Horse News

Horse Sense Lacking

By Kathleen Parker of the WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP

It is but a short canter from hating pony people to despising the horse crowd

The punch line is at least as old as the eldest baby boomer: “I didn’t get a pony.”

Here’s Jerry Seinfeld: “I hated those kids (who had ponies). In fact, I hate anyone that ever had a pony when they were growing up.”

Why is this funny? Because we all know that, for the most part, kids who had ponies were the rich kids. The lucky ones. Nearly every child wants a pony at some point and so we all relate to Seinfeld’s “hate.” We don’t really hate them, of course, but we do envy them.

It is but a short canter from hating pony people to despising the horse crowd. And this is because people who own fancy horses — thoroughbreds or heaven forbid Olympic horses — are very, very rich.

Thus, Ann Romney recently became a target of ridicule when it was revealed that she co-owns an Olympian horse that will compete in dressage, a sport she apparently enjoys. Dressage, sometimes called “horse ballet,” is the “highest expression of horse training,” according to the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.

Dressage and horseback riding in general offer other rewards, including therapy for people who suffer maladies from physical disabilities to emotional imbalances. This should not be surprising given the millennia-long relationship between humankind and the horse that transcends mere transportation.

Forget Donner and Blitzen. Give me Trigger, Fury and Flicka.

For Ann Romney, riding has been helpful in dealing with her multiple sclerosis. Indeed, horseback riding is a commonly recommended activity for MS sufferers. Because the natural walking gait of the horse is similar to a human’s, riding helps restore balance, coordination and posture, all of which can be affected by the disease’s assault on the spine and central nervous system.

Why, then, have some seen fit to ridicule Ann Romney’s choice of activities? Stephen Colbert can be forgiven his fun with the news, which focused on dressage as the not-so-common-man’s sport. But others have been less funny. Leading the charge on the political side has been MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who, while insisting that he wasn’t commenting on Romney’s MS, pointed out that the Romneys treat the horse as a business rather than a health expense.

Horses that compete and breed at the Olympic level typically are business investments, as O’Donnell surely knows. But the talking point must be made — and made and made — that the Romneys aren’t like the rest of us working stiffs. They have big ol’ fancy cars and horses and stuff. And they make lots of money, too. (Oh, and by the way, television anchors do rather well. What’s with the guilt?)

And why this war on success? People who are struggling through rough economic times didn’t suddenly become stupid and surely most see through this absurd, sustained attack on the Romneys.

Mitt Romney’s opponents seem to be aghast that he has made money for investors, though they studiously ignore other greed-less facts: He never took a dime in salary for heading the Olympics in Salt Lake City nor as governor of Massachusetts, to mention a couple.

The issue of Ann Romney’s horse is yet more ideological nonsense from the left, intended to portray Republicans generally and the Romneys specifically as enemies of The People. Riding horses is framed as just one more example of how out of touch the Romneys are with everyday Americans, though Democrats didn’t seem to mind that Jackie Kennedy was an avid horsewoman.

Should Ann Romney become first lady, perhaps she can promote the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and encourage a culture that funnels the countless unwanted or retired horses to riding farms where emotionally or physically distressed people can enjoy the special communion between human and horse.

It would a better use of these noble animals than as circus or zoo meat, which is how so many wind up. Maybe she could even arrange to get O’Donnell his own pony.

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114 replies »

  1. But is Ann Romney pro horse? I don’t care about their $$ ~ It’s great they have Olympic class dressage horses. But if the Romney’s treat the horses as a business, what is their stand on the issue of horse slaughter??? Oh, and to Jerry Seinfeld: I had to wait until my mid-fifties to get a pony; a wonderful Shetland cross who came to me as a weanling colt, emaciated and abused in the dead of winter. He’s 6 years old, beautiful, and being trained to drive ~ some of us don’t give up the dream…

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    • There is more to this than what meets the eye. The Romney’s did not claim a $77,000 deduction of their horse. They stated on their returns that they had lost this amount of money. They own this horse with two other owners, and if she is ever bred she has the potential to earn money for them. Laws vary from state to state, but if an equine owner earns a certain amount from producing equine products, including training, boarding, or breeding, he may qualify as an equine business owner for tax purposes. You don’t need to be in the Romney’s tax bracket to use this deduction; you can earn $25,000 a year and claim it.

      This does not mean that the Romney’s see their involvement in horses as strictly business. It means they have considered how to legally take advantage of options to enjoy their hobby without losing quite as much money.

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  2. I think you’re quite mistaken. I’m politically conservative but not devoid of compassion. The Romneys are. Did you forget or not know they strapped their dog to the roof of the car because there was no room in the car? Or, worse yet, that Anne sold a dressage horse for $125,000 that the USEF vet of 38 years said had been drugged more than any horse he’d ever seen. Oh, and Anne settled out of court. And don’t try to blame Jan and Amy Ebeling because they were the trainers. If my trainers had done such a thing there’s no chance they’d ever see another of my horses, yet, Rafalca is still with them. The Ebelings, Romney, and the vet conspired to fraud the buyer, who PAID for a pre-purchase exam that claimed there were no drugs in the horse’s system. THAT’S why the Romney’s don’t deserve our respect, plain and simple. I’d rather have no equestrian in the White House than one who abuses animals.

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    • Please use a little critical thinking here. First, how long had the Romney’s owned the horse? It is quite possible that the horse had been medicated for years before the Romney’s owned the horse, and that they too found that they had purchased damaged goods.

      If you become part of the horse world, you see some pretty raunchy stuff and then you also get to see great love and compassion. One of the things I see a lot of is young people buying or leasing a versatile horse that looks like it will do well in the show ring. The trouble is that within a few months, they discover the horse is lame and then they can’t ride for months on end. I am not defending or attacking the practice of treating an injured horse with a medication that relieves pain.

      The point is that often a third party works with an owner to find a match for the owner, and sometimes, often times, the owner ends up with a horse he or she didn’t expect. Moreover, there are drugs out there that don’t show up in tests being used even at the amateur level.

      Per the buyer relying on the vet arranged to do the pre-sale vet check, this shows incredible naiveté on the part of the buyer. The buyer should always find her own vet to do the pre-sale check. Almost all of the most powerful drugs out there must be prescribed and purchased from the veterinarian. You don’t go to the pharmacy to get vet meds. You go to the vet’s office or he brings it to you at the barn. These drugs are not delivered by flying pigs.

      If the vet were responsible for the level of medication in the horse’s system, the vet had his own personal and professional interests to protect that may have nothing to do with what the Romney’s knew and when they knew it.

      What I have learned about the horse world during the research I have done, including just hanging out at the barn or a show and talking to all sorts of horse people, is that there is a very real dark underbelly to the horse world. I wish there were some sort of gadget that would start beeping every time a person from the dark side came near a horse. The horses know. The horse can size the human up in a few heart beats. Then they become fearful and defensive resulting in even harsher handling than they otherwise might have.

      I’d really like to see the public record on this case. Expect the very worst and darkest propaganda to be made about the Romney’s, but do not accept what you hear without questioning it.

      If it seems like I am defending Ann Romney it is because she, like me, had an opportunity to have a second life with horses. I do not have MS, but I have an illness that presents in many ways like MS and I had to go through the screening tests to rule MS out. She realized her life, her functional and healthy life could be much shorter than she had realized. Having been one of the kids who never got the pony as a child, Mrs. Romney and others like me have been able to realize our dreams to own a horse and participate in equestrian activities which I do at the local, amateur level. Having goals to accomplish with your horse and meeting them is motivating.
      I was so weakened from my illness that when I first began to ride again, I had several bad falls. This made me realize that I had to get fitter and stronger, so my goal to be as safe as I had been in my 20’s and 30’s motivated me to get involved in Yoga, Pilates, and cardio activities, which have also improved the way I function in daily activities as well as on the ground and on the back of my horses.

      I suspect Mrs. Romney’s Olympic horse enables her to be a patron for her talented trainer to whom she no doubt feels that she owes a debt of gratitude not only for because she trained her horse and helped her to become the outstanding rider Mrs. Romney has become, but because of the work of the trainer with Mrs. Romney, the trainer essentially functioned as one of the key people who helped restore Ann Romney’s life. When you work with a good trainer you form a friendship through you common interests and knowledge of the horse. An effective trainer gets to know a person and a horse in ways that other relationships don’t require. I suspect the business of this is the Romney’s support for trainer and the natural desire to see people and the animals you love be successful. Ann Romney’s support of her trainer will allow both the horse and the trainer to compete in a manner that might not have been possible for the trainer or the horse without Ann Romney’s backing.

      So what if Mrs. Romney can pay for a $50,000 horse? I adopted mine from rescues after months of sponsoring and fostering them. Her ability to own a $50,000 horse does not in any way interfere or diminish the experience I have with my horses. My rescued horses are healthy. They both have great feet and I have developed a connection with them that has changed the way I see the world.

      As for Seamus Romney’s vacation being continually sensationalized as a form of animal abuse, I see that as a family’s way to include a family member, Seamus, in the vacation. How bad can an animal’s life be when his family considers him too important to leave at home. I saw a picture from the original story in the Boston Globe that pictures the children at this point and Seamus, and Irish Setter was larger than the youngest son and about the same size as the second son. Maybe its because I see my dog go into poor little puppy mode whenever I start to pack for a trip or because she makes my life so much better that I go into poor little human mode, but I hate to travel to places where I cannot take my dog. We have a wonderful kennel and she loves the people who run it. She’s fine and happy she gets there, but driving back home after dropping her off is miserable for me, so I identify also with the desire to include you dog in family activities.

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      • savewildhorses:

        Sorry, but HoofHugs makes EXCELLENT points….THAT WE ALL IN THE EQUINE INDUSTRY, WILD OR DOMESTIC KNOW.

        As to the dog in a kennel secured on the roof of their SUV……ENOUGH!!!!!!!

        I’ve seen people do worse with loose dogs in the back of truck beds, equine heads sticking out of trailer windows ON THE ROAD at 60 miles an hour. Enough! The dog had diarrhea and it happened a billion years ago. I did dumb things in the past too.

        I want to know where her equines wind up and what they think about human consumption horse slaughter.

        As to juicing equines for sale? Hmmmmmh….long list of offenders there: facilitators and practitioners starting with state and federal enforcement (ag, law/fraud/drug use, courts, etc), breed registries, sport/discipline registries, breeders, pinhookers, vets, trainers.

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      • I guess I’m a horrible pet owner…..I rather leave my dog home then strap him on the top of my vehicle, and scare him so much he deficates all over himself! Hoofhug really??????

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      • First, the horse that Ann Romney co-owns that is a horse talented enough to go to the Olympics is worth a lot more than $50,000……if it were only $50,000, I would have been at the Olympics in dressage back in the mid-’80’s (and yes, I had/have the talent for the Olympics in dressage as told to me by many International judges, clinicians, Olympians like Hilda Guerney, blah, blah, blah, but the problem was always being able to afford the horse, the travel for training and competing, etc, when I was a poor 20-something year old—I ranked nationally in the Top 20 in several levels but that was because I didn’t have to travel throughout the US to do it). I’ve seen 2 and 3 year old warmbloods with International dressage or jumper potential sell for upwards of $50,0000, so a Grand Prix Olympic level dressage horse is worth far more than just $50,000.
        Second, I’d want to have a sit down chat with Ann Romney about her stance on horse slaughter AND the plight of the wild horses and burros on OUR public open range seeing as that her husband I’m sure is connected to corporations who want our public land for their own uses and the wild horses and burros inhibit their ability to do with the Open Range whatever they want. These same people then do not want their tax dollars going into supporting the captured wild horses and burros in long term holding and being business people, the cheapest (free) option is shipping them to slaughter.
        Just because a person was helped physically, emotionally, mentally, etc, by horses like thousands upon thousands of people have been helped does NOT make me automatically like them, trust them, or anything of the sort. And it sadly is the rich people who are the primary users of slaughter for the dumping of their horses in order to NOT have to pay for humane euthanasia and disposal of the body while they get it for FREE. The bottom feeders of kill buyers, dealers, and horse traders then make their money from the actual shipping of horses to the slaughterhouses, while the people who could have afforded humane euthanasia go on their merry, monied way.
        I’ve been around these people beginning when I was 8 years old and my middle class parents could afford a lesson a week for me at a hunter/jumper training/breeding facility–many, many wealthy people with multiple horses in show training, with and without themselves or their children competing, and most of these people only valued a horse by what the horse could do for them. When the horse got older, went lame, etc, they had no problem selling the horse or giving the horse away to go on the lesson horse string, to summer camps, (and a lot of those horses are shipped to slaughter after the summer is over), and even to the sale and on to being slaughtered.
        When I was 14 and began working as an apprentice at a Thoroughbred race training/breeding/rehab farm (this after working at a “backyard horse traders” ranch for 2 years), some of the owners came out to watch their horses work-out, but many waited until the horse got to the track. Many also owned broodmares but only knew the mare by her neck tag number, so often they’d call my boss who ran the farm and told her to “sell #27, 38, and 49” and off the mares would go to the sale. Since they were usually older, not as productive mares, often I’m sure they went to slaughter (and I have seen and also rescued pregnant TB mares from the All Breeds Registered Horse Sale in Pomona, CA and was usually bidding against the kill buyers).
        After the TB farm where I discovered the nastiness of the racing industry at many levels and decided becoming a jockey was not for me, I was a working student at a dressage/hunter/jumper training facility beginning in 1975. While most of our clientele were wealthy and/or very well-to-do, our head trainer was from Europe and actually was NOT a breed snob about what horses he would train. I learned a lot about the psychology of interacting with many, many breeds, cross breeds and “grade” horses, and he also stood his ground when it came to dealing with our clientele and would put them in their place if they made noises about “getting rid” of a horse just because it wasn’t performing correctly (usually due to them not riding correctly). I believe his more open minded attitude came from him not being well-to-do himself and having had to work for everything he achieved in the horse world. Horses were not throw-away “items” to him and he was very loyal to them even when he didn’t particularly get along with a horse, or perhaps even really like a horse all that much.
        I went on beginning when I was 17 to operate my own training stable, and since my clients were often regular middle class parents who couldn’t afford “made” horses for their child, we went to a traders ranch in Riverside, CA and would “walk the pens” and I would select horses with potential for my students. Many were under weight, had “pasture feet”, were just getting over having strangles, etc, but we bought them and they went on to have great, usually forever homes. Many of the ones we didn’t pick went to slaughter in Oregon (this was back in the early-mid-’80’s), and that just broke my heart but we couldn’t afford to rescue them all. Since I and my students have successfully competed in dressage, hunter/jumpers, western events such as western pleasure, western riding, trail class, etc, trail trials, and I’ve also had students that I trained with dressage fundamentals who competed in 3-day eventing, reining, cutting, driving, endurance, gaited horse competitions (Saddlebreds and TWH’s mostly) and barrel racing, I’ve interacted with people and their attitudes from many, many areas of the horse world. What I’ve noticed through the years is many people tend to be “discipline snobs” and/or “breed snobs”, so even though they profess to “love horses”, they tend to “love horses” only as it pertains to “use and purpose”, what breed they are, what the horse has done for them, the horses breeding and pedigree, etc: IOW, I rarely run into people in the show or competitive world in dressage, hunter/jumpers, western events including reining, cutting, reined cow horses, endurance, etc that I would say truly love horses just because the horse is a horse.I actually have more respect for the people who say they don’t really love horses and that horses are only a business to them; at least they’re not being hypocrites and liars. Further, from what I’m seeing on our anti-slaughter and pro-wild horse and burro side of the issue is that not many people seem to have the well rounded experience that I do in many facets of the horse world from the dreggy bottom all the way to the top levels in many disciplines. We can talk economics, emotions, etc all we want, but our opposition needs to know that some of us have “been there, done that” in many areas of the horse industry, so we are NOT buying their bullsh*t one little bit.

        In closing I will say that although I am disappointed in Obama for a lot of things he’s done and/or not done as it pertains to the horse slaughter issue and/or the wild horse and burro issue, I truly believe that in spite of that, Obama will be more “on the same page” with me than Romney (and we do realize that it is in fact true that Romney carried the family dog on a crate on the top of his car and when the dog had severe diarhea, he simply pulled into a service station, hosed the crate out, hosed the dog down, put the dog back in the crate on the roof of their car, and went on his way again?!) or any other Republican canidate for president will ever be. The Republican record on animal issues is abysmal, and realizing from having been in the horse world in a serious way for well over 40 years, the “movers and shakers” (so not the so-called “backyard people” or middle class people like my parents who could afford lessons for me which gave me my start in horses) are usually the wealthier people who often do vote Republican, and since I’ve been around them for what seems like forever, I know how they typically feel about horses. “Actions do speak much louder than words” and many do not value certain types of horses, whether an Arabian being “worthless and crazy” because the person is a “Quarter Horse person”, or that “wild horses have brought the prices of good horses down” because the speaker is into registered horses.
        Silly what people say, but it is how many people in the horse world operate when their bottom line is primarily about making and/or saving money and about looking good and having “standing” in the horse world; the sad fact is that many people only “love” horses for what a horse can do or does for them, otherwise, “love” is just a word for them and many “loved” horses have lost their lives to slaughter when their “use and purpose” was done and gone.

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    • Formyponies, thank you.Perhaps it comes best from someone who is conservative to state the obvious, as I don’t believe I’d be listened to here as I am far left.

      Indeed, having horses does not mean one likes horses, especially when it’s a business. In fact, I would think everyone here is well aware that some of the most dedicated horse haters are in the horse business. Horse slaughter exists for their convenience and no one else. Some people ARE in the horse business because they love horses, but some are just in it for the money.

      So why should we think that the Romney’s care about horses. Simply having horses doesn’t prove that. Nothing in their actions or their comments indicate they do. It’s business and it’s therapy, but there’s no sign of love there. Drugging a lame horse and selling it is not just fraud against the buyer, it’s cruelty to the horse.

      Even if I could vote for a Republican he’d have lost my vote with this. Because I love horses.

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    • Yes. The Romneys don’t seem to care one iota about their horse or dog and little else. According to Mittens, it’s important to know when to outsource jobs too.

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    • I own a dog, and almost everyone I know owns a dog. I have read the original Boston Globe article on Seamus Romney’s summer vacation, and it does not sound to me like they just threw the crate on top of the car and secured it by a string. In the original article, there was a paragraph describing how the Governor himself purchased some plexi-glass and put it in the front of the crate to deep the direct breeze from hitting Seamus directly in the face. I am more struck that the family wanted him with them because he was an important member of the family.
      The point is that the Romney family humans and Seamus made it to their vacation and home safely, and Seamus had a long, happy was far as anyone heard subsequently to this story whih was sensationalized by PETA. This may not be the way you or I would choose to transport our dog, but it worked for them.

      There is a difference between behaving in ways that are harmful to your animals health such as not providing water or tethering an animal to a tree and coming up with an innovative way to solve a transportation problem and keep the entire family safe including the dog—in a somewhat unconventional way. This dog was loved and wanted. Otherwise, they would not have gone to the trouble of taking him them with the family.

      I am concerned, however, about the alleged fraud case brought against Mrs. Romney and eight other defendants. However, without knowing what Mrs. Romney knew and when she knew it, what the trainer knew or communicated to the buyer, or if anyone paid any money to the buyer at all. I haven’t found any evidence that the buyer received any money from anyone yet, and that would suggest who the responsible party is. Also, if it is true that the buyer rode the horse for a year before becoming concerned about the horse’s condition, that makes me skeptical.

      She wanted a horse to compete with in high level dressage, but there is nothing here to suggest that she was anywhere ready to do this. The deposition given by Dr. Soule states that the veterinarian who did the pre-purchase exam did not tell Catherine Norris that Super Hit was full of medication during the exam, but Mrs. Romney’s deposition states that the veterinarian told Catherine Norris about the horse’s condition and that she rode the horse for a year after she bought the horse. Even though Catherine Norris said she bought the horse to compete in high level dressage, her actions and decisions are not the actions and decisions of someone with a lot of experience with horses unless she knew the horse world very well and saw this as an opportunity to earn a quick buck. It is also possible that Mrs. Romney was targeted by an opportunist working for a lobbyist or a PAC looking for a chance to defame her.

      The case was settled. And it was settled after Mrs. Romney was dropped from the case. This does not mean that Mrs. Romney was found guilty of fraud—nonetheless—it is troubling. The first couple of articles I saw were pure hit jobs against Mrs. Romney, full of loaded language sans facts. So far the only testimony I read was by Dr. Soule, none of the other people involved in this suit. Lost somewhere in this is that if Super Hit were observably lame, he should have been eliminated from competition by FEI’s on sight veterinarians. However, it is possible that a drug that does not show up in testing could have been used, but there should have been a veterinary record of this. The comments the vet included in his report regarding judges comments are not impressive by themselves. The horse could not have performed while under the effects of these drugs because they are banned in FEI competition and FEI tests every winner and one other competitor at every competition it sponsors. There are 1300 drugs on the list. Had Super Hit tested positive both he and Mrs. Romney could have been banned from competing.

      The type of injury that Dr. Soule describes gets progressively worse over time, and while he states that it is likely that Super Hit may have been chronically lame, he does not appear to have either examined the horse or observed him during the time. His reasons seem sound,

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      • I knew a three year old gelding who was in training with another trainer but boarded at the same barn I trained out of that was started over fences at 3 (this was in about 1978 or so), and not just caveletti and low cross rails; he was fencing 3′ to 3′ 6″ at 3 years old for competing in “A” shows on the Open hunter/jumper circuit in So. CA for Pre-Green Hunters. Really nice, elegant horse named Proud Rebel (and I remember his name over 30 years later) and he went on to win A LOT in pre-green hunters, Open Hunters, somewhat at the “B” shows in Conformation Hunters, etc. Fast forward to 13 years later and I ended up buying that horse at 16 years old for one of my students for flat classes and low fences (up to maybe 2’6″ because this student was never going to be brave enough for higher than that). We had a thorough pre-purchase done on him, he passed all the flexion tests, hoof testers, I had blood drawn for drug testing, etc. Other than a tiny bit of lameness for 3 steps on the trot-off from a front pastern flexion test which he came out of fairly quickly, he did great. The blood work comes back clean, so we buy him. About 10 months later I’m talking to another trainer at a show and she’s watching Proud Rebel with his owner in the warm-up ring and she asks “has he gone lame yet or are you injecting him?” and I ask “huh, what are you talking about?”. She goes on to tell me that Proud Rebel had been having his hocks injected with cortizone for years and years, usually about every six months otherwise he’d “quit” on fences over 2’9″ because the pain was coming back. She’d trained out of the same barn that the trainer we bought him from trained out of, so she knew what went on.
        So just because bloodwork is done to test for drugs does not mean they always show up. We never had a problem with Rebel because I had immediately put him on Devils Claw for any joint pain (which was legal back then because its an herbal supplement, but I don’t know if its still O.K. now) because I knew his history from 3 years old and figured he might be a bit arthritic, and we also never fenced him above perhaps 2’6″ tops.
        The top notch hunter/jumper AND now also dressage barns are a really dirty business a lot of the time because there is a lot of money riding on (literally) winning at those levels. Drugs are rampant, and as soon as tests are developed to test for a drug, people come up with other concoctions that don’t yet have a test to detect them.
        To be honest, even though lack of money was one reason I never tried for the Olympics in dressage even though I was told by International level judges, clinicians, etc that I was talented enough to do it, when I started hearing about and seeing the dirty business even in dressage back in the early-’80’s, that also convinced me I’d never be truly competitive because I’d never be willing to drug horses, push them hard enough to hurt their healthy physical and mental longevity, etc. In order to win at the top levels nowadays and in most any prominent discipline or event in the show world where a lot of money is at stake, a person has to be a bit cut-throat, and this also goes for the owners who sometimes try to hide behind being naive and “I didn’t know” but it is their responsibility to know from not only a moral and ethical standpoint what their horse is being given, but also the legal standpoint too.

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  3. I dont care about the Romneys money, what I do care about is what their stand is on the WILD MUSTANGS and HORSE SLAUGHTER?????? Do we know what their stand is on the Horses????????

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    • Arlene, I have posted this fact here before, but I will post it again. I believe what people actually do is more telling than anything they say in the campaign. North Carolina Representative Walter Jones sponsored legislation in the House titled “The Wild Horses of Corolla Protection Act”. I went to the Corolla Wild Horses Web site to see what was going on. The issue is that Interior USFWS wants to reduce the herd to 60 and remove them from land managed by USFWS for wildlife, fish, game for hunters and fish for anglers. The horses are managed by a private organization, and the purpose of the bill is to allow the herd to be maintained at the level of 120. Some of the same characters and arguments being used against our Mustangs are in play here.

      During this computer session I linked to the THOMAS—I think, if not it may have been to Representative Jones web site, but there was an introductory page that had an image of Madeleine Pickens and Saving Americas’s Mustangs. Across the bottom of the page was a Mitt Romney for President banner. This point of the intermediary link was to show support for the Wild Horses of Corolla.

      Although there are different issues at play in the West, I find this a hopeful sign. This placement of a banner somewhat discreetly was the result of a deliberate decision by the Romneys or the Romney campaign.

      I don’t buy any argument that I have seen yet that the Romneys do not care about the well-being of their animals. The story about Seamus was sensationalized by PETA almost 30 years ago. We did not have SUV’s or mini-vans. I had a friend whose family had a station wagon the same size the Romney’s did. They also had five children. When the children got to middle schoolers and high schoolers, the parents often transported them in shifts because they matured to be long legged, athletically built people. PETA took the children’s words as they perceived Seamus’s accident and blew it into something it was not. People transport dogs unrestrained in the backs of trucks, and we transport our horses in all sorts of different kinds of trailers hitched to the car. We don’t think that finding manure in a trailer after a trip is a sign we abused our horses, and yet we let PETA take the view of a grossed out child based on a single incident as evidence that the Romney’s have dogs they don’t care about.

      Believe me, I will be the first one to abandon the Romney ship if I find evidence from a credible source that behavior occurred that meets to the level of neglect or abuse. There is absolutely nothing in the Romney family profile that is consistent with the profiles of people that actually abuse and neglect animals.

      I have volunteered with a rescue and I have seen some pretty rough stuff first hand. One of the biggest problems that I have observed is that people in the horse rescue business, particularly if all the members are female (as I am) is that people get so hung up on details about whether we are going to serve hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers during our fund raiser horse show, or whether we will charge $10 dollars or $8.00 per class or charge $60.00 to show all day, allow a person with a history of showing lame horses to show, that we sometimes forget that we are not there to win personal victories. Personal pettiness destroys relationships, and without good relationships with our fellow volunteers and the network of people who support us, a rescue cannot survive.

      Horse people are passionate people and while there are certain things that must be done for the horse to keep it healthy and reduce the chance of the horse being injured, there are a variety of ways to ensure that the necessary food, water, shelter, vet care, hoof care take place. Just because we don’t all do it alike does not mean that a horse cared for by an owner who approaches horse management differently, does not mean that either person is doing anything wrong. I have visited, boarded, and training at a variety of barns. There is more than one way to achieve the same goal—-a healthy horse who basic needs for safety, food, water, and companionship are met.

      I am not dismissing your concerns, but I see Governor Romney as a problem solver with the ability to analyze and size up a problem without having to rely on staffers to advise him on every issue. His has made a fortune solving problems, so he must know what he is doing. He tithes a larger percentage of his income to his church and donates more money to charitable causes than any other Presidential candidate we have had in a long time. He has created a strong family who are in term now growing families of their own—-the type of things the Romneys have achieve are beyond the abilities of animal abuser prototypes.

      Nonetheless, if I find evidence that meats the standard of abuse or neglect, then I will be the first to call them out.

      Like

      • “I will be the first one to abandon the Romney ship if I find evidence from a credible source that behavior occurred that meets to the level of neglect or abuse.”

        If doping a horse to the levels Anne Romney did doesn’t qualify as abuse, then I’d reconsider the horse people from whom you learn. I don’t care if you’re rich or not, the level of drugs in that horse’s system was unbelievable. I’m working from my phone now, but will try to post the link with the vet report embedded in it later. I cannot believe anyone would defend that.

        Like

      • Thank You Hoofhugs, I will also keep my eyes and ears open for a truthful concise report on the Romneys and their stand on the horses!!!!!!! Both Wild and Domestic….. This is a very important time we must find Horse friendly politicians and get them in office, Our Mustangs and domestic horses rely on us, we need to do some of that good ole deck stacking !!!!! In favor our our Equines…………………. If anyone has the stats on this please post a list !!!!!!

        Like

  4. Isn’t it pretty to think so? But the Romney’s I have heard, sold a horse so doped up they were sued by the buyer when the dope wore off. If this is true and I have only seen one small snippet on this, then the business side of the Romney’s with horses is lacking common sense and decency. It is said this is a common practice with expensive horses who have not faired well the exertions they have been put through. Can anyone find the article about this?

    Like

      • Ann Romney Once Sold a Doped Up Horse (and Got Sued Too)
        by Kristina Chew
        June 24, 2012
        8:56 pm
        354 comments

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        Ann Romney’s deep interest in horses and, especially, in the elite sport of dressage — in which horses costing seven figures are trained to perform dancelike moves — is not unknown. A May 28th New York Times article notes that Romney began to ride at the age of 50 as therapy for multiple sclerosis and went on to compete (and win medals) in high-level amateur shows. Mitt Romney has also taken up trail riding and has a “familiarity with expensive, esoteric breeds, mentioning his wife’s Austrian Warmbloods and his own Missouri Fox Trotter.” Rafalca, a horse co-owned by Ann Romney, is to compete in this summer’s London Olympics.

        Ann Romney, Co-Defendant in a Fraud Lawsuit

        On its own, the Romneys’ investment in the rarefied world of dressage should, you’d think, be enough to make it clear how far out of touch they are with average American citizens. A lawsuit involving one of Ann Romney’s former horses casts a shadow on the activity, riding, that she has said “sings to my soul.”

        The May 28th New York Times article noted that Ann Romney was among those sued in 2010 after selling a horse that had been injected with a number of powerful painkillers. Also sued were Jan Ebeling, a German-born-horse trainer who is now ranked ninth among American dressage riders, and his wife, Amy. Jan Eberling is also Ann Romney’s riding tutor of many years and the co-owner of Rafalca. The three had sold the horse, named Super Hit, for $125,000 in 2008 to a San Diego woman, Catherine Norris.

        Claiming that the horse’s severe foot defect had been concealed, Norris accused Romney and the Ebelings of fraud in 2010.

        What Was in Super Hit’s System?

        Buzzfeed says that, when Dr. Steven Soule (the United States Equestrian Team veterinarian since 1978) examined Super Hit in a standard prepurchase exam, he found that she had three sedative pain killers and one narcotic pain killer in her system, Butorphanol, Delomidine, Romifidine, and Xylatine. Two of the drugs had been injected in the horse to steady her during x-rays, according to the New York Times. But “there was no documentation of the other two tranquilizers” and “how the additional tranquilizers got into the animal was never fully established.”

        Dr. Soule’s toxicology report contained the following highly disturbing statement about the drugs:

        In my 38 years of practice, I have never come across a drug screen such as this where the horse has been administered so many different medications at the same time.

        Norris’ lawyers alleged that the Eberlings had given Super Hit the drugs to hide her condition, her defective foot. According to Norris, when she complained to Jan Eberling about the horse’s foot, he told her “it’s your riding.”

        Another veterinarian diagnosed Super Hit with lameness in 2009 and she became a “pasture horse.”

        The lawsuit was settled last September and Romney is no longer involved in the lawsuit.

        Another Curious Incident Involving the Romneys and Their Animals

        Given their track record with animals they own — the infamous incident of Mitt Romney securing the family dog, Seamus, onto the roof of their station wagon and driving 12 hours to Canada in 1983 — it does not seem so surprising to hear that a horse once owned by Ann Romney was injected with high levels of drugs. Little thought was given to Seamus’ discomfort riding for hours on the roof of the car; Super Hit’s foot injuries were addressed with painkillers. Rather than feeling their pain, the owners of these animals either ignored it or medicated — over-medicated — them.

        First there was dog-on-the-roof-gate, now… dressagegate?

        Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/ann-romney-doped-up-horse-got-sued-too.html#ixzz1yznMl9B6

        Like

      • Don’t get me wrong. I am a handicapped person for whom riding has been prescribed. The programs needed for people like me to avoid crippling pain and the inability to stand up right or walk normally are lacking funding and horses all across the country. I have lived in many places and everywhere I have tried to find a program that would accept me. I never have. Even when I have volunteered to do chores and pay I have been turned away. Most programs existing are for children and some new ones are for vets returning from war. Maybe what you envision could happen. But will they go against the corporate assault on the wild horses and their lands??? I doubt it, sincerely. But we can hope. Or we can just do more to prevent the loss of the wild ones and their ranges and not worry what might be ‘if only’…

        Like

      • The healing attributes of horse are truly amazing, we have not even touched the surface of what these magnificent horses can and will do !!!!Mar, I am from Ohio , there are many programs here for not only children , but also adults, I am hoping someone here can direct you to a program that will help you in your area…………………… Mother Nature has given so many tools to the horse to survive he is an expert on it !!!! Centuries of knowledge they pocess……………just waiting to help you and others…………………..

        Like

      • Mar,

        I have much respect for you and for your opinion. You have shared a lot with me that I did not know before you made me aware of it. But I had a revelation last month that Care2 is a pro-Obama, pro-Democrat, liberal positions. There is nothing inherently wrong with their positions. You just need to be aware that this site has a bias when you read an article like this. Try to find another source that verifies, confirms, or adds another perspective. I subscribed to this site for over two years and enjoyed it, but I noticed increasing bias in their choice of topics and the way they treated their subject matter. I am tired of all the efforts to defame people who are dong good work by all the people who seek to undermine their ability to continue doing good work—because of the work I have done researching the horse slaughter issues.

        Obama cut his last string with me when he started joking about eating dog during the White House Correspondents Press Dinner. The people who want to slaughter our horses have partnered with the Missouri puppy mill coalition. Missouri has over 1300 licensed dog breeders and an untold number of dog breeders who breed without a license. These dog breeders have the same goal as horse breeders who breed inferior or too many horses. They pretend to care about animals but bring more and more of them into the world than the world can possibly take care of. They profit from creating situations that lead serious and heart breaking amounts of animal suffering. They are made at the HSUS because they want the HSUS to put money into rescues, which would help them out on the disposal end. However, wisely, the HSUS has chosen to attack animal suffering on the production end and these puppy millers and disposable horse breeders are madder than a nest of hornets and determined to bring HSUS down by any means necessary.

        All I am saying is that there is a lot of propaganda out there. If people who want to slaughter our horses and produce thousands of puppies every year think the Romney’s will take a stand on animal welfare, they will be turning their drones lose to manufacture the kind of documents Richard Berman’s group Humane Watch is using against HSUS. I have found it challenging at times to sort through all the information to get at the truth. Yet, you can find the truth if you can identity which sources are reliable and which ones are biased because of their organization’s agenda.

        The National Rifle Association supposedly supports horse slaughter which makes no sense at all until you realize the dog group breeds sport and hunting dogs which many members of the NRA own and enjoy hunting with. The NRA is also a staunch property rights group and much of the propaganda being use by lobbyists has been created to make horse slaughter a property rights issue.

        Our poor horses, their inherent fear based flight or fight nature, their generous noble honest hearts, face a an army of people who have no knowledge of horses or any interest in horse slaughter, but who have been convinced they need to support horse slaughter or their property rights will be the next to go.

        Like

      • Thank you for providing the link to the testimony of the Dr. Soule. Here are some key points that I have not seen in these stories. Ann Romney was one of nine defendants in this case. Though under FEI rules she would be considered the Responsible Person, if she entrusted her horse’s medical care to her veterinarian and her trainers, she may or may not have had full knowledge or understanding of the extent of the injury. In fact, it sounds like the horse’s regular vet believed that the injury could be treated through surgery, and took a different approach to the Super Hit’s training than did Dr. Soule, who sounds like he is at the top of his game given his extensive experience.

        Here is the question I have having been directed by my own vet to the FEI’s banned substances page when I talked to him about banned substances and masking agents used in race horses, is how this horse could have been continuously treated with all these medications without any of them ever showing up in FEI testing. According FEI rules all winning horses as well as random horses are selected for testing. If I were the show vet and I thought someone was showing a lame horse, that would be one of the random horse’s that I chose to test. So before I would condemn Mrs. Romney, I would want to know what the extent of her knowledge was.

        FROM http://www.feicleansport.org/ATHLETE'S%20GUIDE%20TO%20ANTI-DOPING.pdf

        …If you are the rider, driver, or vaulter of the horse, then you are the Person responsible for the horse that will be held accountable for an EADcM regulation violation. This is true even if you are riding, driving, or vaulting a borrowed horse! Therefore, you need to be very careful about who you trust to care for your horses and even more so who you trust to treat your horses. In the case of a borrowed horse, you should make sure you are comfortable with the horse’s treating history before competing with it. In the regulations, if a member of your support personnel does something that leads to an EADcM regulation violation, that person may be held accountable, but so
        will you. For example, if you rely on your veterinarian who tells you
        that a substance can be used on your horse without violating any rules, and later you find out that your horse has tested positive for a Prohibited Substance, you will be in violation of the rules even though you were relying on your veterinarian. Similarly, if a groom who is working for you mistakenly gives one of your competition horses medication intended for an ill horse and the competition horse later tests positive, you will be in violation of the regulations
        (and your groom may be also.)

        WhAT iS ThE “STriCT LiABiLiTy” PriNCiPLE ?
        Under the EADcM regulations, the Person responsible is strictly liable whenever a Prohibited Substance is found in a horse’s sample. This means that it is a violation whether or not the Person responsible intentionally or unintentionally, knowingly or unknowingly, used a Prohibited Substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault. It is also irrelevant whether the Prohibited Substance actually had a performance-enhancing effect. It is very important therefore for the Person responsible to understand not only what is prohibited, but also what might potentially cause an inadvertent violation. Even though this strict liability principle exists, the Person responsible will always have the opportunity to explain why he or she is not at fault and the circumstances surrounding what happened will always be taken into consideration when determining sanction (suspension and/or fine). But the strict liability principle means that disqualification of the horse/rider combination for the Event in which the horse tested positive is automatic even if you can prove, and everyone agrees, that you were not at fault.

        Almost all of the drugs this horse was administered were administered by the veterinarian whether one of the vets failed to record the administration of the drugs or not. Without the compliance of the veterinarians, regardless of either the owners or trainers wishes, this horse could not have received any of these medications. However, due to one of the vets decision to perform surgery on the horse, there is evidence that there was disagreement about the nature of the injury and how best to treat it. Also, Dr. Soule describes the injury as pretty devastating, but he also said that it could not be observed on visual examination—only through a radiograph.

        I agree that the veterinarian performing the pre-purchase exam made a serious ethical error.

        But I no longer regard the AVMA and the AAEP as paragons of virtue or veterinary health professional who feel ethically and morally obliged to do what is best for the horse. The current AVMA page on horse slaughter reveals just how self-serving and wrong headed their failure to intervene to prevent the suffering of horses is. Some of these guys operate on the fringes and that may have been the case or maybe not.

        Another discussion I had with a long time horse woman was about the nature to be competitive at the highest level of equestrian sports and how hard such activities as fox hunting can be on horses. It made me think about human athletes who will dope themselves with steroids or through blood doping to give them an extra edge. Top level athletes often abuse their bodies and seek means both legal and illegal to enhance their performance. During the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, an Irish swimmer who came from no where defeated an American swimmer who was expected to win gold in her events. Interestingly enough, the swimmers trainer had a history of doping, but the Irish swimmer did not test positive, so she kept her gold despite lingering questions about how her times went from where they were to her performance level in the Olympics.

        Like

  5. I don’t careabout there money, if the horse is well cared for thats’s all that matters. BUT, I would Like to see her wearing a helmet!

    Like

    • Drugging a horse more than a vet has ever seen, then selling it so you can hide it is lame to the future owner, is not well cared for in my book. It is wanting to get your money out of your investment (just like Mittens) and allowing the horse to suffer before your bottomline does. And even if she sold at a loss, Mittens can write it off on his already low taxes.

      Like

      • Save My Ponies,

        Mrs. Romney’s name was dropped from the suit before the suit was settled. She did not settle. She was no longer a part of the suit.

        Like

  6. We didn’t quite have the pundits in our media during the days of John/Jackie Kennedy that we have today. The Reagan’s rode and had horses too. Back in the day, before cable tv, the media treated presidential candidates with respect. Now it’s part tabloid, part news. Most First Ladies don’t accomplish much of anything, don’t expect Ann to have more influence over Mitt in the White House than Big Ag (horse slaughter) or Big Oil & Big Ag (public lands) – aka corporate lobbyists (with shareholders/investors) and congressional Ag committees. And don’t forget much of that money Mitt made for investors came at the expense of thousands of jobs. Do we want a president that works for investors or the rest of us? We already have a Congress working for investors, and a Supreme Court. And remember, Ann let Mitt strap their dog to the roof of their car. Would never have happened if I’d been married to Mitt at the time, Mitt would’ve been strapped up there first.

    Like

    • I hate to break it to you, but some of these investors are members of the 99%. They are the state retirement agencies for teachers and state employees, county and city employees and thousands of small businesses, 401K funds, etc. Investors aren’t all billionaires and millionaires, they are ordinary Americans. I don’t get why people are so hostile towards people who know how to create wealth. Given what I now understand about the power of money to do good, and wishing I had a lot more of it to donate to all the rescues and legal fights facing our horses.

      Like

  7. This is off subject but to TEXAS is very important. Just saw a post w/message from Julie Caramante: Calling all Texans! July 10 we need people at the Capitol in Austin. A hearing is scheduled to promote legislation to make horse slaughter legal in Texas. All you have to do is show up and sign a card opposing legislation. This is EXTREMELY important that everyone that can go attends. More info will go out later, but wanted to give the heads up so people can make room on their calendar. Paula & I will be there for sure. My take on this: Don’t let these bastards get away with this. Do they want another Kauman? All in Texas, PLEASE HELP!

    Like

  8. I think peopl
    e resent HOW Mitt made his money, from the backs of the middle class worker. Ask anyone who lost their job because of his Bain/Cap. corp. Their horses were bought with the blood of the workers. This is what we resent!!

    Like

    • What about the other jobs that Govenor Romney’s work at Bain Capitol saved? If you have a company with a division or several divisions are sucking all the company’s profit down the drain, eliminating the parts of the company that are not working may be the only way to save the other 70% of the company? Sometimes you have to cut out what nots working in order to strengthen what does. In the end, you save a lot more jobs that you end up losing. This is what Mitt Romney did at Bain, and I do not understand why this is such a hard concept to understand.

      How I would love to turn someone with Mitt Romney’s skills lose on everyone who breeds too many horses; we could clean up this unwanted horse breeding program pretty quickly.

      Like

    • That’s an example of made up “facts” passed off as a news story. The Washington Post did an article about “outsourcing” by Bain and was challenged to produce proof of their allegations, they had no proof, but they refuse to withdraw or correct their story. There was no blood of workers involved. Tone down the rhetoric please.

      Like

  9. As so often happens in media, the story is truncated to show only the evidence the writer wishes the reader to see. The problem with this in modern times is—it is hard to hide the facts contributing to the fuller picture for long.

    Like

  10. As for the article, I do sense a bit of elite-hate lurking there. Agree what the Romney’s did to that horse is despicable, but I also bristled at this writer’s disdain for dressage as a “rich person’s sport.” Since I’m a dressage rider myself and certainly not rich, I beg to differ.

    Competing at the Olympic level in ANY equine discipline is very expensive, but the vast majority of dressage riders don’t even get to Third Level, let alone Grand Prix. And, competitive dressage is quite different from dressage as proper riding, proper training and developing the proper self-carriage for your horse. It’s quite cheap and you don’t need any particular kind of horse. Dressage schooling is great for ANY horse and rider team.

    During the late 70s and all through the 80s, my friends and I did trail rides all over Texas, Oklahoma and even made it to Missouri once. I found DJ’s (my horse at the time) dressage training invaluable on the trail. In fact, everyone was impressed with DJ’s performance as a trail horse. When I told them it was his dressage training they were shocked.

    Dressage is for everyone! End rant.

    Start rant:

    I wish I could be in Texas! As a native who lived with those hell-holes for 15 years – DJ was my horse that was almost stolen right out of his stall – I’d LOVE to give THEM some H*#l. But I’m in Indiana now – and those plants were the reason I’m here. After the near theft of my beloved DJ, we moved to my husband’s native IN. We could afford land here, and my precious DJ had a pasture at home instead of a stall. He had a wonderful 10 years here, and he’s now resting at peace in the pasture he loved. Gotta quit. 10 years and I still miss him.

    Give ’em H@#L in Austin!

    Like

    • Suzanne, I knew you would say something about dressage. This is so true. When I was a kid there were only a few people in our area even aware of Dressage and we were in CT when the USET Team was in Stamford. UConn had a Morgan horse farm and a great horse program. I got my pony (mustang) for $230. and I had to help hay with Farmer Baxter on our fields that were not fenced. I dug the fence post holes for his corral and my dad converted the chicken coup to a tack and feed room and he added a big stall with an open door. We were never rich. When Crackers and I had a few years of growing together and experience on trails and jumping we began to understand impulsion on our own. I would read and begin to understand more about collection after racing around every where. What we had became better communication and he muscled out so nicely by the time he was 10 years old and I credit that to more balance and communication. I will always miss this little horse. He was the best trail horse too! Dressage is for everyone and it only costs your attention and understanding if that is all you have. Those were the best riding years of my life and he taught me more than I can tell. One day I came home from school and my mother had sold him. She wanted a new house. That was when we found out I had this congenital condition and I had my first attacks and I was told that riding was what had kept it from happening before. I was in my 30s before I had another horse and had been crippled once for nearly a year in my 20s. Riding can save your life.

      Like

    • I’ve been training and riding in dressage since mid-1974, and while I have ranked Nationally in dressage in the Top 20 for various levels in USDF, and also qualified a long time ago for my gold medal status but never bothered to turn in the paperwork, and although I was told many, many times by International judges, clinicians, Hilda Guerney who competed in the Olympics and whom I trained with for 4 years, etc, that I had the talent if I “had the right horse” to train and go to the Olympics, I was never able to go because of a lack of funds to pay for it. A few women who I will not name that I trained alongside with top clinicians and instructors came from monied families and they in fact did go to the Olympics and/or did/do compete Internationally. So to achieve the International level does take money, and a lot of it.
      I do agree however that dressage training/foundation is a Godsend for any discipline of riding and/or driving. I’ve trained, ridden and shown in all of the major disciplines, and also have done trail trials and ridden thousands of miles of trails too. The dressage training has gotten me out of a lot of potentially bad spot on the trails, and also always improved any discipline I was showing in. I’ve been teaching my students for 35+ years using dressage fundamentals even if they weren’t riding “formal” dressage because they were riding western or driving.
      That being said however, either you have to have deep pockets, or you need a monied sponsor, if you want to compete at the International level in dressage; those are the sad facts, so believe me when I say that just like the presidential race, it is NOT always the most talented, hard working and qualified competitors (candidates) at the Olympic level because some of those folks that are the best simply don’t have the money, or get the breaks, that will allow them to go to the pinnacle in dressage (or achieve the presidency).
      T

      Like

  11. Yes every kid wants a pony sometime in their life – at least that used to be when we all watched Roy Rogers etc . However it is not just because the parents may not be able to afford one – after all little league hockey/soccer/ etc weekends are not necessarily cheap. Instead it is because having a pony involves commitment and responsibility and this is not what the average parent is looking to do.Back to the 1% – that is a joke. People from all walks of life own horses. Dressage is not for the elite – just look into the United States Pony Club organization, the 4 H clubs – yes we are not all from NY City and a lot of us still live in rural communities.
    As far as picking on expensive hobbies – how about boats, second homes , fancy cars – shouldn’t they be addressed as well. Picking on the Romneys because the own an expensive dressage horse is stupid. Think now maybe it is time to pick on Tiger Woods Yacht ?

    Like

  12. Ann Romney is a horse lover. She didn’t start in dressage, she started with an average horse that she groomed and spent time with when she wasn’t able to ride more than 5 or 10 minutes. And guess what? If she never owned a horse, her husband would still be rich.

    I wonder how many of you could have your entire life put under a microscope without finding something that could make you appear to be an unsympathetic character? I don’t think many of us could survive the experience. Add to that, the fact that a frenzied media loves to take half truths and spin them into sensational stories. The fact is, there are horse lovers who are far left and horse lovers who are far right. Sorry that is so disturbing to some of you. Go read the constitution, we still have the right to believe as we see fit and the right to speak our minds.

    Like

    • Well said…..and they (the right, big Ag and media) attacked Michelle Obama for planting a vegetable garden on White House grounds and advocating healthy eating and an end to childhood obesity.

      Stupidity runs rampant on the highway of life like a squirming toad in the road in a rain storm.

      Like

  13. I’d like to know how this obviously uninformed, unsubstantiated “journalist” became the burning bush regarding equines and the Romney’s? It’s a freaking blog post after all, right?

    This story (akin to a loosely based fairy tale) serves no freaking purpose….for any BODY or equine. It’s like watching Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight. WHO CARES?!?!????…save how Ann Romney disposes of her horses and what she thinks about human consumption horse slaughter.

    Like

    • p.s. I never got Seinfeld’s cachet…you like him? Great. I don’t think he is a comic genius or worthy of serious debate quotes…he made money. Period. I could care less.

      To quote this guy, lacks humor, wit or knowledge, specifically about equines and the magic that is moral animal stewardship…especially when it comes to equines. Wanna bet Seinfeld will be “cursed” with his daughters’ “ownership” of the proverbial rich man’s pony? How ironic! Will the “reporter” do a follow-up?

      Like

    • I care because I believe that Ann Romney’s interest in horses has a chance to raise public awareness about the equine welfare issues that we are facing. If she were to become first lady and choose equine welfare as one of her causes, she could do more to raise awareness and work for solutions in a shorter amount of time than we could otherwise hope for.

      I also care because she is a woman like me who faced a much more serious but similar health challenge than I, but who found her life transformed through her relationship with horses and her involvement in equestrian activities.

      Furthermore, I believe that people who like Ann Romney have the ability to show people who are forced to live with limitations that they can live full lives. Ann Romney can also show people through her example how powerful loving an animal and feeling “loved” back can be.

      We are going to hear all kinds of things about both candidates and maybe their families. Michelle Obama has been under fire for pushing exercise rather than getting after food companies to remove some of the sugars and other additives that could be contributing to childhood obesity. Assume everything you hear from either side is false except that you can prove to be true.

      Like

      • I tried to reply, but it got vaporized (probably by my fat fingers).

        Here’s the problem, she ISN’T bringing attention to equine welfare and the question of the Romney’s stance on HCHS, wild equine extermination, where equines she’s owned (jointly or solely) still stand or are and how they wound up (though not entirely her problem).

        Like

    • Kathleen Parker is a nationally syndicated journalist who has a conservative point of view. The point of her article is that it would be better to use horses in therapy than to send them to be slaughtered. I thought we all agreed on this.

      Like

      • Really? Parker is a journalist and conservative? No kidding!?!

        Got that HoofHugs. My complaint was that it wasn’t journalism; it is opinion and doesn’t shed ANY LIGHT on equine welfare. I don’t know how you can conclude that the article says it’s better to use equines for therapy, than send to slaughter. Maybe I missed something that you gleaned from the “back off Ann Romney” blog post…please advise.

        That is why I said “I don’t care” aka Who cares. I also wish the connections the best for the London Games…seriously.

        p.s. International/world class equines, regardless of discipline have very little to do with “therapy”….save for when they dump their charges and those equines are lucky enough to land in a therapy program. And Ms Romney has done what for therapy programs…contributions, volunteering, sponsoring, etc? Seriously…another please advise and set me straight moment.

        Like

  14. Suzanne, I knew you would say something about dressage. This is so true. When I was a kid there were only a few people in our area even aware of Dressage and we were in CT when the USET Team was in Stamford. UConn had a Morgan horse farm and a great horse program. I got my pony (mustang) for $230. and I had to help hay with Farmer Baxter on our fields that were not fenced. I dug the fence post holes for his corral and my dad converted the chicken coup to a tack and feed room and he added a big stall with an open door. We were never rich. When Crackers and I had a few years of growing together and experience on trails and jumping we began to understand impulsion on our own. I would read and begin to understand more about collection after racing around every where. What we had became better communication and he muscled out so nicely by the time he was 10 years old and I credit that to more balance and communication. I will always miss this little horse. He was the best trail horse too! Dressage is for everyone and it only costs your attention and understanding if that is all you have. Those were the best riding years of my life and he taught me more than I can tell. One day I came home from school and my mother had sold him. She wanted a new house. That was when we found out I had this congenital condition and I had my first attacks and I was told that riding was what had kept it from happening before. I was in my 30s before I had another horse and had been crippled once for nearly a year in my 20s. Riding can save your life.

    And give them hell Austin!!

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    • OMG! Talk about reading your own intentions into a photograph – this comment was either made by someone totally ignorant about horses or by someone intentionally wishing to trash this owner. Period.

      Here is what is REALLY happening in the photograph: This is a candid shot but it’s likely happening during a photo session. The horse is casually nibbling some leaves off the tree and while he is doing that he is watching the photographer. He’s also being allowed to “be himself” in doing so – many riders do not allow this and will jerk the horses head back away from such a snack. The salient point to keep in mind as you read this is that horses (even domestics) are prey animals so they always keep watch on their surroundings, it’s how they survive in the wild. The photographer probably has an assistant who is trying his best to get the horse’s attention so he will perk up his ears forward toward the camera for “picture perfect ears”, an intent look that does NOT signal relaxed and happy but rather alert, focused and interested. Those ears are the desired pose for horse portraits. This means the assistant may be waving a glittery pompom, doing jumping jacks, crawling along with a rug over his back so he looks like something to be wary of, crinkling plastic bags or packaging. The point is the assistant is working hard to make the horse notice him – the horse IS noticing him while he chomps down on a snack of leaves from the tree so you can see the white of his eye as he looks sideways at the photographer/assistant.

      This is NOT an unhappy horse in this photo. I know because I have made my living as a pro equine photographer for years taking photos of people and their horses and have probably seen faces like this hundreds of times in my work. Please, before you imply a horse who looks like this is unhappy, know what you’re talking about!

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    • Oh please! You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. Do you even own a horse? I doubt it. This horse is NOT unhappy or upset in any way, shape or form. This horse is simply grabbing a snack of leaves off a tree while also watching the photographer (or assistant) out of the corner of his eye hence the white of the eye showing.

      I happen to know this because I’ve spent many years as a pro equine photographer and I’ve seen hundreds of horses looking exactly like this — he is watching the activity while also getting a bite to eat. Both of those things are typical horse actions. The photographer and assistant are likely working hard by making noises, dangling shiny things, etc. to get him to look alert and with his ears pricked forward towards the camera in the “picture perfect pose” for a horse portrait. He is simply too busy getting a snack and too relaxed and content with his surroundings to be bothered to pay any attention to the “predator” type intrusions being made to get his attention.

      That’s right, horses are prey animals and so they are constantly watching everything around them. They are always on alert for something new and they will prick their ears forward towards it if it presents itself. That is precisely the pose desired so you could say the photographer is looking for, a “prey response”. No one wants photos of flop-earred, super relaxed horses – they want ears forward. This is a candid or casual shot probably taken while trying to get the typical look.

      Next time before you go spouting off what you know nothing about, just zip your lip. No one needs to hear pure ignorance (nor pure propaganda given solely to instigate).

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    • This is a perfect example of what I mean when I urge us all to be cautious about believing anything we hear or see without knowing the source and whether the source is reliable. There are almost no facts at all in these clips and no context whatsoever. Just a lot of negative words typed onto a screen to smear Governor Romney. This looks like something we could expect from Media Matters, and Media Matters has no journalistic integrity at all.

      There are people who want to eliminate our wild horses on public lands and another group of the most unsavory group of human beings ever to darken our nation’s capitol who have been plotting for years to get horse slaughter another sector of the meat industry even though they know the American people find the very idea repugnant. Why do you think so much activity is being focused on perverting the political process right now? It’s not because these scoundrels think that if they wait until they have a new administration they will have an easier time. It is because Obama wants the US to lead the new world order and feeding people horse and dog meat in countries where this meat is eaten helps him gain a foot hold in these areas.

      I lived in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics games. We watched the construction of many of the sites and the creation of the Olympic dorms for athletes and some of the buildings and facilities that were created on the campuses of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. Everything in the video about the Olympics is part and parcel of hosting the Olympic games where for two weeks the host city will be the center of the known universe of sports. Cities go to great lengths to build a coalition among community leaders that will work to make a successful presentation to the IOC and who are committed to doing what it takes to pull off successful games. This is no easy feat. Mitt Romney did not create the system nor did he create the problems in Salt Lake City. He jumped on board as the ship had started to sink, and he is credited with saving the SLC games. I’ve never heard of anyone accusing Governor Romney mismanaging any aspect of the games.

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      • O.K. HoofHugs, I just have to know where you’re getting this info from–your quote:

        ” It is because Obama wants the US to lead the new world order and feeding people horse and dog meat in countries where this meat is eaten helps him gain a foot hold in these areas.”

        Please send me a link to who is writing their theories on this, or an unbiased website, or something other than just YOUR opinion. Thanks!

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      • Hoofhugs ~ I don’t want to get into a political argument with ANYONE, but isn’t what you just posted another example of what you were talking about? I mean, we all have a right to whatever opinion we want – but, we DO have to fight fair. Unsubstantiated accusations – especially from the highly unreliable press – as we have seen! – are not what we want to repeat, right?

        And remember, our wild horses have been under attack for 30 years. They were shipping them in railway cars to slaughter and put in Ken’L Ration – I remember the product, don’t remember how they spelled it!

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  15. Thank you for your wonderful article!! People need to take a step back, & get off their long-held anger isues! FORGET “who” the person may be in any particular “feel-good” story! It’s about the horses, what the horses give of themselves, to help us humans! And, about our relationship with these beautiful creatures. Not all “horse-people” are rich, some are very much down to earth, & most are very nice, & guess what? We ALL share a love for horses, regardless of our pocketbooks. Back to rich or snooty horse-people, did you know that many of these very same people have donated VERY expensive, former show horses to therapeutic horsemanship riding stables? I know, because my teen daughter volunteers at such a place. These are beautiful horses who have been given a new job, helping the disabled, helping them feel “normal”. I don’t know or care if Romney gets into office, or if they have money (no duh!), or if his wife owns fancy dressage horses! If she has been helped by her horses, & is promoting them as such, more power to her! I have always dreamed of owning my own horse, never happened, my dughter wants her own horses someday too & wants a career with horses. I hope her dreams come true. Until that time, she’s perfectly content to lease a beautiful horse & gets to help train him. I don’t hate others because they have something I don’t, they are no better than me, I embrace them, befriend them, & in return, I get to be in their world, the world of horses!

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  16. I agree that Mitt wants to be President and that he has a level of wealth that could separate his experiences from people without money.

    But I could not disagree more with you about how he has made his wealth “off the back of ordinary Americans”. His job was to look at a company and analyze what parts of it were working well and what parts were not. By reducing and eliminating areas of a business that are not profitable, he was able to save companies. Companies like Pepsico are conglomerates with some businesses making money and others losing money. There are a lot of reasons a business may be losing money.

    Imagine if you had someone who could manage horse breeders and come up with a plan to reduce the numbers of horses being bred and improve the quality at the same time, wouldn’t you want someone with the intelligence and the analytical ability to do it. Think about how much money the BLM wastes on programs that do not work, how they misrepresent facts, create their own set of false facts, how they pay Wild Horse and Burro Specialists six figure salaries although these people do not have to have a single hour of training in equine science. The BLM does not do EA’s before reissuing cattle permits and it allows the ranchers to make a profit of close to 1,000 to 2,000 dollars per cow meanwhile tax payers spent at least 144 million a year subsidizing the very wealthy, privileged few in the position to graze public lands.

    His work at Bain Capital was about saving businesses, not just cutting jobs. If some one has to cut a division with 50 workers, so that 11 other divisions with 500 workers can continue to have a job and not be sunk by the leak in the ship, that is not being a job destroyer. It is being a job preserver. The Governor has been a problem solver wherever he has been, and his particular skill set is exactly what government needs right now. If we could eliminate all the fraud, abuse, and waste in DC no one would have to worry about Medicare and Social Security.

    Under the current administration, we have seen more wild horses removed from their families and homes than ever before. This President chose Ken Salazar as Secretary of Interior, and Ken Salazar has two members f the advisory committee that are full-fledged equine DeathEaters. His President of the Senator was the instigator of the Burns Amendment allowing wild horses to be sold without limited and for the purpose of slaughter. Meanwhile, the President signs the November Omnibus Appropriations Bill essentially lifting the ban on slaughter through appropriations as he flies over China, the country Charlie Stenholm says can’t wait to buy our horses(meat). The President, The Secretary, and the President of the Senate all served in the Senate together. Each knew what the other is capable of, and there are no accidents here. If you want laws to protect our horses from slaughter and to protect our wild horses, this crew is not going to give them to us. If they are re-elected we have no hope for at least four more years that anything serious will be done. Do you think there will be any herds left in five more years?

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  17. Your screen name is “savewildhorses”. Do you really believe there will any wild horses left in the West if these guys get four more years? I would support Obama if he had shown an ounce of concern for our wild or domestic horses, but he has not had the courtesy to even to reply in a general way to advocates’ concerns. If he made a pact with Harry Reid and Ken Salazar to have them help him get elected, he’s not going to do anything about the cruelties our horses are facing. Furthermore, in case you missed it, the President cracked jokes about eating dog meat during the White House Correspondent’s dinner. Given the level of repugnance our culture has about such an idea, what was the point if not to begin to desensitize us to the idea—well, I guess if the President lived to tell about it—maybe it’s not such a bad thing. And another point you may have missed, when the President signed his executive order on immigration, one of his reasons is that immigrants are needed to work in agriculture and MEAT PACKING. Could Charlie Stenholm and Frank Losey have served the President some of their Missouri Kool-Aide?

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  18. I would suggest that if anyone goes to one of Romney’s speech’s or if he is in town see if you could get close enough to ask him about horse slaughter. He does walk through crowds with his secret service detail around him but I’ll bet he and his wife don’t know a thing about it. When I found out she was a rider I wondered if Romney might be the one person that just might be able to stop horse slaughter with a stroke of his pen if he gets in the White House. Because it will never be stopped any other way.

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    • They aren’t going to comment on the slaughter issue now. He hasn’t been elected, holds no office and has no power to change anything. I think it would still take more than the stroke of a pen, Congress has to write and introduce a bill, the Senate has to pass it, then the President can sign it into law. I think our best bet to convince him IF he gets elected, is to point out that the horses slaughtered here are not consumed here, and that we shouldn’t spend our tax money to supply meat for Europe and Japan. Also, it’s an unsafe product. Horse slaughter in the US is a bad deal for the horses, for us, and for the people who consume it.

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  19. Savewildhorses,

    You apparently do not understand MS. MS never goes away, and it is a disease that often leads to horrible disfiguring disability and eventual death. It is horrible. Mrs. Romney does not have the most severe form, but she has to manage her sleep, diet, and stress.
    I hope you are wrong. Our current administration has done more to destroy wild horses than all the administrations before it.
    This is not a left or right thing, and I think you are trying to turn it into an issue of purely political issue. Right now the people who post the greatest threat to our horses are the President, the President of the Senate, the Secretary, and the master manipulator lobbying representative from Texas. Why you want four more years of this when your moniker is SaveWildHorses, if you are truly sincere about saving wild horses, is something I cannot fathom.
    I think a man who nearly lost the wife he adores is far more likely to take care of the animals who have healed her than someone whose family is more interested in saving tigers in Africa.

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    • Hoofhugs ~ We’re getting a bit overboard here. It was Bush who signed off on the Burns Amendment – probably didn’t even know it was there, just like Obama probably didn’t know a last minute stinger was tacked onto this Federal Budget. Even if he did, it was very late in the day and a total government shut-down was looming. Now, a lot of folks might say shutting the govt. down isn’t such a bad idea – I could even agree, but there are a lot of people who live off government checks – Social Security, Disability, Veterans, the unemployed, etc. If the govt. shuts down, they don’t get their checks.

      I’m not happy with the way Obama has handled the wild horse situation or the slaughter issue, but I don’t think he’s been any worse than the Bush Administration when it comes to managing the Public Lands! What they were planning was horrendous too.

      As for “The New World Order,” I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean – if anything. I’m interested in saving tigers. They will go extinct – especially certain lines – if nothing is done. And, I certainly wasn’t born in Kenya, and frankly, I don’t believe Obama was either.

      I was born in TEXAS!

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    • I didn’t see anything about slaughtering horses to feed the world as part of a “new world order”……can you point out where it talks about slaughtering horses and also the new world order involvement?

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    • O.K., what exactly am I supposed to glean from this link you sent? I’d have to see video of his commenting on eating dog meat to see what the context, tone, body language is coming from Obama…..kinda like the hand not over his heart thing during the pledge of allegiance–turns out the photo was totally reversed and photo shopped so it looked like the president and his wife were holding their hand to the right side instead of the left. Do you have a link for a video of Obama with his dog meat jokes because this link to the blurb tells me nothing…… I mean seriously, even I joke about things like eating dogs and cats….it may be in poor taste (pun intended) but I’m sure I’ve joked about it before in the past 53 years. I couldn’t tell you exactly when, but if someone asked me if I’d ever talked/joked about it, in order to answer honestly, I’d have to reply “yes”. Please send me a video link if you have one so I can “read” what the president is saying for myself. Thanks

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  20. Save Wild Horses,

    I consider these allegations extremely serious, and I will dog down the details as best I can until I can find the answers to the questions I believe need to be asked. i have different life experiences than you have—not better or worse, but different. I also have enjoyed people from all socio-economic backgrounds, from big city developers to the night janitors at the schools where I once worked. I think that class envy which is the current fashion is just as harmful and divisive as racial prejudice and gender discrimination has been, and frankly, it repulses me as much as racial slurs and other signs of disrespect ever have. Your experience is your experience, but it is not mine.

    I will knock this story out and the related smarmy details and share them with you and others to give us more facts with which we can make more informed judgments about whether they are worthy of our support.

    Reprinted from the Washington Post.

    http://njuice.com/4Oq

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    • Well, class envy isn’t news. Nasty people exist in the equine world, as stated earlier on this thread and in every other microcosm of society or biz.

      I said I respected and appreciated your comments earlier on this thread. Since then and continuing to follow, I have come to a stupid, presumptive conclusion….you are going to vote for Romney. Do I care? Not really….you have your reason. I didn’t vote for McCain or Obama, although I respect both men for different reasons.

      Problem is, the problem (redundant) is with agriculture and public land’s policy and it respects no party or life…neither side is going to fix the brutal butchering of our equines, stealing of OUR water or other natural resources.

      Back to my original point, Ann Romney is not, REPEAT NOT a player in this problem(s) and has not demonstrated any tendency to discuss or reveal, etc any of the equine welfare issues to date.

      This thread is another example of internet angst B$…..look at the comments….look at the comments over at the IEC “get involved” post.

      Guess it’s easier to spend time on supporting or bashing Romney, then committing to Las Vegas IEC. And folks, spare me “I ain’t got the cash”, “I ain’t got the time”, “No one can care for my animals” rhetoric.

      IEC is more important than Ann Romney’s horsey life.

      Flame away………..

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      • Come ON, Denise. We can’t all come to Vegas no matter how much we might want to. Really. I’m not physically able to do it alone, and my husband would have to stay home and take care of the horses. That’s not even mentioning financials. I’m in Indiana!

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      • Denise,

        I spent the money and the time to attend IEC in Alexandria. I have a few health issues, and my daughter was kind enough to take time off from work and drive with me there. I took the understanding I gleaned from the presenters and participants and I have spent a great deal of time researching this issue from a number of different perspectives. I write, I phone, I email, and I question, question, question. I have made met with my representative and I try to keep my representative and senators informed of new information or further insights regarding the issues.

        I have not defended the Romney’s because they are Republicans. i have defended them because I think that it is logical to assume that a family that has been through what the Romneys have been through and gotten to the other side of it are going to have a far better appreciation for the human horse bond than people with no experience.

        I share some positions with the Democratic party and other values with the Republican party. If the Democrats were to decide to consider someone other than anyone in the current administration, or if the current administration were to take decisive action to clean up the mess with our wild horses and burros and to follow through on the promise they reportedly made to end horse slaughter, I would reconsider my position. While you might not agree with my position that four more years of this administration will be a disaster for equines, for me it is all about the horses. I could care less what party someone is a member of, how much money they make, or what religious denomination they belong to.

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      • I won’t flame you, however, even though I can afford to go to Vegas, I won’t go for the simple reason that I can do more for the animals that we already took responsibility for by staying home and taking care of them. My husband and I both work 7 days a week in our business of working on bank-owned homes, however, I also take care of ALL of the animals, large and small, because my husband does aspects of our work that he can do but I don’t know how to (like plumbing and electrical repairs, roof repairs, re-keys and securing, etc), so unless its an emergency, I don’t ask him to do daily care with the over 90 animals we have here. I suppose if I really thought I’d hear something I don’t already know, or that I won’t be able to read on the websites and blogs I follow about the meeting in Vegas, or if I was asked for my opinion on what is needed for our “side” to be taken more seriously by our opposition (the pro-slaughter/anti-wild horse and burro crowd) then that would be a different story and I might consider trying to go even though it is a disruption at our sanctuary any time the routine is changed. But spending even $300-500 to go to Vegas is money that can and should be spent on taking care of over 40 large animals at our sanctuary and over 45 small animals, so I won’t even try to rationalize going to something that won’t help us here at home, and actually causes undue stress to my husband whenever I’m away because he’s afraid he’d miss seeing that one of our “kids” is sick. I do have to say though, trying to make people feel guilty for not going isn’t very nice seeing as you don’t know what anyones circumstances are…..this is the main reason my husband and I do not interact with other rescues….it gets a bit petty when other people/rescues have different priorities and agendas that don’t jive with ours and try to make us feel bad because our place isn’t real fancy and such, we don’t brush out horses manes, we don’t feed tons of vitamins and supplements, etc……..now if I could just figure out a way to have $40,000 magically appear to cover our yearly bill for hay, then I would be in Vegas in a heartbeat because I could afford to hire and train someone to take care of all the animals while I’m away!……lol.

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      • I certainly hope there will be live streaming this time. People will be on more familiar ground in the West and I think that live streaming will connect all the thousands of folks who cannot go but would like to hear what goes on. Be sure to make suggestions for them to do things or discuss things that you want covered. We have all been asked to do this by Vicki Tobin. I always ask people to have serious meetings together to discuss what needs to be done and how to do it. I cannot imagine a group of us getting together for a few days and not discussing such things…. I have a list. You should all have an issue that calls to you that needs more action, and I think you all do!!

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    • I actually DO aspire to have as much money as possible so that we can rescue and provide sanctuary for more animals than we already have and that my husband and I work our asses off 7 days a week in our business to support over 90 animals (and 53 are large animals, so the hay prices are killing us).
      That being said and even though I’ve been around a lot of very wealthy people in the horse industry, most wealthy people really aren’t like regular middle class people even if that is where they originally came from (the middle class).
      Heres an idea I wish could be implemented for every candidate running for president and vice president: I would like a requirement to be that they and their families HAVE to live like regular middle class people for a period of 6 months. They would be given a house to live in that they have to make either rent or mortgage payments on, they could go into their “life” for the next six months with $3000 as seed money so they could purchase some clothes and the essentials, (and they wouldn’t be able to call on or accept money from family members or friends from their “real lives”), they would be offered a choice of 3 “regular” jobs that they have skills in (but certainly not as a CEO of anything), it would be regular jobs like working for the phone company, or Amazon in their warehouse (and boy, oh boy, would Romney ever get an eye opening experience working there because they are the poster child for a corporation that treats employees as entirely expendable and they go through people like items on a conveyer belt–especially if you have managed to stay around long enough to get to the top of the pay grade, have a bunch of sick days and vacation days coming to you, etc), or in customer service doing retail work, as a salesperson, or as a delivery driver, or even doing what I do which is working on foreclosed homes that are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now where they want even a disgusting house cleaned out of 20-80 cubic yards of garbage and a house with over-flowing poopy toilets, dead animals in the house, etc, for a flat rate ($400), etc. They would see how it feels to be living paycheck to paycheck, have no health insurance and hope no one in the family gets ill or injured, decide which bills will get paid that week or month and which ones will have to wait and incur late fees, over limit fees, be worried about running the air conditioner when its 100 degrees out but you’re not sure if you can afford the power bill, etc.
      After 6 months of living this way, only the most arrogant wouldn’t have learned something about how middle class life in America today really is.
      And just like you “horsehugs”, I would never vote for a Republican because although Obama has let me down on several issues that are important to me, I know intellectually and emotionally that a Republican will NEVER have any of my best interests at heart——unless they lived like a middle class person for 6 months and had a revelation that they really need to consider vast changes for the majority to live better lives–that’s the only way I would ever consider a Republican for president. Even 4 more years with Romney of what we had for 8 years before Obama will wipe out whats left of a true middle class entirely and we’ll be living like serfs on the kings and squires estates and/or our little villages as the worker bees the 1% want us to be.
      And seeing as I work for corporations now rehabbing foreclosed homes, I’ve seen the aftermath of more than a few suicides of fathers (in the house) after they were going to lose their families home that they had been living in and making payments on for 10-15 years, they lost their job, and because Republicans tend to be all about no regulations, when the father lost their job “with no cause” here in Nevada because we are a “right to work” state and no reason for firing has to be given by the employer, talk about a family being torn apart and a hard working father ending up dead by his own hand.

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    • Laura Bell said; “And just like you “horsehugs”, I would never vote for a Republican because although Obama has let me down on several issues that are important to me, I know intellectually and emotionally that a Republican will NEVER have any of my best interests at heart——unless they lived like a middle class person for 6 months and had a revelation that they really need to consider vast changes for the majority to live better lives–that’s the only way I would ever consider a Republican for president. Even 4 more years with Romney of what we had for 8 years before Obama will wipe out whats left of a true middle class entirely and we’ll be living like serfs on the kings and squires estates and/or our little villages as the worker bees the 1% want us to be.”

      I do so agree with you here!!

      If you have to pay these outrageous hay prices try to find pasture you can lease and cut on your own… that is a lot of big critters to feed.

      I wish Karen Sussman would be helped to lease hay pastures to save her the kind of money she puts out for her wild herds. I hope she does already!

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    • Why would I trust the Washington Post? I KNOW I can’t trust the NY Times or The Wall Street Journal, or…well, I really don’t know which one I CAN trust – if any.

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      • Robert J. Gula writes in his book Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language that most people make up their minds about a subject and then look for evidence that support what we think is true. Gula contends that before people can be persuaded to look more critically at a subject we have to realize that this is simply human nature.

        I learned early in my teaching career that if I taught my students based on false presumptions about student’s reading three to four years behind grade level learned or what their abilities were because they had not learned at the same time and the same rate as most children their age group peers learned, that I would fail them miserably because none of the so-called reasons for low achievement really matters. There is only one factor that children across ethnic groups, age groups, socio-economic levels, that is predictive of school failure and non-achievement. I used this factor when I designed lessons to make sure that I avoided inadvertently reinforcing it. As a result, my students made extraordinary progress from fall to spring if you want to measure progress by improvement on achievement tests. I was fortunate to be in a system that realized that methods of instruction that worked in many student groups had not worked with these students, so I was encouraged to use the parts that I found worked and throw out the ones that didn’t.

        If you want to believe that the Romneys are inherently bad people who cannot be trusted because they are super rich and have friends who are like them who are also super rich, and that being super rich is a crime against those of us who are not super rich. Go ahead. If this is your belief system and you are closed to the idea of modifying it when new information becomes available, there are not enough sources in the universe to believe anything different.

        I do not believe that the quality of our character can be defined by the income we have either earned of inherited, the kind of car we drive, or what kind of role we take in the charities we support. I believe that raising children to be good people and to participate and contribute to their communities is perhaps one of the most honorable and difficult tasks a person can do. Having raised a child of my own and having taught several thousand children over the course of my lifetime, I have seen families facing all kinds of challenges. Wealthy parents who are prominent in the community are forced to deal with some of the very same challenges that other families have.

        I have a master’s degree, I have taught in three different states, lived in three moderate to large sized Southern cities but continued my ties to horses and the country everywhere I have been. I have five different areas of certification. I am not saying this because I think this gives me some kind of super wisdom or authoritative credentials. Rather I have said this because I think my experience shows just the opposite. I realize just how very little I know and every time I learn something else, it opens up a whole new awareness of even more than I didn’t know before. I am curious. I want to know. But most of all, I want to know what the best science or the best available information points to as the truth. Finding the right solutions hinges on a thorough understanding of problems, realizing that there may be multiple solutions, not just one.

        For some of us, the issues of horse slaughter and allowing our wild horses and burros to remain on their federally designated and protected lands may appear to be simple issues of doing what is right or wrong. If we continue to hold onto this view, we, or our children, or those who will take our place as advocates, will be doing the same thing 20 years from now that we are doing today. We are doing much of the same work today advocates 20 years ago did. Why should the BLM change when historically they know they can out survive us. They are still doing what they were doing 40 years ago, too.

        Sorry, I’m in this to get better solutions for our wild horses and burros and to end horse slaughter, but in order for this to happen, a lot of work has to take place between where we sit today, June 29, 2012, and when we see visible, concrete steps in place to address both of these issues. There are many, many people working together to move these issues forward. Perhaps each of them has had to give up a little something that they believe is important to accomplish the greater vision we share.

        If we were to exclude the very wealthy from our advocacy as some of you would apparently like to do, we would also exclude people like Madeleine Pickens and almost all the people who serve on the board of SAM. In addition, that would exclude someone like Ted Turner. Madeliene Pickens has been a god-send for wild horses, and we do not know at what point some of the other people she has lined up with step in either to support litigation or public awareness. We simply we do not know. Personally, I support anyone who is willing to speak up step up for our wild and domestic horses.

        I hope those of you whose ideological beliefs are stronger than your desire to help our wild horses and burros and prevent our domestic horses from being slaughtered will step out of the way, so the rest can see s better world for humans and horses in our life time.

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      • HH said; “Why should the BLM change when historically they know they can out survive us. They are still doing what they were doing 40 years ago, too. Sorry, I’m in this to get better solutions for our wild horses and burros and to end horse slaughter, but in order for this to happen, a lot of work has to take place between where we sit today, June 29, 2012, and when we see visible, concrete steps in place to address both of these issues.”

        This is what I am working towards. Working solutions and projects people can do now as they need to be addressed. So many are waiting while a few work towards the future. We need more folks working and contributing and not waiting for a miracle from a self promoter. We have a long way to go and then some!

        Please all of you here, vote in this Missouri survey “NO” to horse slaughter in Missouri. It takes a moment and no signing in just voting!! We are hundreds of votes behind!!! Please vote info is above.

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    • Perhaps you are not aware of how you sound to those of us who do not have class envy. You have stereotyped all wealthy people and all Republicans. Class envy is based on the resentment that members of some social classes have more privileges than members of other social classes, and while this privilege may or may not exist as you perceive that it does, this makes it no healthier or helpful to us than other forms of prejudice based on stereotyping such as racial prejudice, gender bias, age bias, or other forms of discrimination.

      Our horses cannot afford for those of us who speak for them to eliminate people who are willing to help us because of our personal prejudices. It does not matter if that help is direct or indirect; there is too much work to do to quibble about who is doing what.

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      • Well, dam Hoof – you sound like a Romney family member defending Mittens so well. In short, Ann should not have let her horse be so drugged. Secondly, her horses are a business. Third, I’m glad sports broadcasts don’t show so much Olympic dressage/eventing. I couldn’t stand watching it knowing how those poor horses are tortured in training, how the riders just go through school horses just to learn themselves and their horses are discarded; and how Olympic horses are drugged to get through the events.

        The breeding of horses needs to stop, horse slaughter shouldn’t happen anywhere. Our mustangs need to be free. Hope you agree.

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  21. Save Wild Horses,

    The Romney’s were only able to deduct $50.00 of the $77,000 they listed in “passive expenses’ for this horse according to Slate, who researched the tax deductible benefits of owning a horse business.

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  22. I must say that I am a little shocked, here. For “good feeling Sunday” I posted the story on Ann Romney, not because of who she was but because of what she overcame through the love a horse. I don’t care who the equine touches, the fact that the contact had positive life changing results is what the story meant to me.

    And Ms. Romney took a thrashing, here…I actually felt somewhat responsible as the story was not about politics but about life. Anytime we can get a great tale about horses in front of the public is a win/win in my opinion.

    I came across this rebuttal to the bashing, thought it might help to see another perspective but down the political rabbit hole we went again. That disturbs me because it is, and forever should be, about the horses.

    I haven’t liked ANY of the administrations who have caused harm to our equine companions and I am particularly pissed with this one as we have been right up and personal in D.C. so many times. In fact, Terry and I are going back in September with thousands of letters to give to the Prez from tax payers screaming Stop the Bloody Roundups – more on that later.

    But let’s stay focused on the fact that a horse helped an ailing woman who now spends a great deal of her time with them. She is forever changed and for the better, regardless of what political party she belongs to or who she is married to…she is a better human for having this experience.

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    • Thank you! I cannot believe that people would get so off track in their comments . This was all about the horse and not intended for a lot of political bashing.

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    • R.T. I understand why you posted this article ~ from an Occupational Therapy perspective in using the horse as a means of treating the symptoms of MS, as well as the pro-horse view ~ it’s terrific to bring this to the forefront to educate the general public. However, I think we’re all too keenly aware of the ‘bashing’ our horses have taken at the hands (and greed) of the horse haters in the name of politics….I don’t think we can be too careful.

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      • Actually, all our problems with slaughter/wild horses ARE political. There is NO other reason for slaughtering American horses and exterminating our wild horses. BUT, it’s not a left or right situation – it’s ALL of it – the special interests having WAY too much influence on BOTH sides of the isle.

        Anyway, check out this discussion and the post about how the levels of stress hormones in horses would be much higher than in the beef that the USDA won’t pass! Another of the double standards they have for cattle vs horses. Would the USDA be more stringent with horses if Americans ate this stuff? Or not……?

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    • A better human? She sold a doped up horse for goodness sake! And transported her dog 12 hours on the roof of her car! A better human because of horses? I hope not because I’d hate to see what she was like before horses then. Sorry, RT, I have the utmost respect for what you do day in and day out, but I have to disagree wholeheartedly on this one. Politics aside, I have no respect for the Romneys. And I AM politically conservative in many respects.

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      • To My Ponies. You just don’t get it! The article was posted to show how a horse can be therapeutic, not to be twisted into a tirade against the Romneys. It was NOT meant to mean anything political . Please stick to the message as it was intended.

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      • I absolutely get it, Mary. I’m happy for Mrs. Romney. I teach special education. I have students who benefit from horses in my classroom and in my barn. What I don’t get is why anyone would use Ann Romney as such an example. I’m glad the horses helped her physically. Maybe now they can help her morally.

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      • Judging from the Romneys’ behavior, I don’t believe the situation will be any better for horses than it is now. Considering they created a business of using horses, it will definitely not be better. Their greed is showing and very apparent in representing a wanting horse as whole and healthy and selling her thereby defrauding the buyer. Again, no one bothered to care about the horse — only money.

        I look forward to RT taking letters to the Prez telling him to stop the roundups. Every time I fax a letter to a BLM district office asking them to stop the proposed roundups, I send one to the WH. So far no response. We need to deluge the WH with letters.

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      • Absolutely agree “formyponies”: just because a prominent person says something positive about how horses have helped them, its the actions that will always speak louder than words. Horses also have been positives in my life since I was a little kid, so my thank you to all the horses past, present and also future is for my husband and I to rescue many of the throw-away horses that are not candidates for adoption to someone because of physical and/or mental issues; IOW, they are the rescues that the other rescues in our area do not or will not rescue because they’ll be stuck with the horse for the rest of the horses life.
        Even when I was in the business of making money in the horse industry as a successful trainer in dressage, hunter/jumpers and even some western events (got out of those in about 1989 when I saw the abusive direction western pleasure, western riding and trail class were going in order to win), and also bought horses with a lot of potential, trained them and sold them for rather large sums into “A” class barns, I NEVER resorted to drugging horses in order to compete, and I also NEVER drugged a horse in order for them to pass a pre-purchase exam. I’d also lay a horse up for 2 weeks to a month longer then what a vet prescribed to make sure they were healed rather than bring them back into training on drugs (and I got this bit of advice from my vet, Dr. Robert Miller back in the ’70’s and ’80’s, but he also said most of the upper crust/prominent trainers, owners, etc most often didn’t want to wait a day longer then necessary and would bring the horse back asap).
        We all have choices to make no matter how much money we have, or don’t have. However, when you’re fortunate to have a lot of money and then still behave in unethical ways, its really discouraging to those of us who don’t have a lot of money but spend almost every penny we do make taking care of throw-away horses and other animals. And please, no one should “go there” and try and tell me that Ann Romney didn’t know about the drugging because I believe she did and rationalized it as people at the top levels of competition ALSO rationalize why our country NEEDS horse slaughter….yes, I’ve interacted with people at these levels since 1973 beginning at the Thoroughbred race training/breeding/rehab farm and many, not just a few, of these people do say things like “well, the horse had a long, productive life and now he can go to feed the hungry” or even jokingly (!) “dogs have to eat too”, and then theres the good old stand-by “I didn’t know thats what happened, I thought I gave my horse to a reputable riding stable for their lesson program”, this when they find out their horse whom had done so much for them was purchased by ME at the kill sale and I tracked them from their signature on the back of the Jockey Club papers and happened to know the lady in this instance–funny (NOT!) how I can see the discomfort in their eyes when I talk about horse slaughter, and many people can’t get away from me fast enough rather than hear the truth about horse slaughter and the racket that it is.
        Follow the money folks, and quite often unfortunately, it leads to the upper echelons of the horse world and those with the most money who could easily provide a retirement home for the horse and/or could provide the horse with a dignified, humane death through euthanasia.
        Yes, there are some good, kind and compassionate wealthy individuals like Madeline Pickens who are trying to help the wild horses and burros, however, even Madeline Pickens sanctuary is NOT the total answer for our wild horses and burros; I live out here in Nevada surrounded by Open Range and see wild horses nearly every day–they legally HAVE to be managed in the wild, not in a sanctuary. Mrs. Pickens sancutuary will be an excellent place for horses that perhaps will die slow, painful deaths on the range because they are old, lame, have debilitating injuries, and since there are NOT too many real predators to the horses anymore because of the ranchers “sanitizing” (killing) them, a horse like I’ve described would probably not be killed and eaten by a predator so they wouldn’t linger before dying; as it is now, they could linger for days before succumbing to dehydration and starvation. The Mustang Monument could provide sanctuary for horses like these, and Mrs. Pickens could also run a top notch adoption program for younger up to 10 year old wild horses (and the geldings and stallions train very easily in captivity up to an older age for the most part, whereas even though I’m a real “mare person”, the younger fillies and mares–weanlings to 5-7 years old– are usually your best bet for training well in captivity) that could be so much better then the failure program the BLM runs now and in the past many years (and in the past 20 years, I have offered many times to the BLM adoption center to go in for FREE and at least gentle and halter train weanlings, yearlings and 2-year olds before they are adopted out, and I’ve indicated I carry my own insurance, will sign a hold harmless waiver, etc, but the BLM has never taken me up on this offer, so I continue to see what we call “adoptions gone bad” whereby after the adopter has their Mustang for a year, they gain Title but since they accomplished no training, they dump the horse for FREE on Craigslist, a trader shows up, and the horse is whisked away to the kill sale). I would like to see a bit more coming from Madeline Pickens about the fact that legally the wild horses and burros are supposed to be primarily managed in the wild and that private businesses should never take precedence over the wild horses and burros on the Open Range.
        I’d like to see people in prominent positions push more for what I call “balance on the range” and stop talking about putting them in sanctuaries whether they need to be there for more longevity, or in fact should live their lives truly wild. Capturing horses and putting them in sanctuaries without solid evaluations is a bad, short sighted “solution” in my opinion, so I will keep pushing for “balance on the range”, unbiased evaluation of the horses and burros and not just a “one size fits all” approach.

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  23. Formyponies,

    The reason that your reason “selling doped up horses” sinks like a concrete slab to the bottom of the deep, blue ocean for me and possibly some others is that it is an obviously emotionally laden sensationalized headline created for the purpose of damaging and undermining the Romneys. A paragraph lifted from a a multipage deposition by an “expert witness” hired by the plaintiff is being used to slam Mrs. Romney. You presume she is guilty based on such an obvious slam.

    That said, just because information comes from a biased and sensationalized source, does not necessary mean that some of the information is not true, but a writer interested in being fair or presenting both sides doesn’t write a story the way this one is written. One of my jobs as an English teacher was making sure my students could recognize when language or arguments were made with intent to deceive them—whether to spend their money or to persuade they to act in a certain way or to believe something that is not true. Maybe that is why articles and headlines crawl all over me and back again. If I could teach 12 year olds to recognize this intended to deceive use of language and logic, it crawls all over me that intelligent adults are willing to accept this type of headline as the truth because it fits their preconceived judgment. Too me, this is more damning of public education that a decline in test scores could ever be.

    Second point, the “expert witness” has served the FEI in different capacities. Any FEI sponsored event tests two entries from any class of competitors. It tests the winner of the class and another competitor randomly selected. FEI has a zero tolerance policy for at least 1300 drugs including the ones that were used during the pre-purchase exam. How is it that Mrs. Romney rode Super Hits all these years winning gold and silver medals which would have subjected the horse to being tested for drugs. Had he tested positive, he and Mrs. Romney would have been prohibited from competing for an extended period of time. If the horse was as severely injured as the “expert witness” vet alleges he was during the time Mrs. Romney competed on him and he was constantly doped, there is no way all these substances could have been used on the horse all this time without it being discovered.

    Furthermore, one of the functions of the “show” vet is to be there in case a horse becomes injured during competition, but a lesser known role, is that he is supposed to prevent injured horses from competing. The words that the vet used like “tense” or “stiff” without more context than he provided could be used to describe almost any horse shown on a given day including my own. I did not find these remarks helpful. However, he noted that Super Hits scores had dedeclined over time which does suggest that his injury was worsening and that he was not filled up with drugs during competition.

    Other pieces of information not in the blurb you want accept without question is that Mrs. Romney was one of nine plaintiffs sued by Catherine Norris, and of the nine plaintiffs, Mrs. Romney most unlikely to have had any part in seeing that Super Hits had received four drugs the day of his pre-purchase exam. In addition to Mrs. Romney, Catherine Norris also named Mrs. Romney’s veterinarian for Super Hits and his veterinary practice, Catherine Norris’s own veterinarian for Super Hits and his veterinary practice, as well as Super Hits’ trainers Jan and Amy Eberling.

    Another fact getting no attention is that Super HIts had not been ridden up to his 2008 purchase, but was enjoyed some time off in the pasture. Furthermore, Super Hits was purchased in 2008 ridden by Catherine Norris for a year by Catherine Norris. Catherine Norris’s veterinarian apparently had a different viewpoint of Super Hits’ injury than the “expert witness” since he performed surgery of Super Hits to correct or minimize the issue. According to the expert witness, this treatment should not have been done because it could not have helped the horse.

    Also, Catherine Norris herself was insulted by Jan Eberling’s comment to her that it was her riding that caused the horse to move awkwardly. This apparently made her angry, and that is when she decided to leave the Eberling’s barn.

    I know through experience that a rider’s riding can seriously affect the way a horse moves because when I began riding a couple of years ago, my inability to balance as a once had through my horse out of balance causing her to rush forward as she tried to keep me on her back. I wanted to keep my horse, did not want to keep hitting dirt, so I began a regular program of yoga, pilates, and cardio to strength and reawaken the areas of my body that no longer seemed to work.

    There are no riding disciplines and few sports that so depend on the rider’s ability and understanding in ever so slight alternations in weight, leg pressure, posture, subtle squeezes of the reins, visual focus to dramatically alter the horse’s movement than dressage. I fell into the opportunity to study dressage with a top notch trainer in Atlanta by just showing up at the right place at the right time to lease a horse. I loved having so much control by doing so little.

    Also, having to rely on lessons from large lesson/boarding programs (again four/three different states) I personally experienced and observed that not every horse moves in a way that matches every body type or bodies that have specific weaknesses in. This does not made the horse any less wonderful or the rider any less capable. It is all about the match-up.

    As to the question of Mrs. Romney’s purchase of Super Hits in the first place, she bought him fully aware that he had problems with one foot. She was told that the horse would remain sound with the help of periodic injections into the weak area. I have many, many friends who ride for pleasure or ride in local shows who have horses with the beginning stages of arthritis who receive regular, veterinary treatment with a medication that makes them more comfortable, not only while being ridden but just to gallop with the herd through the pasture. Treament with anti-inflammatory drugs or certain steroid drugs for inflammation enables the horse to keep moving freely longer. The horse’s ability to move freely with or without pain keeps the horse healthier longer. I know that for FEI sanctioned events these drugs must be stopped at a certain point prior to competition.

    The impression of Super Hits as having been doped up was based on the substances found in his system the day of his pre-purchase examination. Three of the four drugs were admittedly administered by either Mrs. Romney’s veterinarian or Catherine Norris’s veterinarian. If this horse were indeed “doped” it is highly unlikely that any of them could have gotten to the horse or within the horse’s system without having been administered by a licensed veterinarian. It is possible that someone familiar with how some drugs are injected or who has been trained to inject some drugs could have injected the substance in the horse. However, no matter who injected the horse with the unidentified drug, the source would have had to have been a veterinarian initially. All veterinary drugs are either brought to the barn by the vet or purchased by the owner/trainer/barn manager from the vet at the vets office.

    It should be understood without a lot of argument that Mrs. Romney is not present for the day to day management of her horses. In this case, she necessarily must rely on her trainers and veterinary staff to do what they believe needs to be done to keep her horse or horses healthy. I would imagine that she is usually consulted when a change in course appears necessary with the risks and benefits of keeping things as is or changing them explained to her.

    As for the two drugs given to the horse to help the horse relax during examination, it is unlikely that Mrs. Romney’s approval would have been sought or considered needed. I know one of my horses receives sedatives for teeth floating. One of our rescue’s mustangs needed to be sedated during hoof trims which required the veterinarian to drive 40 minutes to the the barn, administer the medication, remain through the trim, and observe the horse’s gait as he came out of it.

    There is no evidence that Mrs. Romney was present with the horse during the pre-purchase exam. In fact, what is know suggests that she was not. So to represent her as the person who decided to give these particular drugs on this particular day, is simply unsubstantiated as well as unlikely.

    As a result of Mrs. Romney’s experience with her horses and the positive ways in which they have enhanced her life, the role of equines and their uses in modern society has received far more attention that we could possibly buy for our equines and those of us who know ourselves the many different ways horses and humans continue to partner. I think it does does Mrs. Romney and our horses a great disservice for any of us to embrace propaganda created to undermine her possible influence.

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    • Hoofhugs, before you pat yourself on the back too much about what you’ve taught 12-year olds and insult me, you should probably check not only your facts and your knowledge about horses, but also your grammar, spelling, and logic a little better. As for the USEF vet of THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS, I think he knows a bit more about vetting horses and drugs than you do. Actually, I know he does. And so do I. As for the TWO drugs found in the horse’s system that were given during the pre-purchase exam and the other two drugs found in the horse’s system, I have at least three of those drugs in my barn at any given time for a 30-year old Cushingoid pony with laminitic tendencies, along with some other quite powerful drugs, including controlled substances. I purchase all of my meds through SmartPak with a veterinarian’s prescription. Needless to say, your claim that “All veterinary drugs are either brought to the barn by the vet or purchased by the owner/trainer/barn manager from the vet at the vets office” is grossly mistaken (not to mention your poor punctuation). So, for your claim that the drugs had to come from a vet, BULL. They could have come from another horse owner (or trainer, etc) if they didn’t already belong to Ann Romney. And as for the claim that the trainer is the one responsible for the day-to-day care and Ann may not have known the horse was drugged, again … BULL. If Jan and Amy had drugged SH without her knowledge and gotten her drug into such a lawsuit, there is no way they’d still be her trainer and co-owner of Rafalca. Yes, I choose to believe a highly regarded vet and “propaganda” over you. I guess that makes me an “uneducated” special educator with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and a Master’s degree in Special Education. Hmmm … And, no I don’t presume her guilty based on one paragraph. I presume her guilty based on the fact that she settled out of court. No, she was not “dismissed” or “dropped” from the case as some claim. She settled out of court. HUGE difference.

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    • I didn’t know you were a dressage rider too! Isn’t it the coolest feeling in the world when you and your horse are totally in synch, your horse’s back comes up beneath you and it’s absolutely like flying! You don’t need big money to do these things, like you said. I wish more people were aware that dressage isn’t necessarily for the rich.

      Now, showing an Olympic caliber horse DOES take money – unless you trained him yourself. I never did competitive dressage or had any desire to, but a lot of people use the scores they get as an indication of how well they are doing. Makes sense, but I always got nervous about having to memorize a test!

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    • O.K. “HoofHugs”, its become impossible for me to take you seriously now when you say “when I began riding a couple of years ago”; when you decide to really delve into the real show world at various levels and really go into it with your eyes wide open, and when you’ve been around the upper echelons where the big money is, you will get a lot more education on the true nature of people and what they are capable of doing when MONEY and POWER/PROMINENCE is involved. I’m not even going to go into how many of your statements in your post are naive, ignorant, insulting, and “rookie talk” because I simply don’t have the time to sit here and type for an hour or two; suffice to say that after nearly 40 years of seriously being in many, many facets of the horse industry as a trainer/instructor/clinician/judge, you my friend have no idea what you’re talking about and are being led down the garden path by people whom are misleading you about the “sunshine and roses” aspect of the competition world.
      And if you want to have some real “fun”, go into the barn area at a big show after dark and open the top doors on some of the stalls and see how nice you think it is when you encounter a horse standing with his head and neck tied really high with their nose pointed up to the ceiling/rafters for the whole night so that come morning and showing, that horse will not be able to carry their head and neck any higher than their withers in a western pleasure class or a hunter under saddle class because their muscles are so strained and fatigued–and its all done without drugs–when money, position and power are on the line, its disgusting what some human beings will do and this is actually a mild example of abuse with no drugs so they can beat the system. Other examples involve surgeries, but I don’t want to burst your bubble entirely. Please learn before you speak because even though I’m sure you’re a nice person and wouldn’t do rotten things to horses, many people at the top levels are not like you at all and will stop at nothing in order to win. Even after 40 years in the horse industry, some of the stuff people are capable of even still shocks me to my core.

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  24. For everyone who has groaned, screamed, or worse about the BLM’s perpetuating propaganda like “herds reproduce at a rate of 20%” per year almost doubling the herd size every two years, despite this model being identified as based on a false model as early as the 1982 National Academy of Science Report, or the incorrect use of the words feral, non-native, invasive species being used as justification for Nevada dancers who want to fence wild horses off from water, and every problem on the range being attributed to the wild horse while at the same time telling scientists who had been tasked to analyze all the different factors related to range degradation EXCEPT CATTLE BECAUSE INCLUDING CATTLE MAKES SOME STAKE HOLDERS nervous, these are examples of us being aware of the effects of untrue negative propaganda being repeated so often that these false hoods are almost considered fact despite their conflict with science and common sense.

    Given our appreciation for the damage that perpetuating the false information poses, we should be careful about accepting without thoroughly vetting the supposed facts of this without throughly vetting each of them.

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    • Hmmmmm…”….including cattle makes some stake holders nervous…” Should read (1) the Feds and states are not properly recording lease holder use, water consumption and degradation properly; and, (2) they are not nervous….they don’t want to be held responsible. Big difference.

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    • Actually, dancers is better noun and use of the action (verb) than ranchers.

      And at the end of your two posts, I don’t get your “drift”.

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  25. Stop it folks….just STOP IT!!!!!!!!

    It is time to focus on the equines, our messed up government and the nasty humanscthat continue to fail.

    Get your butts over to the West Douglas herd problems and ATTACK the bad guys (SFTHH blog).

    RT and et al are too polite and First Amendment to shut this down. You will never get that with SS, Doink, meat industry trolls, resource suckers, etc

    You believe in wild equines? Prove it and get off the Ann Romney pooh train calling it equine welfare. Seriously, move on…Ann Romney has NOTHING to do with domestic or international EQUINE WELFARE.

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