Yes it would be easier to give up on my thirty something year old arthritic horse I can’t ride anymore. Who has issues when the temperature changes, who needs wet food, special forage, supplements, a heated bucket and blanket in the winter. I guess “finding him a home with someone who had more room and more time” would be easier. But no one will give him more love, and to be honest no one else, maybe one in a million people are looking for your pasture ornament. Honesty alert- kill buyers are looking for your lifelong friend, for free on Craigslist especially (don’t do it!). I’m sorry but it’s true.
We get these emails all too frequently. My lifetime senior friend is of no use now can’t a rescue take her? If you don’t take them I’ll send them to slaughter, I love that line in an email! Really effective… (insert sarcasm here). I’m downsizing my breeding farm…. OR how about you just stop breeding so many unwanted horses to begin with! We want the rescue to keep them forever… That’s not how it works there are not unlimited funds and stalls. They are safe now that they are there with y’all and we no longer need to fight for them… finding a forever home is success not just getting them into a rescue. We get tagged constantly to go and buy healthy horses from individuals selling “cheap” to thin their herd… that’s once again brokering which rescues shouldn’t do!
What is a rescue? How did the lines get so blurred? When did “rescues” become kill pen brokers? When did they start buying and selling and flipping at all? When did having a Facebook page make you a rescue in the first place? Kill buyers talking about “their success stories and adoptions” NO your a kill buyer. When did kill pens start financing horses like used car salesmen? How does a true rescue fit into this grey world of online ghost fundraising? Fundraising pages where people blindly send money to absolute strangers? Like legit strangers? A world where people will buy a horse sight unseen with enormous health problems for three times the price, but expect horses from rescue organizations (charities) that have been completely rehabbed, truly vetted and trained to be absolutely free?
I’ve been watching a lot of groups here recently. The social media world has turned rescuing into an online reality show and it makes me sick. Organizations that pull your emotions for shock value rather than hold a high moral standard of excellence. Groups who freely and openly argue and cuss online to their supporters. Real rescues who have stopped helping all horses but now only help kill pen horses to simply stay relevant. What has happened??? Companies making rescue groups compete for donations when we should all be on the same team… it’s sad. How does a group with good hearts, great work, and real standards fit into this online fiesta of what I call “the instant horse”. The deadlines, the drama, oh mylanta! Literally I just can’t.
Rescue work is hard, it’s no walk in the park. There is no easy way to become a rescue you have to do the work. I’ve fallen to me knees in the pasture with tears in my eyes in prayer. I’ve grieved for weeks over horses I knew for only days. We’ve taken in your senior friend and held his head as he took his last breath, your welcome. I’ve rehabbed your emaciated good old riding horse for his last one year of life at 36. I’ve cleaned wounds for months, I’ve given shots for months and worried for years. I’ve slept in barns on horse blankets in the dirt so a horse wouldn’t die alone, or to give it comfort to pull through the night. I’ve cried in their manes and I’ve listened to their stories. While we have a super high success rate I’ve still had those little brown boxes shipped to me from their last ride to the equine hospital. I’ve had to realize not every story has a happy ending. I’ve felt more out of time, out of energy, and unable to go on than most people feel in a lifetime.
So believe me when I say, it isn’t luck. What we have been built on is good old fashioned hard work. I’ve worked my butt off and have for a long time to do what I felt in my heart to be right. To fight for the horses who deserve to live a life free from suffering and pain. We haven’t gotten lost in the grey area and we still hold strong to a true rescues standards. A lot of other groups have done the same, they feel overwhelmed, overworked and under heard. Rescue groups feel like they are screaming at empty rooms most times. Screaming for someone to care as much as we do… Is social media an organizations best friend or our worst enemy these days? I don’t know anymore. All I know is who we are and that’s a verified organization of excellence. Does it matter to anyone? Again I don’t know but I know it matters to our horses, and I know they would appreciate it if it mattered to you.
Everyone can do something adopt, foster, donate, share, support, volunteer. Www.paypal.me/crossfirerescue #crossfirecowgirls