Arizona horse owners are watching the price of alfalfa hay creep closer and closer to $20 a bale. At least once a week I hear of somebody trying to give their horse away because they can’t afford to feed it anymore. The rescues are packed full, and the horrifying truth is people are so desperate they are turning their horses free in the outlying remote areas of the State – where they will die of starvation.
Recently a small ranch owner adjacent to the Tonto National Forest found a beautiful Paint horse standing at his corral gate. It’s not uncommon to see wild horses occasionally in those parts, but that sure wasn’t the case this time. This horse was shod in the front, and when approached with a lead rope he was quiet and willing to move forward.
The ranch owner took in the horse, and for two weeks put up signs in tack and feed stores trying to find the owner. After all, it was possible a neighboring ranch left a gate open and the horse wandered off. But nobody ever stepped forward.
Shame on anybody to think a horse can survive in the wild when all his food and water has magically appeared in front of him his entire life.
This river is less than a mile from where the horse stood at the ranch’s back gate. Regardless of a water source and some sparse vegetation, the horse went to the only place he knew for food and water … MAN.