Mitchell Horse Rescue

Horse Rescue. The toughest business of all.

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Mitchell Horse Rescue.

I hope you bear with me, this article has been in the development stage for years and will take me awhile to type. I can type now with two fingers so I can go twice as fast but I still can’t spell worth a damn, I would be lost if not for Mr. Webster’s dictionary of the English Language.

See I do have some use for the English. I’m sorry I really did need to take a shot. I’ve left you people alone far to long. Anyway, for once this story has nothing to do with who’s who of the horse world, it really is about horse rescue.

As some of you know I have been rescuing horses from slaughter for almost 15yrs. Back then I didn’t call it horse rescue, I just bought the horses no one else wanted, rough stock culls from rodeos, ex chuck and track horses whatever came along, the ones that I could see potential in and my main reason, to make a buck with.

Even back then I bought mares that were in foal, it has always been my opinion (and sore spot) that bred mares and mares with foals on side shouldn’t be going to slaughter “period” no ifs, ands, or buts. As a matter of fact that’s how I built up my Registered Quarter horse herd, all well bred, good conformation and young.

Young horses going to slaughter, it never ceases to amaze me. Why spend the money to breed and then half way along the pregnancy “can” the horse?

Mares in foal going to slaughter do not come out of PMU operations.

Oh I know, a lot of you didn’t call the meat man, you took the horse to public auction and didn’t hang around to see who bought her. I hear that everytime I phone someone about the reg. horse I buy out of the meat pens. It’s got to the point I don’t even bother anymore.

And you know its not the owners fault, I really don’t think people want to can their horses any more than they would want to pee on an electric fence, but life takes its ups and downs and people as well as horses get caught in the slide.

You know the animals rights type always have the answers for everything. Don’t breed this. Don’t do that. If we listened to them all we would do all day is smoke dope and watch the test patterns on our T.V.’s. This isn’t Disney World its real life and “shit happens”.

Even to me, what horses do I rescue? How many should I take in? Who should get them, how do we follow up? Where do I get the money?

Right now I have 10 young horses 2-4 yrs olds, nobody wants them. If I only bring in horses of riding age 6-10 lets say, is that horse rescue? Or just another horse dealer? When we only have 10-15 horse rescues here, people say to us “what problem” when we have 20-50 horses which has happened, people say “no way”! Were all these horses going to be slaughtered? “Yes they were”.

Another problem I face on a daily basis, how to feed them all? Where do we get funding? “No” I’m a not Paul Mitchell Hair Products. I’m not related in anyway.

The phone calls and the emails keep me jumping, all for the same horse, the 6-12 yr.old gelding broke to near death. Yes! They are in the pens but we can’t save them all. There is only two of us working with these horses on a daily basis and some days I’m as useless as they come.

M.S. and horse rescue, a good combination. M.S. keeps me angry and horse rescue keeps that anger focused. The emotional rollercoaster you get on trying to please everybody and to do the right thing for horses stinks, for lack of better words.

What happens when we do find a horse that is dangerous to be around or ride? You can’t place them with anybody, they have to be exchanged for others waiting to be slaughterd that are not dangerous. That’s easier said than done.

Its not the public that has fed or worked with the horse over the last couple of months trying to save him/her, its us. It’s not easy but it has to done.

Thank God in the last 3yrs I have only come across 6 horses that had to go.6 out of 273, that should tell our critics something,

Yes! I do have critics. The email that always sticks in my mind read, “Why do you bother to save mares and babies? We only ride geldings”. Anybody for biology 101 lessons?

And to silence those who say there are no bad horses only bad training. Wrong! There are bad to the bone horses out there just like there are bad to the bone people. Food for thought, maybe we should can bad to the bone people as well?

Horse rescue means work, hard work, long hours 24-7 is the norm. It also means Education for the general public. And good training for horses.

Not alot of people know the truth about horse slaughter, not alot want to know. It’s the dark side.

People like to think horses all die from heart attacks, running in a field of daisys or that horses are only for the rich so why should the rest of us be concerned at all?

Horses are our past. They are our history, without them we wouldn’t be here in North America. The west would have never been discovered, you wouldn’t exist.

For thousands of years horses have been mans equal. They have been worshiped by some and praised by others. Man has strived to be like the horse, strong proud and free.

The highest honor of ancient Rome was “Master of the Horse.” Reserved for ancient Romes greatest generals. They are the fabric of legends and folklore.

The history of the horse is longer than man’s himself. Even in the days of the old west, a cowboy was nothing without his horse. You would be hung for even attempting to steal one.

The wonderment of horses is seen in the eyes of every child who looks at one in the flesh. Everything man has become can be traced back to the horses that carried him.

So how do we repay our debt to this ancient race that we share this world with?

You all know the answer now! 60-90 cents a lb.

written by Paul Mitchell
The Mitchell Centre of Horse Rescue,
Alberta, Canada

Look back on our struggle for freedom.
Trace our present day’s strength to its source;
And you’ll find that man’s pathway to glory
Is strewn with the bones of a horse”