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RE: [RC] The Old Way (was: Spanish Mustangs) - heidi

In  the old days, useless, unmanageable, ill-tempered or unwanted horses
 were just shot and eaten (or fed to the dogs

I just talked to my Father (he is 78) and quoted this to him.  He  looked 
surprised!  He said that horses that were claimed to be "Man  Killers" were 
treated pretty rough and that there were some pretty mean horse  handlers in 
days to turn even these horses around.  Most horses were  very valuable on 
farms and my Dad couldn't remember to many horses that were  unmanageable in 
those days.  He said horses worked hard, and most of them  worked to hard to 
be acting a fool.  He never once heard of anyone eating a  horse in those 
or hearing about his Father or Grandfather saying anything  like that.  

On the other hand, my father (raised in rural Utah and rural Idaho) frequently 
told us how unuseable horses in his time were often simply turned loose, and 
people would then round them up and take them to the railroad, where they were 
hauled off to slaughter.  He grew up farming with horses, and saw this scenario 
first-hand.  So while perhaps the owners didn't always shoot them and eat them, 
Kat's history is otherwise right on the mark.  (During the Great Depression, 
you sure couldn't afford to feed fodder to an unuseable horse that could 
instead be eaten by a productive milk cow or beef cow!)

So now, people are once again turning them loose--but nobody can go round them 
up and take them off to slaughter--instead, they destroy other resources and 
become prey for wolves, never mind suffering and starving during harsh winter 
conditions, or dying of thirst during drought.  If you can still get hold of a 
copy, read THE WILD HORSE CONTROVERSY by Heather Smith Thomas sometime.  It is 
well researched, and quite graphic.



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