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Flowingmanes 10-17-2011 03:04 PM

Tools, Pets, Vehicles, Property, Partners, Friends?
I have been pondering what characterises our relationship with horses. It seems that for most of us "property" is the principle term one should use. The more a person is into competition, the more this aspect takes over. The horse as our property and a vehicle to carry us to some pleasure or other. Everything is about how to manipulate the horse and get him to do what we want.

This property/vehicle (pleasure or competitive or economic) seems at the root of many of the abuses we witness. Much like a car, horses are parked and "worked on" only as much as much as necessary to get out of them what we want.

Of course this really is the place of most animals with whom we interact (check out how most chickens, pigs and cows are treated on their way to our dinner plates). The purpose of our relationship is to benefit us exclusively. I can't help but wonder if there is another way. One where we place benefits to both species of the relationship at its centre. How do other folks feel about this?

Speed Racer 10-17-2011 03:10 PM

Uh huh, what's your angle? :?

Your very first post, and you've basically told everyone the way they treat their horses is cruel.

All animals are chattel. Whether or not one mistreats them has nothing to do with their legal definition. You're trying to compare apples to elephants.

Corporal 10-17-2011 03:50 PM

Like the line from "Babe," ...every animal has a purpose. My dogs have their job, my cats have their job, and my horses have their job--they all work for my pleasure. I haved named them. My chickens, on the other hand, are MY livestock. DH has named the rooster, but the rest are nameless as we eat their eggs, or have them for dinner.

Corporal 10-17-2011 04:08 PM

As a follow up, our treatment of our meat animals overall changed about 30 some years ago. Nobody thinks it's right for these animals to live out their short lives in misery so that the owners can make a buck. Not EVERYBODY treats their livestock such. I am a member of backyardchickens. They have >100,000 members. Some keep birds as pets, some keep them for eggs and let them live out their lives, some raise them for meat--everyone is civil and good stewardship is encouraged, especially with ALL of the photos posted. This is the same type of site, where people that know a little and people that know a lot can ask questions and help each other out.
I keep my birds well fed, well watered and well sheltered. They need lots of fresh air--did you know that chickens are onmivores and will eat mice? DId you know that chickens need to take dirt baths? Mine like to eat some of the strangest things, like the seeds of lots of different weeds and potato peels. My horses like to eat peaches from my tree--never knew that until I moved to a place with a peach tree.
I live in a tiny town that is surrounded by farm fields. I feed my cats free choice. They catch a lot of mice and I let my cats in the house and out when they want. I have lost several cats to coyotes, but I know they had a good life before they went. My two dogs are fused to my hip. I include them in my everyday chores, they spend each night in the house and they love that I show them a good time. As Barbara Woodhouse (famous international dog trainer) said, "I love dogs, but I don't like a disobedient one." I feel the same about my horses. DON'T ask about "Corporal", "Tyke", "Ro Go Bar", "Trogdor," or "Toma," or I'll well up.

kevinshorses 10-17-2011 04:20 PM

I rely on my horses to do my job so while they may be tools and vehicles they are very important to me and I give them all the care they need. Some of them get to be partners and even friends to some extent. Even though I exploit them for labor I don't abuse them and they do get a pretty comfortable life in return for some sweat.

As far as the other animals like sheep and pigs and cattle I can't tell you how many times I've seen people go the extra mile to save an animal that may or may not end up making them any money. They do it because they have a responsibility to the animals that they make thier living from.

If you are suggesting that using horses or eating meat is somehow wrong I suggest that you educate yourself and quit wallowing in ignorance. If that is not what you are suggesting then I still stand by that advice but in more general terms.

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