"Pie in the Sky" ideas are what dreams are made of. Dreams do come true.
Yep, sure helps with the PR for his track dreams.
Animal rights people have a point that we humans may never do a perfect job of caring for our charges.
I don't agree with them that, because we can't be perfect, we should then not have animals to care for.
There are many kids and all kinds of people we should be caring for better, as there are horses.
We can't do a perfect job of caring for all, short of becoming other than we are and that may be an impossibility.
That doesn't mean we should not try, but that we be realists and know what we can work to do and what is pie in the sky thinking.
In other words, we can't make omelettes without breaking eggs.
If we want to use horses, we will have to understand that some just will always be unwanted.
Margaret Mead wasn't quite right. One damn fool on a mission can send the whole world to hell. At least that's what all the liberals are claiming about GWB, so if one damn fool can do it, just about any damn fool can.
Get a bunch of damn fools together and all the thoughtful people in the world can't thwart them without bloodshed.
I think it is great that someone in the industry is promoting the need for a system to rehome retired racehorses. I see that as a positive step, aka a good thing.
God forbid people try to do the right thing - what a horrible infringement on my rights.
This guy is NOT "trying to do the right thing". He's trying to make OTHER PEOPLE do what HE thinks is "the right thing". If he wanted to ban all trainers who smoked cigarettes or drank booze or cheated on their spouses or engaged in any other behavior he didn't think was "right" he'd have been villified beyond belief.
Now, if he wants to put a poster on a bulletin board at his track offering to pay fair meat market value for any horse that runs on his track and then prep his purchases for a different career/retire them/whatever the hell he wants to do with them, I'd not have a bad word to say about his idea.
If you are so concerned about the use of "incendiary" language why did you jump on it like pig on slop?
I meant my comment to be literal, that SHE bashed with that title on this thread an industry with her words, knowingly, I don't care if she copied them from somewhere else and then ASKED us not to comment on that.
Can't make omelettes without breaking eggs.
She was making omelettes and then didn't want us to point out that she had broken eggs.
I object to those words because I think that slaughter serves a purpose, is legal and has been how we have disposed of horses unwanted and those of no further use alive for centuries, using one more natural, renewable resource thru that process.
Because of that I think that bashing indiscriminately slaughter, or racing, or eventing, or rescues, on a few stories of abuse or accidents, taken out of context is not right.
We all agree that we don't want outright abuse.
Outright abuse can be found in any place, even in the rescues the OP represents.
It is silly to blame a whole industry for some abuses in it, as it would be silly to blame all rescues for the abuses in so many we keep hearing about any more.
That title was part of that bashing, thus my objection.
Just my opinion, as others have stated theirs, some more politely than others in the way they expressed themselves.
Users are welcome to present and debate different opinions on this and other topics. Just because we don't agree with each other, doesn't mean we're attacking each other (though the two certainly have been known to coexist!)--please continue the discussion without making things personal where they don't have to be/aren't intended to be.
Making a rule on what can or cannot be posted in response to such an article is just plain ridiculous. If a person wants to preach - create a blog. This is a discussion board for cryin' out loud.
I'm not quite sure how this rule would be enforced, but I don't see any harm in trying to take positive steps to reduce the number of horses going to slaughter. If more horses can find jobs and good homes - that's wonderful!
It used to be (and still is to some extent) that if a horse didn't work out at the track, there were still plenty of great jobs out there for the horse. Chasing, hunting, h/j, eventing....
Seems like nowadays the WB (or WB type) is the fashionable horse - which doesn't bode well for horses that don't make it at the track. But if where y'all live is anything similar to where I live, up and coming horsemen just don't know how to ride well enough anymore - they can't handle a TB. It's too bad - they really are the perfect equine athlete.
I guess that's beyond the scope of the article.... but I can't help but think the fact that nowadays more folks are stuck doing 20m circles in a ring and can't ride xc has a bearing on the number of TB's with no job after racing.
Even in eventing it seems the WB is becoming preferable; particularly with the short format. H/J seems to favor the WB or WB cross, and in hunting the TB used to be the predominant breed - now you see all kinds of horses out there. Dressage - definitely the WB.
So while it's nice to just "ban" trainers who send their charges to slaughter - exactly how does this help TB's find homes and careers? I appreciate that this man wants to protect the horses - I'm just not sure his stance actually accomplishes anything. It is a good pr move, but wouldn't y'all like it if energy was put into aggressively marketing this horse as a sporthorse?
The WB breeders are selling FOALS for 30K. I can buy a draft cross for 800-1500$ - and I can get a TB off the track even cheaper. So - what can we do as horsemen to make these horses a good purchase for the horse owning public? They're not necessarily good horses for a novice or weekend rider.
PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
So - what can we do as horsemen to make these horses a good purchase for the horse owning public? They're not necessarily good horses for a novice or weekend rider.
I agree J Swan! If we care about the TBs we need to become advocates for them. I see TBs being tossed away that were too much for their owners. I think the key is knowledge. People think because the TB is cheap that is the horse for them and it just ain't so.... Trainers, people who have the TBs who need a new home and friends of people looking for horses need to talk to their friends until they are blue in the face if they feel a TB is not for them..... We also need people who can become mentors to people who opt to adopt TBs to keep those folks from getting hurt and washing out as owners.... And the adopters need to listen to those mentors! It's all about communication.
TBs are not generally easy horses to deal with. I bought my mare when she was eight because I was afraid she would go to slaughter--maybe she should have but after a couple years of working with her you won't find a saner, more sensible horse under saddle. Her riding career has been cut short though by "big knee" syndrome but she can still teach someone to groom and work with a TB. She still has that TB intensity.... I call it "the T factor" (for Thoroughbred)! We've been through many phases though--not all of them pretty....
I wish there were a clearinghouse where TBs could be taken to be "let down", evaluated and at least partially re-trained to be a solid citizen.... I believe knowing how to feed a TB (many seem not to be able to tolerate high loads of grain, IMO) is a big part of the problem new owners face--they feel a horse just has to have grain and that is not always so. My horse is subsisting on forage products. I realize that may not be feasible for horses that show but at some point you have to get control of the horse and not make it so wired that it can't focus on what you're asking it to do. Turnout is also a big problem with TBs--they seem to need it more than other horses because they are so closely bred they have a problem learning how to stand still....
So many people seem to put piece after piece of tack on the TB until it takes fifteen to twenty minutes to tack up! What the TB needs initally anyway is less tack! Too many novices try to over control the TB and I think that makes the horse more nervous and crazy....
At any rate--it takes a special person to deal with a TB and to retrain them and I don't think all horse people with experience are up to the challenge. I know I've been plenty frustrated in the past with some of the stuff my mare has presented to me.... I had thirty years of experience with horses before I took her on and I have to admit that I was woefully ignorant when it came to dealing with her. I had to read, read, read--ask questions of whomever I thought might have an answer for me and do a lot of thinking when it came to resolving problems with her. The best thing I ever did is figure out how to make her think that my ideas were actually her ideas--that's when she stopped fighting me....
The writer of the article--Hovdey, is married to the jockey, Julie Krone.
As long as people predict something will fail, it probably will. In order for something to work it takes all or most of the people to pull together to achieve successs. "Lead, follow or get out of the way"--I think that's how the saying goes.... Personally--I am pulling for the horses to win! I think someone on COTH had a signature line that went something like this: "People who are saying something can't be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it!".
So while it's nice to just "ban" trainers who send their charges to slaughter - exactly how does this help TB's find homes and careers? I appreciate that this man wants to protect the horses - I'm just not sure his stance actually accomplishes anything.
It encourages trainers and owners to find a place for their racehorse to go before the horse is crippled, and worth only meat money.....
We've seen way too many horses that are so broke down from running 'just one more race' that they will never ever be a riding horse. It doesn't matter how experienced the new owner is, if the horse is crippled, no amount of training is going to make it a riding horse.
Richard Fields planted the seed. Let's see if the concept grows (and is enforced).
Richard Fields has a large ranch in Wyoming, where he retires some racehorses. Certainly isn't just preaching his ideals- he's taking the lead and encouraging others that want to play on his turf to follow.
---"So - what can we do as horsemen to make these horses a good purchase for the horse owning public? They're not necessarily good horses for a novice or weekend rider."---
Many TB's used to be good circle horses on ranches, because the cowboys had many miles to cover.
Today most haul horses around, don't ride much any more. We have also bred more appropiate horses for today's ranch work, so just any horse is not as pleasant to use and make it work as it used to be, when you can ride those that are bred for it and so better.
I expect the same is happening in other ways we use horses, so TB's are being relegated to racing and not that much else.
Only for the more experienced hosremen, that will ride hard and enjoy a challenge, other than some exceptionally quiet, laid back ones.
Only for the more advanced students and many other kinds of horses today can be used for both, so less TB's are used there.
TB's still fit there, although with considerably more competition from horses bred for that, that more and more exhibitors and judges seem to prefer today.
If we don't want to accept that there are many horses without jobs, some to many of the racing TB's once they are not in the racing industry any more, we will have to side with the animal rights people and ban racing.
But, lets not forget that unwanted and horses without a use any more come from all places and disciplines, as we keep breeding for the better horses in those disciplines.
Plus the backyard breeders additions, trying for a copy of their beloved one or three pets and the flat uncaring people with their accidental breedings.
We have a surplus of horses, always have had a surplus of horses and, unless we quit having horses at all, or ration what we have so only those that win the quota lotteries get to have one and are lucky that it is a horse they can use, we will always have unwanted horses to dispose of.
THAT is why I call trying to add some more OTTB's to the using horse market is, since it is a mature market, with only so many homes for horses, playing musical chairs.
Those TB's "saved" are taking the place of other horses that would have been used by that person, thus leaving another of the many horses out there then unwanted.
Especially in this economy, that is shrinking our luxury markets, part of which our horses are.
Nice gesture to try to "save" some horses.
Unrealistic to call that "saving", under the conditions we live in today.
Oh, it does matter to each one of the horses "saved", it doesn't make much sense in the grand scheme of things and don't know how we can change that, other than quit using horses at all.
That is all I am saying...
PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
Well, we could stop by not breeding any more horses--but people just have to produce that foal! Somehow they think their foal is special and will escape the knacker--in truth every foal born is slaughter fodder.... Just because you think your foal is "special" if it leaves your barn there is no guarantee that it will live to a ripe old age.... Too many horses and not enough homes....
Although I will say that when horses are taken from their current owners due to abuse, neglect, whatever--as soon as their stories and their pictures hit the internet or the news those horses are spoken for. I don't think the term "unwanted" horse is justified! That horse is just in the wrong place at the wrong time--most of them seem to not have a problem finding a new home....
I have no problem with anyone that wants a farm full of broken down horses its their money and their right to do what they want with it. However when they start to try and force others to do what they want then it becomes a problem. Others have the same rights to do what they want with their livestock and their money. They want to eat them or sell them for meat its their right to do so. Someone trys to stop them then they have the right to push back.