“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, October 9, 2010

Dollars for Death

Should Funding "Rescues" Continue?

This is a very interesting discussion coming on the heels of two "Rescues" closing down. Horses starving and confiscated. A huge mess to clean up. The enablers doing the requisite crying, praying, wringing of hands, and wondering, what to do now???? The Internet has made it so easy for so many to make a quick buck without showing anything for it. If you can engage someone, tug at their heart strings, spin a nice tale, you're in. The cash flows, the compliments and support pile up, and you can continue on, feeling pretty good about yourself. Just don't look out the window at the horses that don't have enough land to walk around on. Or food to eat. Or water to drink. Just ignore the ones you don't have the time to train or handle on a daily basis-after all, YOU are blessed for saving these animals from a fate no one wants to dwell on. For those who already can't say no, and need the constant "high" of a new horse, or the praise of a job well done, Internet fundraising is a Godsend! But, they wouldn't be successful without those willing to turn a blind eye at the obvious, and send them the money. It was just a great twist of fate that my very favorite "Rescue", EPONA, chose to weigh in on this discussion. Here's one everyone should be closing their pocketbooks and wallets to. Why? Because by her own admission, Our Lady Of EPONA is overhorsed. She claims that after assessing her property and facilities, her vet has determined that she needs to get her Equine numbers down to 40, and she's working on it-HOWEVER, she DOES make exceptions, like the 8 horses she recently bought, many in foal, the two who were allegedly dropped off at their home, and she just couldn't turn away (or turn in the owners for neglect and abuse, despite the fact that she allegedly works with the Sheriff taking in these cases), and the mysterious horse in the corn field that she began fundraising for before she actually took possession of. All I can say is wow, those are quite a few exceptions in a few short months. Red flag anyone? How about the fact that a Vet would have to tell someone running a "Rescue" how many horses they should house? Shouldn't Lin already know that? And what Vet in their right mind tells 2 people they can handle 40 horses? Especially when they both work? Lin also admits she does not train, can't because of an accident, and does not have the budget to hire anyone. Which really makes me love the Corn Field Horse story even more. Sure, Lin, take in another horse that most likely needs training when you yourself can't even halter break. Red Flag? She also admits she does not handle each horse each day. Red Flag? Basically, EPONA is a warehouse, even though she does not wish to admit it. Horses come in, rarely leave, unless they die, and Lin sustains her place by asking for money. It's rare that Lin isn't asking for money for SOMETHING. Feed, hay, or her ongoing Vet bill. And people give it. I truly believe it's just a matter of time before we see Lin on the news-and not for being "Rescue of the Year". And then everyone will wonder how it happened. Jim is a little wiser than Lin, he tries to fly under the Radar during these discussions, you rarely hear from him. Red Flag? Yep! Some who continue to send their money in order to get that "feel good" payback being part of "Rescue" gives them feel that they have no blame in what happens to the horses in the care of these places. I disagree. The Internet also provides a wealth of information for those wishing to part with their hard earned income. Read up on what goes on with these places. Most fundraising online have ongoing updates. What are they? Are horses being trained, adopted out, cared for? Or is every day a new drama? Is there some new emergency preventing training, riding, adopting? Is daily life at the "Rescue" centered around getting the horse into a better situation? Or is the horse fodder for a new, sad story aimed at opening up the pocketbook? Are there ongoing Medical Issues? If so, are they issues the "Rescue" can cover, or is each one treated as an emergency that funds must be raised for? True emergencies DO happen, and on occasion, a good Rescue may have to ask for help. But if the base of a "Rescue's" operating expenses come from donations from others, that is a huge Red Flag. Post 96 offers a really good insight into enabling "Rescues", if you read nothing else, this is worth your time. Responsible behavior would be a good starting point, on the part of both Rescue, and donating party. I have no problem with donating to a good, well run Rescue. But those looking to give should act as responsible consumers. I wouldn't buy a car without doing my research. The fact that many of those operating "Rescue" today have the gift of telling a good tale doesn't convince me that what they say is true. ABR and Facebook have become prime targets for the those who have some sort of empty spot in their lives. "Saving" a horse and all of the accolades that accompany that fill that spot for many. Way back when I began writing for this Blog, I was corresponding with a very nice, but Ill informed woman who was donating to "sponsor" a horse at a "Wonderful" place called "Mustang Hearts", if I recall correctly. As long as her checks rolled in, she was loved by everyone, and told how wonderful she was. This was a woman who was a widow, living on a very fixed income. She began to send much more than she could afford in order to help, and told me part of that reason was for the feeling of belonging it gave her. She no longer felt lonely, she had new friends who really cared about her. Unfortunately, when Mustang Hearts went Belly up, and she was unable to take the horse she had sponsored, not only did she lose her friends, they turned on her viciously. She not only knew nothing about horses, but had no place to keep a horse. She had simply become caught up in all of it, and really hadn't considered the real, breathing animal who ultimately suffered in the end. Sadly, with Internet fundraising, I believe this happens on both the part of those donating, and those "Rescuing". When you continue to take in horses beyond your capacity to care for them, and have no emergency plans in place should you become unable to do so, you are in it for you. Call it selfishness, call it hoarding, call it what you want. Just don't donate to it when it's right there in front of you. There are plenty of legitimate Rescues in operation. The horses there will truly benefit from the money you donate.

by RH2


  1. I wrote this a few months ago. Since that time, there have been a few discussions online about this very subject. I have to say I am a little shocked at how thick the blinders of the enablers are. There was one discussion in particular that pointed to one "Rescue" in particular. Red Flag upon red Flag was pointed out. Still those who support this "Rescue" refuse to believe what is right in front of them. Instead, they attack those who point out the concerns. I was sad to see that THIS has been going on for years, also. Concerned, educated people with Equine knowledge would point out things that weren't quite right, and attacks from the supporters of these "Rescues" would begin. Those concerned would be accused of jealousy, general nastiness, multiple ID's made up in order to "stalk", and my favorite-trying to "hurt the horses" by attemptimg to shut these wonderful places down. After the places were found to be starving and abusing horses, the requisite crying and hand wringing takes place, and these same enablers wonder why SOMEONE didn't say SOMETHING. I wonder if there isn't such a thing as hoarding by proxy? Perhaps these enablers get some kind of high by aligning themselves with the "Rescues" who have learned to tell a good story? I can't understand the refusal to see what is there in black and white.

  2. I don't think the rescue system was ever expected to work by anyone who really had a practical sense of the horse industry.

    The crying shame is the nitwits that can now afford horses to try to sell them on Craigs list or at the local auction. Some of these make the rescues look smart and quite frankly scare the crap out of me. Back in the day the only thing I had to worry about was keeping horses of the scale if I felt they deserved better. Now it's wide open ball game. There too many places worse than dead out there and it's a freak show on bottom end these days.

  3. Sadly, I have to agree. I keep thinking it's going to bottom out, and we're going to see things change, but it doesn't. We just keep getting new players, and the horses continue to lose. The only requirement now seems to be that they do not ride the "ugly truck". Any other form of torture appears to be fine.