“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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Response to Vicki Tobin

Vicki Tobin left a rather lengthy comment and after I said much of it was not fact based she asked what was not factual. I decided since it was so long and she took so much time to type it up I should post it for all rather than just leave it in comments. My Reply to her comment is in green..... Because I like green.
Vicki Tobin said...
Ranch Manager, don’t assume because someone is pro horse, they are from ABR or Fugly. There are thousands and thousands of individuals across the country, Canada and the UK that are working on ending horse slaughter. I cofounded the Equine Welfare Alliance with John Holland – the John Holland that you mentioned in your opinion. Contrary to Rita’s comment, we read the drivel being posted by anti-horse proponents.
Anti-Horse? oh that's real factual Vicki....You have no idea what my or the rest of the Back at the Ranch gal’s equine experiences have been.
You have made several valid points in your opinion. In particular, the cyclical nature of livestock. The USDA and FDA do not classify horses as food animals. Since the country views livestock as food animals, horses do not fall into that category but horse prices do experience cyclical changes.
Actually the horse and all equid are classified as LIVESTOCK at the federal level.
Just a few examples showing that the Federal Gov knows horses are livestock -

9. Horses are livestock. However, the USDA must recognize the unique characteristics of
the equine industry as it develops the NAIS. Here are the primary and unique characteristics
of horses:
a. Have longest life expectancy of livestock species (20 – 35 years).
b. Are generally more valuable on an individual basis.
c. Are transported more often and for greater distances.
d. Participate in internationally recognized competitions including the Olympics.
e. Require accurate identification to insure the integrity of a multi-billion dollar racing
industry with state regulated pari-mutuel wagering.
f. Are imported and exported on a regularly basis at significant expense.
g. Are at great risk of theft.
h. And, are in many instances already properly identified by the appropriate breed registry
or horse identification services.
United States
Department of
Fact Sheet
Livestock Compensation Program
Eligible Livestock
To be eligible under LCP,
ivestock must:
■ be dairy cattle, beef cattle,
buffalo, beefalo, equine,
poultry, elk, reindeer, sheep
goats, swine or deer that;
The livestock categories are:
■ adult beef cows or bulls;
■ non-adult beef cattle, 500
pounds or more;
■ adult buffalo or beefalo cows
or bulls;
■ non-adult buffalo or beefalo,
500 pounds or more;
■ adult dairy cows or bulls;
■ non-adult dairy cattle, 500
pounds or more;
■ goats;
■ sheep;
■ swine - less than 45 pounds
■ swine - 45 to 124 pounds
■ swine – 125 to 234 pounds
■ swine – sow – 235 pounds or
■ swine – boar – 235 pounds or
■ equine;
■ reindeer
section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471) and insects).
"(7) Agricultural commodity. - The term 'agricultural commodity' means any agricultural commodity, non-processed food, feed, fiber, or livestock (including livestock as defined in section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471) and insects). ________________________________________________________________________
INCLUSION OF HORSES AND DEER WITHIN DEFINITION OF "LIVESTOCK" Pub. L. 109-97, title VII, Sec. 784(a), Nov. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 2162, provided that: "In carrying out a livestock assistance, compensation, or feed program, the Secretary of Agriculture shall include horses and deer within the definition of 'livestock' covered by the program."
(2) The term "livestock" means cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg- producing poultry), fish used for food, and other animals designated by the Secretary

What you call horses is of no relevance.
Sorry but it is relevant. In my opinion (see how I point out when it’s an opinion) and in the opinions of many who are pro-horse it is best for the horse itself to be classified as livestock. They have more legal protections in most States than pets do.
The fact is that they are bred and raised to perform other functions. Like dogs, they are sport, service, work, therapy, performance and companion animals. They herd livestock. They are used in law enforcement and therapy. They have been named athlete of the year.
You are correct. However, it is not your place to force your wishes for your horses down the throats of an entire nation. There are some horses who not only can not perform any of the things you mention but who can’t even be considered remotely safe to be around humans. Yes I know those aren’t the only ones going to slaughter, I’m not naive when it comes to how things work.
Do you know any food animals that carry a $20M dollar life insurance policy?
Not personally and I don’t know the exact amount but I do know that many food animals are insured. Also I do know that Bulls (who produce food animals) are often time insured for pretty huge amounts of money. One can verify the livestock insurance with a google search and get a lot of information.
The $41B horse industry was made from live horses, not from their slaughter.
Yup, and there was a base price, a floor, to the market. Still is a floor price (scale price) since Mexico and Canada are still slaughtering American horses it’s just much lower now.
We do not condemn nor want to change the cultures of countries that consume horse meat. They are free to eat whatever they choose but if they choose horse meat, they can kill their own horses.
But you are trying to dictate end of life decisions for all horse owners and you are trying to remove classes of equine, you are also trying to pull the floor out of the horse market.
There is no other business that has ever operated on US soil that shipped their entire product overseas. We slaughter no other animal that we do not consume.
The horses going to slaughter are not low end. The USDA and Grandin have both reported that over 94% are of an average age of 7, fit, sound and usable.
I do not believe for one minute they said usable. Do you have a link or information where that came from? A horse can be fit and sound physically and still have irreparable mental damage or a health problem that deems them not “usable” but at a glance or unless you have personal knowledge of the horse these issues would not be known.
They may be unusable to the breeders that have breed in excess or the unlucky foals that happened to be the wrong color.
You really don’t have a lot of horse experience do you?
Rescued horses have gone on to be named USEF horse of the year and have lead productive lives in performing, riding horses, therapy and a host of other careers.
True but what does that have to do with this? We all know that some nice, well conformed, good minded horses have had to be rescued from farms and stables due to neglect and or abuse. The average crooked legged, ill conformed not too smart horse from the kill pen is not likely to go on and do all these great things.
Horses are living beings, not tin cans with salvage value. I don’t buy the need for culling.
There has always been a need for culling. Some horses would live a life of constant misery if left on this earth with severe conformational defects, brain defects, and certain diseases. I hate to tell you this but even “humane euthanasia” can be considered “culling the herd” in some instances. Way back in the day a foal born with severe defects was just hit in the head. It was not pawned off on some bleeding heart to make a pet of and so it could suffer through a miserable life.
Don’t produce more horses than there is a demand for. It is supply and demand 101.
Again not much equine experience is showing in this statement. Supply and Demand is anything but simple in the horse industry.
The year after the plants shut down, the AQHA registered 140,000 foals (Equus Magazine Jan ’09 issue). Do you call that cutting back?
I have to admit I have not checked the new numbers, am doing that research now, but I will say if last years number was 200,000 then yes it would be cutting back. I’ll have to get back to that in a couple days, after I find all the facts in my research.
It is no great mystery why Quarter Horses are the leading breed going to slaughter.
Never was a great mystery to me or anyone else who has a working knowledge of the horse industry. there are two reasons (well more but these two are verifiable) (1) Any stock type horse, could be grade, could be APHA, Could be ApHc, etc.. That goes into the plant is called a “quarter horse” in the records. (2) The Quarter horse is the most popular breed in the country so there are more of them. Simple ratio concept.
They continue to produce more horses, year after year, in excess of the demand.Slaughter perpetuates the irresponsible breeding and hides abuse and neglect.
Your opinion right?
Ending slaughter will not totally eliminate it but if the breeders have an ounce of intelligence, they’ll make adjustments.
As I said the “real ones” are adjusting.
Abuse and neglect were just as prevalent when the plants were open. The largest horse seizure in US history took place in 2005 when all three plants were operating.
That may be true but NOW we can add rescues neglecting the horses AND abandoned and turned loose horses to that number. You anti folks can no longer claim that to be a lie or sensationalism. I have PERSONALLY been involved with cases of abandonment and horses that were turned loose.
As long as man owns animals, there will be abuse and neglect. There will be irresponsible owners
I agree and I think we can safely call that a fact
but to continue to perpetuate it with slaughter, is not the answer. Slaughter is a symptom, not a cure.
And that is another opinion. My opinion on that differs from yours.


  1. Wow...I love the color. Unfortunately, that's not how I decide to buy a horse.

    To the red quotes: Nicely done and I appreciate the references as to definition (because calling equidae livestock makes them meat for humans to you). But you have a bit of a problem. Please review your resources as to definition re: equidae=meat livestock. One was about NAIS (which you antigovernment loons are fighting); the second was about a feed assistance program that is probably related to natural disaster assistance (you stupid cheat) and the last two I can't figure out what the links are a part of which legislation. Plus, you NEVER quoted FDA regs. Gee, I wonder why??? No answer necessary...I know why. It ain't there, princess.

    rh1...I like color too, but that's not how I own, breed or train horses. Please, become a "Pretty Pony" fan club member. That way you'll never have to discuss slaughter and you can pick your color off the freakin shelf/internet page.

  2. coeurdefer. LOL.... Um your an idiot.

  3. Sounds a bit ADHD, maybe? Someone forgot their meds?
    Thank you for such a great blog. Does make me feel sad for the stupidity level this country has sunk to. Oh well, they are an entertaining bunch, aren't they?
    I know how to fix the problem!
    Stupid people ought not breed.

  4. I have worked with many horses, all pull from the slaughter pipeline, all under seven years of age, and all sound, mentally and physically. There are young, sound and gentle horses, including mares in foal, in the slaughter pipeline every day.

  5. "I have worked with many horses, all pull from the slaughter pipeline,"
    Thats good, hope they are now productive members of equine society now ;) May I ask what part of the pipeline you pulled them from?

  6. I am amazed at some of your comments such as this one "one of them has stolen the place of another one". Obviously the 'replacement' isn't necessary to anyone but the one who would condemn someone elses horse as 'their' horse is better. The old 'my horse is better than your horse' that offends most horseowners.
    And this one "However, it is not your place to force your wishes for your horses down the throats of an entire nation. "
    Those that defend the inhumane horse slaughter system are trying to force the E.U. food animal regulations on all 9.2 million American horses. It will cost all American horseowners alot more than what it will cost to humanely euthanize for those that can't afford it. Horseowners aren't going to slap an eartag on their horse and most will have to pay a vet to chip them. Then will come the recodings, medications and travel. They aren't going to do it for free forever. And how many Americans are going to be willing to designate their horse 'for slaughter' if they were to try the passport system? How many are going to reach an auction after several owners and still be designated 'for slaughter'? Almost all of our topicals and medications will be eliminated since they are all labeled 'not intended for use on animals used for human consumption'. You talk about forcing your wishes on an entire nation - and yet you believe that all 9.2 million American horseowners should succumb to yours and pay for a system we don't use and don't want and that could stop at any time. The slaughter system will reward those without a consious a one time fee but all American horse owners would have to pay repeatedly year after year. It's time horse owners really addressed the inhumane horse slaughter system and develop a humane end of life system for the few that really can't afford it. Our horses deserve a humane end of life.

  7. Vicki "Our horses deserve a humane end of life."
    And again we agree....
    But how is that possible since I am a horse hating murderer....hmmmmm. Could it be you just have no clue about the people you lump into one insane fabricated stereo type?