“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, September 27, 2009

We Don’t Call It Rescue. Taking Care of Horses We Believe Deserve Better……..

I have fallen a bit behind on writing or commenting on the repetitive anti-slaughter delusional thinking. I apologize….I was busy with live horses. Being out of date, I don’t work on lap tops or prioritize my day to meet the needs of The Movement. When we started this thing I wrote a quip about growing up putting a matchbook under the eight track tape, please refer to that when things get slow. It doesn’t mean I am screwing someone else’s boyfriend, ex-husband, or significant other in pursuit of horse facilities. It doesn’t mean I am gathering statistics. It does not mean I have been arrested for animal neglect or cruelty. Nor does it mean I have gone away.
I see we are discussing rescues. I have a very narrow mind on the rescue issue for several reasons. I feel the only “rescues” allowed to operate under the 501c tax exemption should be those used to shelter law enforcement animal abuse seizures. Period. End of story. Everyone else can operate under the same tax codes I do. Donations are paychecks. The panhandling, manipulation, and writing of romantic horse fiction to solicit donations can continue. Forum networking twitter with other anti-slaughter people will still be available for drama fixes. Nothing will change except the tax fairy will have flown out the window. Breeders, trainers, farmers, ranchers, and all other livestock and equine operation manage to operate within the present agricultural tax laws so I don’t see a problem.
We here at the ranch and our anti-horse cohorts have been grilled about what we do. Most of our new found friends seem to think all we have done most of our lives is dream up ways to kill and keep killing horses. We don’t really like horses we are in this only for the money. I shy away from personal stories. I want to wretch every time I read a pink nylon bridle infested story about an auction rescue dragged from the kill pen and held up as proof slaughter is evil. It proves nothing more than someone got a horse they like cheap. So with that in mind, my personal program has little to do with a nationwide issue either.
I train horses. I buy and sell horses. I get most of my business from personal referrals and this feeds the misguided opinion I have that I may know a little about horses. I was contacted earlier this summer by a lady having problems with her mare on the recommendation of a mutual acquaintance. It was kind of a long drawn out tale of dumb mistakes (politically correct term, inexperienced) for which the horse was blamed.. Here’s my newly formed opinion.
If you can’t tell the difference between a good saddle and the no-fit, wither pinching, cardboard treed, urine tanned sale barn special please refrain from buying any horse whose veins can be seen through its skin, has no fetlock hair, and a shallow mouth with little thin lips. As a general rule, these horses don’t have the dumb ass tolerance you need to be safe. It may be dangerous for you and not in the best interest of the horse’s future.
Maybe those urine line draft cross “rescues” are in exactly the right hands. Maybe not, I have heard some draft crosses can make excellent saddle broncs.
This particular owner wanted a second opinion on her horse. I offered some suggestions on how to try to solve what I believed after handling the mare and seeing her owner’s tack, a pilot error/training problem and left. Several weeks later the “horselover” and her spouse decide not to spend money to have me put more training on the mare. They don’t want to spend the money for any lessons either. I don’t think they believed they needed to learn anything more. It’s best to sell the mare. I truly do realize I had an indirect hand in that decision by not offering to solve their problems simply for the personal reward of making life better for a horse. Greedy horse killing ***** that I am I wanted to be paid for either the training or the lessons. If an owner has a horse in training with me I don’t usually charge extra for trying to teach them to handle the horse.
My job in this particular case is to taking the mare to a sale. I haul sale horses for owners quite often. I charge a flat rate for a week’s worth of sale prep, and so much a mile for transport. So goes the rest of the story for this little mare.
The mare had actually, at one time, been started by someone who kind of spoke horse. She was decently (not out of this world) bred, cute made, and with some consistent riding could get pretty handy pretty quick. I don’t have time to do that. After all there is limit to what can be accomplished in 5 days. She will have to go with pretty much what she knows but she is clipped, hooves trimmed, bathed and ridden a few times. I think she is too good to kill without giving her the chance. What?????? A pro-slaughter horse dealer doesn’t want a horse to go to kill? Remember I don’t have a personal stake in whether this mare brings $210 or $2,100. I have already been paid.
Now pay attention because this is the trade secret to keeping horses out of the slaughter pipeline. I know this has become increasingly difficult over the years, K.B.s being so sneaky, underhanded, evil, and all. They live to kill horses and they will go to all lengths to feed this addiction. I am going to let you in on the solution to the problem. If everyone practiced this one thing there would be no horses killed ever. It’s called a reserve bid. Yep, that’s all it takes.
Goes kind of like this. “Jim, you workin’ the ring today”
“When don’t I”
“Well, what’s this mare worth to kill?”
Looking her over “$210, maybe $225”
“I’ll cover her to $300. I don’t need her but I think she is too good to kill. I don’t really want her but I’ll cover her that much.”
“I’ll look in the rafters for some bids.”
I didn’t end up owning the little mare. She went home with a nurse and her daughter in law who were looking for a project. She was well aware of everything I knew and didn’t know about the mare and believe it or not it doesn’t take weeks , months, or years to read a horse. There was no more stress or horror at the auction for the little mare than the first show in a horse’s career or maybe the first saddling. It was just another day at the office for both of us. It really isn’t that difficult to keep your horses (or in this particular case someone else’s) alive.
The moral to this little story….had the “horselovers” been responsible in rescues/anti-slaughter way of thinking the mare would have been dead. I would have been out my fee and the buyer would still be horseless. Had the mare not met the reserve she would be here in training now on the way to meeting the reserve and hopefully much more. Either way, she’d still be alive because of her “greedy irresponsible” owners.
Works for me….
Written by RH1


  1. Very Well Said... Very nice!!

    J. Doe... Montana

  2. I appaude you for telling how it truly happens in the auction world. Very well said as well.

  3. I wish I could edit that I see I made a spelling boo-boo

  4. But, but - where's the drama? Where's all the others crowding around you to tell you how wonderful you are? Where's the ones who send you the bail money? How can you do this?
    You awful horse trader! Really, having horses bid up so the save the horsie set has to pay more, or see it go to some awful home where they may actually use it and not let it sit & starve in a back yard.

  5. I've been to a few horse sales these past weekends-it's that time of year. There are some good horses out there, and prices are coming up just a bit. These are Catalogued sales, but the numbers of both horses and buyers aren't what they used to be. The owner of one of the Sale Buildings made the same point you have-if we don't start putting the time and training into these horses, we can't expect to get anything out of them. Too many people don't understand the importance of good, well made tack, a few basic riding lessons, and the value of a good trainer. They'd much rather rely on the "bond" they feel should be formed when they "save" a horse. If everything doesn't just fall into place, the horse is either sent on it's way, or put into the pasture, and deemed to have been abused somewhere along the way. The horse loses in both scenarios. And the owners don't learn anything about owning, caring for, and actually riding a horse. I'm one of those who really miss the sales, and the people who used to frequent them. It will probably never be the same again. But as long as there are those who can still recognize a good horse, and understand the process, we may be able to limp along until things pick up just a little more. Who knows? Maybe we'll even get some real horse people involved again?

  6. Airspace.... Is your name a description of what's in your head? lol. What? not enough begging for money, drama filled back patting for your taste? Or is it that we say what we need to without a lot of foul language?
    Get a job? Sounds to me like RH1 has a job and is doing it quite well.

  7. On a serious note: That 501 "get out of taxes free card" solution - YES. Every politician needs to see that and the last few blog entries. How do you get them to open their eyes?
    I've always wondered why people think it's so much better to pay exhorbitant "adoption fees" vs "buying", then loosing the horse after they've put time, money, etc into it and made it into something because the rescue decides they made a mistake and want it back, or the rescue "adopts" to anyone and the horse ends up starving in a garage (this has happened more than a few times just from the "rescues" in this area).
    I'm sure they can still go online and beg money by saying a dead race horse told them they had to save the horsies, but they'll have to work harder for it. Probably as the sugar teat dries up they'll end up going back to the backyard breeder/ignorant horse owner with starving horses in their backyard, but with no money flowing in, they may actually move on to some other scam and get out of the horse industry.
    I pray the industry can hold on. Everyone should be able to spend some time with a horse and learn the proper care, the work, the fun, and the sorrow an animal can give.
    This low end scamming needs to end and somehow, somewhere there needs to be some new horsemen coming on to replace the old ones. If the ones in it for the quick buck or it's the thing to do this week are weeded out, maybe we'll end up with a few who will take the time and pay the dues to become a horseman and the industry can survive. That pretty much means a complete change of todays mentality of "I want it now and it's my right to have anything I want for nothing".
    My 2 cents, with change back.

  8. Airspace, If the horse business bores you, leave. It is something a person has to develop a taste for I'm sure. I like the boring business. The rescue, naming calling, outing, narcissistic wanna be Kool Aid Klub makes me sick to my stomach. Personally I'd shoot my horses or set a fire to a $50 bill before giving either to any of the above.

    How did poor Barbaro get dragged into being the poster child/horse for the anti-slaughter movement anyway?

  9. They are trying to save in Barbaro's name to say he gave them the idea...How many out there "saved" before them but didnt advertize? I used to then got asked if I "rescued" I said sure if thats what ya wanna call it. I got 17 phone calls in the next week wanting me to take in their's and "rehome" it. Hello like I need 19 more head....NO I do NOT rescue... I rehab, retrain, and reuse... BTW check out this fun fact from the "rescues" in question from the origingal post, or one of them anyway...They "lost"(killed) 2 of their own (maybe they have the space not to take in PR's?).
    Checked out her web and on average she has "lost" 2/month for the last yr and a half? I don't think that is good business sence, Do you?