The issues facing horses and horse ownership up here in Alaska sometimes serve as an example of human failings.
Just a few days ago, a person posted on a local group, looking for a new home for a mare. It was written in such a way as to lead a logical person to presume that immediate rescue was needed. Not knowing anything more, I did what I always do: Stood right up and said I had feed and space. In my mind I was envisioning a skinny horse, needing good feed and attention.
As the days unfolded I learned more about the horse.
The poor thing has been in three homes in three months. She was orginally purchased for a 9 yo girl and shortly after the horse was moved "home", the girl lost interest. They were going to give her to a dog musher. She then went to another new home-this person is not particularly well respected, as she breeds anything and everything with a uterous to her fugly stallion. Stories differ slightly but the gist is, the mare's presence created difficulties with the stallion owner. Being a trash owner, she got very angry and told an acquaintance that the mare had to go, that's it, she is done feeding her. The acquaintance stepped right up and took the horse....again being saved from a dog lot.
In truth, the mare is in decent weight, is healthy, and can eat hay. Aside from unknown handing or training issues that may arise, there is nothing wrong with her at all.
She is just unwanted.
AER won't take her in, they save their precious resources for those horses that are in dire straits. The local AC office does not accept horses either, a recent change since they have had a half dozen dropped off this winter so far (not counting the cases they are working of course).
Thanks to the person who posted on the local group, I was able to network a bit, and it looks as though a permanent companion home has been found. But her plight illustrates the failings of the humans responsible. From the person who sold the mare originally in October for the 9 yo girl, and never did a sales contract with first right of refusal, to the stallion owner who was looking for a cheap broodie, to the newbies who are overwhelmed and out of space, it's been one long passage from frying pan to frying pan for this old mare. Even her breeding and age are unknown by this time-too many hands in too short a time.
I like to think that I played a pivotal role in giving this mare a retirement situation. If I had not, she would no doubt have continued to be unwanted and passed around, until such time as she end up on a dog lot-shot for sled dog food. And that, my friends, is the cruel reality of the aged horse in Alaska.