Archive for the ‘Animal Cruelty’ Category

One of the things we hear from the slaughterphiles the most is the screeching about how slaughter is going to give dignity and use to all these mysterious unwanted horses and how the rest of us, the antis, won’t step up and offer solutions.  Never mind the fact that largest contributors to the `unwanted’ horse population seems to be slaughterphiles and that they certainly are not exempt from abusing and neglecting their horses *cough*dorothyrobertson*cough*.  Other than kill and eat them, I have yet to see a single PSA offer any alternative solution or accept a shred of responsibility for the existing problems.  By and large, they hate rescues unless said rescue supports slaughter.  They think that if there will never be slaughter again, that all the unwanted, neglected, and starving horses should be dumped off on the lawns of anti-slaughter people.  Obviously, not a realistic or viable solution, but they refuse to accept the inevitable or look at alternatives.  When a viable alternative is presented, they work double-time trying to shoot it down, claiming a violation of their property rights and waving the confederate flag.  Well, guess what?  Somehow in our quest to address the problems that even PSAs agree on, we have managed to offend their delicate sensibilities once again.


News has come out recently that the HSUS if forming a “‘Responsible Horse Breeders Council”.  Yeah, I know.  If the HSUS is involved that automatically means it’s all kinds of evil and you must immediately put on your tinfoil beanie to prevent the constant bombardment of conspiracy theories from polluting your mind.  Whatever.  The goal of this council will be “to decrease the number of horses in the United States who are at risk of being neglected, abused, or slaughtered for human consumption.”   I don’t know about you, but I can’t really see this as a bad thing.  I see this as a some anti-slaughter people stepping up with solutions.  They are trying to address over breeding of horses by having breeders voluntarily be added to their list.  This means the breeder will take responsibility should that horse become homeless or at risk for being abused or sent to slaughter.  Nobody is telling any horse owner/breeder they must sign up, it’s voluntary.  You can read more about it here : http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31238/responsible-horse-breeders-council-formed.  Is it going to fix everything?  No, but it’s a start.  Many of the larger Thoroughbred breeders already have a similar policy in place.  It works.  It makes you want to do business with them.


While I’m sure many of you agree that this idea for a breeder’s council is a pretty good one, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that it has bunched some panties with the PSAs.  For your amusement and disgust, here is a selection of comments from the UH brain trust.

“If you’re a horse breeder, do you feel you should be responsible for the horses you sell from birth to death? HSUS thinks you should be. But remember…horses can live 30+ years. And how will this affect our rights to private property and animal ownership?”

– This comment is courtesy of Mindy `Puppymill’ Patterson.  I would like to know how she thinks that anybody volunteering to be added to a list will affect HER rights to private property and animal ownership.  If you don’t agree and want to carry on being an irresponsible dickhead, by all means, don’t sign up and continue contributing the problem.

“I have been a horse breeder for 30+ years. Of course we can’t be responsible for what others do with ‘our’ horses after they leave our premises!”

– Did I mention that PSAs have a huge problem with reading comprehension?  Nobody is going to hold anybody `responsible’ for what somebody else has done.  They are asking you to step up and do the right thing by animals you have bred and put out there.  You could choose to bring them home and euthanize them humanely even.  Or, you could choose not to be responsible and go on with your bad self.  I’m beginning to sound like a broken record…

“No. The reason a breeder raises horses to sell is to fill a market niche. If you are limited on your selling, you’d not be able to do your job as a responsible breeder.

Those who’re responsible are raising the best possible horses they can, research genetic diseases, and do their best to make a positive contribution. But HSUS is determined to remove private ownership of all species, not just horses. If breeders sign up for this, they’re tilting at windmills.”

– If you truly are raising the best horses you can and are not over breeding, then you probably won’t get that many that need your help. Nowhere in this article do I see anything about it affecting private ownership of horses, let alone all species.

“With the 3 largest stock breeding paying out incentives to breeders, stallion owners and mare onwers, does the HSUS expect to wag the dog. I know they have lobby powers and cash up the ying yang, but we are talking AQHA here boys and girls. Turn them loose. Who has the moxie to tell them good ol boys who can or cant breed and how many to allow or not”

– Ahhh, yes.  The good ole AQHA.  The breed that just happens to be one of the favorites of horse eaters and the association that supports slaughter.  Way to value your product!  The same breed that allowsthe  breeding and registration of horses with HYPP, HERDA etc. Conditions that could be bred out of that breed within one generation should they just close the books on breeding stock that tests positive.  No, wouldn’t expect that association nor the APHA with their OLWS Russian breeding roulette that they allow to go on to come on board with something like this.

“I think the Jockey Club has a program called the Breeders Cup program that has the richest 2 day or horse racing in the world fed by owners, breeders and trainers that know the gamble and game better than any HSUS flunky ever dreamed of.”

– I’m not sure what the Breeders Cup has to do with any of this, but the Jockey Club has adopted an anti-slaughter stance.  As I have stated, many of the larger TB breeders already do have programs or mandates in place to deal with their former horses and keep them out of the slaughter pipeline.  Three Chimneys, for example, will go one further and assist with the rescue/rehab of a horse that is merely sired by one of their stallions whether that horse was ever on their farm or not.  Thoroughbreds also have several dedicated rescues just to deal with racehorses once their careers at the track are over.  They probably don’t have a problem with being on a list of responsible breeders at all. Nice try though.

“And then we have a great industry of purposely bred horses for consumption. These horses have been selectively bred, culled, fed and studied to meet a standard of excellence that is not different than Wagyū or Black Angus cattle. Explain to these very affluent business people that the horses that they produce and fly live to Asian markets at double digits per pound can’t do that any more because they have to provide a birth to natural death life promise. Hell Dane likely cant even extort that kind of promise from his own Family members.”

– Way to shoot yourself in the foot!  According to the IEBA and UH, slaughter is for unwanted horses, so that they don’t have to suffer and go to waste.  Now this idiot is suggesting that there is a booming business of breeding horses specifically for consumption?  Which is it?

“As a breeder I do not believe I need to be responsible for the horse, dog, goat, duck, or what ever I raise and sell until it’s death. The new owner is responsible for the animal after it leaves the property. I may on occasion make a deal with the new owner to have the option to buy the animal back, but that depends on the situtations. This is like telling someone that raises beef cattle or hogs for meat sale that they need to be aware of where the animal is at all times. That’s like telling a parent that once their child hits 18 and moves out that they are responsible for every thing their child does until they die. Hogwash!!!”

– Really?  As breeders we keep track of the horses that leave our property.  If we found one to be in a bad situation, we would absolutely do the right thing by it because we care.  Not because we are responsible for that bad situation, but we care about the animals we bring into this world.  Even if it was in such bad shape that it was suffering, we would gladly take one back to euthanize it humanely.  Lucky for us, we don’t flood the market, nor do we breed crap so those situations don’t really come up for us.

“Animals are private property. Under that premise, the new owners are responsible. This proposal by HSUS opens up a huge can of worms. I posted this on The Cavalry Group Facebook page as well, and someone brought up the important point that if something like this were to take hold, what would keep them from limiting the age of breeders to prevent them from breeding past a certain age? Scary precedent.”

– This was from Puppymill Patterson again.  She’s right about one things, the new owners ARE responsible for the animals they buy.  However, what happens when you sell one to somebody like Dorothy Robertson and it ends up in dire straits?  Are you ok, just shrugging it off  and saying it’s not your problem anymore?  Legally it’s not your problem, but many people would probably want that horse back or at least have a hand in seeing that it was not suffering.  Hell, maybe they would throw a rescue a few dollars to help with rehabilitating the animal.

“I have taken horses back after they have been gone for years. Life changes and sometimes the horse is no longer part of that life. I will take back their horse and give it a foreverhome or place it in a good home if I can. That horse was foaled here and if it needs help in life I will try to be there for it.”

– Thank you.  That is all anybody is asking.  If every single breeder did this, there would be no need for slaughter.  Think about it.

” Before this thread takes a turn for the worse….I breed to MAKE MONEY. Sorry guys, it’s a business and we have a business plan set up. I’m not going to keep something around that doesn’t have a job or potentially can make money.

– I know that this particular `breeder’ actually works at Wal-Mart.  Want to see the kind of stock she is putting out there?  I wonder how that `making money’ thing is working out for her…

One of this breeder's yearlings

One of this breeder’s yearlings

One of the above `breeder's' stallions.

One of the above `breeder’s’ stallions.

I guess I’m not surprised at the puffing out of chests and paranoid ramblings of the UH PSAs given that they have Puppymill Patterson fanning the flames.  They seem to not grasp the concept that nobody is forcing anybody to sign up on this list.  One of them suggested this list is 5yrs old and was sold to the HSUS.  I don’t know that to be true.  Given the challenges many PSAs have with the English language, I will wait for a reputable source to weigh in on that.  What I do know is that breeders on this list (allegedly over 800) should be praised for doing the right thing.  Each and every time you breed a mare, you should ask yourself who is going to want that foal and do you have the funds to raise and train it properly so that it will attract your target buyers.  If you truly are breeding for a legitimate market demand and are breeding quality stock, then you probably won’t see very many, if any, of your stock in dire straits.  I know it can happen to any horse, but those are not the usual cases.  I think the real problem PSAs have with this list is that many of them breed complete and utter junk and they dump them wherever they can.  They realize that if they ever signed onto something like this, they would be inundated with `returns’.  There is one way to prevent that.  Stop breeding anything and everything with a uterus.  My question to these people is; why do you even have and/or breed horses if you don’t care what happens to them?  Wouldn’t there be far less suffering and problems if people like the PSAs just stuck to inanimate objects?


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I know we normally point and laugh on Fridays and we’ll get back to doing that eventually.  This week I thought it was more important to give some updates on slaughterphile, Dorothy Robertson’s, seized horse and the outcome of her criminal charges.  Sadly, Ole Dottie has had several features on this blog due to the ongoing saga of her horrific neglect case and seizure last fall.  While her legal mailing address may be in Nevada, Big D most often resides in the land of denial.  You can refresh your memories here: (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/straight-from-the-horse-neglecters-mouth-updates-on-the-nevada-34/) We eventually came to find out this wasn’t Dottie’s first rodeo when it came to neglecting animals and having them seized.  We also came to find out that despite being a rabid supporter of slaughter, Big D still allowed her hoard to starve half to death despite living less than 5 miles from a livestock auction frequented by kill buyers.  This big mess also introduced us to a brand new nest of asswads over at the Horse Grooming Supplies message boards fearlessly led by Anne Knight, Sarah MacFarlane and Karien Jamieson aka manesntails, IIIBarsV and farmeress.  I wish I could tell you that they have all seen the light, but as we know…stupidity knows no bounds.  They’re still profoundly stupid and still dogging on the rescue that took in these horses.

Dorothy Robertson in happier times

Dorothy Robertson in happier times

Back in October, Dorothy pleaded `not guilty’ to charges of animal neglect.  We recapped the court proceedings here: (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/here-we-go-again-nevada-34-updates/).  She continued to post at numerous forums vowing that `new information’ was coming in daily and alluding to filing suit against all responsible for the seizure of her horses as well as the rescue that paid their bail at the livestock yards and took them in.  That rescue was Northeastern Nevada Equine Rescue aka NNER.  For some reason NNER became the target of Dorothy and her supporters.  They went to any lengths to discredit them and discourage people from supporting them.  Big D went as far as to suggest NNER was `slimming down’ those horses to make her look worse.  All this was because that due to the pending criminal case, NNER was asked by the authorities not to post intake pictures of the horses.  So, NNER took the hit and continued to care for these animals without having the benefit of posting their pictures.  Guess what?  The trial is over.  Dorothy accepted a plea bargain which saw her plead guilty on 5 counts of neglect.  She will do 30 days in jail plus 48 hours community service on each count.  She also has to pay a minimal fine on each count.  Not nearly enough for the suffering her horses went through, but at least it’s over.  Or it’s over until the next time she gets busted. Now, do you want to see what these horses looked like when they were seized?

Pasture and condition of some of the herd

Pasture and condition of some of the herd

Note the feet

Note the feet

Taken at Dorothy's `ranch'

Taken at Dorothy’s `ranch’

Some of Dorothy's mares

Some of Dorothy’s mares

More of the herd

More of the herd

One of the yearlings

One of the yearlings

The `old' stallion who turned out to be only 10 yrs old - Colonel's Diamond Chex

The `old’ stallion who turned out to be only 10 yrs old – Colonel’s Diamond Chex

`Old' 10 yr old stallion prior to being euthanized

`Old’ 10 yr old stallion prior to being euthanized – he was covered in pressure sores that were infested with maggots.

Same stallion prior to being starved and neglected

Same stallion prior to being starved and neglected


Mares...note pond in the background that was their drinking source

Mares…note pond in the background that was their drinking source

More mares

More mares




"Ladybug" yearling filly after being fed for 3 at livestock yard for 3 weeks

“Ladybug” yearling filly after being fed for 3 at livestock yard for 3 weeks

Ladybug's front feet

Ladybug’s front feet

Ladybug's hind feet

Ladybug’s hind feet

Ladybug's front legs

Ladybug’s front legs

Ladybug today

Ladybug today

So, there is a sampling of what Dorothy figured was adequate care.  New pictures will be posted as they become available.  The HGS people have redoubled their efforts in slandering this rescue and questioning their every move.  As you can clearly see, there has been a long and expensive recovery for the majority of horses involved in this seizure.  It was not NNER’s doing or fault these horses were seized.  Dorothy has been caught in numerous lies and deceptions since all of this came to light, yet people still want  to blame the rescue.  Do you know who will pay the price for this sick little game of armchair critic?  These horses will.  They should be the only thing that matters at this point.  You can help these poor animals in a number of ways.  Share these pictures and the rescue’s contact details far and wide. (https://www.facebook.com/NortheasternNevadaEquineRescueInc?ref=ts&fref=ts) NNER also has a `chip in’ for hay you can add to and/or share around on social networking sites. (http://northeasternnevadaequinerescue.chipin.com/hay-to-help-buy-more-feed-for-the-fallon-horses-through-the-winter). If you go to their Facebook page, they are raffling off a side of beef for $5 a ticket.  Anything will help and I don’t see it as wrong of them to be asking for help.  These horses were in disgusting shape and they still have a way to go before they are ready for adoption.  It won’t be easy to get them all adopted as Dorothy refuses to give up their papers or identify any of them.  I don’t know that any of them are actually broke to ride or have been anything other than breeding stock.  That makes it even tougher.  Lets help these animals return to good health and find happier homes this year.










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As we are all well aware, the biggest reason for slaughter given by the PSA brain trust is that it is a way to deal with `unwanted horses’.  According to them, slaughter keeps all these mystical beings from wandering the streets and becoming a menace to society and a drain on our tax dollars.  Of course PSAs like Naughty Tobiano want us all to believe that kill buyers are just super nice guys trying to earn a living.  They would never send good horse that had a use to slaughter.  Instead, they just hang out at sales and pick up all these unwanted horses and `recycle’ them for a new purpose.  Doesn’t that just make you all warm and tingly inside?


Do you see the horse above?  He was slaughtered at Les Viandes de la Petite Nation January 8, 2013.  He was anything but unwanted.  His name was Backstreet Bully and he was originally bred and owned by Adena Springs and raced under Stronach Stables.  As many of you are aware, Adena Springs is owned by Frank Stronach and they have been leaders in the movement in finding new careers for retired racehorses.  They have an entire division devoted to retired racehorses and have taken this commitment very seriously.  Backstreet Bully wasn’t a great racehorse but he was graduate of their program.  Here is the write up about him from the Adena Springs Retirement Program prior to him being sold:

“Backstreet Bully is a kind 4 yr old, 16hh OTTB chestnut gelding. He was retired from racing September 2008. He is a solid loving horse with tons of puppy dog personality. He’s got a great sound mind, willing attitude and is very well mannered; he just loves to be loved. He has been ridden both english and western walk, trot, canter and hacks out quietly both alone and with company. We have started basic Parelli training with him. Backstreet bully will make an excellent pleasure horse. He has no vices or bad habits. He trailers, cross ties, clips and is never a problem for the vet or blacksmith.”

Somewhere along the line, something went badly wrong for Backstreet Bully and he ended up in a kill auction.  Details about what happened are still coming out, but every effort was made by Transitions Thoroughbreds and Adena Springs to save this horse.  This is a quote from Transitions  on their Facebook page about what happened at the sale:

“He was pointed out to me at the auction by an employee thereof as she knew I was there to buy tbs – I tried to buy him – my bid was not taken, perhaps not seen – I tried to buy him after from the kill buyer and was told no – he was meat only. He was not eligible for slaughter and it begs the question of why the very person who does the paperwork on every horse running through that auction would specifically point him out to me and describe him so that I could bid on him at that sale to buy him would do that if he was meat only as that would be something she would need to put on that kill sheet. He was NOT announced as meat only either in the sale ring. I tried to stop it again, I got no response, I contacted his connections who ARE on my list of people who most definitely do NOT want their horses going to slaughter and they took immediate action. His faxed drug records clearly proved he was not eligible. Everybody knows that all tbs have most definitely had at least bute amongst other drugs if they have raced – he was not eligible and he was killed for nothing!!”

I’m still trying to patch together all the details from various postings I have seen, but I do know this much….this was not an unwanted horse and this was not a horse that should have been slaughtered for meat or any other reason.  This horse was still alive when his drug records were faxed to the slaughter-house.  The slaughter-house was well aware they were in possession of a horse not suitable for slaughter for human consumption and that there were people wanting to bail him out.  Remember, PSAs tell you it’s all about not wasting the unwanted horse’s meat.  Well this horse was far from unwanted and he was most certainly not suitable for human consumption, but Les Viandes de la Petite Nation went ahead and slaughtered him anyhow just because they could.  What purpose did that serve?  The response of the CFIA vet in attendance at the slaughter-house, after she was informed of this horse’s drug status was “We (LPN) would have a lot of horses here and what would we do with them all?”  I gather that statement was in reference to how many horses they have that are not suitable for human consumption.  What DO they do with them all?


I have no personal connection with any of the people involved with Backstreet Bully and his sad end.  If they choose to come forward and fill in some details, that’s great but I will leave it up to them.  They are heartbroken over this and I don’t know what more they could have done.  I haven’t seen the name of the person who adopted Backstreet Bully nor do I know if it is the same person that dumped him at this auction.  What is important is that despite the fact that this horse should have never been at that sale in the first place, he seems to have been slaughtered out of spite.  People tried hard to rescue this horse.  They tried to buy him in the ring, they tried to buy him before he went on the truck.  They informed the slaughter-house, backed up with vet records, that this horse should not be in a slaughter pen and they still went ahead and did it just because they could.  Yeah, kill buyers are great guys and slaughter is just for horses that nobody wants.  Rest in peace, Backstreet Bully.  We won’t let them forget you any time soon……


Word has it that Dorothy Robertson took a plea bargain today.  She plead guilty to 5 counts and will get community service for each count and do 30 days in jail total.  That’s not even close to enough punishment for a third time offender, but at least it’s something.  I’m away for a few days but will update more details when I get back.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

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Does anybody remember that post I made back in November where we reviewed 24 `good’ reasons to slaughter your horse besides the good old standards of crippled, defective, and unruly?  Those reasons were helpfully provided by our buddy Naughty Tobiano and the covered everything from mane rubbing to that unspeakable crime of being a mare.  (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/24-reasons-to-slaughter-a-horse/) Of course, most of us that actually like horses didn’t agree with NT’s reasons, but they probably are reasons any good slaughterphile is on board with.  If you’re a good anti, you know these reasons were bigger load of crap than what you find piled up in the Petulant Pony’s dry lot that contains her hoard.


Given the perfection that the PSAs demand of their horses I’m going to surmise that any perceived flaw that a horse possesses is a valid reason to put it in the slaughter pipeline.  Certainly a youngish horse that has become completely blind due to Moon Blindness should be disposed of immediately.  Better to cash in on him while he’s in good flesh and you can feel good about yourself that you gave him back his dignity by squeezing the last few dollars out of him.  Horses always feel much better about themselves as they are being hogpiled into kill pens and tortured to death when they know that at least you have your beer money.  I am going to go out on a limb and estimate that 99.99999% of slaughter supporters would agree that if your 9 year old horse goes blind, you are completely justified in slaughtering him because anything else would be wasteful.  It’s all about value, right?  There is no way you should be obligated to keep this otherwise healthy animal for 15 or more years.  Horses are not pets!  Well, I’d like y’all to watch this video.  It is an application video for the 2011 Versatile Horse and Rider competition that was held at the Ohio Equine Affaire.  This is Becca and Stormy and all the footage on this video was taken AFTER Stormy became completely blind in 2005.

Becca and Stormy


I’ve been accused of being an elitist snob more than once by our PSA pals.  Stormy obviously isn’t a rail horse nor would he likely have been a world beater even before he lost his sight.  Who cares?  What you can clearly see in that video is a young girl that loves her horse and refused to toss him aside like a broken toy.  What you also see is that every horse has a `value’ beyond the almighty dollar no matter what hand fate deals them along the way.  I don’t know about you, but I think Stormy looks like a pretty happy guy and is doing something far more dignified than being tortured and ending up on Slaughterhouse Sue’s dinner plate.  Thank you Becca for being so awesome and showing everybody what value and dignity really is all about.

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Can you see the John Lyons quote on the picture above?  It’s a pretty nice sentiment and I can get on board with it.  I would guess most anti-slaughter advocates can relate to it as long as they actually believe in God.  Guess what?  I pulled it off our the Facebook page of our favorite slaughter supporting horse rescue, Willing Servants.  Apparently the insight God granted Holy Theresa of Willing Servants  is that the best way to treat and care for these `reflections’ is to torture, kill and eat them.  I know none of these delusional fuckwits actually look at slaughter that way because they have come up with softer terms for what it is they want so badly.  Harvesting, processing, and even humane euthanasia.  I realize their ignorance and hypocrisy isn’t news and it seems to get less funny over time.  What is news is that I’m so sick and tired of the whining these idiots do, I’m willing to make a compromise if they will just stfu and move on to something that I don’t care about.  Seriously.


While I know the prices of euthanasia and burial/disposal that the slaughterphiles frequently quote are grossly exaggerated, I do appreciate that doing the right thing isn’t always cheap.  Believe me, I know more about that than I want to, but I also consider that a part of owning a horse.  Personally, we choose to bury or cremate our horses because it’s what we can live with.  I don’t really judge anybody for how they choose to dispose of an animal after the fact.  It really doesn’t make a difference to the animal and even after cremation, there is a significant amount of cremains to deal with.  Since nearly all the players on both sides of this issue claim to be horse lovers and only wanting what is best for the animals while they are living, then why not compromise?  Let’s bring back knacker trucks!


Back in the day, that’s how it was done if you didn’t process your own animals.  You paid a nominal fee and a guy would come out and shoot your animal and either haul it away or process it for you.  Since nobody wants to admit that they are into slaughter just because they like killing horses and watching them suffer, I think this would be a great compromise.  Old Dobbin can live his days out in familiar surroundings and when his time comes, you call in the knacker and allow him the dignity of dying without fear and torture.  Even though it’s not an option I would ever choose, I could get on board with it if it meant no slaughter houses and no shipping across state lines or international boarders for slaughter.  Surely if you can’t afford a couple hundred bucks to make sure your beloved horse dies peacefully, you need to stick to gold-fish.  Maybe that’s unfair to gold-fish too.  Get a stuffed toy or something.


I realize my compromise is never going to be considered.  As we all know, it’s all about the money and enabling backyard breeders and bottom feeding horse traders.  God forbid we see little shops of horrors like Sugarcreek, Shipshewana and New Holland go out of business. How do we know this?  Because slaughter is legal in most states.  You can send a horse to slaughter right here on home soil.  The problem is you can’t do it for human consumption and sale without a USDA inspection, so nobody is going to make money off it and open up a slaughter-house.   This minority pocket of assholes, lead by the ever greedy and inappropriate Slaughterhouse Sue, want to mass slaughter horses at the expense of our beef, pork and poultry producers and the safety of the food on your dinner table.  I guess the fact that this just isn’t an industry that is ever going to profit the majority of citizens doesn’t matter as long as Suey gets to see her `dream’ come to fruition and line her own pockets.  There isn’t a shred of love for horses that factor into the equation.


Remember how the slaughterphiles keep telling us that slaughter is to save horses and stop the cruelty and neglect?  It allegedly provides a way of dealing with unwanted and unsuitable horses.  Horses that have no other value left in them but to end up on a dinner plate.  Well, I’m sure most of you have read about Cactus Cafe and Canuki over the past year.  They are two Thoroughbreds that raced at Beulah Park in Ohio, that were sold under shady circumstances and shipped to slaughter in Canada.  (http://www.drf.com/news/canadian-slaughterhouse-firm-no-longer-accepting-thoroughbreds) The uproar over this resulted in at least one Canadian slaughter plant refusing to accept known Thoroughbreds any longer.  Cactus Cafe and Canuki were both located at Viande Richelieu near St. Hyacinthe, Quebec in the kill pens ready to head to a dinner plate despite having been given banned drugs throughout their racing careers.  Thanks to the hard work of several people, these two horses, in an unprecedented move, were recovered from the slaughter plant and sent to a rescue.  Remember, that according to the IEBA, slaughter is a `humane’ way of dealing with unwanted and flawed horses.  Seems that Cactus Cafe and Canuki were anything but unwanted as people went to great lengths to save  them.  Are they unsound and untrainable?  Look at their recent pictures and decide for yourself if these were two horses that needed a dinner plate to give them value….

Canuki today....


Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe




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Thanks to everybody who has been trying to figure out who the monster in the abuse video is.  I wish I could tell you we have it figured out, but we don’t.  (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/who-is-this/)  However, many of you have come up with some solid leads and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before somebody recognizes something.  One of our readers has managed to isolate a few images and I’m going to leave them with you.  The video was very poor quality so the images aren’t as sharp as we’d like, but maybe it will help somebody identify the barn or something.  Thank you so much to the reader that took the time to do this.


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Last week, we picked apart the favorite PSA excuse for slaughter; setting base prices for horses.  Most of you saw it as a load of crap, but most of you are also sane and can see that meat prices have nothing to do with the value of a healthy, sound and well-trained animal.  Of course we got the information from the petulant pony, Naughty Tobiano.  She’s currently doing a whole series on good reasons to slaughter horses and kindly supplied us with 24 vices that would be good reasons to send your horse to slaughter.  I thought we would take a look at them since they seem somewhat related to these mythical `bad horses’ the PSA people keep ending up owning.

#1 – Cribbing

Cribbing is a super annoying habit some horses come up with.  It can lead to various management/health problems like colic and dedicated cribbers often wear their front teeth down to nothing.  Any of the sales I go to will list if the horse is a cribber or not in the catalogue as it’s not usually curable.  It is, however, manageable.  There are various straps and collars that you can use to minimize or even wipe out the behavior all together.  Cribbing is also something that seems to be lifelong for most horses.  I have yet to see a horse take up cribbing as a mature horse.  I guess the bottom line with cribbers is that if you really can’t stand the behavior, don’t buy a horse that cribs.  There are plenty of other people willing to put up with this particular `vice’.

#2 – Wood Chewing

Not the same thing as cribbing.  Most horses get into wood chewing out of boredom.  Sometimes they do it because they are missing something in their diet.  It’s fixable.  You can turn your horse out, you can give them something else to do (various stall toys) and you can paint wood surfaces and make that not so inviting for them.  I’ve had a lot of young horses that were stabled or kept in paddocks think it was a good idea to embrace their inner beaver.  Most will eventually grow out of it once they lose their baby teeth. I have rarely seen a pastured horse with adequate roughage provided and company take up wood chewing.  I took a spin around in the golf cart to look at our paddocks/pastures tonight and the only one that has chewed boards is the small paddock we use to isolate a horse that may be injured.  Other than that, not a single chewed board on the property.  Imagine that!

#3 – Teeth Grinding

Huh?  Our painted pony thinks that a horse that grinds its teeth should be slaughtered?  I’m confused.  I’ve had the odd horse grind its teeth when I’m riding. It’s never really bothered me and I’ve never given it much thought.  If a horse seems particularily uncomfortable with a bit in its mouth there are countless options to fix that too.

#4 – Weaving

Coming from a racetrack background, I’ve had my fair share of weavers.  You can’t really fix them as long as they’re stabled.  It also isn’t `contagious’.  I had one horse that weaved all day long and none of our other horses that we had at the time ever did.  Our `weaver’ wasn’t stressed out as he did that from the very first day he ever was in a stall and we owned him from the time he was a baby.  It was just his `thing’.  Do you know what we did about it?  We put a rubber mat under him so he didn’t wear a hole in the ground and we kept standing bandages on him so he didn’t accidentally bump his legs.  We also hung a radio outside his stall door and he would always weave in time to the music.  If he had to be annoying, at least we could make him cute about it.  I also owned this horse after he retired and for the rest of his life.  Guess what?  Once he was `let down’ from racing and lived in a nice big paddock with his buddies, he didn’t weave anymore.  The odd time if he got left in his paddock alone, you might catch him standing in a corner weaving, but those occasions got fewer and further between the older he got.  I guess my point is that he wasn’t hurting anybody or anything.  He was also a really cool horse to own and ride.  Hardly a reason to execute the poor guy because he was into self soothing.
#5 – Head Shaking

Head shaking is something that is a bit more controversial.  Some think it’s strictly behavioral and others think there is a neurological reason for it.  I lean towards behavioral in most cases.  I haven’t ever had a personal horse that was a dedicated head shaker.  I’ve had horses that had nose flies and done it the odd time, but never a dedicated head shaker.  I’ve also had racehorses that would sling their head when they got keyed up.  It hurts to get a head-butt from a horse.  I’ve always attributed head shaking to being a human caused problem.  Maybe that’s why PSAs have head shakers that need to be slaughtered and most of the rest of us never have?
#6 Extreme Ear-shyness

Really?  This is a good reason to slaughter a horse?  Ear shyness is %100 man-made and/or fixable.  If they have mites or plaque in their ears, treat them.  If you have an ear shy horse ,WORK with it and get it over it.  My 17.2h horse came to me very ear shy.  His former owner had twisted and twitched his ears to try to get him to bring his head down to work on. As a result, he didn’t want anybody touching them.  I couldn’t really blame him.  However, with a lot of patience and kindness, he will now drop his head to my knees so I can bridle him and I can use my electric clippers on his ears.  He just had to learn that I wasn’t going to twist them and hurt him.

#7 – Stall Walking

Yet another `vice’ that is man-made.  Stall walkers are bored.  They also aren’t really doing anything other than making a huge mess of their stall and more work for the person that cleans it.  If you are too lazy to deal with that, don’t keep your horse in a stall.  If you don’t have any other choice but to stable your horse, get off your ass and make sure he’s properly exercised and stimulated or maybe he’s not the right horse for YOU.

#8 – Wall Kicking

Why is your horse kicking the wall?  Maybe he needs a new neighbor?  Maybe he’s bored.  I’ve had horses get excited and kick the wall.  I’ve had a few that raised hell at feed time.  It’s annoying and expensive to have them kick their shoes off, so you find ways to work WITH the behavior or you don’t keep them in a stall.  Pretty simple.

#9 – Hard to Load

Really?  NT thinks this `vice’ could be a deal breaker.  How about working with the horse and teaching him to load properly?  A few months ago when we had to evacuate over 50 horses in a very short time frame, not all of them were experienced with trailers.  Guess what?  We got ever single one loaded and out in under 2 hours.  If you aren’t an abusive moron, you can make a hard to load horse, not hard to load.  Amazing how that works.

#10- Hard to Catch

Given how we have seen some of the PSAs treat their animals and considering what NT thinks `slaughter worthy’ is it any wonder that they have horses that are hard to catch?  I don’t have a single horse that is hard to catch.  I have some formerly hard to catch horses, but as of right now, they all come when they are called and I rarely go out to catch them with anything other than a carrot in my pocket and I don’t always even have that.  A little work in a roundpen will usually convince a horse to be a bit easier to catch.

#11 – Will Not Stand Tied

Why won’t your horse stand tied?  I’ve had exactly one horse in my life, racehorses included, that would not stand tied up.  She was a puller.  Some trauma in her past made her panic when she was tied up.  Violently so.  However, she would ground tie and stand all day long, even at horse shows, with her line on the ground.  You could literally park her somewhere and she would stay there as long as you didn’t tie her up.  I suppose, if I had been older I could have worked with her on the tying thing.  There are lots of ways to do that, it just didn’t seem important to me as a kid.

#12 – Bucking Under Saddle

Again, there about a thousand reasons horses do this.  Maybe they are getting pinched, maybe they don’t want your abusive ass on their backs.  How about looking for a reason other than `bad horse’ as to why they’re doing it?  I guess this would be tough if you are a PSA because the answer may be that YOU are the problem and we all know that PSAs don’t like that answer very much.  Far easier to slaughter them.

#13 – Rearing Under Saddle

Yet another man-made `vice’ that is worth a death sentence.  Why is your horse rearing?  I’ve seen the bits many of them use and I’ve seen pictures and videos of their ham-fisted efforts to ride.  Figure out the problem and fix it.  I guess that isn’t easy to do when you are the problem…

#14 – `Girthiness’ or Tack Shy

Huh?  Do these asstards not believe in actually TRAINING their animals?  Why is it `tack shy’?  I have never had a trained horse that was tack shy.  Never.  As for the `girthy’ business.  Deal with it.  Take your time, stretch it out, walk it around and then tighten up.  That’s what I love about riding English.  I tighten my girth once I’m on my horse.  I guess the PSA horses just get hauled out of the field and get the tack slammed on their backs, cinches done up to cut them in half immediately and they should be good to go with it.  Seriously, WTF?

#15 – Cold-backed

First off, how about seeing if your horse has a sore back?  Check the fit of your tack.  How about lunging the horse and warming it up before you heave your abusive ass on it?  I guess it’s far easier to just slaughter them…

#16 – Pasture Bully

How about moving the horse to a new pasture?  Don’t have one? Then sell or give the horse to somebody that does.  Any herd of horses will always have a boss.  Either let them work it out or find them compatible herd mates.

#17 ,18,19 – Biting, Kicking, Striking

I lumped these three together.  All `behaviors’ and all fixable or man-made.  Sometimes both.  I’ve handled a LOT of horses.  I can’t even count how many.  I’ve handled everything from new borns to 4/5yr olds that have never even been halter broke.  I’ve had horses do some pretty shitty things when you’re starting out with them.   They’ve also all gotten over it.  Not every horse is going to end up being a kid safe horse, but you can teach good manners if you’re smart enough to do so without getting yourself killed in the process.  Here’s a little video from a PSA.  THIS is why there are bad horses and this is why not everybody should be working with green horses when they have no clue what they’re doing.  Watch the video linked below and tell me if this little blow-up is actually the horse’s fault at all…

PSA Horsemanship

#20 – Bolting/running away

Sounds like a training/rider problem more than a reason to slaughter.  Perhaps the PSAs should stick to horses that eat quarters rather than the real kind?

#21Bad in Traffic

Really?  How about not riding in traffic?  If you can’t desensitize your horse to traffic (if that’s even a big deal to you) then buy one that already is.

#22 – Constant jigging or crab-stepping

Yet another man-made vice.  Back to the arena with your bad self if this is an issue.  Maybe take some riding lessons while you’re at it.  Why is your horse doing this?  Lots of times it’s because you’re gagging it half to death with your ham-fists.  Take that horse to the arena and do some long and low work and teach him to relax.  It’s not that hard.

#23 – Chronic Mane and Tail Rubbers

OMG.  If your horse is rubbing the mane and tail of itself, how about taking the time to figure out why rather than selling it to a kill buyer?  Maybe you could start off by worming the poor thing.  If that doesn’t fix it, maybe it has a skin condition.  Do you know that Listerine applied to the tail and mane will often stop the itching and clear up minor skin conditions?  A novel idea would be to have a vet come and see why the horse is doing it.  Most mane rubbers do it by reaching through the fence to get food. You could try feeding your horse! Lots of mares will `fence push’ and rub their tails out when they’re in season.  Deal with it.  I’ve yet to see a healthy horse that was on pasture do either of these things.

#24 – Extreme `Mareishness’

This is perhaps the easiest of all to fix.  Don’t buy a mare if you don’t want to deal with the hormonal issues.  Not every mare is all that hormonal.  Ones that are really bad can be put on Regumate or other therapies to minimize this.  You can have a marble placed in their uterus to stop a lot of it.  I guess  you can’t be a good PSA backyard breeder without mares though….

As you can see, there isn’t a single `vice’ on the list that should mean a horse needs to be slaughtered. In fact, they are all basically man-made and fixable or at least manageable.  Apparently, PSAs expect each and every horse to be 100% perfect all of the time despite the abuse and generally shitty horsemanship they are subjected to.  Well, horses are thinking, breathing animals and they even have feelings.  If you want a recreational vehicle that doesn’t require training or maintenance, I suggest you buy an ATV or a dirt bike.  The other thing PSAs want is to buy their horses for under $1000 and then turn around and sell them for several thousand dollars after they have messed them up.  It doesn’t work like that.  If you want a bomb-proof, healthy, sound horse that is actually trained to do something  you’re still going to have to a decent price for it.  Slaughter or no slaughter isn’t going to change that.  The only thing slaughter is going to do is give you a dumping spot for all the horses you mess up and I don’t think that’s the answer.  I think the answer is that any person that thinks any reason on this list is worth slaughtering an animal over gets out of horses all together.  You’re not a horseman and we don’t want you in OUR industry.

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