“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

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Horse is a Horse of course...but.....

A Horse is a......?????

While reading on a message board recently, I was struck by a comment about a horse that was in the process of being rescued. Along with the almost required tale of abuse at the hands of her previous owners, it was stated that this horse "did not like to be ridden".Fortunately, a home was found, and this young mare will be able to live her days out as a "Pasture Pet", getting lots of hugs and kisses, and just being allowed to "be a horse" as someone commented. Nothing will be required of her, she will not be ridden, and apparently, this is just fine. I found this a little odd, but what was even more bothersome was that this is not the first time, nor the first situation where I have read of a fairly young horse entering into retirement.Is it a problem? I think so. As we move towards the horses as companions mindset, I read more and more comments that concern me as to how we view horses.I understand that there are those few horses that have, in fact come from a situation so abusive they cannot be rehabilitated. They are often dangerous, and should not be handled by those unfamiliar with the issues and danger they bring with them.But in many other cases, the horse has not been abused, but kept as a pet, and would rather not listen, or has never been taught that there is anything required of him or her. When these horses are finally sold or given away, they, too present a set of challenges for their owners. Oftentimes a story is made up as to what type of abuse could have befallen the poor horse to make him or her behave this way, and the behavior is then excused. Or it is decided a traumatic event has occurred, and the horse has been damaged by it. They are allowed to behave badly, at times dangerously, and are often given human attributes to explain their actions. But I feel it is unfair to simply allow them to remain large lawn ornaments. Those who choose to own these horses should take on the responsibility of working with them. And if they don't feel confident to do it on their own, they should find someone to help. At the very least, Ground manners are a requirement, and a broke horse always has a chance at a better home, should the owner find themselves in a situation where they must sell the horse, or give him or her away.Even more frustrating is when the good broke ones are considered pets. I saw an ad for a broke to ride horse about a month ago, and someone said "this is the kind of horse I'd just like to have in my pasture to give carrots and kisses to". What a waste of a good horse. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with giving treats, and loving your horse, I find it disheartening that a perfectly well broke horse would be relegated to someone's pasture doing nothing all day, and that some human would feel that this is okay.I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm watching my horses, they seem to get pretty bored if they have nothing to do. They like to have a job, and left to their own devices, I see a lot more destructive behavior, and fighting within the herd.And the bigger downside is that when we begin retiring young horses, we displace the older ones who have earned those homes, and are ready to take it easy. Somewhere along the line, horses went from livestock to pets, and I don't think it's such a good thing. A 1000 pound animal that's been spoiled and allowed to do as he or she wishes because "mommy" thinks it's cute is not only dangerous, but it de-values the horse. Many horses are bred for specific disciplines, and they actually enjoy performing those skills they were bred to excel in.And the only thing worse than an unbroke, ill mannered horse is a well broke, well behaved one that's going to waste in someone's pasture being "loved", and being "allowed to be a horse" by standing doing nothing. The intention may be good, but it's not what's in the best interest of the horse.
Written by RH2


  1. Unfortunately some "lifetime" pasture pet homes due unforseen events can't last the lifetime of the horse.

    Excellent points for all owners to give serious thought in case.

  2. I agree. No matter wether you believe that horse will have a lifetime home with you they should always have training and manners just in case they need a new home. Best way to keep horse out of the "slaughter pipline" is to make them too good to go there.

  3. RH2 I liked this post a lot. People really need to pay more attention to making a horse have better chances at homes rather than assume nothing will ever happen to disrupt his life long home as pasture ornament.

  4. Thank you, Ranch Manager.
    I think it was interesting to read in the "comments that will not end" section of an earlier post that John Holland is the proud owner of "Sara" who is indeed one of the good ones. She also came from a sale, and from his description, and the smiles on the faces of the young riders, is definately a keeper. It's a shame that more people do not attend the sales themselves, as there are so many nice horses to be had, especially now. They deserve good homes, and knowledgeable owners. Once you get a good one, the best plan is to make them even better!