“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, October 19, 2009

Just Thinking “Out Loud”……

I haven’t weighed in on the Monday opinion page for awhile. Reading comments on the Straight Talk With A Killer Buyer, the responses to a request for an auction report, and talking with some acquaintances of mine about the way things are, started me thinking.
I was talking with an acquaintance a couple nights ago about a private auction we were both familiar with. Someone he knew had taken some decent young horses to the sale and although he “topped the sale” he brought them all home. I seem to have failed in the past to make my point about responsible marketing and how it plays into responsible ownership. I feel this consignor is an example of the point I am trying to make. Although his young horses sold for well over scale price he was not willing to accept the price. He very simply and quietly chose to accept his responsibility, exercise his right to refuse the final bid, pay the fees, and take his horses home. The ultimate drawback to responsible ownership but sometimes you just have to anti-up and make your stand.
How can any of us pro-horse, anti-horse, pro-slaughter, no kill animal shelter, whatever your camp or preference, begin to salvage this train wreck if we don’t take a stand against the prices offered? No, it won’t be pleasant and it won’t get us out but sometimes the principle outweighs the cost. The whole help me help the horses mentality rescue/hoarding climate is at total odds with pride of ownership, producing something to be proud of, and being fairly paid for it.
I have spent more time than I should writing, researching, and trying to put to words the way I feel about the horse/livestock industry, the people involved, and the stock they care for. I feel I am still at a loss about how to convey to those who will never truly understand what it feels like to pay the bills with the quality, training, and marketability of your livestock or the feeling we have for our animals. This lady summed it up very well in her comment to the Jockey Club written on the American Horse League website.

In My Opinion
It began in the days of Carry Back, my infatuation with horse racing, maturing into a lifelong love as Secretariat and Seattle Slew left their indelible hoofprints on Belmont’s homestretch. Years, occupied by grooming, mucking stalls, late nights foaling, pedigrees memorized, and every last dime spent, all marked by the first Saturday in May. But now this love is challenged with the realization our industry leaders are sleeping with the enemy. They’ve been swooned by notions of endless green pastures for the lifetime of my friend Flicka and the promise of one little girl for every horse. Rising to the battle cries of “rescue”, “retire” and “adopt”, racing had aligned itself with a movement named animal rights. Disguised as animal welfare, it has all the trappings of everything good for the horse, while jeopardizing racing’s very existence. It is a movement that manipulates the truth to line its bed with the millions donated by an innocent public held hostage by emotions and good intentions. It is a movement that would see horse racing, and for that mattter, all horse sports, extinct. When will the racing world stand up for itself and protect those of us who have invested a lifetime of service to its well-being? When will our association question the unintended consequences of giving its support to animal rights groups that have no financial responsibility to our sport’s participants or our horses’ well being? This steadfast partner to the “Sport of Kings” is willing to forgive our industry, but this alignment with animal rights must be terminated. End this affair now! And, an apology would be nice
Her partner, sums it up very well in this commentary in the Thoroughbred Times.
Dear Thoroughbred Times,
I fully support the ideas on horse "recycling" put forth by William Backer in his commentary, "A pain-free, stress-free death".
The push by animal rights groups to close the horse slaughter plants in this country has removed the bottom from the horse market. This fact has effectively shortened the lives of thousands of horses. It just isn't cost effective or practical to feed and train a horse one cannot sell.
Evidenced recently at Keeneland's "marathon" sale, buyers have lost confidence in an industry marching in step with animal rights ideology. Keeneland officials court foreign buyers, including those willing to bid on less commercial pedigrees. Nearly every horse exported from the United States will eventually find its way to the knacker's yard. Other countries know they don't have the land or money to retire every horse. If we "recycle" horses here, we can at least make sure it's done humanely. We have lots of people in racing patting themselves on the back because they "rescued" geldings that made half a million dollars. But, whose looking out for the grade weanling that fetched $3.00 at the local auction? His situation can and will worsen if H.R. 503 and SB 727 pass.
I started to leave the names of these good knowledgeable horse people in my writing because I am proud to be associated with them. I decided against it. I think the story in the Straight Talk blog should explain why…Here is how one of those $3.00 yearlings spent the winter…… I am going to borrow the Bob Smith alias from the Straight Talk blog…….this took place in the ranch country of the west…..not too far from Karen Sussman and Dayton Hyde……
Bob Smith, was called to a neighbor’s place to look at a horse that was thought to be suffering from colic. Upon arrival at the property, he saw several thin horses in the pen and one yearling lying on the ground. “All he was, was hair and bones. I thought he was dead.” Bob remembers. “I told the guy that he didn’t have colic, that he had starved to death. Then I saw he was alive. I couldn’t believe it. That colt opened up his eye and looked at me and he had the biggest, kindest eye.”
Bob went home but was too mad to relax. He called his neighbor and they went over with his trailer. When they went to pick him up he was froze down. “He didn’t weigh anything when we loaded him in the trailer.” Bob pauses, thinking of that day. “When we got him home, I got some warm water and started dribbling it in his mouth. He started working his mouth and his cheeks were full of frozen horse manure.” Anger still tinges his voice when he thinks of the colt’s desperate effort to survive.
“When I saw that, I knew I couldn’t give up on him. He was still trying to live. We were giving him warm water every hour. We couldn’t feed him more than a handful at a time because we knew his guts were all dried up and we had to make sure it was all working right.” Bob continues, “We got him warm and kept watering him but we thought he might die anyway. He was in terrible shape.”
It was eleven long days and nights of round the clock care before the colt was able to get up and stay on his feet. Warm water and small amounts of feed got his system working and he slowly started gaining strength. “We call him Lazarus ‘cause he rose from the dead,”
I would like to give credit to a friend of mine for the original version of this story….Again in the interest of privacy……Ironic, isn’t it? When discussing this issue we have to protect ourselves from the good and righteous? Ironic, the pro-slaughter/anti-horse “rhetoric” in the first two clips were written by the same Bob Smiths saving the colt in the third clip……Not really so ironic, if one were to do a little drifting around with real horsemen/stockmen.


1 comment:

  1. You're right-Ironic. Thank you for writing this. I read the article on the American Horse League Website, and it is very insightful. When will people start thinking this through?