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PMU Horses

Updated on September 21, 2008

Basics of the Industry

PMU stands for Pregnant Mare Urine, which is used in several hormone replacement drugs, best known is Premarin. Despite the natural distaste of the idea, it is used by tens of thousands of women each day. However, most of them don't know what is in these drugs or the methods behind how it is obtained.

Ranches all over the country produce this product. Many of these ranches have hundreds of horses which often live in inhuman conditions and are severely over used.

On each ranch, there are broodmares, stallions, and even foals. The mares are overbred, to ensure a maximum of pmu. When they turn up pregnant, they are tied in a small stall, not big enough to move in, and connected to a collection system. They don't get much excercise and rarely hands-on attention.

The urine is collected for 6 months. When the foal is born, mother and foal are taken out to pasture where they will spend 6 months together, if lucky. I've heard of foals and mares being brought in after 3 months. The mares are then taken to be bred again, and the foals, who are considered a drain on the operation, are taken to auctions.

Auctions are awful places for any horse to end up. They are often frequented by slaughter houses looking for cheap meat. Several thousand baby horses are sold to meat factories yearly. These are perfectly good little foals, just in the wrong set of circumstances. When the older horses become infertile, they find themselves in the same situation.

There are several places to learn more about the PMU industry. I suggest going to these websites

Or if you are interested in looking at the adoptable horses in need of forever homes safe from auctions, please visit

  • http://pmurescue.org/

Original Poem- A PMU Foal's Lament

When I was young, I ran so free,

racing with my friends, just them and me

We sunned in the meadow, We grazed on the grass

We pranced in the sunshine, no doubts it would last,

But then came the time, when they took me away,

I still remember the events of that day.

Men with harsh hands, came for their haul,

They loaded us up, ignoring our calls,

Brought to the pen, where they piled us in,

we whinnied and cried, asking what was our sin,

No longer free to run or move with the wind,

Caged all together, crowded and pinned.

No one came to play, nor turn us out,

No one seemed to notice how we would pout.

The day finally came, when they loaded us up,

Though we argued, they'd poke and say git up,

The final moments, I was taken away,

I never thought it would all end this way.

Never so young, never so scared,

alone and afraid, all my fear laid bare.

I didn't want to go into the room, it smelled bad,

I hoped the mean men would see I was sad.

They didn't listen to my cries of protest,

my pleas for mercy or my simple request,

I don't know what I did to deserve such an act,

The ending I faced, just what did I lack?

Wasn't I a perfectly good little horse?

Always did as was told, never was forced.

I tried to do well for those who fulfilled my needs,

fulfilling that ancient and binding old creed.

If I was bad, I'm sorry, but I did not mean it,

I didn't mean to cause trouble, or cause a fit.

What I don't understand though, is why?

I was young and able, ready to try...

You could've given the chance to someone,

someone to love me and play in the sun.

The choice was yours, but you sent me to die,

So I don't understand, why didn't you try?

Jessica Pyle, 2008

Meet Kenai

Kenai was a pmu foal born on a ranch in South Dakota. His mother was a percheron and his father was a paint. If not for the closure of this ranch and the intervention of a rescue group called Serenity Acres, he would've ended up at an auction, most likely leading to a slaughter house. He was put up for adoption on PMURescue.org. It was there that I first saw this handsome little fellow.

Now the idea of adopting a 4 month old stud colt with no training or human contact that was halfway across the country was a daunting one. But I just couldn't resist trying. This little horse had already faced so much. So I sent in my request for more information. And in 2 months time, Kenai was here.

I had been told that he was a total sweetheart, easy-going with other horses and very smart. It amazed me how true all this was. Regardless of his inexposure to people, he was willing to give them the chance. I spent just a few days sitting in his stall with him before he would lie next to me and let me pet him. Less than a week had passed before I had a halter on him and was teaching him the concept of leading.

Kenai is going to be 2 years old come May 1. He's already had a saddle on and started to desensitize to the sensation of moving with it on. The lead line is more of a suggestion, he follows like a puppy. He is a very easy going horse who has never spooked easy. Teaching him new things is a simple task of getting him to understand. I've never worked with a more amazing horse.

There are thousands of horses out there, coming from the same place as Kenai did. They are waiting for their rescue. But it takes the help of all kinds of people.

Kenai

Kenai's First Day Home
Kenai's First Day Home
Kenai's First Day with Halter
Kenai's First Day with Halter
Kenai's first time in Arena
Kenai's first time in Arena
Kenai at 1 year
Kenai at 1 year
Kenai loves Kids
Kenai loves Kids
Kenai, Spring 2008
Kenai, Spring 2008
Happy at Home
Happy at Home
Developing into Beautiful Horse
Developing into Beautiful Horse
Kenai in all his glory!
Kenai in all his glory!

Kenai's Training Page

If you are interested in learning more about Kenai and his favorite training games, please visit my hub Horsemanship with Heart. There are lots of great tips and pictures of him playing. Thanks so much!

Update on Kenai

Kenai loves Kisses
Kenai loves Kisses
Summer makes him sleek
Summer makes him sleek

Kenai in Arena

Comments

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    • profile image

      courtney-may 

      8 years ago

      I love animals and the horses that I just sew were great horse.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      9 years ago from America

      Great hub. I just read about these horses in Readers Digest never knew anything about it before. Your hub gives lots of good information. Alternatives to Premarin are Pinclude Estratab, Estraderm, Estrace, Ortho-Est and Remifemin

      Your horse is beautiful.

    • profile image

      tara_kia 

      10 years ago

      I too have a PMU baby....he is such a sweetheart...Kenai is beautiful.

    • kenaigirl505 profile imageAUTHOR

      kenaigirl505 

      10 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Thanks for the great comments everyone! I just hope that this information will be put to good use for everyone who learns it. There's so many ways to get involved and help these poor horses out. Teaching awareness about this industry is one of the best ways to help out! Thanks again!

    • LeslyeAnn profile image

      LeslyeAnn 

      10 years ago from Yoncalla , Oregon

      Great hub! A while back I had a doctor prescibe hormones for me and I would not accept the premarin prescription. What was so surprising was that after I explained why to the doctor, he had no clue about the mistreatment of mares to obtain the hormones. Every woman needs to know this information, so she can make good decisions and further educate others. I wish you and Kenai many good times together!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      This is a great hub, I am so glad you wrote it! I live a few miles away from a large PMU rescue and was heart broken to learn about the horrible treatment of these beautiful animals. It is unfortunate that there are not more people willing to rescue them when they become "useless" to their original owners. I think so many people are simply unaware of it. Some of the women that I ride with had never even heard of it. Thank you for an excellent hub - your horse is a beauty - and very lucky to have you!

    • cjcs profile image

      cjcs 

      10 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Since I get to play with Kenai every now and again, I can confirm that he's a great horse; calm, friendly, patient, a quick learner, and getting bigger all the time. And when you see them together, it's clear that Kenai is as close to his owner as she is to him.

      However, as much as she loves her horse, Kenaigirl is saddened by the circumstances that made him available to be adopted. It's not just words on a hub to her, but a drive that these PMU horses are being treated so badly. You only have to see her eyes when she talks about this situation to know how much it affects her. Especially since there are other options for the hormones being culled from these horses, what they are being put through is shameful.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      When I started reading this hub I must admit I was beginning to feel a little bit angry. Fortunately you present us to Kenai and it made me somehow happy. I will be looking forward to watch Kenai growing and becaming a great horse :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      kenaigirl, I value, respect, and appreciate your expertise and commitment. My daughter (annemaeve on HubPages) is a horsewoman as well, and dedicated to bringing horses together with people who can grow through the therapeutic relationship between horse and person.

      Your hubs are excellent. Welcome to HubPages. I hope that we hear more and more from you.

      Best regards, S.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Wow I've never really kept up with horse information and details, but this is an interesting thought. I knew that horses were sold at auctions, and that some unfortunately ended up in glue factories and whatnot, but I never thought that they used a hormone to induce pregnancy, so to speak. It definitely opens the thought of ethics.

      At least they do give the horses a chance for adoption before sending them to the auction. :-\

      By the way that's a very pretty horse. He looks a little like an oreo.

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