“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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sardine Can Illustrated

We've all wondered, and I have hoped for a scale model. This is the next best thing, I suppose. Beverly, one of Jim's biggest fans, visited Tierra Madre, and has provided a drawing depicting the layout of the place. I find it rather sad. I suppose some who do not understand the needs of horses would find it adequate, and not realize that the only place for the horses to run is that small arena. Everything else is packed with horses. These horses are not all old and infirm, many are in need of a normal daily life of exercise and herd contact. Being locked in a pen next to another horse does not count. No one has ever questioned Jim's love for his "kids". But I still maintain it is a selfish love that serves Jim first. Horses need to be able to run freely. These cannot. If you read Jim's blog with any regularity you know there just isn't time for these horses to get any regular turnout. The number of horses versus the amount of turnout area available (one) would make it impossible for them to get any quality time. I commend Beverly for trying to justify the existence of so many horses on so little a plot of land, but it is still a sorry, sad life for them, no matter how entertaining a tale Jim can spin, or how many carrots and kisses are doled out on a day to day basis. Horses are herd animals. they require exercise to remain healthy. I can't imagine the life of a horse locked up in those little pens, just waiting for a chance to get out and stretch it's legs, only to have that time, if gotten, turn out to be very minimal. Jim operates on a minimal budget, with a nearly nonexistent volunteer base. To continue to house this many horses on less than 3 acres is so sad. I understand that those who support him do not see this. I wish they could be a Tierra Madre resident for a week. I always thing of Coloreado. Such a big, beautiful horse, languishing away in forced retirement, his only crime being his lack of will to race. I know each of Jim's "kids" have their own story for their captivity in retirement. Maybe a few of them may even benefit from confinement and limited turnout. But it is no life for a normal, healthy horse. Thanks for the visual, Beverly. It just makes my heart a little sadder for the "kids"

By RH2

Note: this drawing is far off scale trying to make it appear to be enough room for over 30 horses. When I look at Jim's property on an aerial satellite view in google maps it gives me a much better idea of how crowded less than 3 acres is for that number of horses. In my County the zoning laws would only permit me to have 3 horses on that size lot. For those of us who have seen a round pen in person we know that keeping 3 horses in it would be a very bad idea! The satellite view photo also shows no shade screen for the pen. In Arizona? No shade?!


  1. Thanks for clarifying that for me, I had forgotten to mention this is ion no way a scale drawing. I know Beverly thinks Jim's place is just great, and those who support him do, too. I have to tell you, my first thought on seeing the drawing was "prison". They have a small exercise yard, but for the most part are confined to their little cells. If you attend horse sales, you can alse see this type of set up, but it is meant to be very temporary. I wish we could see the google map next to this-that would be a really good comparison.

  2. Did you notice that Jim seems to have divided 1 pen into 2 to make room for Coloreado, now known as Iron Man? I hope he does not continue to subdivide to make "room" for yet more horses. I had to laugh at the ABR outrage over the horse/acre ratio at HMER when those same people think conditions at TM are heavenly. And don't forget MHR in NV - seems like they also have about 10 horses per acre, and little to no shelter since they moved to their current location.

  3. I know Coloreado and can tell you that he could have continued to race. He is a class horse and always gives his best. That being said, I do not believe he is suffering at TM or I would intervene. TM was a boarding facility prior to Jim turning it into a sanctuary. There are many horses who live in boarding facilities for years under the same circumstances. Jim's horses all receive routine care from a vet and a shoer. He does have paid staff. As far as his budget, he is probably one of the most financially sound 501's in the business. While he does work for donations, he is one of the few who could actually care for his horses if there was no support and when one considers his overall expenses and what he actually receives in donations, one would see that he is financially solvent. What you do not like, is that you believe horses should be able to free roam with each other. I own thoroughbreds and quarterhorses and can tell you that they do just fine in their stalls for prolonged periods of time at the track. They are all fit, happy and healthy. They do get returned to the farm from time to time. Look at the great Zenyatta. How long do you figure it has been since she has been turned out? There is no comparison to HMER. The horses did not have enough food, did not have vet or farrier care and were turned out in an inadequate space, apparently wooded with poor fencing. I really think that you should personally visit the man and see the horses, while you may not agree with the amount of property, you would not find much fault with the the basic care.

  4. To the previous poster: There's a big difference between stalling race and show horses (who get exercised daily) and TM's horses that barely get to move around! So you're saying Jim can afford to fund his rescue yet he is accepting money from folks living paycheck to paycheck?

  5. Anonymous #2-you feel Coloreado is living a quality life at TM? And Jim can afford the care of all of the horses? So why is he continually begging for money? He has paid staff? When did that happen? Aside from Eric, I have never heard of anyone. I don't know if Eric is paid, or just volunteers. The volunteers Jim has are very few. Could you name off a few other boarding facilities that house over 30 horses on under 3 acres, and rarely turn them out? Can you tell me how many of them experience the amount of soundness issues TM does? Do you feel that is a coincidence, or lack of proper turnout and exercise? I watch my horses running every day, and can't imagine the lives those horses must lead. I bet the great Zenyatta gets exercised on a daily basis. Do you think the 30+ at TM do? I don't. It's a sad sad place for those horses. Coloreado doesn't deserve to be there. He is, as far as I know sound, sane, and rideable. Why force the poor horse into such a horrid existence? Such a shame he has to rely on you to intervene on his behalf.

  6. Anonymous all of you...
    TM is HORSE HELL... how would you like to be caged in a 14x20 pen... not able to get out and move like you need to.. standing all day in the heat.. and on hot sand... feel your feet burn... you want to know why the horses are digging in the water... they are trying to cool their feet.. the ones that pin their ears are pissed.. they are pissed because they want to get out and move... they want to be "HORSES"... Jim is a horse killer... if the horses were not there with him they would not have the trouble they have and have had to be put down...
    only JIM.. is to blame for that.. he knows nothing about horses.. he is doing all this because then HE is in the lime light..
    and as for him having money and can support himself and the horses.... your a nut case if you believe that... he is always begging for money... telling everyone how he cant pay for the hay or vet bills unless more money comes in.. always asking how he can get more money because his"KIDS" need it.. ya thats funny.. his kids.. if he had any kids.. god forbid they would be taken from him if he did to them what he is doing to the horses..
    J. Doe Montana

  7. J. Doe, I have to agree. I don't know of too many horses that would enjoy a life being penned up. And I have never heard that Jim is financially sound. If he's not begging for money, he's telling about the latest emergency to befall one of the "kids". His small group of enablers are just as guilty as he is. They may keep him barely afloat, but they are to blame for the lives those poor horses have to lead for the support they give him.

  8. Never heard that Jim is financially sound. Well I guess it would depend on who you are talking too! Do some research. I am guessing you would believe that Jill Curtis is financially sound. And she raises lots of money.

  9. Jim has a small but faithful support base. They believe that 30+ horses on under 3 acres is just fine. They believe that Jim is taking wonderful care of the horses, even though those animals stand in what can only be described as auction pens day in and day out. They will justify anything Jim does, and nothing anyone says will change their minds. Jim should know better, but doesn't seem to. He loves the horses-I believe that. But he does not seem to comprehend that he is being very selfish in crowding them into such a small area, and not allowing them to just be horses. If they are supposed to be living their lives out happily, why can't they just live as normal horses? I wouldn't have a problem if they had daily turnout. But they can't possibly. There is just not enough room for all of the horses to get quality time out of those pens. Jim is one fundraiser away from going under, in my opinion. Should anything happen to him, I doubt he even has a plan for all of those horses.

  10. Who can tell me where he gets the bulk of his financial support from?

  11. I'm not really sure. His support base on ABR isn't very large, but they are determined. He appears to live from hand to mouth, and is always in debt. He is continually fundraising for necessities, and his vet bill is outrageous. There is always some kind of auction going on to get money. I know he has family, he has talked about his mother. And he has admitted that his cup o soup story is an allegory. For those of you who missed that one, an allegory is basically a story made up to teach a moral principle or truth. I've yet to figure out what moral truth we are to learn by Jim lying about having nothing to eat, but I'm still workin' on that one. So, maybe Jim's financial situation is not as dire as he makes it seem. Another allegory for us to learn from? Time will tell.

  12. "The only way we’ll really know is to get Solo x-rayed.

    Maybe soon.

    Maybe if enough donations come in."
    From Jim's blog today.. this is telling me that he does not have the money to get a x-ray that might help a horse in pain. So i am thinking he does not have money laying around and his little friends have not sent in enough to cover it.
    so many horses.. so little money or ground.
    J. Doe

  13. I was looking at some current pictures of the horses, and they sure look good for someone who has little money and little room.

  14. OK here we go again.. this was just posted on ABR by Beverly.."All of the horses just had their fall vaccinations and medical exams. That bill came to over $1100. and one of them needs surgery on an eye tumor soon. He is my favorite boy Hudson (the big galoot). Jim calls him that because he likes to play with you no matter what you are doing with him.--He almost ate my shirt while I was trying to hold him. lol. Please help these horses and their care-taker. Jim eats cup-a-soup to save money for the horses."
    and then JIM had his say
    " 53074.4 in reply to 53074.1

    Thank you, Beverly, & everybody else!!!

    Just so y'all know, the price of hay has gone up twice in the last two weeks.

    We're paying $10 a bale for alfalfa & almost $12 for Bermuda.

    And we go through 5+ bales of alfalfa & nearly 3 bales of Bermuda every day.

    So whatever anyone can do would be deeply appreciated!

    so.... if good old JIM has so much money how come he cant come up with the money to get his horses feed and vet care that they seem to need so badly.. oh ya.. no one has ever said the horses were not fed.. all anyone has ever said is... TO MANY HORSES AND NOT ENOUGH GROUND..The horses can not get out and move the way a horse needs to do to keep sound.. horses are lame ALL THE TIME... because they can not move to keep sound... TO MANY HORSES... cut the numbers at least in half.. then there will be more sound horses and less horses having to be put down because of unsoundness due to not being able to get out and move like they should.. oh ya.. and feed a horse and keep them in a small pen and you bet they will get fat... but that does not mean they will be sound...
    J. Doe

  15. I don't think it will ever change. It's sad, but there are people who think this is okay. Beverly is one of his biggest supporters, and she really thinks it's fine for these poor horses to live this way. So do the rest of his enablers. At some point this will all fall apart, and everyone will wonder how it could happen. We know. I feel so bad for those poor horses. I just don't get why Jim's fans don't.

  16. To the third commenter -

    Yes, show horses and race horses live in stalls. They also get frequent exercise. A racehorse gets some exercise on the track almost every day, then spends another 30-40 minutes walking. If they don't go on a track they go on a hot walker. They are kept in a routine to keep them physically fit.

    I don't see how that is possible with TM's setup.

    And repeatedly saying that he eats Cup O Soups to save money to take care of the horses does not inspire confidence. From the photos, they appear well fed, at least.

  17. I was just reading up on T.M.'s "Holiday Hay Drive". It is stated in that thread that it costs $2580 to supply hay for the "kids" for one month. Jim also slipped in the cost of the eye surgery, so I suppose there will be donations for that, too. He's Beverly's favorite horse, so maybe she can foot that bill. Beverly seems to think that since she was THERE at T.M., it gives the overcrowding, lack of exercise, and ongoing health issues some kind of credibility. Keep those rose colored glasses handy, Beverly. There's a link to a video of Jim riding the newest "kid" on the thread, too. He is using just a halter and lead instead of bridle and bit, which is fine, I often use one myself. But you can tell in the video that the horse wants to GO! If he had a bit in the horse's mouth, maybe he would have felt comfortable enough to let the poor guy stretch those legs a bit and get some real exercise. The posters on the thread seem a little clueless, remarking on the joy the horse exudes just having Jim ride him. You want to see joy? Let that horse run! Anyhow, back on track-lots of bumps on the thread, but no real donations. I'll keep an eye on the Can, as I like to call it, and see how Winter treats the "kids" this year. On a side note-not one word about EPONA, Lin appears to have gone off the map. I don't know what the outcome of the fire Marshall's investigation was, or if it has been completed. Her facebook page brought in a few doantions. Those poor, poor, horses. Another tragedy we will not know the full devastation of until it is far too late.