Thursday, November 6, 2008

Planning FAIL

From Craigslist:

"We have 60 head of horses that we have out on pasture right now, and they are very quickly running out of feed. We are trying to haul feed to them when we can, but cannot afford to buy hay for all of them all winter long, and cannot sell them with the market the way it is right now. So we are a bit stuck. We are paying $10 a head a month for the pasture they are on right now, old cattle pasture, and that is all that we would be able to afford for some new pasture for the winter, $600 a month. It won't matter if they are all together or a few here at this pasture, and a few there at another one, just as long as we can feed them. If you have any, or know of any pasture, or even just grassy areas that we could put fence on please let us know. Or, if you know of some cheap hay that we could haul to them while they are still in this pasture, please contact us, we would appreciate it so much! In the end of winter and beginning of spring we have close to 20 mares that will be foaling, so this would also be a great opportunity for you to see some babies born. Thanks for looking at our ad, and we hope to hear from anyone that can help!"

I wonder how much more of this we're going to see. You know, here's a good exercise. Look out the window and count heads. Do you have a number that you could feed even if you suddenly got laid off (it's happening to a lot of people!) or if hay went up another 25% (very likely)? If you're near the edge, don't breed this spring and do not acquire more. 60 horses, 20 of them pregnant, do not just happen. Most of us do not have 60 horses.

If they can't afford to feed, you know they can't afford to deworm and the hooves aren't up to date, either. It's just gonna be a huge wreck by the time the horses get seized, a highly likely outcome from the sound of that ad.

If those of us who have a reasonable number of horses "go under" in this economy, it won't be such a huge mess for a rescue to clean up. Those of you with 40, 50, 60 or more, whether you're a "rescue" or a breeder doesn't matter - it's just too many for someone else to help if you go broke. People keep sending me that Bedonna chick who's already been featured here, the one who has ten stallions, who is now selling horses "cheapest by the trailer load!" (yes, that's an actual quote from her web site). People like that just won't stop. She's throwing in free breedings with every mare you buy. She doesn't get at all her part in the horse overpopulation problem that sends thousands to slaughter every year, and she probably never will.

Please, please, be smarter than that.