Why we're here

We are taking a stand against horse slaughter returning to the US and are striving to stop the transportation of horses to other countries for slaughter. Some of us are working in those other countries as well.

We are taking this stance as Pagans and Heathens, at a time when it seems some have decided that eating slaughtered horse meat in ritual is somehow cool, edgy and "ancestral." Therefore we want to show that that minority does not represent all of the Pagan and Heathen communities. Many of us worship Horse Deities, many of us are horse people who may see our horses as sacred charges who we care for to honor these Deities. Not by killing but by striving to give them good lives.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Roundup links, not wild horses!

As I'm back online again, I thought I'd try to help with updating this. Burn out is a bitch, mine went deep. I'm hoping there is some end in sight, although even if we get the total ban on transportation we'll have to keep fighting to keep it. But, although they fight, once we get it it'll be a lot easier to keep that it has been to get. So if you haven't signed these petitions then please do so and please keep up letters and phone calls until this is done!

And speaking of them, the Horse Killers chief asshole, Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis is using fake science to claim that horses given Bute are not dangerous to eatThe Equine Welfare Alliance has strongly rebuked this with actual facts. So if you don't give a shit about the welfare of horses, remember that this is also a public health issue, Slaugherhouse Sue is more than happy to endanger people's lives as well as inhumanely kill horses.

Today, Oct. 5, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in Massachusetts is holding a hearing on a state ban of horse slaughter for human consumption and the sale, purchase, transport, possession, delivery, receipt, or export for slaughter for human consumption. While this is one issue I want to see go federal, every state that makes such a move will help with that. It shows we the citizens do not want horse slaughter!

A bit of good news on the Wild Horse and Burro front. The US Supreme Court denied consideration of an appeal of an earlier overturn of the Bush era BLM grazing regulations which had violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. This is a big step in getting the land back to the use of the wild and feral animals who should be using it, rather than ranchers.

But we have a long way to go.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Petition to the White House

I am hoping that folks have already been writing to their Senators and Representatives about supporting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966). Now there is a petition on the White House petition site to ask Obama to support this bill. Please sign this, we need to get this done now. It's been so long.

We petition the Obama administration to: Support a Ban on Horse Slaughter

You do need to create an account, but that's pretty painless, once done you will find many other petitions that you may wish to take part in. Like ...

Restore the Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to its original intent that no organization or person be exempt.

Which needs 5,000 signatures and is well below 200!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The value of the backyard rescue

When people look at the idea of getting a horse in need, they usually think of going through a rescue organization. This is a great thing, of course, these horses need homes, the groups need to make room. Room enough is a big issue, there often just isn't. Therefore many groups offer their other resources to those who must rehome their horses, without taking the horse, giving people who want to have some assurance their horses will be somewhat safer (there are no guarantees while the option still exists) from going to slaughter or otherwise end up in an abusive situation. There are many who see going through a rescue as the only option to save horses, but this isn't the case. Again, because there isn't enough room. Or money. Or volunteers. Or other resources. And because not everyone is conscientious enough to utilize a rescue. Some, in fact, probably would be just as happy if their horse went to slaughter, as long as they got rid of it.

Any horse that is sold cheap and, even more so, any going "free to good home" is a rescue opportunity. Horses dumped somewhere are too, of course. These horses often end up either in a bad home (a cheap or free horse is far less likely to get proper care), slaughtered or, if lucky, end up at a rescue. The last, of course, keeps another horse from having a spot. A few end up back yard rescued, taken by someone who will treat a free or cheap horse well. Even if that horse isn't perfect, and few are.

But for some of us any horse is a gem.

Saoradh had been a backyard rescue of the worst sort. He was starving and was owned by someone both ignorant and uncaring who had just hoped to make a buck on some horses. He'd come from a history of abuse, was scared and scarred. If we'd not have found him he'd have died within a very short time, if he'd been found by or reported to the vet first he'd likely have been destroyed as too far gone and never had a chance. He was indeed a gem.

Many years before that, I did my first backyard rescue, just a few miles from where I found Saoradh on the same road. The place we found him at is now the home of the dairy farm we buy from, actually, but the, obviously, owned by someone else. I'm glad the farm has been rescued too, as it were, now a place where humane treatment is the key. Phoenix was a Shetland with Cushings, also starved (because he had a big belly was the excuse, never mind the bones poking out everywhere else). I had no plans to have a tiny pony at that time, but it was an age when up here backyard rescues were really the only option, there were no organizations that existed as far as I or anyone I knew (including the farrier who trimmed his rocker feet) knew. He lived out his life here, just as a pet and as a companion to my Mum's Morgan stallion. He was an unruly brat, of course, nearly as stereotypical of Shetland as one can be, but a gem all the same.

Saorsa is the first horse I got through a rescue, she may or may not be the last. Because with no rescue real close, sometimes the backyard ones come first. And we're doing it again. This time the horse is in far better shape and is safe, because she was dumped on our Saorsa's trainer. She had belonged to our trainer before, actually, but had been sold and after three years unceremoniously dumped back with her. The trainer can't keep her, she has enough equine mouths to feed, like a rescue sometimes there just isn't enough room or money. So there's some feeling that she's not a rescue, she's safe. But where might she go? What might happen? There's always the chance that she'd end up in a bad situation or taking up room at a rescue which then won't have room for another. So we're taking her. Because our trainer knows we don't think a cheap horse is worthless, their monetary cost means nothing, it's what's in their hearts that counts and all horses are gems. Misty certainly is.

We need another horse, a "husband horse" literally; my husband had never been on a horse until he rode Misty a short time ago. And Misty is perfect, as perfect as horses might be. She's in her late teens, been trained, has a good temperament. She was apparently in a sort of "petting zoo" situation, however, and it has affected her. She's not the same, loving, people focused horse that had been sold, which is one reason that the trainer was leery about what might happen to her. She's obedient, but unwilling, unfriendly and just sort of puts up with you. This is characteristic of a people-focused horse who hasn't had anyone to bond with for three years. She was brushed and petted by who knows how many kids on days that she was working, probably had food thrown at her; she doesn't want to connect because no one has connected with her for three years.

She'll come here, we'll work with her, as long as it takes for her to figure out it's okay to connect with us. We'll have the rest of her life *knocksonwood* to do this. She'll be coming home forever. She'll have Saorsa to teach some horse social skills to, which is the other reason we need another riding horse (she's small, but not that small, while our Mini horses are far to small to be safe with Saorsa). She won't end up at a rescue, she won't end up in slaughter, she won't end up abused by someone who thinks she's worthless. Because she's a gem.

Addendum: I don't know why I didn't think about it, as it is a discussion I had not long ago, but really the Minis my parent's bought were backyard rescues too. Many pet Minis are, because so many of them go oversized, these are unwanted by breeders and show folk, and so are sold to those wanting pets or non-competitive driving horses. Minis do not end up at commercial slaughter, because they are too small for the facilities, but can end up in horribly abusive situations and many end up at rescues every year. These "larger" Minis are a great option for rescue, either backyard or through a group, for those who are willing to take care of them but aren't equipped to take on large horses. Again, it saves the ones who might be abused, it keeps room open for rescues.