Thursday, January 26, 2012

What are They Supposed to do?

*2:15 PM CDT Update - Descriptions of the links, just so you guys aren't scared to go read...*

Fugly Newbies post this ....
Fugly new writers make fun of folks with bad grammar, trying to sell off their horses dirt cheap. They poke fun at the low prices, and further make fun of the owners for breeding their horses. Pretty much saying, "How could someone be so stupid to breed when they're not rich?"

Rescue groups go and do things like this ...
Rescue group sarcastically offers $2,000 "to anybody who can prove to them why we need horse slaughter". It's very sarcastic, because absolutely nobody can make a proof they buy into.

So what's an owner to do when they're in a tight spot? Here's the scenario...

Married, have a few kids, live in a decent house (that's not paid for), own a decent truck (that's not paid for), and a few horses in the back pasture.
Lose your job, run out of "stash emergency money". You've got to choose between your mortgage, groceries, and the horse feed bill.

Can't starve the horses, now. Can't even skip a bit, and let them lose any weight, or your neighbors are going to report you. Can't give them away, rescues are all filled up, and even if they weren't, you can no longer afford the fuel to haul them 3 hrs one way. You could call the vet in to euthanize them, but vet says over the phone, "There's nothing wrong with them, no reason to put them down." You could humanely shoot them, but you don't know anybody with a tractor powerful enough to dig the holes, and your kids sure don't need to see you shooting horses, or the big "mystery horse size dirt piles", either.

So you list them online for sale. List them cheap, and be honest about their limitations. Just had the farrier out to trim, and a few of them have tender toes, but they'll probably be better in a week or so. Got to be grammatically perfect now, or you'll end up getting teased and attacked for not advertising your back yard horses just like those fancy sport horse warmblood breeders.

What is someone supposed to do in that case? Just how much money do you set aside for an emergency? How low do you let those funds get before you find a way to get rid of the horses? O Oh wait, can't "get rid of them", either. Those same anti-slaughter, pro-rescue, "save the ponies" people? They think you own a horse for life, no matter what. "Sorry kids, no supper tonight. Go eat hay with the horses, if there's any left."


SunnySD said...

Fanatics on one side, and the ignorant on the other.... Common sense says don't have more horses than you can adequately feed & care for (or kids,for that matter), and it also says that horses were food before they were domesticated, and slaughter handled humanely might offer an easier, or at least briefer, end for unwanted horses than starving to death. But if everyone was sane and reasonable, the world would be a lot different.

Anonymous said...

not even bothering to read it because I hate the fugly blog. I'm sure it's a bunch of ignorance spweing anyway.

Jennifer said...

*stirring the fire*
"Don't have more horses than you can afford."

Fine enough,, BUT... What then when you are laid off your job, and are unemployed? What about when you are forced to choose between the mortgage and the horse grain? I can plan for my current paycheck, and maybe a month or two without. I don't plan for 99 weeks of unemployment checks, or worse, that first week without pay.

horsemom - fugly is new set of writers - Cathy the wacky has gone on to new deceptive nonsense ;). not as crass as it used to be. I found the post interesting, a debate I have seen before but only today had the courage to post about it.

GunDiva said...

Caught between a rock and a hard place, some of these horse owners are. What to do? Feed the kids or the horses?

I haven't clicked the link yet, not sure if I'm going to, but it's a tough place to be and I pray I'm never in that position.

Mrs Mom said...

Thats the problem-- "Common Sense" is one of the rarest things on the freaking planet IMO.

I tried reading the "New and Improved" Fugly blog. Still felt like I was wasting my time. So I went outside to see my horse instead and clean the paddock. ;)

I don't have the answers for folks in tight spots, but I sure do empathize with them. Making fun of people in that position though? Yeah-- umm... something about living in a glass house and casting the first stone comes to mind, know what I mean?

Good post Jen. Lots of food for thought!

SunnySD said...

Definitely food for thought, and I empathize with the people having to make tough decisions after lost jobs or health issues. Let's face it, it could easily be any of us these days. And there's no doubt fugly takes things beyond the pale to rabidly petty and downright mean.

But... reality says that if your horses are indifferently bred, lack any kind of training, aren't "pretty", aren't gelded (or are, but again, no training)... AND your ad is grammatically crappy, pictures scrawny, fuzzy animals posed against rolls of wire and junked cars, and generally displays your ignorance about the breed or type you're attempting to sell... the kill buyer at the local auction just hit the jackpot. Your horses are probably going to be relegated to the $.30 a pound pen unless the right softie happens along.

What to do? Talk to friends, family, and explore your options. (That's what we did when my position was eliminated a couple of years back - although thankfully everything worked out, nothing missed health care or went hungry, but it was scary for a few months.) Set some savings aside, not just for the ponies, either - even a couple months worth of cushion to pay bills is some wiggle room.

Beyond that, educate yourself - how would you describe your horses, realistically, that would make someone want them. And educate your horses - make them as marketable as possible for landing them a good, safe, situation. Try to make sure that you take attractive pictures it you have to advertise them. Spellcheck helps, too... And it doesn't hurt to have horse-y connections you can reach out to - people that know you and your horses, people that might know of someone looking, or that might have a pasture you could use for a month or two that costs less than your current boarding situation, or can help temporarily if you have to relocate. And now I'm going to go saddle-soap Sunny's saddle since it's still dark and too early to go rub his furry belly yet.