“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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hoarder of the week..... 30 on 3

Yes That's 30 horses on 3 acres!

This picture was sent to me by one of our readers. While I found it amusing it also brought back just how sick and tired I am of these so called rescues and sanctuaries getting away with the abuse of horses in the name of love. All the while pointing the finger at those of us who are educated in equine management and calling us greedy, blood thirsty, horse murderers.
RH2 has written a couple posts about the Tierra Madre Sanctuary, “5 out/4 in” and “Coloreado to Arizona”. We make fun of places like this, we show our disgust, but what exactly can we do to get places like this shut down? Why are hoarders given the luxury of tax exempt status? And why don’t their “followers” see the harm they’re causing these horses.
I’ve seen Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary called “The Hotel California”. You know the place... The Eagles say “you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave”..... Well I suppose maybe some leave ( 5 of them just recently) but it’s on a rendering truck or in whatever manner Jim gets rid of the carcasses. Or maybe they just checked out and maybe Jim buries them on that whopping 3 acres he has??

Please allow these horses to be “adopted”. Give them a chance at a normal life where they get to see day light, roll in the grass, and get out for a ride every now and then. What did any of them do to deserve to be jailed by you? Why are you allowing them to rot and die packed in like sardines with no purpose and no hope?


Friday, November 20, 2009

Equine Version of Cap and Trade

Equine Version of Cap and Trade to Buy Thoroughbred Racing Industry Points with PETA………..Or What in Heaven’s Name Do 33,000 BLM Mustangs Have to Do with Racing?

We can take action, one horse person at a time, and change not only the world's perception of ourselves—we can actually do something of huge merit. We can save the lives of horses.We have before us two opportunities to save horses' lives AND, a nice side benefit—prove to ourselves and the outside world that we're not the demon-possessed trolls we've been painted to be. Sweet: being rewarded for Doing the Right Thing.Opportunity #1: The 33,000Last week, (this was originally printed right before the Kentucky Derby 2009) Madeleine Pickens trekked to Washington, D.C. to speak on behalf of The 33,000 (as I'm calling them)—the beautiful Wild Horses who should be allowed to live out their lives on the 1,000,000-acre Sanctuary that Mrs. Pickens wants to create for them. A gift to the horses; the people of the United States and to the government—this proposed Sanctuary is running into opposition. In fact, as I began to write this, I received an email from James Magill of the BLM. He thanked me for emailing the BLM about the Sanctuary, and he provided a link to the BLM's official stand on the issue. I read this statement as being a government-sanctioned tap dance, all smoke and mirrors. Reading between the proverbial lines isn't so hard—the BLM is reporting their take on Mrs. Pickens' proposal. They're seeing the thing from only one perspective: that of the Ag lobbyists. You know the Ag lobbyists, those fun-loving, high-living drones whose pockets are lined in the blood of dead horses. They represent ranchers who've been sold the bill of goods that, if the Wild Horses are allowed to live their lives peacefully on the Sanctuary, or if horse slaughter becomes fully illegal—somehow this is going to take down the entire meat industry. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Nevada can think that the horses are a threat—to the cattle industry, or to anyone else. Maybe because they eat grass? Take up space? Breathe air that steers need? Whatever the imagined threat, it's all propaganda for the sake of greed. The hot pursuit of Filthy Mammon once again dictates that innocent horses must die. Just in case their existence is a threat to wealthy ranchers.

Statements made in the Alpha Mare blog belittling ranching to justify???? What does any of this have to do with the thoroughbred industry practices being called into question by PETA, the HSUS, and horsemen not aligned with either?
Before I start sniping and venting, I would like to mention an organization called Guardians of the Range. Their website http://guardiansoftherange.org/ elaborates on their mission, issues, accomplishments, and the life style they are trying to protect. They are just one hard working group of people Ag lobbyists are listening to. There are two sides to the issue.
One would think the BLM would be ecstatic over the prospect of being free of these 33,000 unwanted horses. It should be a light at the end of the tunnel for them. They should jump at it right? Even though Madeleine (or T. Boone) will supposedly foot the bill for the Ecotourism land of milk and honey for these horses it still has a cost.
The research I have done suggests “last chance sanctuary homes” for mustangs have a way of going south as far back as 1988. Remember they paid Dayton Hyde to yard those 500 or so horses for three years so they could live out their lives “free”. He took the money, when the three years were up in 1991, got his first mustang studs, started raising, and selling baby mustangs produced from the same horses he had been paid to care for because they “had nowhere else to go”. I wonder how many of the “33,000” may have been adopted had even one “last chance sanctuary” not been breeding for the same “market”. Of course, there is the Karen Sussman thing and the now infamous Three Strikes. I don’t think any of this has entered into the BLM’s “big picture” but I’m developing my own conspiracy theory so hold on.
The Anti-slaughter Mantra Handbook chant #1, “over breeding is the main cause of unwanted horses, slaughter, abuse, and all other evils heaped upon horses since the beginning of time”. Does this apply to the AQHA, APHA, ApHC, all slaughter supporting associations, and NOT the BLM, any other mustang producers, or the Jockey Club?
The Madeleine mustang plan will change nothing in the Thoroughbred racing. Pensioning 33,000 mustangs is not going to make any thoroughbred last longer or run faster. The “saved” are mustangs not Thoroughbreds.
Does the Alpha Mare have any idea how much land a million acres is? Does she care? It’s not in her back yard. It will have no affect on her livelihood, the related jobs created both directly and indirectly, and in turn the tax revenue paying for the public services in her state.
A million acres is roughly 1,560 sections. A section is 640 acres. Each side of a square section is one mile. This means Madeleine’s privately owned sanctuary will cover 1,560 square miles. Compared in size to some western national parks ……..Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, covers 70,448 acres, Zion National Park in Utah 289,633 acres, Yellowstone National Park 2,219,789 acres or 3,468 square miles in Wyoming and Montana, and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona 1,217,403 acres gives some scope of the size of the proposed project. Keep in mind, though a controversial issue, there are grazing permits issued for many national park ranges. The ROAM Act and other legislation may have something to say about this in the future but as of now much of this land is productively grazed.
Just what are those greedy ag lobbyists and ranchers whining about? Assuming the proposed million acres is currently used as grazing land to run 33,000 head of cattle much the same as Madeleine will run her 33,000 saved mustangs after she makes her purchase. The Alpha Mare refers to them as steers.. However, steers and their heifer sisters must be born to producing female bovine commonly referred to as cows. The mother cow, balance sheet asset, source of every Big Mac or T-bone, and well spring of abundant cash for those greedy, wealthy ranchers/farmers supporting those fun loving, high living drones.
If the land is running 33,000 mother cows divided by a 350 cow herd size per ranch operation means these million acres are at work making a living for 94 families. Those same 33,000 cows will produce 29,700 calves based on 90% live calf crop figure. Using the October 10 markets from the High Plains Journal, steer calves weaning at 500 to 550 lbs., 100.00 to 107.50, an average of 1.03 or $ 540.75 per head assumedly half of the marketable calves will be the above referred “steers”. The cash sale value of those 14,850 steer calves, $8,030,137.50. Their heifer sisters weaning at the same weight 500 to 550 lbs., 91.00 to 96.25, an average of 93.87 or $ 492.81per head with a total market value of $7,318,228.85, producing $15,348,366.35.
The lion’s share of this money will be spent in the local ranching communities where these calves were raised and sold. Feed stores, breeding stock producers, insurance brokers, real estate agencies, local banks, schools, livestock auctions, truck dealers, implement dealers, vets, and so on. All will take a piece of the ranch’s calf crop income to circulate through the state’s economy. At every turn in their lives these calves will be providing labor and revenue somehow. The end result is around 18,000,000 pounds of beef at the grocery store. I read the average American eats 69 pounds of beef annually. You do the math. I did in “How Can This Make Sense” last summer, thought it might apply here too.
The shift from productive livestock to non productive livestock will not be without cost. The ones feeling warm and fuzzy about it will not be bearing the brunt of the cost. ……Mr. Pickens is a major promoter of wind energy. A mustang sanctuary “somewhere in the west” might be an excellent way to package a large wind farm. It could offer tax leverage, ecotourism, green energy, horse rescue, and saving the heritage of the west all in one package.
http://www.communityservices.nd.gov/uploads/resources/625/wind-turbine-lease-considerations-for-landowners.pdf has information about landowner compensation and much more. Compensation can be quite lucrative for a landowner. All concerned wish to make wind energy projects attractive to all concerned.
Anecdotal reports indicate most companies are paying $4,000 to $6,000 annually per megawatt of tower capacity for fi xed-compensation packages. For royalty compensate on packages, 3 percent to 5 percent of gross revenue from electricity sales is common, including renewable certificates. Landowners should negotiate for inclusion of renewable, pollution and environmental credits in addition to the sale of electricity.
However, if you are a rancher hoping this income will offset the cost of buying land, don’t get your hopes up. Especially if you have financed your purchase with a USDA FSA mortgage ……. Any land with a FSA mortgage needs an extensive approval process. The approval process is extensive enough that the wind developer may not want to deal with it.
I ended the “How Can This Make Sense” blog by stating Madeleine should get to making fence for her “paddocks”…..well it seems she might have help with that……according to the website…….
Fences, gates and cattle guards become an issue when a wind tower is on grazing land. The contract should specify who is responsible for construction and maintenance of any necessary fencing, gates and cattle guards. These costs should be the responsibility of the wind energy developer.
There are listed hazards but I’m sure mustangs could graze under the towers. The cows do around here. I don’t want to give the impression I am against alternative “clean” energy sources. I am definitely not. I do want to suggest, maybe; just maybe, this won’t be the huge benevolent sacrificial donation it is promoted to be.
And I still haven’t figured out what any of it has to with the destruction of Thoroughbreds by the racing industry…… ……..
By RH1

Sunday, November 15, 2009

5 out, 4 in....and send those thongs in!

When you lose 1 horse, it's sad. When you lose 2, it's a tragedy. When you lose 3, there's probably a problem. When you lose 4, the bells should be going off. When you lose 5, the bells, lights, whistles, and sirens should all be resounding in your head, heart, and soul. When it happens in a very short time span, what is the first step you would take? If you operate Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary, you take in four more horses. And hint at wanting a fifth. (Thankfully, no ones biting yet). To do a quick re-cap, Tierra Madre is a Sanctuary in Arizona that houses 30 horses on 3 acres. And no, I didn't get the numbers backwards. This past summer has been especially cruel, and Jim Gath has lost 5 of his "kids" as he refers to the horses in his care. Jim is something. He knows how to tell a story, and anyone reading his blogs can attest to that. He's gained a loyal following by humanizing those in his sanctuary to the point of their having conversations with him. Jim really can get to you if you're not careful. He promises his horses that they'll fight until the end. The journey to that end is often long and painful for the horses, but Jim documents it with such style and love that often times you're unaware that you're reading a diary of pain and suffering. For each "Good______" (insert horse's name here) that one reads, one can almost imagine that human to human connection that Jim fancies to have with his Equine counterparts. But for those of us who haven't quite gotten the wool pulled all the way over our eyes, there's a "But". But why, if these horses are in pain, isn't Jim sitting down with his vet, and coming up with a different plan? I know, according to Jim, the vet is claiming that Jim is doing all he can. He's doing the best he can for these horse who would otherwise be in the hands of those who would just kill them quickly with no forethought. And since that vet bill continues to rise like flood water, one can only guess at what Jim CAN actually do. But why, when he is losing horse after horse, isn't Jim thinking that MAYBE, just MAYBE, his housing situation could be a problem? I know, he has said he has a wonderful set up, and not everyone has 100's of acres, and the show barns do it. But here's the thing-horses at show barns get taken out and worked and used on a regular basis. That is not the case at Tierra Madre. And Jim is so over-worked and understaffed, that who knows how often the horses actually get turned out in that corral he has set up for exercise. We know they aren't ridden. Jim claims to be in tune with Mother Earth and the messages she sends. Yet when it appears that she has done everything but grab him by the throat and shake him, Jim remains oblivious to the message. Perhaps Mother earth is telling Jim "ENOUGH"! 30 horses on 3 acres is too many. Jim does not seem to understand. While the fates seem cruel in Jim's loss of 5 horses, perhaps there was an opportunity presented. A chance to do something Jim could not do before. Manage the horses he had on those 3 acres a little better. Take the extra time he had to study up on the possible solutions to the issues plaguing Tierra Madre's "Kids". Perhaps move things around a bit to afford a little more running room. Save a little money. And Jim's reaction to Mother Earth's message? Why, he brings 4 more horses into the mix! After all, the universe must have meant for this to happen, right? Jim couldn't possibly understand that with the loss of 5 horses, he could to do a little re-grouping before taking in any more horses, could he? I wish he could have. But Jim isn't that kind of "Two legged", as he likes to describe his human counterparts. Jim can't fathom a world in which he would simply say "No". There are too many "Four leggeds" in need of Jim's love and devotion. In his blog about Quality Road, the horse who had the melt down at the starting gate recently, his suggestion was for the horse to retire to Tierra Madre. Thank Mother Earth that that's not happening! We all know that Coloreado now is a retiree there (see "Coloreado to AZ") . (For those interested, Coloreado has sustained his first injury at TM. He Banged his hip on a post. How could he not? Jim has determined after letting him run a bit that he's too sore to be turned out with the other horses, so now he gets to spend his time with Jim. Lucky Coloreado). As Jim continues his quest to keep his numbers up, and his massive vet bill down, his supporters have, in a bizarre twist, found a way to keep his spirits up. They have decided to send him a thong from each of the 50 states. Yep-Jim will be receiving an item of women's underwear from each state-some with a little cash tucked inside. I'm not sure what this has to do with Horse Rescue but it was just too damned bizarre to leave out of this! I know Jim is struggling right now. How could he not be? But I also find it a little strange that with the loss of 5 horses he holds dear- his "brothers" his "best girl", he can so quickly bounce back and move on. Some attribute this to a hoarder mentality. I'm not a doctor, so will reserve my judgment. We've lost 2 horses in our 25 years of ownership. We couldn't even think of replacing them for a long time. But, Jim must carry on, and do what he is put here to do. And he will draw his strength from his "kids" . Jim posted the Serenity Prayer in one of his blogs. "God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference". Perhaps instead of mailing thongs, Jim's supporters should offer up this prayer for Mr. Gath. I think his "kids" would appreciate it far more.You know, you want to like this guy- he spins a hell of a tale. The horses, well they seem human, with the conversations they have with Jim, and the emotions they evoke while you read of their antics. You almost forget they are not receiving the proper training to make them solid citizens worthy of adoption, or even trail rides. Jim IS thinking about offering a few of the horses for trail riding, but only to "experienced" riders. Those would be riders who are willing to train from the driver's seat so to speak. When Jim rides, the horse is in charge, so that limits their usability for the general public. And you almost forget when reading the poignant tales of suffering that these horses are living through hell on a daily basis until they "tell" Jim that enough is enough.Take "Little D", the most recent loss at Tierra Madre. While I didn't go back too far in Jim's blogs, I know she's been battling Laminitis at least since July. On November 10, Jim delivered a dramatic and tear inducing description of Little D's final walk- make that march to the end of suffering. Jim says his "kid" marched with a purpose to her final resting place. She enjoyed a flake of Alfalfa hay along the way. She was determined. To the reader who doesn't know better, it was like reading a great book, the descriptions so emotion invoking, so real, you were almost there. But for those of us familiar with the ravages of Laminitis, the thought of a horse with 25% hoof separation explains the "march", and causes perhaps, tears of a different kind.So, Jim, enjoy the 4 new horses, the thongs, and maybe, just maybe, next time you print that prayer, think about it......really, really, think about it, Good, Jim.
By RH2