Sunday, July 18, 2010

Solutions Instead of Slaughter: Train Your Horses

I have a good friend who told me several years ago, upon my return to a life with horses, that "an untrained horse is a dead horse." If you want to give your horses a permanent life preserver, make it your job to ensure that they are saddle broke and safe.

Anytime you read the farm & garden adds on Craigs List (come on, admit it, I'm not the only one here addicted) you will see horses for sale "ground work done, ready for saddle" or "had two months professional training 8 years ago". Sad fact, in these hard economic times, not many folks are going to pay to take on a training challenge. Kill buyers, however, will be very interested in these horses.

FUGLY fans, you might remember the story of a lovely buckskin mare who was slaughter bound:

"That pretty buckskin pictured is a classic example of an “unwanted” horse. She was a broodmare, got dumped to kill, “rescued” by CBER, off to a hoarder haven (remember that picture I posted a long time ago of the trashy chick’s myspace pic with all the guns? … that one), wound up back on the lot, re-rescued by Save A Forgotten Equine, who finally after a couple of tries found the right trainer for her and now here she is with her owner, who loves her. Happy ending. No longer “unwanted” but a happy, contributing member of equine society who now has a good home because of it. The difference was simple. Training."
(for entire story, click HERE).

Horse rescues! Are you listening! The folks out there who can take a halter trained horse and provide the training to turn that horse into a ridable partner are rare. Fund raise for training for the horses in your care.

Trainers (especially ones who support slaughter)! Offer your skills to your local rescue - one horse at a time. FUGLY featured the story of the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundations "Trainer Challenge". What a creative, effective concept. Please visit this rescue and read about the 2010 "Challenge of the Unwanted Horse". Just click HERE.

Photos are of an "undertrained" I know, my good friend Quincy.
Very green, he will be available for adoption at Heart of the Redwoods Equine Rescue.
You can follow his story on his own page by clicking HERE.

afterthought: some readers might protest that they don't have the skills to train the horse in their backyard that they bred because they wanted a cute little baby horse. Years later it's not so cute and at extreme risk. Solution: part A . . . if you don't have the skills, do not breed the horse. Solution: part B . . . see the next in this series.


Kate said...

Stopping most breeding that goes on is a good place to start - but then stopping the excessive breeding of other companion animals like cats and dogs needs to be done too.

And you're so right about training, including for basic manners and ground handling/farrier/vet.

Breathe said...

I had posted a comment on the first go round but it didn't post.

I think there should be fees for registering horses, fees collected at the vet. The money goes to a euthansia program - for those who can't afford to send their horse safely to the other side.

I agree completely with training, but these days it seems that's not enough either...

Esther Garvi said...

That is very true. I have never taught a horse from scratch before but having waiting so long for Isolde and Kalahari, we'll just do our very best and take things EASY yet keeping our final target (riding the bush with pleasure, both for horse and rider) in mind all the time. But it's one thing to do it from scratch with a horse you raised yourself; at this point, I would not have the self-confidence to train another untrained horse whose history I had not been part of.

horseideology said...

No truer post then this one. The problem of slaughter is multi-faceted and the ones who are unwilling to find solutions or prevention, are those most guilty of contributing to it...

1.) Overbreeding of horses. Not only the backyard breeders who put not even ground training and handling on the horse, but the Thorougbred horse industry too.

2.) Animal collectors. Those who take in too many animals and then do not care for them. Instead of offering a safe haven, they contribute to the problem.

3.) People who throw away their horse without really thinking and planning it's next home.

Thanks Red for stating what people need to hear more of!