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Saddlebag 06-21-2012 05:49 PM

"Rescued" horses
I am so sick of reading that someone has rescued a horse. Rescued it from what? The horse doesn't do what you want because it's figured you out, that you don't really know what you are doing? This seems to be the new way to introduce a new horse - "I rescued a horse" or "my new horse was rescued". Doesn't anybody just acquire a horse any more without the stupid notion they've "saved" it. I've seen "rescued" horses wind up in worse situations than the previous ones because of owner ignorance. That is my rant, vent and just had to get it off my chest.

nyx 06-21-2012 06:12 PM

Are you stating the people who purchase a troubled horse with like no education, manners and such as opposed to an actual rescued horse that was neglected? If so, I think I know what you mean. Sorry tad confused here. :)

Speed Racer 06-21-2012 07:19 PM

People claim they 'rescued' a horse, when in reality all they did was BUY it. Buying at auction doesn't mean the animal was rescued, even though people break their arms patting themselves on the back for 'saving' Pookie.

'Rescue' and 'abused' are two of the most overused words when it comes to horses nowadays, and they've almost completely lost their meanings.

People can and do upgrade.horses every day, but rescue? No.
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Oldhorselady 06-21-2012 07:27 PM

Well, ......I rescued my OTTB was rescued directly off the track before he was put on the truck to kill pen. I also rescued my percheron before the authorities took her away from the 50 x 50 paddock she lived in for three years with her 17.1hh filly with no human interaction outside having hay thrown and being watered. She had no vet or farrier care and had slipper foot and could barely stand. She had a coronary band abscess the size of my fist that oozed blood and puss for two months. She also has a broken breast bone. We took the two horses once we heard about them as a humanitarian effort until we could find a home. We found the new home for them, but I couldn't give Belle up. It was very risky since I didn't know if she would ever walk. While my QH mare was in one home for the first 16 years of her life, she was extremely thin when I was given her. Woman gave her up due to divorce. Cheyanne was never ridden and owner was told she never would be ridden because she was nuts. I have been riding her for the last five years and we have a wonderful trust between us. She was my first horse that I learned everything with. She is now retired and will soon not be with us. I'd like to think she has seen, done and had more purpose in the last five years of her life than the first sixteen. So, for these three horses, their lives were changed dramatically when I took them.....all for free because nobody wanted them. Some of them wouldn't be here at all. I would call this 'rescue'.

nyx 06-21-2012 07:30 PM

Actually I do see what you mean.. Alot of people around here buy horses at auctions and say they saved the horse from doggers, when in real fact they bought the horse at auction..

Buying and rescue are two different things, I agree.

wyominggrandma 06-22-2012 12:56 AM

Buying a horse is just that, buying a spoiled, unwanted, good, bad, broke, unbroke horse, whether from a private sale, an auction or a racetrack. That is not rescuing a horse.
To rescue a horse, you get it starved, abused(and I mean abused, not just long feet, or not fed or not living like a king/queen in a stable/box stall)dying. A horse that is on its last legs. A horse that will be dead in a week or less because of starvation.
But, it is no fun to say" look, , I just bought a horse really cheap for a good deal because it is green broke, or buck the last owner off or has bad habits.
That is not a big deal, however a pat on the back and a "wow, you are awesome" comment will be made if you say" Hey, I just rescued this horse from "fill in the blank"..

Skyseternalangel 06-22-2012 01:21 AM

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I just gotta ask, why does it bother you that much?

Everyone has their own opinion on what a "rescue" horse is. For mine, he was not healthy at all, dangerous, he was abused in his younger years but not in his previous home prior to coming to me but he hadn't mentally improved much and his health was still a mess.. a huge mess. He probably would have ended up being put down for being too dangerous to himself and to others. He needed "rescuing" and I really actually don't like referring to him as such.. because we're way past that now.

For some it's taking them out of a neglectful situation, for some it's taking them out of an abusive situation, and for others it's about giving them a purpose instead of being sent to the 'kill pens.'

Personally, it doesn't bother me. As long as the life they're living NOW has improved in such that it is better than the situation in which you got your horse, or bought him, or found him.. whatever verb you want to use.

I wouldn't let something that small bother me.. so many others things more concerning to expend energy over *shrug*

Wallaby 06-22-2012 02:36 AM

For me, if any money changes hands, you aren't rescuing that horse - you're buying it. If money was in play for a horse in terrible condition, you "upgraded" that horse.

Really though, I think the word "rescue" has been so overused that it really has no meaning anymore. It's becoming a cliche that any Joe Schmoe uses to justify that skinny horse in the backyard or why their mare/stallion must breed - "Well, I can't ride it. It was an abused rescue."
It's becoming a glamor word that people drop to justify the ill mannered behavior their animals exhibit and to get congrats from people they run with.

If I wanted to, I suppose I could say that Lacey was a "rescue." I was basically paid to take her, she was a week away from her date with the needle, and she had some serious mental demons. HOWEVER, to my mind, she was not a rescue because her previous owners adored her (however misguidedly), she was not skinny, and she wasn't lacking in hoofcare. She was massively upgraded and I don't think she'd choose to go back there if she were a human, but she wasn't out and out suffering.

At the same time, I do think of my cat as a rescue since I found him abandoned in the woods as a near death 5 week old kitten. I had to spend quite a bit to get him healthy and if I hadn't pulled him out, he would have starved/been eaten by something in those woods within the next 24 hours. Even the vet was pretty sure he wasn't going to survive but he totally did.

Personally, it's not a huge deal to me but I basically refuse to congratulate someone who describes their animal as a rescue. I figure that the people who really do rescue animals are the ones keeping quiet about it because they don't see it as a big deal - they're just doing their "duty." I don't go around saying "This in my RESCUE cat, Booth!". I tell his story if people are interested and let them make their own conclusions.

If people want to try to force themselves to be "cool" via supposed animal rescuing, they can be my guest. I just won't have very much patience for them to regale me with stories about poor poor Cowbell, who was so abused an traumatized when they rescued her for $500. Poor baby. Yeah, NO. :wink: I also think pitying an animal for the situation it came out of is rather silly. Animals live in the now - they're focused on the good treatment they get now, humans are just funny and don't think that way..

FlyGap 06-22-2012 02:36 AM

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If it makes a person feel good to say they rescued a horse from certain death, whether it's from certain slaughter or starvation, neglect, etc. then so be it. I wish there weren't so many happening, then we wouldn't hear about it all the time.
Yes, when it's used unnecessarily it's annoying.
BUYING a horse at auction isn't a rescue unless you KNOW you are outbidding the meat buyer. BUYING an untouched rough horse or horse with a bad habit is a Craigslist PROJECT.

I've had three confiscated animals brought to me, two mules that died within a month, and an 800 pound Clydesdale with slipper feet and cracks you could hide pencils in. He eventually weighed 1,800 and is now completely sound.

More of a Project:
Rick's owner was referred to me by my vet, she had over 20 horses in an acre lot, AC/SO was breathing down her back, liquidate or face fines/jail and confiscation. He WAS in decent condition, I bought him on a Friday, she was taking him and most of the others to the sale the next day. 99% of the horses in decent condition head south, he had a 1% chance. So I have used "rescued" (note the quotations) because there WAS a 1% chance some other insane person would have overlooked his running through the bit, head tossing, rolling eyes, side passing and dangerous behavior and taken him home. He is really a purchased $350 project that's cost well over $2,000. I canceled my $1,250, dream horse, Craigslist purchase to "rescue" Rick. And, no I wasn't "suckered" by the "buy now or he's heading to auction" ploy, my vet whom I adore and trust told me about the situation. He was the vet who evaluated the animals.
We are overrun with horses around here. That sale barn is now closed, even the meat man wouldn't take a hundred + neglected head that were dumped on the owners. They were shut down because they couldn't afford to feed them and they were starving to death, literally.

Sale barns USED to be THE place to go buy a decent prospect or good broke horse. You know, before internet. There are some obviously decent finds to be had, and people bid those up. But now it's mostly just the horse dump.

Skyseternalangel 06-22-2012 02:52 AM

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I just want to be clear, I don't tell people Sky is a rescue willy nilly to make myself feel good. Just so they know how far he's come and to show them that horses just need good basic care and patience/respect to blossom.

But it does make me happy to realize just how much he's gotten better since. I managed to figure out his feed with the help of my barn and research I've done.

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