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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems like almost every little girl I come in contact with lately thinks or at least says that their horse was rescued. Like every horse comes from such a terrible place.
I personally think it is their way of saying that they do not agree with how the horse was treated before and that the horse is much hapier with them trotting through the daisies or just them trying to make themselves seem awesome or cool or something. Or they say that the horse was untrained or poorly trained or abused before they got and now it is all better and perfect all because of them.

So what is up with the new "rescue" fad?

Is it really that cool to say that you "rescued" your horse?


What do you consider actually "rescuing" a horse
?

Why is it so popular to believe that your horse was abused by its previous owner just because it is head shy or tosses its head or is jerky and does not trust people or just plain has behavioral issues?

I had a horse I considered an actual "rescue", it was my first horse and she was owned my a livestock broker who kept her in a shed in his back yard. She had a BS of 2 and was anemic and I actually witnessed him abusing her by bashing her in the head with a ***** of 2x4 when she bit him while he cornered her in the shed, then running her around the barbed wire pasture until she slipped and flipped and refused to move any more all so he could halter her... So I bought her at rock bottom price that day and loaded her up and brought her home and then had to go through the stress and costs of vet bills and evident emotional trauma.

BUT I have bought a few horses from the auction and they were in horrendous shape, but they were not "rescued" they were not in any immedate danger even if kept in bad conditions and run through the auction a few times, they were just bought....
 

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I've noticed this too... I, too, have one that was a REAL rescue. He was a former barrel racer, and when he burned out, he got removed for "retraining". *rolls eyes* A 2x4 and a lash is not retraining. I witnessed almost the exact same thing as you. Most auction horses these days are like automatically "rescued". it kind of bothers me, because there are actual horses that are/were/need to be rescues, and people are making it seem like every horse is a rescue.

I consider rescuing a horse to be removing it from a situation where it is not getting food or water, being beaten, or living under circumstances where physcological issues are being formed.
 

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I have had horses who were abused/roughly treated in the past, but I don't think i've 'rescued' a horse. I see rescue as taking a horse from a life threatening situation, not just bad training or bad care.

I also hate when people ask for critique and put a 'disclaimer' that the horse was abused. So? Does it get off the hool from having basic manners because of it? I don't think so!
 

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Hmm I see where you are coming from. I consider Junior to be a rescue horse. My friend, the one who owns him, rescued him in my opinion when she first got him because he was standing in a stall with two feet of his own feces, he had zero hoof wall, his coat was four inches long of matted hair, his mane and tail were knotted, he had a piece of metal in his eye that caused him to go partially blind, he was head shy and just plain shy and he was 300 pounds underweight. In my eyes that is a rescue.
 

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I think it's just one of those things where the person/"rescuer" feels better about themselves/more legit in their work with their horse/they feel like they're making a difference when they say their non-rescue is a rescue.
Also, I think "rescue" means different things to different people. To me, and it sound like to you, it means saving a horse from immediate physical/emotional harm. To others, it means saving a horse any sort of harm, whether that's harm that's happening now or harm that may or may not happen in 6 months.
Sometimes I say I "rescued" Lacey, other times I say I "got" her. Most of the time I just say I "got" her but then I share about how she was a week away from being put down and how her previous owners emotionally mistreated her. Sometimes though, I don't want to say that whole story but I don't want people to think that she's just a perfect little princess that I trot through daisies 24/7 so I say I "rescued" her.
At least in my area, with the people I meet, they seem to think (if I just say I own a horse) that I'm some sort of spoiled rich kid, which really couldn't be further from the truth, so if I imply that Lacey has issues by using the code word "rescue," they seem to give more respect to me as a horse person. Which is kinda selfish but effective. haha

And I would like to point out, in response to your statement that "Or they say that the horse was untrained or poorly trained or abused before they got and now it is all better and perfect all because of them," that that's not always necessarily a non-truth. I agree that some people are completely too liberal with their definitions of "issues" or whatever and use them to describe every horse that's not dead. However, it is true for some people. Take my favorite subject, Lacey, as an example, she did have issues: she could not walk under saddle, she reared, she bucked, she spooked at everything, she ran people over while they led her, she was herd bound, basically she had every nasty trait in the book besides biting. And yknow what? After I started working with her, she has become "perfect." Of course, I think that has less to do with my training prowess and more to do with the fact that she needed a leader and that I stepped in quickly and gave her strict rules to follow which was just what she wanted. So she became "perfect" through her belief in me as the leader. I also have no doubt that if I disappeared and she had no leadership again, she would revert right back into those old habits.


Was that what you wanted to know? :lol:


Great post wild_spot! "Abused" or "rescued" horses have absolutely no reason to not behave. It might take them a bit longer to be able to have their halter put on without drama if they've been severely beaten in the face or something, for instance, but someone should be working on that with them and not just saying "that's the way they are."

People are dumb. Heehee
 

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^ Exactly. The best way to deal with an abused horse is to forget they were abused and treat them like any other horse! Just because they are abused, doesn't mean they won't comprehend the usual pressure/release system!
 

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"rescuing" is the new cool, and it isn't just horses. I hear it all the time in reference to all sorts of animals and 99% of the time the label is completely mis-used.
 

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I think it's like people that try to prove they are open minded by saying they have a gay/ black/ extraterrestrial friend. It eases the guilt they feel for having a horse that doesn't behave or that isn't well trained. These people can look at their horse and say that if he wasn't with them he would be standing in a dirty stall with his mane all tangled and yucky. Now the horse is still in a stall but someone else cleans it and the little girl goes in and braids his mane and talks mushy to him and has a wonderfull "connection" to him that nobody else can have. I have never rescued a horse. I always pay money for them and I wouldn't buy a horse that I couldn't be sure was going to be sound and able to do what I wanted.
 

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Have y'all ever noticed that a lot of the people who claim that they have rescued horses are the kind of people that would have no business with a true rescue horse that has all the issues that go along with being abused? I didn't rescue my horse, but he has had an abusive past. I had to hire a professional trainer to help me because he had such severe fear issues...I was afraid he was really going to hurt someone. There is nothing cute or cool about saying your horse is a rescue IMO. If you can barely handle a plug, then it just makes you look stupid to say your horse is a "rescue".
 

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I've noticed the same thing for sure. I do consider my two horses rescues though, because they both came from situations where they were legitimately mistreated. Kainne was severely underweight, wormy, and just not being cared for at all. He was just tossed in a very small, very crowded area with many more dominant horses and left to fend for himself. But he went through nothing compared to what Buddy went through. We picked him up from his *******/abuser just days before he was going to be shipped off to slaughter. He was not only neglected, but also very severely abused and terrified of everything, particularly people. He has permanent scars all over his hind end and sides from whips, but much deeper scars on his mind. He is a horse that really does have to be treated differently because of the severe abuse he suffered throughout his entire life. No amount of work with him gets him past his fear of whips. This guy is in his upper 20s, it's been really drilled into his mind. But no matter how differently he needs to be handled, he is by no means allowed to misbehave. Allowing a horse to misbehave just because he has had a rough past is never okay. There are ways to correct bad behaviour without laying a hand on him. There is no excuse.

Anyway, I've digressed a bit...having worked with horses who actually WERE rescued, I'm definitely know the feeling of annoyance when people say their horses were rescued just to sound totally cool and compassionate or whatever, just because their horses weren't totally pampered before or because their owners were totally mean and smacked them here and there for acting up, or did something else they disagree with. Totally moronic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. I was thinking it might just be me rolling my eyes at quite a few threads on here talking about their "rescued" ottb or auction horse... just drives me nutty.
 

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I think it's like people that try to prove they are open minded by saying they have a gay/ black/ extraterrestrial friend.
I'm not getting your point here.


Anyways, I do notice people throwing the term 'rescue' around a little too comfortably. Sure, my horse used to be trained with rollkur so in a way I 'rescued' him from rollkur, but to me he is not a rescue horse by any stretch of my imagination. He was quite pampered, well-trained and well-kept except for the obvious.

To me, OTTBs, auction pets, and craigslist 'must go' horses are not rescues. Rescues are horses that are literally rescued from a harmful environment that could have lead to fatality or a serious health concern if the horse was not rescued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not getting your point here.
It is like when someone makes a big deal about how open minded and cool they are when talking to someone by saying "I am not racist/closed minded /sexist/, I have a black/female /gay friend!"

Kind of a cool by association thing, ya know like "I am a great person, I rescued my horse".
 

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Meh, I still don't think it's accurate to compare the two, but I get what you mean.
 

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I also wanted to add that I notice a lot of people calling themselves "rescue facilities" now days. I know a gal that runs one and basically I consider her a horse trader. She gets horses, calls them rescues and turns around and makes money on them. She just buys horses and resells them. She had her own mount get injured and had a large vet bill, so she went on facebook and requested money to help with the vet bill for her 'rescue horse'. She's been riding this horse for a long time and even gives kids lessons on this horse. She ended up getting over a thousand dollars on the bill just because she is running a "horse rescue". My point is, maybe that's where a lot of people get the idea that there horse is a rescue. She buys horses for next to nothing, puts a profitable price tag on them and calls it an adoption fee. The funny thing is, most people are very careful about their money when they are buying a horse outright, but call a horse a rescue and make his selling price an adoption fee and people have no problem overpaying for a horse.
 

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I was going to post about OTTBs, OTTSBs and mustangs not being rescues, and Sandy beat me to it, and very eloquently.

It just sounds better to say you're running a rescue facility tham saying you're pinhooking racehorses.
 

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There is a difference between "rescueing" from death and saving from a bad situation but I dont think it really matters. Either way the horse is in a better situation than it was and even if it was healthy when they got it and kept that way the horse is fine. I would just nod and say alright, ok whatever if someone claims there horse as a rescue.
I saved my horse from a bad situation, he was skinny and ridden very badly, but I didnt neccessarily rescue him, but he is much better off now.
 

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Sandy- Oh heavens yes. We have a number of so called "rescue" facilities around here that are basically horse traders. One is a PMU foal rescue, but bases the price of the foal by what they think they are, how they look, etc. I mean, it's nice and all to try to find these guys homes, but charging 1,000 for one because he's a paint and 200 for another because he's mouse brown is ridiculous.

Most of the of track facilities around here call themselves retrainers instead of rescues, but we have a very large harness racing community in Ohio, so they get a lot of practice in terms of what they're dealing with. They basically, at least the one I have in mind, take in STBs and TBs who are retiring and teach them to be saddle or pleasure driving horses. But I agree, the majority aren't really rescues...the horses come from good situations where they simply need a new job.
 

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There is a difference between "rescueing" from death and saving from a bad situation but I dont think it really matters. Either way the horse is in a better situation than it was and even if it was healthy when they got it and kept that way the horse is fine. I would just nod and say alright, ok whatever if someone claims there horse as a rescue.
I saved my horse from a bad situation, he was skinny and ridden very badly, but I didnt neccessarily rescue him, but he is much better off now.

I agree with this post, I got one of my horses from what was a bad situation ....did I rescue him? Maybe , maybe not?...I feel he is in a better situation than what he was in before. Could someone else do better with him ? yes , probably but I made a commitment to care for him and make him a better horse while he is in my care.
 
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