This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

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I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Helping the Horses?

As I have mentioned numerous times, the economy right now is not at all favoring horse owners. Normally, horses are expensive but when you add increasing prices on hay, grain, tack, and everything else you could need it becomes more apparent. It is hard for people to have one horse and for those that have more than one it seems like they should be taking loans out. Recently, horse slaughter was made illegal in the United States which directly relates to the number of horses who are now not being cared for in an efficient manner.

This new law is surprisingly a very controversial subject in the horse world. There are two sides of the argument and I honestly am not sure where I stand on this matter. First, there are some people who look at horse slaughter and are completely opposed to it. These people think about the condition of the horses when they are sent to slaughter. They are normally in very poor condition because the owners have finally realized that this is the only thing left to do because they have not taken good care of them. The other point to think about is the transportation to the slaughter houses. These weak, sick horses are normally shoved in a semi-truck and transported in huge groups.

The other side of the argument is that now that slaughter has been banned in the US, many horses who would have gone to slaughter before are not being taken care of well because the owners don't have the money. In order to get rid of horses that could not be taken care of financially, owners could send them to slaughter for a very cheap price. Now these horse are being forced to suffer in barns that are not appropriate and conditions that are not healthy.

This is a very hot topic in the equine world because it is a new law and many people are not sure where they stand on this subject. Personally, I do not believe that slaughter is the only way of getting rid of a horse that can not be properly cared for. I know there are rescues and even individual families all around that would happily take a horse instead of seeing them be sent to slaughter. I will most likely never support slaughter of horses. Instead, I think we need to educate our horse owners of alternate options to get these horses out of these terrible living conditions.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Heartbreak of Horsemanship

In my first post, I mentioned that I have one of my horses up for sale right now. This could easily be one of the hardest things I have ever decided to do. I have owned horses since I was nine years old and never thought I would ever actually have to sell one. My first pony I got is still with me just because I couldn't even think about having to get rid of him. It is a hard decision to have to make because a horse becomes your partner and you form a huge bond between the two of you.

This whole journey started with my newest horse, Danz in 2004. I had been looking for a horse for awhile because I was outgrowing my pony and I needed a horse that would help me progress to the next level. After about 2 years of looking for a new horse, I found Danz and even though he was a little more experienced than I had originally wanted I thought I would try it and see how things worked. For a few months things were fine and we were working well together. Then, we slowly started falling apart as a team. We were not successful at any shows we went to and riding him and working with him was no longer fun. So, the option of selling him arose. I swept that under the rug very quickly because I felt like a failure if I sold a horse.

After a few more months, and a few more falls the option came up again. This time I considered it for about 5 minutes then again I brushed that idea away. Finally, last summer three different people told me I needed to sell him to a more experienced rider before I got severely hurt. Unfortunately, I had to comply at this point. So, I got everything together and contacted my trainer to see if she would start working with him and get him ready to sell. She agreed so he has been at her barn for the past 5 months and she has been working with him and he is looking really nice and hopefully will attract a few buyers soon.

The hardest part about this whole process was knowing that I had formed a bond with him in the past 4 years that I have owned him. That bond that we have will be lost as soon as he is sold and he will have to start over new with a different owner. It was very emotionally taxing dropping him off at my trainer's barn because I wasn't sure when or if I would see him again. After I became used to him being in our barn and seeing him every day, it was hard leading him into the dark, back corner stall of her barn.

This whole process made me think though about how relevant this situation was to making friends and aquaintances in life. You can get really attached to someone and put everything you have into a relationship and then suddenly they are gone. Whether if be a best friend, a boyfriend, or a girlfriend you never know if that one person will be there tomorrow. There is always that possibility that you won't see them again or that you won't be as close with them again. This application to real life really made me think about the uncertainty of the future and who will be there with us and for us in the future. So, appreciate those people that are special to you now while you have them around and never take them for granted.