<< . My issue is that I can't see
horses as just a means to an end in some sort of mechanistic sense where if
they can't perform to par they deserve to be in "dog food". >>
I agree. And if this were a perfect world, and poorly conformed horses could
all find homes with 14 year old girls who would love them and feed them sugar
and ride them gently down the road and be happy just doing that--I'd say, no
horses should be dog food. But what happens when that 14 year old becomes a
17 year old who wants to endurance, or run barrels, or gymkana, or
dressage--AND wants to do it competitively. Old Dobbin starts being
"stubborn" so out come martingales and special bits, draw reins and gags,
special pads to relieve the soreness caused, primarily, by bad backs etc.
I've seen horses--like the TB I mentioned, who are spending their lives in
misery because their owners want them to do what they just can't do. Point
well taken about why do we ride in the first place--I've ridden for 20 years
without entering ANYTHING, just trail ridden, just because I love to ride. I
didn't want to get into all the angst--nor put my horse through it--that I
saw my show rding friends experience. A few years ago someone said--Trish,
you ride so much, and like to go so fast, you ought to try endurance. Oh,
what is that?--My horse at the time was 20 years old, too old, I thought, to
start an endurance career. Still have him, but now I also have a youngster,
and so well see.
Trish & "pretty David"