Letters: 04/06

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Responsible Breeding
Thank you so much for the “Should You Breed Your Mare'” article in the February issue.

As a horse lover, it hit on a subject that is important to me. Everybody wants to have a foal because they’re so cute. I totally agree with your first point, breed to enhance the quality of the breed, not because it’s a way to make money or get a horse “cheap.” Leave breeding to people who are committed to making stronger, healthier, beautiful horses. Foals need proper training, which takes a lot of time. Ask your horse friends how many horses they own or know with bad habits, and you would realize quickly that it isn’t as easy as people want to make it.

But your bottom-line final paragraph is the most important. When you bring something into this world, you are responsible for it for its entire life. No one can tell me that the tens of thousands of horses slaughtered in this country every year are all lame or unusable. Do an Internet search on the slaughter statistics if you want to be saddened.

Ann Thiele
Wisconsin

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Breeding Takes Experience
I just finished reading the article “Should You Breed Your Mare” in the February issue. I live in an area where I frequently see the breeding of unregistered mares with obvious conformation or behavior problems. The owner’s rational for breeding is usually so that they can “raise a baby.” These people do not have the knowledge, experience or financial resources to undertake such an endeavor and often the outcome is less than positive.

Our local large animal rescue shelter currently has 139 horses, including several colts, that need loving homes, yet these individuals refuse to adopt due to the fees (less than $500) and the need to experience the “miracle of birth.” I am seeing an increase in the number of unbroken/untrained adult horses, some as old as 10, for sale. Many are in poor condition and will most likely end up at the rescue shelter that is already bursting at the seams.Thank you for providing a timely article that may prompt owners to reevaluate their decision to breed their mares just because they can.

Mary Stassi
Missouri

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Drug Error
The table in the February dewormers article lists ComboCare from Farnam as “same as ivermectin, plus tapeworms.” I believe it is the same as moxidectin, plus tapeworms. Please advise me if my research is not accurate.

Denise Vollmar
Colorado

Thank you for catching our oversight. You are absolutely correct.

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Worried Over National Animal ID
Just yesterday I received my first copy of my new subscription to Horse Journal, and the letter on the back, “Concerns over the National Animal ID Program,” grabbed my attention. After reading the letter sent in, I noticed the reply indicated the authors of the two letters were considered to be “off” with their information. Perhaps . . . but perhaps not. Try logging on to http://wlsb.state.wy.us/brands/Premises/NAIS.htm.

That is just a start. There are many web sites that will give you a clear indication that the government intends to mandate these chips, and they will begin this in 2008. Yes, for now it is a choice. I am terribly concerned about this, and I think rather than tell readers they are “armed with misconceptions and inaccurate information,” we horse people would wisely keep our ears, eyes, and intuitions wide open and support each other.

This is dangerous territory that is being tread on.

Name Withheld By Request
Michigan

We are continuing to monitor and investigate the root of these concerns. Many readers have expressed similar worries, and we understand why. Horse Journal readers will be among the first to know what happens with this movement and when.