‘Free for a loving home’

Published on 21 February 2024 at 10:58

‘Free for a loving home’
All I see, scrolling on social media, are horses offered up as ‘paddock mates’, for ‘a good home’. People have used up everything they can from their horse, and when the horse can no longer give, the horse must go. Often, the owners not having fulfilled the horse’s basic needs as a species and having subjected the horse to forceful training and ‘use’, is the reason the horse is now kaput in the first place.
The 6-year-old horse that had to make place for the new shiny ridable horse, and will be put to sleep in little over a week if no one can provide a ‘loving home’ for the horse, took the cake for me. It is only a matter of time, before the new shiny horses will meet the same faith.

These people then expect others to take over their problems and use up all of their resources to help the horse, they are throwing aside, because the horse cannot provide what they want from him?

Tell me, is this how you hope, you are treated one day?

My problem with this is, that it is apparently completely acceptable behaviour amongst equestrians. To be honest, this has been bothering me since I was a little girl. I always loved my horses the same as my dog, or cat, or family member. I loved them for who they were and not what they could do for me. I have always been rescuing other people’s animals, whether horses, dogs, cats or other. I have always been the one, taking up the problems they had created and spending my life and recourses on them. I guess my husband could drive a Ferrari by now for the money we spend on rescuing animals. But we are not complaining. We are satisfied with the lives we saved, the suffering we lessened and the happiness we have created.


Horses are pets
I have to say though, that it is high time that horses reach the ‘Pet’ status.
They are not sports equipment, or vehicles, they are not cattle. Horses are pets, they are family. They have created our society over the last 6,000 years. Millions upon millions have perished in war and labour. And now that we do not need them for our survival anymore, we still use them as tools to be cast aside as soon as they satisfy us no more.


Ticking Time Bomb on the Social license to operate
Then people wonder why public opinion is turning against equestrian sports. It is precisely because of this attitude that is regarded normal amongst equestrians.
We now have a golden opportunity to create the society horses deserve. We have the recourses to try and repay the next 6,000 years of what horses have done for us, without even having to suffer, the way they did for us. Simply offer them a species appropriate habitat, train them with positive reinforcement, according to their biomechanics, and keep caring for them when they get sick, injured, or old, as they very much deserve.

If you are not willing to do that, and horses are only sports equipment to you, I strongly suggest you take up hobby horsing, biking or car racing. I also hope Elon Musk brings robot horses to the market any time soon… (Elon? Please?).

There is this saying: “just because you can, does not mean you should”.
It is high time we equestrians evolve into the 21st century and start viewing horses as pets and family and treat them as such.
To be honest, our #sociallicense to operate is running out and who can honestly say, this is not deserved?


If you would like to know more about rehabbing, training and doing fun things with unridden, too young or senior horses, I strongly suggest my book Dressage in Hand, What horses want you to know.
Game changer, and exactly why I wrote this book in the first place.

For the love of horses,

#yellowhorserevolution #dressageinhand #JosephaGuillaume #horses #pets

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