Horse Slaughter

Love of Horses

Forward by R.T. Fitch, Poem by Unknown Author

It Is Why We Do What We Do

“All week long, day and night, we battle the BLM, the bloody horse haters and even the President of the United States on behalf of those that cannot speak for themselves; our horses either wild or domestic.  The bought politicians and the horse-eaters wonder at our resilience, our tenacity and our conviction; without admitting it they are in awe and envy pervades their consciousness.

 So today, being Sunday, we will reach out to them and briefly explain why we do what we do and what fuels the fire within our souls. The passion in our lives is born in the depth of soul from within the eye of the horse and the power that drives us is knowing from the very core of our being that we are right, we are just and we will never go away.” ~ R.T.

If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them.

Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.

A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear:  someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals.

Some of us need these reminders.

When you step back, it’s not just about horses – it’s about love, life, and learning.

On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness.

That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently.

As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us.

When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.

We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed.

Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union.

We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange.

To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts?

We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes.

Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.

Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart.

Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of  long-term illness.

We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of  a true companion.

In the end, we’re not certain if God entrusts us to our horses – or our horses to us.

Does it matter?

We’re grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place.

29 replies »

  1. For the horses (that means all equines), always for the horses that always give us their all. If they are a disappointment, it is usually a function of conditional human interpretation and mostly money and ignorance.

    For those that love with heart and mind, they get it. These animals are a part of our struggles and achievements. We have used them intensely until about 100 years ago. They deserve no less respect for their service. We don’t need mega slaughterhouses any longer for equines in North America. 99% of Americans that own or breed equines DON’T NEED THEM!!!!!!! It’s a choice and many that dump are actually in so called business. I won’t even begin to discuss the state and Fed tax laws that enable this abuse.

    Small town butchers are almost gone, The NEED for an equine is almost gone.

    They are a connection to time, patience, history of our grandparents and the development of this nation. They deserve better.


    • BTW…the problem with HCHS is the privatization” of disposal and refusal of ownership and responsibility….just like pounds and shelters.


  2. Beautifully written R.T. and words that well express our hearts. Many of you, I have stood beside proudly, as a warrior, to stop this madness. Equine SLAUGHTER is wrong on so many levels it is mind me that in this day and age we need to explain it. From a corrupt, bought and paid for government, who knowingly sends toxic meat abroad and ignores statistics and data, to the industry itself that makes claims so absurd, it would be laughable if not at the cost of lives, both equine and human.

    Many of you know that I run a equine rescue. It happened quickly, with me having really little say in the matter. We are God’s steward’s of all his creatures, great and small, furry, scaled, feathered and those who also call themselves human. I believe from my soul, that God’s plan was in motion when the first eleven horses hit my place. I have had the honor of getting to know twenty or so “unwanted” horses on a seriously personal level over the last year and a half. I say honor, because there is no other word that could better describe it. The honor of watching animals that had suffered the brutality of TB breeders, the supposed “rogues”, un-trainables, the neglect of ignorant owners and those from the slaughter pipeline, show trust, faith, love and empathy towards humans in a very short period of time. Some here had been beaten in the mouth or about their heads, some over bred until there was literally nothing left of them, some never ridden or halter broke, just bred to be born and then cast aside when they didn’t fit the breeders perfect idea, some injured, wounded, all emotionally terrified of humans. These same twenty or so have shown the deepest understanding, forgiveness, respect, empathy. love and loyalty that exceeds anything I have ever experienced with a human being. In my 50 years of owning horses, I have never met a horse that with patience and understanding couldn’t be turned around. I have had them land here dangerous and hate filled towards humans for the ignorance, abuse and cruelty they have endured. All have wound up being a steady, trusted steed, who’s trust, devotion and loyalty are undeniable.

    I have learned much from these loyal steeds that were deemed “unwanted”. I watch as they reach out to special needs children and high risk youth. Horses have an incredible inner sense with these children. They offer each of these children love, trust, loyalty, hope, core strength, confidence, responsibility, respect, understanding and JOY. They ask little in return.

    For years now, I have heard every excuse in the book for the slaughter industry for their exceedingly, brutal and greed filled industry. I have done all I know to do with data, studies and first hand knowledge to make them understand that this issue was created by the greed of man. It needs to be solved by the humane, moral and compassionate side of humans. It can be solved. Maybe not without some personal sacrifice for profit, but then the sacrifices made by man to make a wrong right, will never add up to the sacrifices made in the slaughter house by our equine.

    Dear Heavenly Father……..We pray to you today to give us the wisdom, the strength, the compassion and the endurance to help those you have given us to tend in your honor. Father, show us the way to reach those who’s hearts and minds have been led astray by greed. Help us to show them the way to compassion, fairness, values and mercy for those without a voice. Help us to make them understand that the suffering of our horses and poisoning of innocent people is not the way you intended for your flocks to be cared for. Father, please continue to walk beside us, as we do your bidding. Father, we ask that when we are weary from this battle you carry us. In the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit ……..Amen.


    • Beverly what a beautiful prayer. I will copy it and start to say it each night before I sleep. I believe those who support and perform slaughter need our prayers as much as the animals. I cannot imagine living inside of their minds and hearts, being void of the intense feelings of love that we feel. They must hold so much anger inside, it truly is just as big a tradgedy as the acts they support.


  3. Thank you for doing what you do R.T. … love your book… we rescue horses and make thearpy horses out of them… kept 2 from going to the auction yesterday… couldn’t keep them together but one little mare will have a 6 year old girl to raise … and the other will have a home with a 7 year old boy … I have seen the healing power of horses… we use them for special needs children… the Great Creator has given me the ability to communicate with these beautiful creatures… and truely beautiful they are … so misunderstood… I have a very stressful job… but I leave there and go to the stables every night to work with my babies… so precious … they are … I have seen a mare
    turn into a big pile of jelly … at the hands of a 4 year old girl… that lost an eye to cancer … she was losing the other eye … but after riding horses … the cancer disappeared… such an amazing gift God has given us… and yet they are brutalized by so many… keep up the good work …sir … there are those of us out here who definitely need you…!!!


  4. I so wish I could do more,my disability stops me from being around the horses I love so much and from having enough money to donate to everyone I’d like too. I CAN talk and that I do, I call the local call in radio shows and spread the word about slaughter and torture. I let people know the cruelty of the BLM their lies and sneaky ways. I let them know how much this “Gathering” of the Mustangs is costing the taxpayers and how it’s soooo unnessicary. I am also registried to so I can write and fax to the people that need a kick. Wish I could do more, wish I had land wish I could adopt, wish I could cure it all…….


    • We all wish we could do more, so don’t EVER beat yourself up. We all have our place in this fight and you are where you are supposed to be. Your heart is in the right place, and that’s what matters most. Writing, faxing, and calling are all very important in this fight. I’m good at the faxing part but the writing and calling are not my strongest assets. That’s what I have R.T. for! :o)


  5. Thank You RT, You have spoken all of our hearts, Our Horses all them, are of the most beautiful gifts we have ever received form the highest Power, as I have always looked at them, i can find no flaws they are perfection, they show to us how to be perfect ….they have it all……..he gives his all …………… I need not write a list of what they have and give we all are aware, To not see this clearly is Blindness of the worst kind……………………….And Mans true devastation……………………and ruin………………….


  6. Thank You also Lesle Anne Webb, “Horses are amazingly sensitive beings with whom I’ve shared my purest emotions. They are my teachers.
    They have been the calm in my life, teaching me patience, forgiveness, and how to stay present and grounded. They are the mirrors into our inner selves and respond to authenticity and the presence of being.”- Leslie Anne Webb


  7. To disrespect and harm the horse , is to disrespect and harm ourselves…………….. he is the mirror image of what we all should be…………………………..


  8. I would like to slightly change one point in your pledge to say “…for which it stands, one symbol created by God (or blessed by God)…” and by acknowledging God we are asking for His blessings and protection for the horse.


  9. Beverly, thank you for your prayer. I will copy it and recite it daily. The World today is in serious trouble. Many have missed the signs that some in our society are trying to eliminate all that is good.
    I too, take get my lottery tickets weekly in hopes that I will be that lucky winner. If that should ever happen, I am prepared and know exactly how I will proceed. I once believed that we picked our horses until I became involved in the healing of animals and humans. The horse I have now was no
    accident. I had my Appy since he was a yearling. When he began to age, I kept him comfortable because he brought me through pretty tough times. I knew the time was coming for him to cross the Bridge, but he did not want me to see him in his final hour. He waited until I was on a business trip that I could no longer put off. However, as his health failed, I began to take care of a horse in my barn that suffered a bad life before being brought the barn. He was a magnificient Arabian who saw humans as a threat to him. The owner was absent from his life the majority of the time. My Appy knew that the Arabian would be taking over. But I missed the signs until much later. One day
    I was told the owner was behind in her board by almost 4 months, the vet was not paid and the
    shoer was owed money as well. The owner was called and told it could not continue. I called the owner who was not sure what to do. To make a long story short, I bought the horse before the
    Killer Buyer came the next day. I do believe that God had a hand in this because I was not sure that I wanted another horse. I helped in closing Cavel, Intl in Illinois and never ever want to see a slaughterhouse open in the US again. The sick part about this is that none of these people have a clue or do they care about the damage to the environment, but most importantly the inhumane
    treatment and death to the horses. On this day, I say my prayers and will later be at my computer to once again begin emails. I am probably guessing all of us in this fight live from day to day just getting by and hoping we don’t have any major catastrophies. Although, RT I continue to read the blog: Why Deer Are Not Horses….which brings much laughter. We are not about the money, we are about the love of our magnificient horses and other equines. May God Bless each and every one of you as you go about your daily life today. Hail to the Horse Warriors! Let the Force of the Horse Be With You!


  10. F.T. you have again brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. I would also like to add that I love the smell off horse manure and all the smells associated with horses and barns. My horse passed away some time ago and I kept a lock of his mane. My soul aches for the horses.


  11. Thank you R.T. and other commenters for putting words to feelings that are deeply felt, but hard to express. Our bond to the horse is defies words. Nonetheless what you have written here is compelling for those of us born with the horse gene and those born without it, who don’t understand it.

    I, too, believe strongly that horses are a special gift from God and I consider them sacred. Thank you for the words for prayer. I have said many of my own, but Beverly’s is far more eloquent and complete.

    Thanks…headed for the sanctuary.


  12. I’m so grateful for the horses at the rescue I volunteer with. Many times I have hugged big Beau and poured out my heart to him. He has helped me heal many a human betrayal, helped me see through to the heart of the matter or even just gave me some moments of peace in a storm. Somehow the mucking, and feeding and petting just don’t seem an even exchange. Beau seems to think it is though. I’ll take him at his word.


  13. To all above. You are fantastic. Beverly, it was beautifully said. For two days I have been on Facebook with a Lea that supposedly has horses but a supporter of slaughter and the BLM. There is no changing her mind. How anyone in their right mind and believe that slaughter and the BLM is justified in their actions is beyond me. I spent the day at the sanctuary where I keep three horses I have saved. One Arabian is fighting laminitis, my vet says she has two things going for her — but has rotation of the laminae. SHe said she normally would put her down but will wait thirty days to see what happens. I pray every night that we will be able to save her — she is a sweetie and also deserves better than what happened to her — to be left in a field to starve. ANother of my horses is an Arabian and blind in his right eye – no ground training – but yesterday I mucked his 24 x 24 coral and even though he runs when I come to the corral railing he came up to me yesterday and let me pet, and even give him a hug and a couple of kisses on his nose. I can’t believe that human beings can be so cruel to these animals. I know what I would like to do with all the like the slaughter idea, the killer buyers, and the BLM. But, I know they will get their just rewards in the end. I just hope that we can stop the madness that prevails regarding our beautiful equines and that we will have the last laugh. I am always calm when I spend the day with these gorgeous animals. I hope we will win soon so many will be saved to enjoy a new life with love and care


    • Lynne…take comfort in the meaning of what you are doing. You are giving these wonderful animals respect and dignity. You can’t buy that.

      I wish the best for all your charges. No matter what happens, know you respected them and gave them a place with dignity. You can’t buy that….it comes from the heart that guides the head.

      Respecting life. Lynne. Good job. Good job.


    • Lynne………thank you for saving these horses. You will all be in my prayers for good health, trust and the understanding that kindness heals all wounds. The blind one will come around quicker than you think, I have a one eyed appy mare that has really done a turn around. They have the ability to forgive the past, though I don’t believe they ever forget. May God always be with you in your journey!


  14. This is the letter from a very dear Friend with a request for a prayer from those who are so inclined:

    Please join us, (prayer partners), fellow stewards of animals that God shares with us. Pray always, but especially every evening at 8pm, for all the hungry and unfed animals, large & small. Please pray specifically for God’s wisdom, mercy, forgiveness & especially for a softening of the heart for people (who are themselves amply fed) yet leave their God’s animals to live on what they ate last summer, &/ or what they can scrounge on their own
    Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his animals

    My Friend might also need a prayer….for restraint. The mercy, patience and forgiveness part isn’t working too well right now…it’s been a tough week.


  15. Poems, songs, pictures, and movies try to capture the strengths, beauty, and magic of the horse, while the BLM captures, abuse and show the world what our new cowboys are all about. So many years of struggle and still the powers that B abuse their authority at the American tax payers expense. The world is watching.


  16. I really appreciated the post. We had to put one of ours down on Friday. I spent all weekend on a tribute to her. I felt sort of foolish at first and thought that many would think me a total sap but the post gave me the courage to say what was in my heart.

    Had to put in a plug for “unwanted horses” and the importance of a quick and painless death at home with their friends when it is time to let go. Our pony was once “unwanted” and served many many years as an outstanding therapeutic riding partner. Here is the end of the tribute

    “Our memories will not be those of the last days. Of her shifting her weight from foot to foor or bravely trying to follow Surprise. It will be of her trotting proudly through the fields as a youngster. It will be of her graciously taking commands from my little niece at Thanksgiving. It will be of her galloping through the fire.

    The children in their wisdom learned the lessons that this wonderful pony had to teach. It is our hope that the legacy of Heaven might also extend to those who have been entrusted with lives that will be shorter than their own. It is our hope that they too will consider such as a lifetime commitment. To all of those brave souls that serve us so well, we hope that others will remember Heaven’s story and see beyond the label of “unwanted horse” and look for the potential and promise that is there. That if given a choice, they will err on the side of Hope. And when no Hope remains, that each horse or pony can leave this world as Heaven did in a gentle and dignified manner with her friends at her side and in familiar surroundings. And that tears can flow one last time into their manes as a tribute to a life well lived and well worth honoring. It is the very least we can do for them after all that they have given to us.”


    • Dear Lorelei, I am so sorry for your loss, but i celebrate you for all you gave to Heaven, it all came from your beautiful heart, your tribute to her is beautiful, if every horse could find someone like you………………………………… it isnt much to ask for all they give ………………………….


  17. Yes, indeed, RT. The horse is such a noble presence and deserves our genuine respect and care, meaning as much freedom to unfold according to its own special nature as we can assure. And this was and remains the heart of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Its true and sacred intent shall be restored! Craig


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