Blog post 4. “Leftovers.” Camp horses, part 4.
The view from “The other side of the fence.”
(Please note, the numbers in this blog are not meant to be representative for all camp horses or all sales)
“At the end of the season, returning camp horses are available for sale. Some of them will ring a bell, so to speak, a $2000 horse might bring $4000, if he or she is a bit ‘special’. A special horse might have a bit of color or unique markings, extra tolerance or maybe, just that special look in their eye- the horse that looks back at you when you look at him. When resale time begins the public’s focus is going to be on these horses, the ‘better’ end horses.
Just because they all did the same job and we got paid the same for the use of them, does not mean they are the same horses. Many of them do not have the same future, nor will they fetch the same price. There are always some horses, a few, that slip through the cracks. These horses may be a little plainer or a little older but are just as safe. They are dependable, good horses that often have more value to use than to sell. We might loose a little money on them They are cheaper horses, possibly horses who are quite plain, with a few lumps and bumps, but safe horses that people will walk past looking for something a bit more eye catching. Kind, genuine horses who are the victim of age and color. They are not so memorable- the pawns, so to speak, they go, they do their job and they are the first to be “taken down”. Odds are, 15-1 they are the plain red horses that the public just gets tired of looking at -they are awful common and often, the least likely to be sought after.
These horses, the plainer ones, are most likely to be leftovers. ‘ ‘Someone’ will purchase them because they are cheap enough, they will buy a price and there is very little investment. Unfortunately, the people who have little invested in something they purchase may not take the best care of it. Maybe not providing enough food or hoof care. Owning a horse is a responsibility, it is a privilege, but it is a responsibility.
The cruelest thing someone can do to a horse at that stage, when they have slipped through the cracks, is abandon them. But, it costs to board them and it costs the same to feed, to properly care for a rideable, attractive, sound, mannerly horse as it does one who isn’t.
Only so many can be retired, rescued or re-homed. I have to look at each one and ask myself if this is a horse I can continue to support. It is a matter of timing. This individual may have everything but timing because at the end of the season the horse world can’t absorb them all. If a dealer comes in, I am going to wholesale them. Usually I can only fill up the fingers on one hand with those horses, but in the industry as a whole , it is a very different ratio. Even with all these things, the good things I like to think I am to these horses, I am still in business. They will have a good home while they are here but a horse can’t pick his owners. I try not to focus on that.”
(Please remember these are merely informational posts designed to educate and promote thought. They are the result of an open dialogue between two people sharing their experiences in hopes of finding common ground and making a difference. They are of course, only two people’s experiences and not meant, in any way, to speak for every person or every horse. There is no every.
While I understand that this is a potentially controversial series, I ask that all comments be courteous even if you disagree. I welcome everyone’s opinions on our page but as always, remind all to please be respectful to us as individuals and the path we are attempting to take.)