A new opportunity has presented itself to me, one that made me think, “are you serious??” in the good way.
If you read my post about principles, you would have seen that I don’t believe that disposing of horses by sending them for slaughter is acceptable. For the last year or so, I’ve been following a group on Facebook that posts information on horses that are currently in a feedlot in my area, and that provides the opportunity for people to buy them (yes, at a markup) before they are sent for slaughter. This group is quite controversial for several reasons, the main ones that I see are, a) you are buying a horse from the meat-man at a higher price than he paid for the horse at auction, b) you don’t get to see the horse before buying aside from the photos, c) there is little to no history on the horses, d) there are concerns about this creating a marked up market so that horse rescues have been outbid on horses at auction because this meat-man knows he can likely find a buyer who will pay more for the horse though this group, e) there are no purchase/adoption contracts in place so technically these horses could end up in bad situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see issues with this model. However, I also see this group as a means to give these horses a second chance that they otherwise don’t have (i.e.: if nobody purchases these horses within the week they’re at the feedlot, they are sent for meant. Period).
Sometimes, supporters of this group raise “bail” for these horses and they are put in foster homes until permanent homes can be found. Sometimes this bail money comes from donations, and sometimes it is given as a loan, it really depends on the individuals who are providing the bail money.
One of the foster homes in my area has 10 of these horses, and the woman is looking for some assistance in getting them started under saddle etc., with the intent that it will make these horses more marketable so that they can find good permanent homes. She is a certified coach and is offering free riding/ground work with these horses, under her instruction, in exchange for the help. She is located about 25 mins from where I live, AND has an indoor arena. As soon as I read her request, I was sold. This seems like a great opportunity to further my horsey experience under the guidance of a certified instructor which is something I don’t really have out at the Boss’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ditching Corona or the Boss’, I’m doing this in addition to my regular horsey endeavours! I actually think this is going to be of benefit to Corona and I because I’ll be able to take the knowledge and experience from this opportunity, and apply it to our relationship. I’ve also been looking for a way to help these horses that is non-financial in nature, and this seems to be a good option to do so.
I’m aiming to do this once/week and maybe twice/week depending on my availability. Corona must come first and I’ve let the woman know this already. I’m hoping that I haven’t bit off more than I can chew, but I think I would regret not exploring this opportunity. The other great thing is the fact that there’s an indoor arena – so I see this as something that I can really dedicate more time to in the winter months when I can’t do much out at the Boss’s anyways.
Also – this woman’s passion is dressage! I’m really looking forward to working with her and essentially being a sponge and soaking up any knowledge I can. I should be starting early next week so I’ll be sure to include updates in here too.