What is more important? What you want or what your horse needs? When it comes to many horse sports, tragically it seems that the answer is not as it should be. There are very many – actually even one is too many – beautiful horses whose mind, body and soul have been sacrificed in the name of the sport they’re forced to participate in. And sadly it seems, the higher the level of competition, the worse it becomes.
There are some people who would say that these horses are treated like kings. They get the best care, feed, stabling, health checks and so on. This of course makes it okay to use any amount of abuse in pursuit of the sport. If the horse is physically fit, shiny and healthy, it doesn’t matter about his mental or emotional state. As long as he doesn’t bleed from the mouth or sides, all is okay.
How does causing untold and often constant pain, fit in with sharing a partnership and love with a horse? It just doesn’t add up if you stop to think about it for even one second. Did you know that there are horse sports where they’ve had to put rules, such as the blood rule, into place to try and stop some people being cruel to animals? How crazy is that? How would any horse lover, seriously, consider it okay to kick a horse hard enough with a spur to make it bleed? Or use such severe bits and leverage on a horse’s mouth, to cut it’s tongue…sometimes in half? It staggers me that this even needs to be considered. If you don’t love horses and care about how they feel, don’t have one. You don’t deserve one.
How did we get to this degree of violence and cruelty to horses? And why does it make us ‘crazy’ and ‘dangerous’, if we have the skill, ability, knowledge and understanding of horses to be able to ride – if we choose – with nothing on our horses heads? Or backs? Plenty of us do ride in saddles and bridles, but because we choose to, not because we need to.
I’m sorry but where did our love of our horse get replaced by our desire to achieve personal glory? Why is a blood ruling even needed in a sport where one of the participants is an animal? Why are the riders and judges blind or ignorant to the mental and emotional pain of the horse and must wait until they see actual blood drawn before the can say “enough…..this horse is being ill treated”.