I started riding horses when I was about four. My uncle’s brother ran a stables and my uncle shoed horses and was a Forest Ranger. His horse’s name was Copper Penny but we just called her Penny.
We didn’t have fancy riding outfits or anything special. I wore levi’s, cowboy boots and a shirt, so did everyone else. We rode English. (English saddles are small and light weight. There is no horn and they are wonderful). We were expected to sit up straight and that was is. We didn’t dismount, we slid off our horses. We fed them sugar cubes, carrots and apples. I did this almost every weekend, thanks to my uncle. It was wonderful.
I LOVE horses but to me, horses are wild beings. They travel in groups. I loved them but the thing is, even if they loved me back, they had no choice about what happened to them. Humans don’t give animal a choice…we use them for our own purposes. As a child I was put on a horse’s back and expected to ride…and that was that.
People are treated the same way, of course, but people can fight back, if they have the courage, horses can’t.
We break them, harness them, shoe them, saddle them, TIE them to things and leave them to WAIT, until we want to USE them again. A wild being, tied up…waiting.
We use them. Torture them, Hurt them. We RACE them, shoot them up with illegal drugs and kill them if they hurt their legs. We FORCE them to pull heavy loads, farm, pull carriages down the streets of cities. We take over their lives and never think about what it costs them. Never think about what we steal from them, their freedom, their spirit, their lives. We just take whatever we want…all the time.
I’ve demonstrated against rodeos and circuses. I should have been demonstrating against race tracks, as well. Fortunately, they are having a difficult time, now days. A lot of tracks are closing.
As a child, I didn’t know any better, always having been on a horse. My aunts and uncles square danced on horses. I mean, I was conditioned to believe that riding a horse was okay, and really, it’s not, even though we love them so much. Horses wait in stalls/boxes for us to come back to them. The lucky ones can roam in fenced in meadows and graze, run and play but not all horses are that fortunate.
Humans and horses can form strong, loving bonds that last a life time. Many horses are well cared for and have long and happy lives, mostly because they don’t know anything else, just like people. People love their horses. Unfortunately, too many horses are horribly abused, used and discarded or even eaten.
We are a terrible species. We seem to believe we’re the ONLY living things that matter. We’re wrong, of course, and I don’t think it will be long before we find out just how wrong we are and I’m okay with that. We deserve what we get for the way we have lived and treated living things. You can call it payback, or karma, you can call it anything you like but we will pay for what we have done to the earth and every living thing on it.
Just remember that every time people buy tickets to a rodeo, or to a circus, they contribute to animal abuse. Every time people place a bet, they contribute to animal abuse (greyhounds as well). People have a choice. The animals do not.
Why do we believe that if we love horses, it’s okay to have them? As if loving them is enough for them. How did we get to that point? More lies we tell ourselves? I think that’s what it is. We need animals, whether they’re horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, or anything else. We want birds, lizards, snakes, mice, rats, even spiders…we want all of them. We trust them. I’m not sure we can live without them. They, on the other hand, can definitely live without us. Without our violence and abuse. Pampered pets may have a difficult time surviving on their own but that’s only because we have made them dependent. For those who can survive without us, and live to pass their genes on to others, they can live free, for better. or for worse. No guns, no arrows, no traps, no factory farming, no slaughter, no bets, no cages, no dinner plates, no straps, harnesses, chocker collars, electric fences, tanks, no anything…just freedom.
Humans, who often complain about “cabin fever,” when they’re in their houses for too long, never seem to think that animals might feel the same way, locked into whatever thing they have been placed into. I don’t get that. I don’t get a lot of things, I just know that making animals work for us, using them as entertainment, is wrong. It’s slavery. We just call it something else. We always call the bad things we do…something else. Like calling a bomb/missile a Peacekeeper. That’s what we do…we pretend and lie to ourselves. That’s what allows us to live with the terrible things we do, or don’t do anything about.
All pictures are from: Pixabay