U.S.D.A. May Approve Horse Slaughtering
Published: February 28, 2013
The United States Department of Agriculture is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico in the next two months, which would allow equine meat suitable for human consumption to be produced in the United States for the first time since 2007.
Sally Ryan for The New York Times
Some horse auctions, like this one in Shipshewana, Ind., also deal in animals destined for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
The plant, in Roswell, N.M., is owned by Valley Meat Company, which sued the U.S.D.A. and its Food Safety and Inspection Service last fall over the lack of inspection services for horses going to slaughter. Horse meat cannot be processed for human consumption in the United States without inspection by the U.S.D.A., so horses destined for that purpose have been shipped to places like Mexico and Canada for slaughter.
Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the agriculture department, said that “several” companies had asked the agency to re-establish inspection of horses for slaughter. “These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and the F.S.I.S. must complete its inspector training,” he wrote in an e-mail referring to the food inspection service, “but at that point, the department will legally have no choice but to go forward with the inspections.”
He said the Obama administration was urging Congress to reinstate an effective ban on the production of horse meat for human consumption that lapsed in 2011.
The impending approval comes amid growing concern among American consumers that horse meat will somehow make its way into ground beef products in the United States as it has done in Europe. Major companies, including Tesco, Nestlé and Ikea, have had to pull food from shelves in 14 countries after tests showed that products labeled 100 percent beef actually contained small amounts of horse meat. Horse meat is not necessarily unsafe, and in some countries, it is popular. But some opponents of horse slaughtering say consumption of horse meat is ill-advised because of the use of various kinds of drugs in horses.
“We now have the very real prospect of a horse slaughtering plant operating in the U.S. for the first time in six years,” said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. The last plant that slaughtered horse meat for human consumption in the United States closed in 2007, after Congressional approval of an appropriations bill that included a rider forbidding the U.S.D.A. from financing the inspection of such meat. That rider was renewed in subsequent appropriations bills until 2011, when Congress quietly removed it from an omnibus spending act.
That opened the door for a renewal of the horse slaughter business, but only if the U.S.D.A. re-established inspections. The agency never moved to restart its equine inspection service.
Valley Meat sued Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, and Al Almanza, the head of thefood safety inspection service, charging that the department’s failure to offer inspection of horse meat violated the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
That law directs the agriculture department to appoint inspectors to examine “all amenable species” before they enter a slaughtering facility.
“Amenable species” were animals subject to the act the day before it was enacted, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses and mules.
A. Blair Dunn, the lawyer for Valley Meat, said that the Justice Department recently asked the company for an additional 60 days to file a response to its lawsuit. Mr. Dunn said the Justice Department indicated it was asking for the extra time because “the U.S.D.A. plans to issue a grant of inspection within that time, which would allow my clients to begin operations.” Mr. Dunn said that Valley Meat had hired experts in the humane treatment of horses for slaughter and was training employees. The company is not planning to sell meat in the United States, at least at the outset of its operations. “Last spring, they were in discussions with several companies in European countries about exporting their products,” he said of his clients. “I’m sure if markets do develop in this country for horse meat for human consumption, they will look at them.”
He cautioned that Valley Meat might still face challenges to opening, noting that several parties had filed briefs on both sides of the case. The Humane Society has petitioned the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration to delay approval of any facility for horse slaughter, raising questions about the presence of drugs like phenylbutazone, which is used to treat inflammation in horses.
Conversely, R-CALF USA, an organization representing about 5,000 family cattle ranching operations, has filed a brief supporting Valley Meat’s legal case. Bill Bullard, its chief executive, said his members needed horse slaughtering facilities to humanely dispose of the horses they used in their businesses once they became old or incapacitated.
“Beginning in 2006, when inspections were temporarily prohibited, these U.S. horses continue to be slaughtered in foreign countries like Mexico and Canada,” Mr. Bullard said. “We believe the Mexicans do not adhere to the same humane standards as in the United States, and so some of our members won’t sell their horses.”
Mr. Pacelle said he had been surprised to see anyone from the beef industry supporting horse slaughter. “For the cattle industry, it is a self-destructive move, since the more horse meat that’s circulating, the greater the chance it will infiltrate the food supply and decrease consumer confidence in beef,” he said.
The first domestication of the horses was probably in the steppes of central Asia between 3000 and 4000 B.C. These first animals were kept for meat and milk. As early man became more mobile undoubtedly horses began to be used as pack animals. Oxen were being used in the Middle East at approximately 4000 B.C. for plowing. Progressively they were used on sleds, which were eventually mounted on rollers, with the final evolution of wheels. But then what? And how did we end up with bewildering scores of breeds, some of which are unpronounceable? What do they do? How did the breed begin? Learn all about each one at this site from the University of Oklahoma! (And they know their horses!)
Check out this wonderful history and listing of all the known breeds of horses on the University of Oklahoma Animal Science Department’s Horse Breeds site. It’s a great resource! Just click on the link below, or cut and paste into your browser address window.
|For some time now, you have probably heard, or had first-hand knowledge, of the condition known as hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). This condition is characterized by intermittent episodes of muscle tremors (shaking or trembling, weaknesses and/or collapse).
At the 1996 AQHA Convention in Seattle, Washington, the AQHA Board of Directors approved some rules recommended by the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. Among the changes was a rule requiring disclosure of HYPP status on the registration certificates of foals born on or after January 1, 1998, which descend from any bloodline determined to carry the HYPP gene.
Beginning with the 1997 AQHA Official Handbook, HYPP is in rule 205 among conditions commonly considered undesirable traits or genetic defects, such as parrot mouth and cryptorchidism. These conditions do not prevent a horse from being used as breeding stock or from participating in AQHA-approved events, subject to rules of the individual event.
Beginning with 1998 foals, the rule requires the following notification to be placed on the registration certificates of foals descending from any bloodline determined to carry the HYPP gene:
“This horse has an ancestor known to carry HYPP, designated under AQHA rules as a genetic defect, AQHA recommends testing to confirm presence or absence of this gene.”
Facts about HYPP have been gained through research projects funded in part by AQHA, through the University of California, Davis and the University of Pennsylvania. The first report, from Drs. Sharon Spier and Gary Carlson of U.C. Davis, was delivered to AQHA in the summer 1992, and published in-full in the September 1992 issue of The Quarter Horse Journal. As additional information has been made available, AQHA has promptly published it. I invite you to refer to [the Publications] page for a list of AQHA publications and others which contain information about HYPP.
AQHA has a duty to its members and American Quarter Horse owners to keep them abreast of current information on HYPP, and indeed, all health matters, so that they may make informed decisions concerning their equine programs.
• Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) is an inherited disease that leads to uncontrolled muscle twitching or profound muscle weakness, and in severe cases, may lead to collapse and/or death.
• HYPP is listed as a genetic defect in AQHA’s rules, along with Parrot Mouth and Cryptorchid conditions.
• To date, HYPP only has been traced to descendants of IMPRESSIVE, #0767246.
• Having negative (N/N) results on file may prevent a horse’s offspring from being tested.
• Foals born in 1998 and later and tracing to IMPRESSIVE will have a statement placed on their Certificates of Registration that recommends testing for the condition unless test results indicating the foal is negative (N/N) are on file with AQHA.
• AQHA will test any foals who are required to be parentage verified and who trace to IMPRESSIVE for HYPP prior to them being registered. This testing will be performed with the same DNA sample submitted to the laboratory for parentage verification.
• AQHA will accept HYPP test results only if performed through a licensed laboratory. These currently include:
• Beginning with the 2007 foals, all Impressive progeny are required to be parentage verified and HYPP tested subject to the conditions listed in rule 205. Any that test H/H will not be eligible for registration.
• Possible results of HYPP testing are N/N, N/H and H/H.
•HYPP can be treated through diet and medication in most cases.
• AQHA Testing Kits can be ordered for $40.
Sodium channel – A membrane “pore” or channel in the muscle membrane which opens and closes allowing for exchange of the electrolyte sodium from outside to inside of the muscle cell. Proper function of the sodium channel is vital for electrical activity and contraction of the muscle fibers. There are two parts to the sodium channel, the larger alpha-subunit and the beta sub-unit. The HYPP mutation causes a change in the protein structure of the alpha-subunit.
Allele – One copy of a pair of genes located at the same location in paired chromosomes. One allele is inherited from the sire, and one from the dam, for each gene.
Heterozygote – An individual possessing different alleles for a given gene or trait. For example, the classification N/H is given to horses which contain one normal sodium channel allele and one altered allele.
Homozygote – An individual possessing identical alleles for a given gene or trait. A horse may be homozygous normal as in the classification N/N, or homozygous affected H/H .
Myotonia -Increased muscle irritability which results in sustained muscle contraction or delayed muscle relaxation. A muscle cramp or spasm where the muscle fails to relax normally.
mRNA – Messenger RNA is the intermediate template providing the code to assemble amino acids
Many persons have requested a list of publications on HYPP. AQHA’s official publications, including The American Quarter Horse Journal, are excellent resources on issues affecting the American Quarter Horse breed and the industry. Click here for subscription information. The following are publications/articles on equine hyperkalemic periodic paralysis:
• Cox, J.H., DeBowes, R.M. “Episodic weakness caused by hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in horses.” Comp Cont Educ Pratt Vet (Equine) 1990; 12:83-89.
• Naylor J.M., Robinson J.A., Bertone J. “Familial incidence of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in Quarter Horses.” J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1992; 3:340-343.
• Pickar J.G., Spier S.J., Snyder J.R., et al. “Altered ionic permeability in skeletal muscle from horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis.” Am J Physiol (Cell Physiol) 1991; 26O:C926-C933.
• Rudolf J.A., Spier S.J., Byrns G. Hoffman E.P. “Linkage of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in Quarter Horses to the horse adult skeletal muscle sodium channel gene.” Animal Genetics 1992, 23~241-250.
• Rudolf, J .A., Spier, S.J., Byrns, G. Et al. “Periodic paralysis in Quarter Horses: a sodium channel mutation disseminated by selective breeding.” Nature Genetics 1992; 2:114-147.
• Spier S.J., Carlson, G.P. “Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in certain registered Quarter Horses.” The Quarter Horse Journal, September I992, p.p. 68069, 120. • Spier, S.J. Carlson, G.P., Holliday, T.A, et al. “Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in horses.” J Am Vet Med Association 1990; 197:1009-1017.
• Steiss J.E., Naylor J.M. “Episodic muscle tremors in a Quarter Horse: Resemblance to
Did Impressive’s ancestors pass along HYPP to him?
We are unable to answer this question because there are no living ancestors to test and we have no genetic material from these horses to test.
Why are most horses tested heterorygous rather than homozygous?
This genetic disease is inherited as a dominant trait, which means that only one copy of the mutated gene must be inherited to possess the disease. Fifty percent of all offspring of heterozygotes will possess the disease. The mating of two heterozygotes will produce 25 percent homozygous-affected foals, 50 percent affected and 25 percent homozygous normal.
Isn’t there a proportionately greater number of heterozygotes tested than homozygotes-proportionately meaning greater than what the statistics would indicate would exist within the population?
There is a higher than expected number of heterozygotes in this pedigree. Theoretically, if breeding stock were selected at random with respect to HYPP, the gene frequency would decrease with each generation. The high frequency of HYPP positive that we found in our research suggests that more affected horses were maintained as breeding stock than normal horses. The most likely reason is that the trait has been selected for by breeders seeking phenotypic characteristics which may be linked to this gene.
Is there any relation between the number of times Impressive traces to one particular stallion [Three Bars (TB)] and this – or any – genetic mutation?
No, there does not appear to be any association.
How would you respond to someone who said a horse had to be HYPP-positive to win at halter?
We were curious as to what effect the gene would have on muscle mass, which is just one of the qualities that are selected for in halter horses. We studied muscle cell (muscle fiber) diameter and muscle fiber type distribution (slow twitch and fast twitch fibers) in HYPP positive and negative horses. We found no relationship between large muscle diameter and the gene mutation. There was no difference in muscle fiber types between HYPP-positive and HYPP-negative horses. While there may be some other effect the mutation has on the appearance of muscle that we could not measure (for example, an
If a horse is HYPP-positive, but is asymptomatic, does it lower the chances of its offspring being HYPP-positive?
No, the gene mutation is identical for those horses that are asymptomatic and those horses that require medication to control symptoms. The expression of clinical symptoms is quite variable, which is identical to what occurs in humans with HYPP and occurs with many other genetic diseases. Unfortunately, offspring of asymptomatic HYPP-positive horses have just as high a chance of inheriting the gene (50:50 chance) and just as high a chance of showing clinical symptoms as other offspring of HYPP-positive horses.
What other equine health problems could conceivably have a genetic link?
There are numerous other equine health problems with a probable genetic basis. Many conditions are under intensive study in hopes to identify the casual genes. HYPP is the first equine disease which can be identified by a DNA test, but it will certainly not be the last. Some examples of other inherited defects of horses include parrot mouth, lethal white syndrome, combined immunod eficiency, cerebellar abiotrophy, epitheliogenesis imperfecta, hyperelastosis cutis, degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis, recurrent uveitis, polysaccharide storage myopathy, osteochondrosis and limb deformities.
Do you personally feel additional research on HYPP is needed?
HYPP is just one of the many problems that can plague our horses. Research on other diseases of muscles is ongoing and needs additional support. Colic and laminitis remain the leading causes of death in horses and are major areas of research. While there are still many unanswered questions about HYPP, we do know a great deal. We know how to treat the symptoms and can control the disease in horses very well. We now have a useful tool to prevent the disease in future generations. Personally, while I do not wish to downplay other with this disease, I feel that some of these questions are more of an academic interest only.
To read the full article online yourself, and to get to the links on HYPP, go here: http://www.aqha.com/association/registration/hypp.html
|This article is reprinted with permission by our friend and mentor, Clinician and Trainer Julie Goodnight. Wonderful article about coping with fear of a horse, or horses in general. Enjoy!
Julie,I know you are soooo busy. Just drop me two words of encouragement. I need you! I have a 16.2 hand TB that after having the greatest relationship with for 2 years I am now petrified to ride. I even think about going on the trails and I can’t breath. Nothing happened…I mean yes I have fallen off of him but that was a year ago. He spooks so easily and I just get sick to my stomach when I ride him!! He spooks and I work him through it but I still can’t gain any confidence.
Which book of yours do I need to read? What mantra can I say? I can’t sell my horse. I have to ride! It makes me cry when I think about it. My husband let me quit my job of six years so that I could go to the barn every day. In two years I went from not having a horse to having two horses and running a boarding stable with a partner. And now I am supposed to tell my husband that I am too afraid to ride?? Or maybe my boarders the next time they want me to lead them on a trail ride?! And the thought of going on a ride by myself makes my heart stop right in my chest. What is wrong with me?
Point me to a book….a food…body armor…something that will make this go away. I used to not think twice about attending your clinics on fear. Now I find myself wishing I had soaked in every word like I did with your others.
Please help!! I will wait breathlessly until you find the time to reply. I need you!!
Frustrated in Ohio
|Answer:||Dear Frustrated,I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with this fear issue. It is important that you have faith in the fact that you can do some specifics things to help manage your fear and that if you work on it, you can resolve this issue and get back to enjoying your horse like you used to. The key words here are that you will have to work on it. I know many, many people that have had similar experiences and have had success managing their fear, once they have committed themselves to action. There are a few ideas that I have for you that may help. Both my book, Ride with Confidence!, and my audio CD, Build Your Confidence with Horses, will help you a lot in understanding the emotion of fear, identifying the nature of your fear, making a plan to overcome it and learning some real-life skills that can help you deal better with the emotion. The book is very helpful for dealing with the fear of riding and also for dealing with fear and anxiety in any area of your life. I am one of five contributing authors to this book so there are many different approaches and techniques, including human psychology, equine psychology, hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP Sports Psychology). The audio CD is both instructional and motivational and is especially useful for listening to on your way to the barn because it has reminders of the physical and mental things you can do to contain and dissipate the emotion of fear when you feel it welling up.
Now, to address your specific situation, I have some thoughts for you and some suggestions. First, from reading your email, it sounds to me like you have had a drastic change in your confidence level, without being able to pin it on something specific like an accident or injury. This is not at all uncommon but it begs the question, is there something else going on in your life, either related to horses or not, that may have caused this change?
Sometimes people may experience trauma or anxiety in other areas of their life and it can manifest with horses, but until you address and resolve the original issue, you may not have success with the horse thing. For example, I had a woman in a FM clinic that had never had any fear of riding until she and her daughter became victims of a violent crime and after that, she was mortified to ride. We could work on the horse issue, but she also needed to come to terms with what had happened to her through counseling and processing.
I encourage you to take a hard look at the “big picture” of your life and invest in some serious introspection. The book and video will guide you through this process but you’ll have to put some earnest thought into it; it may help to talk with someone like a counselor, friend or pastor. Obviously you are embarrassed and ashamed of having fear and keeping it to yourself is one of the worst things you can do. You are feeling pressure from your husband and from your clients, but it is quite possible that the pressure is originating from you and not them. The fact of the matter is that for the most part, no one really cares whether you ride or not or what emotional issues you are dealing with and besides, most people have fear of horses themselves. It is an extremely prevalent issue amongst horse enthusiast but sadly it is seldom discussed. In my seminars on fear of riding at horse fairs, the room is always jam packed with people, all of whom are greatly relieved to see everyone else there; people of all ages, genders, abilities and experience. I think it is important for you to “come out of the closet” with your fear and tell those close to you about it so that they can support your plan and help you meet your goals.
Surround yourself with people that are supportive of you and share your plan with them; avoid contact with the people that are making it worse. Again, the book and audio will guide you through this process. Maybe you want to start a private club with some of your boarders that may be struggling themselves with this issue and work through it together; I bet you’ll have more members in your club than you would think.
Another thought I had when reading your email was that this horse is not really what you need to be riding right now. A Thoroughbred is a tough ride for any one; they are volatile and emotional animals, which is totally exacerbated with a fearful rider. Think about it, we have been breeding these horses for centuries to run fast and have a strong flight response; spookiness comes with the territory. Because horses are herd animals and prey animals, they are programmed to take on the emotions of the other horses in the herd. If you become frightened, the horse easily recognizes it, because a huge part of your body is connected to him; it is natural for him to become frightened too. Thus you have the snowball effect.
I am not suggesting that you get rid of the horse, but I do think it would do you a world of good to ride a more reliable horse for as long as it takes to rebuild your confidence. Spend some time riding a reliable horse so that you can remind yourself that you are a competent rider and perfectly capable of handling whatever your horse can dish out. Find a way to get some hours in on a solid mount on which you can rebuild your confidence and remind yourself that you actually love to ride. Consider taking some Dressage or Reining lessons on a finished horse and learn some new theory while you build confidence. The horse is a critical part of the equation. You must ride a horse that builds your confidence, not zaps it.
And speaking of the horse, there are some positive steps you can take to resolve the spooking issue with your horse. If you make a commitment to his training, you can teach him not to spook or to spook in place. There are a few Q&As on my website on despooking that will help you think through the process and you may want to be on the lookout for despooking clinics (you can always go without a horse and audit and still learn plenty, sometimes more than you would with a horse).
Like with any bomb-proofing process for horses, you always start on the ground. Hopefully this will make it a little easier for you to keep your confidence up. Study my articles and develop a training plan and devote a few minutes everyday to despook your horse from the ground. You’ll teach him to face his fear and then to have the courage to actually approach and even touch the frightening item. You can make a game out of this until your horse is eagerly facing and approaching, since he is rewarded for being a brave horse.
As his confidence builds so will yours. Eventually you can take the same training plan to the saddle and go through the same process with you on his back. Making a plan, taking action and putting your mind and energy into training your horse are actions that will not only help your horse, but build your confidence too. Having a plan of action also keeps your mind from becoming polluted with thoughts of fear. There is more on controlling the thoughts in your mind in the book and audio. There is a lot of action you can take to resolve this issue. Now it is up to you to “get off the pot.” Please let me know how it goes. Good luck and keep the faith. You CAN do this.
Julie Goodnight, Clinician and Trainer
There are many common questions, all of them great ones, about breeding for color in your horse herd. “How do I get a buckskin or perlino?” “What would guarantee a palomino?” “What the heck does a creme gene do, anyway?” “Wow, how did that horse get those riger stripes?!” Welcome to Color Genetics 101!!! It’s a big subject and can look complicated with all those shortened letters and symbols: CCssEEee and so on…But here are some resources for you to learn the easy way!
My favorite and most thorough resource is a book by Phillip Sponenberg, appropriately called “Equine Color Genetics”. It’s a great book, and explains color genes from beginning to end and has a long photo collection showing colors in the back of the book.
He breaks down the various BASIC dark colors first (Bay, Brown, Chestnut and Black, then he “adds” the colors that are built from the basic colors (various duns, creme related colors, silver dapple, compound dilutes, brindle, and so on.) Then, he adds interesting patters such as grey, roan, frosty, white and lacing and tops it all off with patterns characterized by patches of white.
To start with, if you just want to calculate the probable colors of a sire and dam you are considering breeding, but you want to see what colors you might get, try one of these easy color calculators:
Or this handy chart from the creme and dilute group:
This is actually great fun and very interesting, once you understand the basics. It’s like creating a recipe for sauce: First, put in the basic ingredients, to make the sauce base. Then, add color, spices, herbs, stir it all up and there you go…a great sauce! Sometimes you can even guarantee a foal color (example: Breed a chestnut/sorrel to a cremello who is a double dilute and you will get a palomino foal 100% of the time, since the cremello is a double dilute and will always pass one creme gene to the foal.)
So, try your next sauce -er- color question out on Sponenberg’s book, or read up on color genetics online (eNeigh has a lot on this subject on our Equine Education page) and enjoy!
50% OFF ALL ENEIGH ADS! That’s right! For eNeigh Blog Registrants, you get 50% off ALL ADS, YES, $5.00 photo ads until December 31, 2010. Normally $10.00 per photo for your horse ads, tack, vehicles, trailers and other ads, ALL ADS ARE ONLY $5.00 PER PHOTO just for signing up on our eNeigh Blog. PLEASE USE DISCOUNT CODE: “eNeigh50″ (without quotation marks) in the “Discount Code” box near the end of your Ad checkout process. Don’t delay, register on our Blog or the eNeigh Forum, and get $5.00 OFF ALL PHOTO ADS!
Recently I ran across an article that descibes a fantastic way that Gillian Higgisn is helping people understand the working parts of a horse. The article explains how she’s throwing sketched diagrams to the wind and instead using a better tool: The horse itself.
Gillian is a professional therapist who specialized in mobilizing muscles for improved horse performance. She has a degree in equine business management, obtained from Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Gloucestershire and has also achieved multiple qualifications and additional disciplines from different schools in Oxford and Nottingham. Among her other accomplishments she’s represented Great Britain twice at the Student Rider’s Nations Cup in ’04 and ’06.
By actually painting the internal part of a horse, on the outside, Gillian’s program is giving students, trainers and horse lovers alike a fun, interesting and 100% visual look at the anatomy of the horse. From the skeletal system to the muscular system, Gillian has taken the sometimes boring (but always useful) information that’s generally presented in black and white and has put it in 3D by simply adding color and life.
For more information on Gillian and the project, visit her site: Horses Inside Out
eNeigh is now on Twitter and we’ve got a quickly growing following in just two days. Join us on Twitter eNeigh at www.twitter.com/eneigh and we’ll be Twittering together.
HOW TO CREATE A GREAT AD WITH THE HIGHEST VISIBILITY!
- First, place a photo and/or video ad. To sell a horse or equine item, viewers don’t spend a lot of time searching, and they want to visually view what you have for sale! This is critical. They don’t want to stop and email you and wait for you to send them photographs. Anything worth selling, is worth a photograph. Text ads are viewed almost 800% LESS than a photo ad. There is always a “marketing cost” that is built into any animals or tack we are selling, and we suggest the industry norm of 1% to 3% of the price of your animal or horse to market it. This includes online ads, print ads, website, or other forms of marketing. If you want results, show what you have for sale!
- Complete the pedigree form, especially if your horse is registered. Think about it. You have a horse that is “well-bred” or has a “fabulous pedigree” but you don’t list the pedigree for your potential buyers? What does that say to your viewers? It surely says the wrong things. If the horse is grade and you know any of its ancestors, list those names. You can list as much, or as little information as you like into our pedigree form! The more information you list, the easier it is on your buyer! It is worth it!
- Select the correct category for your ad. Put a horse into the “horses” category, tack into the “tack” category and stallions at stud in the “stallions” category.
- Check your grammar and your spelling before you click “submit”. Misspellings and poor grammar are a turn off, and your ad will not ‘read’ correctly or easily to your potential buyers. If you spot a mistake later, login, go to “My Account”, select “my active listings”, select “edit” from the icons on the right and proceed to edit your ad. Again, it’s all about image and you are competing against many other horses for sale! So, put your “best hoof forward!”
- Provide the best text description you possibly can. Many ads just read “good horse, can do anything.” That doesn’t tell the reader much. Think about the horse, what would someone want this horse for, why would they like this horse? Would you want a child to ride it, or an adult beginner, or is it only for the experienced rider, and why? Are there any flaws? Why are you selling the animal? A good description including temperament, history and such will definitely help you!
- SET UP YOUR “MY ACCOUNT” PAGE. Please make sure you jot down your user name and password to login to eNeigh. Then, check out our “My Account” page, set up your email preferences, (for where you want emails to go) and if you are looking to buy a horse, then set up your “search” parameters so you can take advantage of our very popular “eNeigh Auto-Search” program! You will get emails from us, when a horse is listed that matches your search!
- There are so many great functions in “My Account”: You can buy your subscription for a Storefront; you can print flyers and posters of your ad; You can block certain email addresses or IP addresses from viewing your ad, or contacting you. You can set up how you want to receive emails (either directly to your email, or only by logging into eNeigh to collect your messages.) You can view your ads current or expired. Edit ads. Add photo’s/upgrade your ads and so much more . All from this page.
Those are the basics. We would love to hear from you with your own horse stories! We are setting up more Blog Categories daily, so stay tuned as we expand eNeigh Blog.
eNeigh Blog is not the place for suggestions or comments on the website. But we do want to hear from you. Please use our Suggestions/Comments forms from our homepage for that. ALL BLOGS ARE MONITORED BEFORE BEING POSTED, SO WE WILL NOT POST SPAM, SUGGESTIONS, COMMENTS ABOUT THE SITE OR NON-RELEVANT INFORMATION HERE.
All of us here at eNeigh.com wish you Happy Horsing! Let’s hear from you soon. We would love to know what you think of the new format and how we can improve in any area of our site.
Welcome to the new eNeigh Blog, and to Part One of our very first post. As I sit here thinking about the journey of creating eNeigh, I thought it might be valuable to explain how we came into being. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of eNeigh.com. For more information on navigating eNeigh, please review the “Navigating eNeigh” column on the right side of our homepage, and you can search through the navigation buttons down the left side as well. Be sure to read “tips for creating a good ad” in Part Two of this blog!
First, we are horse breeders in Montana. Most of our closest friends have horses and although we may have differing breeds from one another, we share one thing in common: Our love, respect, and appreciation of our equine friends. Another thing we have in common is our desire to see more people become involved with horses, and to do it in the ‘right way.’ That is, to educate others with an understanding of who horses are, how they think, how to care for them, how to breed (or not to breed), and to understand the responsibilities that come with owning a horse. And ultimately, to ensure that each horse has a good home and a fulfilling life. Not too much different from how we hope to raise our children! However horses are on average 1000 pounds or more, so there are definitely some differences whch can manifest in some surprising ways. To many of us, horses have a very special quality about them that connects with our hearts. Their spirits and curiousity touch us in ways we sometimes have a hard way of communicating to non-horse owners, but it is there, nonetheless.
When we have had a very hard day, it is often to our horses that we go, to regenerate, and to have our own tired spirits renewed. We all have touching stories of how a special horse changed our lives. I am now 58 years years old, and they still touch my heart every day. I eagerly look forward to every time I watch “SeaBisquit” again (and again) and I love hearing ‘touch my heart’ stories of beloved horses from our eNeigh customers. My horse friends humor me every time when I regale them with yet another story of how my new foal crop are brilliant, beautiful, extraordinary, perfectly conformed, wonderfully temperamented and adorable. They’re great friends, even if I know they’re humoring me. If you have your own story about how a special horse touched your life, we would love to hear from you in our new blog.
eNeigh’s inception in 2007, was born of a desire to combine a highly effective equine buy-sell mechanism online, with high quality education, FUN, resources, discounted equine supplies, training, FUN, health care, and wrap it all up in a graphically appealing, FUN, easy-to-navigate website. It’s our “One-Stop-Shopping” approach to eNeigh that is a major reason why we’re different from many other equine sites. And did I mention “FUN?” The day horses and horse topics stop being fun, will be the day I stop living with, reading about, being absorbed by horses, and no longer savoring the wonderful smell of a horse. I suspect, that will be the day I go to meet my Maker.
We have real customer service. We DO monitor our blog and our eNeigh Forum. We respond to suggestions, comments, and emails coming from our customers and potential customers within 24 hours. Often, it is within minutes or hours. We constantly add content, links, resources and ideas that you, our customers have sent us, and we appreciate every one of you!
eNeigh can provide you with a great outlet to buy or sell horses and horse-related items. Our costs are very low for the exposure we provide you. Only $10.00 per photo and/or video! We advertise extensively to attract high quality viewers. And, we have recently flown up the ranks to page one and two of Google and Yahoo for the highest-ranked “keyword” search words and phrases, so traffic is up tremendously! And, the best news of all is: eNeigh has an overall 22% SALES RATIO of horses listed with eNeigh! That means we are reaching a serious audience, they are staying on our site to view many horses, and they ARE responding to your ads!
When we set out to custom program our entire website we had only some idea of how long it would take, how much it would cost, with design, editing, and custom programming (think: $60 an hour minimum programming costs X thousands of hours and you’ll get the idea) of our entire database and underlying programs. Of course, with great ideas popping up at every turn, and wonderful input from horse people all across the country, it took a full year longer and twice the initial budget, but here is the final result, and we hope that you not only enjoy our site, but get wonderful results both buying and selling. We want to keep you for many years as our happy customers!
In the next section, we’ll cover how to write an effective ad. How to use eNeigh effectively, how to set up “My Account” functions, and how to write and edit the best ad or auction for maximum impact and how to impress your potential buyers! PLEASE READ PART TWO OF “WELCOME TO ENEIGH”, as this blog continues….
Carole and the eNeigh Staff