“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, April 24, 2010

Bashing the Good...

Recently, I've been accused of bashing Jim Gath of Tierra Madre. I'll be the first to admit, I don't feel good about the amount of horses he has on less than 3 acres. I think that he has hoarding tendencies. I think the horses pay for his need to have more. Those are my opinions. The bulk of what I write on Tierra Madre comes directly from what Jim himself writes in his daily blog, and on the discussion site he calls home. I don't hate Jim. I don't even know him. But I don't agree with what he's doing. I think I try to be fair, so I decided to take a look at Jim's blogs, and see if maybe my feelings about the whole situation in general have been coloring what I wrote. I went back through a week of blogs. I wasn't surprised by most of what I read. And to put it bluntly, a little pissed off by some of it, too. Read on- APRIL 11- Bentley- mild Colic incident. APRIL 12, Heighten- Gastro issues (treated with Gastro guard, mention of cost of $51+ per tube). APRIL 13-Heighten-vet out, swelling down, some filling on outside of hock, vet drained. Mention on possibility of moving vaccine date back-will depend on picnic turnout, which is not looking good. APRIL 14-Cadence- colic incident-vet out and tubed. Bentley- mild colic (described as "spell". Found out to be weed issues, which will be cut down. APRIL 15- Bentley-had a piece of lip removed by vet. (Jim claims he fell down while sleeping which is very common in horses. Note: in my 20+ years of equine ownership, I have never seen this happen. I plan to look into this, I've just never heard of it being a commonplace event). Upon walking Bentley off from vet, it is noticed he is off. Rather than pay the vet to check his hoof, Jim will do it himself. Jim notes Bentley had an abscess in his hoof a few weeks ago. Also noted he is too lazy to clean his hooves with bleach water. Jim's words-more on that later. APRIL 17- Bentley has cellulitis-4th time in 5 years. also has sore upper lip, and hoof abscess. Jim mentions that he may have to wrap hoof with Elasticon at $10 a roll. Mentions that when Bentley's "human" dropped him off MANY years ago, there was mention of hoof issues. Heighten still convalescing, but no limp. 1 volunteer on vacation, 1 did not show up. On ABR Jim doesn't go into as much daily detail. On the 13th, he mentions the colic, the weeds, and states they will get rid of the weeds in their spare time. On the 14th, fortunately, the weeds have been removed. On the 16th, he explains that Bentley's cellulitis was caused by the abscess in his hoof. Tells us it is time and energy consuming as well as expensive to treat. States Bentley, Heighten, and Big Charlie all have had cellulitis. States he deals with it with "maddening regularity". Granted, I've left out Jim's method of telling the story, but here is a bare bones week at Tierra Madre. Am I surprised at the amount of health issues? Not really. We've discussed them before. Although, looking at a snapshot of just a week, doesn't anyone find this excessive? And now to what really pissed me off. Bentley. One of Jim's "favorites". By Jim's own admission, the Abscess in that horse's hoof came about as the result of nothing more that sheer laziness. Jim has always known this horse has hoof issues. I am so weary of hearing the "original" owner blamed for anything that happens 3, 5, 10, 15, years later. NEWS FLASH- once you take the horse, IT'S YOURS!!!!! Your responsibility. Do you think Jim ever wonders WHY Bentley's "human" mentioned this problem? Possibly to give Jim a heads up so the horse could have a chance at having the issue managed? Now, if you look past Jim's story telling talents-and he has them, what you'll find is that this poor horse had an abscess in his hoof recently. KNOWING that, Jim's decision for this horse he loves, and can provide the best care for was to do-nothing. Not because he was tired. Not because he was over worked, or under staffed. But, according to Jim Gath himself, in his own words, because he was too lazy!!!! And he's got the cajones to complain about the cost his laziness entails! As my son would say-are you friggin' serious right now??!! But, there's more. If we believe Jim, and I know I do, the abscess caused the cellulitis. So, this one act of pure laziness by the most caring rescuer in Arizona has caused this horse quite a bit of pain. For those of you who support Jim, and rave about the wonderful care he gives each and every horse, what's your opinion on this one? Or were you so enthralled in Jim's way of telling the story that the truth got lost in the words? When Jim vows to do the "bleachy water thing", he's really saying that he has to take care of this horse's hoof issues properly, or pay the vet bill. If he doesn't do the "bleachy water thing", he will cause the poor horse more pain. "Bleachy water thing" sounds a little more innocuous than lack of proper care, though. Maybe you just don't understand how painful this is to a horse. Maybe Jim would rather you didn't. Jim, of course has excuses. Bentley insists on standing on the ground where there is urine. It's muddy. Maybe, Jim, but daily hoof cleaning and disinfecting would go a long ways towards making sure that nothing gets in to start an infection. And since you know this is an issue, why aren't you on top of it? I don't know who pisses me off more, Jim, or the faithful who read this and don't understand the words right in front of their faces. If you read Jim long enough, and can read between the lines, it is clear that the horses aren't very well trained. ( In a few recent incidents where Jim has had to fetch loose horses, or lead an unwilling one, he likens it to fighting a marlin). A well trained horse will lead quietly. And yes, I've had horses get out, and have had to fetch them. Once the lead rope is on, they know to walk quietly. A well trained horse will stand, even for things he doesn't particularly like. Jim had an incident recently where his mini bit a child. The tales about that mini, while on the surface, are wildly entertaining, show a horse with absolutely no respect for any human. I own a 9 year old Miniature stud. He would never push me out of the way to get to his food, nor would he bite anyone. He is respectful in every way. I would also never leave a child unsupervised around him, as even little horses can injure you. Jim seems to think the bad behavior of this little horse of his is in some way cute, even calling him an "assassin" from time to time. I read untrained horse. It's clear that, contrary to what the faithful would have you think, the horses do not receive the best of care. Jim has told us that himself. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Nothing I have said about Jim or Tierra Madre is unfounded gossip. It has all actually come from what Jim writes. I simply strip away the story telling, and look at the facts. They're not as entertaining as Jim would make them seem. Maybe Jim's true calling is as a fiction writer. But as a rescuer with too little land to house these horses, too little manpower and money to provide proper care, and the obvious inability to say no to more horses, I believe what I have said about Tierra Madre is true. Too bad Bentley can't write a daily blog.

Jim Gath's comment on how it was normal for horses who were sleeping to fall over got my interest up, and as promised, I did a little checking. Nowhere did I find any information stating it was normal equine behavior. I did find this, and given the circumstances poor Bentley finds himself in, it makes more sense.



  1. Jim Gath is a HOARDER.. he is DUMB.. he is..(as used on the great ABR site) a ASSHAT... he knows nothing about horses.. and he knows nothing about training or even riding. he bitches about having to buy hay.. then he bitches about the flakes not all being the same size.. you dont feed horses by size of flakes.. you feed them by weight... he keeps bringing in horses.. they all spend more time standing in one spot then anything.. Jim is making sure that all the horses at TM have a life of hell before they take the painful walk of death. ( if by then they can walk.. but he will make them).
    He does not have the money to feed them.. to pay a vet.. to hire help...but yet he brings in more horses..
    He bitches because money is spent on the war.. or used to bail out a bank or what ever.. why? because he think they should send him the money to use as he see's fit at TM.
    I wish there was something someone could do to stop him.. but am thinking the only thing that will stop him and help the poor horses is if Jim himself would take that death walk.
    JIM... I know you are reading this... Let some of the horses go.. keep two or three that you can care for right... let the others go. I am sure they can find a place to go where they will be cared for right.. or put down so they are no longer in pain... yes pain.. pain you have made them go through.. YOU are the one that is making sure the horses in your sand hole are going through hell.

  2. I don't know if Jim reads here or not. I know some of his supporters do, and I just wonder how they can say these horses get the very best of care, when Jim himself tells us they don't. I wish he would reduce his numbers to what he can afford time and money wise. I think he could provide a good home to a few horses, but 34 on less than 3 acres makes no sense. I was sitting here this evening watching my horses having a great time running full speed around the pasture-something they do at least once a day. It's a shame that the horses of Tierra Madre don't have that freedom. If those who enable Jim would stop, he would have to make some changes. They are just as much at fault as he is.

  3. I think you have no sense of humor and read much more into the blog then you should. Come on down to the breeding farm and tell us what an expert you are on horse management. Maybe even hop on one and see how you can handle 45 miles an hour.

  4. Anonymous#2...so what the hell does what you just said have to do with Jim Gath and his hoarding horses?
    FYI if you approve of Jim and his practices then I also feel sorry for the horse at your "breeding farm". Will I find this farm featured on fugly per chance?

  5. So, Jim was being funny when he said he was "too goddamned lazy" to care for his horse's feet on a daily basis? I guess I don't get the joke. Especially since the horse is lame AND has cellulitis which Jim said was a result of the abscess that came from the lack of hoof care. Are y'all laughing yet? I can't seem to get a huge chuckle out of a horse in pain. Sorry, I don't get the joke. Perhaps it is you who should be reading a little bit more into the bolg than you are? What would a visit to a breeding farm have to do with Jim Gath? Please tell me he isn't breeding too? I ride, so I suppose I could handle "hopping" on one. But again-what does this have to do with too many horses housed on a small plot of land, a man with rising vet bills who continues to take in horses, who has no reliable help (except Eric), and has no financial means to care for the horses he has? If I came to your breeding farm and hopped on a horse, would Jim finally see the light and realize what he's doing is damaging to these horses? I'm missing the connection here. WAIT-this must be another one of Jim's funny jokes!

  6. You are really quite silly. How do you know that Jim does not have enough money to make ends meet? The answer is you don't.

  7. Are you really this delusional, or are you just unable to read? If you CAN read, check out Jim's daily blog, or his posts on ABR. He can't afford the horses on his own. He is continually mentioning how much things cost, how he can't afford them, and constantly trying to fundraise, or get someone else to. Talk about silly! Perhaps you're just so enamoured with Jim's entertaining stories that you fail to read what he's actually written! Here's a little hint for you-if Jim could afford his horses, he wouldn't owe a whopping vet bill that continues to grow-I know, I'm silly.

  8. And the vet keeps coming so the bill must be getting paid.

  9. Why would I read his blog when I can visit anytime I want.

  10. Of course the vet keeps coming. How can he not? The entire balance, however is never paid. Really, talk about being silly. Sure, you can visit his place any time you want, but maybe it would do you good to read his blog to find out what's going on there. Obviously you miss quite a bit on your visits. He has 34 horses on less than 3 acres. Way too many horses on way too little land. They can't possibly get the exercise required to keep them sound and healthy, so they have continual health issues. Since they have continual health issues, they require constant vet care. Since they require constant vet care, the bill continues to rise. Since the bill continues to rise, it is never settled in full. It's a vicious circle that will never end. And yet, there are people who feel these horses are getting really good care. These people must have nothing to judge this care by. Horses should never live in these conditions,no matter how loving the person is, how good a story teller he is, or how special he makes the people who support him feel. Wrong is wrong.

  11. And how do you know the balance is not paid?

  12. You know Anonymous.. if you would read good old Jims blog.. you would now how everyone knows how much money old Jim dont have.. he just cant wait to tell everyone that the bills are over 4,ooo and yet only 3,000 has come in... and that is just this month and lets see.. 6 days is what we have so far in this month.... you need to get your FACTS... Old Jim will give them to you.. he gives them to everyone else....

    Jane Doe.. montana

  13. Anonymous, as I've said, all the information is in Jim's daily blog, and in his ABR posts. The bill is always outstanding, and he continues to add to it. Some of the more loyal Tierra Madre fans make an effort to keep it from getting too high, but even they have not been too successful. You must be one of those people so enthralled with Jim's stories that you fail to see the reality of what's going on at Tierra Madre. The fact that you would post this question shows your lack of understanding on how Jim operates his "Sanctuary". You would do well to take time to read up on his blogs and posts. It may just prove to be a real eye opener should you approach it with an open mind, and can get past the "story".

  14. I didn't know he had 34 horses on 3 freakin acres. ummm ain't that illegal?

  15. Shocking. But always best to get a peek at both sides of the coin. I guess I should thank you. I'll be watching this. Ann