Originally Posted by QuietHeartHorses View Post
I've been following along with this debate over if horses have feelings or if they are just a commodity... I am going to remain neutral on this one. I believe that horses are capable of feelings. I'm not saying they are ANYTHING like human feelings, but they do develop bonds with other horses and they can do the same thing with their owners. If a horse is passed around from home to home, they can develop a sour attitude from it because they are never allowed to settle and just be a horse. So in a way, I agree with that side of the conversation.
At the same time... I agree that horses should NEVER be treated like they have human emotions. That is a sure fire way to get your heart broken, not to mention your pride, your confidence, and maybe a few bones. I am a firm believer in mutual respect when it comes to horses. I love my horse, I spoil him, I have a million nicknames for him, but I know without a doubt that he is, and always will be, just a horse. He will never return my love, but he does respect me and trust me as his leader. That to me, makes him worth more than just your average cow.
Owning horses just to train them and sell them? I see no problem with that as long as you are a good trainer and are responsible enough to not sell a horse with issues to some 4H'er. Buying and selling to find the right horse for you? Sure. Go for it. Sounds expensive to me, though. Maybe the "wrong" horses will find the right person after you are done experimenting with them.
My point is... Just be responsible, no matter what you do. Horses deserve to be treated with respect (because they can kill you) and kindness (because they respond better to it). That's all! :)
Very nice! I agree!
I do believe that horses have feelings, but you can't compare them to human emotions. I've had days where I swear my horse was giving me a moment of comfort. It wasn't prolonged, but it was definitely there. And if you think of it from an evolutionary standpoint, animals have to get along for a species to survive, thrive, and coexist. Sometimes feelings of affection, comfort, and cooperation are exchanged to help with that process. It's called epimeletic behavior, and it occurs all the time, especially between a mare and her foal, and oftentimes with two mature horses that are grooming each other, or etc.
I don't have any problem with horse flipping as long as the horse is being bettered. I see too many people that ruin a horse, then blame "that **** animal", and sell it to some unsuspecting person. That kind of behavior benefits no one.
My personal pet peeves are:
1.) When someone with an expensive horse downplays the performance of your cheap(er) horse because they weren't incredibly expensive. Price tag means absolutely nothing. As my mother says, "A horse is only worth that much if someone is willing to pay that price!"
2.) Someone who fits stereotypes to different breeds. Such as, "Quarter horses are only good for western pleasure." Or, "Friesians are only good for pulling carts." Both of which I've had said to me!
3.) People (or person, rather) who say they "train" horses, and just beat the crap out of them. (In this case, "beating" was hitting the horse on the head with a 2x4 when it reared...)