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[RC] ethics of slaughter - Carolyn Burgess

My husband always jokes that we buy horses, we don't sell them.  This is just my personal feeling, but I think when you decide to buy an animal, that it is your responsibility to take care of that animal.  We currently have a 24 y.o. retired Arab.  He is still absolutely sound and can be ridden.  But he has trouble maintaining his weight, so we don't ride him at this time.  If his weight is good, and we have a confident rider, Beau gets to go out for a ride.  We have owned him for 10 years, he packed my husband around for 6 of those 10 years.  If Beau never does another days work, he has earned his retirement.  As did our Cassie before that.  She was 32 when she passed.  We owned her for 8 years and she was my first horse.  I was able to ride her for 6 years and she was a hoot every time I rode her.

I don't know what the issue is with this horse, but there are very few reasons that I can think of that would make a horse unsaleable.  Being mean and dangerous on the ground is the only reason I can think of.  And if a horse is like that, then maybe he needs to be put down, not sent to slaughter. 

Almost any horse you can find a home for.  If they have physical issues, they can become a companion animal.  I've know several people who have found homes for their blind horses.  If the horse has some under saddle issue, just because you can't deal with it doesn't mean that someone else either can't or won't.  We bought a horse with an undisclosed bucking and mounting issue.  We went through two trainers who couldn't fix the issue.  After spending all that time and money and having a horse with a worse problem, I decided that I couldn't do any worse than those trainers.  It took me a year of working with this horse, but he turned out to be the most rock solid horse.  He was the horse I rode when I just wanted to have some fun.  But he could also go the distance if I asked.  He was a really good horse.  We lost him to colic 3 years ago.  If he had been a candidate for surgery, I would have spent everything to make him well again.

Often what one person considers to be a problem that no one would want (say bucking, rearing, bolting, big spooks) may be looked at by someone else as a trait that is manageable or can even be looked at as something that can be harnessed as a good trait.  How many endurance riders have gotten a horse that was described as completely unmanageable, that have turned into fantastic horses? 

Full disclosure is the only way you will find a horse like that a home.  And it will take time and effort on your part.  Dumping at an auction is not the way to go.  You're assuming that the killers would buy this horse, but what if some unsuspecting person bought this horse with whatever the problem was.  How would you feel then or would you just be relieved that the horse was gone under the anonymity that the auction process provides?

Carolyn Burgess

On 8/17/07, sherman <sherman@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Anyone, not just Truman,

What if you buy a horse and it doesn't suit your needs, doesn't provide any service to you. What if you have found out something about the horse that was not disclosed to you and did not become apparent for a few weeks or even months, and that "something" makes the horse not saleable if you are honest & disclose that information to prospective new owners? What would you do with it then? Do you feel like you need to be responsible for it for the remainder of it's life, or take it to the auction and be done with it?

Just curious,


My horses are in my responsibility. I have enough land to take care of
the old ones till there time has come and still add new ones so I am
lucky there. If I didn't or if I could not arrange something like MB I
would limit getting anymore. That doesn't mean that I won't make the
right decision when it has to be made. But my horses have done a
valuable service to me and I will see they are taken care of for their



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Carolyn Burgess
Phone: 1-978-897-6624
Fax: 1-419-735-1117

Re: [RC] [RC] ethics of slaughter, Maryben Stover