Saturday, January 17, 2009
Looking at the good and the bad, it's my life lately
I've been having some small tumultuous BS in the little things in my life lately and I need to step back and look about how important (or not) it is to me. But that stuff is so not interesting I am not going to waste more than these 2 sentences on it. No this morning I am inspired. By another blogger and it's a thing that I have been interested in the past so I had a wee little tiny bit of knowledge about it. BrownEyed Cowgirl had a post up about a few things, one of which was the quantity of money the BLM was spending to keep wild mustangs housed. Like I have read one article on CNN, I'm a city girl cut me some slack. I do what I can to keep abreast of all the shenanigans of our government. It's whacked. But it seems the going rate for housing a mustang is $38 a head per month to keep it for the life of the horse. I don't know if that's a accurate number but city mouse here, I can't very well call up my local rancher to confirm it.
It seems that keeping wild mustangs rather than cattle is more profitable. Now let's debate that a bit further and work through the long term ramifications. Lets also take into account the little things, like the value of Mustangs to present day life styles vs the value of cattle. You see where I'm going with this? The BLM numbers as they stand right now (per their website):
An estimated 33,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed lands in 10 Western states, a population that exceeds by some 5,700 the number that can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.
Ooo that's not good. And why? I mean Mustangs are beautiful animals (I'm ignoring the burros here but bear with me) and symbols of our country blah blah blah, but really they are worth that kind of money and the removal of cattle? Because that's whats going on you know. Ranchers can earn way more for less effort by housing wild mustangs on their land than by running cattle. I can't say that I blame them. Hello in today's economy you need to do what you need to do to survive. Hell if I could plunk a few in my back yard I'd do it. The HOA would have a fit, if they noticed. But again, long term ramifications? What do you think the US will ween themselves on to less red meat? Like they have weened themselves of oil? Oh wait, we haven't. Again catching my drift here? I hate to play devil's advocate but damn it all if I haven't been right about all my dooms day predictions so far. Calling it a recession for over year now, took CNN almost a year to confirm my claim. I hate being right sometimes but if they make my beef impossible to afford I am so not going to be happy. And don't tell me I'm being overly dramatic or I'll have to pull a told ya so when it happens.
Oh and the better part of my ramblings, yes the horses themselves. See I can play both sides! Now BrownEyed Cowgirl has posted a few times in the past about horse breeding and I am saying that from the get go because what little I know on the subject comes from her. It goes hand and hand with the closing of the US slaughter houses, where badly bred horses were often dumped (doesn't take a horsey person in the know to figure that one out). With that method of disposal being eliminated and the economy crunch combination (horses are expensive!) there has been a market inundated with perfectly fine, trainable/already trained horses that aren't monetarily worth anything today. Not from their own short comings but ours. Yeah we suck and now we have to make everything else in our world pay the price. Regardless, this makes the wild mustang an even more useless product on the market. Or does it? I know (from reading other blogs) that horse breeding over the last few decades have been sub par and there are some serious problems in the breeding system as we are working it now. That's here say, don't hold me to that peeps! So who knows, keeping the mustangs around might be a good thing. Mother nature is good about weeding stuff out, humans, not so much.
What I love about the mustang thing though is a few interesting things they've been doing to get them adopted. Training primarily, and they have been doing some impressive training let me tell ya. I could never do even a fraction of this stuff on the dressage horses I played with. Of course I sucked so that couldn't have helped any.
2008 Extreme Mustang Makeover Winner Mark Lyon and Christian
I'd post the Youtube video right here if I had a clue how to do so but I suck so ya'll just get links, sorry! If anyone wants to shoot me an email and enlighten me on how to do it please feel free.
The other thing they are doing I really really love. Probably because my hubby is a corrections officer and recidivism is a bad word in our house. Nevada does their wild horse training using the Warm Springs Correctional Center inmates (adoption info here). I love it when the government programs get together and get productive, it's so...rare....
Nevada's Wild Horses, Part II: Life Skills
Now this is he second in a series of 4 videos. I was only able to find the first 2. Who knows, maybe I'm just blind, it would not surprise me.
Here's the first one if you're nosey like me:
Nevada's Wild Horses, Part I: The Gentling Process
In one of these videos the training guy in charge, Hank Curry, says that he's had 4 convicts go out into the real world and become horse trainers. Mind you this convict they have on the horse hadn't ever ridden a horse before and they get 4 months to break and train the horses gently, before putting them up for adoption. Now that is what I'm talking about. Not only are they producing a more maketable product for a government agency to earn money off of rather than just suck it off of the taxpayers. And the convicts! Don't tell me this doesn't help them become better fit to go back into the general populace. Some of these guys have never done anything productive in their whole lives. I can't even imagine what kind of emotional boost these horses give these men. A sense of purpose? An outlet for their minds? They have a real job with tangible results. Hell they get to get up and train with horses all day, 3 meals, a roof over their heads. I tell you what I think I'm going to Nevada and robbing a bank so I can get thrown in jail and get my own mustang. Since when is prison looking more like my ideal vacation?
So tell me what you think. And send me links to more info if you have them. Nosey minds like reading info on the net...