Ima little grumpy today…why, you ask?
Well, because it’s that time of year when some people work very hard to guilt horse owners into taking their horses for all sorts of
~ I have no time for him/her! You’re home all day!
~ I can’t find hay!
~ Hay is too expensive!
~ You have 4 already, what’s one more?!?
This time of year is exhausting…especially with all the times I have to say “Nope. No room here for more animals.”
Since the Girls came home, I’ve gotten 5-6 requests a year. I don’t know if this is a normal thing, or if I have a big target on my farm, or what.
Fact is, I have 4 horses, 3 pigs, 34 chickens, 1 dog, and a lot of cats…I don’t need more animals.
And, not someone else’s cast offs.
Look, if you’ve gotten a horse but then discovered you have no time, or can’t afford it, then sell the horse.
If you can’t sell the horse because of shitty manners, or poor handling, well, you have a few options…
1. Lie and sell the horse as kid broke (DO NOT DO THIS…If you do this, you are a grade A asshole and someone will get hurt, and not the someone who should…YOU.)
2. Take it to an auction to sell. Knowing full well that there is a very real possibility of the horse going for meat. It is what it is.
3. Put it down.
Sound cold? Maybe it is.
But I’m tired of the emails, the FB messages, and odd phone calls from people telling me their sob stories.
I have taken on 1 horse as a hardship case, and that was for a very good friend…and it wasn’t for any of the crappy excuses listed above…
I won’t do it again, and certainly not from some schmoe who just doesn’t want to do the work to find/purchase hay or for proper placement/sale.
It’s easy to say “Aw, you have 4 what’s one more?”
One more is another 8000ish lbs of hay for the winter…
One more is another 200ish lbs of beet pulp…
One more is another 100ish lbs of flax…
One more is another 2000ish lbs of straw for bedding…
One more is another $50/hoof trim…
One more is another $1000 that has to be added to the emergency vet fund…and let me tell you, after this past spring/summer, the vet fund is hurting. We had some big bills for horses that needed attention…but that goes with owning horses. You treat what you can yourself, and when you can’t you call the vet.
So, tell me again, how easily I should take on your “one more” because you can’t be bothered?
Nope. Not doing it.
I used to handle this much differently… I used to refer the people to the local rescues, give them contact info for hay (Never, ever my personal supplier though. Nope. I guard that contact info with my life! lol), and offer ideas for how they can work extra jobs for money to keep their animals.
98% of the time those things were met with resistance, and a few folks were downright assholes about it. I’ve been called nasty names, had guilt trip layed on me, been told they know where I live and they’ll just drop the animal off…
And I am not involved in any sort of Rescue!
I’m just a horse owner.
Yeah, I blog, I have a FB page for the Farm, I share a ton of pictures of my horses…but nothing anywhere that would indicate I want/need/am willing to take in unwanted animals.
People are nuts.
So now, I just say, “Look, ’round here, the only animals we are adding to the Farm are ones we can eat. What’s your horse’s health history? Could we eat him/her if we had to?”
I don’t typically hear back from them, and if I do, it’s with disgust and profanity.
I hate doing that. I really do.
Horses are not food, IMO.
Yes, I know, hypocrite, because we’re going to eat the piggies and some of the chickens. Got it. Don’t need the lecture. Whatever.
To me, horses, while livestock, are not food.
But, if I have to make people think we eat them so that maybe they might do the right thing by their animals, instead of trying to dump them off, well, so be it.
If nothing else, maybe they’ll stop trying to lay the guilt and responsibility on me.
I have enough on my plate, thank you very much.