Sunday, March 14, 2010

What’s in a word?

Fugly Horse of the Day

Great article and very thought-provoking!
Selling the Unwanted Horse
The article contains a quote from pro-slaughter veterinarian Dr. Tom Lenz: “Unwanted horses are defined as those no longer wanted by their current owner because they are old; injured; sick; unmanageable; fail to meet their owner’s expectations; or the owner can no longer afford to keep them”.
Using Dr. Lenz’s logic, everyone who is single or in the middle of a breakup is an “unwanted person.” Are you unemployed? You must be an “unwanted employee.” I can see you all rolling your eyes at those comparisons because, as we all know, having one person or one company not want us is, well, part of life and something we all experience, and those unwanted statuses can change in the blink of an eye – the next thing we know, we’re in love with someone else or going off to start a great new job

It’s the same thing for horses, of course. Owner A cannot wait to get Horseykins out of the barn whereas the next owner acquires it and thinks Horseykins is their dream that they have been searching for all of their life.  My favorite horse of all time – my 30 year old who I still own – was literally thrown at us in 1985 because she’d just broken someone’s collarbone and had become equus non grata in that barn!  I loooooved that mare – played arena polo on her, jumped her, even ran barrels and poles on her.  To label a horse as unwanted because one single individual, the current owner doesn’t want it, is ludicrous. But as John Holland observes in the article – it’s all semantics. It’s all to avoid the word I would use, surplus horses, which is about the same thing John says with “excess” horses.
That pretty buckskin pictured is a classic example of an “unwanted” horse.  She was a broodmare, got dumped to kill, “rescued” by CBER, off to a hoarder haven (remember that picture I posted a long time ago of the trashy chick’s myspace pic with all the guns?  … that one), wound up back on the lot, re-rescued by Save A Forgotten Equine, who finally after a couple of tries found the right trainer for her and now here she is with her owner, who loves her.  Happy ending.  No longer “unwanted” but a happy, contributing member of equine society who now has a good home because of it.  The difference was simple.  Training
As I’ve noted hundreds of times before, the reason we have a problem is that our supply of horses exceeds the demand for horses, and a contributing factor is that the demand is for trained horses, whereas much of the oversupply is untrained horses. It is like unemployment – it’s not that all of you who are without a job suck, it’s that the supply of employees currently vastly exceeds the demand for employees in many fields. As a result, some of you are going to have to go back to school and retrain for a field there’s more demand in. I know many people doing this already. Sometimes you gotta adapt. Horse breeders, you gotta adapt. STOP OVER-PRODUCING IN A DOWN ECONOMY. Instead of having 10 foals, have 2 that you train. Or buy back some of your previously produced horses that are in trouble somewhere, put training on them and take them to the shows so that people want to buy more horses from you.
Do you know who can drive your horses’ value up to pre-recession prices? YOU! Do you know how people who are still getting awesome prices for horses get it? Well, they show up at a horseshow or other competition with a good looking horse that kicks ass. It’s like magic – people clamor around trying to find out where they can get one just like it. Stop sitting around pouting and talking about “snobby horse show people.” The show horse people aren’t snobby, they’re using common sense, proven tactics to drive up the value of their horses. If you think western pleasure is stupid, you don’t have to do it. There are a lot of other events. There’s a vast variety of equine competitions out there – something for everybody. All of them, short of crazy shit like horse tripping, drive your horse’s value UP.
Now, are there some horses I would classify as unwanted? No, but there are some horses I would classify as difficult to place. These include unsound horses, older unbroke horses, and horses with some kind of major mental issue/vice. I do not think there is anything wrong with euthanasia, as most of you know, as a solution here. That said, I have seen everything from 35 year old toothless Appaloosas to bat-shit panel-jumping BLM mustangs find fabulous homes and be very much wanted. I myself have a particular liking for old ex-broodmares and have supported quite a few for the last few years of their lives. There is a not-so-small element of the horse world that truly enjoys having old coot horses to pet and spoil, and it’s a good thing because there’s also a not-so-small element of the horse world that likes to dump those horses.
All in all, I agree with John. Unwanted is a meaningless term and a way of putting a spin on the situation without having to admit that it’s time that everybody drastically reduced the number of horses they’re creating and put more emphasis on training the ones that are already here. But fewer horses means less work for the registries and, oh yeah, the veterinarians – so that does explain some of the very self-serving opinions here! Sheesh people, we can all follow the money and see what’s driving your remarks. Not a single one of you can or has effectively argued with my logic that fewer, higher quality and better trained horses would almost completely solve the problem here. There is no reason for not supporting that solution that is not self-serving and related to your own greed. When I hear that some of these ding-dongs with the registries are still encouraging people to breed, breed, breed, or some of these pro-slaughter state Horse Councils having incentive programs to breed, breed, breed, I want to fire up that Bitchslap World Tour Bus and get it on the road.  And we’ll stop at the home of any breeder who wants to simply sit on her butt and pimp out her completely unaccomplished stallion(s) and put no training on the foals she creates.  Ridiculous. And that’s a word that does apply!

Permission to post requested March 14, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment