• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

The Perspective About The Horse- Needs To Change-

 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The perspective towards horses needs to change. It needs to be one based on a true relationship between co-equals, not a master and slave relationship as it has always been. It's time to wake up. It's time to look at the actual research. One can't deny what comes through the numbers and figures. Those speak for themselves. It becomes hard for people to practice the awesome skills of denial because the evidence is so clear-though some will choose to do so. I know that I myself had to go through the process of awakening to what I thought I was doing with horses and what I was actually doing. I had been riding since I was three and around horses for most of my life. I recently, this past year, began the study to find out if bits, saddles, bridles, the lot of it-including riding was actually good for the horse, as I had always been led to believe because those in positions of power and authority told me so. I started reading Linda Kohanov, who has developed a wonderful program for humans working with horses from the ground, to help them learn about themselves, grow, and mature, just to name a few of the reasons and benefits. She calls it Equine Facilitated Learning Therapy. Now, certainly, for the most part she is doing good. There is simply one area in which I object-the fact that her training programs are 10 thousand dollars for a year. Those kind of figures automatically make her program out of the question for a lot of people, myself included. On the whole, I learned a lot about horses as healers in their own right-simply being themselves-no gadgets, no tools-just being nature. "Horses can scan the emotions of the person present with deep-eyed accuracy. Then they make their own very accurate conclusions,"(Alexander Nevzorov.) The possibilities are truly incredible to those that are willing to awaken to them. This book started me seeing the horse in a whole new way. I was still an avid rider and advocate of bits, halters, and the like, almost fiercely so-claiming that there was a way that they could be done gently and without any harm to the horse. After all-the horse didn't look like it was in pain so-according to what I had learned they were actually enjoying their work and happy.

Next came reading Alexander Nevzorov's books. What a complete growing experience this was for me. In the beginning I couldn't believe the numbers and figures I was seeing. I thought-this can't be right! This was printed incorrectly. Until I began to see that the evidence was much too great for me to live in the cage of denial. I had to make a choice-I had evidence that was contradictory to everything that I had ever been taught about horses from day one. Not only this but the evidence suggested that unknowingly I had caused pain, anguish, and servitude. I made the choice to admit that I had never wanted to cause the horses that I had ridden pain, anguish, had never wanted to make them serve. But I had caused them pain, anguish, and caused them to serve through the use of of traditional riding tools. I hated that I had caused them pain. I was filled with anger, pain, and grief. It took me a whole year to go through this whole process. I made my choice to change what I had been doing my whole life-what I loved-and wanted to make my profession-because I now had new information that turned my world upside down. Knowing what I know now--having the information-the number-the figures-I cannot do as I once did in good conscience. I had to change my whole perspective. I now vow to give all horses the right to live a life free of pain, force and servitude.

Official data from research carried out by the scientific department of Nevzorov Haute Ecole together with JMRC (St.-Petersburg Judicial Medical Research Centre) prove that bit pressure on soft tissues of mouth and teeth reaches 300 kg (650 lbs)per sq.cm when a typical pull/jerk action is used. It is a scientific fact that is confirmed by scientific research protocols and expertise. Even if the pull/jerk was five times less it would still inevitably cause the most severe pain, and even at 3 times weaker, its effect on any living tissues would still be equal to ruthless pain shock.

Typical blows were examined, not those which are practiced in “pathological” beatings, when a rider has a
desire to “take it out” on a horse or really make it suffer from severe pain, but the so-called “educational” blows, “driving” blows, “moving off the whip”, “teaching the horse a lesson”, the ones which are officially permitted in the practice of Equestrian Sports.

‘’Soft bit’’ does not exist in nature. Except perhaps mercury, from which you won’t make a snaffle or curb bit anyway. Iron is iron. It is thought that the thicker the mouthpiece of the bit, the ‘’softer’’ it is. This is nonsense. In reality, with thick, plump mouthpieces the painful action on the lips is weaker, but it is stronger on the tongue, that is, on the lingual and sublingual nerves, since with the greater thickness comes greater volume, so that the iron occupies more space in the mouth and painful pressure is put on a greater area of the tongue and palate. Of course it is understood that all deep wounds and injuries of the mouth described by ancient and modern veterinarians do not occur every second with every horse. True, they are possible at any moment and to one degree or another are unavoidable for every horse which has a dental or trigeminial action iron pieces shoved into her mouth. One simply has to understand that the logical development of that painful exposure, which the horse experiences every second, results in serious wounds and injuries. The so called ‘’gentle touch’’ or ‘’soft hands’’ is merely the knowledge of how to inflict a paralyzing strong pain in the horse’s mouth, without inflicting particularly deep wounds or inflicting them only rarely. No more than that. But, that does not stop horse ‘’enthusiasts’’ – even the rankest amateurs of the outer fringes of the equestrian world- from deceiving themselves and others with nonsense about ‘’soft bit’’ and discussion of the ‘’gentle touch’’ and ‘’soft hands.’’ Alexander Nevzorov

As a result of studies and experiments undertaken, it was identified that:

1. The general force of the striking effect of the popper/flapper of the whip used in sport is not less than 19 kg/cm2 and the maximum energy of the strike is around 20–25 joule/cm2.
2. Striking influences of given intensity may cause different injuries to biological tissues of an animal’s body: from wounds, hemorrhages and to local crushing of subcutaneous tissue, rupture of blood-vessels and partial ruptures of underlying muscles.
3. Frequent multiple local signs of trauma by blunt object of soft tissue from striking
effect of the whip on animals’ body leading to hemorrhaging and crushing of underlying
tissues can cause general suffering of the organism in general, including damage to the kidneys.
NHE Research Center

‘’By treating the horse as a cherished companion, the barrier between human and horse ceases to exist. We will begin to see the gentleness, intelligence, and cooperation that were before us all along, but masked through proliferated notions that a horse is an animal that needs to be conquered and trained.’’

-Michael Bevilacqua NHE Senior Representative

The best way to prevent the onset of stereotypic behaviors or treat established ones consist in removing the stressors which caused the behavior in the first place. This means that the horse should be returned in an environment as natural as possible, with constant access to forage, sufficient space and same species companionship.

Given the right conditions, some horses will abandon stereotypic behaviors altogether. For some, the addiction will always linger but should have no influence on its mates, given that they are kept in the same acceptable ways. But if the stereotypes continue, at least the emotional suffering will be lifted.

Fascinated by the horse’s magnificence, we have tamed the wild out of it in our endeavor to feel the essence of liberty. By doing so, the responsibility to ensure that the spirit of the horse remains free rests upon our shoulders. Who can claim to love his horse truly but one who takes it at heart to offer it the best possible way of life?

What causes the onset of stereotypic behaviors is no secret. Yet, horses are still kept in conditions that promote mental distress and suffering. It is more than time that we understand once and for all that treating the effects of a cause -in horses as in all things-, is not the solution but a roadblock to the fulfillment of each and every life."

C. Lavoie NHE student

"Certainly all this did not happen at one stroke. Alexander had to go a long and difficult way to understand finally the essence of horse and man relationship. It took years of studying and self-perfection to acknowledge the truth. Alexander had to admit his own faults, repent and to start everything from the beginning. By this time the understanding between horses and him has been developed to a phenomenal extent. However I am sure that he will not stop at this stage and will go further. What he will achieve at the end…Let’s not guess and just wait for new films and books. But anyway the one thing is clear: this way leads to understanding of human and horse’s souls."

NHE Equine Management

Good equine nutrition is crucial to the well-being of a happy, healthy horse whose total lifestyle should therefore be as natural as possible. Horses have evolved to eat a lot of fibre and to spend about 17 hours daily grazing various forage plants over a large area which provides ample movement as they graze. The acts of walking, trotting or cantering perform an essential role in stimulating movements of the digestive system and encourage the assimilation of nutrients.

J.Boyd NHE student

Horses are extremely intelligent and perceptive. Their strength and singularity lies in the way in which they can scan your spirit at first sight. And unlike any technical appliances, tests and extrasensory individual horses do it with unerring precision. One of the most striking feelings in working with horses is realizing that this creature knows all about you. Not the model of you cell-phone, of course, a horse doesn't pay attention to such trivia. When I say 'all', I mean all the traits of you character, your energy, your ability to behave nobly or meanly, your complexes and the extent of you courage. Every shyness, dread, caution and fear is seen by a horse at once. This gives it an opportunity not to trouble itself with excessive attention and respect for you. Roughly speaking a horse can see all your existential parameters. A man is an absolutely transparent foe to a horse. Certainly, I mean a free horse, a horse that is not humiliated and hobbled with bits and halters, that is not turned into a sport apparatus or an accessory for trail riding.
Alexander Nevzorov

The collective perspective about the horse needs to change if the horse is to survive the coming changes that the world is already going through. They need to be given respect, seen as beings with their own sacred being nature. Horses have been slaves for far too long. It needs to stop. It is possible for horses to help out with hauling light loads (10 % of their weight) and carrying custom made frame packs that distribute the weight more on the shoulders, than on the sensitive back, again carrying only 10% of their body weight in order to be sustainable and not cause harm. Horses can be invaluable companions and helpful too when treated with kindness, compassion, given time to rest, and being accepted as they are. The relationship with horses and humans can bloom if we tend the garden of our relationship. I highly recommend looking at Stormy May's website for more information about creating the new bond between human and horse: http://www.stormymay.com/introduction.html
If those are truly interested in creating a sustainable present and future-the time is now. Awaken. The growing pains are very difficult-but I can guarantee that it is worth the effort!
Happy growing!
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very interesting!

We inherited two mini donkeys. I have an unfortunate choice between penning them where they have no access to food for most of the day or allowing them to become obese from food richer than their normal environment would have offered. With obesity comes hoof problems, and their necks get so much fat they can eventually break. People buy them to guard their cattle, and just put them in the same rich pastures they fatten beef cattle in, despite these being creatures of the desert, adapted to making the most of a very food-poor environment.

So there's another issue - taking an animal out of the environment they have adapted to, because "we want one!".

We had a mule that we were always very kind to. But an animal is an animal, they don't do things that make sense to humans. This one killed our pet goat, then later a baby calf. Picked them up by the neck and shook them to death. I don't know why. He doesn't live here any more. When dealing with animals, one has to remember they're not the same as us, don't see the world the same, and have instincts and reasoning we can't always understand. Not that that makes it ok to be cruel to one, but just be aware that your good buddy the horse might some day bite your nose or ear off if you don't stay aware. Spoiled horses are almost as dangerous as mistreated horses.
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pain is constant across species lines. There is much research and scientific evidence that shows this as fact. There is no difference between how a human and a creature feels pain. We are all mammals. Just because a creature isn't showing the pain in the same way doesn't mean that it isn't feeling pain. By causing a creature pain either consciously or unconsciously we are causing not only physical pain but psychological pain too.

Most non-human mammals are very immediate creatures--feeling and experiencing in moment. Pain caused by an outsider (such as a human master-owner) is associated with terror, and so becomes doubly anguishing. This is for true horses. The human rider does not control the horse. Pain and shock controls the horse. For those who care to know, it is very well documented that one can train animals entirely without pain, anguish, suffering, or enslavement. It is a false dichotomy to say that the only alternative to the bit and the lash and the halter is chaos and horse-initiated violence."

It is as if one were to say, "My children won't behave unless I beat them." Another important point to bring up is that in nearly all cases the supposed behavioral problems(bucking, rearing, biting, kicking, and the like) are actually the horse responding to extreme pain after a long time, maybe even years of enduring living with pain, anguish, and torture every day. Evolutionarily, horses that show they are in pain, suggesting an infirmity, attract the attention of predators and increase their chances of becoming food. The horse has evolved a pattern of not showing pain or injury as a survival tactic. There is NO evidence to suggest that pain and anguish is not present. Horses do not show that they are experiencing pain unless it is extreme. Horses that are "domesticated" are no exception to this.


"Be that as it may-though there are certain truths to the fact that animals are different then we are their experience of pain is empirically the same as ours. We don't control the horses it is the pain that does. It isn't a question of you must keep the horse in anguish in order to train it-that is a false dichotomy. That is like saying if you don't beat your kids they won't behave. It is very possible to have animals trained very well to have large animals trained without pain, without anguish. It has also been empirically shown that a fair amount of horses doing these sorts of behaviors are a direct action taken because of the pain that is being caused by the master. One cannot have a relationship if there is dominion." Alexander Nevzorov

"Only a very experienced master can feel a horse’s pain, the more so in that the horse has a line between pain and fatigue that is very thin, almost indiscernible. The horse, to his misfortune, has been created in such a way that it will conceal any pain, except the most intolerable, until the end, not demonstrating it in a way and striving to show almost no external change in her behavior. Only a heightened hot temper will betray her. To conceal a malaise is one of its most profound primitive instincts, which has not disappeared completely in the millennia of so called ‘’taming’’. In the wild the horse that demonstrates pain, an absence of energy or an infirmity thereby just submits itself to being eaten. Or to move down the hierarchal ladder in the herd. Man does not understand those simple signals a horse gives while trying to tell him that he his sick or in pain, he interprets these signals as disobedience, and so the punishment and use of special equipment begins."
Alexander Nevzorov

"A lot of humans believe that other species display the degree of pain with loud cries like humans themselves. So they consider vocalization to be the main indication of someone being in pain. But the vocalization of pain is defined by the inherited specific responsiveness. For example, pigs, if castrated without anesthesia, cry extremely loudly. But horses, on the other hand, stay silent during the same manipulation. They have much lower responsiveness to noxious stimuli, but feel the same pain. They stay silent while twitched, while their lips are torn with bits, while their leg break, while their hooves are pierced with nails, while suffering from laminitis, while being branded with cold or hot branding-irons. The last example gives stud-farm owners the cause to believe, basing on their ‘’personal experience’’, that hot branding is almost painless for horses. This is not true. The fact that a lot of people don’t know anything on the matter of the responsiveness to noxious stimuli allows yahoos to cultivate the myth that horses, unlike humans, feel less pain; that the use of traumatic tools is painless for horses. According to the scientific studies, it is a myth."
Anastasia Nekrasova

"The ubiquitous “behavior issues” and the sick, sore and broken bodies were not what horses were; they were what we had made them. Most domesticated or captured horses are subjected to lives as enslaved prisoners to be used in hard labor, entertainment or as sports equipment – even with “love” they are indentured. They are rarely acknowledged as individuals with a boundless capacity to feel and think and disagree. Even horses who serve in what might be classified as light work are still not free." Donna Condrey-Miller NHE representative in California

"Unfortunately, the option of releasing horses to true freedom is hardly possible given the state of organization of human society that has even robbed us of many freedoms, save our ideas. However, NHE is an armature for building an alternative."
Donna Condrey-Miller NHE representative in California
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Pie
Posts: 8822
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
612
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Isabel - I am confused by your postings here.

Are you suggesting that members here beat their horses? Permaculture encourages us to treat our animals with respect and to keep them in natural conditions as much as possible. You seem to think we are all into high-school equitation.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Burra,

I think she is just raising it as a topic for discussion. There are a lot of folks who are learning bit-less riding, etc. but it's a relatively new field. Even those who want to be sustainable may have never thought about every action they've been doing since childhood and have taken for granted.

Permaculture still encompasses many who do things that would make animal lovers shudder - castration, sawing off horns (intensely painful), putting rings in pigs' snouts, to name a few. One can't assume just because a movement is trying to become enlightened that everyone in it is enlightened to the same degree.
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am not suggesting in any way that members here beat there horses. I never said this.

What I am doing is bringing attention and awareness to the fact that Permaculture seems to be about sustainable, healthy, new way of living-in order for this to be possible-this enlightened perspective must flow to all areas of life. It therefore makes sense that the people of Permaculture would be open to knowing, learning, and growing their caring relationship with the land, creature kind, and each other. This is why I am posting this topic. I also never said anything about high-school equitation. This is not related at all to what I am actually speaking of.

The topic: Giving horses the right to live a life free of pain, force and servitude.

Naturally, Permaculture, being a human endeavor, has many different kinds of persons from all walks of life involved with varying opinions. But on the whole it seems to be that Permaculture is about be open to knowing, learning, and growing their caring relationship with the land, creature kind, and each other in a sustainable way and taking into account all of the scientific data and making their decisions accordingly based on the evidence not on what they want to be true.



 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To clarify what I'm bringing here, to this forum:

If there is anything at all to what the authorities quoted below have to say, then those of us who wish to continue to use horse labor of any kind to accomplish our purposes will need to ask ourselves if what we are putting into our horses' mouths and onto their heads is consistent with the alternative path we are seeking. (The authors of the quote below--some newly posted, some repeated as it seemed other commenters seemed to have missed them--do speak pointedly, but as these remarks are coming from hard earned experience, they are spoken with authority.)

"Official data from research carried out by the scientific department of Nevzorov Haute Ecole together with JMRC (St.-Petersburg Judicial Medical Research Centre) prove that bit pressure on soft tissues of mouth and teeth reaches 300 kg (650 lbs)per sq.cm when a typical pull/jerk action is used. It is a scientific fact that is confirmed by scientific research protocols and expertise. Even if the pull/jerk was five times less it would still inevitably cause the most severe pain, and even at 3 times weaker, its effect on any living tissues would still be equal to ruthless pain shock." Alexander Nevzorov

"’Soft bit’’ does not exist in nature. Except perhaps mercury, from which you won’t make a snaffle or curb bit anyway. Iron is iron. It is thought that the thicker the mouthpiece of the bit, the ‘’softer’’ it is. This is nonsense. In reality, with thick, plump mouthpieces the painful action on the lips is weaker, but it is stronger on the tongue, that is, on the lingual and sublingual nerves, since with the greater thickness comes greater volume, so that the iron occupies more space in the mouth and painful pressure is put on a greater area of the tongue and palate. Of course it is understood that all deep wounds and injuries of the mouth described by ancient and modern veterinarians do not occur every second with every horse. True, they are possible at any moment and to one degree or another are unavoidable for every horse which has a dental or trigeminial action iron pieces shoved into her mouth. One simply has to understand that the logical development of that painful exposure, which the horse experiences every second, results in serious wounds and injuries. The so called ‘’gentle touch’’ or ‘’soft hands’’ is merely the knowledge of how to inflict a paralyzing strong pain in the horse’s mouth, without inflicting particularly deep wounds or inflicting them only rarely. No more than that. But, that does not stop horse ‘’enthusiasts’’ – even the rankest amateurs of the outer fringes of the equestrian world- from deceiving themselves and others with nonsense about ‘’soft bit’’ and discussion of the ‘’gentle touch’’ and ‘’soft hands.’’" Alexander Nevzorov

"The best way to prevent the onset of stereotypical behaviors or treat established ones consist in removing the stressors which caused the behavior in the first place. This means that the horse should be returned in an environment as natural as possible, with constant access to forage, sufficient space and same species companionship. Given the right conditions, some horses will abandon stereotypical behaviors altogether. For some, the addiction will always linger but should have no influence on its mates, given that they are kept in the same acceptable ways. But if the stereotypes continue, at least the emotional suffering will be lifted. What causes the onset of stereotypical behaviors is no secret. Yet, horses are still kept in conditions that promote mental distress and suffering. It is more than time that we understand once and for all that treating the effects of a cause -in horses as in all things-, is not the solution but a roadblock to the fulfillment of each and every life."
C. Lavoie NHE student

"The ubiquitous “behavior issues” and the sick, sore and broken bodies were not what horses were; they were what we had made them. Most domesticated or captured horses are subjected to lives as enslaved prisoners to be used in hard labor, entertainment or as sports equipment – even with “love” they are indentured. They are rarely acknowledged as individuals with a boundless capacity to feel and think and disagree. Even horses who serve in what might be classified as light work are still not free." Donna Condrey-Miller NHE representative in California
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
104
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do not consider the bit cruel . We do not force the bit into the mouth during training . Our horses lower their heads and open their mouths to accept the snaffles we use . We train them to accept the bit by placing molasses on it . The snaffle is not called a soft bit because it's made of cotton balls . It's called a soft bit because of the amount of pressure delivered as compared to a levered bit . It delivers one pound of pressure for one pound of force from the rider . A levered bit will deliver 10 lbs of pressure to the horses mouth for each pound of force from the rider . The snaffle teaches the horse to respond easier {softer} . To respond to a suggestion from the rider . Using a levered bit can lead to a dull , unresponsive horse partner . Anyone that delivers 600 lbs of force to horse mouth is doing it wrong . I hold each rein with thumb and first finger only . A slight suggestion is all that is needed.

We use horse body language to communicate that we are the dominant "partner" . If I need to establish control over my horse I make them back up . In a herd the dominant mare does the same . At this stage of their training I can use hand signals to make them back up . The horses demeanor will change and they become more responsive by doing this . They will stand facing you with their ears up when you make them back up . A sign that they accept you as the dominant partner . At the end of such a correction the horse will also lick their lips . A sign that they are thinking and absorbing the lesson .

They have a role to play in our lives . Our horses are pleasure animals . That is their role . I am not ashamed in any way to admit that domestic animals are serving me and my family . Whether it be for pleasure , work , or food .
 
Rachel Wittenberg
Posts: 19
Location: Aguanga
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I practice the same teachings as Wayne with my horses and it has always been a very successful way to have a relationship with my horses. It requires them to think less, they know that I am the heard leader and they look to me on how to respond to situations. I think like a heard leader, making them move their feet instead of them making me move mine. They are huge animals that are capable of severely injuring us with a slight wrong move. Having horses isn't really anything like them being in the wild so I believe it's my job to make their surrounding as comfortable as possible while keeping them functional , safe and healthy for the various reasons I have them.

I'm very aware that people treat horses and other animals as if they don't feel pain, it's horrible... But we can't necessarily treat them as if they are humans either, we would get taken advantage of and injured non stop.
 
Elia Neal
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What I know about horses is that if you put any two horses together, or a horse and a person together, one of them is going to be the herd boss. That is just the nature of herd dynamics. I am an advocate of providing the most natural living conditions we can for our horses, and being as kind in their treatment as possible. and you can do this and still be the herd boss. Horses that are afraid or are in pain do not learn well and do not gain confidence or trust. There is a balance. You can develop a partnership that keeps both horse and person safe and comfortable. To work around a half-ton or one-ton animal without having his understanding and respect would not be safe or even really possible. My horses serve me, and I serve them.

Elia

 
Kate Barnwell
Posts: 27
Location: Sunny SC, zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As someone who has worked for some of the top "classically trained and very humane" dressage trainers in the world, I can tell you they are neither. Horse abuse, especially in the show world, runs rampant.

I don't think there's any need to take it to extremes though. I think much more harm is done to horses by not letting them live like they've lived for millions of years (out in pasture 24/7 and barefoot) than using bits and treed saddles.

Let's face it-- from a permaculture perspective they are kinda useless if you cant do some kind of farm work with them. It's not too kosher in this country to view them as livestock and use them for meat, so if they are going to live on the farm, they need to be able to at least do some light riding and pulling/plowing. I do both of these with my girl and she actually enjoys them! When done without abuse, a horse is very willing to do some farm work.

And yes, I completely agree with the research that they know your emotions better than you do. I have learned to only train horses when I am in the right frame of mind. If you are frustrated about ANYTHING at all you might as well not even bother!
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have worked with top instructors in Latin America and from the Netherlands and I thought that they were humane at the time but I did not know then what I know now. Now I know the scientific evidence and the research that has been done and what it reveals.

I think that barefoot, bitless and as natural as possible is the way and the perspectives are changing to be more along these lines. I agree with Kate Barwell on this point. So much harm is done by keeping horses in barns-which according to the evidence and research done is very damaging to them both psychologically and physically-not to mention spiritually.

I don't think that permaculture perspective is useless with regards to horses if it holds up emotional authenticity(not following the American Standard Plan) and chooses to not use horses as slaves. It is possible to have horses as companions who pull their own weight, as it were, without suffering,pain, anguish, or torture in any way. Riding according to the evidence and science can only be done collected for 11 minutes a day-this would not cause the horse permanent damage. As for the work of pulling and plowing that can be done in a sustainable way-without bridles, bits, halters, and the like. Kate, I am glad that hear that you are attuned to your horse. I choose to not ride because of the evidence that I have found and the scientific research but I do not condemn those that choose another path(it has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made in my entire life).

Horses are amazing in their ability to distinguish the emotional authenticity of a person. I have learned so much! I am glad that you have learned this-very wise. I totally agree! I think that this spills out into other areas of life too-if someone is frustrated about anything and they are trying to work with a person-whether a horse person, a dog person, or a human person, for example, it is good to take a step back and reflect. I have found in my personal experience going for a walk alone or with someone(whether any creature kind-dog, cat, horse, human) that I trust completely really helps. Sometimes I ask my body why I am frustrated and the answer comes rushing out-other times I need to reflect more deeply. I am very happy to see all of the positive developments that this conversation is developing. It makes me feel gratitude and heartened. *Shares around with everyone fresh homemade from scratch oatmeal-raisin-chocolate-chip cookies and wild gathered peppermint-chamomile tea*

 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I raise my horses in as close to a natural environment as I can provide and in accordance to my beliefs. Given my management practices, I will have to agree with Isabel and Kate's perspective that keeping horses stalled (for long periods) places risk to their overall health. In addition, I prefer a horse barefoot and encourage a good sole and hoof wall with the assistance of a good equine podiatrist. Bitless is an altogether separate issue and one that has potential legal ramifications (check with your local authorities before you go bitless when not on private property). Bits are a tool for communication, not punishment. Granted, that does not mean everyone who holds one will wield it with the same level of expertise.

What confuses me is the concept that because a horse works for a living it, by default, is being abused, indentured or a has become a slave. I work for a living and I work for my horses living. Does that make me a slave to them? Does my conscious choice to work for them mean I am choosing to be a slave to them and therefore it is a moot point? If that is the case, then what happens when my horses choose to work with me? Do they remain slaves, then? Also, I'm curious what do you think will happen if we, as a society, adopt your model of horse ownership? Do you believe all horse owners will continue to provide for horses they perceive are no longer contributing to their lives?

I recognize there is a very good discussion underway. To avoid confusion, it would be helpful to provide references around the terms you are using and to outline how you define the responsibilities of horse owners to horses vs. horses to horse owners.


 
Kate Barnwell
Posts: 27
Location: Sunny SC, zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Susanna-
Yes, very good questions.
As a provider for the horse, the horse should be able to "give back" to you in some way by doing some farm work or being ridden. For all I do for my horse, she can cart my butt around for 15 mins a day. It aint that hard. She gets to get out of the pasture, and seems to enjoy it.
And on an ironic note, my mare has now gone bitless because a canine tooth has grown so much that is it interfering with where the bit goes. Can't pull it- canines get infected too often.

But yes, letting them be barefoot and and out in pasture all the time goes a long, long way. As a trimmer I've seen SO many cases where pulling the shoes, putting them out to pasture, and keeping them on a trim schedule, has "cured" founder, ulcers, mysterious lameness issues, and many others. And every single one of them noticed a behavior inprovement. And I want to say, yeah, duh, this is how they evolved to live!
But I don't believe my horse is a slave to me nor am I a slave to her! Although some days... just kidding. As is the case with a lot of horses from northern regions (she's a Haflinger) my girl is allergic to gnat bites, which right now we have a ton of. She can only go out at night and has to go out in a suit of armor, and requires 2x a day coatings in swat... so yeah, I do kinda feel like a slave to her right this second.
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Below is my response to Susanna de Villareal-Quintela:

Bits are devices that cause pain. It is not humans that control horses it is pain. Claiming that bits are devices that are used for communication is akin to saying-in the times of slavery-that the whip-was not a device that caused pain ergo gaining control but a device used for communication.
As for the legal ramifications if someone is choosing to go bitless there is much information that can be provided to those in a position of power as to the scientific reasons why bits cause pain. It might prove an opportunity to share scientific evidence that the person in a position of authority may have never encountered before. It may even help then widen their own knowledge base. Or not. It doesn't matter what you are doing with it because it causes pain. Pain is not about communication it is about dominion. One cannot have a trust relationship if another is causing someone pain. There are many quotes that I include above that show the scientific evidence for this.

It has been tested that a child pulling on a bit can exhibit 660 lbs of forth concentrated force on the delicate tissues of the mouth and tongue. Even the slightest motion introduces a level of pain. For the quote that states this look in my above quotations, please. Why is it that we expect horses to have a very delicate digestion when how could they have ever evolved to eat rough grass and forage in the wild? If their digestion would have been so delicate they would not have survived. The answer to this question is that we-with the bit damage their digestion by badly injuring their essential salivary glands and altering their digestive patterns. The science is clear on this. For those interested in natural horsemanship-then, it would seem they would be very aware of this and wish not to do anything to compromise their horse's healthy digestion. In the appendices of the Horse Crucified and Risen there is considerable information and scientific evidence.

It might prove an opportunity to share scientific evidence that the person in a position of authority may have never encountered before. It may even help then widen their own knowledge base. Or not.

As for the question of choice of work-you choose to work for your horses. Do your horses choose to work for you? What happens if your horses refuse to work? This is not my model-it is a model that has been proposed by Alexander Nevzorov and Linda Kohanov, among many others.

The answer to the question about continuing to care for horses is if you think about it goes directly to what happens now to horses that are no longer valued. This will be the choice of the individual ethical horse owner. Many horses are not cared for now they are just cast aside-on the whole-especially in the horse industry.
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Reply to Susanna de Villareal-Quintela:

Which terms would you like me to provide references for, specifically?

To expand upon ideas of Derrick Jensen when he was asked what are our obligations to animals that we eat(of course we are not eating horses but we are wanting them to do work with us and for us-without pain):

Perpetuating its kind:breeding horses and caring for them in a kind, gentle, and respectful way.

Life without suffering at your hands. No addition stresses other than those manufactured by life itself.(No pain and no overwork-for more information Alexander Nevzorov's The Horse Crucified and Risen appendices and Linda Kohanov's The Power of the Herd appendices)

You are responsible for giving it a life in accordance with as close as possible to its evolutionary form. In other words as natural a life as possible.

You are responsible for its care in its old age, in some form or another.

Lastly, I would say, you are responsible for negotiating with the horse to achieve working goals. If, for example, you try to teach your horse to pull, gently is the way. Giving them positive reinforcement to do things. If there are any corrections the corrections are gentle-moving the horse-if it was doing something that you didn't want, say. If they misbehave for any reason, they are not hit.

Many times when horses are displaying behavior that some might perceive as misbehavior it is because there is something deeper going on. Often the causes are multi-factorial issues such as they are in pain and being overworked(horses evolved to not show any physical signs of pain unless it is very extreme-those that showed pain became food for a hungry predator. For horses there is a very thin line between pain and being overworked.). For more information see the quotes above, please.

You give the horse equivalent of a time out-removing them from the herd into a secluded space(it would be important that it is not a dark and tiny space considering how horses evolved). Horses are a herd animal so this would get the message across clearly. The need that you are meeting here is the emotional needs of the horse.


 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Reply to Susanna de Villareal-Quintela: I am very pleased that you are furthering the discussion in such a positive way. I am grateful and appreciative.
 
Isabel Bolton
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kate Barnwell, I am very glad that we are getting the chance to see your own personal experience. I find that it enriching and helpful to see the example that you provide of a positive, healthy, loving and nurturing environment in all aspects for your horse.

You yourself are a living example of the wonderful possibilities of what can be done. It is very moving to see. It brings great delight and weaves a dynamic web of gratitude.

I am pleased to hear about the amazing issues that were improved and overall behavior improvement, the barefoot and bitless points, and good pasture access seem to be the wise way of care and fosters a deep bond and relationship with the horse.

I am also glad that you bring to light the point that you are neither a slave to your horse nor your horse to you. It seems that she enjoys her job helping you out with different things and gives back in her own way.

Bummer about the gnats. How are you coping with the fact that she is allergic? What sprays are you using? Are you making your own? I am curious and admire how you do things with your horse. *Smiles* I hear what you are saying and am standing in gratitude with how you are caring for your relationship with your horse. Simply I want to say, thank you.
 
Sarah Joubert
Posts: 57
Location: Eastern Cape,South Africa
2
forest garden hugelkultur solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To Kate Barnwell and anyone else who has a horse suffering from biting fly allergies. Not sure if you can get Marmite in US but it works! Feed your horse 1 TBLS once a day, spread on a piece of bread, press it face down in some alfalfa meal or something else suitable, or make a ball using just the alfalfa etc. They stop itching, no raised lumps, no rubbing manes and tails out, no bleeding etc and horses end up loving the stuff. We used a big 50ml syringe(leave the marmite in a warm place or it wont get sucked up) for a mare that didn't like it at first and she now waits for us at the gate and opens her mouth for it! Not to mention being mobbed by everyone else in her paddock, everyone wants some! I have successfully treated thoroughbreds, shetlands and warmbloods with Marmite. Not sure if Veggiemite works, I have tried brewers yeast powder which didn't seem that effective. Maybe it's the high vitamin B levels?
 
please buy my thing and then I'll have more money:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic