As mentioned here: http://peaceandcarrotshorse.blogspot.ca/2014/07/notes-from-horse-auction.html I went to the local horse sale in July after many years of not attending (about 15 years, give or take). It wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I didn’t even cry in the truck afterwards! Many horses went to homes with only a few going to the meat buyer.
But.... I found myself haunted by the adorable 1.5 year old Morgan colt who sold for $150. He was wearing a halter and was friendly. I wasn’t 100% sure who purchased him but I believed it was the meat buyer. I had a dream last week about this horse and decided it couldn’t hurt to ask around. I also knew of someone looking for a young horse as a companion, and this guy would be at least halterbroke and seemed pretty calm in the stressful auction environment. He was a little bit awkward and he reminded me a lot of Mr. Henry. I can't afford four horses (can't really afford three, to be honest!) but I thought maybe I could help him get into a forever home with my friend.
I posted an ad in the local online classifieds and had a few replies stating that the meatbuyer did indeed buy him. Through the kindness of complete strangers I got the meatbuyer’s phone number and gave him a call today. He picked up the phone on the first ring.
The colt is “already gone”.
My heart sank. I knew it was a longshot but it didn't make it any easier to hear this.
This colt will never have a name. He will never be loved. He will never be part of a family. His story is not unusual - hundreds of horses are slaughtered every day just a few hours from where I live. And this will continue to happen until something changes in the horse industry.
I’m not mad at the meatman; his job exists because there are too many horses and not enough homes. I’m mad at the people who breed simply because their horse has a uterus (regardless of if the horse has any good qualities). I’m mad at people who do not plan for a retirement for senior horses who have given their owners their best years. I’m mad at the people who dump their horses at the auction without any information. I’m mad at people who don’t put proper handling (and preferably riding) skills onto their horses because: guess what – sh*t happens. You might have sell everything one day at the drop of a hat. I would be devastated to sell my horses but at least they are:
1) UTD on vaccines and farrier work
2) Broke to ride (Apollo) and are good citizens about farrier work and handling (all)
Most of the horses that went for meat were yearlings that were completely untouched. And when I bought Henry (from a feedlot) he was unhandled as well. My sweet Henry could easily be “already gone” like the morgan colt and I find that deeply disturbing and very upsetting.
I apologize for any typos in this post, I am a bit upset as I write tonight! :(