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Long term consequences for the American horse market.

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  • What exactly are the questions raised? I am asking this sincerely. Somehow I seem to have missed the questions. Can anyone seriously quarrel with the idea that people shouldn't get into horses without an idea of what it entails? Or without the wherewithal to care for them? Or that it's not nice to let horses suffer? Is that what this thread is about?

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    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
      Totally second the Free Birth Control!!

      And I, also, believe you are asking the right questions.

      When I get those calls, I tell myself:

      "Asshats are everywhere, innumerable like goose turd. My duty is to help 'em all."

      Yeah, it gets old. But right now we don't have alternatives except to just turn the other way. And I just love horses a little too much for that.
      Somehow 'innumerable' and 'goose turd' are just funny when paired in any context...
      "Friend" me !

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      • Originally posted by Discobold View Post
        What exactly are the questions raised? I am asking this sincerely. Somehow I seem to have missed the questions. Can anyone seriously quarrel with the idea that people shouldn't get into horses without an idea of what it entails? Or without the wherewithal to care for them? Or that it's not nice to let horses suffer? Is that what this thread is about?
        The questions raised are nowhere near as troubling as the solutions proposed.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
          Just to correct a biological inaccuracy -- horses are not an "invasive" or "exotic" species. Although they are easy labels to use to dismiss something that doesn't fit in with what you want, horses did evolve in North America, disappeared for a time, and then returned. Feral? Yes, many are. But not exotic and as such are no less valid than other wildlife in the system.
          By that logic and on the same timeline, it would be acceptable to genetically engineer and release mammoths and mastodons.
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          • Ummm... I thought the questions raised included (in no specific order):

            Is our current hodgepodge non-system of rescue organizations the best way of dealing with surplus horses? At least some of these organizations appear to use a person's generous and caring instinct to add to their coffers or place horses inappropriately; should the greater equine community take more responsibility in addressing this? For that matter, should the greater equine community be more proactive in preventing the surplus horse problem in the first place? I still think they're valid questions for discussion, but maybe they'd need to be in another thread.

            And the most important question: who was it who tried to enumerate goose turds before they decided they were innumerable?
            They don't call me frugal for nothing.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
              Ummm... I thought the questions raised included (in no specific order):

              Is our current hodgepodge non-system of rescue organizations the best way of dealing with surplus horses? At least some of these organizations appear to use a person's generous and caring instinct to add to their coffers or place horses inappropriately; should the greater equine community take more responsibility in addressing this? For that matter, should the greater equine community be more proactive in preventing the surplus horse problem in the first place? I still think they're valid questions for discussion, but maybe they'd need to be in another thread.

              And the most important question: who was it who tried to enumerate goose turds before they decided they were innumerable?
              I can easily answer that last question.
              We are in a migratory corridor and, when we are not in a drought, we have water in the playa lakes.
              Geese and assorted birds land and make themselves at home there for some days on their way to and from their summer and winter homes.
              Thousands of them at the time.
              With expected results around those playa lakes, by the water.

              All I will say, yes, innumerable is a good description, watch your step around there.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                By that logic and on the same timeline, it would be acceptable to genetically engineer and release mammoths and mastodons.
                OOh ooh... I want wooly mammoths. My hope for cloning is that we can eventually conjur ourselves up some prehistoric fuzzy elephants!! Not quite Jurassic Park, but I'll take what I can get!
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                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                  Ummm... I thought the questions raised included (in no specific order):

                  Is our current hodgepodge non-system of rescue organizations the best way of dealing with surplus horses? At least some of these organizations appear to use a person's generous and caring instinct to add to their coffers or place horses inappropriately; should the greater equine community take more responsibility in addressing this? For that matter, should the greater equine community be more proactive in preventing the surplus horse problem in the first place? I still think they're valid questions for discussion, but maybe they'd need to be in another thread.

                  And the most important question: who was it who tried to enumerate goose turds before they decided they were innumerable?
                  Thank You. I think you've summed it up nicely. I'll take it. Sold.

                  As for the goose turds, I'm afraid to ask... (Caballero knows it was some socialist government scientist wasting the tax payers hard earned dollars....)
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                  • Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    As for the goose turds, I'm afraid to ask... (Caballero knows it was some socialist government scientist wasting the tax payers hard earned dollars....)
                    I bet I can find evidence of that. It just takes the time to read through the entire fed.gov budget.

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                    • Original Poster

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                      • Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                        OOh ooh... I want wooly mammoths. My hope for cloning is that we can eventually conjur ourselves up some prehistoric fuzzy elephants!! Not quite Jurassic Park, but I'll take what I can get!
                        Ooooh! YUM! Now I can perfect my "Paleo Diet!"

                        Comment


                        • Off topic, but OP, that "friend me" signature keeps reading to me as "fried me".

                          I won't presume to talk for the OP, but I think her intention with this thread was commenting on how "rescue" has gained a following of it's own, just as any other discipline in the horse world.
                          I will say, I agree.

                          Rescue used to be groups like Bluebonnet, that organize help for horses someone mismanaged, helping the police and animal control, that are not geared to handle large animals in need.

                          Then, there are those that found a fountain of free money in rescuing, be it as horse traders in disguise as rescues or outright buying horses to "help" them and then raking in donations for those same horses without accountability.

                          I know of two local dog rescues that did that and the ones running them make a very good, cushy living off their rescues.
                          One is a private "rescue", the other one managing a foundation from a deceased wealthy patron, that didn't know any better.
                          The horse world is not the only one where that is happening.
                          Seems that, in rescuing as in any other we do in life, someone, somewhere, will find a way to turn that into a profitable personal windfall.

                          As a teenager, learning to manage our large riding center, the instructor and manager would repeat, "never put anyone in a position to become a crook, because base human nature will win".
                          Always have supervision and accountability, over yourself and others and that will keep all as honest as we think they are, when there is no chance to cheat.

                          Rescues are one place where you can easily operate without any accountability and that is why we see questionable practices and the outright fraudulent cases that have been talked about here.

                          I think this is a good topic for discussion, not that we can do much about what is happening, but we can take notice of it.

                          Comment


                          • There are some equine rescues that are very legitimate (Bluebonnet and affiliates), and, from what I can tell, are more or less overwhelmed with the number of horses that are in need. And the numbers are rising.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              I won't presume to talk for the OP, but I think her intention with this thread was commenting on how "rescue" has gained a following of it's own, just as any other discipline in the horse world. I will say, I agree.
                              That's exactly my guess about the OP's intention. But then this isn't really a dialogue about the long-term health of the horse market, but a rant about rescues. I don't know if I agree or disagree that rescues have a negative effect on the horse market because I don't know enough. There are certainly rescues that reflect the worst in human nature, either because of greed or ignorance or lack of courage to make difficult decisions. But I asked very early on how a rescue is defined and didn't get an answer. Is CANTER considered a rescue? Are the Retired Racehorse Training Project and Thoroughbred Placement Resources in the rescue category? Is any group that tries to provide a future for horses that doesn't involve euthanasia a problem in the OP's eyes? And, if not, why?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Discobold View Post
                                That's exactly my guess about the OP's intention. But that suggests this isn't really a dialogue about the long-term health of the horse market, but a rant about rescues. I don't know if I agree or disagree that rescues have a negative effect on the horse market because I don't know enough. There are certainly rescues that reflect the worst in human nature, either because of greed or ignorance or lack of courage to make difficult decisions. But I asked very early on how a rescue is defined and didn't get an answer. Is CANTER considered a rescue? Are the Retired Racehorse Training Project and Thoroughbred Placement Resources in the rescue category? Is any group that tries to provide a future for horses that doesn't involve euthanasia a problem in the OP's eyes? And, if not, why?

                                I think this a good topic for discussion, but good discussions require clarity. Hyperbole and name-calling don't advance a discussion.
                                I think it's very difficult to generalize about the "American horse market." Because that's not one market, it's many in microcosm. What happens at the bottom (rescues, auctions) has virtually no effect on the market for high-end sporthorses; whether racing TB's might get new homes may slightly alter the recreational eventing scene but certainly not the Western. People seeking a horse for their kids' backyard pet and trail companion are unlikely to be looking at a dressage-trained Warmblood.

                                It's kind of like beer. Budweiser might be the biggest (AQHA) but that doesn't mean it's everyone's taste; there's plenty of room for imports (WB's/Stella Artois) and even microbrewries (Morgans, TWH). As "industries," these breeds and disciplines are almost self-contained little universes that depend on the supply and demand of their own producers and clientele, minimally impacting the others.

                                BTW--I totally don't buy it that the reduced slaughter market has caused the glut of low-end horses; it only EVER took 1 to 2% of the overflow.
                                I think we're mostly looking at the economic "correction" after some major boom years, when people notably lived well beyond their means as seen by the foreclosure crisis, coupled with a public much more educated and concerned about animal welfare and an Internet and "news" machine that sifts the world, daily, for things that shock and disturb to elicit outrage. This has created the environment we're discussing in which dubious "rescues" thrive.

                                My answer to all of this is the same as it always has been:

                                (1) Make SURE you are reasonably financially sound before taking on the commitment of horse ownership; prevent a world of hurt. Yes, sh*t can happen, but don't START OUT over your head.

                                (2) Fully UNDERSTAND the commitment required.

                                (3) Take RESPONSIBILITY for the animals you own, including the trouble of finding a new owner if you can't keep them, including euthanasia if that's not possible.

                                Nobody ever said any of this was equal-opportunity or EASY.

                                Comment


                                • Discobold, at the risk of incurring your opprobrium, it is my understanding that CANTER does not consider itself a rescue so much as a re-placement service. Many of the trainers who list with CANTER are offended by the "rescue" tag as they take quite good care of the horses in their charge and are responsibly seeking an appropriate home for a horse that isn't a productive racer.

                                  Lady Eboshi, your words are worth repeating:

                                  "My answer to all of this is the same as it always has been:

                                  (1) Make SURE you are reasonably financially sound before taking on the commitment of horse ownership; prevent a world of hurt. Yes, sh*t can happen, but don't START OUT over your head.

                                  (2) Fully UNDERSTAND the commitment required.

                                  (3) Take RESPONSIBILITY for the animals you own, including the trouble of finding a new owner if you can't keep them, including euthanasia if that's not possible.

                                  Nobody ever said any of this was equal-opportunity or EASY."

                                  Agreed, but to me this begs the question: how can the odds be tipped in the horses' favor that this will actually happen?
                                  They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                  Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                                  Comment


                                  • I think it's happening right now.

                                    Back in the 70's, if horses were starving in a field, or being ridden lame, or riding a double-decker to the slaughterhouse, or breaking down on the track, people thought it was very sad but mostly shook their heads, averted their eyes, and considered it none of their business--"just the way things are."

                                    Now? Just here on COTH, in the short time I've been mostly lurking around, close to a dozen horses without prospects have been placed in proper, appreciative homes due to the networking on this BB alone--why? Because (a) people can now find out about them and (b) people more readily consider helping if they're positioned to do so. I see no downside to things like the Camelot auction site. Would those horses go to slaughter if they hadn't been cherry-picked from New Holland by Frank? More than likely. Are their chances of finding a good new owner increased exponentially by being listed on the Camelot site? Absolutely! Is there a fudge factor of obscuring "dealer" behind the rubric of "rescue?" Yeah--and that these days is called "advertising"---right up there with "heart healthy" soybean oil!

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                      I think it's happening right now.

                                      Back in the 70's, if horses were starving in a field, or being ridden lame, or riding a double-decker to the slaughterhouse, or breaking down on the track, people thought it was very sad but mostly shook their heads, averted their eyes, and considered it none of their business--"just the way things are."

                                      Now? Just here on COTH, in the short time I've been mostly lurking around, close to a dozen horses without prospects have been placed in proper, appreciative homes due to the networking on this BB alone--why? Because (a) people can now find out about them and (b) people more readily consider helping if they're positioned to do so. I see no downside to things like the Camelot auction site. Would those horses go to slaughter if they hadn't been cherry-picked from New Holland by Frank? More than likely. Are their chances of finding a good new owner increased exponentially by being listed on the Camelot site? Absolutely! Is there a fudge factor of obscuring "dealer" behind the rubric of "rescue?" Yeah--and that these days is called "advertising"---right up there with "heart healthy" soybean oil!
                                      From post #41 on this http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-mistake/page3 thread (bolding mine.)

                                      "PM me your FB handle and I'll add you. There are some NICE Pasos that go through that group, some are just older and some are being offered by people who have to cut back, and some are unbroke but also unspoiled. FWIW, the PFUR group recently decided they will no longer provide support for horses posted by either Camelot or New Holland (Ac4H) largely because of bad behavior on the part of the so-called rescue groups up there. Like the pressuring of the woman who got Willow."
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                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Discobold View Post
                                        But I asked very early on how a rescue is defined and didn't get an answer. Is CANTER considered a rescue? Are the Retired Racehorse Training Project and Thoroughbred Placement Resources in the rescue category? Is any group that tries to provide a future for horses that doesn't involve euthanasia a problem in the OP's eyes? And, if not, why?
                                        Sorry, I've got plenty of stuff to do in a day and I must have missed that.

                                        But I think I have pointed out, more than once, that the line has been blurred, to everyone's detriment. CANTER advocates plead/push horses claiming, simultaneously, that horses 'need' homes immediately, but ALSO that they are valuable sport horse prospects.

                                        Individuals in hot water financially plead to 'rehome' their horses, but with a $ exchange (they have to pay the feed store, vet, after all...)

                                        RESCUE should mean 'so many' neglected/starved horses but instead it has COME to mean 'you better buy this horse or else....' or else what? who knows? but the mess has created a high pressure sales market where people are conned into buying horses under threat to the horse.

                                        Herein lies a problem. As indicated in my above post and http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-mistake/page3 and several of my own personal experiences.
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