“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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This Can’t Be Right?????

I found John Holland’s riding instructor????

It’s time for some lighter humor on Saturday. We have gotten way too serious about this. I will readily admit I know nothing about showing park horses or saddle equitation. I do know what two point position is. I am pretty sure this is not a picture of either one. Anyone more versed in flat seat horsemanship please explain how any element of this picture is correct. Until then I will continue to laugh and point.


Or this trainer application and reference form provided by the Mustang Heritage Foundation for the Trainer Incentive Program…..
I have a couple of questions…….Why does the mustang care about the applicant’s marital status?
Would any trainer in their right mind send a reference from a person who DIDN’T think they were capable?
………………………………………………………………………
TRAINER APPLICATION
Name: ____________________________
Address: __________________________
City/State/Zip:______________________
Daytime Phone: _____________________

Cell:__________________________
Email Address: ____________________
Social Security#: ________________________
Age:________ Trainers must be 18 years of age or older to enter the contest.
Circle One: Male Female
Marital Status: Married Single
Questionnaire: All questions must be completed.
Please feel free to use the reverse side and/or additional pages if necessary.
1. How many years have you trained horses? ________
2. Are you a professional or have you received compensation for training? ___
3. Have you trained a wild horse or Mustang received directly from an adoption (not a Mustang that had previous gentling or training)? ______
4. If you compete in equine events, which disciplines/breeds do you compete in?
5. Describe and/or include a photo of the horse or stock trailer you will use to pick up the Mustang. Please be reminded it must meet BLM requirements.
6. Describe (draw layout with dimensions) and/or include photos of the facility
where the Mustang will be kept in. Please use the back of the application or
additional pages. Please be reminded it must meet BLM requirements.
Please submit a short trainer bio and photo (preferably digital) with application for promotional purposes.
By signing below I am stating that I am aware and in agreement that participation in this event is by invitation only; therefore, the Board of Trustees has the unqualified right to determine eligibility and can, at any time, remove a contestant from a Mustang Heritage Foundation program and competition for any or no reason at all. I am also stating that all questions above have beenanswered honestly by the trainer applying for this competition.
Applicant Signature: _______________________Date: __________
Mustang Trainer Incentive Program
TRAINER REFERENCE FORM
Two Reference Forms must be submitted with each application.
If the individual providing the reference would like for the information to remain
confidential, please feel free to mail this form directly to the Mustang Heritage
Foundation, P.O. Box 703, Bertram, Texas, 78605.
Fax: (254) 947-5504
Name of Applicant: _______________________________
Name of Reference: _______________________________
Ref. Home Phone: _______________ Ref. Alternate Phone: ________
Ref. Email Address: ______________________
1. How long have you known this trainer?
2. How often do you see this trainer ride or work horses?
3. Do you feel that their facilities are suitable for working with a wild horse?
4. Do you have any concerns about the horses in the care of this trainer?
5. Would you recommend this trainer to people with unbroken or difficult horses?
Personal Comments: (Regarding skill, work ethic, values, etc.)
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
I think this should be a come as you are affair. Let’s let all the interested parties show up with their everyday horse hauling rigs. That should streamline the paperwork, separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak, and lighten the staff required to administer this program. I think it would be pretty easy to decide if a “trainer” has the ability to handle a wild mustang by looking over the rig they intend to transport them in. This is a pretty good indicator in “real” life too.

Last but not least…..
Happy Kids and Happy Horses……..

I spend a lot of time being serious here. I spend a lot of time pointing out things I don’t think make sense. I and many other blog writers spend a lot of time trying to shame people into conforming to our standards, trying to make our viewpoint the one. In short I spend a lot of time “bitching”. Bitching seems to be quite in style these days….Fugly, Alpha Mare, Rush Limbaugh, and most stand up comics have elevated it to an art form. I guess it should make me feel better to know I am in good company but it still gets repetitive and tiring.
I believe we all have good intentions. We all want happy kids, happy horses, and happy lives. I hope so anyway. Maybe the best way to achieve this is one kid and one horse at a time. Those of us who have been in this horse thing forever have lots of one horse, one kid memories. We have stories of horses as a friend of mine puts it “we would ride through hell swinging a dry rope”. We have stories of horses that tested us to the other limit too. The long days, the good days, the bad days, and the average days, mental Kodak moments we believe are threatened or belittled every time we are accused of being heartless. This is one of mine. It’s not a perfect picture, but I know the girl, the mare, and the “boy” who snapped it.

















One granddaughter, one grey mare, and one day in August when all was right with the world.
BY RH1


Friday, October 30, 2009

An Article that gave me a lot of incite to the truth of the matter.

I came accross this article when I was reading on an anti slaughter forum at the same time I was researching Karen Sussman and her "mustang sancuary".
You can go to this site to read this article in it's original entirety, leave comments, read comments,and read author comments.
http://audubonmagazine.org/incite/incite0609.html

Incite
Horse Sense
To Americans, the image of mustangs pounding across the range is a potent symbol of the Wild West. But it’s a myth that harms wildlife and wreaks ecological havoc.
By Ted Williams

We know about them from magazines and coffee-table books: “wild horses”—a.k.a. “mustangs”—cultural icons, symbols of freedom and the American pioneering spirit. Usually they stand on their hind legs, pawing the gaudy sky, eyes flashing, nostrils flared and venting steam. Or they gallop across purple sage, long tails and manes streaming in the desert wind. Always they are in fine flesh. In the pictures.

I love horses. I grew up with them, trained them, competed in horse shows, rode to hounds in Old Chatham, New York. All my early girlfriends who hung around our barn whether I was there or not could accurately draw horses, mostly “wild” ones. Mobilized by “Wild Horse Annie”—a Nevada ranch wife named Velma Johnston—they and other grade-schoolers across America wrote impassioned letters to senators and congressmen, demanding that “wild horses” be preserved other than in dog food cans. The upshot was the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which placed all unrestrained, unclaimed equids (horses and burros) under government care and made it a felony to kill, capture, sell, or even annoy one.

Under this law the departments of Agriculture and Interior must manage free-roaming equids in such fashion as “to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands.” That mission is impossible for two reasons. First, the feds don’t begin to have the capacity for nonlethal feral-equid management. Second, horses or burros cannot exist anywhere in North America in “natural ecological balance.” They are aliens. The argument that equids are “native” to this continent because their progenitors were present during the Pleistocene —a mantra from the wild-horse lobby—makes as much sense as claiming that elephants are native because woolly mammoths were here during the same period.

Roughly 10,000 years after the extinction of North American horses, Spanish explorers introduced a larger domesticated species. But the continent’s plant communities, having coevolved with ungulates that had cloven hooves and lacked upper teeth, were ill-equipped to handle solid hooves and meshing incisors. Result: ecological havoc.

Another mantra from the wild-horse lobby is that the “mustangs” extant in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming are closely related to animals unleashed by the conquistadores. They are not; they are mongrels—a genetic morass of breeds issuing mostly from recently escaped or discarded livestock.

“Revisionist history promoted by horse lovers to give mustangs historic status,” is how Tice Supplee, director of bird conservation for Audubon Arizona, defines the Spanish-bloodline pitch. The definition preferred by Erick Campbell—a biologist who retired from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2005 and who frequently dealt with feral-horse issues during his 30-year career—is: “pure, unadulterated BS.” Campbell told me this: “We managed everything from workhorses to Shetland ponies. Your daughter’s horse gets old or she stops liking it. So you turn it loose. Prior to World War II ranchers were basically managing these herds for sale to the Army. And to keep the quality up the Army would give the ranchers studs to release.”

Since the BLM is the primary caregiver for feral equids, I asked Campbell how they affect native ecosystems. He conceded that cows do more damage because there are lots more of them, but he pointed out that cattle provide food and livelihoods. Feral equids are just out there perpetuating a myth, and when it comes to habitat destruction, what they lack in numbers they make up for in efficiency. “They’re worse than cows,” he says. “They do incredible damage. When the grass between the shrubs is gone a cow is out of luck, but a horse or burro will stomp that plant to death to get that one last blade. When cows run out of forage the cowboys move them or take them home, but horses and burros are out there all year. They’re not fenced; they can go anywhere. BLM exacerbates the problem by hauling water to them. Instead of just letting them die, we keep them going. There are even horses in Las Vegas, which is obscene. In the desert! The horse groups have tremendous power with Congress. They only care about horses; they couldn’t give a damn about all the wildlife that’s adversely affected.”

The BLM rounds up feral equids—on its own land only and often by helicopter—then puts them up for public adoption. The system is hideously expensive. “No way is the BLM equipped to manage horses and burros,” says Campbell. “It doesn’t get the money.” Still, the agency spends about $40 million a year tending feral equids. And this figure doesn’t include the millions spent by the states and the U.S. Forest Service, Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service in vain efforts to keep them from destroying fish and wildlife habitat. For example, the half-million-acre Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada—fragile high desert—has removed about 1,150 horses since 2004, and it still has 1,000 left. The refuge provides important habitat for a host of troubled species, including sage grouse, pronghorns, and bighorn sheep. “The horses are turning our riparian areas and springs into mud holes,” says refuge manager Brian Day. “We have Lahontan cutthroats, a federally threatened species, and the horses silt up the creeks and cover up the spawning gravel. They eat the meadows down to dirt. There are a lot of sensible people who like these horses. And then there are the other types who don’t let the truth stand in their way.”

As you remove feral equids, those that remain are less stressed and breed faster, increasing the population by as much as 30 percent annually. Natural equid predators—saber-toothed tigers, cave bears, and dire wolves—are extinct, and any unnatural predator has to be pretty desperate to risk getting bludgeoned by the hooves of a feral equid. (“Probably as many mountain lions have been killed by horses as horses by lions,” says Campbell.) Although we can find $40 million annually to keep an alien on perpetual welfare, we invest only $74,472 a year trying to keep the average threatened or endangered species from going extinct. Such are the priorities of the American public.

Strapped though they are for adequate funding, BLM equid managers squander what they get. “It’s frustrating to see them spend money in areas that can’t maintain viable horse populations,” says Nevada Department of Wildlife habitat bureau chief Dave Pulliam. “We see places where BLM has established a management goal of 15 or 20 horses when their own science indicates that 100 is the threshold for [genetic] viability. So when money is the issue why are they wasting it? Why aren’t they zeroing out these herds? Sensitive desert species like bighorns, desert tortoises, and Gila monsters can’t tolerate horses. And horses will stand over a spring and run off other animals.” Even as feral horses proliferate in areas where they can’t make a decent living, they evict native species that would otherwise thrive. As one of dozens of examples, Pulliam offers the East High Rock Canyon Wilderness, where his agency wants to rehabilitate about 30 seeps and springs once associated with lush meadows. “In desert country, seeps and springs are the most important habitats for a whole myriad of species—sagebrush obligate birds, mule deer, bighorns, pronghorns, everything,” he says. “And they are absolutely beat to mud holes. Riparian habitat has disappeared. Water tables have dropped. Horse use is excessive to the point of rendering this habitat unavailable to wildlife. Our wildlife constituents don’t get as vociferous as the horse lovers.”

The BLM, which has a reputation for underestimating equid populations and has no reliable way of figuring them anyway, claims that just on its own land there are about 32,000 animals, mostly horses. An additional 26,000 are being maintained in holding facilities, awaiting adoption. At auctions held around the country the BLM adopts out about 6,000 feral equids a year. But it admits that that’s not enough to keep the feral population in check, and there’s a limit to how many feral equids the public wants. Generally, you pay a $125 “adoption fee,” and after you get a vet to sign a statement that you’ve provided humane care for one year, you get a certificate of title and can do anything you want with your horse or burro, including selling it to a slaughterhouse.

Feral horses are big and dangerous. Arizona Audubon’s Tice Supplee has a friend who showed up looking like he’d been in a bar fight after his adopted mustang had knocked him around and eventually skewered itself on a fence stake. Now it’s in his freezer. In addition to knowledgeable horse people, the program attracts weird-pet fanciers—the ocelot-coatimundi crowd. Burros, often adopted as companions for horses, are less dangerous but more obnoxious. “What kind of a nut would want one?” Arizona State University zoologist Robert Ohmart asked me in 1985 when I reported on burros for Audubon. It was a question I relayed to my mother, who kept one in a failed effort to calm her semi-feral horses. It brayed from dusk to dawn and had the least efficient digestive tract of any creature I’ve known. People get tired of adopted burros fast. Twenty-one years ago the BLM was telling me it had pretty much “saturated the market.”

The refuge provides important habitat for a host of troubled species, including sage grouse, pronghorns, and bighorn sheep. “The horses are turning our riparian areas and springs into mud holes,” says refuge manager Brian Day.

The BLM is between a rock and the equine lobby. Two basic elements comprise this lobby—one somewhat practical, somewhat rational, and genuinely and rightly concerned about humane treatment of feral equids. In its more thoughtful moments the Humane Society of the United States might fit this description. While it doesn’t worry about native ecosystems, it at least understands that population expansion leads to major suffering, and it is assisting the BLM in experiments with chemical contraception. “Where population reductions are well justified, nonlethal strategies like contraception should take the place of costly roundups,” wrote HSUS president Wayne Pacelle in a letter to The New York Times. But until contraception is practical over large areas of the West, if it ever is, the HSUS favors roundups and adoptions over culling by rifle.

The other element, a political juggernaut referred to by wildlifers as the “horse mafia,” advocates more animals on public range; vehemently opposes birth control, roundups, and adoptions; and wants no feral equid to die from anything, anywhere, no matter what. In 2005, for example, the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition and the Cloud Foundation (named after a feral horse named Cloud) failed in an administrative appeal to stop the BLM from experimenting with chemical contraception in Montana’s Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. “BLM has used this herd as a science experiment, and it’s a shame in a wilderness setting,” declares Cloud Foundation director Ginger Kathrens. “It’s a situation that can be managed by nature, but they don’t value natural systems.” When I asked her how a system with feral equids in it could be “natural,” she said: “Wild horses are native to North America.”

In the late 1990s National Park Service biologist Erik Beever, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Nevada at Reno, ran afoul of the horse mafia by discovering facts not to its liking. In the most comprehensive investigation ever undertaken of what feral horses do to wildlife habitat, Beever examined soils, rodents, reptiles, ants, and plants across nine mountain ranges at 19 study sites, documenting dramatic horse damage. For this the horse mafia viciously attacked him in the press, accusing him of whoring for the cattle industry, which doesn’t like grazing competition from feral livestock. “It got pretty nasty,” Beever recalls. His work provided the BLM with the means, if not the motivation, for determining how many horses should be removed from an area for their own good.

Finally, consider the injunction preventing the Forest Service from rounding up and adopting out as many as 400 horses in northern Arizona. They’re domestic animals that escaped from the White Mountain Apache reservation in 2002 when a forest fire destroyed a fence, but the plaintiffs—In Defense of Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Wild Burros—convinced a federal judge that they might be part Spanish. So before the Forest Service can remove them it must run DNA tests on each animal to make sure there are no ancient genes, an impossible task even if it had the funds. “We reseeded the fire area, and the horses are just hammering it,” says Robert Dyson, public affairs officer for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. “They’re displacing wildlife. Channel 12 TV out of Phoenix reported that we planned to kill ‘wild horses,’ and our phones rang off the hook. We got letters from third graders all across Phoenix. We had carefully explained to Channel 12 that we’d be capturing the horses alive.”

“The injunction was all over the equine rags this spring,” says Supplee. “ ‘We won! We won!’ These horses are in the heart of our elk country, and uncontrolled elk can hurt riparian systems, too. Here the Forest Service is telling Game and Fish to reduce their elk [through increased hunting], and meanwhile, they have 400 horses running around. The Forest Service really got outmaneuvered on this one.”

Now and then, however, environmentalists outmaneuver the horse mafia. One of the first Important Bird Areas to be recognized in Nevada and possibly the best cottonwood gallery riparian forest left in the West is the Carson River delta—vital to all manner of birds, including western yellow-billed cuckoos and two subspecies of willow flycatcher. “The BLM had a management goal of 18 horses but let the population grow to 200 to 300,” reports Don McIvor, Audubon’s Nevada director of bird conservation. “They were hanging out in the riparian area, removing the understory, trampling willows, causing major habitat damage.” The BLM wasn’t doing anything about it, so McIvor and his colleagues complained to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, which prevailed on the BLM to remove all but 15 of the horses. The horse mafia never found out that Audubon was the driving force behind the roundup, so its full fury was directed at the state and feds.

“When the grass between the shrubs is gone a cow is out of luck, but a horse or burro will stomp that plant to death to get that one last blade. When cows run out of forage the cowboys move them or take them home, but horses and burros are out there all year.”


With some sort of population control, horses and burros might make a decent living on grasslands—where their Pleistocene progenitors evolved—but those grasslands are leased or owned by cattle ranchers. So feral equids are restricted to arid and desert regions, where they suffer terribly. Supposedly they’re managed as wildlife, but when there’s a drought or food shortage the BLM tends as many as it can in the field or in holding facilities. Most animals, though, get left on depleted range, and the BLM can’t go onto the land of other agencies. So all across the West horses and burros slowly starve. In a January 4, 2005, op-ed for The New York Times entitled “Live Free and Die,” journalist and writing instructor Judy Blunt described a typical scene: “A cloud hangs over the Nevada landscape, caused by 500 half-starved horses pounding the high desert to powder, looking for food, stamping any remaining waterholes into dust. The foals are long dead, left behind as they weakened. Cowboys under contract with the BLM set out to gather the horses and move them, but a phone call redirects them to a worse situation in another area.”

Native animals are also capable of intense suffering. All manner of wildlife depend on desert trees such as paloverde, mesquite, and ocotillo. Small mammals are nourished by their seeds; birds nest in their branches; reptiles find sanctuary in their shade; desert bighorn sheep browse on their tender tips. Horses and burros girdle them with their meshing incisors, then stomp them into the dirt with their solid hooves. Supplee used to conduct Christmas bird counts in what she calls “lush and canopied dry riparian washes with huge mesquite and paloverde trees.” Feral horses moved in and trashed the habitat. “They broke off branches, stripped the bark, and killed the trees,” she says.

Burros are even harder on native ecosystems because they can live in higher, drier areas. Supplee referred me to Art Fuller, a biologist who retired from the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2001. “I fought the battle for years,” he says. “Burros were wreaking havoc in the Black Mountains. My position was that there shouldn’t be any burros in these desert mountain ranges, but a few would be okay if the BLM would do inventory every year and remove the excess. They used to; then they stopped. They said it was too dangerous for them to fly the aerial surveys. So we and the Park Service flew them, and even then the BLM sometimes would say they didn’t have the funding to remove those burros. It was very frustrating. Burros are hurting big game, small game, passerine birds, nongame mammals, everything. We have a crisis with desert bighorn sheep.”

In the 1980s, after the spectacular failure of the Fund for Animals’ helicopter transfer of feral burros from the Grand Canyon to happy homes, the Park Service started shooting burros, accounting for 500 by the early 1990s. Such was the public uproar that the agency is again allowing burros to proliferate. Elaine Leslie, a biologist at Grand Canyon National Park until 2004 and now assistant superintendent at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona, tells me this: “You can find burros or burro evidence in the vast majority of Grand Canyon springs or seeps. They spread exotic grasses, contaminate water, trample wetland species, remove vegetation, and eliminate small mammals, birds, and amphibians. I have seen the only water source for 20 miles get so polluted backpackers couldn’t filter it. It was once rich with wetland vegetation, an oasis for birds and frogs; now it’s devoid of vegetation. We’re spending all this money—as per President Clinton’s standing executive order—trying to control exotic invasive species, and we’re not doing anything about feral horse and burro populations. Do people really look at what happens to these animals a year after they’re adopted? They’re in a can of dog food.”

“The horse groups have tremendous power with Congress. They only care about horses; they couldn’t give a damn about all the wildlife that’s adversely affected.”


So what’s to be done? Congress hasn’t a clue, but in December 2004 it did make its first feeble attempt to address the problem by passing a law that allows the BLM to sell a feral equid that is more than 10 years old or—for whatever reason, physical or behavioral—has been rejected for adoption three times. The Cascadia Wildlands Project warned that the legislation was really a scheme to remove horses “from their native habitat,” the better to slaughter “thousands.” And Wild Horse Preservation identified the program as a plot by the cattle industry to “funnel wild horses to slaughter.” The following spring, when 41 feral horses found their way to a slaughterhouse, the agency shut down the new program until it had hatched a tough sales agreement that requires buyers to swear in writing they won’t sell their animals for meat—this despite the fact that about 90,000 domestic horses were sold for meat last year. No feral equid has been slaughtered since, but the horse mafia is still in full cry.

“There’s a train wreck coming,” declares Bill Marlett, director of the Oregon Natural Desert Association. “In the Burns District in eastern Oregon alone, the BLM collects an average of 500 horses a year, and they’re just maintaining the status quo. The corrals are full; they can’t adopt them fast enough to keep up.”

It is difficult to understand why Americans believe that starvation is more humane than culling. In Australia, where there are thought to be as many as 265,000 feral horses and 5 million feral burros, the government shoots them. According to its Model Code of Practice for the Humane Control of Feral Horses, “Shooting is considered more humane than capture and removal as the animals are not subject to the stresses of mustering [roundup], yarding, and long-distance transportation.” Moreover, most other nations don’t share our taboo against eating horse meat. It’s considered a delicacy in Europe, and in Australia the commercial slaughter of feral horses, burros, and other livestock is a $100 million-a-year industry. Australia is working on chemical contraception, too, but an effective agent practical for field application may be decades away.

In the United States, at least, there is still time for an alternative to shooting and starvation—leaving and managing a few herds of feral horses and burros of alleged “historical significance” on adequate range, perhaps on retired cattle-grazing leases, but rounding up and caring for the others. As expensive as this would be, the main investment would end when the captured animals died of old age.

As it stands now, though, the powerful horse mafia won’t hear of such a thing. And fish and wildlife advocates shudder at the Australia-style disaster that apparently lies ahead.

What You Can Do
Urge your legislators to support the evacuation of most feral equids from most public land. Learn more about the http://www.wy.blm.gov/wildhorses feral equid management and adoption programs

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Conspiracy and We Are So Busted…….

Or More Accurately “Stop Smoking That Shit! It’s Making You Paranoid”


I was forwarded an email containing a link to a blog spot posting this op/ed by the Alpha Mare…..or you can learn her real identity and more about the nature of the beast/educated lady at this link http://www.horseraceinsider.com/ . The blog owner, Mz. Many Names, who by her own admission in her profile is an “old hippy chick”, was much more inspired by the teachings of the Alpha Mare than I.
I was raised in an agricultural community. My friends and peers were raised in agricultural communities. I’ve done night calving. I’ve galloped thoroughbreds and helped load fat cattle, most anything to keep and stay around livestock and avoid getting “a real job”. I learned to “ride” steering my father’s feedlot horse. (The ones cowboys use to ride pens and check cattle not the ones being discussed here by the anti-slaughter visitors from time to time.) You will not meet better people anywhere.
There is a road sign somewhere between here and Widespot, Kansas stating “One Kansas Farmer feeds 128 people”. Maybe the terrible Ag Lobby being black balled (boobed? Since it is the Alpha Mare?) in this commentary are defending people worth standing up for. I choose to think so. Every year American agriculture produces for this nation, the safest, cheapest, and most abundant food supply available anywhere in the world. I don’t think any of them need to be insulted with the senseless, unfounded, and downright silly “visions” of this “author”.
I guess you could say this paranoid imaginary b.s. rant really pushed my buttons. I don’t know if you will find this as “way the f*** out there" as I did but here goes. I think it’s kind of tragic people spend their lives thinking this way. Imagine the sort of mind set it takes to come up with this.
Here is the “PLAN”. Good thing they sent her that email by mistake…….. my comments are in red.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer: the Ag Lobby’s Dirty Little Plan, Revealed Monday, April 06, 2009 , Cattle Grower Network“It has been shown that horsemeat is low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein- overall a better quality of meat than beef. If horse meat were readily available in the U.S., would you be inclined to try it?”It pays to be on enemy email lists: I received the above link this afternoon, to a website promoting horse slaughter. A faux poll, and several misled people who are contemplating dining on "lowfat" horsemeat. The Ag lobbyists have convinced cattle "growers" that, hmmm, horsemeat might be a yummy thing--I'm thinking that it's a significant part of Ag lobby's push for horse slaughter plants--that if horse slaughter is brought back into the United States, cattle "growers" can get into the biz of "growing" horses specifically for slaughter.
It’s nothing that cloak and dagger. The farmers and ranchers of the country simply understand animal agriculture, freedom of choice, personal responsibility, a bit of human nature, and marketing. Many cattlemen do own horses. They actually ride them. I know I have said this before but…..we have been participating in the “ride your horse to work” program for several generations now. Another little detail that’s kind of relevant…..the ag lobbyists work for the cattle growers……..
This disgusts me. But I'd rather know what they're up to than not. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
I’m glad to see someone is willing to crawl under the fence with a flashlight for the greater good. Don’t inhale….it will be all right.

Ah, every now and then, the Good Guys catch a break. Just when you thought that the battle to keep equines safe from slaughter was a losing effort
Nothing hard about that battle….don’t sell them to killer buyers…..the owner has complete control over the destiny of his or her horses from the time of purchase until the next change of ownership takes place. It is very simple…..keep your horse, put him down at home, lease him to someone, there are many ways to keep horses safe from slaughter which don’t involve the government or the slander of good hard working family ranchers, cattle “growers”, and farmers. Apparently this concept has been overlooked, is too difficult to understand, or in some other way was not made clear to all those involved in sleuthing a conspiracy theory that doesn’t exist. It is easy and it has no drama and I understand that can be a problem. —an email drops into your Inbox that qualifies as a gift from Heaven. A miracle. Hundred-dollar bills dropping from the sky. Today was just such a day.
Did the rescue industry gain a new sponsor with revelation of this nonexistent conspiracy???

Allow me to elucidate. I really like that word. I am a member of American Horse Publications, a terrific organization that brings together every equine publication, website and freelancer in the country. I cannot stress strongly enough how much I enjoy being a member of AHP. But today I appreciate it perhaps more than ever before, for I got an email from a website that turned the horse slaughter thing around for me. Refreshed me. Renewed my resolve.[AHP regularly sends out press releases for its members: some days I get upward of 20 press releases. This is a great service that the organization provides to members. Most days I hear from Missy Wryn, or The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times—the ones I’d expect.]But, ah, today. Today I was frustrated. Today I had a headache, from beating my brains against a post. I’ve been trying for several days to write a follow-up to Montana’s Big, Bloody Sky, but have been stumped. Not that I’ve run out of words—I’ll be yammering on my way to the grave. I’ve run out of patience with the system, a system that allows Governors to play footsie with Ag lobbyists and to disguise death sentences for horses as concern for their welfare.
This would be the same system allowing the votes from the constituents of those agricultural states which produced nearly everything eaten in the country yesterday, never mind all those jobs in countless transportation and manufacturing industries. It would be a shame for their governors which they elected to listen to them the same as menopausal thoroughbred owners wouldn’t it?

You see, Friday was a day of jubilation for we anti-slaughter people. Well, it was a minute of jubilation.We’d heard, first, that Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer had vetoed the horse slaughter bill.

Friends and colleagues emailed me to send up the first flares. Start the bonfire, we’re havin’ a weenie roast!That ecstasy lasted about three seconds. I read Schweitzer’s letter to The Butcher (Ed Butcher, that is: the most appropriately-named politician in America.) The letter of “veto” was really a letter filled with amendments. IF the bill is amended in ways that Governor Schweitzer find to be appropriate—he will sign the bill into law.And the reasons for his amendments are to write in protections for those who would build the slaughterhouses—NOT because he’s concerned about the horses’ welfare. Sure, his letter of amendment is filled with language that sounds like he’s concerned for equine welfare—all the “unwanted horses” ya-ya.But the bottom line of it is that he’ll be delighted to sign the bill into law, as long as the amendments are written in—and those magnanimous Belgians are protected. Schweitzer wants to make sure that, once the slaughterhouse is built in Montana—no one can step up to the plate (or courthouse) and close it down.So I’ve spent several days trying to write about something that is on the surface so vague that anti-slaughter folks were tempted to think we’d won. But knowing that we’ve not won, the battle continues, and—if anything—is more frustrating than ever. At this point, it’s out of our hands. Phone calls to Schweitzer’s office will not change a thing. Now we sit and wait to see if/when the Montana State Legislature tosses it back to him.If they do, he’ll sign it. If he signs it, Montana license plates can read, “The Slaughter State.”
Or they could read - “The State That Listens To Our People” “Ranchers Are Voters Too” or “We Know Where Our Bread Comes From” anyway you get the idea……

So today I felt stumped. Defeated. Not sure what to write. Now I know. Today we were given a gift, that of insider knowledge. This is a valuable tool—knowledge. The Truth shall set you free. The light of Truth, shining in the darkness—can turn it all around for the horses.
It probably would if it were at all factual……But hey, it sounds damn good, I can almost hear trumpets now…carry on, manna from the heavens of truth…..

We have the ammo we need now: the email I received via AHP today carried the subject line, “Would You Eat Horse Meat?”I turned on my mental heel. They had my attention. I had to peek inside, and see behind the curtain. This email was from a website that identified itself as http://www.cheyenneoutlaw.com/ I’d never heard of them before. I thought it might be a group of cowboys, perhaps a newsletter of cowboy poets. Not quite. Cheyenne Outlaw Ranch is—you guessed it—a cattle ranch in Wyoming.
I did look on the Cheyenne Outlaw Ranch website…..They are indeed a cattle ranch. A three hundred acre cattle ranch raising Lowline Angus cattle for the organic grass fed specialty market. Now, I realize in New York looking out my window , 300 acres sounds like a lot, but in Wyoming it’s a very small ranch. Hardly the personification of the Ag Lobby Big Brother is killing my horses, theory and certainly not what I would call a smoking gun.

Why, you might ask yourself, would they wish to contact those of us who work in publishing in equine industries? Hmmmmm…tap yourself on the chin. Think about this a minute. It all became wildly clear the minute I read the email: supposedly, The Cattle Grower Network had conducted a poll. Uh, yeah. And in that poll, they asked if readers would eat horsemeat if it were available to them. Uh-huh. A rigged poll. People who are members of Cattle Grower Network, answering a question that, on its surface, seems simple. Disgusting, but simple.
I would imagine in a poll conducted entirely among ranchers and cattlemen would be somewhat slanted. The same way a poll on Fugly, Alex Brown, or COTH would be rigged toward the other side. FYI…..pro slaughter people do read horse publications too. I know it sounds wild, but ranchers own horses and do read equine publications so they are aware there is an equine publication industry. The underlying implication is enormous.
???????????? How????????? What difference would all this make even if it were true?

Finally--the Truth behind the push for horse slaughter plants. The Truth, that those who are proponents are no more concerned about “unwanted horses” than a bald man is about unwanted hair.
So we have been told time and time again. We will keep this in mind while we ride them, care for them, and keep working with them to produce USDA choice beef.

The Truth is that the Ag lobby is working with the “cattle growers” not only to re-introduce horse slaughter into the United States—the underlying reason for doing so is that the next step after reintroduction is to create a market for horsemeat IN the United States. The beef industry has been hurting lately. Too many people actually concerned about silly things like, oh, I don’t know—cholesterol. Fat. Colon cancer.
The cattle industry is in trouble? The High Plains Journal or the Certified Angus Beef board hasn’t heard the news. http://www.hpj.com/journal/livestock/index_livestock.cfm
The following it quoted from the above link: A steak sizzling on the grill is to a consumer what a cash register cha-ching is to a grocer. Despite economic conditions, those sweet sensations were in the air this summer as demand for high-quality beef cuts picked up for the world's largest branded beef program.
The Certified Angus Beef brand set repeat records in July and August for the most sold in a single month since the inception of the program in 1978. Licensed restaurants and retailers marketed 60 million pounds in July, and then bested that monthly high mark by another couple-million pounds in August.
"Historically these are big months with the summer grilling season, and retailers always carry most of that weight," says Clint Walenciak, CAB director of packing. Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays help drive sales. "Combine that with the economy that had more people going to the grocery store, and it added up to back-to-back chart-topping months."

Or these October 10 marketing reports from the same publication…..Steers: Auctions, Medium and large frame 1, 250 lbs., 123.00 or $307.00 a head; 330 to 400 lbs., 113.50 to 125.00 or an average of $420.00 per head; 400 to 450 lbs., 107.00 to 117.50; 450 to 500 lbs., 105.00 to 114.00; 500 to 550 lbs., 100.00 to 107.50; 550 to 600 lbs., 90.25 to 102.50; calves 600 to 660 lbs., 91.00 to 97.25; 700 to 800 lbs., 90.00 to 96.00; 800 to 900 lbs., 87.50 to 93.50, calves 835 lbs., 88.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., 80.60 to 91.25; 1000 to 1100 lbs., 80.75 to 86.00. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, 500 lbs., 101.00. Medium frame 1, 410 to 415 lbs., 99.00 to 105.00; 460 to 465 lbs., 94.00 to 99.00; 540 lbs., 91.00; calves 665 lbs., 90.50; 710 to 780 lbs., 83.00 to 86.00; 820 lbs.,. 83.75. Direct, Medium and large frame 1, FOB price, 925 lbs., 87.00. Delivered price, 700 lbs., 97.00.
Heifers: Auctions, Medium and large frame 1, 330 to 350 lbs., 106.00 to 114.00; 375 to 400 lbs., 100.00 to 110.00; 400 to 450 lbs., 94.00 to 104.00; 450 to 500 lbs., 91.00 to 99.00; 500 to 550 lbs., 91.00 to 96.25; 550 to 575 lbs., 89.00 to 96.75; 620 to 635 lbs., 93.75 to 94.35, calves 610 to 650 lbs., 88.00 to 91.00; 650 to 700 lbs., 84.25 to 94.50; 700 to 800 lbs., 83.00 to 92.25; 800 to 900 lbs., 82.25 to 89.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., 77.50 to 86.10; 1000 to 1020 lbs., 82.85 to 83.10. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, 550 to 560 lbs., 85.50 to 89.00; 695 to 700 lbs., 87.50 to 91.50. Medium frame 1 to 2, 580 lbs., 89.75.
You get the idea…Cattle markets are pretty steady right now…..they have certainly been worse…so I don’t think the future profitability of raising horses for slaughter is a big concern.
What, oh, what, can a “cattle grower” whose profit margin is flagging do? Hmmm…got land. Got grass. Got fields fenced in. Beef, fatty. HORSE…not so fat. Horsemeat = a marketing strategy that could save the necks of the ranchers who’ve invested millions of dollars into an industry that is threatened by a growing American concern for health. Read the link above, to the “poll” and those who agree with the results of the poll—that, supposedly, horsemeat just may be an acceptable addition to the American diet. Read the words, then let them set in.Realize that this is a well-calculated campaign. This is NOT random people who happen to think that horse slaughter is a good thing. This, my friends, is every bit as insidious a campaign as the tobacco industry creating chocolate cigarettes for children.
The drama and the hype are pretty catchy but that’s really about it. Many cattle ranchers do raise horses also. Those good ranch bred performance horses the east has gone so crazy over. Western Horsemen has the past few years devoted a whole section to western “ranch horse” sale articles. They really don’t want to eat them or market them like feeder calves.

This campaign was hatched in the boardrooms of The Beef Council. This plan is being executed by the Ag lobbyists and the ranchers. This, they believe, will be the plan that saves the ranchers. All this time, we anti-slaughter people thought they were merely executing the “slippery slope” argument, that, if horse slaughter is taboo in America—they’ll come for the beef industry next. That passive-aggressive approach—that’s what we thought they were up to.
Actually, we weren’t up to anything other than standing up for what we felt was right and minding our own business.

But today’s email revealed the Truth—Hallelujah, the Truth will set the horses free.The real motivation of the Ag lobby and the Beef People is not to prevent beef slaughter from being outlawed—for that would never happen. The real motivation is to open wide the door to horse slaughter so that RANCHING HORSES for meat will not only become acceptable—it will become an exciting, viable new market for the cattle ranchers. “Branching out,” as it were. Creating a new market, and giving it the old hard-sell.
This makes no sense…..the cattle industry had decades to “create” this niche to save their so called dying industry by making horse the new red meat. The idea of this having any merit would have been much easier to implement when the plants were running all those years and the only hurdles were marketing and cultural taboo. Sorry that was logic I will try not to use it again.
The Beef industry chose instead to invest in marketing, quality control, and numerous other programs to benefit their own product. Maybe in other countries there is and always will be a thriving industry of breeding slaughter horses but not here and this might be in part because we don’t have to but……
The U.S. butcher horse is a walking definition of the word by product. Whether a urine line draft cross foal in a feed lot, an also ran claimer, or an unbroken, oh excuse me “trained” backyard pet who’s family is out of the notion, he is an 1,100 pound remainder of another plan gone south. Reason number one and number one hundred and ten why there will also be more horses produced than horsemen to care for them. Most people don’t set out from scratch to raise a butcher horse, much as this little piece would have us believe. I doubt, in spite of the “evidence” produced here they ever will.


Once horse slaughter plants are put in Montana and the Dakotas—it’s all downhill from there. They think that we anti-slaughter people will just give up, and go away with a whimper.
Not really, most pro-slaughter people don’t really care what the anti-slaughter camp does after the market is opened back up. They would like input on humane transport and slaughter laws we can all live with though. We simply want to put a floor back under the market to avoid horses being treated like stray pets and garbage. We have this misguided opinion it is better for them to die with a purpose and a value. That is the conspiracy theory nothing more nothing less. We would like to do this once, do it right, have it make sense for all concerned.

No doubt they even aspire to converting Willie Nelson: their clever marketing wonks envision Willie as a potential ally, the face of The American Horsemeat Council. Once that door to slaughter is flung wide-open—the possibilities are endless.
I can’t speak for everyone in the Pro-slaughter camp but if I feel the need to drink, smoke dope, and evade taxes I will look to Willie as a leader, mentor, and poster child. I kind of like making my own choices rather looking to the “stars”. Martha Stewart, Beau Derek, and Taylor Swift don’t influence me much either.

I am not arguing in slippery slope here, friends. All you need do is read this nonsense from the cattle “growers,”
What would be a more appropriate term for them?
this email they sent to their allies, to see through their transparent motive. If we open that door—if we let Governor Schweitzer amend so vile a bill as to make it palatable, and pass it into law—then the Ag lobby and beef “growers” can institute Phase II: the cultural and governmental acceptance of horse ranches. If you don’t want to see billboards for “Secretariat: the Other Red Meat”—you must work with us. You don’t need my vivid imagination to see that this is the real motivation for the push for slaughter: all you need is eyes to read; a brain to comprehend and a heart to give a damn. Ag lobby—we are finally on to you. We’ve got you in our scopes. You’re goin’ down. No Alydar Alpo for me—and no Filly Filet at Peter Luger’s. Not now. Not ever.
The sky really is falling I understand nobody can be too careful or have to big an umbrella. I might suggest not hanging out with Willie so much, your paranoid hallucinations are getting kind of out of hand..
By RH1