Why I Fed The Trolls
Social media–it can be a dangerous place as people key wildly on their keyboards and say things they wouldn’t say face to face to another human being. It can be a pit of opinion, politics, and anger. So, the best rule of thumb in general is “don’t feed the trolls”….but then there comes a time when that’s not an option, and the trolls must have their supper.
One such incident happened recently that caused me to feel a troll meal was in order. On a post, a girl from a rural area of Tennessee sought a stud mini. Her writing, though not grammatically correct indicated the following: She wanted to breed two mini mares whom she “rescued”. Her reason for breeding was to have a foal that her son could ride. She wasn’t willing to have him ride the “rescued” mares because they were untrained. She did not care about the Stud’s personality, temperament, or genetics; her only concern was appearance (specifically color).
Let’s be honest–how could someone devoted to the welfare of horses read something so utterly ignorant and not speak up? Her response was a resounding, “Mind your own business and stay out of mine”, but hopefully, my response may have been noted by someone less dedicated to bad decisions.
This is why I fed the trolls. There are 20 states that I know of with active horse auctions. In Tennessee alone we have the following:
Alexandria 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month
Apison 1st Friday of each month
Ashland City 1st Saturday of each month
Athens 2nd & last Saturday of each month
Burns 1st and 3rd Friday of each month
Cookeville Every Tuesday of each month
Deckard 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month
Dickson 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month
Etheridge 1st Saturday of each month
Lebanon Every Thursday of each month
Kingsport Every other Wednesday of each month
Knoxville 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month
McDonald Every Friday of each month
Morristown 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month
Pulaski Every Friday of each month
Scottshill 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month
Treadway 1st Saturday of each month
Knoxville and Cookeville-near where this particular Facebooker was from-are some of the LARGEST SLAUGHTER AUCTIONS IN THE COUNTRY! It is estimated that approximately 10% of the 75,000 horses that go to slaughter in Mexico each year are sold through the Knoxville and Cookeville livestock auctions. Now you may say–“but she is breeding minis, not big horses”. There is such a huge overpopulation of mini horses in this state that it makes no difference. We have a horse rescue in Tennessee solely devoted to miniature horses and they are always at capacity. Each of the other rescues also takes in mini horses. Safe Harbor has placed over 30 since inception and most are registered miniatures.
Additionally; let’s digest the facts of her quest:
- She has two mares that she “rescued”: Breeding to a rescue is completely irresponsible. A legitimate organization that actually adopts out rescues will require a non-breeding contract. It’s more likely that she bought the two at auction, and chooses to use the term “rescue”, which frankly is a fairly meaningless word these days, but regardless of source she knows nothing of their genetics, any inherent disorders that their bloodlines may carry, and she certainly wasn’t breeding to improve the breed standard.
- The two mini mares were not safe for her son.: So, given that she can’t handle the dams well, how does she plan to handle the foals? Mom’s are protective of their babies. Feral moms breed feral babies. If you don’t have the skill to train an adult you don’t have the skill to train a foal.
- She wants the “colts” so her son can ride: How old exactly is her son? I mean, if he’s not born yet, then maybe this makes sense. Beyond the time to get the mares pregnant, gestation is 11 months. Then the baby needs two years to grow, and probably another year to be trained to the level that they are safe for a young child to actually ride. She’s looking for a mini stud, and has mini mares. By the time her son is 5 or 6 years old if he is an average size child he will have outgrown an appropriate rider size to ride a mini.
- Registration, genetics, temperament don’t matter: While we do believe all of these imprint more heavily from the dam, the sire’s genetics are critical in breeding. If you aren’t pairing a perfect match on both, then just don’t do it. Frankly, there wasn’t a mini stud in response that didn’t NEED to be a gelding, but her request and lack of concern of anything but color was a recipe for a deplorable backyard breeding.
So when I do post to please reconsider–that there are so many better options I’m not posting to try to get into an argument with someone who I know won’t listen. I’m posting because the mini mares can’t. I’m posting for the 75,000 who go to Mexico for a horrific death. I’m posting so that maybe someone else who was trying to decide if breeding was right or wrong will make the right choice. I’m feeding the trolls so hopefully that one less horse will end up in a foreign slaughter house and won’t end up on a dinner plate.