9/18/2008

Horse Slaugther-My Perspective

On a message group I belong to, there has been a dialogue about horse slaugther. Many people have weighed in, most in support of slaughter. I rarely state my opinions publicly, but here goes. Remember, it is just my opinion. Here is what I wrote:

It is an interesting conversation. There are many pros and cons. I have only had horses for seven years, so I haven't seen the cycles that many of you have, but here is my greatest concern:

When there was a meat buyer at auction, there was a bottom value for a horse. The better trained, the better looking, the BETTER the horse was, the higher price. Most of us are riding, owning, producing quality horses that don't end up at auction, but as I drive by the auction house every day when I go to work, I can tell you it is active and alive.

Now that horses have to go somewhere, they are being sold for $50 and $75. I know someone who actually bought a trained horse for $25 (not my version of trained I'm sure, but they were willing to ride it). A horse for $25? So, the horses that don't sell go back to their homes where they are not a match, or where owners cant afford them. Horses that are sold are now disposable because they were only $25 or $75. I can spend $25 in the blink of an eye-I can't even fill my truck for $75, but I spent THOUSANDS to buy my horses (and I got some good deals). They are NOT disposable. They require quality care and only the best situations. I have tried to sell Tesoro, I did for years, but couldn't find him the right home because (like Dianna said) I knew what he needed and I couldn't find it. I would never take him to auction, but think of all the people who are NOT responsible like us. .

They are out there. Have you been to a large boarding facility lately? Have you encountered a serious backyard breeder? Have you looked at Craigslist? Have you visited your neighbors in the woods? Well, I have done all of those things, the way people treat horses is SCARY. If I was a horse up for auction, I would be very afraid.

When the price of a horse is less than a tank of gas (and yes, I know someone who bought a Paso Fino at auction for $75), it doesn't just hurt the horse market, it hurts the animals we took responsibility for when we decided to breed. I wouldn't want to be the untrained horse that hops from home to home to home because it is disposable. Maybe that is why it learned to kick or bite, because it had to defend itself. For irresponsible people it is easy to give up and try again. and again. and again. and again. Only the horse suffers. I cannot abide by that. I would rather see a horse humanely euthanized (or dog, or cat) than to suffer the indignity (and possibly suffering) of irresponsibility.

For this, and many other reasons, I support horse slaugther as a necessity in the marketplace. It should be humane, regulated and taxed. I actually support humane horse slaugther more than the hunting I grew up with where if you didn't have a clean kill, you would track an animal to finish it off. I grew up eating that meat, where an animal very well may have suffered. Now that I think about it, I might not eat game again.

It is a very fine line.

9/14/2008

Back on purpose

I started this blog almost 2 years ago because I didn't even know what a blog was and my new job was to work with website publishers. Over time, the blog evolved and for a good run, I posted a lot of information that was to help people with their horses. Now that two years is passed I know more about online advertising that most people that run a website and I have seemed to have lost the focus of that good run.



How did that happen? Well, I forgot about my purpose. Although I am not a seasoned horse professional, nor have I even had horses for more than a decade, I know my purpose is to help people learn about horses. I remember what it was like to not know ANYTHING and I still know HARDLY anything, but as I continue to learn I will share with you what I learn.



I will be camping the next few days, but when I return, I promise to have some surprises and maybe a few things you didn't even know.



Here is a picture of Tesoro and I this weekend at the Advanced Level 2 Parelli clinic.

9/11/2008

Horse Vacation-Jerri Style

On Saturday I start my official 'horse vacation' where my goal is to ride a horse every day for 9 days, most days more than one.

Here is how it will start:

Parelli Advanced Level 2 clinic in Bend. Not sure if I'm ready for an advanced level 2 clinic, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm taking Tesoro. It will be my first clinic with Marc Rhea a 3 Star Instructor. I'm looking forward to something different.

Although I have great friends in Bend, I decided to stay in a hotel so I can go to my room, take a shower and SLEEP!

I will get home Sunday evening and Monday I'm headed to a state park for 3 nights of camping. I'm taking all 3 horses and 2 dogs!!! It will be a great time bonding with my family. A friend of mine is coming to ride on Wednesday, but other than that, I am planning on being alone, alone, alone. I'm taking a twin mattress and sleeping in the back of the truck.

I head home Thursday and on Friday I'll attend a Clay Wright Clinic in Veneta (near Eugene). Clay Wright is a natural horsemanship guy with a dressage background, often his stuff is called 'Cowboy Dressage'. He is being hosted by my favorite local teacher Julie Fisher. I'll be using Phaedre in the clinic. I'm really excited!

Clinic is Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then Sunday I have a ride with Brent Hicks a dressage clinician from California. I'll be riding Tesoro. He doesn't have a website (that I can find). I have seen him once before and I decided I'd like to try and ride with him.

It should be an eventful, fun, learning-filled 9 days and I CAN'T WAIT. I could have taken a pretty nice vacation with the money I'm spending on gas and the clinics, but the learning I will do and all the time I will spend without cell phone, email and facebook access will be well worth it.

Would love to see any of you as auditors, or contact me if you want to ride with me Tuesday or Wednesday near Portland.