These horses, like our horses, are livestock -- NOT BACKYARD PETS! They have a job. They work for a living just like I do. They do their job -- They have a good home.
I used to buy , try and work with for 2 or 3 weeks, and supply horses to Colorado dude strings and 2 YMCA summer camps. I picked most of them up at the local sale. About 1/3 of them went back to the next sale 2 weeks later. They were part of MY job. I did not owe them a lifelong commitment. I gave them a chance.
I have not known any good dude string horses that got shipped to the killers in the fall. They are worth too much and too hard to replace. If they are worthy, they are either turned out on wheat pasture or winter pasture somewhere or are leased to winter season dude ranches in Arizona and south Texas. I used to see semi loads of dude horses being shipped out right after hunting season and shipped in just before Memorial Day weekend.
Right now, I can pick up the phone and get about $1200.00 a head from any dude-gentle sound saddle geldings. Good gentle draft horses that ride - drive and pack are worth $1500,.00 to $2000.00 each. It is a big market and a very good 'secure' job for user-friendly saddle gelding. I do not see a thing wrong with it. It gives a lot of horses 'job security' that many backyard pet owners cannot and do not give a horse.
Dude ranches treat them well, feed them well, provide good hoof care and health care because it takes a slick, fat, sound horse to do the job. They are treated better than most of the backyard horses I see driving down the local county road.
It take s a very narrow-mined perspective to not see the good in this entire business. Not to mention that riding a gentle dude horse is how many people are introduced to horses.
We own Arbuckle Trail Rides here in southern Oklahoma. [ go to Turner Falls - Arbuckle Mountains - stables - trail rides - - Oklahoma Trail rides - ranch horses - trail horses - scenic rides - wildlife - photography opportunities - vacations
] We keep fewer than 20 horses and take out guided rides right here in the Arbuckle Mountains. I have had one of my dude horses for 13 years and have had 5 or 6 of them for 10 years or longer. Not exactly throwing them away every fall am I??? At least 6 or 7 of my horses have been 'rescues'. The one in my profile picture with my 4 year old granddaughter on him was a $275.00 rescue at the local sale. He was a flunk-out from a cutting trainer, sold to a bucking string because he bucked everyone off, a refugee from the bucking string because he did not keep bucking good enough and I was the only bidder other than the killer buyer at the Monday night sale. I have had him now for 4 years and he loves little kids. He has permanent scars on his flanks and other scars all over him. He is one of the few horses I have had that was 'really' abused. [He still does not care for men. It took 2 years before my husband could even catch him.]
So, maybe someone should know what their talking about before they run their mouth about how 'bad' the dude horse business is.