Love Is Not A Feeling
 
 

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Love Is Not A Feeling

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    06-16-2012, 07:52 AM
  #1
Foal
Love Is Not A Feeling

Especially when it comes to horses. Animals in general.
Love is ACTIONS.

Granted, I'm not old. I do not have a smidgeon of the experience of some horse people. Yet, I am constantly mystified by the amount of ignorance that goes on in the horse world.

I believe everyone here loves their horses, and would never want any harm done to them, ever. They want to protect them. However, sometimes that just aint so, for lack of a better phrase.

I have not been on this forum for long at all, and so far I love it here. Its so interesting to see other peoples horses, learn about new techniques etc. And its great to have a sanctuary where one can go on about horses and people will understand.

Still, I have, so far seen quite a few examples of extreme irresponsibility, selfishness and greed.
Heres the thing.

Horses are EXPENSIVE. To buy, to feed, and to care for. Yes, it is very understandable that money is tight right now, and not everyone can have a 5 star facility with endless green paddocks. But IMO, your horse comes first. Why? Because having a horse is optional.
For the horse, being owned by you is not optional.

If you get to the point where you cannot afford to offer your horse basic care- shelter, bedding, feed and vet care (Note; I don't mean vet care as in expensive colic surgery etc. I mean, getting the vet out to check out a cough/limp/possible pregnancy) its time to let your horse go. I can only speak for myself of course, but I would NEVER judge someone for selling their horse due to tight money/putting it down. You'd also get a lot more support from me by starting a thread titled "I had to sell my horse" than "Is it okay to lower my horses feed ration to xyz" or "I think my horse has affliction x. What do I do/what do you think" and I'm sure others feel the same.

This is a fantastic forum, full of knowledgeable, friendly people that LOVE horses. Feel free to ask anything, there are no stupid questions. But be prepared for responses that will be triggered. Many people will get aggressive when it comes to responsibility around horses (myself included). Why? As stated you do not need a horse. Your horse DOES needs food, shelter and vet care when required. Being the owner, YOU are responsible for providing these things. Also, it doesn't hurt to remember that the horse riding community is one of the most opinionated.

Again- love is actions. Love is calling a vet. Love is selling your horse when you can't afford it. Love is putting a horse that is in chronic pain down. Love is taking a good, long and very hard look at your horse and saying "No, this horse does not need to reproduce".

Ultimately, you are responsible for pretty much everything that happens to your horse. The good, like winning a prestigious competition, and the bad, like if your horse strangles itself because it had a halter on in the paddock.
Consider the following quote: "Consider not what your intentions were, but rather what you did"

It doesn't matter if you didn't mean for your horse to jump into the stallions paddock and get pregnant.
Now, your mare is pregnant, and you are responsible for another life.

An instructor of mine used to tell me "Always look at the if's". How true. Lets say, I want my horse to have a baby, because I love my horse and believe she is a good horse. Lets say she's a grade horse. That doesn't matter to me though because she's such a calm, great trail mare. It doesn't matter if the foal isn't worth much at birth, right? Because I'm going to keep it for ever and ever.
WRONG. Anything could happen. You could die in a car crash on your way to the stables. Then what? Then who's going to take care of your adorable grade foal?
We like to think that we will always be together with our horses.
Sometimes that happens. Other times, not. As an animal owner, one needs to be prepared for ALL possibilities.

It's not only about pregnant mares though. Its everything from responsible horse keeping (eg. Not using barbed wire) to responsible feeding (Feeding your horse enough. If its skinny, find out why. Respond) to responsible breeding (No, he is not stallion material because he is grulla).

So, next time you say 'I love my horses, and they love me', think about it. Do you act on those feelings? Or are you using your 'feelings' as to defend your actions?

Apologies for the very long rant. I just really needed to get that out.
Jessabel, Kayty, waresbear and 1 others like this.
     
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    06-16-2012, 08:17 AM
  #2
Showing
Well glad you got it all out. I agree if you cannot take care of your horse, or any animal, then you need to find them a good home or do as you must so they don't starve or get ill to their death.

Love isn't only limited to actions.. though. It's indescribable. I hate talking about "special bonds" but that's really the basic description of love. A connection to someone or something else, without words and without sense.

And it really does blind.

But if people wake up and smell reality, they'd realize their shortcomings and if they can afford to keep a horse or not. Love doesn't feed a horse, food does that money buys. No money, no horse.

Which is actually why I'm in New Zealand. Follow the money, and move out with Sky into our own life. If I stayed, I would have had to sell off Sky.. who KNOWS where he would have ended up.. and I would have been homeless. Gotta do what you gotta do, lol.
     
    06-16-2012, 08:55 AM
  #3
Yearling
I also agree with Sky,

I love my horse I look after her, we care for her, have rehabilitated, have the vet out for her when neccesary.

I feel that the bond I have with her is not purely about the provision of necesities (sp) it isnt describable but how I feel about her is amazing, she cheers me up, makes me happy, helps me out.
Curly gets happy when she sees me, follows me around, lays her head against my tummy and rests there and she trusts me.

You have excellent points, people who say they love their horse but refuse to have simple things done to improve their situation I do question.

Great post :)
     
    06-16-2012, 09:34 AM
  #4
Trained
Excellent post and right on the money. There's another thread on here about horses coming into a boarding facility thin. That's the FIRST place most people cut back, the feed. Either the quality or the quantity and neither one works to the benefit of the horse. Quit smoking, cut your Starbucks or quit going out to dinner but don't cut your horses feed. Or sell off your horses, there's no shame in selling what you can't afford especially if that something EATS.

The economy is in the toilet and predictions for the coming year are not rosey. If you can't afford to feed your horses now, then you're probably going to be having a real problem in the next year; only you're probably going to be joined by several thousand more horse owners and there really won't be a market for horses. Be proactive NOW and either get the feed in or sell off the extra horses. That's true love, letting go and feeling the emotional pain from letting go and not making the horse feel the pain of being hungry.
Wallaby, Speed Racer and waresbear like this.
     
    06-16-2012, 09:50 AM
  #5
Started
I agree with you 100% in this thread. I also think that there is some value in a nice great, sweet grade horse that anyone can plunk around on being bred. I don't see much use for a mean, halter horse who has to be tranquilized for the vet, the farrier, and for having his ears trimmed to be bred. I think its all about substance and more importantly temperament. If your horse has to be on tranquilizers to be ridden after a week off, its not trained and should not be shown. I agree with your feelings that a lot of folks misinterpret horse behavior and assume there horse would not do equine things, ie bite and kick. That said you are right in that your horse did not pick you, you picked your horse. As such, you have a responsibility toward that horse.
     
    06-16-2012, 10:10 AM
  #6
Trained
Well put...I agree
     
    06-16-2012, 11:52 AM
  #7
Banned
I do think animals can love, but it's NOT the same thing as human love. Special bonds do exist, but people need to realize that first and foremost, a horse is all about self preservation.

I don't try and burden mine with human emotions or expectations of such. They're not furry people, and too many folks have Black Stallion Syndrome and want to believe that they are.

When you take on another life, it's your duty and responsibility to do right by it. It's no longer about YOU and what you want. If you can't or won't properly care for the animal, then get rid of it.

Trust me, an animal would rather be well fed and properly cared for, than 'loved' and starved or neglected.
Wallaby, Kayty, waresbear and 1 others like this.
     
    06-16-2012, 02:16 PM
  #8
Started
Denial is a powerful drug.
     
    06-16-2012, 02:21 PM
  #9
Foal
Great post. I especially agree with what you said about breeding. I strongly believe in the preservation of breeds. Crosses are good but I don't think you should go "Oh I love my ugly paint mare, let me breed her to a gorgeous paint stud!" No. You will just create an unwanted horse and you are not improving the breed.

And I agree with the cost thing. I believe that about ANY animal. It happens with reptiles alot, actually. People get a pet and then post on a forum about how they can fix something without talking to a vet. UGH

Speed Racer is totally right, horses do give affection but they don't blindly love like people. That's the beauty of them! Any animal wants comfort, safety, food, and reproduction before they want friendship.
     
    06-16-2012, 05:40 PM
  #10
Trained
I think the key points in this thread are the fact the we, who are posting, recognize that a) they are animals and to expect human emotions from them is unfair and futile, b) they are a huge responsibility singly and when bred become a double responsiblity, and c) human companionship is way down on their priority list. As long as we can accept them as they are and accept our importance to them in THEIR hierarchy of needs, we will do ok with them.

That all said, there truly is no better place to cry tears than into a horsey mane or someone who is as willing to listen to us rant, rave and vent as our horses. They do mean far more to us than we do to them but the bond is there none the less.
     

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