Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrate Post #800 !


Yes, already...............Post #800 and here's to 800 more. This post will continue on a horse theme and as it was brought up to me last week with my recent {{{shock}}} over that certain person writing for Horse Illustrated to my dismay, that perhaps we should discuss exactly what constitutes a legitimate Horse Rescue..........I have a couple of examples of that from my area in Wisconsin. Beyond that my knowledge is limited. I can tell you that I would not donate anything money or otherwise to anything without receipt of money and binding contract with receipts of where my money was going to be used. Something in hand that I can use in a court or for tax purposes. I have always told Stephen and Zoe that if anything happened to me and the care of my TWO horses was in jeopardy and neither one of them felt up to the task, I would want them to go to here: Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation. I have researched this rescue many times and very carefully. They are represented at the Midwest Horse Fair every year in April. I have been to this fair and it is one of the biggest in the states. The Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation has a strict contract to potential adopters. The horses are evaluated and rehabbed before they are even adopted out and the adoption fees are extremely reasonable, some that are hard to place, the fee is even waved. They also do not go to auctions to seek horses as far as I know. The horses are given up to the Foundation and I know once contracted to adopters they require certain follow-ups with Vets and if for any reason the Adopter cannot follow through, the horse is returned to the Foundation. Follow the link and you'll see what I mean. Look for the rescue to be a registered 501c3 organization. That link actually is a government link and really explains what a "501c3" constitutes. Also, in my opinion, a horse rescue should not have any stallions. If so, that would raise "red flags" all over the place. If they are there to rescue, they should NOT be breeding anything! Use your common sense people............If checking into donating or giving up a horse to the rescue I would suggest the following guide lines:
1) Equine Vet visits with documentation of visits to said horse/horses and treatments followed.
2) Regular Farrier visits and record of that.
3) Breeding policies........!!!!!!!!!!
4) Contracts and read very carefully.
5) The facility has properly trained staff to care for these horses, IE: trainers, experienced horse people that know proper care.
6) Stalls and grounds, pasture and decent fencing, even down to what the barn smells like when you walk through the door. (You should NOT be bowled over by a strong ammonia smell. That indicates not cleaning stalls).
7) Equipment and food is stored properly and safely.
Now this last bit may piss some people off, BUT..............BUT if some ass decides to go to the auction and "save" a horse and not intend on keeping the horse themselves to care and rehab it, but to DUMP it on someone else and than beg for the money required for it's rescue......RUN! RUN fast and far away! And please DO NOT do this yourself unless you are prepared to care for that horse yourself or you are acting as a liaison for some one capable of taking this horse. The reality is that they cannot all be saved and yeah it sucks that there are kill buyers sittin' at auctions for a truck load of meat, but sometimes that is just the way it goes. And that's where they end up.

30 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

I couldn't agree with you more about finding a reputable rescue. You've really got to check them out because unfortunately some people just think of it as a way to make money. I can't tell you how many very sad pictures I get in the mail every month asking for donations. I feel horrible about the poor horses but it just seems like a scam to me. And good for you for having a plan in place, I'm sure you won't need it but peace of mind is worth all the planning ahead.

Katharine Swan said...

Happy 800!

I totally agree with you about the responsibility of checking out a rescue before donating. I also think it might be worthwhile for us to create a checklist for how to determine whether a rescue is donation-worthy. What do you think?

I agree with you about a rescue not having any stallions, but I think if the owner or an employee does, that should be okay -- as long as 1) there is a justifiable reason why (i.e., showing) and 2) it is very clear that the stallion is not part of the rescue, and NOT being bred to any of the rescued mares. I personally feel that rescuing AND breeding is a conflict of interests, and if you can look at rescue horses all day long and still impregnate yet another mare, you are pretty frickin' dense.

Callie said...

As far as I'm concerned, if you own a rescue, whether or not you show or whatever, there should be NO stallions. Owning a Stallion that you breed, for whatever reasons you may have and keeping a horse rescue is hypocritical IMO and you won't see a dime of my money. Everyone, has the freedom to do that what they want, but I won't give a dime if that's the case and I think it's foolish. Now Keeping a Stallion to breed to a mare to produce a horse better than it's parents in whatever competition you choose and train it properly is fine, but to then claim horse rescue while breeding whether it's quality or not just doesn't sit with me.

Pony Girl said...

Well said, Callie! And happy 800!

Jean said...

I have two horses from a horse rescue here. Both were well cared for and exactly as described. Yet that rescue has come under some fire in certain quarters because it constantly seeks donations.

We have a small local rescue where the owner does a fabulous job of pulling horses from the kill pen, rehabbing/training/rehoming/euthanizing as is appropriate. Again, they are constantly seeking donations and doing fundraisers.

Although some sources seem to think needing money if you are a horse rescue is a bad thing and labels you as a crook, I find nothing wrong with that. As long as the horses in your care are well cared for, then it's not a scam.

There are, obviously, lots of bad rescues out there that deserve to be shut down, but the good ones are working hard to save as many animals as they can.

Katharine Swan said...

Callie, I completely agree, if you are breeding you shouldn't be rescuing, and vice versa. But I believe some people keep stallions to show and don't breed them at all -- isn't that correct? I mean, logically, just because you HAVE something with balls doesn't mean you have to USE them.

Callie said...

Jean, I agree with you, If the rescue themselves are willing to rehab said horse they pull from an auction, and are able to give a forever home, fine. My beef is with certain folks that pull and dump and than belly ache that the deed is not done. If the rescue has the funds or are capable of raising the funds to care for said horse, fine again. But I still think that researching a place to donate is the best policy. There are so many out there that claim to rescue and really don't do the job well or find themselves in a world of hurt money wise because it wasn't thought through and those horses suffer as well. Point being have the money and facilities in hand BEFORE claiming to be a rescue and than find yourself overwhelmed and moneyless with hungry horses. I do not have a problem with fund raising....That is a good thing, that is why I have shown the rescue in my area I like and obviously why they are represented at The Midwest Horse Fair. As most of the bloggers that read this as myself are horse owners, we understand the financial & work commitment involved in keeping one or more horses. If you think about it, you pay nothing or you pay $5 grand for a horse purchase in conparison to the lifetime cost of keeping that horse which could range anywhere from $50 grand to $150 grand, more than likely more than that, a good horse rescue will obviously need to raise money.

Callie said...

LOL, Katherine, Than what's the point of having the "balls" if you don't have the intent of using them. They can be easily removed. Also isn't it in a way cruel to have a Stallion and to have mares "winking" and not be able to do the business! Even at shows. LOL! Ever hear of "blueBalls"? LOL, Just kidding with ya!

Katharine Swan said...

I don't know, I have a gelding and the mares still "wink" at him. He probably thinks it's cruel that he can't do anything about it, either. ;o)

Seriously, though, aren't there stallion shows where an owner could feasibly want to show their stallion, even if they don't breed them? I'm not saying it's not a dumb idea, at least in my view, I'm just trying to argue the point that maybe someone might have a stallion and still have no intention of breeding. I mean, mares are rarely ever spayed (or whatever you'd call it for a horse), but no one accuses every mare owner of being a potential breeder!

Callie said...

I'm sure there are, but from what I have learned over the years, Show a stallion, earn points and money. He's been shown to earn in whatever discipline IE: Stallion to breed to.......Maybe I'm wrong. On the note of the gelding, I had a gelding with my mare who did indeed take pleasure in the act, only nothing was produced. In fact, they both took pleasure in the act, LOL! Well, that was until the fence zapped them.

Mrs Mom said...

Happy 800 Callie!!! May we see 80000 more from you ;)

You brought out some good points on how to find a good rescue. Nice work there. Best bet is investigation- go in person if you can and see for yourself, several times.

Stallions. Touchy subject. A good stud makes an awesome gelding IMO. I'm all for gelding. Spaying mares is A) incredibly invasive, with inherent risk, and B)It Is VERY Expensive. Yes the gelding procedure is risky too, BUT not as much as spaying a mare.

I don't believe there are specific stallion shows available, but many shows offer classes for studs (such as in hand/ halter.) Its a good way to prove that yes, your horse IS worth reproducing himself. (And those with a discerning eye can spot what NOT to breed to as well.)

Callie said...

Thanks, Mrs.Mom, I agree. The only reason I've heard of having a mare spayed is in a last ditch effort to save her from serious hormonal imbalance when all else has been exhausted and it is seriously a risky surgery.

Katharine Swan said...

Okay. So, I'm confused and I'm not sure if it's because I'm reading something into responses that isn't there, or if it's because I've always had the wrong idea. I had the impression that there were people who owned and showed stallions simply for the sake of owning and showing stallions, not necessarily to breed them. But Mrs. Mom, is justifying breeding really the only reason why people show a stallion? I too am a fan of gelding and I'll always advocate it as a necessity for normal, run-of-the-mill horse people, but I've always thought that I could see why an experienced horse person might want to keep their own personal stallion intact. But that was assuming that there was a good reason -- such as showing -- to do so. So have I been wrong about showing being a good reason for keeping a stallion that you're not intending to breed?

Callie said...

Well, If anyone else wants to chime in here, it would be appreciated. I believe what I said. Stallion to show, earns points, high dollars equals breeding prospect........I cannot understand showing a stallion for any other reason.....Like I said maybe I'm wrong. Geldings can be shown as well, depends on why the person is showing and for what discipline. I personally own two unpapered mares and do not show. Just ride around my arena and spoil them rotten. And trail every now and then, when and if I get a trailer again.

Callie said...

Katherine, Here is direct quote from FHotD herself,
"He is currently in full training and being shown. He won’t breed any mares until and if he earns that right in the show ring and I expect him to have significant accomplishments by the end of this season or he’s done and will be gelded. If he remains a stallion, he will have a limited book, mares will be approved. He has two foals from before I owned him, none while in my ownership, and none expected.

You could and should question the hell out of it if I wasn’t training and showing him, or if I was breeding him before he’d done anything! If that wasn’t happening, I WOULD be the biggest hypocrite on earth. I don’t mind the questions one bit because I practice what I preach. He’s not breeding, and he’s working toward becoming a valuable horse and stallion prospect."

Katharine Swan said...

Callie, I belong to the spoiling-them-rotten club too. Shows? Who needs 'em. :o)

Katharine Swan said...

Oh, Callie, just saw your Fugly quote. Did you email her or something? Or is that from a blog post?

Callie said...

That's on the comment thread from her latest post.......Her answer when someone questioned her having a stallion.......Read it carefully.

Katharine Swan said...

Oh, I see what you mean -- where she says that if he doesn't accomplish anything in the show ring this season, he'll be gelded? I guess that answers my question -- no point in keeping a stallion unless it's to breed him.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

I've haven't been around for awhile, I just have to jump into this one. I have a stallion that is being showed that will not be used for breeding. A stallion holds up better in the cutting pen. These horses are started at a young age, so naturally a stallion will have more muscle and endurance. The other reason is that because of his grand daddy, he has only one testicle dropped. I will not repeat this horses name, because I have heard it from many people, I have not seen the proof. As common as it seems to be in this line, I choose to believe it. I found out when he was a 2 year old. The second one came a year later. We shopped around for the best Vet at the best price, $800 later we have a gelding. He had to be gelded, he was a very studdy colt. My horse on the other hand, hardly talks to the girls. He has one that he likes and just nickers to her. I have discussed it with my trainer and we are going to just go on with him. He doesn't act up at the shows and is easy to handle. I delivered him and took the first ride on him. Now I am going to finally show him myself. If I ever sell him, I will have to have the surgery to geld him. AQHA has rules stating that you cannot breed him. Who would know, I would. To be perfectly honest, I rather show a stallion, they are so much more dynamic. I enjoy showing my mares almost as much. I end up with hotblooded mares that other people don't seem to get along with. They have the same intensity as a stallion in the cutting pen. I was a gelding fan when I barrel raced and hit the trails. Now I find them a little boring.

Mrs Mom said...

Ya know, I've known a few folks now and again over the years who owned a stud "just because". One lady wanted to "prove" that studs could ride. And show. And be around other horses ... yada yada yada.... Sure. Do what ya gotta do. But be smart enough and skilled enough to handle any potential situation that may arise when you are out in public with a stud. (She wasn't. I was at a show when her stud mounted a mare with a 12 year old girl on board. Being an EMT, I got the pleasure of packing the child into the ambulance. AFTER I got to help pull the d@mn stud horse away and hand him off to a competent handler.) YOU might be a good handler. YOUR HORSE might be very well trained--- but who is to say about Other People and Their Horses? You as the stud handler/ owner have to be about five times more alert to the horses around you if you take him on a ride or to a local level show. Twisted Oaks shows in a level that her competitors are competent handlers (at least I hope so.) But I am willing to bet that accidents have been known to happen over the years now and again too.

IMO-- and that and a couple bucks can get you a cup of coffee maybe-- if you are not seeking to improve a breed, and standing the best stallion possible, who has proven himself to be the best he can be in your chosen discipline, then he'll make a damn fine gelding.

On a funny note: I've known a couple guys who kept a couple studs. They showed the same circuit I did way back when. Last I heard, they "parted ways" because the one gent was tired of hearing his "equipment" compared to their studs. Did they breed? Nope. (Which was good. Their horse was a rank badly built critter.) But they could not "bear the thought" of removing his dangly bits.

Each unto their own......

Callie said...

Agreed and you have to know your horse and have control, In Twisted Oaks defence though, I was on a two hour trail ride with her and her stud and since she does know how to handle him and he is a good boy, it was uneventful as far as stud goes and 200 other horses and mules. And we made many a pit stop along the way. I know him as well and he is well behaved on the show circuit as that is what he does and is trained for. He isn't steriotypical, but as you say, Mrs.Mom accidents can happen, but in this case I'd have to say when it comes to Twisted Oaks stud, she has the common sense and the expertise to handle him.

Katharine Swan said...

It's good to hear Twisted Oaks' point of view, and to know that my instinct wasn't that far off -- there are other reasons to keep a stallion intact than just breeding. Wanting the musculature of a mature stallion definitely makes sense.

However, Mrs. Mom and Callie, I absolutely agree with you that if someone is going to own and show a stallion, they have to be stellar horse people -- and have a well-trained horse. This might just be my pessimism, but I suspect the vast majority of stallion owners SHOULDN'T be, under those criteria.

Mrs Mom said...

Course, Callie, I just remembered... there were some absolute top notch horsemen not far from me- one of whom was my equine vet mentor... who owned the majority share in a breeding operation of extremely high quality Thoroughbreds for racing (High Cliff Farms in NY if I remember the name correctly...) They acted as a stallion station, standing very well bred, race proven earners.

A couple of these horses were... rank. One day, one of the more rank ones had injured himself, and my vet mentor needed to treat the wound. Know what he got for his trouble? His ear ripped off.

IMO, I'd have shot the SOB (the horse, not the vet...)

Studs. Gotta be on your toes cause not all of them know their P's and Q's! (Or give a rats a$$ about P's and Q's..lol)

JeniQ said...

Happy 800 !!!

I agree 100% on the finding the right rescue to either surrender to, or adopt from. There are too many frauds out there who don't give a hoot about the horse (dog, cat etc).

As for Stallion ownership - I wasn't going to chime in but... I'm currently in a situation at the new boarding facility that makes me extremely nervous. The current barn manager (not for much longer.. different story) owns and keeps a 2 year old Polish Arabian Stallion on the property. He is housed in his own barn, with own turn out. Which is very responsible on the part of the farm owners.

HOWEVER, the stallions owner likes to "parade" the stud through the other barns. Past the mares and geldings alike. This DRIVES me NUTS as a mare owner who's mares are very marish...

I don't think he even realizes that having the stud around the mares makes them act up too. The mares will get territorial and aggressive etc.

When I asked how come he wasn't gelded yet, the answer was "I Like how "I own a black Arabian Stallion" sounds when I say it" I was flabbergasted. I had to shake my head and walk away.

Like I said though this barn manager and his horse will be leaving the barn shortly or I was considering sticking out the summer and moving on.

Callie said...

Wow, JeniQ, I'd be pissed too. That's just irresponsible and assinine behavoir on his part IMO. I would totally be pissed!

Jessie Allen said...

I agree with Mrs Mom, you always should be carefull with a stud, ANY horse for that matter. I have been kicked by mare's, knocked into buildings and crushed against the wall. Other that a yearling stud colt that gave me a concusion, all my injuries came from mares. The yearling was gelded, once I was healed up. Spider is the best behaved stallion that I have ever handled. His show record tells a lot about his disposition. He has 20 youth points in cutting. Some associations won't even allow anyone under 18 to show a stallion. I took him to one of our shows next to a mare he had bred. No one could believe that I had him next to mare in a stock trailer. He already bred her, he didn't care. The only problem that I ever had with him is when Gerald's horse was still a stallion. Spider hated him. I had them on the same side of the trailer out of striking distance and he kicked out when Cat came toward him and hit my headlight out of may car. That was the last time I parked that close to my trailer. When you own a stallion, you have to make sure you look at the big picture.

Mrs Mom said...

Yep Jessie, you got it. Anytime there's 1000 plus pounds of critter who decides they dont want you near them, trouble ensues ;) (Minis too. They may only *think* they weight 1800 pounds, but I know one farrier who had his back broken by a 200 pound mini and had to retire.)

Geeze. Seems I know some God-awful horse horror stories.....

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

Too bad about the farrier. Those little one's are fiesty. This last year I had a weanling filly kick me because I wouldn't let her eat out of the bucket. She broke my arm.

Jessie

John and Regina Zdravich said...

Congratulations on the 800!
You are all making me feel like as dumb as a box of rocks....I have never thought about some of this stuff before, and you all know so much more about it than I. But it was interesting reading, and I learned something...