“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, April 24, 2010

Bashing the Good...

Recently, I've been accused of bashing Jim Gath of Tierra Madre. I'll be the first to admit, I don't feel good about the amount of horses he has on less than 3 acres. I think that he has hoarding tendencies. I think the horses pay for his need to have more. Those are my opinions. The bulk of what I write on Tierra Madre comes directly from what Jim himself writes in his daily blog, and on the discussion site he calls home. I don't hate Jim. I don't even know him. But I don't agree with what he's doing. I think I try to be fair, so I decided to take a look at Jim's blogs, and see if maybe my feelings about the whole situation in general have been coloring what I wrote. I went back through a week of blogs. I wasn't surprised by most of what I read. And to put it bluntly, a little pissed off by some of it, too. Read on- APRIL 11- Bentley- mild Colic incident. APRIL 12, Heighten- Gastro issues (treated with Gastro guard, mention of cost of $51+ per tube). APRIL 13-Heighten-vet out, swelling down, some filling on outside of hock, vet drained. Mention on possibility of moving vaccine date back-will depend on picnic turnout, which is not looking good. APRIL 14-Cadence- colic incident-vet out and tubed. Bentley- mild colic (described as "spell". Found out to be weed issues, which will be cut down. APRIL 15- Bentley-had a piece of lip removed by vet. (Jim claims he fell down while sleeping which is very common in horses. Note: in my 20+ years of equine ownership, I have never seen this happen. I plan to look into this, I've just never heard of it being a commonplace event). Upon walking Bentley off from vet, it is noticed he is off. Rather than pay the vet to check his hoof, Jim will do it himself. Jim notes Bentley had an abscess in his hoof a few weeks ago. Also noted he is too lazy to clean his hooves with bleach water. Jim's words-more on that later. APRIL 17- Bentley has cellulitis-4th time in 5 years. also has sore upper lip, and hoof abscess. Jim mentions that he may have to wrap hoof with Elasticon at $10 a roll. Mentions that when Bentley's "human" dropped him off MANY years ago, there was mention of hoof issues. Heighten still convalescing, but no limp. 1 volunteer on vacation, 1 did not show up. On ABR Jim doesn't go into as much daily detail. On the 13th, he mentions the colic, the weeds, and states they will get rid of the weeds in their spare time. On the 14th, fortunately, the weeds have been removed. On the 16th, he explains that Bentley's cellulitis was caused by the abscess in his hoof. Tells us it is time and energy consuming as well as expensive to treat. States Bentley, Heighten, and Big Charlie all have had cellulitis. States he deals with it with "maddening regularity". Granted, I've left out Jim's method of telling the story, but here is a bare bones week at Tierra Madre. Am I surprised at the amount of health issues? Not really. We've discussed them before. Although, looking at a snapshot of just a week, doesn't anyone find this excessive? And now to what really pissed me off. Bentley. One of Jim's "favorites". By Jim's own admission, the Abscess in that horse's hoof came about as the result of nothing more that sheer laziness. Jim has always known this horse has hoof issues. I am so weary of hearing the "original" owner blamed for anything that happens 3, 5, 10, 15, years later. NEWS FLASH- once you take the horse, IT'S YOURS!!!!! Your responsibility. Do you think Jim ever wonders WHY Bentley's "human" mentioned this problem? Possibly to give Jim a heads up so the horse could have a chance at having the issue managed? Now, if you look past Jim's story telling talents-and he has them, what you'll find is that this poor horse had an abscess in his hoof recently. KNOWING that, Jim's decision for this horse he loves, and can provide the best care for was to do-nothing. Not because he was tired. Not because he was over worked, or under staffed. But, according to Jim Gath himself, in his own words, because he was too lazy!!!! And he's got the cajones to complain about the cost his laziness entails! As my son would say-are you friggin' serious right now??!! But, there's more. If we believe Jim, and I know I do, the abscess caused the cellulitis. So, this one act of pure laziness by the most caring rescuer in Arizona has caused this horse quite a bit of pain. For those of you who support Jim, and rave about the wonderful care he gives each and every horse, what's your opinion on this one? Or were you so enthralled in Jim's way of telling the story that the truth got lost in the words? When Jim vows to do the "bleachy water thing", he's really saying that he has to take care of this horse's hoof issues properly, or pay the vet bill. If he doesn't do the "bleachy water thing", he will cause the poor horse more pain. "Bleachy water thing" sounds a little more innocuous than lack of proper care, though. Maybe you just don't understand how painful this is to a horse. Maybe Jim would rather you didn't. Jim, of course has excuses. Bentley insists on standing on the ground where there is urine. It's muddy. Maybe, Jim, but daily hoof cleaning and disinfecting would go a long ways towards making sure that nothing gets in to start an infection. And since you know this is an issue, why aren't you on top of it? I don't know who pisses me off more, Jim, or the faithful who read this and don't understand the words right in front of their faces. If you read Jim long enough, and can read between the lines, it is clear that the horses aren't very well trained. ( In a few recent incidents where Jim has had to fetch loose horses, or lead an unwilling one, he likens it to fighting a marlin). A well trained horse will lead quietly. And yes, I've had horses get out, and have had to fetch them. Once the lead rope is on, they know to walk quietly. A well trained horse will stand, even for things he doesn't particularly like. Jim had an incident recently where his mini bit a child. The tales about that mini, while on the surface, are wildly entertaining, show a horse with absolutely no respect for any human. I own a 9 year old Miniature stud. He would never push me out of the way to get to his food, nor would he bite anyone. He is respectful in every way. I would also never leave a child unsupervised around him, as even little horses can injure you. Jim seems to think the bad behavior of this little horse of his is in some way cute, even calling him an "assassin" from time to time. I read untrained horse. It's clear that, contrary to what the faithful would have you think, the horses do not receive the best of care. Jim has told us that himself. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Nothing I have said about Jim or Tierra Madre is unfounded gossip. It has all actually come from what Jim writes. I simply strip away the story telling, and look at the facts. They're not as entertaining as Jim would make them seem. Maybe Jim's true calling is as a fiction writer. But as a rescuer with too little land to house these horses, too little manpower and money to provide proper care, and the obvious inability to say no to more horses, I believe what I have said about Tierra Madre is true. Too bad Bentley can't write a daily blog.

Jim Gath's comment on how it was normal for horses who were sleeping to fall over got my interest up, and as promised, I did a little checking. Nowhere did I find any information stating it was normal equine behavior. I did find this, and given the circumstances poor Bentley finds himself in, it makes more sense.


It's Foaling Time, and It's All Our Fault


Who doesn't love a baby? I do, and so do most people. My favorite moderator on ABR, Mary L, began a thread to allow those with new babies arriving to post pictures of them. Now, to be fair, all of the babies, I am assuming are out of mares already pregnant when the Rescues took them in. I am hoping none of these Rescues are breeding-it kind of defeats the purpose. I was reading along, enjoying the pictures, and as always, it didn't take long for some astute reader to figure out a way to blame those of us who are Pro Horse for this. I know, there's the obvious "just stop breeding" ideal. It's preached all of the time. (By the way, Mary L., if you are really committed to this, isn't a thread dedicated to totally adorable new babies kind of at cross purposes?-but carry on). One of the posters feels that those of us who are Pro Horse really need to look at these babies and that will somehow make us understand how awful we are. Hmmmm. And in case you weren't aware-and I certainly wasn't, in post #72, it is revealed that pregnant mares are actually SOUGHT OUT for Slaughter. I have never read any reports supporting this "fact", but if you read it on ABR, it must be true. Do pregnant mares end up at Slaughter Plants? I would imagine so. Anyone who has actually dealt with mares in foal know that often times it is difficult to know if they are in fact pregnant until confirmed by a vet. And in some of the situations these horses are coming from, where they have been running with studs (Phoenix Rising "Rescue" always comes to mind), we are often dealing with multiple mares, and owners who cannot afford, or who do not care to have a vet come out and check. Add to that the time frame in which a pregnancy can be confirmed, and at times, the mare has already been sold. But, back to the thread. It is our fault that these mares have these babies. And now that they are in good hands, they will be constant reminders to those of us who are awful enough to send them to Slaughter what we have done. I love how these connections are made, don't you? One of the mares of course, comes with a story of how she got to the sale, and I have no reason to dispute it. I'm sure the person telling it was there to hear the words spoken, and in that case, is not re-telling a tale heard and embellished several times. Because when that happens, we know the tale often gets spun a bit. They have managed with love and patience to re-hab the mare, and I am glad for that. I am in full agreement that there are far too many people out there who have no business owning a horse because they don't know the first thing about the importance of good training. But that's another story for another day.
I'll tell you what I AM looking forward to. I'm looking forward to seeing how the ABR babies of 2010 turn out. Given proper care, they should have at least 25, maybe 30 years of life ahead of them. Hopefully, they have already been handled, and haltered. I am anxious to see what kind of citizens they will become in the Equine Community. I've found that it is very easy to point accusing fingers at "our side" for darned near everything that happens. Let's see how they deal with these babies, and what mark they make with them. Yes, there's already talk of a Calendar- Faces of the Saved or something like that. (by the way, there was mention of little Wilbur Gregory, the poor little Donkey cross who passed away under the "care" of one of those "Rescues" we love so much. I'd pass on putting him in the Calendar-he wasn't really saved when he didn't even make it to his 6 month birthday). It would be a money maker for the Anti Side. Great Idea. But I'm hoping the future for these babies holds plans for more than that. Those of you with ABR babies have a lot of work ahead of you. The work should have already begun. Good luck, and I hope you provide the future these babies deserve. Nothing is better for a horse than a solid foundation of training and respect-no matter what side of the issue you're on.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Apple Pie...

I just had to share this. Not because of it's newsworthiness, but because of the humor I find in it. We've heard from R.T. here before-(from what I understand, that is his given name). He's a champion of the Anti Slaughter side, and with articles like this one, I can see why. I have no problem with campaigning in the political arena, and I'm a huge fan of our veterans, so I wish this guy well. Have at it, and if with $380 in your pocket, you achieved the American dream, good for you! While R.T. extols the many virtues of the obvious patriotism and all around good guyness of this new upstart, he seems to thoroughly enjoy showing his disregard and lack of respect for Sue Wallis. But then, he doesn't seem to care for anyone who disagrees with his gospel. He doesn't seem to care for women much, either, from some of the comments he left here on his last visit. I enjoy a good conversation, even a debate on any issue. I like a well written article. I never see the need to out an out insult people, but to each his own, I suppose. I don't agree with everything Sue Wallis says or does, but I don't feel that gives anyone the right to bash her as R.T seems to feel entitled to do. But, enjoy the article. You'll feel like havin' yourself a nice ol' slice of American apple pie-or you'll just wonder if anyone takes this stuff seriously.

By RH2