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  1. #1
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    Default Donating horses to college programs, therapeutic riding, etc

    http://discus.equinesite.net/discus/...tml?1257560977

    A horse donated to SUNY at Morrisville College is lucky.
    Be aware that donating to a college, or a therapeutic riding center is not a guarrantee to a safe home for your beloved horse.



  2. #2
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    Does anyone know if the Univ. of FL (Gainesville) "disposes" of their horses when they are done? (from the vet/breeding programs?)
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

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  3. #3
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    You have to read what happened to Boomerang a Saddlebred gelding donated to a college. Thrown away and sold at New Holland for $60.00 but a happy ending when Saddlebred Rescue saved him and he was adopted. Be ready with the kleenex. http://forum.saddlebredrescue.com/to...erms=boomerang



  4. #4
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    Default

    OP, are you referring to the former Morrisville State College horse that was found in the killpen at Camelot auction in Cranbury, NJ this week?



  5. #5
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    Default Chiming in

    FWIW I think it's *unacceptable* when a college sends donated horses to auction. A list of such institutions ought to be published.

    Euthanasia is cheap enough that any institution can afford it. Vet schools, of course, can do that and dispose of carcasses at cost. There is no reason for a college-- whose scientists must follow strict guidelines with animal research-- ought to be allowed to contribute to the suffering and economy of auctions and horsemeat.
    The armchair saddler
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  6. #6
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    Has anyone read SUNY Morrisville's contract and release? It might state outright that they can and will sell horses they are done with. I would be willing to bet that it does. These are programs that rely on endowments and donations in many cases, to house each and every horses would be financial suicide regards of ethics.

    This is a donor beware situation. It stinks...badly.

    Also unacceptable are the broad statements that lump programs, schools and organizations together with the offenders.

    I have a therapeutic program, and our horses are adopted from respected rescues AND guaranteed a home for life. It makes me sad to see something I have worked so hard for dragged through the mire with the offenders.
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  7. #7
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    I cross posted, but yes, it was a horse from SUNY at Morrisville, NY that was sold to Strain's who in turn sent it to auction(immediately) and then it ended up at Camelot in the kill lot.

    These colleges/universities, therapeutic riding centers- places where horses are mostly donated by I assume unsuspecting individuals, when no longer fitting into their program, send them off. Many to the long road to slaughter.

    This is exactly what was done here. First to strain, then to auction, then to camelot kill lot.

    I think it is reprehensible, since the directors of these programs know the inside deal. But, its an easy out to say, Oh, we didn't know thats what Strain's did. We thought they'd find him a good home.
    DENIAL and an easy 'don't blame me' attitude.

    I strongly encourage anyone who has an opinion on this to write the equestrian programs president and director of development to protest this practice.

    If nothing else, its poor practice imo and poor modeling behavior to impressionable students.



  8. #8
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    Equineartworks, you are right, they should not all be lumped together. Reading the contract is vital.
    But do you know, that if you donate a horse to a rescue, many times it says the same thing...they can dispose of the horse in any way they feel necessary!!!!

    It truly is a donater beware, but on the other hand, this is State MONEY, and personally, as a NYS property owner, I am pissed that is how they spend their money,er my money.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    FWIW I think it's *unacceptable* when a college sends donated horses to auction. A list of such institutions ought to be published.

    Euthanasia is cheap enough that any institution can afford it. Vet schools, of course, can do that and dispose of carcasses at cost. There is no reason for a college-- whose scientists must follow strict guidelines with animal research-- ought to be allowed to contribute to the suffering and economy of auctions and horsemeat.
    I don't like to see horses at the auction either, BUT the college in question did not send the horse to auction. They traded this horse to what looks to the naked eye like a perfectly nice sale farm full of family-friendly horses, not feedlot nags:
    http://www.strainfamilyhorsefarm.com/

    So shame on STRAIN FAMILY FARM for sending the horse to auction. That was tacky of them.

    It doesn't sound like this horse had outlived its useful riding life. It would have been shameful for the college to euthanize a horse that was still useful and had a reasonable chance of getting a better home. And sometimes horses just don't fit into their programs for whatever reason and need to be re-homed. Yes I would have preferred to see the rehoming handled internally rather than seeing the horse shunted off to a resale farm, but at least they didn't send him to the auction.

    I personally would not donate a horse to an organization that didn't have an excellent record for rehoming horses *internally*, like with alumni, but like equineartworks said this is a "donor beware" situation. For most of these programs, the organization owns the horse outright. Is it their property and they can do what they like with it. It sounds like Morrisville may have been trying to do the right thing.
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  10. #10
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    I just called about a horse for sale that was recently in a college riding program. The seller told me how great the horse was and how safe and how perfect it would be for my low-confidence self, etc. He also really talked up the horse's connection to the college's lesson program.

    So, I did the one thing I'm sure the seller never imagined I would dare to do. I called the college and asked about the horse. Turns out, the horse is not beginner-safe, and according to the barn manager, while the horse would be OK for a more advanced rider, it needs plenty of riding hours before she would consider putting a less confident rider on it. When I told her what the seller had said, she was shocked.

    I think a lot of these programs hope they are selling the horses to good owners when they choose to move them out of their riding programs, but the truth is, there are a lot of jerks in this world who just want to make a quick buck. Saying a horse came from X College's lesson program is a super way to do that.

    Bottom line? Donator beware. Buyer beware.



  11. #11
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    in4jenny, did you even read post #7. Sorry, but M'ville is culpable here, they just used strain as the wash man.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    in4jenny, did you even read post #7. Sorry, but M'ville is culpable here, they just used strain as the wash man.
    Why yes, I do read. Do you care to tell us why we should trust your personal opinion on the matter? Do you have any actual evidence that Morrisville knew this would happen, as you implied in post #7?

    I don't know you from Adam and I have no affiliation with Morrisville College, but you are a single (anonymous) person who showed up on this board and cried wolf. If you have actual evidence of any kind that Morrisville College knew what was going to happen, let's hear it. It might make for better letters to the college president.
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  13. #13
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    On the other board, where this discussion began, someone posted a letter she had written to a Dean at Morrisville.

    One argument in that letter seemed compelling: If you are an "institution of higher learning" then the wide-eyed, "we didn't know what Strain would do with the horse" answer isn't good enough. Really? Use your ample resources and dedication to research to find out.

    Apparently no one-- not colleges, lesson programs, rescues, therapeutic riding programs-- wants to be the organization to euthanize a horse. In this day and age, I think it's too late not to accept that that option might be better than handing the horse off to someone else and hoping.
    The armchair saddler
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Apparently no one-- not colleges, lesson programs, rescues, therapeutic riding programs-- wants to be the organization to euthanize a horse. In this day and age, I think it's too late not to accept that that option might be better than handing the horse off to someone else and hoping.
    I was just thinking something similar to this as I looked through ad after ad for free horses on equine.com that stated things like "must go to good home," "must be used for companion only," "deserves to live out his retirement eating hay and hanging with his pasture mates...best home only," "injured and can no longer continue to do work at the level I desire...must go to walk/trot home only with no one over 140 pounds riding him," or my personal favorite "intermittently lame...haven't had vet out to see why...needs good home." If you want to absolutely control that horse's future, you either need to keep it, give it to a family member or friend, or euthanize it. Period.

    You always run the risk of a horse going to a bad place if you pass it along. Even the nicest person who makes every promise in the world about how he or she will take care of your horse could fall on hard times or make a bad decision or somehow be bamboozled into believing someone is not lying to them.

    You take a risk if you place your horse in a new home, even if you sell it and don't give it away. If the horse has behavior issues or soundness issues, that risk doubles. If the horse needs extra care or is older, the risk doubles. For some horses, a better option would be euthanizing them.

    I had a long, hard discussion with my husband about the mare I'm retiring from dressage. She has some behavior issues, and I could see her ending up in a very bad place indeed if she fell into the wrong hands. Euthanizing her was an option on the table until my husband laid dibs on her and made her his own horse. Would I have felt terrible about putting a mid-teens horse with no lameness issues down? Absolutely. Would I have felt worse if she ended up abused or on a meat truck? Without a doubt. It's never an easy choice, but it IS an option that people seem to overlook.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by equineartworks View Post
    Has anyone read SUNY Morrisville's contract and release? It might state outright that they can and will sell horses they are done with. I would be willing to bet that it does. These are programs that rely on endowments and donations in many cases, to house each and every horses would be financial suicide regards of ethics.

    This is a donor beware situation. It stinks...badly.

    Also unacceptable are the broad statements that lump programs, schools and organizations together with the offenders.

    I have a therapeutic program, and our horses are adopted from respected rescues AND guaranteed a home for life. It makes me sad to see something I have worked so hard for dragged through the mire with the offenders.
    One other way to handle non profit therapy organizations.
    Our hippotherapy group uses private horses that are on loan to the program.
    The horse has to be approved first, of course, not any horse works.
    When the group needs a certain type horse, they put the word out and someone, somewhere, has one they like to loan to them.
    The group pays for all the care, or if the owner wishes to use their own vet, they can pay for that routine care and the group still will pay a trainer for exercising the horse regularly, farrier and boarding.

    This has been working great for our group.

    This way, as an owner, you know what your horse is doing and you control it's destiny, while the horse gets to have a real nice job and much attention.

    This way, the group doesn't has to own horses and can help with finances for those that the insurance doesn't cover enough.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    Why yes, I do read. Do you care to tell us why we should trust your personal opinion on the matter? Do you have any actual evidence that Morrisville knew this would happen, as you implied in post #7?

    I don't know you from Adam and I have no affiliation with Morrisville College, but you are a single (anonymous) person who showed up on this board and cried wolf. If you have actual evidence of any kind that Morrisville College knew what was going to happen, let's hear it. It might make for better letters to the college president.
    Ummmmh, I guess I am not so naive to think M'ville does not know. Strain is a well known horse dealer who does sell horses for meat. If I know that, M'ville sure does.

    I mean we are not dealing with backyard people who may not know about horse slaughter and deceptive people who take in the freebies to ship.

    My crying wolf...wth are you talking about?

    This was a cross post to make people aware that a horse from M'ville was at Camelot within days of them sending the horse to Strain.
    I am against slaughter, but more against irresponsible ownership...and that especially includes colleges or learning institutions that are teaching kids.

    Euthanasia, though not pleasant, is certainly a better fate for an animal that has served us and worked for us. Can't we provide them a home, or in the least a good owner...GOD. Shipping a horse like that to auction and then to slaughter imo is cruel and heartless.

    Its all about responsibility imo.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingbettereveryday View Post
    If you want to absolutely control that horse's future, you either need to keep it, give it to a family member or friend, or euthanize it. Period.

    You always run the risk of a horse going to a bad place if you pass it along. Even the nicest person who makes every promise in the world about how he or she will take care of your horse could fall on hard times or make a bad decision or somehow be bamboozled into believing someone is not lying to them.

    You take a risk if you place your horse in a new home, even if you sell it and don't give it away. If the horse has behavior issues or soundness issues, that risk doubles. If the horse needs extra care or is older, the risk doubles. For some horses, a better option would be euthanizing them.
    .
    What she said. So it apparently has been said that the farm the college sold the horse to does have a reputation for selling horses at auction. However, if it didn't, you really can't blame the college entirely. Just like if one of us sold our horse to someone who made all appearances of being friendly, has a good barn to keep the horse at, etc, nothing is guaranteed once you sell the horse. And most colleges and therapeutic programs can't keep the horse for life. They either don't have the room or the finances.



  18. #18
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    While I agree that donated horses should never meet this type of end, I think that this is a problem that we need to own as the horse community at large. I am on the board of directors of a therapeutic riding program, and we go to great lengths to retire our horses with long-time volunteers, and to continue to pay board on them until their quality of life declines to the point that we euthanize. However, we are soliciting funds from donors to help people with disabilities ride, not to retire horses, so we have to be careful in how we approach these issues.

    I get equally angry when I read the Giveaway forum and see new posts daily along the lines of "older horse, deserves a good retirement home;" "lame horse, needs a companion home," etc. Yes, these horses do deserve a good retirement home. But there are far more people looking to rehome their "used up" horses than people willing and/or able to take those expenses on. I don't see many posts where the owner is offering to pay for yearly vaccinations, or vet care, while said horse becomes a pasture puff on someone else's dime. I certainly understand being in a position of not being able to afford two horses and therefore being unable to continue riding after retiring a horse. My own horse has been retired for about 7 years, and I share a horse with a friend, and forgo several other things in my budget so that I can afford to give him a comfortable retirement for as long as he needs. I realize not everyone can or will do that, and each of us can only do our best. But, we can't expect colleges and therapeutic riding programs to be a dumping ground for the NQR horses that riders don't want anymore, and then take issue with their disposal of the horse.



  19. #19
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    Pookah wrote
    However, we are soliciting funds from donors to help people with disabilities ride, not to retire horses, so we have to be careful in how we approach these issues.
    I think that is so true, and probably more so for colleges. College riding programs are really for the educational benefit to the students, not for the benefit of the horses. They have to make fiscally responsible decisions, not warm and fuzzy decisions. Even if a college or other program handles horses it can no longer use in a specific way at some time, that doesn't mean that leadership won't change and things won't be different in the future.

    Bluey wrote
    Our hippotherapy group uses private horses that are on loan to the program.
    I think that could be really beneficial in a lot of circumstances. I wish that it was done this way more commonly. I think that continuing exercise is a good idea until the vet recommends against it, but I would be reluctant to turn over ownership to a college or therapeutic riding center or lesson barn. However, this also means that the owner would have to take responsibility back when the program could no longer use the horse - which is exactly what some people don't want.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    Ummmmh, I guess I am not so naive to think M'ville does not know. Strain is a well known horse dealer who does sell horses for meat. If I know that, M'ville sure does.
    And it only took you sixteen posts of this thread to FINALLY give us the relevant information that makes your point. Some of us read just fine, but we can't read what's not there.

    If you want people to do something about the situation, GIVE THEM THE FACTS THEY NEED to write an articulate letter to the college president. I can assure you he'd be unimpressed with "Your equestrian team sold a horse to Strain Family Farm, who in turn sold the horse at auction." The president might, by contrast, be very alarmed by "Your equestrian team sold the horse to a local dealer who is very well known in our community for sending horses to auction, where they are typically purchased by kill buyers. Do you care to have your institution affiliated with that kind of venue? If not, I suggest you speak with your equestrian team director immediately about a more conscientious rehoming program for these horses. Failure to do so could not only incur bad press for your college but could halt the donation stream of new horses, which would cripple your school's equestrian program."

    [edit]
    Last edited by Moderator 1; Nov. 8, 2009 at 06:22 PM.
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