I came across this article on One Green Planet. Two of the misconceptions you most likely already know about. I am going to highlight the one that I think still lurks in the thoughts of many, even horse and other animal advocates. It is not because people are unkind but they have grown up with animal exploitation so they see it is as normal. Although imperceivable at first glance society is becoming more enlightened. Let’s keep this work going.
One of the first questions I get on a regular basis when people come to visit the horses in my sanctuary is “which ones do you ride?” My answer is straightforward – none. To most, this is almost incomprehensible. They cannot understand the point of having a horse if it cannot be ridden. It is almost as if they have been programmed to believe that a horse must have a job, a purpose.
A stigma exists that horses are here to entertain, to meet human necessity and always be useful. This is far from the truth and thankfully, more people are beginning to see this. It is a rare opportunity to see them in a more natural environment, bonding with others of their kind without always having to please their human counterparts.
If two horses form an inseparable bond, it is seen as a negative behavior which must be corrected, however, horses are herd-bound animals; they do not do well when separated from others of their kind. Keeping a horse stalled for a long periods of time goes against all of their natural instincts. They require grazing space to explore and friends to socialize with on a regular basis.
A horse is not a toy that can be “put away” when not in use. A horse is a living, breathing creature and has every right to enjoy freedom as we do. Seeing them as mere object rather than emotional, sentient beings causes great risk as many are “disposed” of once they are no longer useful. This leads to the next big misunderstanding – “rehoming”.
I will sum up with Karyn’s opening statement that caught my attention right away.
The horse is likely one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet that has carried a biased reputation for centuries – a reputation for being a working animal and existing for mere human entertainment.
The only thing I would say and it is a very subtle issue but an issue nonetheless but horses are not “its”.