Monday, March 17, 2008

The sea of free horses

Just in case anybody is looking for a free horse! (C'mon, you know how it goes...some of you have space and are looking for a new money pit, I just know it!)

In Hawaii, a 4 year old "male" QH (stallion? gelding? Who knows?) "Tends to be unruly for the younger riders."

In Oregon, somebody blew out this mare's knee barrel racing her, so you guessed it, she's free!

Is this the same mare or yet another mare with a "blow knee"

In Virginia, Arab cross grade gelding admittedly behind on everything:
"Behind on coggins, vaccinations, feet, underweight. Due to job loss I have been unable to properly care for him. Barn manager is kicking me out at the end of the month and I have no where to take him."

Come to our Natural Horsemanship Clinic and Win A Free Horse! (giggling...and I bet a very special horse it is indeed! Probably flunked out of the last clinic!)

Near Seattle: Free TB mare. I've seen pics on this one and she's skinny. "Has had a lot of foals," and god knows that didn't finance HER retirement, did it?

In Massachusetts - free Standardbred. No details, apparently owner is not capable of operating Craigslist herself:

In Portland, Oregon - Free horse "for retirement only." Julie, let me tell you something about retirement for a horse. It's something I write a check for every month. You should too. Sounds like Joe has been through enough.

In Colorado - 17 hand TB gelding. "Serviceably sound" - LOVE that term. AKA kinda trots sound, on a straight line, on really good footing, wearing $125 bar shoes and pads, so long as there's no weight on his back and the weather is dry and it's an even numbered day during the waxing moon.

In Fresno, California - free horse to "anyone who will come get her." So that'd be the kill buyer.

In Kamloops, B.C., Canada - free 2 year old "mix filly" that "was a rescue."

In Sacramento, California - yet another old lesson horse who needs to retire - but we are sure as hell not paying for it ourselves!

Appaloosa with an inoperable bone chip in Washington - of course, free free free! "Pooh was dealt a bad hand 10 months ago in an accident with a gate. He has an inoperable bone chip in his left front fetlock. While it is possible the chip may be absorbed over time, it has not significantly improved." So, you owned him, he got hurt in your ownership, but somehow you do not think it is your problem to care for him for the rest of his life. Typical. You know who dealt him the bad hand? YOU.

In Texas, another old lesson horse getting dumped. Because god forbid YOU keep him and care for him after he spent years tolerating beginners and putting money in YOUR pockets.

Blind araloosa in Ohio that they can't afford to care for, and are hoping they can foist off on someone else:

In California, broken down 24 year old barrel horse "ONLY TO A GOOD HOME WHO WILL HAVE HER FOR THE REST OF HER DAYS"...since heaven forbid I keep her myself and don't get to run barrels for a couple of years.

And on a more positive note, I found this in my searching and all I can say is HOORAY for responsible parenting.

My point, as usual is - if you broke it, as far as I'm concerned, you bought it - for life. If you break a horse down showing it or gaming it or the horse has an accident while in your ownership, then in my opinion you owe it a home for life. And certainly if it just plain gets old and develops chronic issues like arthritis or blindness while in your ownership. I have no problem with re-selling sound horses. I have no problem with doing care leases on horses with issues to a more appropriate light use home. What I take issue with is breaking it and then letting it out of your ownership so that virtually anything can happen to it down the road. Uh-uh. You broke it, now take responsibility for it. If you showed it for five years, it deserves better than to wind up on a double-decker while you proudly tell people you "found such a good home!" (that for some reason, is just too busy to send pictures or updates...but you're sure everything is OK!) As we've discussed before, some kill buyers are better actors than you'd find in Hollywood, and absolutely can convince you your horse is going to a good home. If you must rehome an old/crippled horse due to finances, do it like a rescue - site check, check references, and get a proper, legal signed contract. Yeah it is a pain in the butt, so are many things in life - do it anyway. You owe it to your horse.