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Horses really are pets

This is a discussion on Horses really are pets within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        12-28-2013, 10:51 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    I love coming to Horse Forum because there are so many knowledgeable members whose horses really do work for a living. The advice from people who work professionally with their horses is invaluable to those of us who "play" with our 1000 lb pets. My horse is respectful, has good manners, and solid basic training, but she certainly doesn't do anything but eat, sleep, hang out in the field, and tote me around a couple of hours a week.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
    I love my chickens, but they are not pets. Their job is to lay eggs. When they stop laying, their job is to become dinner. My life would be missing something vital if I no longer raised chickens and could no longer laugh at their antics, but they too are livestock.
    DA has been extremely helpful to me in figuring out how to take care of chickens- DA, you'd probably be disappointed in me to know that my girls really have become pets too!! My husband just shook his head at me when I made them a "hot breakfast" of rice, corn, and oatmeal this morning...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
    My dogs are pets, they are fed, allowed in the house, on the bed, on the couch, the chairs, whatever. They do nothing to justify their existence and they truly are my pets.
    But maybe I'm not such a softie after all...there is NO WAY my dogs would ever be allowed on the furniture. I can't imagine having 50 lbs of furry collie breathing dog breath on me in the middle of the night!!!
    Beling, BB Marie and Chevaux like this.
         
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        12-28-2013, 10:56 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    

    Yes, in most cases they are just big pets, but you'll find very few horse owners that will admit to it.
    Really, I think every owner I know would call their horses pets regardless of "working "definitions of 10 hrs a week.
         
        12-28-2013, 11:10 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    If someone were to ask me to give my horse a title, and to choose between "livestock" and "pet", I would go with pet simply because of the implications that come with it.

    Currently he is being used as a school horse (gets home in the next couple of days! Ahhh!), and so I would say that he is in work.
    As far as the percentage... I'd say maybe 10% of horses are in 'work', by this definition.
         
        12-28-2013, 11:12 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    I don't personally, offline, know anyone whose horses don't work for a living.

    Ranching, outfitter's saddle and pack horses, polo horses all work. So 100% of the horses I interact with are working horses. They are really good co-workers to have. :)
    Sharpie and Cherie like this.
         
        12-28-2013, 11:59 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by egrogan    
    DA has been extremely helpful to me in figuring out how to take care of chickens- DA, you'd probably be disappointed in me to know that my girls really have become pets too!! My husband just shook his head at me when I made them a "hot breakfast" of rice, corn, and oatmeal this morning...


    But maybe I'm not such a softie after all...there is NO WAY my dogs would ever be allowed on the furniture. I can't imagine having 50 lbs of furry collie breathing dog breath on me in the middle of the night!!!
    ROFL, Egrogan! My husband swears he can't eat anything he's named. So, I quit naming my chickens. They are "the girls" collectively. He's not had a problem since.

    As for the dogs......I'm a sucker and I know it. We had 2 Rotties, 1 160 lbs and the other 110 and they had their OWN couch in the house and they slept with us. Yeah.....they were spoiled! We have 3 utterly obnoxious JRTs now, and they are spoiled even worse.

    I think NUMBERS may be a defining factor in whether an animal is a pet or livestock. We have just gotten down to 10 horses, of our own, as we're cutting back numbers and starting to get to the 'retirement' point of having fewer horses to care for. I'm down to 1 boarder's horse, I had 40 plus 20 of my own horses at one point. When 1 or 2 people are caring for that many horses, I don't think you can really call them pets anymore, you don't have time to build the kind of relationship you do with 1 on 1 or 2. We had 50 chickens (attrition, going to have to get some more day olds) and while they're funny and sweet and make great eggs, I really don't get attached to them. I finally sorted out the barn cats and got down to 6 fixed males. Before I did that, I had 60 feral cats hanging around and was going through 200 lbs of cat food a month. Through attrition on the barn cats, we're now down to 3. When you have 60 regulars at the Feral Kitty Kafe, you don't get real attached.

    I love my horses and have made a living with them, but I'm far too busy caring for all the animals, foaling out the mares, fixing fence and basically trying to keep them from tearing the place down to ever really look at them as pets. Maybe someday, when we're down to 2 or 3 horses, I won't look at them as every horse on the place has a price and if someone made the right offer I'd let them go.
    egrogan likes this.
         
        12-28-2013, 12:01 PM
      #16
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zexious    
    If someone were to ask me to give my horse a title, and to choose between "livestock" and "pet", I would go with pet simply because of the implications that come with it.
    You should rethink that logic. In Colorado, we are constantly battling municipality with maintaining our ag status on our lands. We as horse owners should never play into the hands of government which will limit our rights to use the property as it historically has been used. When we start thinking of our livestock as pets, we give the non farmer city and county administrators validation. The simple redesignation of ag to rural residential will increase your property taxes 6 fold. Most small boarding operations can not absorb that increase.

    To everyone who thinks of their horses as pets, think about the long term implications if horses were no longer classified as livestock. Most of us will be squeezed out and need to move farther out to keep our horses as home.
    boots likes this.
         
        12-28-2013, 12:04 PM
      #17
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons    
    To everyone who thinks of their horses as pets, think about the long term implications if horses were no longer classified as livestock. Most of us will be squeezed out and need to move farther out to keep our horses as home.
    In the UK, horses are already classified as "equestrian usage" and part of the leisure industry, to change farm land to put a horse on it can be extremely difficult and requires planning permission.
         
        12-28-2013, 12:09 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    Left--I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, or perhaps I didn't word it correctly.

    I would say "pet" because "Livestock" (in my opinion) implies an animal that must 'earn its keep'. When I think "livestock" I think something I am making money off of, not something that is loved and part of the family.
    Not to say it cannot be both, these are just my opinions.

    I have always lived in the suburbs, and (almost) always have boarded at big name barns. I have never encountered the issues that you are mentioning, so my opinions cannot have been shaped by them.
         
        12-28-2013, 12:19 PM
      #19
    Trained
    I consider mine outdoor pets. They bring in no income, are not needed for anything I require, and are kept for my family's pleasure.
    Sharpie, BB Marie and Dustbunny like this.
         
        12-28-2013, 12:36 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    My horse is my pet. I do like that someone said they are our excersize equipment (That is what Gavyn is here for lol!) and for me to spend my free time doing!
         

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