Horses really are pets - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 11:37 AM
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I don't compete any more so in effect my horses are 'pets' in that sense but I still don't see them as large poodles - they take up too much space, time and cost too much money to view them like that
I do keep one retired mare because she gave me many years of good service and is a good companion for one that doesn't socialize well with the others but I wouldn't generally keep a horse that wasn't sound (or sane) to ride - I would rather have it euthanized.
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post #22 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I do keep one retired mare because she gave me many years of good service.
Believe it or not, many ranchers will keep a cow that can no longer produce a calf just because they gave years of good service, either as a mother cow or lead cow or both. And then put it down themselves rather than ship it when it can no longer survive well.
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post #23 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 12:59 PM
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Closer to pet; certainly not merely livestock; but the difficult part to answer is "work"---no, I don't think my horses EVER work.

Even when we're all sweating and panting, it's still something else; a physical communication is the closest I can come. (Except for, perhaps, trail riding or hacking, which is simply companionship.)

Maybe horses today are, in the majority, in a class of their own.

Thanks for an interesting topic!
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post #24 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 01:04 PM
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I love both sides of the story on this. What it all comes down to is we love horses weather they are working or pets we all have our reason why we have a horse and love them and take care of them the way we do. The non-horse people don't understand horses have always been apart of history weather they have taken us to discover new lands or charged into a war with us. Only people who care for horses every day truly understand how important horses are to us, we are special people, hard working, because even if your horse is just a "pet" we still work hard for them and get all kinds of dirty. So weather your hitching your horse to a cart or running down to the barn to give them a carrot stop for a moment and thank them.
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post #25 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 03:32 PM
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Horses becoming pets instead of livestock in the eyes of the government will 'kill' just about all horse breeders and others in any facet of the horse industry. It will kill ALL small breeders and most big breeders. It will effectively run everyone out of business that does not derive ALL of their income from horses.

This is the current big push of the HSUS and other Animal Rights Nuts. It is the quickest way to push all horses breeders and eventually all horse owners out of the business.

Just like with shutting down horse processing plants in the US had 'unintended consequences', losing livestock status will have even worse consequences for all of us.

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post #26 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 04:44 PM
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The law notwithstanding, it really depends on how the owner views them, not what they're used for.

My horses are pets, just like my cats. I honestly don't see them any differently. On the other hand, I'm not crazy about dogs as indoor pets. But that's just my opinion. Dogs are pets to plenty of people.

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What a man can be, he must be.
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post #27 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
What percentage of horses (not counting feral mustangs) do you think really work for a living?
Nearly all of them. If you ride your horse then it's working for a living.
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post #28 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
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.
Think what you want, but know that I love and care for every animal on my place. Cows, goats, deer, antelope, elk, the birds that need my riparian areas to survive, the amphibians, the rodents, etc.
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post #29 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 06:55 PM
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Our pony is most definitely a pet.

I think a lot depends on how you use an animal and how it was raised as to whether its a pet or not.

We have 50 or so chickens, 3 of whom were pets as the kids had hand raised them. We have 800 sheep, 2 of whom are pets as they were hand raised, 70 cattle of which 3 are pets, 2 because we hand raised them and one old cow who acts a baby sitter to the heifers.

We have 4 dogs, all are pets but two are also expected to work herding sheep and cattle, one is a retired work dog and the other is an annoying silky terrier who's job is to make my MIL a bearable person to be with! LOL

I know very few people who would consider their horses to be livestock, but I know that changes in different parts of the country where horses are tools of work, a lot like our dogs are tools to work stock.

And I get what Boots says, even my livestock is valued and treated well, up to and including when its served on my dinner table. After all, thats its job.
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post #30 of 63 Old 12-28-2013, 07:08 PM
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I would say generally my horses are here for companionship. They carry me around, eat our pasture and they are my buddies. However especially with my gelding if something on our farm needs to get done I will use him. He is what I call "free labour" but we all know that is far from the truth.
I do think most horses do not work for their living and what I mean by that it is not generating income, for example if the do not make or contribute to what they spend then they are pets.
That is just my POV though.
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Last edited by SaskGal; 12-28-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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