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Economy hits horses in Kentucky hard

Shawnee, rescued from BLM (Bureau of Land Management).
Shawnee, rescued from BLM (Bureau of Land Management).
Vickie Palmer

Horses in Kentucky are falling victim to the nationwide economic crisis. Horse owners are finding themselves in a bit of a predicament, pay the mortgage or pay for hay? Many owners think they can skimp on farrier and vet visits. The domino effect causes farriers and veterinarians to lose customers, sending them into their own economic crisis. It also is the beginning for otherwise healthy horses to begin declining.

There are more free horses on the market because of today's economy. The prices of horses have drastically dropped in the last few years. There is a crisis going on with starving horses, overpopulation, and not enough rescue facilities. Once a horse's health deteriorates because of lack of money to feed, trim, or provide veterinarian care, the sad truth is that they are pretty much a lost cause. There are an abundant amount of horses that are still healthy so potential horse owners will skip over a horse that needs tons of money thrown at it right away just to get it healthy again.

The price of hay and grain has steadily increased with draughts of the past few years and even more with the inflating economy. Blame cannot be put on the feed industry; they are not gauging the consumers, just trying to stay in business because of their own escalating costs. Many new horse owners get horses in the spring and summer months, then realize they cannot afford to pay as much as $8.00 a bale for quality hay throughout the winter. They place the horse up for sale or even find a new home for free just to get rid of the extra cost to keep the animal.

What will come of the unwanted, neglected horses? Only time will tell, but it doesn't look good.

For more information on this subject please check out the following links: Starved Horses Confiscated in Mercer County, Kentucky - Associated ...Rescue team says starving horses were on public official's ...'Starving' horses given to animal control - wtop.comHorses found dead, others starving in Bethel - FOX19.com and FOX19 ...

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