Friday, June 13, 2008

The lucky ones that get away...

After the blog the other day about horse tripping, a friend of mine e-mailed to ask if I knew that was the history behind her rescue horse. I had no idea. I know you guys love happy endings, so I'm going to share this one with you!

Ally got Cassie from CBER a few years ago. CBER always strongly cautions adopters against trying to find out where their horse came from, citing reasons like "they won't sell to the feedlot owner if you do that and then they'll NEVER have a chance to be SAVED." Oh, bullshit. It's all about the fact that people sell these horses to ol' Chuck for $50 and probably will be more than a little up in arms when they find out Chuck and CBER sell them for $700 without putting any money into them. Anyway, Ally's just not that obedient, so she tracked down her mare's history.

Cassie is an Ara-Appaloosa sired by Rock N Love (son of Rock N Moon, a stallion who wound up at the CBER feedlot as well - thin and blind - and was rescued and is now living in southern Washington state as a much loved pet gelding). She was foaled in 2000 and the breeders let her sit in the field, unhandled, and grow up wild as a March hare. I bitch about this all the time, as you know, because you are destroying your horse's future when you do this. It is like letting your kid drop out of school in the 7th grade. Well, unsurprisingly, that is exactly what happened with Cassie. They finally dragged her in two years later and a trainer (who Ally was able to speak with) put 30 days of ground work on her. They had the trainer concentrate more on Cassie's sister, Tracy, so Tracy got broke. Cassie just got halter broke. Then, back in the field they went for another two years.

In 2005, the breeder leased both mares out to a guy well known in Benton City for putting on backyard rodeos. The trainer was appalled. He had wanted to buy both mares to train and resell but by the time he heard about this, the mares were off to the rodeo. They were used all summer.

In September of 2005, both mares were dumped at Chuck's lot. They were both absolutely terrified and unhandleable at this point. Ally adopted Cassie. A dressage rider in South Dakota adopted Tracy. Cassie was so traumatized that Ally was not able to start her under saddle until late last year. She has an indented scar across her nose, a couple of splints, and a large scapula plus internal shoulder damage. There may be floating bone in there that needs to dissolve. So far she is sound and as the pictures show, riding due to having lucked out and found a very experienced and patient adopter. Ally has decided to keep Cassie permanently.

Tracy has a fused broken jaw in addition to similar splints. Tracy also has an extreme bucking problem. Her adopter has not given up on her and has even been able to succesfully compete with her. Ally believes Tracy's problems are worse because she was ridden at the rodeos whereas Cassie was merely chased and tripped but at least did not have bad experiences about someone being on her back or a bridle being on her head.

This is what happens when you breed carelessly.

This is what happens when you fail to train.

This is what happens when you have to dump your stock.

These mares, despite the horrors they went through, are the lucky ones. The unlucky ones have long since been eaten.

Now, get out there and train your green horses. It's the weekend and at least up here in the PNW, the weather is finally awesome. Make sure there are other options for your horses if things go bad for you.

P.S. Bookmark this blog for people who tell you that only lame, old, fugly horses go to slaughter.