Posted on November 14, 2012


I’ve already written extensively about how this year’s historic drought has affected the ranching community. But seeing the photo on Drudge Report this morning of horses wandering down a highway foraging for food gave me chills.

The caption beneath, linking to this article from CBS Denver, read: “Starving Horses Serious Problem as Hay Prices Continue to Skyrocket.”

Sadly, stories of equine neglect are not new. But soaring hay prices may create a host of new problems for horse owners struggling to get by financially. It’s a frightening prospect. And it seems that things will only get worse as the winter months approach and freeze out pasture grass.

The article said that hay growers in Colorado were only able to harvest half their usual quota, and some horse owners were traveling out of state to buy feed.

Other reports from around the state show how widespread the effects are. KOAA reported some ranchers are abandoning livestock because of the feed shortage, and the Colorado Spring Gazette said the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary may have to close because it can’t afford steep hay prices.

But it’s not just Colorado. It’s my opinion that many states west of the Mississippi will soon report similar problems, if they haven’t already. Community members need to act now to get an action plan going for helping starving animals, and individual ranchers need to be proactive in planning how they will get their stock through the winter.

Posted in: Drought, Equine News