Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Look -

Crossposted from tbfriends
Wednesday, March 24th... The Look. For years now, horses have found new homes because of The Look.

I think it was 2004 when all this started. A hot summer day, and in our yard a young girl gave The Look to a small chestnut gelding. A hundred or so horses on our ranch, but it was only the small chestnut gelding who received The Look. You can easily imagine. Love at first sight. Never saw it coming. Like getting bonked in the back of your head by a barn door. 

You must have an agreeable parent. Which the young girl had. We made all the arrangements. Gave the parent and young girl dozens of options, including bringing the gelding back if there were problems. Soon the chestnut gelding belonged to the young girl. She still sends us pictures. And later this fall, when the girl moves away to college, her horse is going with her.

Perhaps 30 times since, because of The Look, a horse from our ranch has found a loving home. Two have been returned, both because of money problems.

The oldest person 65. The youngest 9. I remember The Look from each. It is impossible to witness The Look and not react. You see The Look, you must do something about it. 

On my website I have not once writen about The Look adoptions. Until now. No way to write about this without sounding like we are above everyone else. Plus, for us anyway, The Look adoptions are private. We only charge a dollar for the horse. And we make the person come back at least 5 times before it becomes official. The person spends time with the horse in our yard. Always their love grows stronger. Always there is The Look.

Okay, after all of the above, I can get to the point. Earlier this year, in rain and wind, a girl gave The Look to a mare on our ranch. The girl was only here to bring us grain from Costco. The girl saw the mare, and there was The Look. I said take the mare for a walk, and she did. Both the mare and girl soaked from sideways rain. I said you can go into the mare motel and groom her. The girl did. The mare had just arrived from a race track, and was on her toes. High strung with me, but quiet and sensible with the girl. It was easy to see the connection between the two. The mare stood quietly while the girl introduced her to a blanket. I found out later, this was the first time the mare had worn a blanket.

We made all the arrangements. A nice place in Davis. Financial concerns taken care of by the owners of the nice place. The girl is a student with money woes. The owners of the nice place were happy to help.

The mare was transported to the nice place. And less than a week later, she was crippled.

The rain went away, the sun came, and horses were turned out to play. The mare took a bad step, and broke both her ankle and sesamoid. 

A vet at UC Davis told the girl, you have to put your mare to sleep. The girl decided to seek a second opinion. And so the mare was taken to a vet hospital in another town. 

The girl told the doctor, she has little money. But if something can be done for her mare, she promises to pay for the rest of her life.

Well the doctor had done the same kind of surgery many times before. It involves screws. The horse has no chance of passing through airport security. 

The doctor performed the surgery, and only charged the girl for meds. Unbelievable. She only had to pay for the medicine. 

There is rehab, which includes hand walking everyday for the next 4 months. The mare should be fine.

I phoned the doctor, and told him what a wonderful person he is. To do this for the girl and her mare.

And this is what he said: How could I turn the girl down? You should see the way she looks at her horse.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 20th Update on Condition of Horses rescued from Hemphill's

Ms. Hemphill admits she sells horses to slaughter in Canada. Two of these three are sick but probably would have been on the truck to slaughter regardless. So the question is, Who wants to Eat a Horse .. especially a sick one? 

The road from Crowley's auction house to Hemphill's to Canadian slaughterhouse would have been brutal. Did Hemphill know these horses were ill? Would it have made a difference?

Derby Trafaire - Good News on him thank goodness because weight wise he was the worst and according to Carole who shipped him very depressed. His bloodwork came back negative for everything. On Monday, when his coggins comes back if everything stays the same he will be able to leave. His vet bill will be approx $880 that will include his stay, tests medication etc.

Heaven's Host - Not good news, she has tested positive for EHV4 (Equine herpesvirus 4) we have no idea yet how long she will be staying, she is currently being treated. This affect the respiratory system. I am also not sure of the laws in Maine but I know sometimes farms are put under QT for this.

Ilithyia -  Not good news either - she has tested positive for Influenza A, we have no idea how long she will be in the hospital, she is currently being treated.

Who Wants To Eat A Sick Horse?

Horses purchased at Crowley's auction by known trader/kill buyer barely saved from slaughter.

Partial story below:

Brenda Hemphill isn't saying how two thoroughbred fillies from Florida ended up at her notorious farm in Maine.  But what we do know is that horses who are unlucky enough to land there often end up on a one-way truck to a Canadian slaughterhouse.  And if it were not for emergency intervention by Pure Thoughts Rescue's Florida Thoroughbred Rehab & Placement, these young horses would have met the same fate.

Heaven's Host, a 3-year-old thoroughbred filly saved from slaughter
Heaven's Host, a 3-year-old thoroughbred filly saved from slaughter
Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue

March 16th,  Pure Thoughts founders Brad Gaverand Jennifer Swanson were tipped off that the former Florida horses were in harm's way at the Hemphill farm.  They became alarmed after having read a recent Boston Globe article in which Brenda Hemphill admitted that she makes her money by marketing horses for meat.

The people at Pure Thoughts knew they didn't have much time to save three-year-old fillies Heaven's Host,  who'd last raced at Calder Race Course, which has instituted a no-tolerance, anti-slaughter policy, and Ilithyia, an unraced daughter of successful sire Siphon (BRZ).  The slaughter truck was arriving in the morning, and if they didn't secure the horses' safety before then, both fillies, and Derby Trefaire, a nine-year-old gelding who had competed at Suffolk Downs, would be goners.

As Pure Thoughts scrambled to raise the funds to free the three thoroughbreds, Brenda Hemphill upped the ante.  Realizing that these horses had suddenly become valuable commodities, she put exorbitant prices on their heads.  "She knew who we were and what we wanted, so we knew she would put us through the ringer," said Jen Swanson.  In the end, Pure Thoughts paid $850 for Derby Trefaire, and $1300 apiece for the fillies.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reining in the BLM - Calls Needed

  Wild Horse & Burro Controversy 
Goes To Washington

On Thursday, March 18, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior is scheduled to hear testimony from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on his proposed 
for Fiscal Year 2011 budget which includes increased funding for the ill-managed and inhuman Wild Horse & Burro program. 

Click here to send a fax to both Senate and House Interior subcommittees

You can also call the House subcommittee members to urge 
them to reject the current Wild Horse & Burro budget proposal which wastes tax dollars by increasing funding of an ill-conceived, broken program. Secretary Salazar's proposal is bad for wild horses and bad for American taxpayers.  See below for more details.

Who to call ....

Democratic House Subcommittee Members

Norman D. Dicks (WA) (Chair), 202-225-5916
James P. Moran (VA), 202-225-4376
Alan B. Mollohan (WV), 202-225-4172
Ben Chandler (KY), 202-225-4706
Maurice D. Hinchey (NY), 202-225-6335
John W. Olver (MA), 202-225-5335
Ed Pastor (AZ), 202-225-4065
David E. Price (NC), 202-225-1784
David R. Obey (WI) (Ex Officio), 202-225-3365

Republican House Subcommittee Members

Michael Simpson (ID) (Ranking), 202-225-5531
Ken Calvert (CA), 202-225-1986
Steven C. LaTourette (OH), 202-225-5731
Tom Cole (OK), 202-225-6165
Jerry Lewis (CA) (Ex Officio), 202-225-5861

Secretary Salazar's budget request includes an increase of $12 million for the controversial Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro program, and $42.5 million to purchase the first of several holding pastures in the Midwest or East to house wild horses taken from the West.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why American Horse Meat is Not safe for Human Consumption

Interesting study done by Alex Brown. Crossposted from e-mail

 "I have been studying the use of bute as a pre-race medication for racing in California.  California is one of only a few states that publishes this information in the past performances of the horses entered to race.  Bute is a prohibited substance for horses heading to slaughter.  No quarantine period, it is simply prohibited.  Anyway, thanks to the Daily Racing Form I got data on all runners for 2009 in California.  99% of those runners pre-raced on bute.   I used this data for the following essay:;  It seems to me this is one anti-slaughter argument that is "bullet proof".  Our horses are not fit for slaughter from a food-safety standpoint.  We know it as horsemen.  Vets know it.  We now need to invest our time in determining other end-of-life solutions for our stars, when the time is right.  Slaughter can no longer be an option if food safety is a concern."

We don't (knowingly) allow these products in any other part of our food chain. Horses are regularly given routine medications that are clearly labeled "not for use in animals to be used for human consumption."

Everyone who clamors for slaughter is overlooking the above. You wouldn't want to eat a sick horse and you wouldn't want to eat meat from an animal that has been given medications that are known to cause cancer in humans. Sounds like some folks have a severe case of denial. "We won't eat it, but its okay for the Europeans?" How fair is that?

More Calico Mustangs die at the hands of the BLM

Stress of captivity still taking a toll on the Calico mustangs
March 5, 9:22 PMEquine Advocacy ExaminerMaureen Harmonay
The residual stress of the helicopter chase, coupled with the inability of some horses to adapt to a diet of grass hay, continues to claim lives among the wild horses forced from their homes in Nevada's Calico Mountain Complex by the BLM's henchmen.  In the last 48 hours, three more mares lost their late-term foals, and one was euthanized after she colicked.  At least 68 of the original 1922 horses brought to the Indian Lakes Road feedlot pens near Fallon Nevada have died, and almost four dozen in-utero foals have perished, too.
The emotional toll on these horses cannot be measured.  Add fear to the mix of stressors, now that horses are being pushed through squeeze chutes to be vaccinated, wormed, and freeze branded.  Their frenzied squeals must sound like alarms to the ones in the waiting line, innoculating them with panic before they even enter the chute.
In the absence of outside observers, we can only surmise how the horses are really faring.  It is only by reading between the lines of the Gather Daily Updates that we can piece together a sketchy picture of what is happening to the horses' hides and hearts.  So many of the details are out of focus.  You have to wonder, for example, whether the countless fetal losses reported as "miscarriages" are actually full-term foals who were stillborn.  In either case, the promise of a new generation-- perhaps the last generation-- of Calico mustangs may never be fulfilled.  What has been done to them is not right, it's not fair, and it's not legal.
The gelding of the Calico stallions--includin g Lightning--is due to start next month.  Before these procedures start, it seems reasonable to insist that the BLM conduct a census to determine whether its gather operations have extinguished the herds which rightfully occupied the five Herd Management Areas (HMAs) of the Calico Complex.  If a sustainable number of horses cannot be found by aerial reconnaissance, then at least 500 of the currently captive mustangs--stallions , mares, yearling, and foals--should be promptly returned to their range, to ensure that their genetic heritage will be preserved.
More About: BLM · Calico Mountain Complex · Wild Horses