“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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EPONA-everything that's wrong with Rescue...

As 2009 is coming to an end, I am working to tie up some of the loose ends I have going on. One thing I have learned from my involvement with this blog is that there will be times when such a thing will not be possible. There is not going to be a happy ending, or an ending at all. That has been the case with EPONA. I have been working on a blog piece about EPONA for months now. Each time I think I'm done, something new turns up. For those who are not aware, EPONA is an Equine Rescue-or so they claim. I like to think of it as kind of an Equine Soap Opera. Or better yet, the Equine version of the movie "Groundhog Day", with Lin, the woman in charge in the role of Bill Murray. Each day repeats itself until Lin gets it right. But, Lin never seems to get it right, so it goes on and on and on. And there are very few laughs, so maybe we'd best stick to the Soap Opera angle. Lin does provide a heavy and steady dose of drama, that's for sure. There is so much to say about EPONA, and a limited amount of time and space, that I think the best course of action is to just highlight Lin's latest actions. Let's begin with this one-http://forums.prospero.com/alexbrown/messages?msg=43842.1 This is not only a favorite of mine, but obviously of quite a few other peoples', as it has been pointed out to me by more than one person. From what I've been told, this is not the first time EPONA has "changed directions". And what those who pointed it out really seem to enjoy about it (and I agree), is that Lin is very vague on just what those changes are going to be. Now, this is one characteristic of Lin that is an ongoing source of aggravation to anyone who has any interest in getting any sort of factual information from Lin about anything. It's not going to happen. Remember that old joke about Who's on first? That's how a question to Lin would go. If you ask Lin to clarify any of her vague statements, you'll just get more of the same. I am continually amazed that she in still in operation due to the lack of any concrete answers she has given about some of her actions in recent months. For example-Some of you will recall my articles on the Phoenix Rising incident, where there were starved horses left in the hands of a Rescue in Nebraska. Lin was involved in some of these Rescue transfers. In fact, she was the one Rescue who not only refused to remove the horses she placed there, but assured others that no horses were starving or dying. Anyone viewing pictures could see that there were in fact horses in starved condition. And unfortunately, some horses did die. Lin promised to make weekly visits to monitor the horses remaining at Phoenix rising, and in true Lin style, never followed through. She had lots of good excuses, but for starving horses, I don't think they were good enough. If this wasn't bad enough, it turned out that 1 of the horses she chose to leave at Phoenix was a horse paid for by our good friends on ABR. Lin claimed that he was in good condition, and when pictures were produced to prove that was not true, she said she would check on him again when she had time and decide if any further action was needed. By the way, the horse in question was a 2 year old stud left in with mares. Very responsible behavior on the part of both rescues. When the pressure was put on to actually visit the horse, suddenly, this horse was adopted! Lin is very quick to find homes for horses in question. I'm not saying she doesn't, but if I had paid for a horse, I think I'd want a little more than Lin's word that it had found a good home if I had found out it was in a neglectful or abusive situation. I have never seen any updates on Lin's site, but maybe it's an oversight. Her site doesn't get updated often, although she does spend large amounts of time on the internet. Which leads me to my next issue. Who can provide adequate care to the large number of horses EPONA houses while spending the amount of time on the internet that Lin does? I've seen a lot of photos, and it's very rare that they are photos of a well groomed horse. There doesn't seem to be a lot of training that occurs, and I'm not sure how much basic equine knowledge Lin possesses. During the Phoenix Rising incident, Lin posted that Little Wilbur, a Pony Mule cross she had come into possession of had passed away. There were those who had concerns about Lin having Little Wilbur because 2 other young ones had passed away in her care. One of the little ones was attacked by a dog. I'm not sure what happened to the other one. In Little Wilbur's case, the concern was over the fact that at less than 3 months old, he and his Dam were turned out daily with full sized horses, and it appeared that he was fed with them also. Anyone with any experience with mares and foals knows that housing them in this manner is not the safest thing to do. Lin has never really said exactly what caused Little Wilbur's death, and I doubt she ever will. But from what I had seen in the 3 months of his life, she was more interested in posting videos of him than in actually caring for him. Sure, it's cute to see a little long eared guy rushing around, and funny to pretend he's training to be a race mule. But in reality, he needed to be worked with on a daily basis, kept in a corral by himself with mama, and fed properly. Mama, too. Would that have changed his outcome? We'll never know. And I will freely admit that I found it very disturbing to see the post mortem "Little Wilbur" calendars being hawked to make a few bucks for EPONA. But that's just me. And I don't have a problem with Lin spending hours on videos and online chatting. Just don't take in large numbers of horses that have medical or training issues. Stick to one or two and then you can be online most of the day posting all the videos you want. Lin also used the passing of Little Wilbur to try to deflect some of the heat she was getting from the Phoenix Rising incident by posting that she had received a threatening phone call. She just didn't know what to do! Well, Lin-two choices. Mine would have been not to listen, and just hang up. But for those who crave the drama, that doesn't work. Number 2 would have been to have the call traced. But for someone who's actions involving horses that were in their care were being questioned, I suppose stirring up some sympathy would have been the smartest choice. And Lin is good at that! I was a little let down when I saw a picture of Lin. I really expected flowing robes and a crown of thorns. Lin is, after all, persecuted on a regular basis to hear her tell it. Any time her actions are questioned, she cries foul. It's someone who is just hateful, or a bully, or is jealous. And they would have reason to be. Lin has been very fortunate. How many Rescues have 130 acres donated to them? Or a truck and trailer? Lin has been blessed, yet she in continually begging for funds for everything. I often wonder if Lin pays for ANYTHING! Obviously, she isn't able to run her Rescue efficiently. With the land, and truck and trailer, there are many other Rescues that would not have to continually ask for money. They would have used the funds they had for those things to pay for their other needs. Unless they never had the money for those things in the first place. I could go on and on, but it wouldn't matter. The adventures of Saint Lin of EPONA can be read daily on the ABR forum. Her supporters will defend her, and if things get too dicey, Alex will step in and warn the offenders to back off, or shut things down-wonder what's up with that? The bottom line here is that we're not dealing with a Rescue, or a Sanctuary, or a Foster situation. It appears to be in every way a Hoarder. They seem to be the hardest ones to take down. Their support base, while small, is loyal to a fault. And it should come as no surprise that Lin's number one fan appears to be none other than "Cup-O-Soup" Jim Gath. Any time Lin is caught in a lie, or a vague statement, Jim is quick to jump to her defense, assuring her that "she rocks". Really, Jim? What rocks about providing substandard care for the horses you take in? About continually taking in more horses even while begging for funds for the ones you already have? About making statements that no one can even make heads nor tails of, and then becoming upset when you're asked to explain them? And what, exactly rocks about turning your back on horses you committed to caring for when you KNOW they are in a bad situation? Any answers? We know Lin doesn't have them. She's too busy changing directions. If only the direction was completely out of Equine Rescue. Well-one can always hope. It's hard to move on from this one, but I know it's one of those things that will not change until people understand that people like Lin and her "Rescue" operation are not the solution, they are very much the problem. We here at the "Ranch" will continue to work hard to open as many eyes as we can. The issue is not as simple as Slaughter versus Anti Slaughter. As long as the Lins and Jims can get folks to buy into that mindset, they can continue to hoard. That's an issue I hope we can address more and bring to light in 2101. The suffering of the horses in their hands is not something many would like to discuss-but we WILL do that here.
By RH2


  1. One of my favorites about Lin and Epona is pretty recent. A mare had to have her eye removed due to cancer and extra money was spent to put in a prosthesis so the sewed together eyelid would not sink in in the future. It is purely a cosmetic procedure! OH by the way....the mare had to be euthanized shortly after, supposedly the cancer was more progressed than anyone knew....WTF. A real waste of precious resources. Now that mare left behind a 3 month old foal....well, we all know Lin's track record with the baby's.... poor, poor thing!

  2. Yes, I read about that. As I said, with Lin, there are just so many issues, I would never have finished this had I tried to address them all. One of the most mind boggling to me-other than the whole Phoenix Rising incident was the colt she took in with the lip almost torn off. She was fund raising before she even got him on her property. It looked like he was going to need ongoing care. Another Rescue offered to take him in and cover all costs, as well as get him to a vet immediately for evcaluation. Lin and her loyal following perceived this to be a "tactic" and refused the offer. A tactic to do what? What would the Rescue have to gain by offering to house and care for this colt? Lin never explained, just started making her usual vague remarks. When other began to question her, Alex stepped in, as he often does, and warned of banning, and slapped a few hands of those who were obviously getting a little out of line with their comments. I often wonder what the Alex Lin connection is. Other Rescues on ABR can get torn to shreds with no intervention, but very few threads involving Lin go very far without warnings from Alex. Anyhow, Lin kept the colt, and no one has ever been able to figure out if she actually got the funding for the first surgery or not. But it was done, and in her infinite wisdom, she put a "stall buddy" in with him. Her lack of knowledge astounds me! He also had on a filthy halter until someone sent him a new one. You would think she would at least know he needed a new, clean halter. One of the people on ABR questioned her on having another horse in the same stall with him, so she did remove him. Now the little guy is in need of a second surgery, and guess what? Lin is fundraising for that one! Nevermind that he could have gone somewhere and gotten proper care, housing, and the vet would have been paid without the need of having funds raised. Lin needed to have things her way. I wonder what the outcome for this colt will be? As I said, this is just one of a long line of incidents. It's near impossible to keep up, as something new seems to occur every day. I can't wait to see where this new direction takes these poor horses.

  3. If her "new direction" means fewer horses at epona I'm all for it. She says she'll be working with authorities .... I suppose she will take in seized horses and get a stipend from the county. Maybe she's actually trying to become a real rescue?!
    By the way did you know the EPONA is the - Celtic (gallo-roman) Horsegoddess. According to wkipedia it is also known as the godess of fertility......
    Me thinks Lin is just way to self important.

  4. I don't know what direction Lin is going in. If she's working with the authorities, I would HOPE she would have guidelines she has to follow, but it being Nebraska, who knows? I hope I'm wrong but from what has happened there, it doesn't appear that a horse has much luck if it lands in that state. Just look at the Rescues operating there, and the lack of action the authorities take. Sadly, Lin may just fit right in. I hope she does something to better her operation, but as others have pointed out, it doesn't seem to happen. she's famous for quietly taking in horses while proclaiming to reduce her numbers, so many feel this is just a ploy to get donations in, and she did. I'll be keeping an eye on Lin and Jim to see how hoarding as Rescue continues to affect the horses that are unfortunate enough to fall into their care. And we can only hope more eyes can be opened to the negative impact places like these have on the legitimate Rescues that are doing good jobs.

  5. Lin is working on improving and caring for the horses at Epona, Have either of you 2 ever been there or is this more ignorant internet sh*T designed to harass decent people?

  6. Anonymous-I hope you are correct. I don't think this is harrassment. Nothing I've written is false. Lin is unable to deal with Rescue without attention and drama. She is at the very least partially responsible for the horss being left at Phoenix Rising, and fully responsible for leaving the ones she placed there. She left a horse paid for by the FOB's there, and claimed it was adopted when questions were raised after pictures were produced of the horse in poor condition. Lin had claimed the horse was in good shape. Lin also claimed that the horses at Phoenix Rising were not in danger of starving or dying, when in fact, both things were occurring. she said she would monitor the situation, yet never did. I would like to see Lin do the right thing, in fact, I am going to be keeping a very close eye on Lin's "new direction". Heck, I'd like to see Lin just answer a question simply and completely. While I fear it will be the same old same old I have seen in the past, maybe you're right. Maybe Lin has finally learned it's not about her, and her drama, but about the horses she takes in. Maybe she will lower her numbers, ans stop taking more in. Maybe she'll provide training for the ones she does have. Maybe she'll educate herself on basic equine care. Maybe she'll spend less time on line, and more time on hand to do the work that the number of horses she now has demands. I sincerely hope you are right about her. I for one, would love to be wrong.