Another Opinion on Horse Slaughter in the US

Horsemen’s views vary widely and many wear blinkers, or live in a fantasy world. Occasionally one of the posts makes a good case. Those I try to share with my followers, and fellow horse lovers.

Group: Equus
Discussion: Should horse slaughtering resume in the U.S.?
So where are 2000 horses a week going to go?….that would be placing 40 horses every week in every state…..assuming an even distribution. Hawaii and Alaska probably don’t have that big an unwanted horse problem but other states have much more. Where would 40 extra horses that no one but the kill buyer is even interested in be going in your state each and every week? What is set up to absorb these, rehab the ones that can be and dispose of or permanently place those that can’t? Funding? Location? Transportation? Health care? Farrier care? Feed supply? Labor? Waste management? Security? 40 this week, 40 next week, 40 the week after and the week after that….?

Have you read the suggested/proposed “Do Not Slaughter” registry idea with United Horsemen? It would provide anyone anytime in a horses life the opportunity to enroll the horse in an ID program using probably iris scanning (more accurate, quicker, less invasive and not removable (unless someone were to enucleate the horse’s eyes)) rather than microchips for ID. There would be a cost….the cost of doing the original scan plus the cost of maintaining records and the cost of having matching scanning equipment at any slaughter facility (fewer of them than of sales yards so less overall expense to have it done at the slaughter facility intake than at sales yards…..3-4-5 pieces of equipment rather than several hundred) has to be covered in some way. All horses going into a slaughter facility to be scanned (takes only a second or two and the horse doesn’t even have to hold still) and those that come up as being enrolled pulled and have the enrolling person contacted for the option of retrieving the horse (even if it was several owners back)….or the enrollment could move with the horse if it were to be sold to a new owner. Owners would bear the cost and the responsibility of ID scanning and enrollment if they wished to keep a horse from slaughter. AQHA also has a program allowing for breeders/former owners to be contacted if a current owner is unable to keep a horse. The problem with microchips are that there are several brands and the scanners are apparently not universal AND microchips have been known to wander from their placement or be removed. The iris scan technology is newer and less subject to problems.
Posted by Dorothy Robertson

Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk share their adventures

and the spotlight with author Jennifer Powelson.  Jannifer winds up The April Spot on children and young adult authors with a flourish. May the interviews turn to horse, equine, and other animal book authors, both fiction and non-fiction. A few are already posted, so feel free to browse. Leave a comment for the authors, they really appreciate it.  

Reblog Back to the Books


Back to the Books – A Truly Indie Bookstore!

Posted on 24 April 2012 by


Back to the Books may be a first of its kind… a bookstore that only stocks books by self-published authors and independent publishers! I’m excited to have three of my titles stocked there, and so I asked the owner, Jon Renaud, to share some more information about his exciting new venture. BTTB (Back to the Books) is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and stocks books by authors from around the world.

Photo: Back to the Books storefront

Tell us a little about Back to the Books… does it only stock indie books, or traditionally published as well?

Hi Jody, thanks for taking the time to speak to me about Back to the Books. I believe we are the very first bookstore to stock only independent titles. Now, please don’t misunderstand: these are not all self-published titles, but also small press titles where the author still owns all the rights to their book.

Where did you get the idea for an indie bookstore? Are you an author yourself?

The idea came to me a few years ago shortly after my own book was published. I wrote and published Dereliction of Duty  to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. During the process, I discovered how difficult it was to get indie books into bookstores. I also met a lot of other indie authors who had some incredible books but were faced with the same problem. I always felt that if bookstore would give them a chance, and if the prices were competitive, they would sell. So the idea was there for some time, and then one day I was talking to friend who owned two storefronts in Manitou Springs, and he offered me one. Idea met opportunity… and I jumped on it!

Photo: Back to the Books

What made you think an indie bookstore would be a viable/profitable business venture?

I always knew it could be a viable business plan if I could just find the right location, and Manitou Springs is perfect. No one will go out of their way to drive to an indie bookstore, but Manitou Springs is 95% foot traffic. And when people walk in and see all of the great books, most stop, look around… and buy books!
As for profitable, I never thought, or said, if would be a profitable business venture. My goal is to get the store to a point where it is self-sustaining and new titles are rotating in and out, to give indie authors the exposure they need. If the first month is any indication, that goal will be met, and maybe there could be some profits left over.

Manitou SpringsTell us a little about Manitou Springs, and why you thought it would be a good home for BTTB.

Manitou Springs is an amazing little town that draws millions of visitors every year. It has a culture that embraces everything independent and dislikes corporate: all of the stores in town are trendy art galleries, cafés, and the like. It is the perfect location to attempt something like this!

How long did it take you to set up the whole venture, including your online store?

The plan has come together very quickly, but I could not even begin to count the hours I have put into this project. The storefront became available on February 10, 2012 and I have been running since that day. In about one month, I was able to get the physical store loaded with books and ready for the grand opening, the website and online store up and running, and arrange and pull off a spectacular grand opening. So it has been a crazy few months, but everything has come together perfectly. I finally got the employees trained, which means things should be slowing down for me a little. To celebrate, I am heading to Las Vegas next week!!!

Photo: Back to the BooksFor a long time, authors have struggled against the stigma of self-publishing… In your experience, what does the general public think of self-published books?

There is no doubt there is a stigma out there for some. The biggest problem is quality and price. People believe that self-published books are too expensive, and poorly edited. I am working hard to help change that stigma. Although it is impossible to read every book I get in, I will read a few chapters of every book to make sure the formatting is professional and there are not a lot of typos. Unfortunately, I have had to decline a few titles because I feared they would perpetuate the stereotype and not help our cause. But overall, the customers I have met do not care how the book was published, as long as it is a good book.

Are you still accepting new authors? How many titles do you plan to stock at any one time?

I will continue to accept new author as long as my doors are open. That is part of the business plan — to continue to roll the inventory. Although Mantiou Springs is a big tourist town, I have also been very warmly received by the locals, who have purchased many books already, and expressed their happiness at having a bookstore in town. They will continue to come back as long as I keep new titles coming in for them.

What genres of books are selling best?

So far, children’s books, Young Adult and Self-Help/Improvement books have been the best sellers. And surprisingly, poetry books have also been very popular! I expected the children’s books to be hot sellers as we just finished the Spring Break season and lots of kids and parents were in town during the week. I also publish a weekly bestseller list at, so authors can see what is selling and share their strong sales with friends and family. I expect the fiction titles to start to pick up as the tourists begin to arrive, and are looking for good books to read while sitting out by the pools.

How important is a good cover?

Photo: Back to the BooksThere is nothing more important than a great cover – except maybe great content – but if you don’t have a great cover… no one will ever see your content! The unique thing about Back to the Books is it is designed so every book faces out towards the customers. No books are hidden on back shelves or have the spines facing the customers. It is fascinating to me to watch what books draw the most attention simply because of the covers.

If you could give three pieces of advice to indie authors trying to sell their books, what would they be?

The first piece of advice is what I stated above: design a great cover. Don’t do it yourself or have your friend who is really good with PowerPoint do it for you. Find a great cover designer and spend the money to have a fabulous cover.
Second, price your book competitively. Customers do not want to pay $25 for a 300 page paperback novel. You will never be able to get your price point where it needs to be if you use most of the online publishing services, because that is how they make their money: by charging high prices for the print books. Work with someone that knows the industry and can help you navigate the process. I provide free advice to authors every day.
And finally, just keep producing the great books that I have seen coming through my store. Be persistent in your marketing, and people will buy your work… and then some day come back to buy the sequel!

Thanks, Jody, for the opportunity to share this new venture with all of your readers. If I could add one last piece of advice, it would be that if you want people to take a chance on you as an indie author, then you have to do the same. Commit to only buying indie books and then recommend them to all of your friends and family. We only succeed if we are willing to do what we want customers to do!

Thank you, Jon, for a fascinating interview and for doing so much for the indie publishing cause! In fact, on behalf of all indie authors, THANK YOU for really pushing the envelope of indie publishing and sales. Best of luck in the new venture… I think I might plan a trip to Manitou Springs myself, to check out this wonderful store!

Authors who are interested in having their books stocked at BTTB can contact Jon via the Back to the Books website. You can also shop the online store!

Back to the Books Online Store

Charlene was bred to race, but her heart isn’t in it!

Charlene the Star

Written by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlene the Star was born into a family of famous race-horses. Unlike her big brother Charlie, Charlene decides she doesn’t like racing. How will she explain this to her Mom? How will she show her trainers that she doesn’t have any talent for racing? Will she become a model instead? She has to be creative to find those answers. Her career path takes many twists and turns before she finds her place to shine. You’ll love reading about Charlene’s adventures on the road to success.

Priced at $9.95 FREE SHIPPING

Excellent children’s book “If I Could be A Zebra”

What if you could be any animal from A to Z?

And not the ordinary dog or cat or elephant but an exotic yak or platypus or even a vampire bat!

Not only is this charming book entertaining, it is also a great teaching tool. Young readers will smile at the vividly illustrated animals accompanied by fun-filled verses. This is definitely a mother’s reading time book. Printed on very heavy stock, this whimsical book is made to withstand young hands.

ISBN-10: 0-9825313-1-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-9825313-1-0

Priced at $10.00  FREE SHIPPING

Book release party May 1, 2012 on my bookreview blog.

A book release buzz party is scheduled for Pavarti K. Tyler’s novel “Shadow on the Wall”

Join us, Comments are welcome.

Author Sandra Humphrey shares her book and insights

April’s spotlight of authors of children and young adult books turns to Sandra. Follow the interview link at the top of the page then click on Sandy’s name.

New companion book review blog Due to the number of requests for book reviews I have dedicated this new blog exclusively to that endeavor.

Free stlyle dressage that will thake your breath away!

Click on About at he top of the page and scroll down past the blurb about me to the comment below, and click on the link.  Please leave a comment on the blog after you view the awesome routine.

Follow up to my January post “Horse Meat on your dinner plate.’

I have recently connected with a fellow author in the Netherlands. After several e-mails with him, I posted the following comment on a horse forum where the topic still rages about the slaughter of unwanted horses.

My comment:

The Slaughter issue goes on and on, both sides have points to make. I had posted an observation on my blog it is still there in the archives. An author I met on another site, sent me an e-mail from the Netherlands. He was appalled by the facts in my blog that brought up horse meat on your dinner plate. In it I brought up the fact that most of what we give our horses to keep them healthy are labeled “not for use in horses intended for human consumption.” It seems that horse meat is common there, they even have horse snacks that are sold in the grocery stores. These products are sold as from wild horses in Alaska. To my knowledge there are not any herds of wild horses in Alaska. Do any of the rest of you know of any?

The above comment was posted a short time ago, and already the comments are beginning to come in.
Group: Equus
Discussion: Should horse slaughtering resume in the U.S.?
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing, the ideas of wild horses in Alaska!! Wow. What bad marketing can do for sales in Europe. America does not have wild horses in Alaska to my knowledge. Looks like the Netherlands has been duped by the slaughterhouse business again, never mind all the toxins in horse meat from the US. Those poor people might be getting sick from it and don’t even know what they are eating. Europeans should beware of this. They are probably eating pink slime in horse hamburg too that has been added to beef hamburg without people knowing that either! Yuck.

The map of BLM herd management areas does not include Alaska. It includes: Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado & Wyoming.
Posted by Denise Brown

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