Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The unwanted horse problem- is there a horse storm coming?

Today I was doing some research on the unwanted horse statistics and found that the 2009 Unwated Horse Survey has been issued. Click here to read survey

"The Unwanted Horse Coalition, a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council, is concerned that some horses may slip through the various safety nets within the equine industry. Too many owners are unaware of, or do not give enough thought to, the available options, services and assistance available in the industry to help them ensure that their horse has caring and humane support throughout its life. The Unwanted Horse Coalition will help educate the horse industry about this issue and help people learn to Own Responsibly."

Page 31 shows the most appealing solutions to the unwanted horse problem
  • Horse ownership education focused on buying and owning responsibly 
  • Increase ability of rescue/adoption/retraining facilities to care for unwanted horses
  • Reopening U.S. processing plants
  • More resources for humane euthanization
and along with the least appealing soluntions to the unwanted horse problem
  • Expand legislation or regulation to control horse ownership
  • Federal funding for carcass removal
  • Increase awareness of animal welfare rights
  • Federal funding to expand horse adoption
What I take from these statistics is that it is up to us. The general public who love horses and are corcerned about their welfare. We need to band together and start taking action on behalf of those who need help and those who cannot help themselves. Please take a moment to read our objectives for the Hay Bank, Low Cost Gelding Clinics and Euthanasia Clinics. We are taking a leap of faith in our efforts to form a Non-profit for the horses and we need your support.

What can we do today that will change the outcome for tommorow?
I confirmed with the owner of Roseville Livestock auction yesterday that they are closing their doors. The property needs too much repair to be brought up to county code, and the property owner is not interested in making the $60,000+ in repairs. So I ask you, where does that leave the desperate horse owners? Anywhere from 50 -100 horses a month were run through the Roseville Auction each month, many owners brought their horses to this local auction in hopes that they would be purchased and fnd a new home. Many brought their elderly or untrained horses as the last resort because humane euthanasia was too expensive and traveling to another auction 3 hours away is not possible. Owners who had no luck selling privately and where unable to properly care for their horses had at least this option, now what? Is there going to be an increase in horse abandonment? What can we do to help?

We hope our hay bank will help owners who want to keep their horses but are just struggling temporarily with hay costs. We also hope we can help owners connect with trainers to help horses with behavior issues through our rehoming assistance but what about the rest?

Although we would all like to help each horse find a new home and plan to try our best to help but the reality is there will be many who will not be able to find homes. BITS believes that many horses will be forced to suffer this winter simply because their owners are unable to care for them. We can prevent that suffering if we give owners the option of having their horse put down by a vet in a humane manner and at an affordable cost. It is not a wonderful option but until another solution can be found it is a neccesary one. We hope you understand it is in the best interest of horses that cannot find homes. BITS has formed a network of giving vetrinarians and disposal businesses who are willing to donate their time and equiptment, all that is left is the funding to make it affordable for every owner in need. Do you know someone who might be interested in donating to this worthy cause?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A great weekend!

First off it seems like our bad luck is over. BITS received wonderful news today. We have been chosen to receive a grant from the Ralph and Virginia Mullin Foundation! The grant will pay for all of BITS IRS filing fees. This is fantastic news and we are all so excited. Yesterday we had our first tabling at the Ride & Dine held at the Camelot Equestrian Center. What a place, with trails and arenas everywhere.

Thanks to Betty our cheerleader(pictured in the pirate witch outfit), we had a great table next to Valley Tractor complete with witch hats and hanging bats! Deb made fun candy mice, caramel apples and crispy treats to sell for our Hay Bank. Aside from making a few dollars, we made great contacts with the Pony Club and some enthusiastic college girls. The kids had a great time doing everything Halloween and horsey.

They even had a pumpkin polo match.

BITS will surely be back next year. Thank you Camelot, we had a blast.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We are still here!

Sorry for the delay in posts. The bits team has had two weeks of bad luck! First is the was the craigslist scam that cost us a day in driving, two tanks of gas and two girls in a funky mood. Then it was followed up with a death in the family, a blown transmission and a rain storm. We were felling like "Why us?", when a package came in the mail.

It was the cutest flymask all decked out in American Pride courtesy of The Well Groomed Horse!

This is a serious fly mask and since Lil Bit has gone through 3 in the past 2 months, it is a welcome site. The well enforced back strap is sure to stay closed. Great handmade American craftsmanship!

Even my husband was impressed by how well it was put together and the fabric is soft and sturdy so it will not rub Lil Bit's hair off. If you remember, he has to wear a fly mask at all times due to the improper way his torn eyelid healed prior to his adoption.

When I walked out to place on Lil Bit he was hesitant, he is still working on his confidence. After the mask was placed on him, he was all smiles for the camera.

Even Shorty his pasture mate was jealous. So a huge thank you to The Well Groomed Horse for the great pick me up. She makes an excellent product, if you are interested in purchasing some of her new gear, click here to check out her blog .
They are fat, fuzzy, happy, mini horse approved!