“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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Winter Science Experiment……….

Or I really would like to do something with this mare…..

I have a nice dun breeding stock paint mare. She has a long and drawn out life story. For the sake of argument she is a really nice mare, a full sister to the good gelding in the What’s He Worth Blog. Full older sister, she was originally bred to be a barrel prospect. I have started many young horses for her breeder, all half or full siblings. All the good kind. This mare would have been too…..But she tried to amputate a fore foot when she was a three year old. She wasn’t halter broken so she healed the best she could. Future soundness in doubt she was pushed to the back of the pasture for a few more years. She was given to me when her home was sold in a foreclosure auction. I brought her home, broke her to lead and tie, and sent her to a mule breeder I know. Heartless bitch, I couldn’t ship her, didn’t have time to ride her, wasn’t sure she would be sound, and the only paint stud in the area I have any inclination to like is her sire. I thought my mule breeder friend wouldn’t care about the breeding stock paint papers and would love her color, breeding, and conformation. He did. Unfortunately, the mare didn’t love the jack. Two springs later she was back in my pasture with no mule production record. Another summer has slipped by with me not making much time to work with her. I decided she would be the perfect candidate to test the NAHSC’s rescue solution.
I googled Midwestern horse welfare rescue facilities and eventually settled on the website: Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. America's Alternative to Sending Your Horse to Market ... The Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation is dedicated to providing qualified homes for any horse in need. ...http://www.horse-welfare.org/find.aspx?show=state&state=Iowa, this website searches by state. Starting in Iowa, I emailed the listed facilities with this polite request:
Name of the organization or Ms.or Mr. (surname):
I have a mare I would like to place with your foundation rather than take her to the auction where she will almost surely go to kill. She is a nine year old dun breeding stock paint. She was injured as a three year old and is marginally sound. Perhaps with corrective shoeing may be sound for riding but she was unstarted by any previous owners and not halter broken until she was six, so although she is a kind, intelligent mare by nature she is a little different to handle. Meaning she needs to be handled by someone who has experience in working with horses raised out unhandled. She most likely will not ever be a horse for a mediocre horse person. I took the mare with the intention of using her as a broodmare since she is a well made and well bred horse. As you know the broodmare deal is not at all feasible these days. I simply do not have space for a horse I can't use or sell. Please contact me by email or phone either way on the decision you make about taking this mare.
Thank you,
Central States Horse Rescue was first on the list. http://www.cshr.50megs.com/. According to his website written in the spring 2009 he was full so I did not even email him. Next…..
http://www.hoovespaws.org/ was next. Reading this site, I wanted to add the mare had never been abused so she probably didn’t have the credentials for an emotional story to be written about her. There was a story here about an Appaloosa mare that would make Ginger in Black Beauty think she had lived a charmed life. I’m not writing this to belittle or critique the rescues in the Midwest. That isn’t my point. I refrained from any judgment or comment. I shouldn’t have given it a thought as she did not reply at all.
http://www.healingheartswithhorses.com/hhh/ replied: I am so sorry but we are unable to take any horse at this time, we are full at 25 and currently have 44 head on 25 acres. With the economy --funds are low and donations lower:-( You might contact Hooves and Paws in Glenwood IA or Iowa Equine Rescue in Cedar Rapids. I am just a small backyard operation and am pushed to the limits right now. I cant move perfectly good horses! Have you tried Craigs list? There are still breeders out there and the color is right
Sorry I cant be of further assistance, it sure is an awful time for horses.
Polite, honest, kind of what I expected, but she tried. Hooves s and Paws, back where I started……Craig’s List, isn’t that where those evil killer buyers stalk unsuspecting horse owners? Breeders, aren’t they the ones still causing the problem?
Lazy R at http://www.angelfire.com/ia2/lazyriowa/ was next and the email address in the website was kicked back as account unavailable. I didn’t try the account for donations but it does raise an interesting question.
I went back to the main site and tried Nebraska.
I started with Break Heart Ranch, http://www.breakheartranch.com/ and she replied: Can you tell me what her soundness issues might be, possibly send me a picture. It is possible I may have a home for her.
I answered: She was caught in a gate and cut her left front heal bulb down into the hoof on the outside quarter nearly cutting that quarter of the hoof off. She travels sound in the pasture but tends to limp slightly when worked. I have no pictures of her. However, here is a picture of her full brother. He is bay but they are built much the same. She is not broke to ride.
Thanks for your reply.
She replied: Where are you located at??
I visited her site also. I haven’t fed this mare for a year because I hate her. This lady had a sad story about the sad end of a two year old filly by her stud plus she had a black older stallion for “adoption”. The older stallion for adoption was described, ‘Yes, he’s a stud and he knows it. But he takes care of his riders no matter how inexperienced they maybe’. He may have been the horse who didn’t care if the kids hugged his legs too, I don’t remember, I stop paying attention at the mention of a grade stud taking care of novice riders on the trail. This shoots every scrap of credibility as a horseman a person may have had right out the window in my mind. I answered:
I am located at___ . I would like to let you know I will surrender this mare only without papers and with the agreement she will never be bred. I don't mean to be rude, but I believe very strongly if a horse couldn't hold its own in the open market for any reason then it shouldn't be in the breeding pool. I realize this may not be entirely fair or correct all the time but we have to start to unravel this mess somehow and one place is taking rescue horses out of breeding production. I also won't place her without stipulating if she is to become involved in one of those loony bin Epona/Phoenix Rising things I have read about she is to come back to me immediately. If that is an agreement you feel you or the home you have in mind can honor please call me late evenings at 000-000-0000. Thank you for your time and I appreciate your effort.
She replied; I appreciate your candor. One of the most frustrating things about rescue, is the fact, the law will not enforce that type of stipulation. I was told that after a horse is sold, surrendered it is "like a car" and the new owner can shoot that horse right in front of you if they chose, it is their "property". I went through hell trying to get one of my horses back, after a person violated my contract. That is where I found out that we have no legal leg to stand on. I have refused to let horses be adopted if there was even a small sign that they wanted to breed them, but I still had someone do it, and say it was an "accident." Signed papers mean nothing.
I thought I might be able to re-home her, but as much as I agree with you, there is nothing that is legally binding to keep them from it. I am at capacity right now. I do have a waiting list. I am sorry I couldn't help, but I can't even guarantee that for those I adopt from here, as much as I want to.
I stood up for what was right, when Phoenix Rising starved, and killed horses, and was slandered and attacked for doing the right thing by Epona and others. I have found out the hard way, that doing the right thing comes at a terrible price. People don't respect you for it, they attack you. I am sure you will do whatever is right for the mare.
And from what I hear through ABR grapevine, yes, she did. She was honest, polite, seems to genuinely care but that doesn’t change my opinion on the stallion.

The Best Little Horse House in Hastings http://www.thebestlittlehorsehouse.com/ replied: I have not been able to update my website as of yet, but we have moved out of Nebraska and closed that location for the shelter. Therefore, it will not be possible for me to take the mare in. I do hope that you find a suitable placement for her.
She didn’t say where she had moved to or if the already in stock rescues went with her.
Epona Rescue at http://www.eponahorserescue.com/contactepona.html was next. I received no reply to my email. Don’t worry after all the controversy, I wouldn’t send any horse there no matter what.
KTS Lone Cedar Rescues http://www.freewebs.com/ktslonecedarrescues/ replied:
Thank You for writing KT'S about your mare. I would like to call to talk to you about her, however, your phone number was not included in your email. May I get your phone number so I may call you? My phone number is 000-000-0000 if you would like to call me. I look forward to speaking with you about your mare. Take Care!

I won’t go all Fugly insulting with the reasons, but no. The picture above makes me think she might just be the type of person I was talking about in my original email. I will admit having some ‘not so perfect’ spots in my horse facility. I am not Carol Rose Quarter Horses by any means but……. And speaking of Fugly….where is the outing for this fine example of horsemanship? On a positive note, both horse and rider at least look happy and the horse looks fed.
On to Missouri:
Alder Hill Rescue at http://www.alderhillfarm.com/ contacts Craig and Leslie replied: I completely understand and thank you so much for caring that she finds a good home. We do have an open spot at the rescue as we were able to find a home for one of the horses recently. I have attached a surrender form, if you could fill it out to the best of your knowledge that would be wonderful. How does she get along with other horses (dominant submissive etc)? What kind of injury did she have? Has she been released for light trail riding by a vet? Has she ever been ridden?Where are you located? With the current economic difficulties and reduction in donations and adoptions we are requesting that all surendered horses have a current Coggins, UTD on vaccinations and wormings and a recent trim. We are also asking if the owner can help out with the gas to transport the horse. I hate to ask for all of this, but winter weather is here and we are buying feed so our budget is very tight. The expenses could be made as a charitable deduction to the rescue and then the rescue would cover the expenses if that would make it a little less costly for you.Please feel free to email or call me (000) 000-0000 with any questions. If you could send any pictures of her that would be great also. Thanks again and I look forward to talking with you soon.
If I were in a strapped position could I afford to have all that done? could I? I thought the surrender form was kind of interesting. I have sold horses for several thousand dollars with less scrutiny. I have paid several thousands for prospects at auction using less information than this.
Horse Surrender Form Horse Information:
Horse Nickname _______________________ Full Registered Name _______________________ Registration Association and # ________________original breed papers with signed transfers must be submitted with this form Breed _____________________Age _______ Gender______________ Color__________________Descriptive Markings and Brands: _______________________________________________________________
Current Owner Information:
Current Owner ________________________ Street Address _________________________________
City ___________________ State _____Zip Code _________ Home Phone ____________________
Cell Phone _________________ Work Phone _________________ Email ______________________
How long with current owner? ___________________Prior to current owner? ___________________
Reason for surrendering horse to Alder Hill Farm _______________________________________________
Medical and Temperament History:
Most recent vaccinations including date administered: _______________________________________
Most recent worming including date administered and product used: ___________________________
Does this horse have a current negative Coggins test? _____ (if so, original Coggins test must accompany this form) Has this horse been vaccinated for West Nile Virus within 6 months?______
Stand tied?___________
Does this horse load into a trailer? _____
Lead? _____
Clip? ____
Stand for the hose? ____________
Stand for the farrier?______
Stand to be wormed/vaccinated? _____________
Known unsoundness, lameness, or other medical conditions:________________________________________________________
Current treatment or veterinarian recommendations: _______________________________________________________________
Any known feed or medication allergies? _________________________________________________
Please list all known special needs, overall temperament, any likes/dislikes, quirks, vices, and any other necessary or useful information:
On a separate sheet of paper, please write up a brief (or not so brief) history of this horse. Also, if you have any preferences for the type of adoptive home you would like to see this horse go to, let us know. We can’t promise specifics when placing horses into new homes; however we do try to take into account the type of situation owners would like to see their horse go to.
Release:I , _______________________ agree that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge. I understand that by signing this form, I agree to surrender legal ownership of my horse(s) listed above to Alder Hill Farm. It is understood that the surrendering party shall hold Alder Hill Farm and all its officers, directors, employees, and volunteers harmless from any claims of damage, injury, or acts of negligence arising from this surrender. I have read and thoroughly understand this release of liability and agree to abide by it.
Owner____________________________ Date____________
I'm not in the mind set to ‘pay’ to get rid of the mare. This same facility had five year old PMU “rescues” ready to be started under saddle. Five year old unstarted horses? Isn’t that part of the problem or does that apply only if you are pro-slaughter or a BYB being outed by Fugly? To them Fugly would say put down your beer, get off your lazy ass, and go ride those horses to keep them off the double decker bound for Mexico. Oops Forgot, Rescue Get Out of Training Free Card.
It is fair to say, if my only concern were to get rid of this mare at any cost I could have. But…….
The same concern keeping me from sending her to the sale, keeps me from sending her to the rescues. I ran out of patience before I ran out of neighboring states and rescues. The common theme, after all the pulp fiction and good intentions were stripped away I found little practical horse skill or ability to ‘upgrade’, ‘rehome’, or ‘rehabilitate’ any horse to the point of taking him/her out of risk for any length of time. The next owner induced crisis will find the horses even older and for all practical purposes in the same predicament putting them at risk to begin with..
Two of the rescues in this very short list have been ‘restructured’ or moved for some unmentioned reason. Where are their horses now? What about the adoptive forever homes they were to be overseeing?

By RH2


  1. Are you refering to the dun mare that you have a picture of in a previous post if so she reminds a lot of a mare i had when i was a kid. Too bad i am in Tennessee I would make you an offer on her and sign a contract about not breeding her.

  2. They are paternal half sisters. They came from the same breeder in the same group. There were four of them. Three mares and a gelding.

    If I sold this mare she would be the new owner's horse. I think both pedigree and conformation she is worth a shot as a broodmare. Unfortunately all the paint breeders I know are not in the mood to expand. I have two quarter mares and am not in the mood to expand.

    I just believe anyone soliciting rescue donations to purchase and support their stock shouldn't be breeding horses.

  3. Same anon as before-
    That's what is wrong with most of the rescues they do the very things that they look down on and create more horses in need because they rely on other peoples money to take care of the horses they have.
    I have five horses. I don't breed anything since I had to put down a foal the day it was born because of a broken leg (was stepped on after it was born.) Probably too much info. but that is why i like to buy horses instead of breed them. Thanks for responding your mare sounds great.

  4. Rescuers stick together, huh? That pic looks like she got a horse by that John guys' wunder stud - and he was kind enough to give her riding lessons.

  5. RH1, Thanks for backing up something I've been saying. Despite all the talk, when it comes right down to it, there really aren't all of the options available the Anti side claims one has. Horses aren't selling, you can't give them away. Rescues are full, many of the ones that WILL take your horse end up being Hoarders, and most of us on the Pro horse side just can't seem to get to the place where euthanising a healthy horse is a better idea that sending that horse to a sale. The sale still offers options for a home. And yes, the possibility of Slaughter. Euthanising a horse definately removes any chance of any other future, though. During my work on the Phoenix Rising pieces, I made a lot of contacts with those on the Anti side. I got one response, and that response was rather nasty. The person responding wrote to tell me they could not help. And I had to contact them multiple times to get that out of them. By the way, the HSUS wasn't even interested. So much for options. I wouldn't mind the Anti side so much, if they would just tell the truth about what really is going on.

  6. Anon said - "Rescuers stick together, huh? That pic looks like she got a horse by that John guys' wunder stud - and he was kind enough to give her riding lessons."
    LOL! That was the same thought that came to my mind when I got this post to put up.

  7. I wanted to add that I contacted the Rescue pictured above in reference to a different situation. Either they are no longer in business, or could not help me. Either way, they were one of many who never replied. I really think we are in need on knowledgeable Equine mentors for new horse owners as well as Rescues.