Before you go groanin' about me gettin' up on my soapbox again I'll have you know that this is only a partial lecture. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you may have already guessed that my soapbox rantings usually involve horses (and Octomom). This little tidbit is for those of you who think a horse is old at twenty, who think "skinny" is a reasonable state for an old horse and that old horses should just be put out to pasture. But instead of going off with words, words, words, I'll just point out a few articles written about Elmer Bandit. Elmer is a 38 year old half-Arab who is, at his age, still participating in competitive trail riding. Last year, at age 37, he set a new national mileage record at a little over 20,000 competitive miles. Go read about Elmer:
Elmer celebrates his 38th
Elmer breaks trail-riding record
Just to list a couple. If you follow them they lead to more articles. It's nice to read about someone who goes to extra lengths to care for her older horse when so many right now are dumping their horses, old AND young, at auction where many of them inevitably end up on someone's dinner plate in France.
The following is my soapbox piece so if you want to end on the happy note above stop reading now.
Harsh economic times make it a scary world for a horse. More and more owners are irresponsibly letting their horses parish by starvation or taking them to auction and letting the meatbuyers pick them up cheap. Seriously folks, if you can't afford to feed your horse and can't sell it for some reason buck up and have it humanely euthanized. It is obviously better than dying slowly by starvation but because of the conditions in which horses going to the meat packers are shipped, it is a far better fate for them as well. Don't think for a second if you sell your horse at auction and it goes for cheap that some nice little 4-H girl just picked it up (just a tip, set a minimum bid just above what meat is going for so that the butcher won't get it). Be an adult, don't lie to yourself and do the right thing.
That said, if you have a nice little mare you're thinking about breeding how 'bout putting it off for a year or two. The market is already inundated with too many horses and young horses go to the packers too. No sense in making more where there aren't enough homes for them now and the prices stink anyway.
OK, off my soapbox now. My next post will be a fun one. Promise.