Friday, February 26, 2010


Anonymous pointed out this great bit of information on HSUS from the Consumer Freedom site. FHOTD needs to stop supporting HSUS.

Today's featured draft horse is Laural's Powerful Paul (Shire).

7 Things You Didn't Know About HSUS

1) The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a “humane society” in name only, since it doesn’t operate a single pet shelter or pet adoption facility anywhere in the United States. During 2007, HSUS contributed only 3.64 percent of its budget to organizations that operate hands-on dog and cat shelters. In reality, HSUS is a wealthy animal-rights lobbying organization (the largest and richest on earth) that agitates for the same goals as PETA and other radical groups.

2) Beginning on the day of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s 2007 dogfighting indictment, HSUS raised money online with the false promise that it would “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case.” The New York Times later reported that HSUS wasn’t caring for Vick’s dogs at all. And HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group recommended that government officials “put down” (that is, kill) the dogs rather than adopt them out to suitable homes. HSUS later quietly altered its Internet fundraising pitch.
3) HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California veal processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.” That same year, Goodwin was arrested at a UC Davis protest celebrating the 10-year anniversary of an ALF arson at the university that caused $5 million in damage. And in 1998, Goodwin described himself publicly as a “former member of ALF.”
4) According to a 2008 Los Angeles Times investigation, less than 12 percent of money raised for HSUS by California telemarketers actually ends up in HSUS’s bank account. The rest is kept by professional fundraisers. And if you exclude two campaigns run for HSUS by the “Build-a-Bear Workshop” retail chain, which consisted of the sale of surplus stuffed animals (not really “fundraising”), HSUS’s yield number shrinks to just 3 percent. Sadly, this appears typical. In 2004, HSUS ran a telemarketing campaign in Connecticut with fundraisers who promised to return a minimum of zero percent of the proceeds. The campaign raised over $1.4 million. Not only did absolutely none of that money go to HSUS, but the group paid $175,000 for the telemarketing work.
5) Research shows that HSUS’s heavily promoted U.S. “boycott” of Canadian seafood—announced in 2005 as a protest against Canada’s annual seal hunt—is a phony exercise in media manipulation. A 2006 investigation found that 78 percent of the restaurants and seafood distributors described by HSUS as “boycotters” weren’t participating at all. Nearly two-thirds of them told surveyors they were completely unaware HSUS was using their names in connection with an international boycott campaign. Canada’s federal government is on record about this deception, saying: “Some animal rights groups have been misleading the public for years … it’s no surprise at all that the richest of them would mislead the public with a phony seafood boycott.”
6) HSUS raised a reported $34 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, supposedly to help reunite lost pets with their owners. But comparatively little of that money was spent for its intended purpose. Louisiana’s Attorney General shuttered his 18-month-long investigation into where most of these millions went, shortly after HSUS announced its plan to contribute $600,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter on the grounds of a state prison. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million.
7) After gathering undercover video footage of improper animal handling at a Chino, CA slaughterhouse during November of 2007, HSUS sat on its video evidence for three months, even refusing to share it with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. HSUS’s Dr. Michael Greger testified before Congress that the San Bernardino County (CA) District Attorney’s office asked the group “to hold on to the information while they completed their investigation.” But the District Attorney’s office quickly denied that account, even declaring that HSUS refused to make its undercover spy available to investigators if the USDA were present at those meetings. Ultimately, HSUS chose to release its video footage at a more politically opportune time, as it prepared to launch a livestock-related ballot campaign in California. Meanwhile, meat from the slaughterhouse continued to flow into the U.S. food supply for months.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How To Respond to Animal Abuse

I believe that a correct response to irresponsible behaviour on a lesser scale, such as riding a yearly, is an informative yet not unfriendly letter. In these instances the person may not know. When I was young everyone had barbwire fences so I didn't learn than this was inappropriate fencing for a horse until a later. We all live and learn. But what about the abuser who doesn't call AC and let's their horses starve to death. How do you responded?

Here's an example: Someone starves or uses abusive training practices on horse. This person is tried and convicted so there no question about culpability. The person is not mentally ill and they are being callous to win prize money. Is it ok in this circumstance for the Fugly followers to send frank or abusive letters to the criminal? Where do you draw the line?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Economics of Training

by Grainne Dhu

Comments were made on this blog that small trainers and dealers are
being squeezed out of the low end of the horse market by rescues. That
there is no profit in training a horse for pleasure/trail riding. Is
this true? And if it is true, is it a good or bad thing? Would a
change of recommendations away from "rescue a horse in danger" serve
any good purpose?

Cost and market value are often two different numbers. It may cost
more to produce a certain item than the market will pay for it, the
two numbers may be similar or it may cost markedly less to produce the
item than the market will pay. If you want examples of items in the
third category, walk into a Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is full of stuff that
costs much less to produce than the market value of the item. Is horse
training like that?

Well, let's see. Let's start with Jane Rider, who has the skills to
train a horse from untouchable to being a safe and steady ride on the
trail. The standard working week in the US is 40 hours, usually worked
in increments of 8 hours over 5 out of 7 days. Since horses need care
7 days a week, Jane's working hours should be no more than 5.7 hours a
day. Looks to me like Jane could work 6 horses a day (slightly less
than one hour per horse) if someone else does the grooming and cooling
out but that person doesn't work for free either! To keep this simple,
let's say that Jane does all care for the horses, so that means she
probably only has time to work 4 horses a day.

How much should Jane get paid for that? Well, someone who in engaged
in physical activity needs to eat more than a package of ramen a day.
They need health insurance because everyone needs health insurance and
because injuries are a predictable part of handling horses. She should
also have disability insurance, again because horses and injuries tend
to go together. She needs to be able to afford a vehicle because most
horses live in places without public transportation. She also needs to
be able to afford a place to live and enough money to live on
reasonably comfortably.

So, here's my (conservative) guesstimates as to the cost of all these
things. Nutritious food for one person for one month at $500. Health
insurance at $400. Disability insurance at $120. Vehicle payment,
$250. Rent or house payment on a one bedroom, $600. Utilities,
clothing, recreational expenses, $500. Sub total, $2,370 per month.
Taxes on all of that would run around 35%, so add $830 for a total of
$3200 per month.

Now, the horses also have expenses. They have to eat, they need to
have their hooves done, they need vet care. I'm arbitrarily going to
decide that stall board with part day turn out is $150 (feed
included), hooves $60 per farrier visit but since that is once every 8
weeks, the one month total is $30. Vet care, say one yearly visit for
routine care and one yearly visit to fix whatever stupid thing the
horse did for a total of $500 per year; divided into 12 months, that
is $40/month. Horse total is $220 per month.

Jane plus horse expenses total $3420 per month. Divided between the
four horses she can care for, that is $855 per horse.

Remember that goal of turning out a horse that is stable and safe to
trail ride? How long would it take Jane, who is a gifted rider, to
train a horse to do that?

Assuming that the horse comes to Jane halter trained and with adequate
ground manners but has never had a saddle on, has never been bridled
and has only a very vague idea of what "ho" means (he thinks it means
slow down slightly). I'll guesstimate that it takes Jane a week of
ground work to get this horse comfortable being saddled, bridled and
taught that "ho" means stop moving every single hoof. By the end of
the second week, Jane has taught him that weight on his back, having a
human swing around in different positions near and on top of him is
okay and that he really and truly will not fall over if he has to take
a step with a human weight on his back.

By the end of the third week, Jane has him walking under a rider with
the rudiments of turning and stopping. By the end of the fourth week,
Jane has him beginning to balance himself at a walk and through big

That's $855.

By the end of the fifth week, Jane has him trotting under saddle,
walking with good balance and able to do serpentines at a walk without
falling into the turns. By the end of the sixth week, Jane has him
cantering under saddle in big circles in both directions, trotting
with balance through serpentines and has done some riding with him at
a walk outside the arena, in a familiar area.

By the end of the seventh week, Jane has him working at w/t/c in both
directions and able to balance himself through turns. By the end of
the eighth week, Jane has him able to do a reasonably balanced halt
from a walk, a trot or a canter, able to do medium and large circles
at the trot and able to trot around outside the arena in a familiar

That's $1710.

In the ninth week, Jane focuses on working outside the arena. She
walks him in new places, but trots and canters only in familiar areas.
In the tenth week, Jane starts riding him in the company of other
horses and seeks out simple obstacles like shallow creeks or a steep
slope to help him figure out how to navigate.

In the eleventh and twelfth weeks, Jane seeks out new situations and
sets up simple challenges like walking across a tarp on the ground,
stepping across rails on the ground, etc.

That's $2565.

Now, let's say that Jane started out with a four year old, low end
grade horse that may have had one grandparent that was a registered
QH. Hard to say from looking at him. His head is a little coarse, his
neck is adequate, he could use more shoulder angle, he's a whisper
high in the rear. Legs clean all around. But he does have a cute
little diamond shaped snip on his nose and he's got a naturally calm
disposition, such that even when really startled, his most extreme
reaction is to raise his head and stop moving until he can see what is
going on. Before Jane put three months into him, he was worth maybe
$500 at auction (people can't resist the cute little snip).

Horse and cost of training, $3,065.

So what is this horse's market worth? Anyone want to venture a guess?

I suspect that the market value of training is not nearly as much as
the cost of it. The hypothetical horse above could, I believe, be
fairly described as green broke, suitable for an intermediate rider.
He needs more hours under saddle and lots more experience to be
appropriate for beginner riders, although he does naturally have the
right sort of temperament.

Now say there's someone, Sally Trailrider, who has $3000 to spend on a
new horse. She's heard that if she goes to auction, she can get a
Quarter horse, Thoroughbred or Arab, complete with papers, minimal
training but a nice prospect. Or she could go to Jane Rider and get
the hypothetical horse who may have been worth $500 at auction before
he got all that training.

Does Sally have the skills to put the training into an auction rescue?
Maybe but looking at horse prices, I suspect not. Unridden horses are
worth less than horses that can be ridden through the ring.
Unfortunately, the difference is only a couple hundred dollars. Over
and over, when people talk about what they want in a horse, they
describe a horse that is, above all, bombproof.

Maybe Sally will be lucky and the auction horse turns out to be a well
trained horse that slipped through the cracks for some reason. The
auction horse will almost certainly fill the eye better than the
hypothetical low end grade horse, cute snip or not.

Does Sally really need a horse with good conformation? She rides 3
times a week, rarely more than an hour at a time and does very little
trotting or cantering. What she really enjoys is walking along out in
nature enjoying time away from the rest of her life with her horse.
She's highly unlikely to ever do anything high impact, so the
hypothetical horse's lack of shoulder angulation and whisper high rear
are not likely to impede his soundness.

Are people looking for the wrong qualities in their horses?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I wish to address the FHOTD comments on Dena (I keep looking on the Voodoo thread, but I can't find the comment. Did she remove it?). Many have heard about Dena's current troubles so I think it's about time I state my opinion on it. If Dena has done anything wrong then she will pay for it. Her actions, what ever they are, do not condone certain blogs and BB dancing with happiness and gloating over misfortune. There is a young child and animals that are experiencing the fallout from the events so if you are truly concerned about horse welfare get your ass over there and make sure everything's ok. Start acting like humans concerned with the welfare of horses and children rather than flock vultures circling the corps. You really are reaching new lows.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More on Hercules

Two readers were kind enough to up date us on Hercules:
"Hercules has 1000+ fans now on his Facebook page. Cathy is suggesting every one of them send in $5.oo a month to sponsor him. This will add up to, let's see... $5,000 a month or $60,000 a year." Note: estimates the annual cost to keep a horse at home is $3,728.50.

"Yep 1000 fans and 5.00 each is EXACTLY why Fugs likes the celebrity rescues....In Hercules case she made him the celebrity but still it shows she is all about the money."

Hercules facebook page can be found at:

What troubles me is that Fugs didn't asked, in the midst of a fundraising frenzy, when Herc will get his joint lubrication. You'd think that someone who was concerned about the horse would ask this question. After all wouldn't you think that getting Herc sound would be high on Fugs agenda. At least, purporting to be the shining example of how to do rescues right she should have lead by example. Would a sound horse take away from her attention and fundraising?
These are quotes from Herc's facebook page:

Hercules the horse 1,100 fans who love me! ♥ ♥ ♥ Love you too!
February 5 at 10:15pm

"Hercules the horse (katie here) Thank you Mike and Cathy ;-) We have had two SCR volunteers sign up for the $5/month and one Fan from this page. SCR depends on the kindness and generosity of the public to help horses like Hercules. The barn is full, grants and donations are down. I know it seems that $5 wouldn't make a difference, but it does if everyone participates. We very much appreciate your support, and so do the horses!

Donate button is on the homepage of the SCR website;"

Barbara Greene-Whitener WOW.......NEW fans! Since yesterday, FOUR more people have become FANS of Hercules! Donate.........donate..........donate. Do you really need ONE more cup of drive-through coffee this month? Send that $5 to Second Chance Ranch. I didn't need it and sent my $$ in. There are more "Wendys" out there and more gentle "used up" horses to rescue. All together we can make a BIG difference!
~ Barbara Greene-Whitener

Monday, February 15, 2010


The before and after shots of Voodoo, a mustang stallion, rescued from Three Strikes Ranch.

FHOTD wrote about Voodo twice. Voodoo was rescued by Habitat For Horses/Jerry Finch and has purported to have put on 300lbs. This looks to be the case as there's significant weight gain. I do believe that if this was any other rescue Fugs would have written a scathing review for the horse not being 100% recuperated. Apparently, according to Fugs, this is easy to do. All that's required is hay, water, and a bit of grain. If this were only true our lives would be so much easier.

I don't know if this horse has worms as there could be other causes such as a ventral hernia. It's possible that the photo was taken during treatment for parasites. I don't have the full story, but I doubt Fugs would have let the pot belly get by without flailing someone. If anyone has the time line and further information about Voodoo please post it in the comments. Does any one know the dates of the photos?

From the Comment Section-More FHOTD nonsense
(I never interfere with someone's right to make themselves look foolish either)
Thew says:
FEBRUARY 15, 2010 AT 6:54 PM
Gosh. Am I understanding this correctly? Is the second picture of Voodoo an update photograph? Good god in Heaven that horse looks just as bad as he did before, if not worse. Look at that wormy belly! If I saw a horse turned out in that condition I would call AC.
Log in to Reply

fhotd says:
FEBRUARY 15, 2010 AT 8:50 PM
Well, feel free to. I rarely moderate comments here so everybody’s welcome to an opinion. I do not think you will get far with any such accusations but I never interfere with anyone’s right to make themselves look foolish.

Friday, February 12, 2010

All you DQs step away from the horse now!

HLS has proved us with todays amusement:

"OK, today's Fugly post is all about disciplines horses like to do and tolerate doing. 

She writes "I really don’t want to start a big discipline war here" and then proceeds to add "but I can’t imagine that a horse ever enjoys something like western pleasure or dressage the same way they enjoy, say, foxhunting or cutting or team penning." Of course, a ton of her followers immediately piled on the abuse for dressage. 

The disinformation she spreads on that site of hers. Ugh."

HLS also states:

"OK, but it's stuff like this that kills me. Fugly says:

"Oh, I think mine definitely chooses to go slow – but I think that he’d prefer to go slow with his nose stuck out. I don’t know that collection, whether it’s for WP or dressage, is ever something a horse would naturally choose. I guess I always draw a distinction between things horses would do naturally in the pasture and things horses would NEVER do without a rider and training.""

A member pointed out that she thinks Fugs reads this blog. When she made comments about Fugs misinformation on ponies and dislike for them Fugs immediately followed up with an article about how great ponies are. I thought it was funny, but now I'm starting to question it.

I recently wrote an article on the vertical and collection for the Trooperandsarah blog which addressed what type of collection and vertical is healthy for your horse and what would your horse be comfortable with. Now Fugs comes out with a comment against my position. Hmm, very suspicious.

Firstly, a horse doesn't have a rider on it's back in the pasture so how can you relate that to riding. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Horses natural lean on their fore so once the horse is mounted the riders weight will shift to the horses fore. This isn't a very healthy way for a horse to move so collection is used to shift the weight of the rider to the horse's rear and the fore is lightened to it's natural state. There are so many things wrong with Fugs' article that I can't begin to list them all. I'm sure you'll do a better job then myself so list away.

I'm still trying to figure out the clicky thing. Until then I hope this helps:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February- Big Joe

Sorry for the delay. It's been a semester of work thus far.

This month's horse that is adoptable is in Kansas City, MO. His name is Big Joe. He is a 25 year old paint/pinto who would be really ideal for a younger child learning to ride. He can only carry 100 lbs or less at a walk/trot due to some arthritis, but otherwise would be a very good little lesson horse. There is a video on his webpage of him being ridden, so be sure to take a look!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kitten cuteness

TBy the way, if you are interested, I put my kitties baby pictures up on the Trooper and Sarah blog.


The story of Hercules is hard to make sense of. One minute the horse is sound and the next Fugs needs $5000.00. We've all seen repeated examples of Fugs looseness with the truth and should know by now not to take this woman's word for it. The bottom line is Fugs and someone else's money is never a good combination. Stop enabling this "Begging Bertha" and find a better cause to donate your time and money to. What has she done with your donations so far? She's spent $300.00 on a tail extension for the VLC.

I think that everyone who wishes to donate to Fugs' latest attempt to separate her readers from their money should read the comments on this blog first. If that doesn't give you reason to pause then one astute Anon. suggests the following:

hey, here are some of Fugly's screen names:
resqtb or resqtbs
go ahead and search the blogs and user groups and be prepared to be entertained.