This made me think of another thing. How many times do we see where someone (even rescues) took in an injured and/or abused animal that is so maimed that they will never have a real life (horses needing prosthetic legs, horses so badly burned that it takes months for skin to grow back, horses that have foundered so horribly that their coffin bones are pointing out the soles of their feet....horses that should really be put down). Then, not only does the person/rescue spend thousands and thousands of dollars just trying to save the horse's life, but they continue to pour thousands into the animal over the next years by way of medications and treatments just to keep the animal somewhat comfortable...forget pain-free or functional.
I get a part of it, you see an injured animal and you want to help, but how many good and useful horses, horses like that Appy or the Belgian that Punks posted about, could have been saved with that $10,000 they spent on the surgery for Pookie's leg just so he can sort of walk on it again and, at most, end up a pasture pet for the next 5-20 years?
I agree with a lot of your points, Punks. IMHO, slaughter should not be the end-all of solutions and, in an ideal world, I wish it wasn't a necessity. But, until people stop breeding junk just because they can, nothing is going to change....and people will never stop breeding junk because people are stupid *shrug*.
Heck, just browse around the breeding forum here. Countless posts by people who have no business owning one horse are asking what of those "purty colored studs" to breed their "darling sweet mare" to for the "kyootest babbyyy". Then, when someone tells them that they really shouldn't breed at all because their mare has serious conformational faults and that list of $100 studs aren't worth the poop they produce, they get all huffy and no doubt breed her anyway with no plan for when the baby gets beyond the cute fuzzy stage. Then, when they find out that the cute fuzzy baby isn't nice and easy to handle like a loyal puppy, they ruin his training and, once he's a dangerous menace, dump him like a broken VCR.
So, I do what I can do and try my best to advise people who ask my advice on the subject. If they don't take my advice, which they often don't, then there isn't much I can do. And, of course, a person like me has no sway at all over big industry breeders like those of racehorses and show horses that might produce 1 winner out of 100.
Everything you've just said I completely agree with! I really just wanted to post it all again!! XD I don't think I could have "liked" that enough!
As for rescues with broken horses - you are absolutely right.
At my rescue we have 15 broken horses, they came to us this way - but we are more of a sanctuary, our goal is to give our horses a place to die in loving arms. There are some, if I were the owner, I would put down, but I just help run the place and can only offer my input.
We have one, who I love dearly, he is blind in both eyes, which was no bother - but he also has reoccurring abscesses in 3 out of his 4 feet, and there is always at least one that is hurting him. For months we could not find a farrier willing to do his feet, as he can not stand on 3 for long. When his feet finally got so long we decided it was time to just euthanize him a little miracle happened. A farrier showed up and trimmed his feet, she did a little on the first foot, when he was sore she went to the next, and the next - she circled him for over an hour before each foot was done. Now that his feet are a normal length again his abscesses burst much quicker, he is able to go outside again, but that's about it.
I honestly don't know if I'd keep him alive if it were my choice, some days I see him struggle to stand up and think it's definitely time, but then he's nickering softly and galloping in his sleep - and I just don't think I have the heart to deprive him of any of his happy dreams.
If we were a regular rescue who's goal was to rehome horses I think the choice would be more obvious - but the woman who owns/runs the farm is 63 this year and is doing this with just my help and a few teenage girls. 15 stalls is a lot to clean every day- and no money on top of it sure isn't fun. So when the last horse dies she will retire. I'll be taking over the rescue, but at that point our mission statement will change, we will no longer be a sanctuary but something more - I won't go into that novel today. XD
Sorry this is so long, but what I'm driving at with the story of our blind old appy is that sometimes those amazing stories are the rays of hope that drive people to want to rescue - to want to see those amazing transformations and make a difference.
There's a story it goes like this:
A boy is walking down a long beach, picking up star fish and throwing them into the ocean.
A man walks up and asks what he's doing.
The boy says "the tide is going out and these starfish will dry up and die, so I'm throwing them back in the ocean."
The man laughed at him and said "this beach is miles long, you won't make a difference"
The boy shrugged and picked up another starfish as he threw it in he said "I made a difference for that one".
I whole heartedly believe in that story. No one can save the world, but we CAN protect those that our under our control.