“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, January 14, 2010

Tracking the Trends....

I love spotting a trend, and watching how it unfolds, so this is one I'd like to re-visit, as some have finally caught up with me. Let's back up a bit for a short history lesson, first. In the "old days", people used to attend horse sales or auctions. You could bid on the horse of your choice, and bring that horse home. Most of the time, you got a good one. Sometimes, the horse didn't work out, or needed a little tuning up. If you were a knowledgeable horse person, you did the work, and either kept the horse, sold it privately, or took it to another sale or auction, often making a profit for your work. Sounds like a fairly decent deal for people and horses, right? Well, at some point, someone decided that EVERY SINGLE HORSE that went through a sale was destined to go on the trucks and straight to the Slaughter plants. People were discouraged from attending sales. If you DID attend a sale, you were really looked down upon. You were supporting irresponsible owners who just didn't care what happened to their horses. Those who went began to change their language. One no longer bought a horse , they "rescued" or "saved" one. The evil Killer Buyer was described as the lowest of the low, and not even worth the time of day. His use of trickery to get horses away from the unsuspecting innocent has long been the fodder of many a story meant to shore up the Anti movement, and death has been literally been wished upon him by some. He is the enemy, and those attending sales must work against him, with his pockets overflowing with money to outbid anyone in the stands. Truly a bleak picture for anyone daring to enter the arena of horse auctions and sales. Fearing the judgment of those who truly love the horses, and competition from the bloodthirsty Kill buyers, attendance at the sales began to drop off. Unfortunately, the number of horses arriving at sales and auctions did not. In fact, due to the economy, they appeared to increase. What to do? Well, here's the trend I talked about, and it's a great idea! What we've got right now is almost a mail order horse business where lots of people, not just the Auction house make a bit of money! Genius? You betcha!!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with what is known as Feedlot or Broker Sales, here's the basic premise. Let's say a horse is run through auction and the bid gets to say $400. The horse then goes to a "dealer" "broker" "kill buyer", whatever they are called for the sake of the story. That person is contacted by a "rescue person", who offers to "bail" or "ransom" (love the terms) the horses. The "broker" prices the horse for an inflated price, making an instant profit. So the $400 horse now is priced at $700. Here's where it gets interesting. Once the horse is "rescued" an appropriately sad or dramatic story is posted, and a home is sought. Oftentimes, once the "rescue person" becomes involved, the horse becomes a freebie. Either a private owner, or another "Rescue" will "step up" and offer to take in the horse IF the purchase price can be raised by a group of gullible....oops, generous people. But wait! Now there are fees to be attached. We have transport fees, quarantine fees, vaccine and worming fees, and suddenly, we're up to $1200 or more. Everyone along the way gets a little piece of the pie, and the lucky new owner hasn't put out even one dime. For those who frequent the ABR forum, the most blatant example of this method of "Rescue" had to be the Jill Starr Percheron Team drama. Jill rescued a team of Percherons from a Sale barn, and sent funds to a woman known only as "Simone". When she sent her trailer to pick the horses up, they were nowhere to be found. Neither was "Simone" or the money. My understanding is that the original money to buy this team was donated. The tale is so convoluted, I may be wrong about this part, so forgive me if I am. Jill then claims to have spent $2000 trying in vain to find that team. Then, lo and behold, she receives an e-mail telling her that the team may have been possibly been found on another broker lot! Never-mind that the team is NOW a gelding and a mare instead of two geldings, a team is a team, and Jill just wants to get that team! Never-mind that a look into Jill's finances shows that she makes a pretty decent salary-she runs a Rescue herself. She could probably find a draft team locally. And she may not even be providing that "forever" home. The fund-raising begins, and when all is said and done, all fees added up, and everyone gets their cut, I believe the end tally was around $3000! Anyone have a clue as to how many horses can be bought outright at an auction today for $3000? Make no mistake, this is a great business for those involved in it. And it works because there's just the right amount of drama attached. These horses are, after all, going on the truck to Slaughter in X amount of days, so they MUST be saved!!! As I said, genius! The fact that one could simply attend an auction and buy a horse directly seems to be overlooked, as is the fact that in most cases, they are paying the very evil doers they vow to put out of business by "ending" Slaughter. I would get a good laugh out of this, but I hate for anyone to be taken advantage of. And in many cases, no one really knows what happens to the horses after the dramatic save. The fact that some Rescues themselves participate in it, and then sell these horses at a profit is another blog for another time. They do. I bought my horse with my own money. I take care of him myself. I pay his bills. I am solely responsible for everything that concerns him. It didn't take a village to get him here, nor does it take a village to care for him. Maybe that's the problem with this whole issue we're fighting. If you come to own your horse by the virtue of the team effort, maybe that puts the mindset in place that you really can't make any decisions about that horse on your own. Again-another blog for another time. But as for the Broker and Feedlot sales, some on the Anti side are beginning to question them. And it's about time. We've been wondering about them all along, and asking why they're so much better than going to a sale yourself. When you guys find out, be sure to let us know.

By RH2

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

FOB Stands for Forward Operating Base……….

It’s winter.

I'm bored and reflective.

I’ve been through plenty of miserable winters before.
It’s ‘bring the brass monkeys in cold’ these days. I am trapped inside more than normal. The chores which force me outside cause me to think about why I do what I do. The long nights give me time to write these reflections down.
It’s a cause and effect chain reaction…..
I have a lot of trouble reading about the FOB. I keep trying to wrap my head around FOB meaning something other than Forward Operating Base. I am a military mother. Besides…….
Barbaro’s life would have little to do with horse slaughter. Barbaro’s death had absolutely nothing to with horse slaughter. It had everything to do with botched end of life decisions and personal emotion, both then and now. Had his horrible accident happened during the 9th race at Fonner Park, playing with a buddy in the corral, or in a pasture trying to turn back a rank cow, he would have been quietly destroyed. His owners would have cursed the misfortune, reminisced what a good horse he had been, and he would have been free from any pain. I believe that’s what the good colt deserved and didn’t get from his connections, real or imagined. The flowers, cards, rescues, and quilts meant nothing to the horse. And……
The sigs and cyber names of the FOB cult members include unicorns, idealized racehorses, prancing horses, moonbeams, sunlight, stars, rainbows, and mythical quotes of all sorts. A feast of cotton candy for the soul and vision, which makes my eyes roll and all listening skills disappear.
http://heartlessbitches.com is more my style. The message behind the feminist humor is one the Cult is in dire need of applying to their outlook. “Own it, control it, and whining is not empowering”…The membership by-laws forbid me to speak to or worship dead race horses, use saccharine language, or take part in blind faith thong throwing.
The use of saccharine brings me to the Pure Thoughts article. I told you I was going to stretch it out over several days, and here is part two.

Unfortunately, in our country, breeders send horses to slaughter because of their color; yes, this does exist. For example, two QH babies named Abercrombie and Fitch arrived at Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue. They came with AQHA papers so we called the previous owner, a breeder in Minnesota who selects for color: "palomino to be exact." According to the breeder, the two babies were sold to Simon Horse Company in Minnesota owned by Joe and Ryon Simon who are known kill buyers for horse slaughter. Both horses were sold because they were red in color, and Fitch's mother was sent to slaughter because that was her third red baby. This almost takes us back many years ago to a situation which was referred to as "cleansing."

How many times are we going to look into the pro-slaughter bowl of cherries and see that the pit is usually someone who stands to gain personally or financially, whether on the sale of horsemeat or the act of slaughter itself?

Even the horse novice understands the homozygous genes and the possibilities of perfecting color choices. Another thought would be to take that $100,000 and donate it to a rescue that saves slaughter-bound horses, and we will take all your not-so-perfect babies and mares that do not produce foals of the "right" color and place them in loving homes. It is so redundant to have yet another attempt at promoting horse slaughter stem from the AQHA arena.

Obviously Simon didn’t “ship” the babies she is holding up as yet another “my little pony” example of what’s wrong with the horse industry. A point I have been trying to get across to the New Age Horse Savior Cult (NAHSC) for YEARS…………if a horse had more value as anything other than lunch that’s where he would end up even at Simon Horse Company. http://www.simonhorsecompany.com/ is the website of this business. When or if you research them, notice the consignors and buyers of several of the HIGH selling horses at the Twin City Horse Sale. Hmmm……Ryon Simon……Simon Horse Company……I wonder where they get all those horses? Do you suppose they buy them at, OMG, other auctions from other sellers? (For those too lazy or challenged to look this up…..yes, they do).

The Events page for Simon Arena lists futurities, barrel races, rodeos, horse shows, horse educational clinics, and even dog shows the year around. Don’t miss Arena Trailer Sales or Simon Rodeo Company. Simon Horse Company has been a reputation and volume buyer/shipper of butcher horses for as long as I can remember. They have a hand in a great deal of money in other aspects of the horse industry as well. They have, however, paid their taxes, reinvested their income, and diversified this income and investment back into the horse related economy and many business' not even related to horses or livestock in Minnesota and many other surrounding states throughout the country.

Personally when I take a well prepared horse to the sale, I like to see the Simon’s, among other big volume dealers, show up (for a definition of what I consider a well prepared “saddle horse” see the blog “What’s He Worth?”. I’ve sold several nice horses to Simon Horse Company over the years. Better butcher horses have never been $ 3.00 a pound. The Simons’ buy other types of horses. Ranch horses, rodeo horses, 4-H horses, whatever will sell. All horses will (they used to anyway) sell somewhere and it is up to the people selling these horses to determine where their horses will fall in this mix.

Who would you rather have on the tax rolls in your county or state? Members of your Chamber of Commerce? Simon Horse Company, Arena Trailer Sales, and Simon Arena or Epona, Pure Hearts, and Karen Sussman? Yes, it is all about money. The same money supplies county/state services for you and yours. The same money generates well kept properties and a profitable economy to protect the sale value of home and property in the same county or every portion of the state.

But hey, let’s donate more money to place not so perfect horses in loving homes. It makes it easier to keep those horses in production with no reality check or remorse. In essence the rescue community has helped promote the BYBs more than any aspect of the horse industry in recent memory. We did the math a couple of columns ago on the cost to “rescue” or “euthanize” all the slaughter bound horses sold at the Corsica Horse sale in one year. That $100,000 this author seems to think would be enough to enable her to take ALL the not so perfect quarter horses and put them in loving homes is about half enough for the year for Corsica alone.

The AQHA has done some things over the years I haven’t agreed with. But they are listening to their voting body. The Simons have good and bad points. But they are making positive contributions to the industry in many ways. I am relatively sure neither will be wording any business or legal discussions with comments worded like these.........

coeurderfer said: "You are illogical, disjointed and ignorant or just simply one hard headed, me-me-me, I know better than you government separatist loon. First it was "we don't own horses, aren't involved in AG and vegans"... you sir/ma'am are a sick bunch of crap with your noxious, HCHS at all cost, Let me guess...you raise cattle? BTW...get your cattle/sheep rear off of public lands!....you lease????? You're a welfare baby. You get ANY subsidies? You're a welfare baby. "

Or this well rounded thought out comment from the ever eloquent airspace 1: "Hey Buck'' Why dont you grow up instead of growing out.. Get off the net and grab your Richard Simons sweating to the oldes. Stop being such a smuch supporting irresponsible people. "

The Pure Thoughts author made reference to “cleansing”? What better answer for these comments left by our gentle friends on the AHL site:

"Maybe we should try China’s solution of 1 child per couple-that has worked so well for them! Perhaps Gina and the rest of the animal rights activists should be willing to have themselves sterilized so as to not add to the human population here in America and that would give the mustangs, deer and other wildlife more resources."

"I think you hit on the perfect solution- sterilizing people! Then maybe our resources will last longer than another decade or so and mankind has a chance to survive. I doubt we could ever return to the pristine world that God gave us, but it would be nice to slow down the pollution and extinctions that overpopulation has caused. I think you’d be a great first for the sterilization program!"

Information in the physiological community supports the theory of abuse and lack of empathy for animals is one of the first tells of a psychopathic personality. Their rational, it is a short leap from animals to people. It would seem the New Age Horse Savior culture has inverted this principle wouldn’t you say?”

By RH1

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anyone else have a hard time understanding this?

A while back I discover there is a horse rescue who is also involved in the sales of “broker owned horses”.
A fancy way of saying horse traders I guess. Now mind you I have no problem with a person who makes a living dealing horses. As with any other business I only support the honest and reputable of course. Here’s where I’m having a hard time with this program.... These horses are purchased at auctions for kill or resale purposes. This rescue then advertises the horses for the brokers....OK fine, whatever you want to do with your website is totally up to you. However the purchase price becomes “bail” and the mental picture of the KB trailer backing up to the gate to load up and haul these animals to slaughter is ever so subtly painted.
This program is advertised often on the Alex Brown Racing Message Forum. You know the place..... It’s where every member must be anti- slaughter and anti-auction and have no mind of their own to be able to be a member. Does it make sense at all for Alex or other members to allow this program that supports, financially, the auction houses and the kill buyers they claim to want to destroy?
OH but wait it gets better! Not only do they allow the advertising of a program that supports a portion of the horse industry they all claim to despise they will also purchase, oops I mean “bail out”, a horse for you. That's right, if you want a horse but do not wish to pay for it you can just contact someone on the ABR forum! Here is one of many examples of this practice -
This boy has an approved home/rescue that will take him if funds can be raised. We need $550 bail, $75 for Health Certificate, Coggins and transport to NH, Approximately $250 for shipping for a total of $875 plus paypal fees for a total of $901.25. We have pledges of $300 so need $601.25 more to save this boy!
All donations are tax deductible. Paypal to .....

Anyway the real reason I am writing this is because I want to ask the ABR forum folks if this “bail out” donation help is available for all broker owned horses that I wish to give a home to? I do so hope it is as I really need to save this poor horse and give him a wonderful home! You can see just by looking into his eyes he needs an angel like me. You can view him and his bail amount here - http://www.bestfithorsebrokers.com/Horses.html
His name is Rupert Dan, just scroll half way down the page and there he is just begging for me to save him! I think I would also need someone to donate the hauling or the hauling fees for this wonderful boy in need of ME.
So whata ya say FOB? Can ya bail out and ship Rupert Dan for me?