Editor’s note: The following views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of management or the editorial staff. Management is not responsible for ‘affronted feelings of extinction-induced fear’ or cognitive dissonance. Please direct all concerns and replies to The Horse.
A Few Words From The Horse…
Look stupid, we don’t do ‘alone.’ In OUR world, in OUR culture, in OUR way of life, we are only told to leave our immediate family when we reach maturity to form our own family (it’s called exogamy). The young mares are quickly taken care of by the stallion of another family (harem band) or one of the stallions from the bachelor herd. The young stallions who are told to leave the family fear and detest ‘being alone’ without the companionship of others of their own kind SO much that they willingly congregate into bachelor herds with other young competitors they will someday have to earnestly fight to earn the right to form their own family. They do this because they fear being ‘alone’ and desperately need the company of others of their own kind. So the NEXT time we ‘ride out alone,’ try to appreciate the fact that we consider this not only culturally reprehensible, but also insanely suicidal.
That also goes for your aberrant use of ‘solitary confinement.’ My God! You humans start going psychotic after a month or two of solitary confinement and YOU are ‘cave dwellers.’ Can you imagine how maliciously depraved that is to the hearts and minds and spirits of OUR species! That does not even take into account the arthritis and other physiological problems that develop from extended confinement in a small area. Our home is any open area where we have freedom of choice, NOT tiny little caves!! So the NEXT time you want to lock us up in a stall, try locking yourself up in a two foot by eight foot cell with the stench of your accumulated feces and ammonia- producing urine saturating the air every waking minute and no way to contact another human or see the sky or feel the wind. Try it for a few months. When you get out, multiply how you feel times a thousand. That should give you a ‘rough idea’ of how WE feel when you ‘stall us.’
Also, we NEVER have ANYTHING on our back (unless it is a predator trying to kill us, youngsters playing, or a stallion mounting a mare). Try to keep that fact in your pee- size idiotic brain the next time we ‘go out alone’ carrying some idiot on our back that;
- Makes us feel clumsy and unbalanced.
- Slows down our ability to physically react and escape from a predator attack because of the additional dead weight we’re carrying.
- Has NO idea of our natural movements of locomotion which makes it very difficult and uncomfortable to even walk much less trot or run (which often results in ‘rider induced lameness’ that makes us hate carrying you even more).
- Think that the piece of metal they put in our mouth (that creates a great deal of pain when they jerk the reins attached to it and restricts our breathing) is supposed to make us somehow want to excel in their chosen mounted activity and make us a ‘good horse.’
We do not ‘DO restriction’ either. If we are trapped or caught and unable to escape at a moments notice, we feel we are ‘on death row, waiting for the executioner.’ To be able to instantly run, to flee from danger is our primary means of survival. Try to remember that the next time you want us to enter and stand in a tiny cave-box with barely enough room to stand up comfortably while being bounced around at breakneck speeds.
We also do not wear anything on our feet (we haven’t for millions of years and got along JUST fine in all types of terrain from the mountains of stone to the sandy ocean shores without the uncomfortable ‘shoes’ you nail to our feet).
While we’re on the subject, we don’t grab and hold another horse’s foot either. That, is UNTHINKABLE! To do so would prevent the other horse from escaping in the event of a predator attack. Of course one of the stallions fighting another stallion may try to cripple the other by biting a foreleg or hock while maintaining possession of his harem band/family. So think about that the next time you ask us to ‘pick up our feet’ so you can grab and hold them for what seems like an eternity to us while cutting and tapping and pounding on them. (Much the same goes for our other sensory organs we need to survive.)
Like most herbivores, our digestive are designed to process small amounts of forage at a time throughout the entire day. Feeding us overly processed feeds, grains and rich legumes twice a day is very hard on our digestive system (including acid reflux) and can lead to colic, founder, laminitis, ulcers or even simply discomfort that affects our performance when you ‘ride us.’ That surge of sugars to our system also makes us hypertensive and often causes us to ‘act out’ in ways we normally would not think of acting.
We use ‘straight-line’ thinking and linear logic (unlike you fools who seem to enjoy tempting fate by going back to something that tried to kill you to ‘investigate and conquer it’). If something has hurt one of us, if something has TRIED to hurt one of us, or if we think something MIGHT hurt us, we try to avoid it at ALL costs. (This also means that just because you can force us to run around in circles while trapped in your ‘round pen,’ it DOESN’T mean we have to obey you OUTSIDE of that place you trapped us and forced us to run around.)
When we ‘spook’ at something while carrying you, it is not our intent to frighten or hurt you. In fact, just the opposite. Each member of our family depends on the others to instantly ‘spook’ at the slightest thing that is frightening or could possibly harm us. So when we ‘spook’ at something, we are trying to save ourselves and in many cases, (though you don’t deserve it) to save you in the process by doing so. If you are frightened by our reaction or get hurt or fall off, please don’t whip us and beat us for reacting in a manner the Creator of All Things intended us to react. That only makes us hate ‘riding out alone’ with you that much worse. If you had taken just a little time to FIRST build that essential bond between us, and then convinced us that nothing can hurt us when we are out alone together, we wouldn’t have ‘spooked’ that badly in the first place. (Or if we DID get startled by something, it would have only been a momentary ‘spook in place’ till you reassured us that whatever we thought threatened us couldn’t really hurt us.) You seem to forget your own ‘panic’ when you stamp and crush each other to death if someone yells “FIRE” in a theater or when you’re escaping a fire in a crowded, burning building. What you feel running panic-stricken in that burning building is no different from what WE feel when something startles us (ESPECIALLY when we are ‘riding out alone’ with you on our back).
While we’re on the subject of ‘riding out alone’ with you, please try to understand that we can hear things that you cannot hear, we can see things you cannot see, we can smell things you cannot smell and sense things you could never possibly be aware of, no matter how hard you tried. Gads! Even your nervous system is so lacking you don’t have a panniculus reflex! So when we ‘act spooky’ and apprehensive for APPARENTLY no reason, try to remember that!
For that matter, everything you do is ‘backwards’ and alien. You walk around all day on your hind legs, change your scent from day to day with various deodorants, hair sprays, shampoos and body powder. You change your body hair coloring and ‘take some off or put something different on’ during the day. Good grief! You even ‘bare your teeth’ when you are HAPPY instead of angry. Did you ever stop to think that predators ‘bare their teeth’ when fighting or attacking? (So do we when we’re angry.)
We do not castrate our stallions. In ‘our world,’ we have no confusing emotional conflict as to what a male horse is or what his responsibilities are to our family and species. We also allow youngsters to observe our reproductive process so that they know it is a part of life and something to be accepted as normal (instead of an unknown, apprehensive, fearful experience with a strange stallion the mares have never met). (And vice/versa so the young colts can gain an understanding what is proper, expected behavior.)
In OUR culture, in OUR society, we have TWO very basic relationships we may share with another horse (other than stallion/mare and mare/foal). One is the normal intra- herd relationship where herd rank is very important and established and maintained by the use of intimidation, discomfort and physical punishment. You seem to copy that relationship quite well when you try to ‘train us’ but are patently oblivious to the fact that it is an adversarial, confrontational type of relationship (ESPECIALLY in domesticated, unrelated herds!)
The other relationship is called Equine Peer Attachment (friendship) when two of us bond together as true lifetime friends. We have no need for intimidation, comfort/discomfort or physical punishment in THAT relationship because we unconditionally accept each other’s herd rank and trust each other completely. For 6,000 years we have been blamed for being a ‘bad horse’ not because we ARE ‘bad horses,’ but because generation after generation you have continually sought to establish the relationship of dominance and submission (which is the direct cause of all those confrontational ‘horse problems’ you perceive and constantly complain about).
WE have remained basically UNCHANGED in our hearts and minds for MILLIONS of years. Yet YOU keep regarding us as ‘bad horses’ when we are only being true to our way of life and natural way of going.
This would strongly suggest one of several possibilities:
- The human species lacks the analytical/perceptual capacity (and/or mental acuity) to devise and actuate preventative measures to alleviate these multitudinous perennial/generational interspecies conflicts (horse problems).
- Humans have become so singular in their thinking (brainwashed/indoctrinated by the subconscious oppression of relational and cultural tradition) that they are unmindfully oblivious to a psychological indication of insanity being the repetition of the same actions over and over while expecting different and/or better results.
- Extremes of avarice and/or an ego-driven need for societal/peer recognition and/or material wealth have hopelessly numbed their senses of reasoning and logic (much less empathy/compassion) beyond any possibility of recompense.
So far, you have done everything humanly possible to make our lives as miserable, and chaotic and insane as possible while serving you.
Why? Why do you continue to do this generation after generation when it is so easy and beneficial for both of our species to simply work within our realm and sphere of understanding and comprehension?
Is it too much to ask to simply understand OUR culture, OUR instincts, and OUR natural way of going and perception of the world? If it is, then you certainly don’t deserve to be our caretakers. (Or would the term ‘masters’ better suit you?)
Please stop and think about these things the next time think you see a ‘bad horse?’ We’ve been waiting for you to do just that for a very long, long time. You don’t have to ‘think OUTSIDE of the box.’ All you have to do is stop and THINK, and for once, use this supposed greater intelligence you lay great claim to, for the benefit of both our species.
Thanks for letting us express these much needed thoughts that beleaguer us every day of our lives in your care.
Signed in frustration, blood and anguish, (when it all could have been so different)