posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:09 AM
Hey All, I hail from Missouri, and have had and dealt with horses all of my life, so I have a bit of understanding of how things sometimes have to
work. As far as the picture goes, yes, its obvious the horse is starving, and probobly parasite ridden too, and according to the Ruesters caption is
currently at a rescue where the photo was taken. Some of you stated the horse was being held in a tiny area and being starved to death this is not
If you were to realease this starving horse onto the nice pasture in the background-it would eat itself to death literally. Horses, unlike mules and
Donkeys who will stop eating when they are full, a horse will if hungry, or tempted by a rare treat eat until they overload thier system and die. So
the safest thing for the rescuers to do is keep the horse contained, and feed him minimal amounts until he can handle more. When they eat until they
nearly kill themselves it is called foundering, and can cause permanent unrepairable damage.
As for the drought conditions, and the livestock markets in Missouri that I know first hand- Its dry, in 47 years Ive never seen it this dry, or this
hot for so long, it is now beginning to cool some, but no real measurable rain as of yet. What we do get is short quick, and soaks in so fast the
dust is flying again in 30 minutes after its over. There are horses for sale everywhere, due to the lack of hay, and or no money available to
unemployed owners to feed them. as far as horses being loosed, yes, it does happen, as far as horses going over fences to find food, yep is
happening, and even happens in good years, this is all nothing new.
What I find odd is that for nearly two weeks now I have been hunting for a couple of good horses to buy, but they arent out there. All I find are
horses that folks are asking upwards of 1000.00 for, and they arent worth it at that even. More often than not, the horses are untrained and
unhandled, and folks are just giving them away because they can no longer afford to feed them.
I looked at a horse this weekend on a farm with 44 other head of horses, all being fed hay because all of the pasture surrounding them was down to
dirt, eaten that way by that many untrained, and now useless horses. Its a crying shame when REALLY nice horses are left to stand unused in a
pasture, until the now unemployed owner has to try and find SOMEONE, ANYONE who will take them.
Alot of the current state of the livestock in our state has to do with the owners inability to plan in advance, drought or not, and to use good
judgement in the keeping, training, and use of the livestock. You cant overload a pasture with livestock on a good year, and expect it to be a good
year from then on.
You must consider the land available, and what it will sustain on a bad year, and not overload it, plus you must plan on how you will handle said
livestock if the year turns out to be a year like we have this year- Advance planning is a must,that way you can deal with small emergencies when they
arrive, rather than just throwing up your hands, and opening the gate and hopeing they all disappear in the night.