“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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Unemployment causes horse neglect...

John Holland attributes the rise in equine neglect to unemployment and says it has nothing to do with the lack of slaughter plants in the US ...
I can’t help but wonder about the misspelling of the word defense in the website. Is it an honest (surely not) mistake? Is it a pun meaning John and Vicki are the horses’ only ‘fence’ between horror and rescue? Or is it meant to signify John has jumped the fence/border to find ways to torture more horses? Obviously I could have way too much fun with this so on to the subject at hand.
John apparently thinks all of his readers are either ignorant or just plain stupid. While many agree the lack of financial funds has a lot to do with the rise in equine neglect it is not the only reason. It’s slightly more complicated and we have tried to get the truth about the situation out where people can see it. The anti slaughter bloggers want people to believe we say the lack of slaughter houses increased neglect and abuse. That statement could be perceived in different ways. Mr. Holland would like all of you to think “we” said the lack of U.S. slaughter plants has increased the numbers of people who are abusive or neglectful. John attempts to make us pro horse folks look ignorant and all he succeeds in doing is making himself look lazy, dishonest, and foolish.
What is happening with horse prices or lack of them is a perfect storm. Closing the plants was just one part of the problem. We are in an economic slump and that does affect horse ownership. Less demand drops prices, obviously. There are plenty of us old enough to remember when this happened in the past. We even ran a blog not long ago to talk about that titled “41 Mustangs”.
In a nut shell, the lack of slaughter availability in the United States is not making people neglectful. The lack of money (unemployment) combined with the lack of base scale price is the problem. The closing of the US plants limited certain horses from going to slaughter which in turn limited the ability to sell, or even give away many of these horses. Therefore those unemployed owners have no way of getting out of horse ownership and no way to afford the feed and care these horses need. I know, many of you anti people will say well they should have the vet euthanize (that means kill) them. Call around the country to vets and carcass removal companies and price this endeavor. It isn‘t cheap. A person struggling with paying for the roof over their children's heads isn‘t going to be able to afford it. Also ask vets if they are willing to kill a healthy animal.
Another fact, horses can be had for cheap, sometimes free, by anyone who wants one. Yep anyone. The guy who has no idea what feed costs. The guy who hasn’t got a clue how to care for them properly. The guy who is a hoarder. The guy who is an abusive ass hole. The guy who__________, I’m sure many of you can fill in the blank with any number of other “guys” who shouldn’t have horses. Many of them wouldn’t have had horses had they not been so “affordable” ... And why are they so cheap? Lack of base value. No salvage value. No scale price... Use whatever term you wish but the bottom line is, some horses that would have gone to the US slaughter plants are now stuck where they are... The horses that would have been the lower grade carcass after slaughter were sold to zoos in the past. They weren’t worth exporting as a carcass then and they certainly aren’t worth exporting on the hoof now. Only FAT, healthy, sound animals make that long trip now and our zoos import horse meat from other countries now. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit ridiculous?
So, plain and simple, yes the correlation of unemployment and neglect is true but only because many of the unemployed have no where to sell/ re-home these horses.
I also love it (NOT) when people lacking any real horse knowledge rant on about stopping all breeding. If you want to have a horse of any quality (and John has no idea what quality is) you will stop chanting the anti breeding bull shit and support the responsible breeders of quality horses. Learn to know the difference and apply that knowledge. True horsemen who appreciate quality horses will not adopt a pigeon breasted, coon footed, ewe necked rescue no matter how scarce good horses get or how much they are ‘scolded‘. One more fact you can all take to the bank.

By RM & RH1

A couple “food for thought” articles...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Its that time of year again

Summer's coming to an end, and it's again Fair time. I love the Fairs. They give me hope. We watched some of the horse events, and plan to watch some more throughout the rest of the weekend. Throughout the year, I get so frustrated, and sometimes develop a case of tunnel vision. I think I actually get sucked into the belief that all we are as an Industry now is a giant "Rescue Machine", producing "Pasture Puffs" to exist on carrots and kisses. Or to die in the "loving care" of "Rescues". It makes me want to get out. But then, thank heavens, Fair season comes just in time. We walked in on Thursday and saw a Young Draft colt getting his shoes put on for his class. Guess what? he was standing quietly, although curiously looking around. No "crashing to the ground" from tranquilizers. No one dancing around to keep away from his thrashing feet. This was a young horse who had obviously been worked with. We walked through the barns. Healthy clean, well groomed horses, people sitting around enjoying each others' company, proud to hear all of the comments on the animals they own, care for, and very obviously love. The difference here? These horses have jobs, and certainly seem to be the better for that fact. In one of the Draft barns, there were even a few babies-yep, babies! You see, breeding HAS to go on, because there IS a market if you breed well, and if you breed wisely. True, there are much fewer babies, but the quality is there, and that's a positive sign. We attended the Miniature Horse show. There weren't as many entries as there have been in recent years, but more than last year. Another good sign. again, well trained, well kept horses. I'm looking forward to the open Western Show, as well as the Ultimate Ranch race. The Ranch race is fairly new, and I really love it! It's an obstacle course, but it really tests the trust between horse and rider. We saw it for the first time last year, and I was so impressed by the age range of both horses and participants. Everyone was encouraged, time didn't matter. Getting through the course with your horse, in your own time was the goal, and from the crowd participation, and the applause, I think we'll be seeing much more of this kind of event. As we were leaving, we were lucky enough to pass by that same young draft we saw upon entering. This time, he was getting a bath. Again, curious, calm, he was the picture of what a horse should be. He had a job, he was looking forward to doing it, and his owner obviously took great pride in what she had accomplished with this young guy. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the show. I'm looking forward to all of the coming events. They give me hope that I'm not the only one who still believes in the Equine Industry. I'm not the only one who knows there's more to the horse world than FOB's, Feedlot Saves, and Slaughter Trucks. We're still moving forward. It may just be one small "Fun Show" and County Fair at a time, but for now, if it keeps the hope of a better tomorrow alive for those of us who sometimes feel like just giving up, it's more than enough.
By RH2