“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Internet Knowledge

I spend some of my free time online simply because it never ceases to amaze me. The wealth of information, or misinformation taken as truth, the personalities involved, and dramatics of some of the forums are better than any afternoon soap opera! And while there are many, many, areas I could address, I think one of my favorite subjects would have to be equine savvy, or lack thereof.We have "educated" horse owners who seem unaware that a well trained horse is not only a happier horse, but a horse with a better chance at a good home should, God forbid, something happen to their current owner. When an owner states on more than one occasion her unwillingness to subject her horse to sedation for hoof trims because the horse would come "crashing to the ground" and not one of her knowledgeable horse buddies says a word to the contrary, I become a little concerned. Having had a horse that needed sedation for hoof trimming due to an injury, I, as a knowledgeable horse owner know that the horse does, in fact remain on all four feet during the entire process....although the mental picture of a prone horse with a farrier trying to work on his feet IS kind of interesting:). Yet anyone reading this person's comments and not knowing better would be led to believe that this is true.Then we have those who tolerate unsafe, dominant equine behavior because they have mistakenly bestowed human traits on their horses. As a parent, if my child ever came up and gave me a swift kick or bite, my reaction would be quick, firm, and deliberate. It would not be abusive, but the child would know this is not acceptable behavior. This is how we create boundaries, and in the equine world, those with a basic knowledge understand that boundaries create security. Knowing who the boss is allows the horse to be who HE is. Allowing a 1000+ animal to "be himself" by acting in a dominant manner is not only unsafe, but just plain ignorant. If you spend a bit of time watching horses in a pasture, you'll see that horses can express themselves to a certain extent until the herd boss puts a stop to it. And the horses don't cry, or show hurt feelings.....They understand the pecking order, and know they've gone too far. If you, as the human wish to be in charge, you have to take the same position as "boss". Your horse won't dislike you, in fact, I think you'll find your horse a bit happier and secure knowing his place in the world.Also how about "companionship"? I read a statement to the effect that the majority of horses in America are now serving that role. Could that be indeed true? I sure hope not!!!! Horses are not pets, and the sooner we can all come to that realization, the better off
we, and the horses will be. There are plenty of horses I know of that are still doing jobs.....working farms, doing mounted police work, packing 4-H kids around, showing in different disciplines, providing service as therapy mounts, and working ranches for example. The horses with a job seem happier. My old boy at 21 is happier when he has something to do from time to time. He doesn't do as much as he once did, but he gets out for a ride, and he get ground work so he doesn't feel useless. I don't want to think of life without him. But when I bought him, I knew I was buying a horse, and I educated myself on what that entailed. I think we are both happier for that.But those "knowledgeable" in the horses' feelings and emotions will tell us that they are happiest just being around us, getting hugs and kisses, and being our "friends".I've owned my horse since he was 8 years old, and he's well fed, well cared for, and a pretty happy guy. But he weighs 1000 pounds, and I'm the boss. He has manners, and he knows what's expected of him.I'm not saying horses can't serve a role as companions to humans, because in some aspect, they do. But that is not their sole purpose, nor should it be. There used to be a market for the aged horse, who after working has earned a good retirement home. The movement now seems to be for all horses to become retirees no matter what the age. I don't know that it's such a good idea to make pasture pets out of every horse.I do know one thing, though.....These are often the very same horses that will have an awfully hard time finding a new home, should the situation arise. You'd be surprised at how what is considered cute, funny, and adorable by those who look upon their horses as overgrown puppy dogs is often viewed as stubborn, dominant, and pig headed by someone who has taken the time to teach their horse how to act like one. Well, maybe you wouldn't be, if you've educated yourself on some of the most basic factual information concerning horses. And it's available right here online, if you know or care where to look.

Written by R.H. 2

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