I had my eyes opened for me today while I was at my second job. I’m one of the On Site managers for a large Self-Storage facility here in Ocala. We also do things like offer people shipping supplies, copy services and fax service. A woman came in today, wanting to send some paperwork via fax to get 2 of her horses registered for an upcoming sale. I love love love horses. Always have. Since I was a kid I’ve had ponies and horses. Hell, I legally changed my name to the name of the first pony that I owned. So, it’s safe to say that I think horses are the most beautiful creature that God has put on this Earth. It also doesn’t hurt that I live in the Horse Capital of the US. I used to think that Kentucky was the horse capital of the world, but all you have to do is look Ocala, Florida up, and you’ll see that this city owns the rights to that title. There are horses and farms everywhere. And all kinds of horses. Not just Thoroughbreds. ALL kinds of horses. If you’re not driving behind and old person in Ocala, you are probably behind a horse trailer.
This woman and I got to talking about horses of course. I told her that the only thing that had been holding me back from getting another horse, was finding a place to board one. Well, wouldn’t you know……she boards horses. And her prices are extremely within my price range, so I’m happy to say that I am now considering it. I always swore I’d have another horse before I died, so maybe I will. I can hear my son now saying that I’ll probably fall off and break a hip ! Who knows? It could happen.
So anyway, I mentioned how cruel I thought the Horse Slaughter Law was that Obama has just signed. Well………..let me tell you, I learned a few things about that today. And I must say, I’ve changed my mind on the whole issue. The only thing that I’d seen on it was the maybe 3 seconds of a YouTube video that was going around on Facebook. I couldn’t take it. Horses being pushed into some kind of grinder while they were still alive. It was horrible. So naturally, I thought that if it’s all like that, I didn’t want any part of it, and it just gave me another reason (as if I needed one) to hate President Obama. The woman I was talking to, her name is Skip, told me how bad things were getting. And that she was glad that the Federal Government was getting involved with the regulation of the slaughter. Because, as it was, horses were still being shipped to Mexico for slaughter, where it was cruel and inhumane the way that it was being done. We have horses here that are starving to death on the open range. For a time in the past, the wild Mustangs were being chipped so that they couldn’t conceive a foal for a year. But then the animal rights folks got involved and stopped that, and now they are breeding themselves out of grazing land and are starving. Here in Ocala, we have a National Forest. Skip was telling me about a time that she and some friends loaded up their horses in a 6 horse trailer and went riding in the Forest. By the time that they had gotten back from their ride, they came back to 6 strange horses in their trailer. People are so desperate to give away horses that they can’t afford to feed these days that they are leaving them in other people’s trailers.
There aren’t many regulations on the transport of the horses that are being shipped out of the country for slaughter. We have got to change those laws, and allow this necessary evil. The problem is that we have allowed others to put the “pet” label on our horses. And maybe to some people they are a pet. I always felt that way myself. But they are also livestock. With the government involved, at least we know that there would be some kind of regulation on the manner of the slaughter. No, they aren’t going to be quietly put to sleep like your dog when it’s their time to go. They will be shot. Quickly and humanely. If we allow people outside of the borders to do it…..well, maybe you’ve seen those videos. They are awful. Even PETA has gotten on board with it, and are in favor of us regulating it.
There are mean, nasty, dangerous horses. Just like there are dangerous dogs and cats and any other animal. They NEED to be put down. If someone wants to keep their horse on their own land when it’s time for them to die, they can do that. But the old, and starving horses should be put out of their misery. In a safe, clean and humane way.
Skip was telling me that just the rules that are in place for trying to sell a horse at a sale are ridiculous. She has to spend almost $100 between the vet exam and shots, the commission fees and the registration fees. And that’s just to get them into a sale where they MIGHT bring $75. That’s why people are turning them loose in the woods to starve to death or get eaten by bears. It’s sad.
I don’t want to see ANY horse die. I marvel at their beauty and their intelligence. But there are too many in some places. I don’t know if this is the right answer or not. But I know I’ve been given alot to think about on the subject.