Thursday, October 9, 2008

Save The Mares!!

I promise you all, I will get back to the chiropractic stuff. I hate to leave you all hanging, but I haven't been able to get the pictures I need to show you exactly what I'm talking about.

So anyway, this is my PSA...

We need to save the mares!
Horses are being dumped at alarming rates. The market is not discriminatory. This is not a thinning out of undesirables...this is WHOLESALE DUMPING!! Mikey posted that a killer buyer she knows is getting out of the business...because he can't keep up. OMG-The killer buyers are overwhelmed? Andrea says the sales barn in her area has stopped having sales because they can't even make a commission on the horses going through? I have a step-uncle, who is running back and forth between Georgia and Canada, hauling load after load of horses. He says the stacks of registration papers he has is what makes him sick.

I can't even bring myself to go to an open sale around here. I just know that I couldn't NOT buy a fantastically bred mare or two or a trailerload, that was going for NOTHING, with papers. So my PSA is...If there was ever a bloodline that you loved or always wished you had, but couldn't afford before...go find yourself the nicest mare you can, with papers, probably for free, definitely cheap, hopefully not bred-but, well...some people are just really slow to realize what has happened.

Why? Because this dumping is not discriminatory. Sorry Mikey tell Wade-I'm not bashing the theory, I used to believe the same thing too. But it no longer matters how well bred a horse is or how much they have proved in their life-they are not immune. People are "saving" what tugs at their heart strings, but letting really, really nice horses go to kill. The future of your favorite breed depends on saving as many of the very best mares that we possibly can.

No, I am not advocating continuing to breed them, unless you have the room to hang onto the resulting foals for a few years and get them handled and trained. I'm just saying that we have to hang onto these girls. So that when the market turns around and people are screaming for mares and foals to start their breeding programs up again, we don't end up having a lot of junky, it-has-a-uterus-lets-breed-it mares going into production, like we did after the crash in the 80's. That is how we got to where we are now!!

Maybe if we can get enough people to realize that mares ARE the foundation of their breeding programs and all future generations for their breed, we can keep this from happening again in another 20 years!!

Let's have your thoughts on what is happening and/or what you think might happen in the future?


Mrs Mom said...

What I wouldn't give right now, to have a couple of those wicked nice bred yearling fillies just come to hang out here...... Think I could slip them in with out too much fuss? ;)

Have your relative there get in touch if he comes across something incredible thats a youngster BECG. Maybe I can slip her in here, and help save some of those lines.

cdncowgirl said...

Up here in Canada, where slaughter still exists, there are sales barns closing.
Because there are a TON of American horses being brought up.

If we had our own place I'd definitely be snagging a mare or two. After all that's what I'm hoping to buy in the spring anyhow.
Just right now I can't because I board. :(

I agree mares are the ones that need saved.
One stallion can breed several mares. Therefore you don't need as many stallions as you do mares.
(I'm talking for the future, when things turn around, NOT for right now)

Part of why mares get dumped, IMO, is because too many people are scared off.
Mares are crazy. Mares are hormonal.
For crying out loud I get SO sick of "mare bashing".
I've seen geldings way worse behaved but they get to "have a bad day". Ummm, yeah, he does that crap ALL the time. But if a mare did the same thing once its because "she's a mare".

I've personally always preferred mares. I think they try harder for you and if you have a good bond with your mare you've got a best friend.

PS BECG- I like the positive thinking, how you stated "when the market turns around" :)

Bexs said...

I'm in the same line with hoping the market turns around. It HAS to sometime since there is still a market out there for nice performance horses.
These mares need to be saved, and the new owners need to preserve the bloodlines for what they are and not trying to make them into something they aren't. Sorry, but you can breed a foundation QH to a Warmblood all you want and try to sell that resulted foal on the open market as a "jumper" but in the end you've still got a crappy halfbreed that most likely won't perform to most people's standards. That's a BIG problem with some of the breeders now a days. If you have a cutting bred foundation mare- breed it to a cutting bred foundation stallion. We as owners need to raise the standards of our own bloodlines by training each horse for a job and not just resigning them to pasture or Broodmare status. There is a much larger market for well broke and trained mares than there are for broodmares at this point, so we as owners need to rise to that by properly training, vetting, and handling the horses we do have and not live by Quantity over Quality.
Just my two cents.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Mrs Mom-If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny-all a person has to do is look for the breed, bloodlines, conformation and color they want and it will turn up. But, next time I run into him, I'll put an order in for you.;)

Cdn-I think you will still be able to find some great deals on what you are looking for next spring. I love mares too. Got my geldings at the moment(the problem with raising your own-you don't get to pick the sex), but my girls don't have to worry about going anywhere. No one will ever have to worry about there being a shortage of stallions-*snort*...There are always plenty of those around to pick from.

bexs-so glad you stopped by. You are so right. It's not a matter of stopping breeding, it is a matter of breeding smarter. Smarter breeding will equal smaller numbers.

Laura said...

Great post - I would love the chance to pick up a couple of mares for a good price - sadly I have nowhere to keep them - board on multiples just isn't in the cards...

As much as the whole situation is terrible, it would be nice to be able to make a difference and pick up a few mares and save them from slaughter. *sigh*

I like your positive attitude though - hopefully things will turn around sooner rather than later... and maybe, just maybe some people will learn to not just breed anything...

Andrea said...

It is crazy how many nice horses are going throught the sale barns right now. My father in law goes to the sale barns around here all the time. Just to look. His friend buys the horses and rides them and then sells them. He might only make a few bucks, but at least he is saving one horse at a time.

On a side note. I am able to register Blaze with the Pinto Horse Association as a breeding stock mare. She will not be able for show points or anything like that, but her babies will then be able to be registered. You can read about it on the Pinto horse association's web site. You don't need to know either parent's name, but it's just to use her for a broodmare. Which is all she is anyway. We have been talking about doing it for a long time and we have just never done it. Pintos are really big down here. Plus if you show a pinto and get a lot of points on it APHA will consider it for regular registry. I could go on and on about it. But that is how we plan on registering her.

Andrea said...

Oh and mares are great. Out of our 16 horses we have here only two are geldings and one stud. I would so buy a really nice filly right now if I had the time and room for her.

Melanie said...

Yet another thought provoking post, BEC!!!

I totally agree with you about saving well bred mares. There is no question that they are the foundation of many good breeding programs...and here I am...a gelding gal!!!

Seriously are right!:)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

This is a fascinating blog post, BECG. I trotted over here from Little Keebler's blog because of her link to you.
I have no idea why I've not stopped by before....maybe fear of discovering yet another great blog that I must read. lol!

I really like the top photo of the cute prego mares. :)

I bought my mare from my instructor when I was taking lessons at her barn. She also dabbles as a horse dealer, finding homes for horses that people aren't able to keep anymore.
I bought my lesson horse, a registered 15 yr old APHA tobiano mare.
I didn't buy for looks, but rather a sound mind, body and good, kind, calm nature.
She is all that...and more.

My neighbor did some resarch on her pedigree a few months ago and found out that my girl's bloodlines go way back to some pretty awesome horses, such as Peter, Jack and Buck McCue, Joe Moore, Joe Bailey and Joe Reed, Oklahoma Star, Della Moore, Poco Dell, Little Joe, Fairy Fisher, Johnny Bull, and Kingfisher McCue.

What is interesting is that my mare has only foaled once, a 6 year old, now, handsome colt.

I'd love to know more about her interesting background and history.

I also have to admit that I'm a mare gal. All of the geldings I've been around have been in-your-face, pushy, pokey, and chewy.
My painted mare has a great disposition even when in heat. She's sweet without being needy, and I like that :)

Great post. I'll have to come back to read more of your blog soon,

Vaquerogirl said...

BEC- I love 'em all. Ridden good mares and good geldings.Riden some bad ones too. Like the starfish on the beach we can only save what comes within our reach- wish we could save a whole lot more.
Love the preggie ponies picture!

Anonymous said...

It's a terrible thing to think about. It's not about natural selection and folks are not always discriminatory about the breeding, the sustenance, the commitment to having horses. The wild horse is far often better off than those owned by indiscriminate owners.

Callie said...

Good post and so true. I'm a mare gal, myself. But I don't even really know what to say about it all, just that I agree. Neither of mine are registered and that doesn't matter me, but I would never dream of breeding, never. That doesn't mean I wouldn't consider buying a well bred mare, but just not now.

Anonymous said...

what a great post and comments.. albeit a newbie.. i had /have mares and last year got my first gelding. They are all precious and worthy and G-d's gift to us...

gp in montana

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

I have not noticed this as much in my neck of the woods but if I had my own place I would be picking up the mares for sure. Hay prices are going to be crazy this winter in the NW because we had a horrible growing season this year which is the last thing we needed to have happen. I love well bred mares and have my sights on one right now. They are not getting the $10,000 they are asking and she would have been worth $25k last year. If she goes to 5k, I am going to have to do something!

Sometimes I wonder if the same could be said for buying up some Arabs. The past few years, at least where I am, you can not GIVE an Arab away. I know that in AZ the old breeders still have their mares but I dont think there are more than two or three breeders still breeding in BC. Fads and a bad economy never bode well for horses.

Rising Rainbow said...

I don't know how I missed this post but even now it's so appropriate. It makes me sad to see the horse world in such dire straights. I sure hope some thing gives soon and the market turns around. In the meantime, my mares are my most prized possessions. As we try to figure out how to weather this storm, protecting the mares in our number one priority.