“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, December 11, 2010

They may FINALLY be seeing the light...well some of them

Another day, another scammer on ABR. Doesn't it get tiring, the how could this happens? We all know how it happens-it's pretty easy. The signs are all there, people even POINT THEM OUT for you. You tell these people to go away! In some cases, threads are closed, and in some super special cases (EPONA) sir Alex will personally step in to defend the accused. This is a special one, because from what I'm reading, she had a hand in the Barbaro celebrations. Even though she was ripping people off from the get go, those who can't see past the pretty horsie stories continued to shell out the cash, and now are SHOCKED to find she has not actually helped those horses. She has, however helped her ex-con boyfriend and convict son, as well as herself. It almost gets to the point where you can't even feel sorry for these people anymore. I mean, as my dad used to say, how many times do you need to get kicked in the ass before you realize it hurts? For this group, I guess it would take a team of draft horses (although I doubt many of them know what that is), and I think they would get up, dust themselves off, and open their wallets again. There seems to be some hope. The ABR forum will be closing in less than a year-in true Alex form, he will keep it open until after his book is published, and he no longer needs his fans. There are plans for a new forum to honor the memory of the great Barbaro. (Another Blog for another time). There are those who feel there ARE things that can be put in place to stop the scamming that occurs with alarming regularity on King Alex's board. In my humble opinion, letting those who know what is going on speak would be a first step, but that's not going to happen there. Sorry, back to reality....They are discussing what they can do on the new forum to make things better. Do you know what I'd like to see? A tally of the "Rescues" and all of the money the Fans of Barbaro have been scammed out of. I bet that would be a serious eye opener. The sad thing is that before the close of the forum, this is going to happen again. Alex won't do a thing to prevent it. In fact, he will aid those who scam and close his warnings to those who would try to stop them with his customary "cheers". Let's add him to the list of those who have scammed the Fans of Barbaro. I think he has used them more than anyone.

Here is the latest news about “NJ Horse Angels”

Please folks, I ask you again, donate locally to a rescue you know or can at least check on. Don’t be scammed out of your hard earned money!
Tis the season for more and more scams and scammers to come out of the wood work, be careful! Use your head not your heart when it comes to matters of money.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sardine Can Illustrated

We've all wondered, and I have hoped for a scale model. This is the next best thing, I suppose. Beverly, one of Jim's biggest fans, visited Tierra Madre, and has provided a drawing depicting the layout of the place. I find it rather sad. I suppose some who do not understand the needs of horses would find it adequate, and not realize that the only place for the horses to run is that small arena. Everything else is packed with horses. These horses are not all old and infirm, many are in need of a normal daily life of exercise and herd contact. Being locked in a pen next to another horse does not count. No one has ever questioned Jim's love for his "kids". But I still maintain it is a selfish love that serves Jim first. Horses need to be able to run freely. These cannot. If you read Jim's blog with any regularity you know there just isn't time for these horses to get any regular turnout. The number of horses versus the amount of turnout area available (one) would make it impossible for them to get any quality time. I commend Beverly for trying to justify the existence of so many horses on so little a plot of land, but it is still a sorry, sad life for them, no matter how entertaining a tale Jim can spin, or how many carrots and kisses are doled out on a day to day basis. Horses are herd animals. they require exercise to remain healthy. I can't imagine the life of a horse locked up in those little pens, just waiting for a chance to get out and stretch it's legs, only to have that time, if gotten, turn out to be very minimal. Jim operates on a minimal budget, with a nearly nonexistent volunteer base. To continue to house this many horses on less than 3 acres is so sad. I understand that those who support him do not see this. I wish they could be a Tierra Madre resident for a week. I always thing of Coloreado. Such a big, beautiful horse, languishing away in forced retirement, his only crime being his lack of will to race. I know each of Jim's "kids" have their own story for their captivity in retirement. Maybe a few of them may even benefit from confinement and limited turnout. But it is no life for a normal, healthy horse. Thanks for the visual, Beverly. It just makes my heart a little sadder for the "kids"

By RH2

Note: this drawing is far off scale trying to make it appear to be enough room for over 30 horses. When I look at Jim's property on an aerial satellite view in google maps it gives me a much better idea of how crowded less than 3 acres is for that number of horses. In my County the zoning laws would only permit me to have 3 horses on that size lot. For those of us who have seen a round pen in person we know that keeping 3 horses in it would be a very bad idea! The satellite view photo also shows no shade screen for the pen. In Arizona? No shade?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not all Horses are Created Equal

This is one of the articles from my America’s Horse email newsletter from today……
I really think we should clone Jim Heird before it’s too late. This man just keeps writing things I agree with too much to pass up. I have been way too busy too write about what is on my mind so I’ll let Jim do the talking for today.
These mares have the same blemish, but for very different reasons.

Compare the buckskin's splints to the sorrel's.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal.

The buckskin and chestnut mares in these photos both have splints on the insides of their left front cannon bones, just below the knee. They are easy to see.
But a genuine judge of conformation sees those splints within the context of each mare’s bone structure.

Here is AQHA Judge Jim Heird’s evaluation.
Not All Splints Are Equal.

Don’t immediately eliminate a horse when you see a splint; instead, look for a structural reason for the horse to have a splint. When you look at a horse’s front limb structure from the front, you look for how straight the column of bone is from the point of the shoulder down through the knee, cannon bone and hoof.
Although we can’t see the buckskin mare’s chest in No. 1, we can see a very straight column of bone with the cannon bones coming directly out of the center of the knee and the foot sitting right under the knee and cannon bone.
There is a splint on her left front leg, but there’s no apparent structural deviation in her bone structure.
The same thing is true when we look at her hind legs. It looks like she has some puffiness in her ankles behind but nothing to be concerned about from this view. She stands very square.
On the other hand, when you look at the front end on the chestnut mare in No. 2, you immediately see that she is base narrow – the feet are closer together at the base than the forearms are at the chest.
We see tremendous openness and blemishes on both knees and the cannon bones come out of the sides of each knee. There’s an enlargement on the outside of the knee and a huge splint right under the left knee. The horse toes in considerably on the right, and toes in some on the left.
Instead of coming down with a straight column of bone, everything from the knee through the cannon into the fetlock is offset.
It’s the same with her hind legs. She is extremely base narrow: If you draw a line straight up from the foot it would not remotely go through the thigh.
We know from research done back in the ’60s and ’70s that approximately 80 percent of splints are caused by a blow from the opposite leg. That can happen in normal use, but it can also happen because a horse doesn’t move straight. Splints also occur when bones are stressed because of poor conformation.
From what we can see in No. 1, there’s no apparent structural reason for the buckskin mare to have this splint, so there could be all kinds of reasons why it’s there. If she’s a mare that’s being used, she could have hit herself coming out of a roping box or cutting a cow. But there’s no structural reason for that mare not to move straight.
On the other hand, when you look at the chestnut mare in No. 2, there are all kinds of reasons for her to have a splint. She probably interferes as she travels, and the puffiness in her knees indicates the tremendous stress her bones are under due to the offset column of bone in her entire front leg. Not only does she have the blemish, which is the splint, but she is severely structurally incorrect.
If we truly believe that balance, structural correctness and movement are the things we prioritize (according to the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations), then we have to be extremely critical of the chestnut mare.

Dr. Jim Heird

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Is Why Things Cannot Change

This post is a little old ( I misplaced it in my "posted" file) but it's still worth the read. The forum thread being referred to is closed for posting....I guess some people can't handle the truth on that forum. I'm actually surprised the whole thing wasn't just deleted.
Sorry, RH2, for the delays in postings.

I was all set to write an upbeat piece today, and came upon this. I think it bears reading, as it falls in line with the topics we've been posting the last few posts. There has been a pretty intense discussion going on over at ABR on how to help the horses that are being abused, neglected, starved, and sometimes killed at some of the "Rescues" housing them. Red Flags have been discussed, and there is growing concern over how to spot them. EPONA is one of those "Rescues" that seems to have rows of them waving on a daily basis. Questions are regularly asked of Lin, rarely answered truthfully, and at times, even fielded by her enablers. I won't even bother calling them supporters anymore. The mighty Alex Brown has even come to Lin's defense on quite a few occasions. The thread I have linked here is a thread dedicated to questions Lin has either neglected to answer, or has not answered truthfully. While her enablers field questions, and make excuses for her ignorance and avoidance, some startling facts are presented. Lin plans to euthanize 5 horses before Winter-on the advice of her Vet, of course! She has not given any details on the issues these horses present that require them to be put down, besides old age and physical condition. I suspect Lin may have aided them in getting to their physical condition, but that is just my humble opinion. A Rescue that actually worked with Lin trying to educate her and provide training and help to some of her horses weighs in on this thread, and yet, her enablers continue to blindly make excuses for her. Yet another of my favorites, Kathy Elm, also weighs in with her vast knowledge on horses. It appears that Lin is in possession of an elderly horse with an abscess that requires bandaging. Apparently, some feel that the bandage Lin has on the horse looks pretty worthless. Kathy weighs in to tell us how difficult it is to get a good bandage on a horse standing on 3 legs. For those of you who may need to do this on some future date-yes, it's not easy. I had a huge warmblood cross who required it. BUT, not only did I apply one successfully, I applied one by myself, and it held. I used a maxi pad, vet wrap, and duct tape. Of course, I also know a little bit about horses-that may have helped me out a bit. And for those who think an abscess breaks open immediately-we've had to soak in warm epsom salt water for a few days to get one to open up, and at times, have had to have the vet cut up into the hoof to drain it if it was deep. Again, it requires a bit of knowledge. But, back to Lin and her merry band of Ostriches. As long as you make excuses for every action she takes, and every half truth and outright lie she tells, she can continue on. She will at some future date, meet the same fate 3 Strikes, Winding Road, and HMER have. I don't imagine it will be a shock to see Tierra Madre in the same boat. Those of you who support her not only without question, but by aggressively advocating for her are just as guilty as she is. Lin is unique, I have said that before. She somehow has the ability to get more from people than others can. Lin has been given property, a truck, a trailer, gravel, and is constantly bringing in donations. Yet she does not seem able to successfully operate her "Rescue" She is unable to train her horses. She cannot answer simple questions. She does not update any information on the horses she "adopts" out. And she only seems to adopt out when the pressure is on. Then there are large numbers of horses placed. But no information on where they go. Phoenix Rising always comes to mind when I hear of Lin's "adoptions". Lin makes no effort to gain any basic Equine knowledge. If drama was the only requirement in Rescue, she'd be the best. When the questions get too tough, we can always count on Lin getting a horrible phone call or e-mail to bring in the pity factor. She is a master of manipulation. I understand that. But, as always, the facts are there for all to see. Those enabling her have the same information that we all do. They are the ones who will be instrumental in stopping her. The question is-will they ever?
By RH2

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dollars for Death

Should Funding "Rescues" Continue?

This is a very interesting discussion coming on the heels of two "Rescues" closing down. Horses starving and confiscated. A huge mess to clean up. The enablers doing the requisite crying, praying, wringing of hands, and wondering, what to do now???? The Internet has made it so easy for so many to make a quick buck without showing anything for it. If you can engage someone, tug at their heart strings, spin a nice tale, you're in. The cash flows, the compliments and support pile up, and you can continue on, feeling pretty good about yourself. Just don't look out the window at the horses that don't have enough land to walk around on. Or food to eat. Or water to drink. Just ignore the ones you don't have the time to train or handle on a daily basis-after all, YOU are blessed for saving these animals from a fate no one wants to dwell on. For those who already can't say no, and need the constant "high" of a new horse, or the praise of a job well done, Internet fundraising is a Godsend! But, they wouldn't be successful without those willing to turn a blind eye at the obvious, and send them the money. It was just a great twist of fate that my very favorite "Rescue", EPONA, chose to weigh in on this discussion. Here's one everyone should be closing their pocketbooks and wallets to. Why? Because by her own admission, Our Lady Of EPONA is overhorsed. She claims that after assessing her property and facilities, her vet has determined that she needs to get her Equine numbers down to 40, and she's working on it-HOWEVER, she DOES make exceptions, like the 8 horses she recently bought, many in foal, the two who were allegedly dropped off at their home, and she just couldn't turn away (or turn in the owners for neglect and abuse, despite the fact that she allegedly works with the Sheriff taking in these cases), and the mysterious horse in the corn field that she began fundraising for before she actually took possession of. All I can say is wow, those are quite a few exceptions in a few short months. Red flag anyone? How about the fact that a Vet would have to tell someone running a "Rescue" how many horses they should house? Shouldn't Lin already know that? And what Vet in their right mind tells 2 people they can handle 40 horses? Especially when they both work? Lin also admits she does not train, can't because of an accident, and does not have the budget to hire anyone. Which really makes me love the Corn Field Horse story even more. Sure, Lin, take in another horse that most likely needs training when you yourself can't even halter break. Red Flag? She also admits she does not handle each horse each day. Red Flag? Basically, EPONA is a warehouse, even though she does not wish to admit it. Horses come in, rarely leave, unless they die, and Lin sustains her place by asking for money. It's rare that Lin isn't asking for money for SOMETHING. Feed, hay, or her ongoing Vet bill. And people give it. I truly believe it's just a matter of time before we see Lin on the news-and not for being "Rescue of the Year". And then everyone will wonder how it happened. Jim is a little wiser than Lin, he tries to fly under the Radar during these discussions, you rarely hear from him. Red Flag? Yep! Some who continue to send their money in order to get that "feel good" payback being part of "Rescue" gives them feel that they have no blame in what happens to the horses in the care of these places. I disagree. The Internet also provides a wealth of information for those wishing to part with their hard earned income. Read up on what goes on with these places. Most fundraising online have ongoing updates. What are they? Are horses being trained, adopted out, cared for? Or is every day a new drama? Is there some new emergency preventing training, riding, adopting? Is daily life at the "Rescue" centered around getting the horse into a better situation? Or is the horse fodder for a new, sad story aimed at opening up the pocketbook? Are there ongoing Medical Issues? If so, are they issues the "Rescue" can cover, or is each one treated as an emergency that funds must be raised for? True emergencies DO happen, and on occasion, a good Rescue may have to ask for help. But if the base of a "Rescue's" operating expenses come from donations from others, that is a huge Red Flag. Post 96 offers a really good insight into enabling "Rescues", if you read nothing else, this is worth your time. Responsible behavior would be a good starting point, on the part of both Rescue, and donating party. I have no problem with donating to a good, well run Rescue. But those looking to give should act as responsible consumers. I wouldn't buy a car without doing my research. The fact that many of those operating "Rescue" today have the gift of telling a good tale doesn't convince me that what they say is true. ABR and Facebook have become prime targets for the those who have some sort of empty spot in their lives. "Saving" a horse and all of the accolades that accompany that fill that spot for many. Way back when I began writing for this Blog, I was corresponding with a very nice, but Ill informed woman who was donating to "sponsor" a horse at a "Wonderful" place called "Mustang Hearts", if I recall correctly. As long as her checks rolled in, she was loved by everyone, and told how wonderful she was. This was a woman who was a widow, living on a very fixed income. She began to send much more than she could afford in order to help, and told me part of that reason was for the feeling of belonging it gave her. She no longer felt lonely, she had new friends who really cared about her. Unfortunately, when Mustang Hearts went Belly up, and she was unable to take the horse she had sponsored, not only did she lose her friends, they turned on her viciously. She not only knew nothing about horses, but had no place to keep a horse. She had simply become caught up in all of it, and really hadn't considered the real, breathing animal who ultimately suffered in the end. Sadly, with Internet fundraising, I believe this happens on both the part of those donating, and those "Rescuing". When you continue to take in horses beyond your capacity to care for them, and have no emergency plans in place should you become unable to do so, you are in it for you. Call it selfishness, call it hoarding, call it what you want. Just don't donate to it when it's right there in front of you. There are plenty of legitimate Rescues in operation. The horses there will truly benefit from the money you donate.

by RH2

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And Another One Bites The Dust...

53 Horses seized from Hidden Meadow Equine Rescue - story and video

One horse in perfect health just a few months ago now has a Body score of 1. Another case on Red Flags all over the place, enablers refusing to believe what was going on, and as always-the horses paying the ultimate price. Here's my idea-how about stopping these people from providing "loving, safe places for the poor unwanted horses that would otherwise end up on that "Ugly Truck"? It looks like they continue to get the losing end of the deal each and every time. I know, I know, there are those of you who hate the fact that I refuse to stop pointing out these "Rescues" that Abuse, Neglect, and sometimes kill the horses in their care. Tough. I won't stop until they stop. And I've still got my eyes on my favorites. It's just a matter of time until they end up in the news-and it won't be because of the stellar care they are providing. To those who enable these places-you are just as much to blame as the "Rescues" who commit these horrific acts. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it. If a "Rescue " is constantly begging for feed, supplies, trucks, trailers, funding to BUY HORSES (which is crazy, by the way), and needs money to pay vet bills, yet continues to take in horses with issues, or horses period. there's a problem. If you send them money, you are part of the problem. When horses start dying, save your tears and prayers-it's your fault, too for closing your eyes to what is going on right in front of you. When is this going to end?????????

By RH2

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EPONA... the Numbers Just Keep Going Up

Is there ANY way to stop this woman from taking in horses???? ANY WAY???? Suggestions are welcome!!!! This thread is beyond ridiculous, but the bottom line is that, yes, Lin ends up with yet another horse she seems incapable of dealing with to begin with. She had no idea how to catch him, spent days chasing him around. There was the required drama to make sure he HAD to end up with our Lady of EPONA, and finally, she got her hands on him! The enablers are God Blessing her all over the place, and personally, I feel sick. Here's the topper- Lin recently posted ANOTHER thread about two horses that were delivered to her door in STARVING condition. What did Lin do? 1) Refuse to take them because she is already past full, working, and understaffed? 2) CALL THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY, this is at the very least a neglect case, but more likely an abuse case, as Lin was stating the mare would most likely have to be put down ASAP, 3) not say one word to the people who brought these horses in starved condition to her house, not call the authorities, and simply take them in, and immediately begin posting about them. If you chose 3, you know Lin very well. I do think the mare was saved, as a more knowledgeable Rescue stepped in and pointed out that the mare was probably not in need of Euthanizing. WHY does someone so inept continue to take in horses????? WHY do people continue to support her???? I truly believe we need some sort of certification program in place to weed out the Lins and Jims in the Rescue world. They CANNOT say "NO" on their own-they seem completely incapable of it. So now, Lin adds 3 to her already too high numbers, and I believe she has one of her other horses coming back, so let's make it 4. Winter is coming, she has babies, no strong volunteer base, and as usual, her plan is to fundraise for these horses. We really need to stop these people. How can we do that? You don't have to worry about the "Ugly Truck" when we have places like these to dole out their own special kind of "love". I will continue to keep a close eye on EPONA, because it represents all that is wrong with Rescue to me. Actually, I have never considered her a Rescue, more a grifter and a hoarder. That she can talk people into donating property, vehicles, money, and just about anything else she needs, and STILL fail at Rescue is a true testament to her abilities. I wonder how many poor horses will end up there before Winter comes, and how many will make it through. Let's continue to enable her, though. When this whole thing falls apart, you can all cry and pray-that seems to be a big part of enabling, too, and it seems some have gotten very good at it. A side note to Careen-how many more of these "Rescues" will you associate yourself with, and more important-WHY ARE YOU?????

By RH2

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Unemployment causes horse neglect...

John Holland attributes the rise in equine neglect to unemployment and says it has nothing to do with the lack of slaughter plants in the US ...
I can’t help but wonder about the misspelling of the word defense in the website. Is it an honest (surely not) mistake? Is it a pun meaning John and Vicki are the horses’ only ‘fence’ between horror and rescue? Or is it meant to signify John has jumped the fence/border to find ways to torture more horses? Obviously I could have way too much fun with this so on to the subject at hand.
John apparently thinks all of his readers are either ignorant or just plain stupid. While many agree the lack of financial funds has a lot to do with the rise in equine neglect it is not the only reason. It’s slightly more complicated and we have tried to get the truth about the situation out where people can see it. The anti slaughter bloggers want people to believe we say the lack of slaughter houses increased neglect and abuse. That statement could be perceived in different ways. Mr. Holland would like all of you to think “we” said the lack of U.S. slaughter plants has increased the numbers of people who are abusive or neglectful. John attempts to make us pro horse folks look ignorant and all he succeeds in doing is making himself look lazy, dishonest, and foolish.
What is happening with horse prices or lack of them is a perfect storm. Closing the plants was just one part of the problem. We are in an economic slump and that does affect horse ownership. Less demand drops prices, obviously. There are plenty of us old enough to remember when this happened in the past. We even ran a blog not long ago to talk about that titled “41 Mustangs”.
In a nut shell, the lack of slaughter availability in the United States is not making people neglectful. The lack of money (unemployment) combined with the lack of base scale price is the problem. The closing of the US plants limited certain horses from going to slaughter which in turn limited the ability to sell, or even give away many of these horses. Therefore those unemployed owners have no way of getting out of horse ownership and no way to afford the feed and care these horses need. I know, many of you anti people will say well they should have the vet euthanize (that means kill) them. Call around the country to vets and carcass removal companies and price this endeavor. It isn‘t cheap. A person struggling with paying for the roof over their children's heads isn‘t going to be able to afford it. Also ask vets if they are willing to kill a healthy animal.
Another fact, horses can be had for cheap, sometimes free, by anyone who wants one. Yep anyone. The guy who has no idea what feed costs. The guy who hasn’t got a clue how to care for them properly. The guy who is a hoarder. The guy who is an abusive ass hole. The guy who__________, I’m sure many of you can fill in the blank with any number of other “guys” who shouldn’t have horses. Many of them wouldn’t have had horses had they not been so “affordable” ... And why are they so cheap? Lack of base value. No salvage value. No scale price... Use whatever term you wish but the bottom line is, some horses that would have gone to the US slaughter plants are now stuck where they are... The horses that would have been the lower grade carcass after slaughter were sold to zoos in the past. They weren’t worth exporting as a carcass then and they certainly aren’t worth exporting on the hoof now. Only FAT, healthy, sound animals make that long trip now and our zoos import horse meat from other countries now. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit ridiculous?
So, plain and simple, yes the correlation of unemployment and neglect is true but only because many of the unemployed have no where to sell/ re-home these horses.
I also love it (NOT) when people lacking any real horse knowledge rant on about stopping all breeding. If you want to have a horse of any quality (and John has no idea what quality is) you will stop chanting the anti breeding bull shit and support the responsible breeders of quality horses. Learn to know the difference and apply that knowledge. True horsemen who appreciate quality horses will not adopt a pigeon breasted, coon footed, ewe necked rescue no matter how scarce good horses get or how much they are ‘scolded‘. One more fact you can all take to the bank.

By RM & RH1

A couple “food for thought” articles...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Its that time of year again

Summer's coming to an end, and it's again Fair time. I love the Fairs. They give me hope. We watched some of the horse events, and plan to watch some more throughout the rest of the weekend. Throughout the year, I get so frustrated, and sometimes develop a case of tunnel vision. I think I actually get sucked into the belief that all we are as an Industry now is a giant "Rescue Machine", producing "Pasture Puffs" to exist on carrots and kisses. Or to die in the "loving care" of "Rescues". It makes me want to get out. But then, thank heavens, Fair season comes just in time. We walked in on Thursday and saw a Young Draft colt getting his shoes put on for his class. Guess what? he was standing quietly, although curiously looking around. No "crashing to the ground" from tranquilizers. No one dancing around to keep away from his thrashing feet. This was a young horse who had obviously been worked with. We walked through the barns. Healthy clean, well groomed horses, people sitting around enjoying each others' company, proud to hear all of the comments on the animals they own, care for, and very obviously love. The difference here? These horses have jobs, and certainly seem to be the better for that fact. In one of the Draft barns, there were even a few babies-yep, babies! You see, breeding HAS to go on, because there IS a market if you breed well, and if you breed wisely. True, there are much fewer babies, but the quality is there, and that's a positive sign. We attended the Miniature Horse show. There weren't as many entries as there have been in recent years, but more than last year. Another good sign. again, well trained, well kept horses. I'm looking forward to the open Western Show, as well as the Ultimate Ranch race. The Ranch race is fairly new, and I really love it! It's an obstacle course, but it really tests the trust between horse and rider. We saw it for the first time last year, and I was so impressed by the age range of both horses and participants. Everyone was encouraged, time didn't matter. Getting through the course with your horse, in your own time was the goal, and from the crowd participation, and the applause, I think we'll be seeing much more of this kind of event. As we were leaving, we were lucky enough to pass by that same young draft we saw upon entering. This time, he was getting a bath. Again, curious, calm, he was the picture of what a horse should be. He had a job, he was looking forward to doing it, and his owner obviously took great pride in what she had accomplished with this young guy. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the show. I'm looking forward to all of the coming events. They give me hope that I'm not the only one who still believes in the Equine Industry. I'm not the only one who knows there's more to the horse world than FOB's, Feedlot Saves, and Slaughter Trucks. We're still moving forward. It may just be one small "Fun Show" and County Fair at a time, but for now, if it keeps the hope of a better tomorrow alive for those of us who sometimes feel like just giving up, it's more than enough.
By RH2

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remember That Slippery Slope We Have Mentioned about 589 Times...

Well, Here It Is
and in true NAHSC fashion the damage inflicted by their cause to your lifestyle is all YOUR fault. Your fault for thinking you knew what you were doing and how to do it. Your fault because you chose that business in the first place. Your fault because….well just because…

Representative Kirk (IL), with Co Sponsors Rep. Cohen (TN) and Rep. Whitfield (KY) introduced a bill (H.R.305) to ban hauling horses in double deck trailers on January 8, 2009. Congressman Kirk said he was prompted to introduce this legislation by an accident in Wadsworth, Illinois in October, 2007 involving the overturning of a double deck cattle trailer carrying 59 Belgian draft horses. Eight horses died at the scene and ten were later euthanized. Currently, several states including New York and Pennsylvania have laws prohibiting the transport of horses in double deck trailers, additionally federal regulation prohibits hauling horses to slaughter plants in double deck trailers.

This information was taken from an article I ‘googled’ researching this bill. I assume the Belgians must have been yearlings. Fifty-nine one thousand pound saddle horses would be over -weight. 59 adult Belgian horses in a cattle pot??? I did not research the wreck and the senator said it was so, so I’m gonna accept it, okay???


The bill, titled the ‘Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009', was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and passed out of that committee on July 29, 2010.

Partial text of the bill:

`(a) Prohibition- No person may transport, or cause to be transported, a horse from a place in a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States through or to a place in another State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. Complete information on the bill: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:1:./temp/~c111XPp1GF::
Aimed at slaughter horse transport and using research gathered from same, the bill, if passed, will also apply to transport of all horses in all double deck trailers. Contractors, veterinarians involved in rodeo, and other interested parties are calling for opposition to this bill. The *NAHSC internet bully squad showed up to let everyone know this is never an acceptable way to haul horses. As always the comment sections of articles disagreeing with THE CAUSE, are a lesson in hypocrisy. You know, the peace, love, and harmony for all living things mantra stated using verbal abuse and personal insults. The cheap bastards can haul their stock right or go out of business. Never mind the contractors who have spent several hundred thousand dollars modifying trailers to keep the horses safe and comfortable. Never mind rodeo depends on the condition of the horses to stay in business. Never mind most proven rough stock animals are very valuable. Never mind the contractors have been hauling large groups of horses, long distances for many years SAFELY. The idea of actually researching how any of these contractors handle their horses or what the double deck rigs being used really look like inside or out was obviously not an option and never done.

This is a modified rig Flying U Rodeo Company uses. It is specifically designed to haul cattle in the top deck and horses on the lower one and in the front. Head height in the lower deck is 82”. That’s a skid over 6’ 8” or taller than the average 6’ 6” private stock or horse trailer going down the road to the average rescue.

Another custom built trailer. I would guess this photo was taken at the Merritt factory for promotional reason. Don’t these horses look upset, crowded, and mistreated?

Below are some interior photos of Korkow Rodeo’s double deck trailer modified to keep their horses safe and comfortable.
Wood shavings on the floor for bedding? How careless…

I know what my F-250 Super Duty and 7’x 16’ stock trailer cost. Care to estimate what one of these custom made big rigs run? So much for the ‘cheap bastard/greedy ass hat’ angle.

The factual side of this argument? ??

The only prior research studying transport of horses in double deck trailers was compiled at slaughter plants in the late 90s. The problems cited in this research as leading to injury are not applicable to rodeo horses and the methods used to handle them.

The contractors have obviously taken great care to insure the trailers are modified to be safe and comfortable for the horses. The photos and measurements given above are proof of that. The stock bios page at www.prorodeo.com has photos and statistical information about several top broncs the youngest foaled in 2000 the oldest 1993. I may be going out on limb but I am going to guess they have received fairly good care and hauling to remain competitive for that many years.

Rodeo horses are familiar with their hauling mates. They live together as well as travel together. The horse fights sighted as the main cause of slaughter horse transport injury in the research data are not an issue.

Loading and unloading, another leading cause of injury in the slaughter horse study is not a problem for rodeo horses. Not only have the contractors modified the ramps in the trailers to accommodate horses but the horses are taught to load and haul as youngsters. There is a youtube video link provided and much more information in this in depth review at http://prorodeo.com/community/pdfs/2010_double_deck_truck.pdf

I know if I were going to ask advice on how to haul horses I would certainly trust the knowledge and experience of Hank Franzen, Cotton Rosser, or Jim Korkow over that of The Friends of Barbaro crowd. Just my humble opinion but….

If transport safety is the real aim of this bill why is no mention made of any other form of livestock being transported in double deck trailers? I can think of two cattle pot accidents both less than 100 miles from me in which all the cattle died or were killed by law enforcement at the scene. Not one senator is pushing for safer legislation for them.

The slippery slope? If the equipment and knowledge of these long standing rodeo professionals is outlawed and condemned, how much longer until my stock trailer is outlawed? Featherlite did not design it specifically for horses. It is only 78” in height and who says I know how to load and haul horses safely in it?

By RH1

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where's Steve and the Shark truck with all of this stuff going on?

Okay, we've had a run of these stories, and I'm pretty sure I can find more if I look. Where's the shark truck when we need it?

Dead, malnourished horses, dogs found in South Kitsap; woman arrested

What floors me about this one is that they let her out of jail to care for her mother. If I was mom, I'd be very nervous right about now.

By RH2

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rest of the Story…Simple Horse Keeping Economics…and Be Careful What You Wish for…

Like RH2, I come from a family with some colorful but often crude country sayings. “Even a blind sow finds an acorn every once in awhile” is an old standby used to describe a situation that turns out well on luck alone. My deal with Tim and his traveling partner discussed in the “I Didn’t See You There” blog is one of those situations.

I bought both horses on April 27, 2010. The picture above is how Tim looked on April 28. He is hobbled eating grass in the barnyards at my place. It’s common supplement for thin horses at my house in the spring and summer. The point I am trying to make? The feeding part of ‘rehabilitation is nothing special, just worm ‘em, feed ‘em, keep the stronger bossier horses from using them for chew toys, worm ‘em again and feed ‘em some more. Feeding horses back into condition has been made into something that takes a long time to do and only very special people can do it or so we are led to believe by the NAHSC. It ‘s the standard excuse for all thin horses housed at any rescue according to the ABR enablers as RH2 calls them, maybe yes, maybe no.
Back to Tim…. Tim got fat, slick, and the fatter and slicker he got the cuter he got. My only regret about how he left here? I didn’t get an after picture to prove the point I made above. Tim just didn’t tolerate prosperity well. The fitter he got the harder to get along with he became. Please note: when I say “get along with” I mean ride and ride with a purpose. Quite possibly the reason this cute and very athletic little gelding, which obviously had a lot of breeding somewhere, ended up at Deliverance North with no papers. On the third day of impromptu and unwelcome attempted bronc rides I simply unsaddled him, walked to the house, called my favorite auction and got him a place in the next sale and a barn rider. I don’t like to drive a 150 miles for one horse but then on the other hand especially in a tight market I don’t like to represent a not so honest horse while trying to represent a good one who came in the same trailer. Matter of fact I don’t like to represent a not so honest horse period. I called the auction owner, told him the whole story, got a number, arranged for a barn ride, and made plans to drop my cute little horse, clipped (no easy job) and clean, off the evening before the sale. The staff and I discussed his pretty color, cute head, soundness, and how he could be talented for someone who wanted to work harder at riding him than I did. We decided he would probably bring somewhere between $500 and $700 depending on which traders showed up. I headed my empty trailer home to spend my Saturday riding good colts who wanted to learn while the auction staff sold my less than honest gelding. This was July 17, 2010. Tim went from pretty pathetic to pretty darn cute in that time. Tim presented me with a net check of $1,389, even though, according to my auction owning friend, the little rat was trying to buck his man off in the ring. To put it mildly we were all very pleasantly surprised. Can’t speak for the trader who ended up with him but he was free and over the age of consent.
Not hardly a rescue but I’ll guarantee the horse is better off now than he was last August. Kind of makes me wonder why I spent all day representing a legitimately good gelding started on cattle a month before at what was supposed to be a ‘better’ sale to get $1,900. Guess the old saying is really true????
No, I did not donate one penny from the sale of either to anyone except the Anything for a Buck Foundation.
Next subject:
Simple horse keeping economics don’t own more than you can feed. Against my better judgment I went to the ABR thread about The Winding Road Rescue. I couldn’t help but notice much concern for the poor horses and very little for the child whose life had been torn apart because of his mother’s crazy ass obsessive rescue/hoarding. What he has been through couldn’t in any way affect his future relationship with not only animals but people as well could it????? But annnyyywaaayyyy……
All who claim there is no way to monitor these situations BEFORE the point of legal intervention. WAKE THE F*** UP! Trot yourselves down to the local feed store and read the back of the feed bags. Note the recommended pounds to feed per 100 pounds of body weight for a mature horse. Consult the calculator app on your I-phone, do the math. Total pounds of feed per 100 pounds of weight times the average weight of the average horse times 80 horses times 365 days. Next divide by the number of dollars sent in an average PayPal trick/donation to come up with how many menopausal neurotics it takes to feed that crowd every year.
Time is another factor I can’t come to grips with. Does that NAHSC Kool Aid make time stand still for ya’ll or what? I know without thinking one person is NOT capable of managing 30, 40, 50, or God forbid 80 horses in a confinement situation.
Lecture aside…on to the economics. I usually keep about 10 horses at home in the barns and lots. I rent pasture for 5 to 8 others. The number of horses both places can vary 3 or 4 either way but these are the average numbers. I rent a total of 20 acres of pasture. I estimate at the very least 3 acres per horse for summer grazing and I TRY to err on the side of having too much grass. Cost to me, $800 a year. The Kansas Flint Hills has some of the best grazing in the country but 80 head on 40 acres equals no grazing even in Kansas. I was through that part of the country recently and the pastures look great from all the moisture. Great everywhere EXCEPT at the rescue. Pasture management is obviously not a required course at Rescue U.
I figure 100 square bales a month, 12 months a year for the horses at home. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more, but that’s a good average to start with when lining up hay for the winter. I am about half way to my 800 bale goal now to see me through until first cutting is in next May. Hay costs this year look to be roughly $4,800 for the year. I feed a bulk grain ration delivered from a local feed store/elevator. It usually runs around $225 a ton. I use about a ton a month. Adds another $2,700 and that adds up to around $7,500 a year for 10 in the barn lots. It takes one whole customer horse tab and about one fifth of another to keep feed in front of the whole pack. If I spend an hour and a half a day, six days a week riding to pay for the feed, 3 hours a week hauling hay, and 1 hour a day doing chores more than 20 hours a week is shot to heck. I’ve kept two horses exercised/training and 8 others have been given basic care. Let’s not forget the other annoying details like fuel for the truck, rent on the building site, tack, salt and mineral, wormer, bedding for the few I choose to keep stalled, and shoeing. For the most part I do my own trimming but again that takes time too. Is this registering to anyone who reads those 10 paragraph essay posts from the ABR saviors? No matter how well people write, no matter how good their intentions are, there is a great big logistics/economics discrepancy going on here. The basic constants of horse keeping do not cease to exist or change in any way simply because the rescue has pure non-profit thoughts and I don’t.
Now, careful what you wish for…Several years ago in the beginning, the idea of ‘humane euthanasia stations’ was passed around. The ‘profit’ only rewarded the bad people to keep raising horses, blah, blah, blah…..In other words you can kill them just don’t pay the owners to get them to kill. Well, here ya go folks… I am quoting directly from an Iowa Farmer Today (July 24, 2010) article by Bob Boshart sent to me by a friend.
A state board agreed to invest $25,000 in a feasibility study for a proposed Iowa City project exploring a humane way to euthanize (that means kill by the way) horses and process the meat for animal consumption. The Economic Development Board (DED) gave unanimous support for a grant to Responsible Transportation, LLC to ‘consolidate unwanted horses across the Midwest’ and put the animals down free of charge, according to DED documents. The company, which pledged nearly $31,000 for the study to be completed in July 2011, has used innovation to improve animal handling practices.
Responsible Transportation, LLC requested technical assistance funding for third party research that will allow the company to conduct a feasibility study, plan for the development of a processing plant, perform an export analysis, and design a website and building design.
The activity will facilitate the company application for a USDA guaranteed loan to further the business operation, according to board documents.
And there you go…. All done…No profit for the horse owners. No EU restrictions. No more “from stable to table”. I plan on trying to learn what ‘innovation to improve handling' is but right now I have to get back to work, refer to the economics paragraph.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Day, Another "Rescue"

Eleven horses seized

I know a lot of people want to continue to work on ending Slaughter in America. But what do we do about this trend? Another "Rescue", more starving horses, and we haven't even gotten into Winter. What can we do to stop the hoarding and enabling? How can we educate those who continue to support these "Rescues" even after criminal charges are filed against them? How do we point out the "Rescues" headed down the same road when there are those who will support them no matter how many horses they take in, or how high their maintenance bills for those horses rise? How do we learn that saying "NO" is sometimes kinder than the "save"? Sorry, I'm just so tired of seeing walking skeletons-made with "love".
Owner of seized horses tells her side

Two arrested in case of alleged animal cruelty

From what I am reading in message forums there may well be much more to this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Winding Road (to hell)

As you know RH2 recently wrote a piece on a horse seizure in KS resulting in the arrest of horse rescuer Kristin Chambers for the neglect of at least 80 horses in her care.
Here is some additional reporting and Video on the Winding road horse seizure and arrest.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aren’t They The Coolest Thing You Ever Did See????

While Fugly and Team *NAHSC are scanning the globe or at least Craig’s List and the North American continent for things in the horse world to bitch about we miss things like this. They are on Craig’s List too, but we didn’t hear about them. Even though they are on Craig’s List I’m going guess they are not in need of rescue. In other words I’ll bet they ain’t cheap. According to the ad they come with the harness, wagon, and all the gear, the ponies range in age from 8 to 15, and are one of only five in the U. S.. I don’t know about that but I think they are the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. You tube video under Crazy 8’s Ponies.

Sometimes we need to stop bitching and remember why we all give a crap about what happens to the horses and the horse industry. We need to celebrate the good. What a well trained and turned out set of ponies. Think how much effort has gone into matching and training them not to mention the financial outlay for their gear.

By RH1

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Down The Road Again

My dad had a saying-"How many times do you need to get kicked in the ass before you know it hurts?" A little crude, but I think you get the message. And I wonder with some people, how many times they do need to have it happen. Take the latest EPONA drama. I know, will it ever end? The answer is no. I recently wrote a blog about a Rescue failing and the part enablers play in these things. You'd think people would at the very least think long and hard about who they are helping. Not so much, in some cases. here's the gist of this one- Lin of EPONA posted that she was notified of a large team of Belgian mares that bolt under harness. The bail for these horses is $1000. There are 7 days to save them, then off to the Kill Buyers they will go. No other options-Lin or the Kil Buyers (stop it, I know what you're thinking!) Now, since she works 50 hours a week, has just taken in 2 (10) horses, and has 2 new babies with more on the way, Lin herself does not have time to actually bring these drafts to EPONA. Lucky day for the drafts! BUT- with all she has to do, Lin has found a foster home for these mares, as well as a trainer! She never ceases to amaze me, our Lady of EPONA. And, on top of this, she's on her way to work at the fair for a few days. I think Lin has missed her calling. Instead of running a Rescue, she should be writing a book on successful multi-tasking. WHERE does the woman find the time to take on yet another fund raising task? Oh-sorry, I got ahead of myself here. Lin is going to need that full grand raised from the wonderful FOB's. The person with the mares isn't going to contribute, and the new home isn't either. The trainer isn't going to. But don't worry, we can count on Lin's spotless reputation as an incentive to send in that money. Apparently, we're going to need to count on that, since Lin does not have pictures of the team, or contact information for the seller, the new foster home, or the trainer. As with all things EPONA, we are expected to go on blind faith. And in truth, you'd have to be blind to continue to buy her bullshit. After all, when she "saved" those two mares recently, she DID neglect to mention the other 8 horses she purchased. But that's Lin-half truths, if you get the truth at all. I was feeling pretty proud of the folks over on ABR-the donations and "Bless you's" did not come flooding in. Of course, Lin wasn't real happy with this. In one of the most interesting posts I have ever read from her (#35) Lin herself states how she is being compared to the Rescue that failed and had charges filed against it. Of course, Lin feels she is nothing like a Rescue that takes in too many horses, fabricates stories, and continues to take in more horses despite the fact that they can't even pay for the care of the ones they have in house. And she goes further. She states that there will be blood on the hands of the "emailing hate mongers and liars on other forums" who apparently are now poisoning the EPONA money well. Needless to say, that does not go over well with everyone. In post #40, it is explained to Lin that in light of what has just happened with the other Rescue, ALL Rescues (yes, even you, Lin) need to be more accountable. It is further stated that people SHOULD question a request for donations to horses there are no pictures for going to a foster there is no information for, and that it is wrong for Lin to place the blame on those who donate because they are being a little more cautious. Lin is asked about her numbers-she has 48 now, but wants to get down to 30 by Winter. That must be the reason she recently purchased 10, some in foal. She was asked about her outstanding hay and vet bill, since she was asking for help in paying them. Lin replied she always carries a balance with her vet, and that the hay bill has been paid. In post #53, Lin is asked why the new Foster home can't contribute to the purchase price of the horses, and more importantly-how is the trainer going to get paid? It is also asked if Lin checked on the status of the Foster's health insurance, as large horses that bolt will definitely pose a safety risk. In post #59, there is a link to a Craigslist ad posted. Two well broke Belgian mares for sale for-you guessed it-$1000, and Lin is asked if these are the mares she is trying to get. Of course, right now, Lin is at the fair, so her enablers step in and help out by answering. In post #76, the Craigslist ad is brought up again. Lin does answer in post #87, stating "her" mares are in Nebraska. The owner of the mares on Craigslist posts to assure everyone that these are NOT the mares Lin is buying (sorry, folks, I'd still be calling the number in the ad). The enablers continue to push this along. I guess they haven't learned anything yet. I guess that despite what is right in front of them, they prefer the Fairy tale of EPONA to the reality. I think my favorite part of this whole thread is Lin's insistence that this person will work with no one else but her, because of her sterling reputation. As I have said before, if you do your homework, and read between the lines, the truth is always pretty easy to see. Lin states in post #1 she was notified of these horses-so she does not have any prior knowledge of the owner or the horses. Now, suddenly, Lin is the only person this person will sell to? I would not forge that kind of bond unless I have met that person. And then, I'd have to visit their facility. Otherwise, they're just a broker I'm working through. If Lin went to meet the owner, why didn't she take pictures of the horses? Lin further states that the Foster home and trainer do not want their names on a public forum. Why is that? They are obviously doing a wonderful thing here, taking in two very dangerous horses. IF I was going to donate, I would want to know how the training was going on these two very challenging mares, wouldn't you? And, given the Phoenix Rising situation, I'd sure as hell want to know exactly where they were actually going once paid for. Hey, EPONA fans, I've got some lovely beach front property for ya. I don't have any pictures, and there's no deed for the house, but trust me, it's there. I'll post my paypal addy so you can send me your cash......When will this ever end?
By RH2

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

Once again, a sad tale of a Rescue overwhelmed. Winding Road Equine rescue and Retirement Inc.(WRERR) is home to 80 horses. Recently, an arrest was made and charges filed against the woman owning the Rescue. It appears that there were many "red flags", but not everyone wanted to see what was happening. It always strikes me in these situations that those who enable poorly operated Rescues must share in the blame for what happens to the animals housed in them. The accusations are flying now, as well as opinions. Is this a hoarding situation? A Rescue in over it's head? Someone who just can't say "no"? A victim, or villain? The discussion has gone on, and there is plenty of finger pointing. One thing appears to be certain, though-the signs were there that things were not fine. And they hadn't been fine for awhile. When we choose to donate, what is our responsibility? Should we encourag
e those we donate to to continue to take in horses when we see they are over capacity? Should we continue to send in donations when these Rescues continue to take in horses in spite of rising hay, vet, farrier and feed bills? If, time and time again, the Rescue is asking for help, yet continues to take on more horses, yet has no strong support structure, should we pile on the praise and tell them how wonderful they are for saving the horses? If questions are raised time and time again, should we not at least consider the possibi
lity that they may be legitimate concerns instead of hateful people out to try to destroy an innocent person? In one of the posts concerning WRERR, it was stated that those who continued contributing to this Rescue despite the concerns that were being voiced were accomplices to what is now happening. I agree. It was further stated that those who knew that something was wrong and did not speak up are complicit in the neglect these horses have suffered, and the death that will come to at least 8 of them. I agree. When we choose to support a Rescue, it is our job to keep our eyes and ears open. A WIKI isn't going to give us the information we need, and certainly, the person wishing to receive your donation is not going to be honest about the situation. Common sense can go a long way in helping us to make our decisions. Common sense tells us that if a person is working full time, and has no reliable volunteer base, they are not able to properly care for large numbers of horses. If a
Rescue refuses to answer questions, or becomes defensive, I believe that is a red flag. If a Rescue cannot sustain itself without continually asking for donations, yet continues to add to it's numbers, it is a red flag. If the horses in the care of a Rescue are not doing well, are not groomed, or do not receive proper farrier care and vaccines and worming, it is a red flag. If they are not receiving training, if they are not at the very least handled by a human at least once a day, there is a problem. In the age of the Internet, it takes very little time to get quite a bit of information. There are Rescues that tell a great story, but if you do a little research, and read between the lines, the truth is right there. Such was the case with WRERR. This did not have to happen. It's a tragedy, and if you check out post #443, the photos of the horses are truly heartbreaking. They always are. When we enable Rescues to overcrowd, provide substandard care, and mismanage, we have to expect these scenarios to repeat themselves time and time again. I can name a handful of Rescues right now that I will not be the least bit sur
prised to see fall the same way WRERR has fallen. Those who support them will of course cry, pray, and hope for the best. To those people I suggest making a picture from post #443 your screen saver. Each day before you log on and read the stories spun by these people, you will see the reality of overcrowding, under staffing, mismanagement, ignorance, and lack of funding. Maybe you'll think twice before you thank one of these people for taking in yet another horse. Even better, maybe you will stop sending them money.
By RH2

Kristin Chambers is the director of WRERR

Thursday, July 29, 2010

There Must Be Something about July...

Animal cruelty in my state is an aggravated misdemeanor. I did not check all states so I can’t speak for yours. While the NAHSC is trying to pass legislation to make transporting horses to slaughter a felony, animal cruelty involving horses or the family is an aggravated misdemeanor. NAHSC note: I said animal cruelty, not neglect.

There is a vast difference between neglect and cruelty. I don’t understand the mentality that allows an individual to hoard, or keep an animal in constant discomfort but it is vastly different from the mind needed to purposely inflict torture and death to an animal. Many people I consider a big part of “THE PROBLEM” feel they are competent horsemen and more than a few feel they are more than competent trainers. Most of them at least mean well although they make the rest of us crazy. We have cussed and discussed how the lack of floor value has made horses available to these and others who really have no business in the horse industry. I like to compare these folks, the Kool Aid Klub, and the NAHSC brigade to a blister on the butt of the horse industry. They are a pain in the ass but not fatal.

Others, those with the intent to torture, maim, and kill for the adrenalin rush or whatever sick mind trip, are a whole ‘nuther breed of cat. They are not only a humane nuisance but both a societal symptom and problem. They are a cancer instead of a blister. Unchecked they will be fatal and it seems we have added yet another animal to the list they can torture.

Pro-horse/pro-slaughter/pro-profit oriented horse industry horsemen have used the increase of neglect, abandonment, and the host of other bad things which happen to animals who have become a no value liability (pets) instead of a salvage value asset to justify the necessity of horse processing/slaughter/butcher. Whatever term you choose to use, whether you support this belief, if you are pro or anti horse is not the point, the universal rebuttal to this? These things are against the law. The law will protect the horses and prevent these things from happening more frequently. HSUS and PETA are supposedly to busy using the vast donations they continue to suck in to lobby for animal protection and animal rights laws to fund any real hands on care of the animals. These organizations and their mouthpieces have been so involved in stamping out an industry, which could have and perhaps should have been more tightly regulated to correct its problems, they haven’t even paid lip service to animal cruelty syndrome.

Back to the Fourth of July. Late in the night of July 4, 2009 and early into the next morning Flint Dahl and his buddies were torturing Dually, Wendy Halweg’s good barrel horse. HSUS and PETA wanted nothing to do with the prosecution or investigation of the case. He was a rodeo horse, they don’t condone rodeo. A glance through the comments on AHL (American Horse League) website shows a couple of “compassionate horse lovers” berating Chase Anderson and the organization’s press release calling for prosecution and harsh punishment of the violators. Why? They are pro-slaughter. How can they possibly have the unmitigated gall to stand up against the cruel treatment of this one horse when they were for killing hundreds of others?

There is a difference between feeding, shipping, and processing any animal and torture killings. Trust me I can say this with a clear conscience, in large part because of the events of this July 4.

My two yearling colts get out of their pasture and were hit with a Jeep. The land owner was away camping so it is unclear how these colts got out. They and their two year old brother were out while two other horses stayed in the same pasture and continue to do so now. Supposedly a 16 year old witness in the Jeep that ran them down who testified the driver (a 30 year old male) drove by the colts, then turned around to chase them for fun and to see if he could hit one. He did well, he hit both. The witness later recanted, so again the facts are unclear. The stated facts in the sheriff’s report are:

Absolutely no skid marks were present on the rain soaked little traveled gravel road.

The colts were left with broken legs while the driver called help and towed his Jeep away as there was no sign of a vehicle when a second unrelated vehicle found the colts in the road and called for help.

Supposedly later on the deputy and the landowner’s son tracked anti-freeze and other fluid leaks to a nearby residence to find who had actually hit them.

Here is pretty much how this has played out to date. The witness recanted….she is 16, she and the driver were leaving a party intoxicated so her parents are clamming her up. The county sheriff has little more interest in prosecuting this case than if the family dog was hit and killed. The value of the colts was questioned immediately. My friend who is the landowner valued them at the princely sum of $1,200.00 or $600 apiece for the sheriff’s report. He didn’t call me until the next morning. Logically there was nothing I could do and he knew how upset I would be over the way they died. We all know horses aren’t worth ANYTHING.. Hell, there are people all over trying to give them away. They were out. If they hadn’t been where the drunk S.O.B. could see them, and it didn’t happen in an open range state/area so, well you know the rest of the story…….. Sounds kind of like blaming the date rape victim for being female if you ask me.

Turning Woody out into the hill pasture made a happy story but as I drove up to the gate to unload, about 300 yards away on that same road were the bloodstains where the yearlings had bled out. It’s the horse business, if you don’t own them you can’t lose them but for a time it was easier to talk about Woody. Really it still is.

If there is any doubt in your mind about the connection between animal violence and human crime, read on. Interesting reading on this subject at :

They do help answer the question all my friends and I have had….What kind of person does that sort of thing?

Names conspicuously absent from these pages detailing research and reasons for more funding, attention, and stronger prosecution of this syndrome???? PETA???? HSUS????? Must be something about July 4, the full moon, alcohol, and all those good designer drugs.

By RH1

Update on Dually- June 24, 2010

"The man charged with stealing and abusing Dually was recently sentenced for the crimes. For the next three years, every 4th of July, Flint Dahl will serve five days behind bars."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I read with sadness that Jim Gath laid to rest one of his horses- a 30 year old resident of Tierra Madre, the overcrowded less than 3 acre Sanctuary for horses he operates almost solely on donations. It's quite something that a horse lives for 30 years, and a plus if those are healthy years. Jim, as always spins an emotional tale with Jim somehow the main character rather than the horse. And the FTM's (friends of Tierra Madre ) do not disappoint in their support of Jim. But as always with those of us who are such skeptics, the underlying story is sad. Jim mentions how long this horse has been in pain. How much weight he has lost. How much doctoring Jim has done on him. He talks of cutting into his foot, and of the poor guy having to bear weight on a severely arthritic leg to rest that foot. Of ongoing infections. Of the possibility of cancer. And, being Tierra Madre, of the decision not to pay a large amount of money to have x rays done on a horse who has, in Jim's opinion come to the end of the circle of life. What a sad journey it was for the horse, though. During the out pouring of sympathy for Jim, someone stated the obvious. That less numbers of horses on such a small plot of land would allow for better care and more time for Jim who is ever complaining about how over worked he is. The poster even suggested that there were indeed other people who could love these horses as Jim claims only he can. The Tierra Madre thong Club of course did not appreciate this at all! We are reminded that this is a SANCTUARY, and that Jim takes in horses NO ONE ELSE wants. With enabling like this going on, no wonder there are so many horses packed into this small plot of land! I suppose it escapes these people that along with love, horses need room to run. I don't think they have the slightest understanding of how many of the problems Jim's horses experience are at least partially related to the fact that they do not get to act like horses. They are shut up in pens, and small run ins. Horses need exercise for healthy respiratory systems, joints, muscles, and circulation. Even an old 30 year old arthritic horse is much better when able to get out there and move. To lock them all up is to guarantee lameness issues. Jim's stories of the horrors these horses came from may make for good reading, but I can't stop thinking of the day to day hell they live in at Tierra Madre. I know, I know-Jim LOVES the horses. He'd do anything for them-except keep a reasonable number on less than 3 acres, train the ones that are adoptable and adopt them out, and get his finances in order so he can afford the horses he owns. I have nothing against fundraising, but when your operation depends on it, you're doing something wrong. As long as Jim is enabled, he will continue to make life miserable for as many horses as he can get his hands on. I predict a horse will soon fill the empty slot. Jim will not be able to help himself. And it will be filled with the help and blessing of his enablers. I have to add an interesting side note here, for those EPONA fans. In the midst of Jim's posts on the loss of his horse, and the condolences from his enablers, doesn't Miss Lin just post a picture of that new baby? She just couldn't stop herself. Of course, it was under the guise of the whole "circle of life" thing. My guess is that our Lin didn't quite like the shift in attention. She and Jim are truly two peas in a pod. The only thing worse than the two of them operating separately would be them joining forces.
By RH2

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Epona continues to prove to be hoarder

Lin +2 (PLUS 8!!!!!!)

Ahhhhh, it's summer- warm days, lazing on the deck with a glass of iced tea, sweating in the hot sun while shoveling manure, hay sticking all over you during feeding time-and of course, EPONA's back and begging in full force. She was pretty low profile, almost non-existent on ABR for awhile. I think so many people were on to her and her lies that she just gave up. She told everyone that EPONA was going in "a different direction".(something we hear with alarming regularity it seems), and was pretty much off board for quite some time. Good times for the horses. Those able to escape Lin's brand of love and care had chances to go to other places. To actually receive proper care, and to possibly even get adopted out. Hoarder/Rescues can't seem to let 'em go, and EPONA is second to Tierra Madre only in hoarder mentality. Gee-no wonder they support each other! But back to the story. Lin posted recently about a Freisian cross mare she had to "rescue" from a bad situation. Upon arriving at the home of the mare, she also found another 22 year old STB mare-also in foal. Of course, our lady of EPONA couldn't leave these two moneymakers-oops-mares there, so with the support of donors-Lin has no money to operate her "Rescue"on her own, she saved these two mares and brought them across state lines to EPONA. That's right folks- Lin had to travel across state lines to find horses in need. Perhaps the "unwanted horse" situation is improving? I mean, if you can't find horses in your own state that need your help, that's good, right???? Right???? Okay, moving on. So, Lin posts her tale of woe, and immediately asks for funds, because, of course Lin can't afford to house the horses she has saved. Well, some of those nasty nay Sayers on ABR got a little uppity with our Lady of EOPNA and had some questions. Lin DOES NOT LIKE QUESTIONS! One of her enablers-oops again, supporters informed all that Lin will answer questions, but only to those who donate to her cause. Interesting Fundraising tactic there, Lin. The discussion goes on, and as with all discussions involving EPONA, it turns out Lin's tale is just that-not quite the truth. It seems that these horses were already in the process of being removed. AND-and this is my very most favorite part of the story- Lin DID NOT MENTION SHE ALSO PURCHASED 8 ADDITIONAL FRIESIAN CROSSES WHILE "SAVING" THE MARES. But don't worry-Lin is not overcrowded-she simply used up the slots she had reserved for horses in need for her state she had promised to the Sheriff. Now nothing says responsible rescue like that, does it? And I can't help but wonder what will happen should the Sheriff need those spots? Hmmmm. Anyhow, there are a lot of posts, and Lin does what she does best. There are a few highlights I'd like to point out, but by all means, if it's raining and you've got nothing to do, read the thing yourself. Lin is at her victimized best, and the few supporters she has are just so ridiculous in their inability to see who she is, and what a detriment she is to Rescue. My favorite comment by one of her supporters has to be that going to EPONA is better than going to Slaughter. Are you sure about that? So, the high points. Post # 59- the poster states that "quality of care is more important than quantity of horses". If only Lin, and Jim, too, could understand that! Post 70, perhaps my favorite-Lin rants on about the accusations about the lack of medical care for the horses-there were none, then plays her trump card. Yes, folks, Lin remembers the One year anniversary of Little Wilbur Gregory's death. For those unfamiliar, he was a little donk cross allowed to run in with full sized horses, and died before reaching the age of 6 months. Lin was going to post the necropsy report. I think we're still waiting. She also states she's "done" with all of the mean people insisting on asking her questions, but assures all the horses will get the same good care they've always gotten. (Refer back to Little Wilbur here, and be very afraid for any foal). In post 86 Lin discusses all she has to get done today. I love this, it's a Jim Gath tactic also. It flies right past them that they are so overworked because they TOOK ON TOO MANY HORSES!!!!!!!!!!! Typical hoarder/victim speak, but always great to read. If you read nothing else on this soap opera, check out post 89. It lists all the inconsistencies Lin herself has posted. In post 92, we have our first donation-from a member named Beverly. Bev also happens to be a staunch supporter of one Jim Gath, even referring to him as "little brother". I wonder what sadness occurred in her life that she needs fulfillment from these two? This is the only part of this crap that saddens me about the supporters. Something is missing in their lives, and these people take advantage of it-big time. In post 135, a "private pledge" is made. It's only $5, but it keeps the ball rolling. I guess if you're too embarrassed to post publicly that you support this mess, private and anonymous is the way to go. There were also posts asking the questions Lin never wants to answer-how many horses, how many volunteers? In post 73 Lin is reminded she complained about her huge vet bill and was asking for help in paying it down. Here's another of my favorite things about Lin. She has this huge bill, yet consciously took in 2 horses she knows will require more vet care. If I was her vet, I'd be spitting mad at her irresponsible behavior. Of course, she probably lies to him, too. And hopefully, he doesn't read any of the discussion boards to see how she abuses his kindness in letting her carry a $5,000 balance. Lin answers about the number of horses and volunteers only after a member threatens to call a lawyer and look into her "Rescue" for refusing to provide the information. Lin at this time has 45 horses (I am guessing this includes the 10 new ones). 4 of those horses are in Foster care. Okay, So you have 4 horses out in Foster, and you bring 10 in? Is this making sense to anyone? In case you've forgotten, last time Lin sent horses out (Phoenix Rising) they did not fare so well, and we still really don't know what happened to them. She has 1-count him/her 1 full time volunteer, and 3-4 "part time through the summer" volunteers. Gee, Lin, could you be a little more vague? The thread goes on with support for all the wonderful things Lin does, and thanks her doing what she does. There are stories that don't add up, but that's okay. Lin just won't reply to those nasty people who want the truth. She will focus on finding Angles to pay the bills for the horses she went out of state to get, and hope everyone forgets about the extra 8 she purchased. Lin will do what Lin does, and her enablers will help her do it. And, oh gosh, I almost forgot!!!!!! Lin is hoping to set up a Mare Stare Camera, so we can all witness the miracle at EPONA!!!! She's hinting at the priceyness, maybe an "Angel" will provide the camera? Personally, I'd prefer to watch "Lin Stare" If everyone could see just who she really is and what she really does, maybe, just maybe, the donations would finally stop, and she would either have to do what a responsible Rescue does, or shut down. My money is on shutting down, since she has not done one responsible thing as a Rescue since I've known about her. We can look forward to more of Lin as victim, and of course, Lin as mommy with new "Little Stinkers" to ooh and aah over. I hope she has learned a little more about foals, and these new babies fare better than the others she's had. Stay tuned-with EPONA, it's never over. How sad is that?

By RH2

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Play a Hunch and Hope for the Best……

I had a call from an acquaintance/client early this spring. He was given two starved out yearlings a couple years ago. I am not sure about the details of the transaction but young cowboys tend to shift jobs early on in their careers. I think that’s probably true of many young people, but when young hands move on the situation and number of horses they can take with them often changes and this was the case for the first owner of Woody and his half brother Ike. So they came to live with Mark. Ike was ridden some as two year old last year and was well on the way to becoming a productive horse citizen. Woody on the other hand was not so lucky. He jammed a piece of wood in his stifle as a two year old. The vet probed the wound which at the time was dangerously close to the joint capsule so the least invasive treatment was taken. There was no indication of any remaining pieces during the original exam and the horse healed over once but continued to have problems.

Mark brought Ike for a tune up this spring so he could take him west for the brandings as he always does his young horses. Woody’s future was in question since he was still having problems with his stifle. Mark and I discussed this too. Although he had spoken with two different vets in the area about why the wound wouldn’t heal, he hadn’t pursued treating the horse. First the cost issue and second since the current infection was at a higher location closer to the flank the vets seemed to think there was a new injury in combination with the old. The long and short, no one was quite sure what to do. The Ciderwood/Leo Maudie bred gelding had dropped from “rescue” to “unwanted” to “what the hell am I going to do with this thing”. To put off what he thought was the inevitable Mark wanted to give him to me. It's been said everyone has several 15 minute bouts of insanity during their life. This was one of mine. I said I would take the colt, turn him out and do what I could, but if by the end of the year I hadn’t been able to fix him Mark had to take him back to put him down. I liked Ike and before he was hurt Woody had supposedly been the better of the two. That’s the best excuse I can come up with for taking Woody in the first place. It sounds so much more business-like than I didn’t like the thought of the crippled colt being stuck in a load of killers. Obviously neither did Mark.

I have to admit even I wasn’t prepared for the deformed rack of bones that came off the trailer. What should have been a big ranchy looking colt was thin, sickly, and his entire left side from the shoulder back was atrophied. He looked like a polio stricken concentration camp refugee. Turning this horse out in the hill pasture was not going to be an option. It certainly wasn’t going to fix the problem and he more than likely wouldn’t survive the stress of heat and flies. He had a softball sized hard knot in the bottom of his flank which oozed thick puss constantly. He stood with the injured leg stretched clear forward under his belly or hip shot and stretched out behind him. Either way he bore no weight on it when standing at rest. If he had a chance to gather up before he moved off he could and would bear full weight on the leg. When startled into moving off quickly he hopped pitifully, carrying his bad leg like a lame dog. The poor wretch hobbled around the barnyard eating grass for about 10 days while I watched him trying to come up with a plan.

The oozing lump at the base of his flank was hot and painful. His stifle was cool and seemed to be normal so it was unlikely the joint or joint capsule were infected. Rule out the bone chip theory. I started thinking deep tissue abscess of some sort but why wouldn’t or couldn’t it heal on its own in the first place? With the idea “the only way I can make him worse is to kill him and maybe that wouldn’t be the WORST” in mind, I talked with my local vet.. He is a good country large animal vet who happens to be badly infected with Thoroughbred disease, at least that's what he calls it. We decided to open the wound back up, cut away any scar tissue, infected tissue, and start over with a cleaned freshly incised wound. In the event Doc felt the horse couldn’t recover normally, well then Woody simply wouldn’t get up from the grass in front of the clinic, our chosen operating table. It was a warm May afternoon so it seemed like the best spot to lay him.

The young vet newly hired by the practice was keeping a scrap book of odd cases. She took these pictures.

The first photo is Woody before.
The second is the tissue lump in the flank of the horse.

The next picture is of the incision and the scar tissue which was later cut away and removed. The wood was up behind the mass of scar tissue along the muscle of the horse's inner thigh near where his thigh and belly came together.

The fourth is of the wood with a hemostat used for a size comparison laid out on the thigh of the colt.

Some things to keep in mind while looking at these photos. The belly of this 15.1 hand three year old gelding is barely wider than the two hands of the vet. The horse carried this 1” x 1” x 6” piece of wood in his inner thigh for over a year. How he had lived as long as he had was anybody’s guess. Judging from the looks of him he was dangerously close to out of time.

Brandi, the young vet, has a record book case for her scrap book. Doc has a really good bar story for quite some time. Whoever ends up owning Woody will have the trump card tale for how tough his horse is. I don’t have to look over the fence at that miserable scrap of horse and wonder how I am going to get out of this. Woody went to the hill pasture yesterday, two months later, incision healed and running sound with the other horses. One sunny day in May went pretty darn well for all involved I'd say.

I can only think of one down side…….I didn’t have the good sense to parlay this $197.50 ordeal into donations to cover x-rays, surgical costs, hospitalization, and of course lifetime support for Woody. He’ll come back from the pasture a different horse in October I’m guessing but then he will have to get a job. We’ll wait for the “after” shot until then.
Written By RH1