A little RANT from California.

I have a rant.

I just filled up my diesel truck.  $165 and it wasn’t even totally empty.

I also just purchased hay.  Grass hay.  $37/bale.

And people wonder why private horses are being dumped right and left around here…

My local grower told me that most hay farmers are selling to Japan and the UE.  The prices are so good, they cannot refuse.  The grass is brought down to the compressors by the ports and shipped off in plastic wrapped compacted bales.  (Which is another reason why the BLM wants wild horses off of scarce and valuable grazing land… and why the BLM holding pens say that the horses are too expensive to house… .)

Even worse, there’s a new disgusting thing happening to people who are keeping and caring for their horses – some pets are being taken out of their fields at night and butchered for meat.  Yup.  Disgusting.  Horrible.  No words.  (Lock your access gates.)

All of this is so discouraging and heavy for California horse owners.

That’s it.  That’s my rant.

I still love my horses.  I still want to take care of them all.  But now I lock the gate and I do less other stuff so I can afford to pay for what I do with them.

Still.  Really, California?!  You can do better for your ranchers.


(The kitty in the photo is my kitty.  His name is Boy Kitty and he’s 15 – I adore him.  Boy Kitty lives in the barn and eats a lot.  BK went to the vet recently and he weighed 17 pounds.  He’s a big boy.  In that photo, he was actually just talking to me.  He had climbed up on my lap and was purring and making biscuits as he told me what what up in his life.  Clearly he was ranting, too!)

Also, I have a friend ISO (in search of) a very experienced, friendly trail horse who loves that job.  Sane, solid, sound.  Must be smallish.  Not over 15’1.   Aged between 8-12, but might consider other candidates.  Mare or Gelding.  I would most likely take care of it.  No funny business… just a rock solid trail horse.

email me if you know of an honest person with this horse.  Thanks!


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2 comments have been posted...

  1. Calvin48

    Totally agree with Indiah! When I moved to Colorado from Iowa seven years ago, the Iowa mixed hay was $4 to $5 per bale and the Colorado timothy was $10 to $12 per bale. I hear that the Iowa hay has only gone up a dollar or so, but I’ve paid as much as $22 here for timothy. At least I can get high-quality hay here in Eastern Colorado. I don’t buy alfalfa hay here at all; what I’ve seen at the feed stores and hay dealers is total crap. I do buy alfalfa pellets.
    I am also sick and tired of hearing about the Mustangs “destroying” the range as they starve to death. Every photo I see of wild horses – they are fat! These are public lands and I want to see horses on them – not the cattle and sheep of welfare ranchers!

  2. Indiah

    The hay situation has been happening in the PNW for decades. When I still lived in Washington 30 years ago, the Japanese and Chinese and Vietnamese were already raiding eastern Washington farms, dealing directly with the farmers and buying entire crops for sometimes 3-4x full retail. Shipping out of Seattle to the far east. People who had made deposits or even paid in FULL for what they mistakenly believed was their entire year’s supply for their private barns, training barns, show barns, or breeding operations, were simply refunded their money by those farmers when they showed up to pick up their hay and alfalfa. WHY? Back then it was because housing developments, property taxes, ag laws, and transportation expenses were leading farmers right into bankruptcy. It was no longer break-even time for those raising equine products and many of those raising human food crops. Climate change crept in making it exponentially more difficult (impossible in some places) to raise alfalfa, orchard grass hay and timothy as well as human food crops. Blue grass essentially completely disappeared. Then in Oregon with the legalization of both medical and recreational crops of you know what, replacements were with hemp and its psychoactive relative – following on the heels of corn for ethanol and before that poplar for paper/pulp products. Each time desperate farmers were sold a bill of goods – “get richer faster” usually by out-of-area and often international “investors.” And subsequently left holding the EMPTY bank bag when the riches failed to materialize. Then extreme drought conditions negatively impacted human food crops too. Right now I am paying $47 for a 130 pound bale of crap alfalfa full of dust, sand, little and medium sized stones, broken sticks, weeds that aren’t toxic but inedible for horses though apparently not cows, and in the center of those bales? Black. Meaning it was baled while still damp and cut too close to the ground Timothy, IF one can find some headed to the Portland container carriers headed for the far east, is $800+/ton and is not exactly premium quality. I personally have pivoted to local small farms for valley grass and teff supplemented with a higher protein balancer and really good vitamins. I don’t blame farmers there are third and fourth generation landowners having to sell out to DEVELOPERS who may be WORST criminals of all and it’s not affordable housing those developers are creating. And second in the “worst” category, the wine growers – sucking up land formerly in actual FOOD and livestock crops, sucking up and even stealing water from human food crop irrigation and neighboring groundwater wells, taking too much water in extreme drought conditions, and then spraying everything even carelessly overspraying neighbors’ horse pastures with deadly chemicals including fungicides, pesticides, and “plant growth” hormones. And then saddest of all, NBC runs a prime time news clip lauding the welfare cattle ranchers and allowing the interviewed cattle rancher to spew falsehoods of how the wild horses are “ruining” the grazing. Talk about manipulating – blatantly – public opinion. I made the decision a quarter century ago to never ever again breed any mare. And not buy any horse, just rescue. I have three rescues in my barn right now and worrying about availability of hay next year.

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