In all business, the ruling factor is supply and demand. If your supply exceeds your demand, you’ll fail. Funds wasted in production and storage whittle away at your profit margin until there is none. Once a business is in the red, most fail miserably. Dumping all of it’s stock in one last ditch effort to recover funds and hopefully pay creditors.
What if there was a way to dump your unwanted stock for a profit? Maybe not as much profit as you originally had forecast, but a profit. So that you wouldn’t have to invest into storage or maintenance. Eliminating your costly continued effort into a failed product. What if you knew that safety net was there, whether you wanted it or not? That it was independently run, managed and offered to you, for free?
Any other industry would LOVE to have such and easy out. A cushion, supplied by others to cover up your mistakes. Either by producing an inferior product, or by damaging that product during your use of it – now someone wants it! WIN! There are even middle men who run businesses that will take that supply for you, no muss, no fuss. Without a horribly painful penalty to their failure, they can continue to produce like they always have.
Horse rescues provide that fail-safe for unscrupulous breeders and owners of horses. They produce a horse that is unsound, dangerous, too small, too tall, even simply unpleasing to the eye or the “wrong” colours or markings. Either by accident or by poor training practices the horse “doesn’t produce” they way they had hoped. It isn’t fast enough, collected enough, doesn’t jump high enough, or it’s mannerisms aren’t pleasing enough.
Any of the above are grounds to dump a horse. Especially when there are people out there willing to take them off your hands. There’s no penalty to producing a product you didn’t want. There’s no corrective measure to take. At least nothing drastic. The cycle continues.
Rescues will provide a home to those unwanted horses. That ‘stock’ generated that no one else wants. The ‘supply’ that is eating into your profits by maintaining them. You can quickly and easily, dump them and make a bit of cash on the side. What was once a miserable failure now has a profitable safety net.
For those in rescue, it’s a non-starter. “Of course we’re going to rescue a horse in need. It’s not their fault.” But should they? If they stopped, individual horses would suffer. However the businesses would have to tighten up their programs if they could no longer make a profit from their mistakes. They’d be forced to change.
Is that too high of a price to pay? To allow horses to die at slaughter? Surely there has to be another way that doesn’t sacrifice innocent horses to a painful, terrifying and horrific end.
Of course I’m playing devil’s advocate here. I believe that rescue is needed. Horses didn’t ask to be bred. They didn’t ask to be worked until they were injured. They are innocent by-products of the horse industry. They deserve to be rescued.
However the discussion does need to be had. If rescue is only helping in the short-term, but by doing so, is enabling the long-term abuse to continue, should it continue?
Maybe there needs to be breeding regulations. Maybe there needs to be ownership registration like that of cars, so that they can be monitored and not dumped. Maybe there needs to be licensing. Either way, the status quo cannot remain. The current cycle is reinforcing.
Something needs to change.