Guest Post – Kijiji strikes again!


Here’s the link to the ad:

Here is the listing (my comments in red):

2010 16.1hh flashy TB gelding. Only track broke, came up from Kentucky this fall and has had his down time (so you thought you’d work with a 5yr old off-track TB… that’s not a job for just anyone so good for you!).
No time to train him
(Huh? So not +/-5 months after you got him you suddenly have no time? I revoke my “good for you” statement!), he is sitting in a paddock doing nothing (of course he is….). Has an amazing temperament (How would you know? You don’t work with him!).
Must sell, serious enquiries only please. (Why I wonder?)
No videos. (Again, I ask why?)

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I’ll start by saying that ads like this really, really bug me. Besides the obvious (i.e., poorly written ad with no useful info, bad pictures, etc.), it makes you wonder what’s really going on here.

No time to train him:  Why?

  • Because it was way more work than you thought?
  • Because you had good intentions and thought you had the ability only to realize your skills are not what they need to be to take on a project like this?
  • Maybe you do have the skills but once you got him home and tried to work with him he turned out to be unsound or perhaps a mean, persnickety bastard?

No time my ass, there’s something else going on here…

Must sell: Why?
Generally speaking if someone says “the fall”, it means October/November. That was only a mere 4 months ago. Don’t tell me that 4 months ago you didn’t have even a small idea of what you would be doing in March.

What I find baffling interesting is that it doesn’t look like this seller is hurting for money.  Assuming they are footing the bill, it cost them something to buy him and bring him up from Kentucky, he’s wearing a nice blanket, is playing in a nice grassy pasture and they are only asking $1,000. At that price, we can be sure they are losing money on this sale. But why? Why are they willing to cut their losses so quickly?

No videos: Why?

We all have fancy phones this day and age… get out there and take a 30 second video. A video of him goofing off without his blanket on is better than nothing: at the very least it will give us some idea of his movement and that he is at least pasture sound. Maybe a video of him being cross-tied and groomed or longed? Something? Anything? Give your horse a bloody chance for goodness sake!

But here’s what really bugs me:

  • The horse actually looks really cute! He’s a perfect size in my opinion and look at his sweet face! Those nice high socks and funky blaze would be flashy in any ring! Of course we can’t see how he’s built thanks to bad pictures and a blanket (I will give bonus points for the fact that he is blanketed, we had a record cold February here in Ontario).
    Hopefully he finds a good home on his looks alone. Yeah, yeah, I know…. There are tons of homes out there just looking to purchase a horse ‘cause it’s nice to look at…


  • I recently bought my second horse. It was something I had been thinking about for well over a year and that does not include the time I took to look for the right horse once the decision was made. I grappled over how much TIME I would have/need, my goals, the costs, I researched local stables, I researched vets in the area, etc. etc., all BEFORE said purchase. Heck, the hubby and I even had multiple discussions about me plunging back into horse ownership. Why? Because horses are not only costly, they are a HUGE responsibility so a purchase is worth discussing at great length! Apparently you didn’t do that…..


  • Fall was only 4 months ago. Do you know how much you can accomplish in 4 months?!?! A lot!
    The mare I purchased had/has training issues thanks to someone else’s ignorance. I admit her main selling feature was great breeding as she has just above average movement and yes, she happens to be pretty as well.  However, she had some health and training issues. For example, she tried to kick you while grooming, she was quite restless/tense in the cross-ties, I couldn’t mount her without help, she reared, she couldn’t trot/canter without falling on her face and/or racing (no she’s not an off-track TB)… I could go on.  Well in 3 MONTHS, I not only addressed some health issues (ulcers anyone!); I also did a lot of in-hand work: the kicking while grooming is gone (thanks to the discomfort of ulcers being addressed), she’s much more relaxed in general thanks to a calm, patient, environment and I can now mount her from the block while she stands quietly.  Although she still needs a lot of work, we can trot half the arena quietly and we’ve even cantered nicely for a few strides once or twice. Is she ready for the show ring? Heck no but she has come a long way in 3 months with me riding only 2 to 3 times a week.  My point is; your horse doesn’t need to be a super star in 4 months but as a buyer (and to give your horse a better chance); I would expect to see some increase in his level of training, not the copout of “no time”.


  • I’m going to hazard a guess and say that you thought you could flip this horse quickly and make a few bucks. Well, the fact that you didn’t think about how much effort and time it might take to retrain this horse, especially if he’s more difficult than some, to an appropriate point where he could be safe for someone else to work with is shitty shameful of you!  Now you’re trying to dump him for $1,000.


I don’t care how good your intentions were. Intentions don’t save or train horses in need of homes. YOU SUCK! We all know the statistics on where this horse is likely going to end up! How many untrained off-track TB’s do you think there are in our area?  Well, let me put it this way; you didn’t need to haul one up from Kentucky, you have plenty to choose from up here seeing that there are 3 large TB racetracks within about a 150km radius of your area.  All you did was add another horse to an already flooded market thanks to your lack of foresight and planning.

Shame. On. You.

Fugly in- this is a really cute TB that would be flashy in any ring or even just going down the trail.  If you upgrade this horse let me know so we can follow your progress.  Makes me wish I was a little closer and in the market because he is CUTE! 

Scammers keep on scamming

Today we meet Haley Olson of Oregon.  Haley came to our attention due to her misuse of public facilities.  Sweetheart you cannot quarantine sick horses at the public fairgrounds. Especially when you haven’t told anyone that one the horses belong to you and two that they are there for quarantine.  Congratulations on exposing a whole set of horses to whatever gunk this horse has:


Because not only are you keeping horses at the fairgrounds that don’t belong there you are not making sure they are properly contained.  This one got out and went visiting, I would be so thrilled if my horse was there and was now exposed to God knows what because you can’t manage to find a suitable place and keep them contained.  It also would help if you would tell the fairgrounds manager that the horses are yours so he doesn’t have to go looking for you.  I am a believer in it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission but when the health of animals is on the line then it is a no go.  I have a feeling you didn’t tell the manager the horses were yours because you knew he wouldn’t let you keep them there knowing where they came from.

If you want to rescue horses that is great but find a place to quarantine that doesn’t put other horses at risk. Speaking of these rescue horses, how are you paying for them?  It doesn’t appear that you have a job.  It does appear you have left a wake of scams so let’s investigate those.

How about we start with Juniper Stables. a company you registered in January of 2014.  According to the BBB there were 8 people who filed complaints against your business due to you scamming them.  You held a tack sale, people bought things, and then you didn’t send the tack, or you sent the wrong tack.  Based on the complaints you made out of there with over $1000 and then closed the business. Did you ever pay those people back? I really hope your credit card processor took all the money out of your account.

That was last year and clearly you couldn’t get away with that for long.  Although you did try to get some money through under the Juniper Stables name but that was a total bust.  Your phone number, name, and email though are tied to a lot of things.  We have this ad for a virtual assistant.  Then we have an also defunct Eastern Oregon Youth Project.  Which was a non profit (without IRS status) that was supposed to help at risk kids. What happened to that project? Buzzfile estimated you were pulling in $91,000 a year. While yes that is an estimate where did all that money go?  It seemed like it was successful so why don’t you do it anymore?

This last one is my favorite.  It just screams scam.  Website is the home page show mustangs for adoption although two horses share the same picture.  Not sure if they are twins or if someone just sucks at pictures.  So that part looks good.  Then we get to the kind of weird part.  They build decks, and patios and other custom porches.  This business is not registered at all with the state and I love how all their required license numbers are just 12345. This isn’t a scam, no not at all!

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Her main photo is what appears to be a stock photo as it is used in several articles like this one. How many people have fallen for this one?

So now we have come to where Haley is today.  Her new venture It appears this is where she is trying to turn feedlot horses by quarantining them at the fairgrounds.  She seems to be on a mission acquiring new horses and by accounts is not around to take care of the horses she has. The submitter found it particularly odd that they say they have a vet and farrier on site, because the fairgrounds does not.  Does she have another facility? Only one address I could find for her, she has several, looks to be anything close to rural and it doesn’t appear from google earth that there are any horse facilities at that address.

I do have to commend Haley on her progress with Walter.

Here he is on intake:



and then 30 Days later.  Wondering why his hock is so swollen and why he hasn’t had a good grooming but at least he gained weight.  Also she notes he has been seen by a vet a couple times but I thought they had a vet on site. hmm….



Haley you haven’t exactly left a wake of good things in your past.  If you want to be truly committed to helping these horses you must make sure you have the funds and resources to do it.  This doesn’t mean dumping horses at the fairgrounds that are sick and then not taking care of them. This doesn’t mean getting as many as you can because they are cheap and then not being able to feed them in three months. Seriously evaluate what you want to do with this horses thing. You are a TIP approved trainer so you have that going for you but you are ruining your reputation lickity split by not doing the right thing with the horses that you have.

The horse world is small and if you continue to scam people your reputation is going to be shot. It may already be as people are not happy about the potential exposure and contamination of the very public fairgrounds.  I also notice on Facebook one of your horses is due to foal. Foaling at the fairgrounds is also not a good idea as it exposes baby to things that it doesn’t need to as well.  Time for you to find your own place. Stop risking horse’s lives either your own, with the foal, or others with the snotty nosed escapee. And get it together and get a real job.

Is neglect abuse part 2

This picture and post are making the rounds on Facebook.


Gentle Giants absolutely did the right thing in this case. They took a horse that just needed a peaceful end.  Could she have been fixed, maybe, but she was in a lot of pain and letting her go was the most humane option.

The question now goes with how did she get like this.  The backstory is this horse was owned by an older couple. The wife had cancer and begged the husband not to rehome the horses until after she passed.  Well she passed and even though he almost immediately called the rescue she was already in this condition.  Some people on Facebook are calling for compassion for the couple but I agree with Gentle Giants, NO EXCUSES. 

This neglect did not happen overnight. This took years to get to this point. Years of someone not paying attention to this mare. I get that this couple may not have had the physical means to take care of this horse.  But there is always hired help.  You can always have the farrier come out with an assistant. If the mare is bad for the farrier you can always have the vet out to sedate the horse so feet can be done.  There were some posts saying they lived in a very rural area and couldn’t get a vet out there.  To that I say bullshit, there is always a vet available.  Yes you may have to pay a large trip charge but you could have gotten a vet out there for the right price.  Can’t afford to get the vet or farrier out? Then it is time to either euthanize the horse or rehome her.  They could have called Gentle Giants years ago.  A true horseman would have done just that, sick or not.  A true horseman could recognize that the horse deserves better.  I know when you are sick the horses can bring such a sense of normalcy.  I have lupus.  when I was really sick I went a month without seeing my horses.  The difference is I trusted the barn I had them boarded at, I talked with other boarders on a regular basis, I had my farrier out and paid him and I had my vet out and paid her. It isn’t that hard.  A lot of people are absentee owners and if they put their horses in trusted hands and it works out ok for the horses.  While it is not the most ideal situation a horse that is well cared for even with an absentee owner it is still better than an owner who can’t give them proper care. I also have in my will that my mare that has DSLD is to be euthanized upon my death because I don’t feel I should saddle anyone with her very involved care.  It is my hope that she will pass before me but since nothing in life in gaurenteed I want to make sure she never has a bad day in her whole life.  She means way to much to me to not ensure her peace for all her days.

This case is cruelty.  It doesn’t matter the situation.  There is nothing you could say that could convince me that a mare walking on broken bones is not abuse.  I think it is bullshit that because of the situation the owner probably won’t be charged.  You don’t get a free pass to abuse animals just because of your circumstances. 


This is why you don’t put all your eggs in one basket

If you remember a couple weeks back we talked about Smiling k9’s rescue in Indiana. The one that has two different names.  Which they have sort of addressed now. Still no explanation for why they have two names but there has to be a back story.

We used their case of a neglected foal for why we can’t save them all and why sometimes it is better to let them go peacefully to save money for cases that have a better chance of fully recovering,  Or in this case keeping your rescue open.

It appears that Smiling K9’s did not take that advice and now guess what they are in trouble.



Of course they don’t have any money so placing a Facebook ad for their gofundme that costs money seems like a good use of funds.  But now it is a sob story.  We won’t have hay or power, or even a place to live if you don’t give us money right now! This is where you figure out rescue is hard.  Where most good rescues are able to either personally fund their rescues or have at least 6 months to a year of emergency funds available so they don’t get in a situation where they are begging for it right now or the rescue is going to close.  Oh and we are going to spend money to tell you about it.

I am glad the foal seems to be doing better.  How much money did you put into him?  I wouldn’t be critizing you at all if you weren’t now begging for the funds to keep your rescue open.  Not just money to help with his vet and farrier bills but just to stay open.  Do you get it now? Do you get why we say sometimes it is better to let them go so you don’t run out of fucking money?  If you had the funds then as I said before by all means give it a go, but you clearly did not have to funds.  Less then a month later if you don’t get a flood of donations you are going under.  Huh?  This money problem didn’t happen overnight. You knew you were running out of money and you took on a hard case.  Did you think a hard case would garner sympathy and thus donations?  How did that work out for you?

We all know times are hard.  We all have to live within our means. That means not biting off more than we can chew. I hope you as a rescue have learned a hard lesson this month.  You really can’t save them all. It sucks but it is the life of a rescue.

If you do managed to pull through this disaster then you better evaluate every aspect of your rescue.  To figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it.  This means having a really good emergency fund and the means to take care of all the animals without outside help. This means having to pass on certain cases.  This means sometimes you do the kindest thing you can and give a horse the best last 24 hours of their life and let them go peacefully.  Rescues shouldn’t have to be bailing out rescues and it seems all too common these days.

I wrote this on March 24th.  On the 25th they posted this, they are getting really worried and admit they have no emergency fund and no back up plan.  Really, really poor planning on their part.  Screenshot_2015-03-25-18-30-35_zpslchochwq


We start them young and little!

I guess bad parenting isn’t limited to people with big horses.  I guess we did have the pony people a couple posts ago but this is crossing the line.


Oh but he doesn’t “ride” the foal around the junk heap “Kids just sit on her they have not rode her we just lead her with him on her”

I am sorry did you rewrite the definition of “ride” of which rode is the past tense.  Pretty sure ride still means to be carried or supported by.  Which by the looks of the picture is happening right there! Of course there is no helmet.  Wouldn’t want to protect our kid’s head.  Even falls from less than 2 feet can cause permanent brain damage and even in rare cases death.  Is that worth the risk for the “cute” shot.

Speaking of the cute shot, it isn’t cute.  That boy probably weighs 50% of what the mini weighs.  Twice what any horse should have on its back.  It doesn’t matter if it is for two minutes of two seconds it is hurting the mini.  Let’s get a backpack and fill it with a hundred pounds and have you haul it around.  A horse should only be asked to carry 20-25% of its body weight on its back. This also should take into consideration the health and condition of the horse.  This is a foal. This baby should not have any weight on her back until she is at least three and there is a good sized group of people who think minis should never have weight on their back even if it does meet the 25% rule. They really aren’t designed for it.  Even a little kid on a mini is usually sitting too far back and on the non weight bearing lumbar spine. They just have short little backs that make it hard logistically.  Do people do it, well yes, and in some cases it is just fine.  Those are older minis and usually are in pretty good condition.  I would still watch where the weight lands on them. Too far back on any horse and it can cause issues. Best way to test for this is to run your finger along the last rib up to the back.  There shouldn’t be any weight behind that point.

There are so many other ways you could showcase your mini for sale.  Cleaning up the junk in the background would be a huge help.  Since this is just a baby I would want to see that she leads well, loads on a trailer, stands for grooming and hoof picking, but no riding.  No even thinking of putting pressure on her still growing body.  There is just no reason to ruin her before she even turns two.

I hope this little mini find a new home, and soon before she is ruined.  I hope the parents listen to the advice there were given on Facebook and stop letting the kids ride the minis around.  Teach them to drive or do in hand work.  It is just as much fun and makes them more marketable.

Why fatten them up when we can just Slaughter them? Updated 3/18





Random musings from someone on Facebook.  Someone who may or may not have passed fourth grade spelling and grammar judging by their post. Someone who also runs a horse rescue.  Kara Bell is the proud owner of Rockin K Horse Rescue in Texas and is also pro-slaughter.   Even though her website states:


You forgot to mention Kara that if they cost too much money or just happen to be skinny you will ship them off on the first truck to Mexico.  In fact you have done it before.

It is interesting to note that while you state on your website that you started in 2013 you didn’t file with the state of Texas until November 24, 2014 and claim you are going to filing for your 501c3 status in 2015.  What are you waiting for? The slaughter markets to reopen?

How in the world could anyone in rescue support slaughter.  Support the terror those horses endure on the drive to the slaughter houses.  The terrors of being packed like sardines in a trailer, running the risk of falling and being trampled to death. The whole thing is cruel to horses. Even people like Temple Grandin who have tried to make a humane solution agree that slaughtering horses humanely is very difficult.  They just are different enough from cows that it just doesn’t work the same.  But this “rescuer” not only supports slaughter but also feel it is needed.

Do you know why there are so many skinny horses Kara?  It is not because there are no slaughter houses, because there still are, it is because people aren’t feeding them.  Every owner has a choice, and a commitment, they make when they purchase or acquire a horse, or any animal.  That choice, and commitment, is to care for the animal while the animal is in its care.  I am not going to say for the animal’s entire life, although that is how I personally feel, because I do understand that circumstances can change.  Those owner’s have choices, they could feed the horse like they should, they could find the horse another home, they could euthanize the horse but it is never acceptable to just let the horse continue to starve.  This is not the fault of not having slaughter houses.  This is the fault of breeding too many horses and not fostering a sense of responsibility in our society.

Just look at all the people accused of starving their horses Sherri Brunzell, Jerry Earls and countless others.  They all claim it was not their fault, the horses were old and all sorts of bullshit.  It is time people start taking some personal responsibility and saying that horse was skinny because I didn’t feed it properly.  It really doesn’t matter why, yes losing your job and not having money is a little different then just not feeding them because you don’t want to, but at the end of the day you chose that responsibility and the horses must be fed.

As a rescuer one would think you would understand this.  I know you are a relatively new rescue group, but you still should be able to see the very clear writing on the wall.  As a rescuer as well you should know a skinny horse is often the easiest to treat. All they usually need is food.  Yes sometimes there are other things you have to treat along the way worms, ulcers, bad teeth, but skinny horses are easy. It seems it is one of your mission statements to ” rehabilitate abused and neglected equines and place them into safe and permanent homes”. The pictures on your website show some horses having improvement in condition.  So why did you “waist” (sic)  your time and money on them?  What made them special? What made you waste time and money on any of them when you could have just sent them to slaughter.  Do you see the hypocrisy now?

Yes there are times when it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money.  I talked about this last week in you can’t save them all. There are times when draining the rescues coffers for one horse isn’t the best financial decision a rescue can make.  All rescues at one time or another have to make these hard decisions. It is never for a just skinny horse.  It is for a horse who has a serious medical condition and the prognosis on the horse is less than good.

Kara, have you ever taken a good look at why there is a horse overpopulation problem?  That maybe there are skinny horses because the economy crashed, and then you had a terrible drought there in Texas and hay prices skyrocketed, and all the big breeders paying their AQHA fees all kept breeding but none of those could have contributed to all the skinny horses, it must be slaughter.  Even though only 1% of the horse population ever even went to slaughter, that and solely that, is what caused people to stop feeding their horses.  Maybe you want slaughter back so you will have a place to dump horses when their “rescue” doesn’t work out. Oh wait you already did that.  But that horse was dangerous you say.  Why couldn’t you have done the honorable thing, the thing that rescues occasionally have to gut up and do, and have the horse humanely euthanized? Because that costs money. Stop acting like a rescue just so you can pull on people’s heartstrings and get donations.  Donations that are not tax deductible since you haven’t sat down and filled out the paperwork.  Can you even fill out the paperwork, maybe someone should proofread your work.

If that really is your mentality then get out now.  Go down and work for the kill buyer and stop pretending.  Stop pretending to be on the good side.  At least the good in all of this is that you have shown your true colors and hopefully people will see there are other organizations to support.  Ones that don’t wait on the paperwork and who really truly want to see every horse in a home and not on a plate.

Apparently Kara got wind the internet was talking about her and posting this on the “rescues” facebook:





It reads like an editor’s wet dream.  Seriously how did this person make it into high school much less graduate?  Maybe they didn’t…..

Then the comments went wild with all the transgressions Kara and Rocking K have made over the years.  Soliciting funds for horses that went to the auction.  Having “dangerous” horses ridden through the auction by teenagers, to horses leaving her property in worse condition then they came in.  Which kind of makes sense being that she thinks it is a waste of time and money.  I think her education was a waste of time and taxpayers money.  We failed this one, should we send her on to slaughter?

Kara you don’t get it. This is why other rescues don’t like you, why other rescues think you are scum. Why they don’t want to associate with you and are making damn sure people recognize that a true rescue doesn’t have that mentality.

I think a better bet for you would be to go back to school,  maybe elementary school.  Actually get educated and then maybe think about rescue. But that education HAS to come first.  Otherwise you are just embarrassing yourself.



Is it a yak? And so much fail.


Close enough. I saw this picture and instantly thought this: (they even have the same hind end)


Although I think the calf is cuter.  The foal is in serious need of some wormer, grooming and a hoof trim.  And what do you know this person has 15 horses for sale.  Most of them young, why are we breeding?, and some with some serious health issues.

This one


and this one

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have umbilical hernias.  You know you can fix those right? It does take a vet but it doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing by these horses.

This one has heaves and even though she is in her teens she is only halter broke.  Want to bet she is hard to catch? We are also winning horse owner of the year here by leaving nylon halters on horses in a field.  Apparently they have missed all the warnings out there about how a horse can easily kill itself by getting hung up on one of those but this doesn’t seem like an owner that really cares. $_27 (2)


This one isn’t broke so they are going to throw their kid up there without a helmet and without anything controlling the horse.  This person is trying to win parent of the year as well.


This one in some serious need of groceries.  That topline is horrible.  This horse is only 16 she should not look like this unless there is something medically wrong with her.  Hell even twice her age shouldn’t look like this. I am going to venture a guess looking at that belly that she is full of worms. I know some will look at this picture and say she looks ok.  Look along her spine, that dip right above her hip gives it away.  Once all the hair is gone this horse is going to look like a bag of bones with a belly. I liked how her ad says “Please do not ask me if she is good for small kids as I believe small kids should ride small horses :)” Is that so there is less height for them to fall when they aren’t wearing helmets? This mare is only 14hh perfect really for any sized kid if she is as broke as you claim.  I have a feeling she isn’t as broke as you claim.  Or maybe right now she can’t put up a fight because she has no energy. $_27 (8)


The next one has no picture but here is the ad:

Approx 10 1/2 -11hh
She has a crooked front leg
Does not limp but it is quite crooked
Likely born this way
Was part of an SPCA seizure 2 yrs ago
We are relocating to a place with no separate corrals and she should be with only a few
Halterbroke only
Hooves trimmed
To approved home only

Why hasn’t this mare been evaluated by a vet? Why is there no diagnosis?  Yes it could be congenital, yes it could cause her no pain but how does anyone, including you, know that unless a veterinarian has evaluated it.  Was there a report when animal control seized her?  At very least someone THEN should have evaluated this “quite crooked” leg.  So she went through a situation bad enough she had to be seized and now you are dumping her too.  All because you can’t muster up the $100 and manual labor it would cost to build her a pen of her own at your new place. We really are horse owners of the year.

This mare  is “open by choice” because she is such a great specimen she SHOULD be breeding, right?

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Just like the rest of them she looks like she needs a good worming and grooming.  I also don’t like that hind end.  I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but I would bet $100 that this mare has DSLD. Those dropped pasterns are a classic symptom and nothing else mimics it.  As someone who owns a DSLD horse it makes me sad that she is undiagnosed because there are ways to help manage it.  She also really should never be ridden again. Poor mare this is one I wish I could upgrade.

This is what happens when someone decides to breed a few for themselves.   Now they are moving and “can’t take them all”.  Poor ponies are the ones to suffer.  They are at or right above meat prices, I really hope someone is able to upgrade at least a few of these.  If anyone is in Alberta and wants to help them out let me know what happens.




Legislators working hard(ly)

Yesterday a bill passed in Utah banning  allowing horse tripping. Well as long as the event organizers register their events and then report back on any injuries.  This was the subject of my blog post You don’t get to call yourself a horseman.  The supporters of this bill have a Facebook page where they called my post out for being cowardly.  They said I should be locked in my barn and that I didn’t have any knowledge.  I wish I would have screen shot the post because they promptly deleted it when I pointed out going after people on the same side as you is counter productive.

I don’t know why you all are so happy because this bill did NOTHING to help horses.  Let’s look at the bill in its entirety.  (Here is a link so you can make sure I didn’t leave anything out)







Chief Sponsor: Ken Ivory


Senate Sponsor: Alvin B. Jackson


8     General Description:
9          This bill deals with horse tripping.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms;
13          ▸     modifies the duties of the Agricultural Advisory Board;
14          ▸     requires a venue that holds a horse event to report certain information to the
15     Department of Agriculture and Food;
16          ▸     authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Food, in consultation with
17     Agricultural Advisory Board, to make rules;
18          ▸     requires a report to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim
19     Committee; and
20          ▸     makes technical changes.
21     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22          None
23     Other Special Clauses:
24          None
25     Utah Code Sections Affected:

26     AMENDS:
27          4-2-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 461
28     ENACTS:
29          4-2-501, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30          4-2-502, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31          4-2-503, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32          4-2-504, Utah Code Annotated 1953

34     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35          Section 1. Section 4-2-7 is amended to read:
36          4-2-7. Agricultural Advisory Board created — Composition — Responsibility –
37     Terms of office — Compensation.
38          (1) There is created the Agricultural Advisory Board composed of 16 members, with
39     each member representing one of the following:
40          (a) Utah Farm Bureau Federation;
41          (b) Utah Farmers Union;
42          (c) Utah Cattlemen’s Association;
43          (d) Utah Wool Growers’ Association;
44          (e) Utah Dairymen’s Association;
45          (f) Utah Pork Producer’s Association;
46          (g) egg and poultry producers;
47          (h) Utah Veterinary Medical Association;
48          (i) Livestock Auction Marketing Association;
49          (j) Utah Association of Conservation Districts;
50          (k) the Utah horse industry;
51          (l) the food processing industry;
52          (m) the fruit and vegetable industry;
53          (n) the turkey industry;
54          (o) manufacturers of food supplements; and
55          (p) a consumer affairs group.
56          (2) (a) The Agricultural Advisory Board shall advise the commissioner regarding:

57          [(a)] (i) the planning, implementation, and administration of the department’s
58     programs; and
59          [(b)] (ii) the establishment of standards governing the care of livestock and poultry,
60     including consideration of:
61          [(i)] (A) food safety;
62          [(ii)] (B) local availability and affordability of food; and
63          [(iii)] (C) acceptable practices for livestock and farm management.
64          (b) The Agricultural Advisory Board shall fulfill the duties described in Title 4,
65     Chapter 2, Part 5, Horse Tripping Awareness.
66          (3) (a) Except as required by Subsection (3)(c), members are appointed by the
67     commissioner to four-year terms of office.
68          (b) The commissioner shall appoint representatives of the organizations cited in
69     Subsections (1)(a) through (h) to the Agricultural Advisory Board from a list of nominees
70     submitted by each organization.
71          (c) Notwithstanding the requirements of Subsection (3)(a), the commissioner shall, at
72     the time of appointment or reappointment, adjust the length of terms to ensure that the terms of
73     board members are staggered so that approximately half of the board is appointed every two
74     years.
75          (d) Members may be removed at the discretion of the commissioner upon the request
76     of the group they represent.
77          (e) When a vacancy occurs in the membership for any reason, the replacement shall be
78     appointed for the unexpired term.
79          (4) The board shall elect one member to serve as chair of the Agricultural Advisory
80     Board for a term of one year.
81          (5) (a) The board shall meet four times annually, but may meet more often at the
82     discretion of the chair.
83          (b) Attendance of nine members at a duly called meeting constitutes a quorum for the
84     transaction of official business.
85          (6) A member may not receive compensation or benefits for the member’s service, but
86     may receive per diem and travel expenses in accordance with:
87          (a) Section 63A-3-106;

88          (b) Section 63A-3-107; and
89          (c) rules made by the Division of Finance pursuant to Sections 63A-3-106 and
90     63A-3-107.
91          Section 2. Section 4-2-501 is enacted to read:

Part 5. Horse Tripping Awareness

93          4-2-501. Title.
94          This part is known as “Horse Tripping Awareness.”
95          Section 3. Section 4-2-502 is enacted to read:
96          4-2-502. Definitions.
97          As used in this part:
98          (1) “Board” means the Agricultural Advisory Board created in Section 4-2-7.
99          (2) “Horse event” means an event in which horses are roped or tripped for the purpose
100     of a specific event or contest.
101          (3) (a) “Horse tripping” means the lassoing or roping of the legs of an equine, or
102     otherwise tripping or causing an equine to fall by any means, for the purpose of entertainment,
103     sport, or contest, or practice for entertainment, sport, or contest.
104          (b) “Horse tripping” does not include accepted animal husbandry practices, customary
105     farming practices, or commonly accepted practices occurring in conjunction with a sanctioned
106     rodeo, animal race, or pulling contest.
107          Section 4. Section 4-2-503 is enacted to read:
108          4-2-503. Event reporting requirements.
109          (1) The owner of a venue holding a horse event shall:
110          (a) at least 30 days before the day on which the horse event is to be held, notify the
111     board of the date, time, and name of the horse Ĥ→ [
tripping] ←Ĥ event; and
112          (b) no later than 30 days after the day on which the horse event is held, notify the board
113     of:
114          (i) the number and type of competitions held at the horse event;
115          (ii) the number of horses used;
116          (iii) whether horse tripping occurred, and if so, how many horses were used in horse
117     tripping and how many times each horse was tripped; and
118          (iv) whether a veterinarian was called during the horse event, and if so Ĥ→ [
,] :
118a               (A) ←Ĥ the name and

119     contact information of the veterinarian Ĥ→ ; [and]
119a               (B) ←Ĥ the outcome of the veterinarian’s examination of a
120     horse Ĥ→ ; and
120a               (C) all veterinarian charges incurred ←Ĥ .
121          (2) (a) The department shall compile all reports received pursuant to Subsection (1)
122     and provide the information to the board.
123          (b) The board shall, at a meeting described in Subsection 4-2-7(5)(a):
124          (i) review the information described in Subsection (2)(a); and
125          (ii) if necessary, make recommendations for rules or legislation designed to prohibit
126     horse tripping.
127          (3) The department shall fine the owner of a venue that fails to fulfill the duties
128     described in Subsection (1) $500 per violation.
129          (4) The department, in consultation with the board, shall make rules in accordance with
130     Title 63, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, as necessary to enforce this part.
131          Section 5. Section 4-2-504 is enacted to read:
132          4-2-504. Horse tripping education — Reporting requirements.
133          (1) The department, in conjunction with the board, shall:
134          (a) send a letter, annually, to venues that host horse events:
135          (i) outlining the reporting requirements of Section 4-2-503; and
136          (ii) providing educational information on the negative effects of horse tripping; and
137          (b) promote, as funding allows, policies regarding the safety and welfare of horses
138     involved in horse events, such as horse roping and horse tripping.
139          (2) The department and the board shall, by November 30, 2015, report to the Natural
140     Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee about:
141          (a) reported incidents of horse tripping;
142          (b) any recommendations made by the board pursuant to Subsection 4-2-503(2)(b); and
143          (c) the progress made in educating the public under Subsection (1).

The first part just deals with who is going to be overseeing this new policy.  The Agriculture Advisory Board made of up members of various parts of the agriculture sector with representatives across them all.  This is why it would have been so much easier to just ban horse tripping.  Now we have people who grow cherries making decisions on whether or not horse tripping should continue.  I guess when your states decides cattle aren’t animals what can you expect.

Then we get to the meat.  They get into the definitions.  Ok good horse tripping means you can’t rope them or cause them to fall.  Then we get that out again.  If someone can argue they tripped the horse due to accepted animal husbandry practices then they have a legal defense.  STOP GIVING ABUSERS AN OUT. STOP GIVING THEM A LEGAL DEFENSE.  This is like saying it is acceptable to beat your wife if the neighbors think it is acceptable.  All it would take is someone to line the courtroom with their friends and now they have a defense that their horse tripping was ok because all these people find it to be accepted.  Bullshit.

All this bill is requiring is that events that include horse tripping must be reported. That’s it.  Basically you are condoning the action as long as the proper papers are completed with crossed t’s and dotted i’s. So how is that helping the horses again?  You could have shut this whole abuse culture down.  Right here, right now and yet it will continue to occur.  So why are you happy again?

Here is how it goes down now. An event center registers their event (how often do you really think this is going to happen), the event goes down. Horses are abused and the audience claps and cheers.  The event creates their document.  No horses injured, no veterinarian called, no veterinarian expenses.  Because when Duke broke his leg Jim just shot him out back.  You expect these people to be honest? Really? These people are going to live by the three s’s, shoot shovel and shut up.  Since no one is overseeing the events there is no way to be sure.  Then what is the punishment?  $500 per violation.  That is covered one of two ways.  Either they raise the entry fees, $10 per 50 people should cover it or since you handed them a legal defense on a silver platter. They say it is just part of “accepted animal husbandry practices” they were out there worming those horses, that’s it and when they all stand up and say the same thing who is going to stop it?

Now all this information goes back to the Advisory board. What do these non horse people see.  No injuries all is good we can allow this to continue.  The cycle of abuse is continued.

So I go back to my original post. Ken is still not a horseman.  He should have stood up to the detractors, with his constituents behind him, and said “NO, this is unacceptable.  Utah is going to join the 13 other states who have banned this practice and we are going to ban it as well.”  He should have stood up for the horses, who have no voice. He should have not backed down and that is why he has no balls.

I wouldn’t be happy if I lived in Utah.  I would be ashamed my state couldn’t protect the horses.

Because the video I posted was slammed last time, here is a new one.  From Utah from 2013.  Maybe Ken should have played this on a big screen for the legislators to see.  Maybe then they would see what they just allowed to continue in their state.

What I find even sadder about all of this was this comment on the Facebook page about this video.

Just thought you guys might find this interesting… when I originally posted the video of the horse roping in Tremonton, YouTube took it down within a couple days. They told me that the video was taken down because it supports animal abuse and that it violated their community rules. I had to fight back with YouTube to get the video back up by saying that the sport is perfectly legal in Utah and that it isn’t considered animal abuse. They ended up putting the video back up. But interesting that they felt it was animal abuse.

So youtube gets it but Utah is still living in the dark ages.

Wait, what gender is it again?

Apparently someone is very confused.  Either that or they have a hermaphrodite horse that can remove and replace his testicles at will.  Here is the ad:

Selling my thoroughbred stallion stud.

Breed: Thoroughbred
Age: 4
Height: 16.2 hh
Color: Choclate
Discipline: English & Western

More info:

This gelding is not easily spooked and has brilliant ground manners. Four years old with a good head on his shoulders. I let my kids around her,and he stands still and remains calm while they are fussing around him. he is the nicest stallion I have ever seen. Calm, not easily phased by things. Doesn’t kick or bite.

He will literally do anything you ask him to do and a easy keeper. UTD on all shots and coggins etc. He is in great health and love to take shower and I’ve never had a problem.

If you need anymore info then please email/text me.

Ok, now what? Is he a stallion or a gelding or a she? Do you even know.  Do you know how to tell?  Also we don’t call horses choclate (sic) so just for reference, he is bay. 00E0E_cB6r5aRNwEP_600x450

Because you aren’t familiar with common color terms for horses I wonder if you are accurate in his height. He could be 16.2h but without any reference it is hard to tell.  I also wouldn’t call him an easy keeper with his ribs popping out like that.  He looks in otherwise good shape but those ribs tell me he needs a smidgen more.  I hate to break it to you but most stallions are not man eating creatures.  Most stallions have fairly easy going temperaments.  Some get a little difficult around mares, some don’t.  I worked for a large training barn and the mares and stallions all lived together and you couldn’t tell who had been cut and who hadn’t.  True this barn had rules for the horses and the horses were all well behaved but having a nice stallion is not an anomaly.

For $1200 he should be pretty broke too.  So why are there no pictures of him being ridden, or even a good conformation picture of him? I have said this before but apparently no one cares, TAKE BETTER PICTURES! Highlight the horse’s awesome features.  Show him under saddle in a crowded place unfazed.  Now I don’t think you need to go all tarp master and be swinging that shit around while standing on them playing a kazoo to show a horse is broke.  But is one picture of the horse trotting nicely under saddle too much to ask?

Seriously though there is nothing spectacular about him and you would do way better if you gelded him and then found him a home. He doesn’t need to become one of those horses breeding only because he has the right parts.

You can’t save them all

and really some you shouldn’t even try.

As is the case of today’s featured horse. This foal was surrendered to Smiling K9’s rescue in Indiana.  They didn’t post much of a back story on him so not sure where he came from or what breed he is.


Sweet little face, right?  But check out his legs.


11042984_834779089898278_7478907456919368463_nThey are fucked up.  Not just a little, but a lot. This sort of damage is ridiculously hard to fix and it has to be painful for the horse.  They may have had a chance fixing it had he been casted from birth but now it is highly unlikely this horse will ever lead a normal life.  It is going to take some serious, labor and money intensive, work to even get this horse where I would say he is pasture sound.  He has clearly been neglected for some time.  The rescue is asking for donations to help with his costs, plus they still need to pay off their hay bill.

So here is where I say you can’t save them all, nor should you. This horse deserves a day of being loved and cookies and then having a peaceful, pain-free end. He doesn’t deserve to be put through a lifetime of pain and side effects so you can use him to solicit donations. It is not fair to him.  As sad as it is to say he should have never been bred.  Clearly his breeders had no idea what to do when he came out not perfect.  It is sad to euthanize anything, let alone foals, but really it is the kindest thing to do in this case.

A couple things have also nagged me about this rescue.  They posted the pictures of this horse on February 28th it is now the 5th of March and there has been no update on what the vet and farrier could do for him.  That is not right.  They keep posting the same pictures of his intake day but no updates.  Surely by now a vet has seen this horse, along with a therapeutic farrier, and they have made a plan to see if they can fix this.  Because you are going to try to fix this, right?, at least based on your donation solicitation it seems that is your plan.  So where is the vet report, where are the recommendations? At very least why hasn’t some of that extra hoof and the poorly applied epoxy been removed?

11025221_833920166650837_6037066611801696284_nNope you just keep resharing the same pictures with solicitations for donations. DO SOMETHING for this horse.  Either put him out of his misery or get going on a plan.  You know what my opinion is.

I have no problem with an individual attempting huge sacrifices to help animals.  This case I would question a little because I personally feel that no matter what they do the horse will have a lifetime of pain. In other cases though if an individual wants to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to save a horse then that is their prerogative.  In rescue though you have to be careful.  Are you just going to make an animal that is unadoptable and therefore reliant on your organization for the rest of its life? Is doing the surgery/treatment going to give you a relatively normal animal and do you have the funds available without outside help and without defaulting on anything else.  If they answer is yes then proceed.  My dog is a good example.  While in rescue she had an intestinal obstruction.  The rescue paid for the surgery knowing afterwards she would be a normal dog and still highly adoptable. Which she was and I am grateful they did it. While they did solicit donations after the fact they were able to write the check and pay for the surgery without relying on those donations.  It also did require them to close their doors to new intakes until their emergency fund was rebuilt.  That is how it should be done in rescue.  A rescue also needs to weigh if we spend $4000 on this one animal does that mean 5 now don’t get help. Things they need to weigh.  Yes there are going to be some animals that require more time and money.  Hopefully it is balance with those that don’t But as a rescue you have to weigh your limited resources.

We have to face the facts that we can’t save them all.  Some animals are going to die. The thing we do get to chose is how those animals die.  With love and compassion surrounding them rather than on a cold concrete floor of a processing plant.  Sometimes that is a huge part of rescue.  I know several rescues who have saved horses at auctions knowing they were going to be putting them down.  Knowing the best thing they could do for that horse was give it love and peace.  This rescue needs to do the same.

Speaking of this rescue, Smiling K9’s,  they claim they are a 501c3 organization. I have just spent the last two hours on hold with the IRS who has no record of them. I tried searching on the IRS’s website and when they didn’t show up I called, but no luck.  Either they are registered under a different name, unethical, or they are not registered at all. Which means donations are not really tax deductible, super unethical.  I did find them however on the Indiana Secretary of State Business page as a charitable organization.  So watch this when you are donating.  Make sure the group you are donating to is really a charitable organization per the IRS.  They have a search tool on their website or you can simply ask the organization for their letter.  Keep in mind though if they don’t follow the rules the IRS can pull their designation.