“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, April 27, 2010

The Wheel in the Sky…

or my April auction face of the saved one year later

There is an old rock (Journey) song called Wheel in The Sky. The sun is the “wheel” and the future hidden in tomorrow. “The wheel in the sky keeps on turning. Don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.” It’s true to a certain extent. The outcome of even the best laid plan often comes down to a turn of fate. The message of the NAHSC is all horse dealers, breeders, trainers, and owners are supposed to be accountable for every twist of fate any horse we own/breed will ever encounter in their lifetime. Really??!
Last summer I wrote a Saturday Satire blog about a little bay horse I bought a year ago this April. I think it was called The Anything for a Buck Rescue.

Note: he did not look like this at the sale!!!!!!
Known to the AQHA as GA Smokey’s Jet, he had a respectable pedigree. Not out of this world but respectable enough to work to his advantage at least once.
“10 year old bay gelding, registered, thin, rode green bit seemed quiet, $175.00, to kb.” That’s how he would have been listed in one of the many “auction reports” so often read in the Fugly blog or any forum site designed to keep everyone informed on the plight of the auction horse.
Due to the irresponsible heartless nature of his owner/breeder this little bay horse was at the auction where Jimmy the horse dealer bought him and I bought him for $15 over what the greedy ass hat paid for him in the sale ring. He cost me a total of $198.00 with the yardage and vet inspection. I noticed him because of his breeding. The next two owners would say “you don’t ride the papers”. No, but you are riding my training and that would never have happened had he not been bred the way he is, so in a way you are all ready riding the papers.
The ability his papers said he should have was virtually nonexistent. Pedigree wise, cow over speed is usually a pretty good combination. Where all the AAA speed of his ancestors went is anybody’s guess. What he lacked in talent he made up for in honesty so we did the home work, put the buttons in place, and he learned what a good horse should know. His work ethic and personable demeanor earned him his first home after mine. Her grandkids lost interest or really had no interest in the first place. I suspect he was a confidence builder for a past middle age rider coming back from a bad horse wreck. The grandkids made a good excuse. Anyway, early this spring he was sold again to another family. The new little girl thinks he’s Doc Bar crossed with my friend Flicka.
No, this story is not new. It’s not original in content. Those of us who work in horses have been doing it for years on various levels. I thought the horse deserved a chance and I could make a buck. It worked out for both of us. I made a decent profit. The horse got a good home. Everybody’s happy. It’s been going on long before the NAHSC gave us the politically correct terms of rehome, rescue, upgrade, and adopt.
An all important detail that the anti-slaughter/anti-auction one horse wonder tales publicized by the NAHSC always leave out, had the owner euthanized the horse at home as is their “proper” solution for the unwanted horse problem, the animal would not have been alive to come to the auction for them to save. The favorite phrase used by the NAHSC to “justify” neglect is “a horse starving in a field has a chance a horse at a slaughterhouse does not”. Using that same logic, “a horse taken to an auction has a chance but a horse euthanized at home does not”. Euthanized is a $25 word meaning killed. Let me repeat that since it seems the NAHSC has lost touch with the meaning of euthanized. A euthanized horse is still a dead horse.
I didn’t make a fortune on him, not enough to make an economical difference to anyone but me. He did pay a month’s rent and buy some hay and groceries. He added to my adjusted gross income for the year so in a miniscule way he contributed to not only the federal tax revenue but my state coffers. Remember how I feel about 501C? This is why.
He didn’t require any charity of any sort. He certainly didn’t require any taxpayer funding. No one was asked to change any laws. No personal or professional insults made or implied. No larger agenda or drama involved. Had he been “saved” by the rescue pipeline would he have been trained and placed or still taking up space getting older and less marketable by the year? Who can answer that truthfully? I know I have my suspicions but I could be wrong.
The 2010 poster child of the Anything for a Buck Rescue was laid in at an even cheaper price. He cost $30, has a darn breedy looking little head, the good buckskin color, and a very correct frame. I know his frame is very correct since I can see all of it.

If we could ask him I think Tim would be pretty pleased with his turn of fate so far. All he knows is things have been looking up for him the last couple of days. He’s not a rescue. He’s a prospect and he will pay me back when he can. What have I got to lose besides $30 and some feed?
I don’t use my personal operation as an example of anything for the greater good because these are just two horses. I will handle, buy, and sell several others through the course of the same year. The impact they have on anyone but me is pretty small. My stories/their stories are nothing on which to base legislation that will affect an entire industry. I don’t expect a pat on the back or big a high fives from the “community” for doing right by my stock, something I enjoy anyway.
One last thing…. when the rescues aren’t retraining and remarketing horses… when all the many other small dealers/trainers like me are gone... when all the money is taken out of the equation … when only donations and pure thoughts are left… when no one can “dump” horses… will there be anymore Blairs for the next little girl? How many of the anti-slaughter fanatics that you’ve “met” here sound like anyone you would want to buy a horse for your child from? Matter of fact, how many sound like someone you would want to do business with period?



  1. I like Tim! I can't wait to see how he turns out. You brought up a good point about papers. Many people point out that as far as geldings go, you aren't going to breed them, so papers aren't really all that important. But your point about them being a factor in your purchase is a good one.
    As always, you've brought up a lot of good facts, and I wish more people would take them into consideration when choosing "sides". A good horse that has been outgrown by one family can serve out many years in usefullness for others IF he/she can get to a sale, or can be advertised. With the new "keep 'em for life or kill 'em" mindset, a lot of these good horses either end up being pasture puffs, waiting for that illusive "chance", unwanted, and often uncared for standing out in some field, or in the very worst case, euthanised. And THANK YOU for reminding us that euthanisation is indeed death. You can pretty it up all you want, but dead is still dead. And killing a useful horse out of a misguided sense of loyalty is just ridiculous.

  2. I also like Tim has the makings of a real nice horse. About chemical euthaniasia(sp?) alot of people seem to not understand that it works differently in every horse and is rarely instantanious(sp?) like most captive bolts are so really which is more humane.

  3. And just because you take a horse to a sell/auction doesn't mean that it automatically ends up going to slaughter.