“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, October 7, 2009

Wrap Up

rescue gone wrong.......
I've written about 4 articles in an attempt to wrap up and update the 3 Rescue’s Saga, and scrapped them all. There is so much involved, with the egos, drama, issues, and lack of resolution, that it seems nearly impossible. I also know that there are those who are already tired of hearing about it. I bet the horses still living(?) at the Rescue are tired of their existence there. I had hoped to report a great outcome with the Authorities involved working together, and getting those poor horses, and the little donkey out of there. I had hoped to report that charges had been filed against the Rescue owner. I had also hoped to win the lottery last night. Alas, none of these things have happened. I understand that there are those who do not want to look at the fact that we can't seem to enforce the regulations in the state of Nebraska on the issues it seems to be suffering with, and help these horses. They don't want to draw the conclusion that if we can't even do this, such a huge undertaking as transport law enforcement will be a failure as well. If, as they say, "no one" wants to remove these horses, because they have no funding, or means to care for them, what will happen when they stop a trailer full of Slaughter bound horses? And yes, I know, there were those who think that this story should not have been written with any mention of the Slaughter issue. How can it not be? When Rescue is offered as the "humane" alternative to Slaughter, and the Humane alternative is increasingly looking a whole lot like long term torture, we need to talk. Does anyone agree that "having 100's of starving horses is much better than 150,000 plus dieing at a torturous hell hole slaughter house"? To me, this Rescue appeared to be a "torturous hell hole" in it's own right. And while we're talking about what we may agree with, can anyone, after reading the article about those poor horses, and seeing what they look like agree that "they don't meet their torturous death here, but you can still sell to a KB and off they go". How can we ever do what's right for the horses if there are people who will look the other way as long as Slaughter is not involved? Then there's the mindset that I wrote the article because of my "dislike" for Rescues". The reasons stated-
1) Rescues "potentially jack up the auction prices of horses". I don't know where this person has been, but the better the auction prices, the better the market. If the Rescues can shore up the market, why would I, or anyone else be upset? I think the poster is confusing our "dislike" with the profiteering by some Rescues that "save" horses at a very low dollar. They then tack on all of those extra charges and then "bail" those horses off to emotionally invested buyers in the name of love. We see that as a bit of a rip off, as they have discouraged these very same people from attending auctions themselves, where they could buy these horses at the very same low price they purchase them for. Reason #2- Rescues provide an ID trail for irresponsible owners "ratting" on them no matter what the "stage of ownership". I admit my confusion on this one. After a horse is sold, or given away, the person in possession of that horse is the owner. I admit, also, that I wasn't aware of this ID trail, and the "ratting" system. Maybe it explains why some of these Rescues aren't able to feed and care for the horses they have, though. Perhaps covering all of those trails, and "ratting" those irresponsible owners out leaves little or no time for care of the horses. Reason #3, and perhaps my favorite- Rescues make "shitty owners" look bad when they can fix, re-home or-the greatest gift, humanely euthanize a problem equine. Perhaps this statement speaks volumes about what the problem is, and has been. If this is the opinion the Rescues maintain about EVERYONE who has to give up a horse, how compassionate are they, really? I'd also like to point out that I don't see the Rescues in question doing a lot of any of the above. There won't be a lot of "fixing" done on a horse that can barely make it through the day due to starvation. Re-homing? I doubt it. While we're on the noble subject of Euthanasia, I want to bring up some comments that were made in reference to my article. I think they're something worth repeating. "Rescue keeps vets busy and well paid. Vets should support Rescue and not slaughter. rescues have vets on their property every other day of the week. One colt is getting ready to have $4000 surgery". "Slaughter doesn't pay vets a freaking dime". I suppose that would explain those vets who support the Anti stand. That "love for the horses" appears to be turning into a pretty penny for them. And Slaughter?-Well, you read it here. There were those reading what I wrote who took offense to it because of the lack of fairness they felt I showed to Rescue. I was told that my title was an attention grabber, and did a "genuine disservice to reputable, good rescues". It was further stated that "there is a lot of good out there, but as always the anti horse folks always want to focus on the negative".-I'd just like to take a second here to ask how constantly referring to us as "anti-horse" has a positive connotation? I did state that there are a lot of good Rescues out there. In this case, however, I wasn't discussing those. But I understand how those people feel. How often do you hear about all of the good we on the Pro horse side do from the "other side"? Exactly. It was asked where the "horse organizations" were in all of this. I guess responsibility is only for private owners and the AQHA. And finally, it was stated that "they're trying to re-open the Slaughter plants instead of trying to help the owner and Rescues that take in the horses they cast off." This seems like as good a place as any to wrap this up. To date, every agency in Holt County Nebraska has been contacted about this Rescue. There were some very good home offers for these horses, some from very good Rescues (see, I DO know about them!) with strong reputations for rehabilitation. Jerry Finch has even been contacted and asked to help. In the case of this particular Rescue, nothing has been done to date. Those rescues offering homes have been turned down, and the Rescue accused of the abuse has refused to do anything other that SELL some of the horses so she can keep the others. There has been no updates. How do we help someone like this? And more important, why should we have to? This whole story is an example of system failure on every single level. The Rescue itself, The Rescues "shuffling" horses into it, the Rescue that chose to support it, the Authorities involved, and sadly, those of us trying to help the horses. We can't ignore that this IS a Slaughter related issue, but that is not my choice. I said it before, and I'll say it now. Given the choice of those horses slowly starving to death, or having U.S. plants open and having them go there, I would choose the plants. This situation has been horrific since September 14, and remains so today. For the horses remaining in that Rescue, Winter is coming, and things aren't looking like they'll change. Perhaps in a few months we'll hear another story on the news about this place. I can guarantee you it won't be a good one. For now, at least on here, I'll move on. But I don't plan to stop watching what is going on in the Rescue world. Those of us who are truly Pro horse need to point out abuse and neglect, no matter where it occurs, and no matter how unfair others may think it is to do so. It's part of the job.
Written By RH2

* note from RM- we have seen some rescues referred to as hoarders by us “anti horse” folks. I found this site posted on a forum and wanted to share it with everyone who hasn’t read it yet. Please people, be aware of who and what you are giving your hard earned money donations to because enabling hoarders with cash and praise simply makes the problem worse. It certainly does not help any horses or the so called rescuer.


  1. To date, every agency in Holt County Nebraska has been contacted about this Rescue. There were some very good home offers for these horses, some from very good Rescues (see, I DO know about them!) with strong reputations for rehabilitation. Jerry Finch has even been contacted and asked to help. In the case of this particular Rescue, nothing has been done to date. Those rescues offering homes have been turned down, and the Rescue accused of the abuse has refused to do anything other that SELL some of the horses so she can keep the others. There has been no updates. How do we help someone like this? And more important, why should we have to?

    Why should we help? Exactly, Where is the personal responsibility code the pro horse people must abide by in this situation?

    Here's my take on how this will all shake down eventually. The rescue owner will force the county to press charges to have the horses removed. The horses will then become the responsibility of the county until the case has been tried and settled for the county to be able to place the horses. While waiting for the dust to settle in legal system all of the above responding "caring horse agencies" will move on to something else and the horses will be sold to the local traders to end up God knows where and maybe on the big truck anyway.

    That very thing happened just across the river last winter with a Pott county abuse siezure.

    The funding and logistics have not been addressed to any of this b.s.

    It's just harder and harder to sell horses these days. Not only do I have to make sure a horse is worth more alive than dead but I have to keep him out of the rescue slide too. I'd rather send one to kill than to rescue. Hell, or no, at least that's over with in a less than week for a slick fat horse.

    Have any idea it takes one to get in the condition of these horses? I don't guess it happens in less than a week.

    Please go back to the first blog on this issue and get Vicki. She's lost looking for a link to the more recent blogs here. No wonder these people can't find the tack room to get the feed out, there's no link. I am tired of the excuses the dumb ass excuses.

    I guess I don't care what you call them....hoarders, rescues, or whatever, actually, I have something much worse. I can't imagine the mind set it takes to watch this happen to an animal in your care. Even those of us who have worked in feedlots caring for "meat on the hoof" can't see ANY animal like this, let alone be the cause of it. There is no excuse I don't care who you are or what side you're on.

    And for those of you who will come here and tell me this has nothing to do with slaughter, b.s.. I don't give a rat's ass about your statistics. This used to be an isolated occurance in my area, in the sticks heartland, for those of you on Vicki's NV time. Now "rescue" "pro horse" people have made it a common thing. The only this it has to with slaughter is with the loss of end value allowing these types of morons to afford horses in the first place.
    It takes absolutely no investment or committment to own a horse these days. As we can see any idoit can torture 10 or more. Yes, I said idoit and meant it. Allowing any animal in your care to get in this condition classifies you as an idiot.

    And to wrap up this venting session, I have in the past takena all sorts of comments for any other anti-horse person who treats a horse badly so isn't it interesting to hear the whining when the worm turns?

  2. RH 2 well said, thanks for keeping up with these issues. It needs to be kept in the fore front for many reasons.

  3. Thanks, RH1. This one doesn't look like it will end well. I have to give credit to those still working to try to get the horses out. We're on both "sides" of the Slaughter issue, but we can see the wrong here, and can work to do what's right. What bothers me are those who want to just move on now. The feel some of the horses have made it out, so we should concentrate on them. I don't get that. It's okay for some to starve? I'll stick to this "side". We're pretty clear cut on what's not acceptable, no matter what names we're called. I can accept being labeled "anti-horse" if it means continuing to work to get these horses out of this Rescue, and opening people's eyes to the problems that are occurring in some of the Rescues that are supposed to be a better place for the horses. Ranch Manager, thank you for the link, it's something everyone who is Pro horse needs to read.

  4. ""Ranch Manager, thank you for the link, it's something everyone who is Pro horse needs to read.""
    RH2, you are very welcome. I need to thank you and RH1 for keeping up on the writing for this blog :) and for keeping up on this insane "rescue" issue. As long as these people continue to be enabled in one fashion or another I fear we will see more and more of these "rescue" problems. The tax exemption reward just drives me crazy. Our gov. needs to stop obsessing about stupid legislation like hr503 and get some laws and regulations passed for rescues and requirements to meet on an on going basis to continue tax exempt status!

  5. RH 2 I am working on reading the link, I started loading the Prosecuting Animal Hoarders is like herding cats article but don't have time right now for it to load so will have to come back to it. I think the information there might be very relevent and besides it's a catchy title. The prosecution is not going to feed horses though.

    I know where my center is so they can call us what they like. I've been called worse by better.

    I am glad you have the patience and mindset for the rescue avenue. I don't, it's like enabling an alcoholic. Every individual horse owner should be responsible for their own. Learn the ropes, do it right or get out. People doing anything less are not an assett to the horses or the industry.

    To me an $800 floor on the horse market kept out the riff raff.

    You allow us to have more gray area. Hang on to that olive branch you may need it in the future to defend me and my opinions. :)

    Ranch Manager adds, referees, defends, and explains. All and all, I think it's a good combination.

  6. Vicki,
    I did not even bother to read your comment (number 96) on the What could be worse than slaughter blog of nearly 3 weeks ago. Only checked to make sure it was you. If you have something more to say come join the rest of us here. It's not that hard to keep up and read what the others have written. It's called moving forward besides it will give you something else to disagree with me about if not you are wasting your time responding.

  7. All this rescue stuff has just confirmed what I figured about these people (can't say I really understand hoarders, but that's a mental issue and they need to be locked up, I guess). I see the Vickis - the "consultant" who gets paid well for doing nothing but BSing in any internet thing she comes across and getting people to send money. If the slaughter side had thought this idiocracy would go this far, they could have hired her. These people go where the money is, doesn't matter what they actually believe.
    The J. Hollands - thought they'd make a bundle raising horses and found out their stal-yun and it's get are sold per pound. Offended, they can't see what they did (or didn't do), so they become "rescuers", starting with their own plugs.
    What I don't understand is the people who enable these types. How can supposingly reasonable people send money willy-nilly to things like this? They don't even own horses mostly. What is wrong with people? Where is the common sense?
    How can I drop all morals and get into this racket I guess is the big question.
    It's really sick and sad.
    My hope is there are those that sat back and learned something here, and will stick around to learn more from those that actually come in contact with real horses in the real world.

  8. Shovels, this story continues to surprise me in how people can and do enable others. If one ploy doesn't work, then they just pull out another one, and try that. For example, I was sent a link to a "rant" by a Rescue I had written about on here. I won't name the place, doesn't matter. But the jist of it was "take a walk in our shoes" and "don't tell me it's raining, build me an ark". And herein lies my problem. I've got my own shoes, and they're caked with manure from cleaning my own stalls. And I've built my own own ark, so to speak, and when it rains, well since I'm the captain, I'm the one who makes sure everything is "ship shape". Some of those who run these Rescues haven't quite come to terms with the fact that it's THEIR job to not only build their own "Arks", but keep them in seaworthy condition. Sure, you may have to cut back on some of the maintenance that isn't an absolute necessity, but once you commit, then you'd best keep it afloat, and while you're at it, once you've hit that number of animals that you can fit on your boat, don't take any more on board. And I know, I know, now I'm sounding like a heartless, cruel, mean person. But think about it. Isn't it better to provide the best care to a limited number of horses than to just say "yes" each time and have to limit the care for those you already have? And while I'd love to stop in and volunteer, I have my own horses to care for, as well as other equine commitments already in place. I can't commit to the care of others without depriving mine of care, and dishonoring my other commitments, and I won't do that. As always, there's not that simple Black and White issue that we can put down, and line we can draw. It's more complicted than that. And the emotional argument won't always win where common sense is just-well sensible. But, back to enabling. I hope that more people are seeing some of these Rescues for what they are. The link for hoarders ie very educational, and I can see where it fits some of these places. Wouldn't it be nice if those who support some of these places would just get out there and buy a horse of their own, and learn how to properly care for it? Now THAT'S a solution!

  9. Hello. 'Just me' here. Stopping bye to see what's new.

    This one caught my eye. " would a $800 floor keep the riffraff out? Yep. and it would keep everybody else out too. Perhaps a sliding scale, $50 to $75 above current meat price would do the trick. Eh?

    As for the rest --- Seems to me there's no political will to do the right thing on either side of any given question.

    For 'way too long unethical practices have been tolerated within the horse industry.

    For example: How many times have you heard the story of a beast sold as a bombproof kid's horse? The kicker to each of these stories, the animal in question was no such thing. The worst one I heard was 20 some odd years ago where a $3K so-called child's hunter/jumper killed his young rider. Seems it was more of a bronc than anything else. The horse was part of the inventory at a up-scale horse broker.

    Since nobody else is taking a stand, I'm willing to share private conclusions as to why things are as they are. It's historical. It's a twisted set of social norms deeply embedded within the horse industry's culture. It's difficult to change a norm and this one is buried in pretty deep. It ranges from Olympic level and the top and all points. downward.

    That is, the reasons are the same as to why hoarder-rescues are tolerated within rescueland are the same ones why an up-scale horse broker was tolerated within the mainstream horsey set those many years ago.

    Take it away guys.

    Just me

  10. Hey, Just Me- Good points. We've gone over them before, but we can do it again. If you can't afford $800 for a horse, chances are you won't be able to afford the continued upkeep on said horse for the years you'd be expecting to keep that horse. At least when we had that floor price, people had an inkling of what it was going to cost. We seem to have those now with the mindset that it really doesn't cost too much. After all, if they're free, heck, can't you just throw them in the back yard and let them live off the grass? For the record, I bought my first horse way back when for $300, saddle and all. He was a 17 year old camp horse, and broke as they come. Perfect for a beginner like me, just not real pretty. That was about 25 years ago. But I already knew I was going to have to put money into him and house him. As for those bad, dishonest people? No one really accepts or condones them. They exist as all crap people do in every walk of life. We have to do our best to weed them out whenever possible. But they're not the norm. They are part of the picture, and if we are going to change the picture, we have to admit they exist. The same goes with the Hoarder-Rescues. I don't think by any means they are the norm, but they seem to be on the rise. If we do not acknowledge that they ARE, and begin to deal with them, they WILL become a bigger problem than they already are. It's all about honesty, transparency, and the willingness of the Equine Community to move forward.

  11. Anon - just me, "Since nobody else is taking a stand, I'm willing to share private conclusions.."
    A lot of people are taking a stand, I really can't believe you think your the only one. Read some of our blog entries. We do this to get people informed and interested in doing the right thing. As for the rest, I think RH2 covered it well so no need for me to repete.