Abandoned horse problems
The price of hay has doubled. Driving around one can see many horse properties with no horses. There are no horse rescue facilities in my area. Rescues in the rest of CO are overflowing. I just drove through the desert in northern AZ, and there's plenty more very thin feral horses there. Some places they already ate all the grass, and are now going over the same ground pawing out the roots.
Just thought it might be useful to let some people know that that the horse over population problem is huge, not going to go away, and needs to be addressed somehow.
I believe that if someone could no longer afford to feed horses, it would be more humane to have them put down than to turn them out on desert during drought to starve a slow, cold death. For the suffering horses thrown away by selfish owners, a clean, fast death from a properly placed bullet seems more humane.
Hard times. Hard choices.
In the "top of the hour" news on my radio this am they were talking about a herd(40+) of horses impounded due to the 80 year old owner either not being able to feed them physically or financially. Hay is still abundant here and very affordable yet these horses were starving.
The problem is that once people can't afford to feed them they sure as heck can't afford the cost to dispose of them either. Euthanasia by vet or euthanasia by bullet is expensive either way.
I don't think it is over population so much as all the horses alive today that serve no use or purpose. Old, sick, crippled, lame, untrainable, you name it. They take up space and resources that are better used on horses people can do something with. Once upon a time those types would find their way to a useful end and at least the people who used those ends had that option.
People have dumped dogs and cats forever it seems, it is just easier to spot an abandoned horse.
Hard times & hard choices is right and it may only get worse.
Now tell me again why turning horses into food is a bad idea.
Have to say if I decide to keep my old horse (and I always do) or my problem child that would sooner toss most riders than allow them the pleasure of a pleasant ride that is my choice with my hard in dollars. Not the biz of those that decide he/they serves the world no purpose and using up the resources of a more deserving usable horse.
Originally Posted by candyappy
We live in a capitalist nation that is expanding its food and feed exports to a growing demanding world and supply & demand create prices. Drought and natural disaster will always be a part of the equation. Tough times never last and tough people do and yes sometimes even have to made the hard choices.
It is more than the down economy. We as an industry over bred and allowed people the dream of a blue ribbon without teaching nor expecting of these new horse owners the skills, committing to a long term goal of horses and horse ownership, nor the expense.
Throw in the political game and new, poorly thought thru laws and regulations and this is the tip of the iceberg.
I said this all summer....that it was going to be a brutal winter for many unfortunate horses. In the absence of a bumper crop this next growing season....well you aint seen nutten yet.
While that is true for folks in populated areas where burial may be illegal, it is not an excuse for folks out west. Dead animals are quickly cleaned up by coyotes, foxes, eagles and crows, and the local landfill has a dead animal pit. This is a large reason why gunshot is better here than euthanasia by drugs.
Originally Posted by candyappy
Ammunition is getting more expensive, but a bullet is still cheaper than a beer. This is about flat out irresponsibility and lack of empathy.
I have kept mine through old age and retirement even when it meant I couldn't replace them because I didn't have the budget for more.
But, if I couldn't afford to feed them any longer, I would have put them put down rather than turn them loose to fend for themselves.
I consider this to be the responsible thing to do. It requires me to put on my big girl panties and make tough choices.
And for the horse I am thinking of, I would NOT have sent him to anyone else. Watching him move around the pasture you would think he was still 100% sound. But he was not riding sound physically or mentally 100% of the time.
I don't begrudge anyone who uses their finances to care for their horse through its natural life span.
I do find fault with those who came on bad times and didn't make good choices for their animals. Hard times=Hard choices. Sometimes being an adult sucks.
I sure hope you are talking about in rescues and not in private homes.
Originally Posted by candyappy
My old retired lame horse is not taking a spot from anyone. When he passes his stall will remain open.
My comment was not directed to those who make the responsible choice do to money, and life in general that can be tragic.
Originally Posted by jawa
My comment was directed to those the seem to feel their horse more deserving cuz it is useful and has more right therefore of "limited" resources. When in reality almost all horses these days are a luxury. If that is truely how one feels then any horse only deserves to be fed after the cattle, sheep, poultry and other livestock that feed this nation and world. If the deserve to exist at all.
My old horse ( and others) is not the cause of the down horse market. Those reasons are many and complicated. But is sure is easy for people to play the blame game.
The honest truth is no creature deserves not to be fed. The reality is only those that have responsible owners get fed. And since that amimal population may include the old, those becoming unhealthy, lame or what ever it is a part of the reality of horses. And I will continue to feed and care for all my horses into their old age as long as they have quality of life and I have the means to afford their keep. Cuz afterall it is my money.
In these times of drought and hard to find hay I did not point fingers at the local diaries with literally thousands of cows in completion for scarce hay as the burden why my horses may not have hay. No instead I worked side by side with others (whether horse or other livestock) and told them where to find hay or alternative fibers.
But I am not going to sit here and listen to words pointing fingers as to this horse cuz it is old or whatever being to problem. Horses are not the problem. People are. Hit the rescues, the low end auctions, the world of horses being passed from this owner to that owner to abandoned. Some of these horses are in fact skilled, age and health apropriate mounts for the beginner, family horse. We used to cherish these animals and now owners consider them too expensive to maintain. The market the horse industry created....instead we created an industry that wanted immediate gradification of a blue ribbon not the experience of owning/caring/enjoying a horse.
Yes feed is up. There is no doubt. But next year or the one following that it wil be down. This cycle repeats over, and over and over.
I am old enough I have seen times of livestock with no value before. This too shall pass and the cycle wil rebound to the days when horse owning is popular again. But as an industry lets hope there remain enough of us that rememeber this experience and teach responsibily and the long term commitment before we are so eager to breed and sell to anyone that at 1st appearance seems to have enough cash on hand to buy (and therefore keep/feed) a horse.
Or the cycle is doomed to repeat.
And people with this kind of heart are the reason the horse industry has a future. People actually in it for the "experience of a horse" still exist. They have meaning in lives.
Originally Posted by trubandloki
My 1st horses briddle still hangs by the door ready to be used. She lived to 35yrs old. And was a part of my life for 32yrs. Never berudged her the feed she ate a day in her life and she is still dearly missed.
On the east coast, you should budget between $1000-$1500 for euthanisia and removal. Most places do not allow burying (not that such things ever stop folks). Folks in financial distress usually find such a bill daunting, I would imagine.
This is not the only option for euth. There are other options, much less expensive options that are no more tragic than chemical means.