Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday pm

My work week is over and my weekend begins.
As usual we still have a lot of work to do........more gravel, more railroad ties, hogfuel put down on paths, some painting on the barns, paddocks cleaned and the arena fencing fixed.
Sigh. It really never is another full time job, but thankfully we have volunteers which makes the work easier. I still wait for the day when I can say ....."all I have to do is feed and muck stalls today". Anyway, I can never thank the volunteers enough......they make a huge difference in the lives of our residents.

Chelsea and I will swap horses on Sunday. The filly will go to Pony Up South and Yukon will come back to Pony Up North. We have volunteers who are experienced riders who can put Yukon to work. He is an older guy, totally rideable but needs an experienced rider who can sit his trot and hold his canter to mach 1. He is an old event horse and he has a GO button! are up first and are next!

There was much ado about the Enumclaw auction this week. Lines were quickly established on both sides of the fence as to whether this was rescue or just emotional blackmail. My personal opinion was that yes, these horses (all of them) deserved a better end. Do I think paying the markup to Ron, the Enumclaw auction guy was right? No. He made a killing off of people's emotions. Were all of these horses "bad" horses who shouldn't be saved? Of course not. Some are victims of the economy, some are poor athletes, some are lame, some are old, some are untrained......some are mere babies...some are the victims of ignorant people who made bad choices. Unfortunately this scene will play over and over this fall and month there may not be so much press and many horses will get on the slaughter bus and no one will know and few will care. Do I think buying a horse at an auction is wrong? No...but I think you need to do your homework.......know what you want, what works for you, what you can handle and how much you can afford. Don't let your heart overrule your pocketbook. Don't make a sacrifice that you can't pay for later. Can you afford training for a young horse if you lack the skill to do it yourself? Do you know a reputable trainer? Can you provide maintenance care on an older horse? Can you handle a "brat?" Do you have adequate facilities? IS YOUR JOB STABLE? Are you prepared to deal with rehabbing a lameness issue with an OTTB?

Do I think every auction horse is drugged? No. Any horse you look at, for sale or at auction could be drugged. Do I think every horse at the auction house is a trained killer? No.....but behavior issues can be present in almost any any time and especially with beginner owners and especially after a neglected horse is fed and feels better...or the horse becomes spoiled because you feel sorry for him and therefore you don't require good manners. MISTAKE!

Are OTTB's horses for everyone? NO. Definitely NO.......and yet I have seen folks buy an OTTB, who have NO BUSINESS taking one, and they are so committed to taking care of this horse, this treasure that they have found, that they make it work, they overcome the odds and they give the horse what it needs and take the time to learn as they go.........they pay to learn, they pay for training....and yes, BULLY for them! But is that YOU? Only you can say what your level of committment is and how you will see it through. Think about it. This is not a Black Beauty is real life, cause and effect.......all in your capable or uncapable hands.

Did these auction horses get saved? YES. Rescued? well, sure they did. There is an issue with the amount of money that Ron made and for really doing nothing but holding them for ransom. I hate that part. The rally should have been on auction night or the weeks before when horses were listed on Craigslist for 50 dollars and 100 dollars. Trust me when I say that horses listed for 50 dollars are at risk....heck...horses listed at 250 dollars on CL are at risk. ....maybe even horses listed at 500 dollars. You can easily find the desperation ads.....and the ones who say they are taking the horse to auction.

I cannot attend the auction. Far too emotional for me....far too difficult to make a decision as to who to take home. I cannot trust myself. I am drawn to the old horses, the lame horses, the stallions that no one wants or the skinny horses.....oh and the babies too. Who is more important? I cannot choose.

I will not/cannot bash those who took these latest horses in.........but I hope they will not be overwhelmed financially or emotionally and I hope the horses will have good long term homes in better conditions.

As a kid, my family got horses from the mom bought a QTR horse stallion. Yes, a STALLION. Brought him home, got him gelded and we rode him for years. Best little trail horse we ever had. She was lucky, of course....had a vet friend there with her to help her choose.

When we take in a neglected horse, we cannot know what it's temperment will be like after we rehab it.......we hope for the best. We don't expect it to "be grateful" for what we have done. We expect it to be a horse. We expect it to have horse behavior. We expect that if it has been abused, it might be over might have bad might be easily frightened. If it has not been handled much, we expect it needs to learn how to be handled, how to stand, how to carry a rider, how to trailer. We expect to teach it. We expect to be able to have it become an equine good citizen....and if it doesn't, if it can't....if it is too far gone, we take the responsibility.

Enough of my rant.
Thank you to anyone who takes a horse in that needs help. Please see it through.

Hammy will be layed to rest tomorrow morning. I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers to see him through. He is a very good boy who deserved a better life than he had prior to us. God speed Hammy........


Drillrider said...

So sorry about Hammy.

I agree, that it seems a shame to reward Ron the KB, but getting to the horses ahead of the auction or "at" the auction would be difficult due to logistics.

I think this Winter is going to be a rough one for horses!

Dawn said...

rest in peace sweet Hammy.