“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."
~Jenqu~

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.
Sincerely,
Ranch Manager
manager_back_at_the_ranch@yahoo.com

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Economics/Greed Factor……

I was reading some old copies of Horse & Rider the other day. I don’t subscribe so my information is not hot off the press. One of the issues was November 2007. 2007 the last year we slaughtered any horses domestically. You might say it was the black wall cloud in the perfect storm of events that have put the horse industry where it is today.
Here are some quotes from that issue, great insights the author of the article calls them. I think they are common sense things you should have already known if you have owned any horse for more than three days.
“We as owners are not just responsible for feeding and caring for our horses. We also need to train them”. “60 % of the horses entering the rescue have never been handled. Period. It’s not uncommon to get 5 and 6 year olds who have never been ridden. It’s horses like these who slip down the slope toward unhappy endings.” “This means one of the kindest things you can do – and possibly one the best defenses against an uncertain future – to teach a horse of any age the ABCs of equine manners: to be respectful of your space on the ground; to lead and tie quietly. If and when he is old enough, either break him to ride or pay someone to do it for you. A broke horse is saleable.”
“It’s simple: if you buy an unbroke horse and don’t train him, or breed him and don’t train the youngsters, you could inadvertently fuel the unwanted horse problem. If you lack the skill, time, or money to the training done, you shouldn’t be buying young or green horses, nor should you be breeding. Even trained horses need refresher courses. A lot of people want their horses to be pets. That’s okay, but don’t allow them to be dangerous pets. It’s not good for you or him.”
If you think those comments were written by a trainer, breeder, or some other horse industry professional, guess again, they were made by the proprietor of a very prominent Midwestern rescue. I started thinking about the fixed cost of horses. The costs incurred no matter the value or lack thereof.
Training and upkeep……it doesn’t really matter if you subscribe to NAHSC theory of the economy causing the current market chaos or feel it is a combination of several factors not the least being a VERY compromised culling system. The basic procedure (training) to produce a reliable, useful, saddle horse anyone can handle and safely enjoy will remain the same. The cost to feed and house (upkeep) him is the same whether he is a pasture puff who will never turn a wheel or a good horse working overtime every day.
Let’s examine the statement of “when he is old enough, either break him to ride or pay someone to do it for you.” Here is where the economics come in. I have spent the majority of my adult life riding for the public in one capacity or another. I firmly believe anyone who can’t start their own colt has absolutely no business riding a 30 day colt, more than likely on a 60 day one either. In the What’s He Worth blog several months ago I outlined what I feel a “saddle horse” broke horse should be able to do. Saddle horse broke is a term I use to describe a good foundation. Foundation, meaning the horse is “broke” enough to start work on his “career”. He is trail ready but needs to be finished and seasoned too before he is a made horse for a specific event. If he is kind minded the average rider can get along with him safely. If he is one of those kind minded horses all of the above will take about 4 months, or an average of $2,400.
We have books, website, and DVDs, all telling us anyone can start their own colt. All you have to do is attend this or that clinic, buy all the support material. There is natural horsemanship, touch technique, clicker training, and a host of clinicians to help us in the quest for the best. And best of all, you can do it in one or two days not all that months crap those trainers try to wring out of you. Little hint to the wise here, it’s not working. Every year I get several “broke” horses that would scare the life out of me to ride from here to the mailbox. Of course every one of them is gentle but……….riding a horse without any knowledge of how to teach him anything will result in a tired horse not a trained one. No matter what we have been led to believe, good honest horses are still made the same way they always have been. Wet saddle blankets under experienced hands, there are no substitutes or short cuts and there never will be.
All kidding aside, how likely is the average rescue horse or the $100 horse to get any education by anyone remotely capable? While preparing the training speech these people forgot one thing. What happens when the first 10 days of training cost more than the horse will ever be worth? Fugly had the sand to suggest trainers donate their time to a rescue in their area. Donate their skill to an organization whose horses will compete in the same market as those the trainers sell themselves or train to sell for clients. This is also after the professional horse trainer has been insulted and maligned as greedy selfish uncaring people for expecting profit from a horse in the first place.
Upkeep is another unchanging cost. The 2007 article addressed the fact in most rural counties the cost of caring for horses seized in abuse and neglect cases falls on the county agencies, hence the reluctance of these agencies to prosecute. Upkeep is a problem for them too it would seem. Of course there was the age old and now proven untrue argument about shipping horses out of country to slaughter being unprofitable. The co-authors of HR-503 knew this to be true even when told differently by both national vet organizations. Anyway it’s all old news so we won’t talk about that. The vets have since been proven right on that one.
Trivia for the day: AQHA registrations have long been used as statistical proof of over breeding causing the problem. The statistics in the 2007 article quoted 2005 AQHA registrations at a bit over 165,000. The 2007 total registered in the U.S. and all foreign countries 135,787, down 29,327. The 2009 registrations for same were 112,005, down 23,025 from 2008 and 53,000 from 2005. According to the breeding police half the unwanted horse problem has been solved already so why are we in worse shape than ever before?
I guess I am waiting for the leveling off they predicted. The law of averages says no one not even the NAHSC can be wrong all the time.

By RH1

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Humane Society of the United States, the biggest scam artists in the Country

The HSUS is a fraudulent organization only after your money. I don't know how many times and ways we can say this. Please people do not support this fraudulent, unconstitutional, animal abusing organization.
Here is yet another article of just how horrendous they are as well as how ignorant some law enforcement agencies are and just how scary it is that Judges are allowing such behaviour.

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Jolley--They-Shoot-Horse--Owners---Don-t-They/2010-04-05/Article.aspx?oid=1034823&fid=CN-LATEST_NEWS_

"Lies, damn lies and no feed:
The seized horses were supposed to be placed under expert care with regular access to clean water and a sufficient supply of food. It was an implied promise that didn’t seem to be kept. Malott and Smith spoke with Jerry Linville who had rented the pasture for the Rescue Wranglers. He said Chapman told him the horses were coming in from Missouri. It was only after the seizure that he knew they were Malott’s. When he realized no one had been feeding the horses, he brought over six square bales of hay and called Jim Brunson of Rescue Wranglers. The horses, forced to scrounge for what little forage remained in an overgrazed pasture, were nearing starvation. Brunson brought in 8-10 round bales of hay while a concerned Malott was at the Highway 87 location. The Wranglers still showed some concern but HSUS seemed to have left a lot of the care and feeding of the animals to others. "

"Back room maneuvering?
Before the hearing started, the judge and both attorneys went into a back room and evidently discussed how the hearing should go. The judge had already made the statement that he wasn’t familiar with the law. Witnesses said Desiree Bender of the Arkansas HSUS went into the room followed later by Betty Jones of the Arkansas Horse Council. Further tilting the legal table, none of Malott’s witnesses were called during the hearing. The prosecuting attorney’s witnesses were summoned and Carmen Skelly, an HSUS investigator from Missouri. She testified that on Nov. 12 her agency was ‘dispatched’ to assist the sheriff’s office and the HSUS with Desiree Bender as the primary contact for HSUS.The only question that Malott's lawyer asked Mr. Snodgrass was, "What's your assessment of this photo of horses?" The photo was of some of her horses, where they had been pastured after the raid, drinking out of a muddy pond. His comment was, “These are some good looking horses drinking out of a pond”. Malott's lawyer said, “No further questions.”
Read the whole story here -
Jolley: They Shoot Horse (Owners), Don’t They?
Chuck Jolley is a free lance writer, based in Kansas City, who covers a wide range of ag industry topics for Cattlenetwork.com and Agnetwork.com.

You folks in Arkansas aught to be passing the hat to help Ms. Marlott and damn sure aught to be demanding better law enforcement officials who know the Laws and who know that HSUS is a private organization. Making "donations" to political groups certainly does not make them a Government agency even though they often lead people to believe they are.