Dear Backyard Breeder,
Today we killed your pony. I thought you deserved to know, since you obviously cared so much about him that you kept him alive five years longer than he should have been, just to dump him in someone’s pasture like unwanted trash.
Five years. That’s how old the vet estimated he was. Five years of living with a deformed spine, deformed hips, brain damage and neurological deficits, all of which he was probably born with. Five years of being unable to walk properly, let alone run or buck or even easily lay down. He showed us that today when he tried desperately to lay down to nap before the vet arrived, but couldn’t bend his hind legs to allow it. I hope he was at least a cute baby, because the stallion I saw was nothing but a pain-riddled shell of what should have been a mercy-euthanasia as soon as he came out of his mom.
So tell me, what was it? I just want to know what your reasoning was to allow this sweet guy to suffer his entire life. Did you have his momma and decide it would be a lot of fun to raise a foal? Did you own the stallion and decide he needed to prove his manhood? Did your kids beg you for a baby and then get bored? Did you breed him hoping for a million-dollar baby to pay your bills for awhile? Fuck, you didn’t even geld him. I guess that vet bill was more than you budgeted for, huh?
Tonight, a friend of mine helped me adjust his body in my trailer so the backhoe operator can pull him out easily in the morning. Do you know what kind of friend says "sure" when you ask a question like that? One who has seen just as much fucked up shit as I have and knows what it does to your psyche to see this shit on a daily basis without someone to vent to. We managed to get the strap around his stiff front legs, and two 140-pound girls pulled him to the back of the trailer. His big, thick, black forelock fell over and I stared at the white star, stripe and snip for a minute and wondered why anyone would force such a cute face to be so miserable his entire life. This pony suffered for a long damn time, and you allowed it. And then you let people like us have to feel like fucking dogshit because we had to be the ones to kill him and end his pain. That pisses me off. I didn’t ask for this, I do it because I HAVE to. Because people like you keep breeding shit to shit to make more shit and then abandoning that shit and leaving it for responsible people like us to clean up. Thanks, I really had nothing better to do in my twenties.
My horses at home don’t even line up at the fences anymore when I pull in with the stock trailer to see who the new guy is. Most of the time, there’s a dead horse inside and I think they know. They don’t want to see that. Maybe they appreciate that I helped one of their own cross over to wherever it is that horses go when they leave this world. Maybe they just think I’m the fucking Grim Reaper and they’d better be on their best behavior or they’ll be in the trailer next. I don’t know.
Tomorrow, I’ll take your pony to the place where I take the rest of them. A really nice guy named John The Backhoe Guy will pull him out with the strap we put around his legs, and push him into an unmarked grave alongside all of the others. He’ll bury him, there won’t be any fanfare, no one will even know what his name was. You didn’t bother to give anyone that information when you ditched him. I might shed a tear on the way out. But make no mistake, it’s not for you. It’s not even for your pony. It’s for the fact that there will probably be another one just like him tomorrow, or the day after that. I see John The Backhoe Guy every week lately, and he tells me every time that he hates when I show up. I smile and say I hate it too, but we both know what it means: Somewhere, some asshole backyard breeder said “Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a baby horse?”
I took one last photo of your pony for you, in case you cared. I figured you might want to see what he looked like tonight. I hope it was worth it.