Humane Alternatives for New Mexico Horses (and More)


Public News Service | June 2013

071410 009AZTEC, N.M. – Horse advocates’ answer to slaughter is a safety net for unwanted horses. Creating it calls for coordinating population control, law enforcement and cooperation between agencies and stakeholders. 

It is a major task being taken on by animal advocates such as Debbie Coburn, CEO, Four Corners Equine Rescue, and chair, New Mexico Equine Rescue Alliance. She said the answer is not a slaughterhouse.

“Slaughter only begets more slaughter,” Coburn stressed. “If you allow horses to be slaughtered, then people have no incentive to stop creating them, because they know they can always just send them to slaughter.”

Coburn said she envisions a solution that incorporates reproduction management and law enforcement.

“If people are held accountable for what they are doing or have done, they’re much more inclined to do something proactively instead of waiting until the horse is absolutely a bag of bones and then taking it to the sale barn or dumping it,” she said.

Another issue Coburn sees as fundamental to creating a safety net is cooperation. The New Mexico Equine Rescue Alliance is part of the Stakeholders Meeting, a task force designated by the governor to create resolutions to the issue of how to deal with unwanted horses. The task force is comprised of horse rescue groups, the cattle growers association, the livestock board, breeding associations and tribal entities. 

Among other hurdles, it faces cultural barriers, Coburn noted.

“On the Navajo Nation, for example, the number of horses that a person owns is a reflection of his wealth. The Navajo Nation is making an effort to get a handle on their horse population, but they run into budget constraints and a lot of resistance from their own people,” she said. – CONTINUED. Read the rest of the article.


“America’s wild horses: The conversation has begun” – on Jun 10, 2013

“Today, the place of the wild horses that roam the western rangelands is a contentious political issue. They are celebrated by many Americans as an symbol of their nation, but considered a nuisance by many ranchers, who feel they compete for grazing resources.”

(This article is a MUST read for anyone interested in the forthcoming debate about the future of America’s wild horses – Jerry)


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this morning, we have 156 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate


AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Debbie Tracy

    THIS is the RIGHT direction and KODO’S to all who are starting this, it IS the solution, slaughter like it said endorses over breeding that is not a hard one to figure out?!?!?!

    I have been watching down the road a bit from me this place has a bunch of horses even baby’s one day they are there and then they are gone and I swear it seems it is right after the first Sat of the month after the Mayfield Auction House sells horses??? BUT there is obviously something fishy going on, one does NOT get rid of THAT many horses at once, AND I can’t do a thing about it, CAN I?? The foal’s were SO LITTLE and one could barely stand when I went by one day then went by today and they were gone but a handful of them….. Oh my goodness it makes me so so sick, I wish this would stop, just SO DISGUSTING, I AM SO ANGRY that some folks have NO FEELING’S what’s so ever for these defenseless animal’s…………..

    June 10, 2013
    • sherriey

      why don’t you just “stop-bye” and ask about them? like pretend you are interested in buying one or two. ask to see them….especially the babies…say they caught your eye and are so cute that you just wanted to see one and see if any are for sale. if you keep your kool, and just act like a nice sweet person who wants to see them on the pretense of being a potential buyer…they wouldn’t be able to resist the thought that they may have some money coming in…..its worth a try. then if you see anything fishy…you could call the local law or humane association….they may have just put them out in a different pasture….?

      June 10, 2013
      • sherriey

        …sorry, got cut off….anyway…i did this when i drove by a bunch of…what appeared to be…starving horses. they were honestly skin and bones…a 1 on the scale for body condition.
        i called the Humane association and the local SPCA. they went there….there was hay in the barn but the people weren’t feeding it to the horses! b/c there was some grass (eaten to the roots) the people thought that the horses didn’t need anything else.
        the SPCA monitored it for a few months…and behold…the horses gained weight!
        so..see…a little niceness can gain you access to see what you may want to learn. the horses may be there and in a pasture where they can’t be seen unless you were taken there (i hope!). its worth a try…..and i pray that thats what happened to them.

        June 10, 2013
  • LNorman

    NM could ban slaughter and transport to slaughter, that would be a humane solution and stop killbuyers from dumping slaughter rejects in this border state. Breeder’s Associations on this Task Force are key, breeding needs to cease until market balances out. There are well bred horses on those slaughter trucks every day.

    June 11, 2013
  • LNorman

    Save one, breed none.

    June 11, 2013
  • Linda Jackson

    Although it could be confused as misanthrophic (I’m not), I would simply point out that destruction of habitat, global warming, crime, water and environmental pollution is a human not equine fault. Yet each year we (humans) condone human overpopulation and debate allowing at least 12 million illegals a “path to citizenship.” People continue to build in wilderness areas, on mountain sides, by all waterways because they are “nature lovers.”

    How about allowing 12 million horses/burros to live on their native lands without the constant debate? They don’t vote yet, as anyone knows, are intelligent. What about equine rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? Too “Animal Farm”?

    June 11, 2013