I've been gone for several hours and I come back and THERE STILL IS NOT ONE ANSWER TO MY QUESTIONS. Could it be that all of the idealists have not figured out an answer?
Here's a hint -- unless 'you' and your friends are going to attend every sale and bid on and buy every unwanted horse (One that no one else bids on), there is no other place for them to go.
If you want to do something constructive, why don't you study how horses are handled and slaughtered in places like Iceland where they are raised for meat? I have read quite a bit about their process there and it is quite acceptable.
Find out what the European Union rules and regulations are. They are quite particular in what methods are acceptable if the meat is going to be sold in the EU countries.
Instead of railing about the problems and wishing for unrealistic solutions, why don't you be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Stopping horse slaughter here has only multiplied the problems for the poor horses caught in the middle. Dropping horses' value has been a disaster for both horses and horse owners and everyone from Vets to farriers to trainers that have made their living with horses for their entire lives are suffering.
When horses have a value (like the $1000.00 killer prices of 10 years ago, they were better cared for, kept fat and there were a lot fewer of them being sent off to the slaughter plants. They were 'worth' keeping and training.
If you have so much time to kill, (no pun intended), and this means so much to you, why don't you spend your time and effort trying to see what methods work best. A lady that lives in Iceland (whose husband works in a horse slaughter house there) has explained quite a bit about their process there. She said all of the horses stand quietly, don't fight or act afraid and quietly walk into the plant. If people would put the same time and effort into making plants more 'horse friendly' and and the process more humane, the horses that are inevitably going to end up in one of them would benefit more than anything else you could do for them.
Until then, I am still waiting for your solutions to what you would do with the horses right now that are being shipped to Mexico and Canada?
Oh, for whoever said only sick and tainted horses go to Mexico -- come to the next Monday night horse sale here in town -- 10 days from now.
I did not see one sick or diseased horse go through the ring. If they did, only the zoo buyer would take them. The 2 or 3 healthy grays went to the buyer for zoo meat. The killer buyers will not even buy them.
Many were old broodmares that checked 'open', were untrained or half wild or mean horses that are no longer wanted as 'project horses'. There were 3 or 4 horses that obviously had been foundered at one time. Most had not been dewormed in a very long time -- if ever. Quite a few were old, sway-backed and looked pretty tough. There was one horse with shoes and I think they were race plates. So, out of 60 or 70 horses that went to Mexico, one may have had Bute or other medication in it. The broodmares had probably been dewormed at some time, but no one would have 'wasted' dewormer on them recently. I doubt that the others had received any doctoring or medication in their lifetimes or at least their recent lifetimes. Most of what you see are neglected horses that have received no care at all for months or years. People have quit 'wasting' money on them for a very long time because they are not 'worth' it.
Horses losing their value is behind almost all of the neglect and starvation cases.