions too.

    John Holland