“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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

They're Just Learning What We Already Know

and have known for a long time.......

I've been reading the past month or so about the "Sugarcreek Saves". A group of Anti Slaughter women have decided to try something different.....instead of showing up at the Pennsylvania Horse sale with Television cameras, or Newspaper reporters, and making a huge scene, they went to the auction house owner and did the unthinkable. They asked if they could buy out of his Kill Pen. And guess what? He said yes. Now, for the Anti crowd, this is highly unusual behavior. It lacks the required drama of going through the pens before the sale, dragging horses around, demanding already overworked vets and handlers attend to a few horses when they already are trying to handle hundreds. It lacks the calls to Law enforcement and Animal Cruelty Officers to get there and "DO SOMETHING NOW!!!!". And it lacks the calling out of the Auction House owner for the dirty rotten money grubbing bastard he really is for allowing all of the pain and suffering that has been inflicted upon these horses. It robs one of their seemingly required 15 minutes of fame. In short, it calls for a calm head, cooperation with "the other side", and a plan. And I applaud it wholeheartedly.It has also given some of the Anti Slaughter people involved a knowledge that most of the "pro slaughter" or "pro horse" people have known, and have been trying to tell them for some time now. You cannot save them all. I was very proud of the group of women who undertook this project. They went in, evaluated the horses, and stayed the course. There were requests from those donating funds to pull horses that were not sound, or were not safe, and God bless these women, they refused. they took the horses they deemed best suited for homes. They refused to pull horses to euthanise them, and spent the money they had on those with a future. Hard decisions, and tough women, I'm sure to make them in the face of the pressure to give in to the emotion that often accompanies many of the Anti saves.These women are now learning what we already know. There are not enough homes for all of the nice horses. And as hard as it is to turn away from the soft eye, or the beckoning nicker, common sense has it's very necessary place in these decisions. But we know that reality has to play into our decisions, and I am impressed with the women who undertook this save and dealt with the reality rather than give in to the fantasy. It's a hard call to make.And we know, as they are learning, the saving is the beginning of the journey, not the end. After the drama and the adrenaline of the "save" has worn off, we have the reality.....horses in need of homes. These women knew that you don't pull 20 if you only have placement for 5. Kudos to them for pulling only those they had Fosters and home offers for. They have gotten permission from the owner of the Auction House to buy as many as they can take on a weekly basis. They're working on a plan to have the cash in hand, and homes ready for the ones they buy. They don't know it, but they're a lot like those of us on the opposing side. They've gone into this with open eyes and clear heads, and done what they can. Great job girls, may you be an example that more on the Anti side follow. We're more alike than you know, and if we're ever at the sale at the same time, I'd be proud to shake your hands, or help load a horse or two.


  1. This has been going on for a long time.Thousands of horses have been bought directly from feed lots, or many times by out-bidding the meatmen at auctions. Not everyone toots their horn or burns bridges. Also there are thousands of people who work directly with the Gov. to get loop-holes and laws changed. For example, horse-meat from horses that have been wormed, have steriods and other drugs injected in them have been for many years fed to people in other countries. This is going to stop soon.

    The over production of some breeds like quarter horses are a large percent of the thousands of horses sent to slaughter each year. The industry will have to give names of ranches who produce these thousands of horses for meat. And ID each horse. If people want to send horses to slaughter they will have to come out of hiding and stand up in public and let their peers know who they are.

  2. I agree, not all do, and this blog is an example of a group that chose not to, and got good results.
    The Feed lot trade is something that has seemed to gain popularity, and let's be honest, is making some folks a bit of money along the way.
    Bidding at the auctions has been going on for as long as auctions have existed, and in general, unless the Kill buyer is purchasing for a private client, they will drop out if a buyer in the stands is bidding once the bid hits a certain amount. There's no reason for them to bid up a horse that's going directly to slaughter.
    If horsemeat from horses that have been wormed, have steroids, and other drugs injected into them is no longer available what do you think is going to happen if horsemeat is still in demand? This subject was addressed a few years ago, and it was suggested that the answer would be farms strictly dedicated to horses intended for slaughter purposes would take the place of the horses sent to slaughter now. Do you really feel that wouldn't happen? Supply and demand.
    The Quarter Horse argument is an old one, and I'm glad you put in the qualifier LIKE them, because any stock type horse is considered a quarter horse in the slaughter statistics. And let's not forget that Thoroughbreds are right behind them, and we're still racing the legs off of them, and throwing them away, yet I still see groups like the FOB's who are linked to that breed and dedicated to the end of slaughter focusing their efforts on the Quarter Horse industry instead of cleaning up their own back yards first. In fact the NTRA to my knowledge still holds a neutral position on slaughter, unless they have recently changed. Where's the outrage on that?
    Talk about overproduction, how about the Thoroughbred Industry and the quest to breed a winner. How many OTTB's are in need of rescue every day? And how many of them are broken down at a very young age because they haven't made the money any are then cast off?
    The Quarter Horse Industry isn't perfect, but before stones are cast in their direction, perhaps the we should demand that ALL industries be held to the same standards.
    Now, back on track......This is really good information, and I'm glad to see someone doing something positive with the Sale Barns. I hope they can get something set up to save horses each week. These women sound like people I'd like to meet.

  3. Because some of my horses do get sold at sale barns I do not Worm but twice a year and horses that I know will not find homes at the sale are not wormed. Most horses here where I live are like this. Most people that have horses that are going to sale that are not rideable, old, bad legs, or what ever are not given all the med's that horses that are in trainning barns do. If my horses where tested they would come out good for slaughter.
    and I all so am watching the ladys that go to sugarcreek and save out of the kill pen.. good for you.. work with someone and you get more then if you fight with someone. and picking your horses that you know you can home is better then just going after that one with the "sad eyes". I took a horse to the sale once that was a KILLER.. but she was a good looking horse and had a very kind eye... but if you would of saved her she would of killed someone... sooner then later. All you had to do is walk in her pen with a rode.. halter or otherwise... and she would of kicked you to death. I went into the ring with her and said... " this horse is to be sold for kill only or she will kill you". So remember this little thing as your thinking that we are all such bad people.

  4. Nothing has ever been hidden in the slaughter, auction, feedlot, loose horse trade. There is not and never has been a "black market" trade. I don't know any loose buyers or feeders who won't tell you where the horses came from or where they are going. No one has ever hidden. Years ago I used to call Central Nebraska Pack to get a live weight price. Nothing was hidden. If you go to any sale, anything selling under scale price is going to have a short life. And not all horses sold loose go to feedlots or slaughter.

    Every drug given to any animal has a period of withdrawl. Whether people like to think about it or not cattle are wormed, given steriods, and a multitude of drugs. It's been sometime since I was involved in cattle feeding but I don't recall any drug (and many are interchangable between species) with a withdrawl period longer than 30 days. The horse industry is going to follow suit. Although it sounds noble to point out the "culprits" it's for food safety no more no less. Nothing new in animal agriculuture. This is another reason the feedlots exist.

  5. I wish you all would stop posting under anonymous. Yes I left the option there but really you should have enough beliefs in your own convictions to at least us your ID. No one is asking for your real life full name, but "anonymous" is getting a little annoying. It isn't hard to get a google account and ID, try it.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I think some people feel a little better if they can say what they want without anyone knowing who they are, or where they are from. Anonymous posters can say all sorts of nasty things without being held responsible for it. I will say that for now, they're getting some discussions going, and I'm all for that. Considering some of what they've said, I'm not surprised they've chosen to remain anonymous! sorry about the delete...i forgot to spell check!

  8. G810girl- lol on the spell check! See this is why I like to have some sort of name on a post because I, or someone else, may want to address a commentor directly. If I say "dear anonymous" it just doesn't work since there may be several of them! lol. But I did leave the option to post comments as Anon. because I know some folks either don't have an account or they are just more comfortable....
    carry on all :)

  9. This comment was posted in the general comments which I will be removing so am placing comments where they "belong" before I do so >>
    "You have no idea how much those women at Sugarcreek are like the proslaughter folks.One even offered Baker her left boob if he needed it. You cant get any more friendly then that can you? "
    Unknown 7/30 11:31pm

  10. No, we pro-horse females don't have to offer body parts to trade horses with the boys. We do the work and are treated like equals.

    When you don't have the skills I guess you have to use what your mamma gave you.

    We do these really wierd things called riding horses. Giving them a marketable skill. And buying the horses in the ring with our own money just like the boys do.

    But if you like your opinion better feel free to embrace what you are comfortable with.

    Another website I frequent is heartlessbitches.com