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[RC] Dealing with the over supply - kathy swigart

Terry Bannister said:

All that is fine, but the point of Karen's post was that poor
?husbandry was the?cause of?the excess horses, and the
?horse industries need to stop the over supply. America
?should?not continue doing the "wrong thing" by overbreeding
?in the first place. 

People will stop producing horses ("overbreeding") when it becomes too 
expensive to feed them, not when it becomes too expensive to kill them humanely.

An don't make the foolish mistake of thinking that creating a culture where it 
is improper to slaughter useless horses will reduce the breeding of them.? One 
of the unintended consequences?of fostering this culture is to have people turn 
their useless work horses into breeding stock instead.

I cannot COUNT the number of people with mares who have prematurely ended their 
working horse careers (usually from some permanent unsoundness, but often just 
from lack of good performance ability or an unworkable temperament), who then 
"retire" the mare to be bred.? I even know people who have "saved" mares from 
being killed in order to put them to this use.

I will lay you odds that many of the TB horses that would have gone straight to 
the killers from poor performance on the track are mares that are now being 
"saved" from that end and will, instead, later have foals, probably with 
equally as lackluster performance ability.

One of the reasons that so many horses have been overbred is that many people 
with otherwise useless horses are using them for breeding stock.

The only way to reduce the amount of overbreeding is to reduce the number of 
mares being bred (note that the number of foals produced is NOT a function of 
the number of stallions being bred so castrating males has little effect on the 
number of foals produced).? And one way (admittedly not the only way)?to reduce 
the number of mares being bred is to kill them before they have a chance to 

I guarantee you that when you tell mare owners, it is wrong for them to kill 
their useless mare, that MANY of them will decide to breed her instead.? I know 
it happens because I have seen it happen...more than once.

Fostering a culture in which it is considered wrong to kill a horse and make 
use of its carcass has CONTRIBUTED to the over breeding of horses because it 
leaves alive animals to be bred which otherwise would have been killed before 
they could be bred.? The compulsion to use a horse that you are feeding for 
SOMETHING is strong.? Far better to arrange to for it to stop needing feed than 
to arrange to breed it.

Orange County, Calif.

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