“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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Sardine for the Sanctuary...

Spring has arrived, and apparently, a new horse at our favorite Sardine Can, Tierra Madre. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. On March 26, Jim wrote in his blog how worried he is about "you-know-what" (money) and how he had implored the faithful to get the word out via e-mail to their friends, acquaintances, etc. Only 3 had done so. Not good, Thong Club. So, he is hoping more will take the time to get the word out. Jim is worried sick about finances, and his "kids". Having just called the vet out for one of his horses, and run up another bill, I can understand how he must feel. Surprisingly, (not) on the ABR forum, on the same day, he made the announcement of the new arrival. If he didn't take her, there was a chance she would end up at the Slaughter plant, or in a "not so good" home, as compared to the wonderful life she will have at Jim's place. Does this make any sense at all? I'm not sure what the count is up to there, but I think it is over 30. Of course, Jim, our allegoric hero plans to get her riding well and adopt her out. Or not. I'm betting on not. According to Jim, his vet made this match in heaven. I gotta meet this guy. He's got to be something. Here's a place that has horses with revolving issues, vet bills that continue to mount, and he feels a horse with an injury should recuperate at Hotel Tierra Madre, where exercise, room, even time for human contact is limited? I think Jim Gath is a man who truly loves horses, don't get me wrong. But I also think he's a hoarder, and that's a dangerous combination. Anyone enabling his behavior is complicit in what happens to those horses. For that person to be his vet, who KNOWS the situation, and space limitations, it's even more troubling. I'm sure Jim is convinced that Tierra Madre is the only solution for this horse. But I can't believe that others, especially a Vet would enable this hoarding behavior. Welcome to Hotel Tierra Madre, River. You may be not yet 3 years old, but I believe you've just entered into retirement.

By RH2


  1. Just read Jims post...big eye roll! I love this part - "He said her present owners didn't want her any more (because she can no longer race) & that one of two things were probably gonna happen to her: she'd go to slaughter next week or to a bad home."
    Hmmm really Jim? You are the only good home in the State? Wow i know what Vet I would NOT be using if I lived in the area.

  2. I wouldn't blame the vet. His words were probably twisted. Vets today also have a hard time with the NAHSC(?) crowd. My vet is an ornery old coot and tells it like it is. He's been sued and I've had his new customer call me to tell me how horrible he is. He'd like to retire, won't take any new clients unless their guarenteed by an old client, who he'll dump if they recommend one of these NAHSCs (love that term, by the way). Us old-timers won't let him retire, don't want the new, tell em what they want to hear and get the money vets.

  3. Well that makes 33 old Jim now has in his can.... OMG... how can anyone even think on sending a horse there... that man gets mad because someone has money and he dont... he gets mad because he has to get more hay... he gets mad when he has to have a vet out for bull shit stuff... and he thinks he knows how to ride and train... now that is a joke... and the vet did not tell them people to send that horse to jim.. its just someone that knows the vet that jim uses... NO vet in his right mind would do that.. with them knowing that old Jim cant take care of what he has...
    That person is a nut case.. and someone should ask around where he lives and see if there is some law about something that can get some of the horses out of there... it is a death trap...

  4. I was wondering what the actual number of horses was. It's hard to keep count. Jim's blogs are always something to read. He knows what to say to keep his Thong club enthralled, and sending food, supplies, items to sell, and money. But I fear it's not enough, and his fan base is small. Most of us see through his allegoric b.s., and understand that this man is just a hoarder who can't let any of these horses out once he gets them in. To complain about lack of funds in one breath, and announce the arrival of yet another horse in the next is the height of irresponsibility. Jim CAN say no. He chooses not to. I agree, Jim's place CANNOT be the only place in the state. And if it is, how sad a situation we find ourselves in. I'm not sure if there are any regulations in Arizona that will help these horses, but it is truly a sad state of affairs that those who profess to love the horses more than we do can't see how wrong this whole situation is. I wonder how high Jim's numbers can go before anyone will say "enough".

  5. after reading Good Old Jim's blog today... the count on horses in the can is.... 34.... good god

  6. You are correct. Jim now has 34 horses, and Good God is right. He is already fundraising for spring shots, and lamenting the recent vet bills he's run up. Does anyone see the insanity in this situation?

  7. The thing about Jim is that he does have some money and the care is outstanding. The vet he uses is excellent. I would be careful about making assumptions unless you have actually visited the place and met the man. You only make yourselves look foolish.

  8. differ anon- the vet was right the horse ended up in a bad situation. what was it 3 acres and 34 horses i don't care how much money,care you say he is giving these horses(anon before me) that is too many horses for/on such a small piece of land. He needs to adopt them out and stop taking in more before they are stacked on top of each other.

  9. To keep 34 horses on 3 acres properly is a full time job for the best of managers. Most training stables or boarding stables with that kind of population have two or three employees.
    Super Jim does it all by himself with an occasional volunteer I hear.
    Stalled horses need to be exercised and that would mean lounging/riding/hand walking or some sort of turn out daily. Cleaning stalls and runs daily is going take at least 4 hours a day. Jim needs to feed, water, and clean tanks. Doing chores alone is about an hour twice a day. So by my count that's 6 hours a day already taken up. If he exercises the horses only 30 minutes each and figure only half of them have to hand exercised which is a conservative estimate since by the time building space, any storage space, and other management necessities are taken out of three acres there is no "pasture" and damn little turn out space. The turnout areas would be so small a limited number of horses could be turned out at one time to free exercise.
    Surely, all the rescue experts realize one of the surest ways to get a horse hurt is crowding too many in too small a lot for turn out or any other purpose.
    Anyway that's roughly another 7 hours a day. Up to 13 now.
    34 head of horses will eat roughly 700 pounds of hay a day. That's a ton of hay to be had somehow every three days. Add time to unload a hay trailer even if it is delievered. Then there is the pesky problem of manure disposal. Add time to haul that away or hire someone to do it. There is no place to spread it and on three acres it's not going to take long before the whole place is a compost heap, fly infested, filthy mess if nothing is done.
    And Jim still finds time to blog and panhandle for thongs?
    Getting a feel for why we think the horse care is a bit compromised to say the least? Those of us who understand how to care for large groups of horses know he's full of ......

    Even horses at a real training stable get a break every so often where they can go home, pull off the shoes, and rest. It's called a lay up. These horses are lifers at Jim's. No lay ups or turn outs for them.

  10. Anonymous #2- I'm glad he has SOME money. However, how can the care be outstanding with 34 horses and 24 hours in a day? I stated an opinion, which is different than making an assumption. I did not assume that Jim has money problems-he does. He has stated that many, many, many times. He stated it on the day he announced he was taking in another horse. It is my opinion that someone with 33 horses on less than 3 acres with financial problems should not take on another horse. It is not an assumption on my part that Jim's horses have health issues on a fairly regular basis. Jim is very up front about all of the problems he has had, and continues to have. It is my opinion that with less horses, he could give them more room to allow them to get exercise, time to provide care, and perhaps aleviate some of the issues they suffer with. IF Jim's vet suggested that Jim take in another horse when Jim is up to his cowboy hat in debt and lamness issues, I question the judgement of that vet. That is my opinion. I realize that each time Jim adds to his already over populated Sanctuary, and someone is concerned, he feels all that is needed is a conversation to allow him to clear things up. Truly, what would he be able to say? Those of us who are not members in good standing of the Thong Club aren't going to buy what he's selling. We understand that Jim truly loves those horses. But some of us feel he is a hoarder. The fact that he has a strong base of supporters does not change that fact. The only ones looking foolish are those who claim to love horses, but cannot see the danger in the situation they are in at Tierra Madre due to their fascination with Mr. Gath and his alegoric tales. Those of us who shovel it on a daily basis can smell it a mile away.

  11. Those of us who shovel it on a daily basis can smell it a mile away.
    So well put:)

  12. I was just reading on his blog, and things are not going well. $2g+ in new vet bills, short on hay, and Jim himself is wondering what the hell he's doing. How can ANYONE claim the care he is giving is above standard, let alone outstanding when he claims something as necessary and seemingly simple as Spring Vaccinations may not be a possibility for these horses because of his financial woes? Enough is enough! 34 on less than 3 is too many, and more than one man can reasonably handle. And we all know if the opportunity presented itself, he'd add to those numbers today without giving the 34 another thought. THAT'S the problem his thong club can't seem to grasp. No matter how pretty Jim makes all the trouble sound, he still can't afford to care for 34 horses, nor does one man have the time, or the resources. Assumption? Read Jim for a month and you don't have to assume a thing.

  13. How do you really know that he can not afford the horses. He may have more then you think. Somehow he has $10 grand a month and they are all fat and shiney.

  14. Well, if he CAN afford them, he's running the grandaddy of all scams, fundraising 24/7 and continually telling everyone he's running out of hay, can't afford his vet bills, can't afford Spring shots, etc. My horses are well taken care of, but I pay my own bills. I know how many I can afford, and while I would love to own more, I sure won't do it on someone else's dime. Again-read Jim's blog, and posts on ABR, it's all there. If Jim has money of his own to pay all of the expenses for the horses, he sure is keeping it a well guarded secret. However, that is only part of the problem. So many horses on such a small plot of land is taking the toll on the very horses Jim promises a better life to. It just isn't working, and I grit my teeth every time I hear of Jim adding to his numbers, or offering to take in yet another horse. Even worse are those who enable him. True, he knows how to play them, but it's still the horses that suffer. SOMEONE has to know better.

  15. Just a little update-I notice a Fundraiser for hay for Jim and the "kids". If Jim has the money to care for these horses, why is he allowing others to foot the bill? Or is this just another of his allegoric lessons he needs to teach the faithful? And I see the health issues continue. Sad.

  16. I think there is a fundraiser to help defer some of the vet costs. Most of the horses are very healthy. A few have ongoing health issues and they came with those. You are so very wrong about Jim and TM. As far as the filly he just took, she needs maybe 6 months of stall rest and then she will be rehomed. I challenge you to call him or to visit TM or to send someone to see how he cares for these horses before you continue to bash the man. Can you do that?

  17. I don't feel I am bashing him. I am simply pointing out that he is overwhelmed, understaffed, overhorsed, yet unwilling to do anything about it. There may be a fundraiser to defer some of the vet costs. There may be one to pay for hay. There may be a box of thongs in the mail. The point is, he can't afford to pay his bills, has not been able to for some time, yet continues to take in horses. The filly is really a moot point. There have been other horses taken in because Jim feels his place alone is the only place they can be properly cared for. (Coloreado comes to mind) I hope the filly is re-homed, I doubt she will be. What difference would it make if I spoke to Jim, visited, or sent someone to his place? I've said I have no doubt he loves the horses. I think he has the very best of intentions. I also think he is a hoarder, and is enabled by those who can't see the situation he puts the horses in. The horses who were lost last year had ongoing lameness issues with the exception of Moose, I believe. You simply cannot house that many horses on that small of a parcel and provide the turnout they require. It is physically impossible. As I said, Jim has a way with words, and while I am sure he is confident he can sway those who have doubts, there are those of us who can see through the flowery phrases and read about the pain and suffering that is occurring at Tierra Madre on a fairly regular basis. We can also understand that he cannot afford the horses he has, yet continues to take more in. These are not my wild assumptions, these are Jim's words in his blogs, and posted on ABR. I am sorry you feel that is bashing-it is the simple truth.

  18. No. It is not the truth because you are making unfounded assumptions based on how you choose to interpet his writings. I have been there and seen the facilities and the horses. I am not a bimbo. You have not been there, nor have you seen the horses. I have expensive horses and am not an enabler nor are the other persons who help support his effort. I was curious and visited and came away assured that the horses needs are being met in every way. I would encourage you to do the same.

  19. All I can say is that everyone is entitled th their opinion. I've written a back up piece, and have to admit, I'm even less impressed than I was before. I'm not sure what having "expensive " horses has to do with anything-aren't they all expensive?:)Visiting Jim would really serve no purpose for me. I think Jim really loves the horses he has. I just feel the needs of the horses are superceded by the needs of Jim. If he had fewer horses, he could care for them better, and they would have fewer issues. Jim's daily writings prove the needs of the horses are not being met in every way. I've never called anyone a bimbo, but I do know there are a lot of people with holes in their lives. People like Jim know how to fill them. I'm not saying that's always a bad thing, but sometimes, people will overlook what is going on in order to have those needs met.