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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Welcome to Witty Horse!

I don’t have any stories about my childhood horse – there wasn’t one. I don’t say that to weep at my parents’ not producing a be-ribboned pony on Christmas morning. I say that because having had to scrape for horse time, period, made me judgmental of people who take them for granted and screw things up. I don’t have sympathy for old-horse-dumping, non-fence-fixing, ignorant wastes of oxygen. I’m lucky enough to own a horse after years of reading any horse book and riding any horse I could find. Books drier than a lazy BYB’s water tank. Slow horses, fast horses, fugly horses, and even a few fabulous ones.

Now we’re on the edge of slaughter plants reopening here, and the two camps are getting fired up. The horses suffer from what I call “overbreeding and undertrying.” The overbreeding has been discussed at length, so I’ll elaborate on what I mean by “undertrying”. When people don’t try harder to do better and be better, horses suffer. It pisses me off so much when people don’t want to hear about something awful being done to animals because, as they say, “I can’t handle thinking about it.” If you can’t handle the mere thought of it, then it must be awful enough for you to work to stop it. Donate money, write a letter, or do something other than stick your uber-delicate head in the sand!

If slaughtering horses were less cruel I’d maybe support it. But it’s not, it never has been, and pro-slaughter people aren’t exactly busting their asses trying to make it less cruel. They’ve had AGES to devise ways to make it less cruel. Would it kill them to give Temple Grandin a quick call? Or have they never heard of her and merely thought the HBO movie starring Claire Danes was lost footage from My So-Called Life? Maybe they were waiting for Jordan Catalano to show up.

“Ummmm….do what now?”

I think they’re just too lazy. Laziness leads to cruelty. Just because you’re too lazy to try to figure it out doesn’t mean it can’t be done. How about sedation of some kind throughout the transport and killing processes? The pro-slaughter people just tell everyone how necessary slaughter is, without changing their systems to make the whole thing easier to condone. We’re not asking for glitter and kittens here. We’re just asking them to stop putting out their cigarettes on our collective arms, with the awful methods they claim are appropriate for slaughtering horses. So, by default, I am anti-slaughter.

Nobody is looking forward to the possibility of people here in the US eating horse meat. The brain trust that brought us Turducken is probably going to attempt to stuff a cow with a horse that has been stuffed with a pig. Can you imagine McDonalds with horsey happy meals? What kind of toy would you even put in there? The next Helicopter Mom who starts clutching her pearls about germs in the McDonalds feral child refuge, er, play area is getting an earful from me. “That germy slide, and the booger I saw him eat, aren’t so bad. There’s this stuff called Bute…”

Maybe they’ll start regulating drugs like they love to regulate everything else. What if, and this is a big tin-foil-hat What If, but….. what if they got all Minority Report about it? What if they regulated the drugs horses were allowed to be given, in the event that they may someday enter the food supply? What if the horse meat industry eclipsed what we currently know as our horse industry?

As for the current state of the horse industry, I’m not much for discipline-bashing. We’ve been over that before. You can train a horse for competitive pole dancing for all I care, just use common sense and don’t be abusive. Also, when I hear the word “headset” I get the vapors and put on my fullseat judge-y pants. Headsets are for pilots and World of Warcraft addicts.

Nice headset.

There’s so much to snark at, so much to learn, and so much that needs to be done to improve the lives of horses everywhere. There are many topics to explore, and many computer screens to destroy. Let’s do this.

I'll be here every weekday with witty, horsey banter. I believe in spelling, grammar, and the pursuit of excellence. I don't know it all but I want to learn and be corrected if I'm in error. Because we're all in this together - the obsessive drive for excellence in horsemanship. See ya tomorrow!