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What is Horse Abuse?

This is a discussion on What is Horse Abuse? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        01-02-2011, 01:46 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saskia    
    I think there is a rather large difference between abuse and neglect/ignorance. Yes the second often has drastic consequences but to me abuse is the intentional causing of harm to a horse. Whether the intentions be better training or a quick fix, its the fact that the action is undertaken deliberately, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Neglect to me is not so much actions taken, but actions not taken.

    So to me using an a harsh bit in an inappropriate and painful way (that causes harm to the horse) is abuse, but not feeding your horse is neglect. Abuse is intentional action, neglect is in-action.
    Yes there is a difference in meaning.
    But what is the difference for the horse?
    The horse does not understand intent. Many starvation cases are a case of neglect, not blatant abuse, but the horse still suffers and that's what it comes down to IMO.
         
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        01-02-2011, 01:55 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
    Yes there is a difference in meaning.
    But what is the difference for the horse?
    The horse does not understand intent. Many starvation cases are a case of neglect, not blatant abuse, but the horse still suffers and that's what it comes down to IMO.

    Agreed, the horse does suffer. I guess the difference between them is that intent can be loosely defined. I see a neglect/starvation case as abuse, because whether or not the owner was ignorant, they intentional did NOT feed the horse. The intentionally did NOT water the horse. Whether or not the reason behind what they did was correct (using your example that a horse doesnt need water because of snow.) they had the knowledge and intent to not water the horse. That can be considered neglect, especially if they continue their behavior without noticing the horse is suffering. It IS the responsibility of ANY animal owner to research the animal and know how to take care of it.

    I like the discussion so far :) Lets try to keep it friendly and courteous please, I started the thread to get some insight and to vent :)
         
        01-02-2011, 01:57 PM
      #13
    Trained
    Exactly, I don't think ignorance is a good excuse.
    By taking on the responsibility of horse ownership, you lose the luxury of ignorance.
         
        01-02-2011, 03:46 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
    Some people call abuse everything... Even using a bit... :roll:
    And I agree in many situations, watching 2 mins clip (or listening to whatever some stranger on Internet says) is not a basis for judgment.

    Personally, I'd call abuse the continues conditions horse lives/works in, which are life threatening.
    I came here to post this
         
        01-02-2011, 06:10 PM
      #15
    Trained
    It's a slippery slope since it's all so objective. On one side, you have your PETA caliber nut jobs who think that just owning a horse is abuse because you are enslaving it. On the other extreme you have folks who think tying a horse to a pole for 3 days to teach it a lesson is good training. This is why I hate most legislation that addresses these issues. The language is always so broad, it could include anything between the two extremes, and ultimately who wins comes down to who has more money to spend on their lawyer. Hell, I love my Puck to death and have fed him every food and supplement on the planet, yet his ribs still show a bit. Some might call that abuse. My point is, it's all subjective.
         
        01-02-2011, 10:21 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    I think neglect is terrible, and its just as bad as abuse, so I'm not trying to justify anything but to be abuse is action causing harm, where as neglect is in-action causing harm.

    I don't mean to go dictionary here but abuse (in the way we use it) generally is defined as: to treat with cruelty or violence. I think an abused horse is going to have a whole different range of issues than a neglected horse, so, at least for the horse owner, its important to have these things as two separate issues.

    In my experience, abused horses often have issues with people touching their heads or legs, or all over, and can grow violent out of fear, but neglect cases don't usually have this - besides them not being used to it. Neglected cases may have their range of health problems, and perhaps are shy, but these are very different from a horse that has been intentionally harmed.

    Neglect is terrible though. I am of the firm belief that once you have an animal you are responsible for it until it dies or until you find it another responsible party. That means insuring that it gets all medical care and upkeep, as well as adequate protection from elements, adequate feed and nutrition, as well as water etc. I think it also means caring for the animal in a way that if you couldn't care for it others could - like you wouldn't let a horse run wild, you'd make sure you and others could handle it. I believe that it is the responsibility of this party to do all research required to fulfill their role. If they do not do this I don't think it is abuse, but neglect, but neglect should also have very harsh penalties (in my opinion).

    I find it difficult to understand the actions of people sometimes, I can't imagine how people can view animals as just something inanimate, like a chair. My mother and her boyfriend live in a place in Australia that is pretty wild, its over 40 degrees (celsius) everyday and people there actually eat cats or dogs or eagles or lizards. Whatever they can catch. They were going away to Darwin for a few nights and taking the dog but leaving a young cat, barely more than a kitten, who had been kept primarily inside most of its life. My mother said that they can just jam a window out of sight open and the cat can go in and out as it pleases. Her partner refused to do this and chucked a hissy fit, saying that they had to lock the cat outside, alone because his TV might be stolen. My mum told him how given the people that populated the area, if they wanted a tv they would just break a window, and that they couldn't leave the cat alone for the first time, locked outside and scared, where other animals could take his food and he'd have no where safe. Anyway my mum ended up staying while her partner left with his cousin over Christmas. She was so upset that he would put the welfare of the TV above the cat, and not even give it a second thought.

    So long and a bit OT, but I just wish I could understand why people think they way they think.
         
        01-03-2011, 12:05 PM
      #17
    Started
    I believe society puts too much emphasis on intentions these days. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Abuse is abuse, whether it's on purpose or not.

    If someone starves a horse to death, is the animal any less dead just because the person didn't mean to forget to feed it? Did the horse suffer any less because the person is sorry?

    Also, it's not just the animals' physical welfare that needs to be taken into consideration. Mental and emotional health are just as important. I've known many a stallion who were in great physical condition, but were kept in a 12x12 box stall 24-7 unless they were being worked. Their brains were fried. All they did all day was stand in the back of their stall and stare off into space, completely catatonic. That, in my opinion, is extremely abusive. But as long as they're in reasonable physical condition, nothing can be done about it.
         
        01-03-2011, 12:11 PM
      #18
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
    Exactly, I don't think ignorance is a good excuse.
    By taking on the responsibility of horse ownership, you lose the luxury of ignorance.
    THANK YOU!!! Excellent post, and needs to be repeated continually!

    The, 'I didn't know' excuse is just that, an excuse! You can use it ONCE, but only once. After that, it's considered willful ignorance, and you have no business owning animals if you continue to abuse/neglect/mistreat your charges.
         
        01-03-2011, 12:13 PM
      #19
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    The, 'I didn't know' excuse is just that, an excuse! You can use it ONCE, but only once. After that, it's considered willful ignorance, and you have no business owning animals if you continue to abuse/neglect/mistreat your charges.
    High fives!
         

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