Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Horses need rescuing in Georgia

A story on NPR reports that the drought in Georgia has caused the price of hay to skyrocket, requiring horse rescues to pick up the slack when owners can no longer afford to feed their animals.

Although Panama is stabled at a full care facility, meaning that I don't have to buy hay myself, I well know the problems with hay prices. After repeated ice storms in the Midwest last winter, my in-laws were full of stories about exorbitant hay prices.

In Colorado, like in Georgia, drought has been the main problem. Hay used to be a third or so of what it is now, according to stable owners in Denver; now, my current barn pays $7 a bale, and that only because they get their hay from someone who agreed to a fixed price through the winter.

Regardless, it always kills me when I hear about people abandoning their horses. Buying a horse is a commitment, yet some people treat it as no big deal, like getting another cat. I would do anything for Panama — if something happened to him or if he suddenly became much more expensive to keep, I would do anything I needed to in order to pay the bills. Panama is my best friend; he trusts me to keep him safe, and there is nothing you could do to make me betray that trust.

There are already enough horses in this country that need homes, so I wish horse owners would 1) consider the financial responsibility before buying one, and 2) stand by that commitment once they've made it.

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