Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cowgirl Eventer

Weeeellll... Flint's first event didn't exactly go as planned. And when I say "didn't go as planned" I mean that he spent the whole time expressing his opinion that he was NOT ready to compete, so I scratched. Needless to say, Flint has been in a sort of "cowboy camp" since returning home.

He now ties (for long periods of time at the wash rack); he now lunges (in side reins over trot poles); he now goes through water (round/on the bit, and can even back through it); he now trail rides (in western tack and halter); he is learning to rope (shhh it's a secret).

Obviously he did not appreciate his life as a show horse in an extremely friendly training situation, so now I am just showing him how easy and fun it would have been had he decided to go to dressage warm up with the big boys. For as much heart that this horse shows once he's finally "broke" he will be something special...once he has decided he is ready to be broke is probably how I should have worded that. We are headed to Texas Rose Horse Trials Nov. 19-20 - but not to compete (I'm not throwing money away again); before he gets the privilege to "Enter at A" he must prove to me that he can leave his diaper bag at the stall and be led (yes, he didn't even lead at the last one...) and ridden around the show grounds.

The most frustrating thing about last weekend was the fact that I HAD done my homework - he's been to local shows, clinics and schoolings. I knew that taking him to an event was going to induce a little melting more so than the clinics and local shows I have been hauling him to, but I never would have guessed he would become completely unrideable. I am working on finding a vet nearby (nearby being the key word) who can scope him to rule out ulcers; beyond that he can rear and leap in the air (he has perfected this Lipizzaner-type move that will require me to go see a chiropractor when it is all said and done) all he wants - I've taken off the tall boots and put on the Justin's, I am officially eventer turned cowgirl when it comes to Flinter - his attitude will change!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let's Get Controversial - Why I'm Pro-Slaughter

Most people are very surprised when they find out that I am pro horse slaughter. Now don't get me wrong, in a perfect world I love for there to be no horse slaughter, but we hardly live in a perfect world. In general I believe the mistake 99% of humans make when dealing with animals is humanizing them. We want to treat our dogs, cats and horses as if they are people - we give them names, we "connect" with them, we give them our emotions; when in fact we forget that they are not human at all...

Like it or not horse slaughter is a necessary "evil" in the horse industry. As it stands now - with slaughter being illegal - there is no base value for a horse. Back in the day - when slaughter houses were legally operational - every horse had a value based on the per pound price that day. Without a legal way to dispose of horses in a profitable manner the market is ridiculously flooded, therefore causing the value/price of every horse to drop. Horses that used to be worth $5,000 back when the slaughter houses were operational are now worth less than $1,o00.

Don't get me wrong - in my perfect world every horse has a purpose and a loving family that is able to care for and feed them properly until they are ready to be humanely euthanized and then buried in the family plot along grandma. Unfortunately the world in which we live is hardly perfect (I feel the need to keep reiterating this). It is easy to say that every horse has a use, but let's face it - it is not true. Whether out of laziness or financial issues we all know at least one person who has a horse 5 years or older that is not broke, most likely not castrated, and in most cases dangerous to the normal person. As pointed out by one of my friends on Facebook, horses like this are not able to be given away even to rescue programs. In a town not far from me people are actually turning these types of horses out on public land because people simply can't afford to feed them anymore. How nice would it be if they could take the horse to the sale barn and make $800 off of it to feed their family?
Should they have had the horse in the first place? Probably not, but they do and now they need to find something to do with it in this time of economic strain.
Why don't they humanely euthanize the horse? Because it becomes very pricey when you start talking about disposing of a 1,200 lb corpse.

The number one cause of the need for slaughterhouses? Overbreeding and breeding for the wrong reasons. For some reason people can't comprehend that breeding crap to crap just produces more crap. I know that sounds incredibly crud and my mother would probably give a dirty look for the language, but it is the truth. Take a look at the cattle industry - they breed to IMPROVE the genetics of their herd. They cull out what they don't like and choose their herd sires and heifers/cows based on what is genetically superior. Trust me, I don't pretend to understand cowboys (lol, now THAT's another blog post) but the are obviously better business people than 99% of people in the horse industry.

It is very easy to get caught up in pictures and videos published by organizations such as PETA and HSUS, especially if you don't look at the horse industry as what it is - an industry. Not only does horse slaughter raise the value of all horses on the market (which helps the professionals selling horses) it also is another avenue to feeding people. With the direction the economy has turned we have quite a few hungry people in our own country, all of these unwanted horses that aren't being cared for properly could go to feed them.

I wish I had gone about this whole post in a more organized manner, but honestly I'm tired and I don't have the time so I apologize for the hastiness in which it was thrown together - it was one of those things I just needed to get off my chest I guess.

DISCLAIMER: Now I know that I am probably going to piss some people off with all of this, but I feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinions about anything (and Lord knows I'm opinionated!). You can agree with me, you can disagree with me and/or you can hate me, I don't care - I just want people to make their decisions/opinions based on education, not their feelings toward slanted photographs designed to target our human emotions.