“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, July 29, 2010

There Must Be Something about July...

Animal cruelty in my state is an aggravated misdemeanor. I did not check all states so I can’t speak for yours. While the NAHSC is trying to pass legislation to make transporting horses to slaughter a felony, animal cruelty involving horses or the family is an aggravated misdemeanor. NAHSC note: I said animal cruelty, not neglect.

There is a vast difference between neglect and cruelty. I don’t understand the mentality that allows an individual to hoard, or keep an animal in constant discomfort but it is vastly different from the mind needed to purposely inflict torture and death to an animal. Many people I consider a big part of “THE PROBLEM” feel they are competent horsemen and more than a few feel they are more than competent trainers. Most of them at least mean well although they make the rest of us crazy. We have cussed and discussed how the lack of floor value has made horses available to these and others who really have no business in the horse industry. I like to compare these folks, the Kool Aid Klub, and the NAHSC brigade to a blister on the butt of the horse industry. They are a pain in the ass but not fatal.

Others, those with the intent to torture, maim, and kill for the adrenalin rush or whatever sick mind trip, are a whole ‘nuther breed of cat. They are not only a humane nuisance but both a societal symptom and problem. They are a cancer instead of a blister. Unchecked they will be fatal and it seems we have added yet another animal to the list they can torture.

Pro-horse/pro-slaughter/pro-profit oriented horse industry horsemen have used the increase of neglect, abandonment, and the host of other bad things which happen to animals who have become a no value liability (pets) instead of a salvage value asset to justify the necessity of horse processing/slaughter/butcher. Whatever term you choose to use, whether you support this belief, if you are pro or anti horse is not the point, the universal rebuttal to this? These things are against the law. The law will protect the horses and prevent these things from happening more frequently. HSUS and PETA are supposedly to busy using the vast donations they continue to suck in to lobby for animal protection and animal rights laws to fund any real hands on care of the animals. These organizations and their mouthpieces have been so involved in stamping out an industry, which could have and perhaps should have been more tightly regulated to correct its problems, they haven’t even paid lip service to animal cruelty syndrome.

Back to the Fourth of July. Late in the night of July 4, 2009 and early into the next morning Flint Dahl and his buddies were torturing Dually, Wendy Halweg’s good barrel horse. HSUS and PETA wanted nothing to do with the prosecution or investigation of the case. He was a rodeo horse, they don’t condone rodeo. A glance through the comments on AHL (American Horse League) website shows a couple of “compassionate horse lovers” berating Chase Anderson and the organization’s press release calling for prosecution and harsh punishment of the violators. Why? They are pro-slaughter. How can they possibly have the unmitigated gall to stand up against the cruel treatment of this one horse when they were for killing hundreds of others?

There is a difference between feeding, shipping, and processing any animal and torture killings. Trust me I can say this with a clear conscience, in large part because of the events of this July 4.

My two yearling colts get out of their pasture and were hit with a Jeep. The land owner was away camping so it is unclear how these colts got out. They and their two year old brother were out while two other horses stayed in the same pasture and continue to do so now. Supposedly a 16 year old witness in the Jeep that ran them down who testified the driver (a 30 year old male) drove by the colts, then turned around to chase them for fun and to see if he could hit one. He did well, he hit both. The witness later recanted, so again the facts are unclear. The stated facts in the sheriff’s report are:

Absolutely no skid marks were present on the rain soaked little traveled gravel road.

The colts were left with broken legs while the driver called help and towed his Jeep away as there was no sign of a vehicle when a second unrelated vehicle found the colts in the road and called for help.

Supposedly later on the deputy and the landowner’s son tracked anti-freeze and other fluid leaks to a nearby residence to find who had actually hit them.

Here is pretty much how this has played out to date. The witness recanted….she is 16, she and the driver were leaving a party intoxicated so her parents are clamming her up. The county sheriff has little more interest in prosecuting this case than if the family dog was hit and killed. The value of the colts was questioned immediately. My friend who is the landowner valued them at the princely sum of $1,200.00 or $600 apiece for the sheriff’s report. He didn’t call me until the next morning. Logically there was nothing I could do and he knew how upset I would be over the way they died. We all know horses aren’t worth ANYTHING.. Hell, there are people all over trying to give them away. They were out. If they hadn’t been where the drunk S.O.B. could see them, and it didn’t happen in an open range state/area so, well you know the rest of the story…….. Sounds kind of like blaming the date rape victim for being female if you ask me.

Turning Woody out into the hill pasture made a happy story but as I drove up to the gate to unload, about 300 yards away on that same road were the bloodstains where the yearlings had bled out. It’s the horse business, if you don’t own them you can’t lose them but for a time it was easier to talk about Woody. Really it still is.

If there is any doubt in your mind about the connection between animal violence and human crime, read on. Interesting reading on this subject at :

They do help answer the question all my friends and I have had….What kind of person does that sort of thing?

Names conspicuously absent from these pages detailing research and reasons for more funding, attention, and stronger prosecution of this syndrome???? PETA???? HSUS????? Must be something about July 4, the full moon, alcohol, and all those good designer drugs.

By RH1

Update on Dually- June 24, 2010

"The man charged with stealing and abusing Dually was recently sentenced for the crimes. For the next three years, every 4th of July, Flint Dahl will serve five days behind bars."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I read with sadness that Jim Gath laid to rest one of his horses- a 30 year old resident of Tierra Madre, the overcrowded less than 3 acre Sanctuary for horses he operates almost solely on donations. It's quite something that a horse lives for 30 years, and a plus if those are healthy years. Jim, as always spins an emotional tale with Jim somehow the main character rather than the horse. And the FTM's (friends of Tierra Madre ) do not disappoint in their support of Jim. But as always with those of us who are such skeptics, the underlying story is sad. Jim mentions how long this horse has been in pain. How much weight he has lost. How much doctoring Jim has done on him. He talks of cutting into his foot, and of the poor guy having to bear weight on a severely arthritic leg to rest that foot. Of ongoing infections. Of the possibility of cancer. And, being Tierra Madre, of the decision not to pay a large amount of money to have x rays done on a horse who has, in Jim's opinion come to the end of the circle of life. What a sad journey it was for the horse, though. During the out pouring of sympathy for Jim, someone stated the obvious. That less numbers of horses on such a small plot of land would allow for better care and more time for Jim who is ever complaining about how over worked he is. The poster even suggested that there were indeed other people who could love these horses as Jim claims only he can. The Tierra Madre thong Club of course did not appreciate this at all! We are reminded that this is a SANCTUARY, and that Jim takes in horses NO ONE ELSE wants. With enabling like this going on, no wonder there are so many horses packed into this small plot of land! I suppose it escapes these people that along with love, horses need room to run. I don't think they have the slightest understanding of how many of the problems Jim's horses experience are at least partially related to the fact that they do not get to act like horses. They are shut up in pens, and small run ins. Horses need exercise for healthy respiratory systems, joints, muscles, and circulation. Even an old 30 year old arthritic horse is much better when able to get out there and move. To lock them all up is to guarantee lameness issues. Jim's stories of the horrors these horses came from may make for good reading, but I can't stop thinking of the day to day hell they live in at Tierra Madre. I know, I know-Jim LOVES the horses. He'd do anything for them-except keep a reasonable number on less than 3 acres, train the ones that are adoptable and adopt them out, and get his finances in order so he can afford the horses he owns. I have nothing against fundraising, but when your operation depends on it, you're doing something wrong. As long as Jim is enabled, he will continue to make life miserable for as many horses as he can get his hands on. I predict a horse will soon fill the empty slot. Jim will not be able to help himself. And it will be filled with the help and blessing of his enablers. I have to add an interesting side note here, for those EPONA fans. In the midst of Jim's posts on the loss of his horse, and the condolences from his enablers, doesn't Miss Lin just post a picture of that new baby? She just couldn't stop herself. Of course, it was under the guise of the whole "circle of life" thing. My guess is that our Lin didn't quite like the shift in attention. She and Jim are truly two peas in a pod. The only thing worse than the two of them operating separately would be them joining forces.
By RH2