Some sources of many
Carriage Horses History By Joel Tarr American Heritage Magazine October 1971 Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada The Unwanted Horse in The United States--international implications By Dr Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, DACT this article was part of the proceedings of the 11th International Congress of World Equine Veterinary Association in Guaruga, SP, Brazil in 2009.
Time Magazine May 28, 2008
The Epidemic of Abandoned Horses
article by Pat Dawson
From an AP article by Barbara Lowe
Published in The Daily News. Dec 10, 2011
"even a healthy domesticated horse can't survive in a wild herd. The wild animals can bece violent and even kill a domesticated horse. At best, an abandoned horse will be driven out and likely die of exposure and starvation.."
Abandoned Horses on the Rise
By Jeff DeLong
article reprinted in USA Today
Quoting Ed Foster. spokesperson for Wyoming D of A
Many horse owners believe their animals, if released into the wild will be adopted by wild herds. But the "wild horse herd will reject them in a most violent manner. It ends up a bad ending for that horse."
Our view of horse people is that we will do the right thing if we know what it is and it is affordable
Some where along the way, our culture changed.
The WWII generation built us a great country starting with little. Their parents had land for horses as well. With their talent and effort we inherited a wonderful world with great infrastructure. It is now ours to decide if we will leave the same for the next generations.
Our horses are meant to live a good life with us in sport and work and then to run free with a horse family..
Over the past 15 years we have created ways to make it affordable to do right by our horses Your acres will make methods demonstraitable so that others may both copy and add their knowledge.
Who do we replace?
No one. Across America there are thousands of dedicated people and organizations assisting horses.
Every horse is tied to a human.
Each horse can only do as well as its human can afford. There are not enough humans and organizations who can currently take care of all the horses that need them
Ours is to remove the reasons that so many horses do not have good retirements, are abandoned, or for very practical reasons are packed off to slaughter.
Educating all of us on the actual numbers of horses in need will align actual practices with what we think our culture truly is. This will bring the number of horses that need to be cared for by the more noble among us, to a manageable number.
This can be accomplished in a graceful manner. Being demanding or speaking loudly does no good if the solutions are not practical and affordable.
Horse people are good people. We will get the job done.
"After a life of service, ours to give them the life of a horse"
Time is short.
Please join us by providing an Acre's Endowment.
The Hidden Story
This is a bit of history and the hidden story many horse owners do not realize. It motivated us and we think it will you as well, Please note that some of this may be hard to read.
Throughout our country’s history, our view of horses has changed considerably. Until the end of World War II horses were often thought of as a labor resource, whether used on the farm or ranch, or used in the city as a means of transportation and/or hauling goods. The sporting life with horses has always been. In this period of history it was overshadowed by the shear number of horses involved in our lives for the purpose of day to day living. Prior to the car, a horse meant transportation either by a saddle on its back or in the cart, wagon, or buggy it pulled. There was a saying "A man was no better than his horse. A man with no horse was no man at all."
So essential to life was the horse, that after it's introduction to a culture, footwear changed to accommodate the stirrup that culture used. With heels, safety improved. Heels allowed new riding styles as well as standing or smoothing the ride. New sports were created. Avocations and work were changed. The horse and human life "were one" everywhere the horse was introduced. At the beginning of the twentieth century, by some estimates, there were 3 - 3 1/2 million horses in American cities, and perhaps another 17 million on farms, ranches, orchards, participating in all that agriculture needed.
The life and death of a horse in times past
If your family history has agricultural roots, or you are fortunate enough to have living family members who remember horses before cars were commonplace, you may wish to do personal research in this area. We have no accurate information documenting the number of horses “discarded” in the past.
The historical view of horses.
What we do know is certain idioms reflect the course of life for horses. “Time to put Nellie out to pasture,” likely indicates the love and respect of a family for a faithful old workhorse. Phrases such as “hardly worth sending to the glue factory,” “time to put ole’ Jerry down,” or “no sense in beating a dead horse,” are more indicative of a utilitarian view of horses, lacking an emotional connection. Also there are some early pioneer references extolling the superiority of horse meat to the “rangy” beef often available. After WWII, European and Asian populations were encouraged to eat horse meat as it was considered lean and a good source of iron. An export market developed. However modern American consumers never acquired a taste or habit for horse meat.
What should we do with old horses when they are no longer serviceable?”
The answer to this question very much depends on one’s current view of horses. Is the horse simply utilitarian, a tool or a source of labor? Is he a recreational or sporting partner? A companion animal? Financial considerations often influence one’s response to the question.
What people sometimes do.
When the cost of horse sport becomes too high or a horse is no longer serviceable, sound, or useful, she may be taken to auction with blind hope she will be purchased by someone who will take good care of her. Perhaps a financial reversal prompts an owner to turn their horse loose in the desert, open range land, or on the riverbed, with hopes he will be able to fend for himself or find a wild herd to join. We presume an owner who takes these actions does not realize the horrid fate in store for his horse.
What this leads to.
The following may be difficult to read.
Horses taken to most auctions are purchased by meat buyers. These horses are crowded into trucks and packed as tightly as the trip demands. The trip will be noisy, dirty, and often or always with no water. Once at the slaughterhouse, they are unceremoniously killed, their carcasses hung on hooks. The bodies are sawed and cut apart for pet food cans or European or Asian dinner plates. What remains will be used for industrial purposes.
What remains will be used for industrial purposes. Horses abandoned in the wild are rarely rescued. Most of our open areas have already been overgrazed. If a horse happens to find a wild herd, he typically will be bitten, kicked, chased off, or killed by that herd. A horse that survives will have little grazing and our sources tell us they resort to eating plants that slowly debilitate their liver and kidneys with natural poisons. Left on his own, the horse will slowly starve and be torn apart by wild animals.
Some horses are saved.
Some horses are rescued. Many wonderful people staff rescue facilities and do as much as they may with very limited resources. Most rescues have to turn away horses. This is due to the fact we have tens of thousands or more horses abandoned each year. When the economy has been poor, the number is believed to top 100,000. Our surveys indicate at best 10 - 20% of discarded horses are rescued. That means out of every 10 “excess” horses, 8 or 9 are abandoned or slaughtered.
We decided we are better than this. We know horses deserve better than this.