“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, November 2, 2009

Saving the Horses.......

Rescue should be a safe haven, right? Those who choose to take in horses should be prepared to do a lot of hard work, and spend a lot of money. They should be willing to put in long hours, make tough decisions, and put animals before themselves. They should have an open door policy, and be willing to answer any questions from those who are considering donating to them. In short, simplistic terms, these are the basics of a good Rescue. It doesn't seem to be so difficult, does it? So why is it that there are more and more of the ones that can't seem to get it right? And why are they successful at getting not only the money, but the support and seemingly undying defense of those who donate to them? In the past few months, as I've followed the story of a Rescue that has allowed horses to starve, I have also become aware of others who seem to flourish although it is obvious that they exist for their own purposes rather than for the good of the horses they take in. For example- I have been reading about one Rescue in particular who doesn't appear to have any idea about what it takes to even provide the basics in Equine care. Horses regularly go without grooming or hoof trims. The number of horses housed in this place is well over the amount that can be cared for on a daily basis. There is no segregation. Mamas and babies are turned out with large horses. While basic feeding needs are met, it does not appear that much more is done. This particular Rescue does not seem to be able to say "No" to a new horse, despite the fact that very few it currently houses are worked with or adopted out. While it claims to be "all about the horses", the horses don't seem to be much of a priority. This particular Rescue was so "about the horses" that it transferred some of them into a Rescue that has allowed some to starve to death. Those horses were never removed. The reason given was lack of room, yet this Rescue recently took in a new horse from somewhere else. Out of sight out of mind? Where is the responsibility? This Rescue continually asks for donations for just about anything, but when asked questions, becomes very confrontational, or simply refuses to answer them. If pressed, she will often present a dramatic situation that will bring her supporters running to her defense. For example-she is involved in the abuse story I wrote about earlier. For those interested, NOTHING has happened. No charges pressed, no horses removed. This woman in particular has been instrumental, in my opinion for the situation. She placed herself in the middle of the situation, and manipulated it in order to gain attention, and try to deflect the blame from herself for her part in the situation. Any time she was asked questions that she did not wish to answer, she either refused, or accused the person asking of creating drama. When she finally could not deflect the questions any longer-voila!!!!! she was the recipient of a threatening phone call!!!!! She did not know what to do!!!!! Of course, her supporters came running, and precious time when horses were starving was wasted in trying to decide whatever should be done to help her! Had I not read all of this myself, I would not have believed it, but it is all in print, and it is all true. I'll give her this, though. She knows how to get to those who continue to send her the cash. And I guess that's the key. You've got to know how to spin the tale, and reel 'em in. If you can personalize the story enough to get these people to feel they're part of it, they'll continue to shovel over the cash, and back you up no matter what you do. Emotion is key to being able to continue to operate a Hoarding Situation under the guise of a Rescue. I believe that is what we're seeing in this case, as well as others like it. The basic elements are always the same. No one can care for the horses as well as they can. There is almost a never ending need for some sort of attention. It can be in the form of drama, daily tragedies, or simply the need to have in your possession a horse that people are concerned about, or interested in, but it will be there. You'll see horses coming in, but you won't see them leave. The horses truly aren't the main concern, it's the emotional feedback the person doing the "saving" gets when they get them. They generally don't have much interest in getting them trained or ready for homes. Someone stated once that these hoarding situations are like a "Hotel California" for the horses. Sadly, that is often true. They tend to humanize the horses to the point that they often report conversations they have, and those who contribute to them just get sucked in all the more to the imagined relationship. It's genius, really. And if it was truly beneficial to the horses involved, I'd be all for it. But in comparing these few places I've run across to the ones that really work, I find that they really aren't "all about the horses"-they're sadly, more about the hoarders. And there's a serious downside. In some cases, horses that deserve to go to good homes where they would be used end up as early retirees simply to meet the emotional needs of those who have "saved" them. In the case I had written about earlier, this woman is at the very least partially responsible for the pain and suffering for horses that to this day remain at a Rescue she continues to support! Why do these people involve themselves in this? If it is, indeed "all about the horses", why are those horses still there, and why did this woman leave the ones she took there in the hands of someone who was not caring for them? Why is she even now, refusing to answer questions? or even post the contract that placed her horses there? Why the cover up? Why the secrecy? And what in the hell is wrong with those who continue to support her?
By RH2


  1. RH 2 you have mail. I went to the link and read about 40 posts of dumb ass. This is feeding horses not rocket science. It is caring for horses using other peoples money which should be the easiest way for those smart enough to pour water out of a boot.

  2. RH1 apparently some can't even poor water out of a boot!
    This will annoy you even more. It's about 5 re rescues taken from phoenix rising rescue. I think pretty soon they may be able to be called re re rescues :(
    rh2's question "what could be worse than slaughter" really springs to mind! I can not believe there is not one person on that forum that could or would be able to advise on proper feeding on a budget, but so far no one has stepped up.

  3. Ranch Manager-You need to understand the make up of ABR. Many of those who contribute on a daily basis do not own horses themselves. They have no real understanding of the basics of care. I'm not saying this to be cruel or mean, but when cases such as this present themselves, it's difficult for many of them to be able to even assess the situation, much less provide advice. The people who pulled the horses out of Phoenix Rising were not sure what they were taking on. These five are not the worst cases, and appear to have just been denied food. You know, even typing that seems so wrong, but there is no other way to put it. Those involved in the saving have a difficult time processing what has happened here. After all, this person was one of their own, and this is the alternative that is supposed to work.
    Your point is an excellent one. Shouldn't there be a model plan for ALL Rescues to follow in cases like this? Why isn't there? If there is, where is it? There is a vet involved, what is their role in this, if any? This case has brought up so many questions. Will it provide any answers? Speaking of answers-if you read through the original thread far enough, you will find that Alex Brown himself does not seem to favor them. He threatens to close the thread if people dwell on why this happened! Is this REALLY the attitude one so opposed to Slaughter should hold when something like this occurs? Shouldn't answers not only be sought but DEMANDED if Rescue is going to be held up as the better alternative? Apparently not. In fact, if you read the thread through, you will find one poster in particular who appears to be protected by ABR no matter how complicit she is in this whole mess. And if you read the whole thread, she is at least complicit.

  4. There are guidelines for rescues to follow. They were written by AAEP. They can found at http://www.aaep.org/pdfs/rescue_retirement_guidelines.pdf

    I am surprised those talking horses haven't dictated a grocery list.

    Have I mentioned how much stupid irritates me?

    There is no excuse for this.

  5. thanks you saved me from going after that link for the rescue guidelines. Unfortunately the aaep is evil in the eyes of these anti slaughter rescuers :( Hell I think one could go to just about any farm/feed/ or even PET store and pick up a book on general basic health and nutrition of the horse.
    Stupid irritates the crap out of me too!

  6. RH2....I read the thread. All I can say is that King Alex and his minions make me sick and angry 99% of the time. All I can say is thank god he doesn't have a bigger following.

  7. I know. That is the frustration. I understand the good intentions at work. And we all can see that the horses pay the price. Should those of us who are Pro horse step in and try to advise, we all know what will happen here. This case is so frustrating and sad on every single level. It is a mass failure, and I truly do not know what outcome can be expected. I wish I could walk away and forget it, I can't seem to. There is a lesson here, and I just wish those who have these good intentions could see it. I know they won't.

  8. Alex Brown is considering closing down his site. Look for thread entitled, 'ABR Future'. He asserts he'll make his decision by November 25th.

    For opposition to bad rescues , try
    Most are anti-slaughter. There's also a sprinkling of pros, so sometimes the material makes sense.

    Sometimes, it's difficult for me to understand who and what they are talking about [sometimes the chitchat is exhausting in its chase for the trivial and barely relevant] because I don't have the 'decoder' ring...that is, code words are used to descibe this or that rescue and/or person. If you wish to become a member, please be aware it took me 2 different approval processes in order to gain access to the inner sanctum.

    Just experienced a wild thought=== if good ole Alex closes down his forum, both ICERS and this blog will lose it's reason for being.

    Just me.

  9. The horses are still in the same boat. It is really about the horses and the horse industry, not Alex Brown.

    That is an interesting concept. If the forum is closed, the horses won't be noticed, the b.s. won't be public and therefore it will go away.

  10. IMHO Alex is just looking for a bunch of "oh no don't shut it down! We love you Alex you are so wonderfull and just a saint for doing all you dooooo ....pleeeeeese" lol.

    However, like RH1 said none of those sites are our reason for being. The horses are, The Horseman and livestock owners are.

  11. Anonymous, while people like Alex may be the topic of some of the blogs, he's not the reason for it. If you take the time to read some of the older pieces, this blog is about issues affecting those of us who are Pro horse. It's an unfortunate fact that as of late we are often discussing Slaughter, and recently poorly run Rescues. Alex Brown and some of the people on Abr are a part of the problem, but just a small part. But you are correct about one thing. If people like some of those on ABR who know little or nothing about horses were not running Rescues or "bailing" horses and sending them to homes of those who know little or nothing about their care, we probably would not have quite as much to discuss. I believe the number of ABR saves is in the thousands. The abuse, neglect, lost, and Re-rescue numbers are climbing right along, too. It's kind of sad that Alex misses such an opportunity to educate and inform by censoring his forum, and banning those who don't agree with him. But his fans don't seem to mind the narrow views presented and upheld. I've read on ICERS before, and haven't found it that difficult to figure out. I don't have any desire to get into the "inner sanctum", but then, I've never had much use for the "ole boys club" either. I will say that I have read some of the funniest satire ever on ICERS. And I do agree with a lot of what they say about the Rescues they talk about. Right now they're discussing EPONA. I couldn't agree more. This woman gets 130 acres, a trailer, hay, and God knows what else donated to her. She spends a ridiculous amount of time on line, and continues to take in horses even when she is not providing the basic daily care to the ones she has. She left horses at Phoenix Rising because she was full, yet picked up a new horse. Should Alex Brown protect her and delete posts when forum members question her actions? I don't think so. And I wouldn't look for good ole Alex to close that forum down-he loves the attention and all those ladies just faling over every word he says. Besides-he's written a book, and has in his words a "captive audience of 5,000" who will buy it. Why? Well, because he's Alex Brown and they're forum members.