“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."
~Jenqu~

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.
Sincerely,
Ranch Manager
manager_back_at_the_ranch@yahoo.com

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.
http://www.tufts.edu/vet/cfa/hoarding/rescue.htm

Monday, October 5, 2009

AQHA Breeder, Sanctuary Saint, Producer of Several Hundred Foals a Year, Rescue Operator Who Really Cares, etc……………

It would seem these titles are being used to describe several different people. They are not. It would seem to refer to the sides of the recent debate raging in the horse industry. It is not.
I was in the horse industry in 1988. It was the back end of the decade of a long blood bath of cheap horses, combined with a crappy economy, I referred to in the Market Opinion Piece which caused so much fervor.
I am trying to make several points today. The horse problems now are in no way a new thing. Ranchers, trainers, and breeders are not the only ones getting paid for producing too many horses, while other horses have a problem finding homes. This phenomenon didn’t just occur in the last 5 years. The animal rights community has been talking in crossed points for many years. Maybe we’ll turn up another idea or so on the way.
This is an article originally printed in the New York Times about the “other” Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota in 1988. I didn’t write it. I am only guilty of copy and paste.
Born free, then captured by lasso and caged in pens, some 150 wild horses have been released to gallop along the rocky ridges and steep canyons of the Black Hills, safe from the rope and the rifle.
This wild horse sanctuary, an 8,300-acre range at Hell's Canyon about 10 miles southwest of here, was dedicated today as the first such preserve sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management. The horses, some held in pens, for years, had been passed over in the Federal program for adopting horses, chiefly because they were too old to be tamed.
''This is essentially an old-age home for wild horses,'' said Donald H. Heinze, wild horse specialist for the Bureau. ''They can roam freely here and live out the rest of their lives.''
In a scene that could have been taken from a drawing in a history book, except for the absence of the Sioux Indian, the horses race along the rugged terrain of the high plains, rest in the shadow of Ponderosa pine, drink from the waters of the Cheyenne River, and feed on the grassy cover of the upland prairie, amid the deer, elk, sharp tail grouse and wild turkeys.
Boredom in Feed Lots: “'It wasn't fair to condemn these horses to a life of boredom in feed lots,'' said Dayton O. Hyde, who runs the entire range.
More than 300 South Dakotans turned out for today's opening ceremony, which featured appearances by Robert Burford, head of the Land Bureau, and Gov. George Mickelson.
The motley, mixed-breed horses, with shaggy manes and untrimmed tails, strike poses that are ruggedly beautiful. These horses will be later referred to as “having the longest and purest of bloodlines” on Cheyenne Canyon websites offering mustang foals for sale. But these wild horses, commonly called mustangs, have not been manicured in the style of a domestic horse. ''These wild horses - they'd rather die than let you groom them,'' said Mr. Hyde, a 62-year-old rancher who is an environmental writer.
Plan to Reduce Surplus: The sanctuary grew out of the Government's plan to reduce what it considers a surplus of wild horses on public land throughout the West. Cattle ranchers contend that wild horses are overgrazing these lands and depleting food for livestock. About 43,000 wild horses roam the West, a figure the Bureau wants to trim by about 12,000 through adoptions and resettlement in sanctuaries.
About 7,000 wild horses are now being held in a feed lot in Bloomfield, Neb., under conditions that animal rights groups have condemned as deplorable. It is some of these horses that the Bureau intends to release on private lands, like the former cattle ranch recently purchased by Mr. Hyde's nonprofit foundation, the Institute of Range and American Mustang. About 400 horses have also been released about 100 miles east of here, on a range called Mustang Meadow, part of the same sanctuary. Mr. Hyde's foundation receives $1 a day per animal from the bureau. Let’s do the math on that. Mr. Hyde is going to receive $1.00 a day for 550 horses for three years. $550.00 x 365 days a year x 3 years = $602,250.00. This breaks down to roughly $72.50 an acre or $24.10 an acre per year or $365.00 per year per animal unit, pretty handsome sum for custom year around care in 1988. He also retained possession of said livestock and their produce. In all other custom grazing/care/feeding arrangements title of the livestock and the income from the sale of their produce remains with original owner.
The population of wild horses grew rapidly after 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which forbids harming the animals. The law was the culmination of an anti-cruelty drive by Velma Johnston, a Nevada rancher called ''Wild Horse Annie,'' who was outraged by the capture of wild horses by ''Mustangers'' who sold them to slaughterhouses.
Roundups in Early 1970's: Since Government wranglers began rounding up the animals in the early 1970's, more than 80,000 stallions, mares and burros have been adopted and taken to homes throughout the country. The horses cost $125; the burros cost $75. In the near future the Cheyenne Canyon mustang foals will cost much more than that and will compete for the same market niche. To his credit, it seems Mr. Hyde has been much better at marketing than the BLM over the past 21 years.
Humane groups, who charge that the Bureau is unduly influenced by cattle interests, have long called for wild horse sanctuaries. But they have criticized the selection of the South Dakota sites, where they say vicious winter winds will kill scores of horses.
''The blizzards that kill livestock will also kill the horses,'' said Elizabeth Pelletier, executive director of the Wild Horse Alliance, based in northern California. See what I mean about the “crossed points” thing??? Even “back then” they couldn’t figure out which side of the fence to talk from.
Federal subsidies for the Black Hills sanctuary will end in three years, when Mr. Hyde's group takes responsibility for raising funds. The Foundation intends to raise the cash chiefly through tourism; visitors will pay a fee to be driven among the horses to take pictures. Mr. Hyde also plans to build a museum that would chronicle the history and importance of the horse to American and Indian cultures
''Look at that,'' marveled Mr. Hyde, pointing to a horse racing freely across the upland prairie, with the setting sun casting an amber glow across the sandstone ridge in the distance. ''That's what it looked like 300 years ago.''

A version of this article appeared in print on Thursday, October 6, 1988, on section a, page 18, of the New York edition.

He has funded and grown the sanctuary in various ways. I don’t begrudge anyone making a living or making a profit. The movie deals, the tourist dollars, the tax exempt donation, raising and selling APHA and AQHA foals or horses, are not a problem for me.
Here’s my problem with the whole program. Mr. Hyde and Susan Watts state in their promotional websites they obtained their first mustang stallion in 1994 and mention at least three different stallions producing foals for them. This year, 2009, is the last year you will be able to buy a piece of the American west in the form of a mustang foal due to the changing climate of the horse market. The site also has a page for “birth control” programs which I did not read. I didn’t care enough to read it. After hearing for 5 or 6 years about the stupid ******* breeders/ranchers pumping out foals when there is no market, reading about Mr. Hyde and Ms. Watts recently implementing birth control in their mustang herd just didn’t impress me. Unless I am mistaken, the BLM had an ongoing problem of no market for mustangs all during the time Mr. Hyde and Ms. Watts were raising them. (Or all during the 21 years spanning 1988 until 2009.) That’s what the research I read while doing the 41 Mustangs blog would have us believe. Like any other savvy horse business people, Cheyenne Canyon Quarter Horses and Paints/Wild Horse Sanctuary used the boom time of the 90’s to make money on the mustang foals in the same manner as the rest of us “greedy” folks. It would seem the “responsible” approach would have been to “market” the overpopulation of mustangs from the BLM ranges to fill this niche--not breed more.
Crossed points again????
One last time I have no problem with the program, except the continued breeding of the mustangs that needed a sanctuary in the first place. http://wildmustangs.com/horseshelpingkid.html

BY RH1

I happen to share RH's opinion on breeding mustangs or any animal that is in a rescue or is gathered and put into "sanctuaries" due to an over population of them in their natural habitat. I did a quick search on "mustang breeders" and it was mind boggling the number that popped up. Here are just a couple
http://www.pryorhorses.com/pmmba.htm
http://web.dmoz.aol.com/Sports/Equestrian/Breeds/Mustang/Breeders/
http://www.raresteeds.com/Breeds/spanish_mustang.htm

Something that really amazes me is the fact that they continue calling these animals "Mustangs" after generations of captivity! WTH? Mustang means wild horse and horses bred, born, and raised in domestic captivity are no longer wild horses.
RM