Horses have long held an important place in our cultures and on the lands we now call Canada. Today there are about a million horses in Canada, and their lives vary greatly depending on how we use them and who is around them.
Some people believe that only the wealthy interact with horses, but this is incorrect. People of all income levels and backgrounds are involved with horses in different ways, including for sport, leisure, friendship and therapy.
Plus, all activities with horses depend on labour, and on the men — and especially women — who care for horses around the clock, 365 days a year. There is no closing time when it comes to looking after horses.
In a number of European countries, regular data collection and research help paint a clearer picture of the many roles horses and horse people play in communities and economies . This information gives us ideas of how we can improve horses’ wellbeing.
In Canada, for a few reasons, we have far less data.
We are particularly appreciative of these observations:
In fact, although we often use the term ‘equine industry’ as short hand, it is more accurate to speak of equine industries given the diversity of ways horses are being employed and conceptualized. In many contexts, horses are recognized as partners and sentient beings.
Yet in others, horses are seen simply as commodities. In Canada, some horses are slaughtered and others are exported live to be consumed in other countries.
In the ‘pregnant mare urine’ (PMU) industry, horses are repeatedly impregnated so their urine can be collected and made into hormone replacement products for women (Premarin). Some of the foals are rescued , but most are simply slaughtered and seen as a byproduct (much like male calves in the dairy industry).
Besides being beautiful featuring unique artistry created just for The Horse Fund, here is what wearing this design with pride will remind folks:
For 5000 years the horse has been an ever present ally in war and peace. Civilizations have risen and fallen on their backs. Evidence of what horses have given to mankind is seen everywhere. Yet somehow, following the increasing pace of mechanization in the 1930s, we have so quickly forgotten how indebted we are to the domestication of this magnificent animal. Help change that with this evocative design.
Available on black, charcoal grey and navy unisex and slim fit ladies and unisex youth tees. Also available in crew neck and hooded sweatshirts. Limited time offer! Shop now »
England’s Centuries-Old Fascination With Carving Giant Horses Into Hillsides
The country’s unbridled enthusiasm for the trend even inspired the creation of the term “leucippotomy.”
BY KERRY WOLFE
ENGLAND (Atlas Obscura, July 20, 2017) — AFTER AN ANCIENT CARVING OF a horse appeared on a hill three millennia ago, giant white horses became a symbol of England’s southeastern region. Dozens of horse-shaped geoglyphs—massive figures made by cutting into a hillside to reveal the layers of chalk beneath—were created over the years. Many of these enormous equines still exist today, though the exact origins of the trend remain mysterious.
Most of these gigantic archaeological artworks are located in the country’s southeastern areas because of the breadth of chalk downland, or hills, that stretch across the region. The white geoglyphs stand in stark contrast to the verdant landscapes they dominate—so much so, they often had to be covered or camouflaged during World War II so the German Air Force couldn’t use them as location markers to aid navigation.
The chalk horses became so prominent they inspired Morris Marples, a mid-20th century author, to coin the term “leucippotomy” to describe the specialized art of carving white horses into hillsides. Britain currently has 16 known white hill horses, but it once had many more that were lost to years of neglect that caused their once-prominent profiles to fade from sight. Read more »
ABOUT HORSES — Get “Buck” the movie. “Buck”, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Buck Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses.
The movie “Buck” will teach you so much about horses, even if you already know a lot about them. For people who love horses but have never had one, it will reveal the inner workings of the equine mind and demonstrate their incredible sensitivities.
Most importantly you will learn how to interact with horses in a kind and confident manner.
Every advocate should see the movie “Buck” because of the unique insights it gives about what is abusive to a horse, how our behavior impacts a horse’s behavior, then how to better it no matter who you are and how long you’ve been around them.
Buy it, stream it, check it out from your local Library. We saw it recently at Walmart. Please get it and watch it. Gift it. You will always be happy you did.