“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

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Bet Your A$$

It’s All About the Money…..
The last two blogs combined a couple of subjects near and dear to me. Form to function conformation and the economic health of the horse industry. Even the World Conformation Horse Association is trying to figure out how to stop the flow of red ink going on in the horse industry. I’m not sure implementing a claiming system similar to racing for halter shows is the best answer. Raising horses that could hold up to any kind of serious riding would be my first suggestion, but it’s not my call. Now there’s an interesting sentence. It’s not my call. I don’t have the first interest in owning a halter horse so how they market them is “not my call”.
http://www.nptelegraph.com/articles/2011/01/16/news/40001280.txt One of our readers posted this link to an article in the North Platte, Nebraska newspaper. Tyson Larson, fresh from the Summit of the Horse meeting in Las Vegas, is proposing Nebraska pass a law making it a misdemeanor offense for a rescue to turn away horses. The HSUS and NAHSC think it’s mean spirited and narrow minded. We in the horse training, selling, and producing business look at it as, “Be careful what you wish for” crossed with “you saddled the bronc now ride it”. Both sides involved knew the proposed safety network to be provided by the rescues was underfunded and under qualified from the onset. Both knew the salvage price would drop out of the horse market. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money. Both sides agreed on that. What they couldn’t agree on was the eventual cause and effect. We still can’t.
Nebraska had a slaughter house for many years. My limited research didn’t give me an exact date when Central Nebraska Pack stopped processing on site. Remember two blogs ago I mentioned the time thingey? The plant is still in business marketing USDA inspected horse meat under the trade name Nebraska Brand. Here’s the link http://www.nebraskabrand.com/ . I personally remember calling the plant for quotes in the late 90s. What was that about Nebraska not being familiar with the industry?
The people who remember the original export argument must be scratching their heads about how the HSUS warned everyone export for slaughter would be a problem BEFORE the plants were shuttered here. You bet your a$$ it’s about the money. The horse meat trade is still alive and well with absolutely no transparency in price to the horses and horsemen bearing the brunt of the cost. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
“Cattle are not flight animals because they were raised for food”. Do you people make this up as you go along or what? It makes a nice fuzzy loop hole to run through so the HSUS funding population can continue to enjoy a guilt free meal and rant against horse slaughter. Care to consult Temple Grandin on that one? Oh no, that would require admitting she could be right about something and there goes the insult and conquer neighborhood. Don’t want to lose any supporters/donors by working with facts. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
The true spirit of Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and the I’m smarter than all the people involved in this because I can bitch eloquently crowd is continued and celebrated at .http://madcowcafe.blogspot.com/ .It’s a cute little upstart blog filled with well written insults and not a practical or workable solution or suggestion in sight. I don’t know about Mad Cow, but for the others, bitching pays pretty darn well. You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.
The last but not least “you bet your a$$ it’s all about the money” honorable mention for the day goes to….. http://www.horsetradertricks.com/ . I don’t even know where to begin on this one…..It’s a banquet. $ 200 horses available for the buying, the political incorrectness of buying a horse at the evil auction, the idea that horses repay kindness with kindness, and they are just waiting to love and serve all collide in one website. Reading this website I couldn’t really get a grip on who was more ignorant buyer or seller.
Personal favorites???? two child safe stallions advertised on two different rescue sights ….Child safe studs, SERIOUSLY??? Although neither of them are in any of this website’s horse trader stories they might give some insight as to how the things at http://www.horsetradertricks.com/ could work to start with.
Bottom line:
If you have a horse you like and could never think of sending to slaughter a responsible breeder that more than likely invested a good deal of thought and money in his parents.
If you didn’t own his dam at the time of foaling he was sold to you by someone hoping to get paid for owning him before you.
If you can ride, show, or do anything with him that he didn’t learn at your place someone somewhere trained him hoping to get paid either for the training or more for the trained horse than the untrained one.
You bet your a$$ it’s all about the money.

By RH 1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pink Ducks……

Halter Horses……The World Conformation Horse Association…..or don’t let the decreasing number of entries in the halter classes get you down…….

There’s the link to the conformation horse website. This is a column listed on the site explaining the purpose of the new association published in the Quarter Horse Journal.

Haltering an industry By Peter J. Cofrancesco III The other day, I was speaking with a person whom I have a great deal of respect for, Dr. Don
Topliff at West Texas A&M University, an educator and a judge. We were talking about conformation, what each of us tends to look for, and how important conformation is regardless of the discipline the horse competes in. That led him to tell me a story about a champion racing Quarter Horse trainer who became one of the world's most successful Thoroughbred trainers. A true horseman, this individual uses conformation as his deciding factor when he attends multi-million dollar Thoroughbred sales. Before he looks at the sale catalog, he looks at all the horses in the sale and grades the horses 1-5, 6, or 7-10, based on conformation. This he does without looking at their pedigree. He then tries to buy all the horses graded between 7-10 no matter what their pedigree says. He will only buy a 6 after looking at its pedigree, and determining if it is well bred. For the horses he's graded a 1-5; it doesn't matter how they're bred, he won't bid on them. I'd say thousands of people in the AQHA would do well to learn a similar system, whether they happen to be the person on the end of a lead shank or sitting in a saddle. Having an appreciation for and, perhaps even more importantly, an understanding of the value of conformation is crucial to the success, health and welfare of the horse. That's why I joined 40 other people in the halter horse industry for a meeting in May. It was a great and productive meeting. So great was the meeting, that a mere 45 days later, the World Conformation Horse Association was born and will officially launch as a new association in service to the industry October 17. Why call it conformation and not halter? Simple. Because conformation is what it's really all about, regardless of the discipline your horse might be engaged in. Without a solid skeletal and muscular structure, good producers and performers cannot be made and a good industry cannot survive. Perhaps the most gratifying element to the group's development and birth was how willing those gathered were to hold up a mirror to the halter horse industry in order to recognize the good and the not so good, and take ownership for it. The group recognized that owning and showing a halter horse was one of the best entry points for people coming into our industry, but more opportunities needed to be made available for people of varying experience, age and interest. Education is crucial, not only for judges, but for owners, breeders and exhibitors in teaching selection methods and how to recognize good conformation. The group also recognized that, while showing at halter was one of the first horse competitions, it is one of the few remaining segments without a voice in the industry. We hope to change that. Developing a singular voice like other industry segment groups, such as the National Cutting Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association, the WCHA envisions an opportunity to serve the industry by working to define the elements of good conformation and providing a standard of competition and education to serve as a model throughout the industry. Of course there are controversial issues in the industry, but it has been rewarding to know that folks in the halter industry are now focused more on becoming an organized group rather than taking on the issues right now. So, with the help of some dedicated individuals, mostly owners and breeders with very busy lives, for the few months, the WCHA has focused on developing articles of incorporation, by-laws and a membership structure. Task forces and committees have been formed to address education, competition, governance and promotion. Undoubtedly, there is much work to be done and the response from the industry clearly indicates a need. While the WCHA will be open to all breeds, its relationship with AQHA will undoubtedly be crucial to its growth. The group foresees developing a similar alliance with AQHA as have other breeds and sport groups. Through this alliance, WCHA and AQHA have an opportunity to share in the promotion of the conformation horse and in developing educational tools to serve the industry. Many have taken a "wait and see" position on the WCHA and that is perfectly understandable. The horse industry certainly has no shortage of clubs or associations to join. What could make this one any different? Frankly, that will be up to the membership because what the WCHA offers is to become that singular voice distilled from many viewpoints and opinions. So far, the response to forming the association has been tremendous, but it won't be long before the WCHA will need to provide substance behind its words and value to the industry.
Mr. Cofrancesco has made a really good sales pitch for the Conformation Horse Association. In fact the highlighted points should be chiseled indelibly in ANY horseman’s mind. The ideal set forth by those setting the ideal ‘conformation’, hiring the judges, and calling the shots…….Take a look…..
I don’t think this is quite what the respected race horse man, mentioned in the first paragraph, was visualizing. I can’t see running a barrel pattern, completing the fence run in a reined cowhorse class, or sorting out a heavy heifer in a slick, muddy calving pasture on this horse or one like him. I can’t even see him picking his way down a steep rocky creek bank as a trail horse. I can see why the voting body did away with a judge having the option to ask halter/conformation class exhibitors for a serpentine jog at several of their major futurities.
Pink ducks? Is a slang term we use at the Ranch to explain judges and breeders stamping less than functional horses as the ideal. True using horse people are the minority among judges today. Gone is the day when the breeders and judges went home to work their own cattle with their own horses. The judges are trainers and exhibitors grown up in the show ring. They are the product of a generation and peers who developed their eye for horses in the show ring. If all you have ever seen win is pink ducks, pink becomes the desired color for a duck.
Nobody thought to ask the ducks.
The AQHA did name one more Supreme Champion. No, he wasn’t halter , excuse me, conformation bred.

The Ideal Conformation horse........ ?

By RH1