Maggie is a 20 year old, registered Appaloosa mare. She spent a good chunk of her life as a broodmare, and produced quite a few quality horses that went on to be point earners. Last year, my friend Karen was reducing her herd and gave this horse to a woman who was just getting back into horses. A few days ago, the woman calls Karen to come get the mare, she was losing her house to foreclosure, and this is the condition the mare came back in. She's been to the vet, waiting on labs, and is getting five large meals a day now.
Another friend tells us that a few nights ago, two very nice ponies were dropped off on their road, left to wander. That brings the total number of strange trucks pulling trailers and mysteriously appearing horses to nine in the last two months. The Sheriff tells them there is nothing he can do, so just round 'em up and haul 'em to the auction. One was a wild acting stallion that someone had no choice but to shoot and kill since it killed a foal and was ravaging a mare.
The raw truth of the situation for horses is that no one can afford much of anything, let alone a 'luxury' item like a horse. Many current horse owners can no longer afford them, and with no one buying, there is no way to sell them.
I don't like saying it, but there is the truth in plain sight: With no market and no slaughter, the fate of many horses is just not good.
Here's a "before" picture of Maggie, in the condition she was in before.