Often times we get a comment or two from "New Horizons" here and I neglected to check where that came from. Doing a twitter search today on twazzup I find that it is from a Wallaceberg, Ontario woman who has made it a passion to rescue standardbreds.
The Kitchener "sale", and I use that term loosely, is a place where unwanted horses go. They don't go for kids, or pony rides, the bulk of them go there to die. Claudette frequents that sale looking for horses she can save, on her own dime.
There are at least 25 Standardbreds on average going through their ring every Tuesday,” says Claudette. I’ve also taken two horses directly off the track, Yankee Buck, who has a fractured coffin bone that’s currently being treated, and the other, Whiter Than Snow, called Poppy, a grey 16.2 hh Standardbred mare, who just wasn’t fast enough. Then, I had one given to me, Grapes Magic Trick, who’s already trained in Western pleasure.
In addition she rescued another one recently - a yearling with a facial deformity. He could not sell, of course, although he was bred to by us to do exactly that. He was left at the sale to be discarded like yesterday's trash. He wasn't yesterday's trash; he was a horse. And thankfully she was there for him.
We can not save all the horses, but as owners we have to be responsible for them when we can. We breed them to use, and they deliver the best that they can. They should not be thrown away. If an owner's trainer asks for $2000 for vet work or surgery so an infirm horse can be entered to race, you bet the owner will pay for it. There is absolutely no reason that $200 or $300 can not be used to humanely destroy a horse too lame to find a home. Kill pens are not a product of too many horses, they are a product of irresponsible people.
People need to realize that owning horses is a big commitment, and if it comes time that they can no longer care for them or the horse is no longer enjoying a quality life due to an incurable injury or illness, then it’s their responsibility as a horse owner to take the time to do the right thing. Whether it be re-home them for a new career, or humanely euthanize them if their quality of life is hindered, the responsibility for that horse’s health, safety and welfare is theirs.
If you are a horseperson or own a farm, the New Horizon's website linked above has a list of items they need to keep the stable happy. She does not ask for much. Give it a whirl if you have some of these items hanging around the barn. Horses like Pickle will say thank you.