“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, May 15, 2010

I Didn’t See You There……

It seems almost every day I read about another horse rescue in need of money. This one is a personal friend of Kim Zito. Kim is the wike of trainer Nick Zito. You can enjoy the whole article at http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2010/04/izenberg_horse_rescuer_kelly_y.html . Kelly, (Kelly Young, not Kelly Zito) needs $350,000 to buy a horse farm and fund her operating budget for next year by July 1. Come to think of it, I do too.
Jerry Izenberg, a real writer like R.T., has some heartwarming pictures of one of the 60 head of horses recently acquired by Kelly Young’s Lost and Found Rescue. Lost and Found Rescue takes its name from the line in the hymn Amazing Grace ‘I once was lost but now I’m found’. This particular poster child for the rescue cause is a horse/donkey mix mare. I could be wrong but last I knew the layman’s term for this animal was jenny mule. Something else that confuses me, the rescue is home to 26 head but they recently acquired 60? Remember the comments about the Sue Wallis speech given at Las Vegas? I think we ran the blog as Yes, Jane It Is a Must Read. We had the esteemed John Holland making several references to the incorrect information in the speech. Sue mistakenly assumed everyone understood the role of open range, the U.S. Army Remount program, and the ranchers in the early days of the mustangs. Mr. Holland evidently missed a few chapters since he felt Sue was speaking incorrectly. I intend to hold Mr. Izenberg and his proof reading staff to the same high standards of accuracy. Is it a jenny mule or a horse/donkey mix mare? Is the rescue home to 26 horses or have they recently acquired said mule and 59 others?
Kelly and other rescue people are very special. Kelly even more so than most because Kelly has made inside contacts that allow her to purchase two horses every time she goes to the auction for a mere $50 over what the middle man paid for them. Remember my last blog and the $15.00? This special gift is really only a matter of showing up and asking. Accuracy would not be as impressive but please stop implying only the chosen can buy horses from the ‘middleman’. It’s just not true.
This particular article describes a memory of the first time Kelly saw an auction as 300 horses roped together fighting and screaming in terror while men hit them with cattle prods. Must have been one hell of a rope and I don’t know how you folks in Pennsylvania operate but I have never seen 300 hundred horses roped together anywhere ever. Another problem with accuracy?
There is of course mention of Mexico. The *NAHSC press does not wish to take credit for the collateral damage of stopping the inspection of horse meat or the passing of state by state laws against horse slaughter. All concerned were warned this export would take place and any control over the method of processing would be lost. I would like to give credit where credit is due.
I usually make 5 to 10 sales a year. At every one of these I see end product examples of people who should not own horses. No, I am not talking about the killer buyers, the traders, or those like me trying to market a saddle horse or buy a prospect. It doesn’t matter if it’s a nationally advertised sale or one of the many local auctions around the country. I have seen things that have made me nearly physically ill over the years. Mostly I see things that make me want to beat the crap out of someone. The one thing all have in common? The 5 year old not broke to lead selling on a breeder’s application? The thin one eyed yearling? The run out thoroughbred? Crippled, aged, and barren broodmare? The really good looking registered 6 year old, dirty and unclipped, throwing his head and riding like an idiot? The loose horse with the club foot and matted mane and tail? The conformational misfit? The psychotic/neurotic/and spoiled? Yes, sir, all owner induced or produced. Not one of these animals was put in their life position by the auction, the auction staff, or the packer order buyers. The accurate statement is the auction is an agent only.
Kelly Young made her living buying and retraining show ponies until one day she went to the sale a saw a crippled donkey. One crippled donkey changed her life. I am one hard hearted bitch, since as many of these things as I have seen, I am still the same person I was when I started into this deal almost 30 years ago now. I still buy only what I can retrain and hopefully turn a profit with. I still buy only what I can afford to care for. Operating with my own money has had that affect on me. However after careful thought I have decided I am being unreasonable about insisting on doing that. I was told several years ago when I started into to this battle with NAHSC the times are changing. I think it is high time I changed with them. I am a reasonable person. I only have 15 head. I live in the Midwest so my overhead is less than someone operating in the east. I will be content to raise $175,000 by fall to purchase a horse farm and operate through the winter.
All rescue articles have “one horse” stories of the saved. This one is no exception. It is the fad these days. I am trying to change with the times, so here’s another one horse story from the Anything For A Buck Rescue. I introduced Tim in my last blog. Tim is gaining weight and doing fine. Tim came with a partner. A cute little brown 4 year old mare, I called Honey for the short time she was here. She also cost $30. This is the story of Honey, Tim’s littermate, stable mate, or in this case, fellow captive in the local Deliverance movie sequel. Think I’m jokin’? You come talk to this fellow and his truck driving’ son and see if you don’t start hearing Dueling Banjos music. The livestock trucking, the beer drinking, and paying bills on the barter system do play a role in this story. I am fairly certain it is how the paperwork on these two obviously well bred horses was lost. Honey is going to help me illustrate several points not mentioned in the rescue articles that are common in the real world.
I don’t need Kelly Young, Fugly, John, Vicki, or the rest of the NAHSC crew to help me make an educated guess if a horse was bred by someone with a little understanding of genetics or not. On the other hand all the pedigree in the world doesn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Point? Yes, there is. If you are going to be in horses take time to study form to function conformation. Use this to select your stock for any purpose, not color, or points/money earned by a distant or not so distant relative. I am sure they are all special in God’s eyes but not on my dime and not on the dime of anyone I will represent them to. On with the story……These two horses did have a classy look.
I have been mad about the situation since I was first called to look at them last fall. The information about the past handling of the horses is sketchy and poorly told so I considered them unhandled until proven otherwise. They were supposed to be Hollywood Dun It bred but the papers are not around. I told the owner I would bid if he could get the papers. Doesn’t happen, winter comes and goes, and spring’s finally here. Still no papers, but he wanted the horses gone. I can have them for whatever I will give. I am even madder at the man by now. I can always sell a buckskin gelding, grade or not, but a brown mare? In a misguided effort to make him feel bad I told him I would have to sell the mare on the loose so I would only give $60 for the pair. I said misguided because making him feel any remorse didn’t work. I loaded the horses. NAHSC…..I didn’t see you there.
Not sure what I was going to do with her and feeling worse about her fate than her previous owner, I put the mare on a horse forum as a rescue for $75.00 NAHSC……. I didn’t see or hear from you there.
I started working with her. The more I worked the more she tried. One of the local spring sales came up about ten days after I bought the little mare. She wasn’t really ready riding wise but I thought it was close and if she didn’t sell for over scale I could bring her home. As I said earlier I make several sales a year so it wasn’t imperative she be sold at this one. Another point? Yes, there is. Riding and training on a horse will make them more saleable/valuable to someone else. Panhandling for donations and lobbying to change the laws does not have the same effect on the horse.
I rode Honey for the time we had. We both made our best effort. She went to the sale clipped, hooves trimmed, bathed and combed. She was a pretty little mare and I don’t believe she ever had a mean or dishonest thought in her life. NAHSC…… I didn’t speak to any of you while I was riding my mare at the sale trying to sell her to someone who would keep riding her so she could make herself useful in the future. I didn’t see you there looking at any of the other horses either.
I sold Honey to a man I’ve known since childhood. He bought her for his grandson who was ready to move up to a younger horse. The boy’s father is also a horseman. She will get the continuing education she needs from all of them. She will work cattle, run games, and be a young boy’s mount. She sold in the top ten of the sale. She sold herself by being a classy looking little lady of a horse. I helped her sell by cleaning her up, riding, and in general treating her like she was something to value not pity. The buyers were horsemen enough to look at what was right about her and picture that she could work for them. Twist of fate? I have been hearing that phrase a lot lately but in the interest of accuracy, the rescues don’t have the market cornered on doling out good fortune for the horses.
Someday I will explain how I name my horses and still in the interest of accuracy, it’s not nearly as romantic as Kelly Young’s naming system I am sure. Don’t misunderstand me……save all you can but stop the veiled innuendos against the horse industry while you do it.

By RH1


  1. I have often read your blog as opposed to the bitchy blog known as Fugly and really must commend you and say it is folks like you that understand the issues that make me still believe in decent horse people. anyway Im really not on topic but just have to point out that you and your blog hit the money on the head far more then any other blogs I read

  2. I would like to think that there isn't a person involved in the Equine Industry who isn't educated on the Slaughter issue. I guess that thinking is flawed. Kelly must have been really uninformed until her epiphany with the donkey with the twisted leg. I'm a little tired of the argument that the illusive bad people are trying to trick the good ones. Slaughter is where unwanted horses end up. They are old, lame, sick, young, fat, healthy, winners, losers. It doesn't matter. They are unwanted. I think it's a shame Kelly chose to stop buying and selling show ponies. We continue to lose niches of the Industry while "Rescue" takes over. And "Rescue" seems to get in over it's head many tmes, and wants a bail out. I, too am a bit confused about the story. How many horses does Kelly have? And why can't she secure a loan to purchase the property she has been using for all this time? If her "angel" doesn't appear, does Kelly have a plan? What happens to the horses? And I agree 100%. There are many of us who see the realities of irresponsible behavior in the Equine Industry, and do what we can to help out, while continuing to try to support what is good about the Industry. And there is good to be found. Unfortunately, it's been overshadowed by stories like these. I don't mind that Kelly rescues. I think it's great. But let's be clear on WHY horses have to be shipped to foreign countries to be killed by ice picks as the story tells us. And let's name those auctions where 300 horses are roped together screaming. I've been attending sales on a regular basis in multiple states for over 20 years, and have never seen such a spectacle. And let's address the reality that not every "saved" horse is really saved, and that there simply aren't enough homes for all the horses going to sales. I agree, we should all do what we can to breed, own, and sell responsibly. But let's not lose sight of reality here.

  3. Thank you anonymous, you are indeed on topic. That's exactly what I wamted to do when we started this blog some time ago. To give a realistic view of the good horsemen and the industry. I am happy someone 'gets it'.

  4. Thanks Anonymous. It's good to hear that there are people who get why we do this. I know I've been slacking off on the blog lately but real life horses do tend to take up some time. Especially when one makes their money the old fashioned way to support them. Working and earning it rather than pan handling and begging. Thanks for letting us know your out there :)

  5. yes i know this has nothing to do with what your talking about.. but think it is something that needs to be talked about... http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2010/100519/equine.html
    on ABR.. they say this just shows that Wild Horses are NOT...feral... and yet i would say it proves that horses ARE feral...

    Jane Doe.. montana

  6. Hellooooo? Is there anybody in there???