Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"All Those Eyes"

Often we write of our horses' eyes and the satisfaction of looking deeply into a kind, soft eye. This post is about another kind of eye - the kind that Joe Shelton writes of in his post over at Thoroughbred Friends. Joe changes his post every day so I'm copying it here (thanks Cheryl for your post about this sadness):

Tuesday, December 22nd... For the 4th time since 1997. The feed lot came to us.

Weird, having a big ugly silver stock trailer stop in front of our ranch. Filled with horses on their way to slaughter in Mexico. Cold and foggy. Almost dream like. The many eyes looking out through tiny slots. You think about all the horrible things going on in the world. But to me nothing is more tragic than horses butchered alive. This is a national embarrassment. A disgrace.

For $5,500.00 I could have bought every horse in the trailer. But I only had $800.00. No sense in describing the wheeling and dealing. I had to walk away from a thoroughbred. The driver made a big issue about my request. I asked for credit, promising to pay next Monday. I was told no.

Three thoroughbreds came off that trailer, and the driver put my $800.00 in his pocket. Said he sure hopes the fog on Interstate 5 goes away.


And of course. I am standing there with a horse on the end of 3 different lead ropes. As the driver closes up his trailer and gets ready to pull away. Here comes a young girl with her mom. The girl is 10. She wants to give Cathy and I a plate of Christmas fudge.

I asked the girl, you know how to lead a horse? Yep. The three throughbreds with gentle manners. The girl grabs a lead rope, and so does her mom. Up our driveway we go.

Almost to the front gate, and the girl says Oh My God. That was a slaughter trailer huh?


In our yard the girl gives a dewormer to each of the thoroughbreds. She watches as the horses are vaccinated. The girl cleans their feet. Helps prepare welcome to our ranch feed buckets. She brushes a gelding while he eats.

Two of the thoroughbreds go into a large round pen. The other into our crowded mare motel.

I am late (as usual) to be somewhere. I tell the girl and her mom thank you for helping with the 3 horses. And thank you for this delicious fudge.

Not exactly word for word, but this is the hearty part of what the girl had to say:

It was meant to be that I come here today. This was my best day in a long time. I love being with horses. I am going to start raising money so I can rescue a whole bunch.

Driving in fog, Christmas music on the truck radio. Came right up on a jogger and her dog. A nice looking black lab. The jogger waved. Starbucks sells a yummy eggnog latte. Wondering who is going to win Sing Off? There is a Sergeant with the Woodland police department who is helping deliver Christmas dinners. A good guy. They say alfalfa prices may go up next spring. Darn. Our friend who works at Raleys had her baby last week, a girl. Never did find out what she named her baby.

All those eyes, through tiny stock trailer slots. Try to think of other things. Easier to function that way...


I have become complacent, content thinking that we no longer have slaughter in the USA. Then something shatters my complacency, reminding me that we are now shipping horses by the thousands to Mexico and Canada. The need is overwhelming. Frontline warriors like Joe Shelton deserve our recognition and support. Today, light a candle or say a prayer. Better yet, do one small thing to end suffering in the lives of those around you, maybe send a little holiday present to TB Friends or a reputable rescue near you.

And if you have an extra minute during this busy time, visit the HSUS site to read about the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S. 727). If passed, it will close American borders to the exportation of equines for slaughter.


Grey Horse Matters said...

This is a national disgrace. It's so sad to think of those horses sent to slaughter over the borders. They are frightened and will be slaughtered inhumanly and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It's the 21st century but it still boggles the mind how much ignorance and cruelty still exists out there.

One Red Horse said...

Sorry Grey Horse Matters, I added a link to the HSUS advocacy page for the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S. 727). You can track its progress in a widget I just added to my sidebar.

Sydney said...

Not so many go across the Ambassador here as people would think.
Slaughter houses are a few hours from where I live. There is no horse rescue in the area either and there needs to be one.
There definately needs to be something done.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Thanks Red Horse, I've already contacted my representatives. And I will follow this legislation. Let's hope something can be done in the near future to stop this travesty.

Lori Skoog said...

When is this going to end? It gives me a stomach ache. We have a thoroughbred rescue near here. A lot of money was raised to build it...not too far from the track.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I read his post this morning and cried. In my pasture are five horses that were slated for slaughter. Each one has been a blessing beyond measure. How can we be so ignorant and cruel?

CoyoteFe said...

Thanks for posting. Blessings to you, yours, and all who shine a light.