Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Creating sanctuary - no more "unwanted" horses

Creating sanctuary - no more "unwanted" horses
To get top equine athletes of the highest caliber, thousands are bred.  
21 horses will start in the Kentucky Derby.  They will all be 3 years old.  
In order to get these 21 top athletes, there were 31,750  Thoroughbred horses bred and registered with the Jockey Club in the USA in 2009.  Of these 31,750, 21 made it to this top race.  What happens to those 31,729 horses that didn’t make it?  What happens to the 21 that do?
Well, whether they have the temperament, build, and heart to make it to the track or not, they will be done with racing careers by about age 9.  
Horses live about 30 years in captivity when they are well cared for.

Horses bred for the track end up in many other types of homes. 
Concerning horses bred for other sports it’s a similar process of elimination.   We had 75,225 new Quarter Horses registered in the USA in 2011.  We have large numbers of Arabian Horses, Warmbloods, gaited horses, and sport ponies being bred each year as well.
There are some places where horses who are no longer rideable are allowed to live out their lives, either in large pastures or on smaller fenced sections of land.  Wild-caught mustangs, retired show horses, trail mounts and pasture pets also compete for these available spaces.
It’s probably not a coincidence that 90,000-140,000 horses are sent to slaughter each year.
Now, can you see why it looks like cheering for horse sports is also cheering for horse slaughter?  There is still a thriving market for young prospects so people are going to keep breeding these numbers of horses.  Until we start cheering for and providing homes for horses who can't perform and cheering for breeders who stop breeding and switch to rescuing, we are hiding from the actual problem of horse slaughter which simply fills a need to dispose of our unwanted horses.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) position on unwanted horses:
We are extremely concerned about the welfare of unwanted horses and the reports we're seeing and hearing of increasing numbers of horses being abandoned, abused, and neglected. There are more horses than there are homes for them, and we need solutions. To develop short- and long-term solutions that are viable and sustainable, cooperation among a variety of groups will be necessary. We're confident that if breeders, owners, horse rescuers, and other stakeholders can collaborate and cooperate, this welfare problem can be effectively addressed.   

We are preparing to solve this problem at OurHorses.  We are creating a value for all horses whether or not they can perform for humans.  We see our own value as caretakers and guardians of all horses and humans who are alive today.    

It's a big task we've set ahead of ourselves but if not us, who?  We will start this experiment by creating homes for all unwanted horses in our home base, North San Juan, California as well as providing sanctuary for humans who want to rest and join us as caretakers of horses.  We need a lot of help from warriors of the heart.

Join us in the creation of this world.  You can begin by sharing this message with people to raise awareness of the problem.

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