“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

Friday, January 1, 2010

3 and 30

I suppose the year 2009 wouldn't be complete without "Cup-O-Soup" Jim Gath of Tierra Madre adding to the already full sardine can of a Sanctuary he operates in Arizona. http://forums.prospero.com/alexbrown/messages?msg=37974.4182 Jim's got a way with words, and I suppose saying 3 and 30 sounds better than admitting that you've got 33 horses penned in on less than 3 acres of land. Like our friend Lin of EPONA, Jim is a first class hoarder who feels that only he can provide the love and care for these horses. Jim, however, is one up on Lin. He's cultivated a strong financial support base. Maybe it's because he's a guy, and ABR has quite a few lonely women members. Some of the same ones who fawn over every post King Alex Brown makes are enthralled with Jim. And why not? Jim knows just how to rope 'em in. He plays on their emotions, and uses the horses he's holding hostage to keep the donations coming in. Humanizing the horses is the trick he knows works best on the girls, and Jimbo works it for all it's worth. Lin doesn't have that advantage. Lin may have the drama, but Jim's got the thong club. But back to the 3 plus 30. Once again, Jim has convinced the enablers on ABR that the situation was dire, and the only solution was the Sardine Sanctuary. So, the money was raised, and three more unfortunate victims will now call Hotel Tierra Madre home. If you've ever gone to an auction, you've seen the metal pens they set up to hold horses temporarily until they are sold. That's kind of what Jim's place looks like. I wish we could get a scale illustration of what Jim's sanctuary looks like. People just can't imagine how cramped this place is if they don't own horses themselves. Jim describes it as if there's really lots of room, but we know Jim. This could just be another one of his Allegories, like the Cup-O-Soup tale.How many more horses will Jim take in? As many as he can. That's the problem with hoarders. They can't say no. They can't see past their own needs to understand what impact their actions have on the horses they take in. I have often wondered what Jim's vet thinks of all of this. Does he ever try to intervene? Do the volunteers? Not that it would make a difference. Jim will continue to collect horses as long as he can build pens to put them in. What will Jim's count be in 2010? And how high will his number of fatalities be? Time will tell. For those opposed to the pain and suffering of horses, lets hope that the Friends of Tierra Madre just say "NO" next time Jim says "Can we help another one?" Enough is enough, and 3 and 30 is really, really, too much.

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