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August 19, 2011
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Riding Equines by Herbivoree Riding Equines by Herbivoree
As an animal rights advocate I am against treating animals like property.

I've worked with horses and now donkeys for a large part of my life. I've seen far too many animals treated as if they were nothing more than a chair. Some of the animals at the sanctuary I volunteer at are there because they didn't want to be ridden or handled and people needed to get rid of them. At a stable I used to work at I've seen horses be sold because they couldn't be 'broken', sold to who knows where. Often in the case of equines it is the slaughter house.

Please note me if you'd like to use this anywhere. I love to share.
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:iconboomheart900:
boomheart900 Apr 1, 2014  Student General Artist
poor animal!!!! theyre actually now training my mare rain to be ridden, but at least whe CARE for our horses!
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:iconjessybr:
JessyBR Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for that great idea and description! I had a donkey once, actually when I saw him being mistreated and used like a ''machine'' I adopted him and prohibited from being explored. It's a shame what people do with equines...they just don't have conscience or are too cruel to stop and think rationally.
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:iconemi-gemini:
Emi-Gemini May 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Poor donkey... I'm always uncomfortable when I see people mount donkeys, we treat it as a luggage rack...
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:icontwilighter1991:
Twilighter1991 Mar 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
encountered a lovely equine in someones backyard once...paint mare with a young foal. The owners said she didn't like being ridden, so she stayed a pasture pet.
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:iconzoruaofepic:
I'm an equestrian, but the barn where go to ride every week treats the horses well. In fact, the owner of the barn is a huge animal lover. She takes in unwanted kittens, and a bunch of them live in a warm shed next to the barn. :)
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:iconherbivoree:
Oh yay - so I like how you presented an opposing opinion, but in no way did I find it attacked my own. Sometimes I get nervous about posting my own art because of the aggresively negative comments that I can receive, so I just wanted to say thanks for not falling into that camp.

The comic is meant more of a comment on the possibilities that can occur from treating non-human animals like property. It's not the be all and end all of every human/equine interaction. ^^ As I wrote to another commentor, I'm sure there are exceptions. Maybe the barn you ride at is one of them.

Although this is more of a suggestion to probe deeper and ask questions you might not normally think to ask. Where do the horses at the barn come from? If they came from a breeder, how often did those horses have babies? What happened to the mothers after they could no longer have babies? What happens to old horses at the stable? What about "problem" horses that don't want to be ridden at your stable? Do they stay or do they get sold? If they get sold, are there any precautions in place to make sure they don't go to a slaughterhouse representative?
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:icon0ash0:
0Ash0 Sep 4, 2011  Hobbyist
I know exactly what you mean. I find the english and dressage riders in particular, treat their horses like inanimate objects to do what they're told, when they're told, always having the reins held tightly so there's constant pressure, being forced to jump- that's about a thousand pounds of pressure on two forelegs with bones that are hallow- and then stuck in a stand-up stall for the rest of the day. Not to stereotype, I'm sure not all english riders are like that, but it just seems like every one of them I've met are like that. I hate rodeos as well, the calf roping, the bronco busting- all of it's absolutely cruel and the most disgusting part is it's perfectly legal.

I have two horses who are free range. They only come in the barn on very cold nights in the winter, but there is a lean-to where they can get shelter from the sun and rain. Zipper, my mustang, as far as I'm concerned was a rescue about nine years ago. She was in horrible condition when I met her, in a crowded feed lot with cows, mud and crap up to their knees in the middle of winter, a scar across her back leg suggesting she'd been caught in a barb wire fence, and very skiddish, did not like to be touched at all. Jewel, my arabian, originally belonged to my niece, but she couldn't keep up with the bills anymore and she decided she wanted to sell her, so I bought her. I ride only if they feel up to it. If they seem like they're in a bad mood or if it's just too hot, I won't force them. And I never use spurs or crops- that's just cruel. I don't make them wear horse shoes either- it is a lot better for horses to go barefoot. It allows the hoof to expand naturally and absorb shock. Plus the hoof has better circulation. I always try to end on a good note with them. When I go to see them I always bring carrots or apples for them. They can be very playful. Sometimes I'll start running and they'll run to catch up with me. I do know some horses actually do enjoy being ridden, if it's done kindly and gently. At the place where I board, Frank the owner, has this beautiful buckskin paso fino stallion. He's blind now, but as soon as he hears the tack jingling and Frank's footsteps coming towards him he gets so excited. While Frank is Cowboy's eyes, Cowboy acts as Frank's legs. Cowboy has the utmost trust in Frank, and that's the type of bond that's heartwarming to see. He's a true horse whisperer- he's the one that trained both my horses, actually. Horses should be treated as our partners, not as our slaves. :)

Of course being a vegan and being a horse rider can be difficult sometimes. I try to buy all synthetic tack but it can be extremely difficult as some tack doesn't come in synthetic. It's conflicting and makes me feel guilty. I do what I can, but that's why I prefer to ride bareback with a halter and a set of snap on reins, however doing this while riding on a roadside or on a trail can be dangerous.
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:iconherbivoree:
That's great that you have such an open mind when having horses. ^^ I used to ride English before I became vegan and then I developed bronchitis and would literally throw up every time the horse would start cantering. Most people are sad when I tell them that story, but I'm actually glad it happened. It forced me to stop riding and when I went vegan I decided I'd never ride again for ethical reasons. There are very very unique scenarios where it can be acceptable to live with horses and ride them, but they're so hard to come by. I now volunteer and work with mules and donkeys that no one is allowed to ride and it's such a unique experience being with animals that according to most people 'have no purpose.' Well since it's a sanctuary they don't, other than to just live and be happy. Most people can't get that though, which is pretty sad.
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:icon0ash0:
0Ash0 Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist
Wow! I didn't realize bronchitis was that bad. Donkeys are wonderful little animals. You're very fortunate to be able to work with them like that. I hate it when people say things like; 'animals have no purpose', or 'it's their purpose to be eaten'. Who the hell are they to decide that? Just because they can be eaten doesn't mean they should be. It's selfish, immoral, cruel, unhealthy, and has a huge negative impact on the environment.

Three weeks ago I rescued a baby rabbit from the landlady's dog. As I was coming home from work I noticed her golden retriever had something cornered in the sandbox, and it was squealing at the top of its little lungs. He grabbed it by the head in his mouth so I dove into the sandbox, pried his mouth apart and scooped the bunny up into my pocket. Just a tiny little thing, able to fit in my one hand. When the landlady came out and asked what he had caught and I told her, she was like; 'well, put it out in the park! I don't want it in my house!' and when I argued with her that it might die she responded with 'I don't care! There's enough of them running around as it is! They get into my garden and eat my vegetables!' so after about five minutes of arguing with her over this, I took the rabbit and went to go see my boyfriend at work, got him to rabbit sit while I went to the pet store to get some advice, got some kitten milk and an eye dropper to feed it with, and then came back home later with the bunny when the landlady was gone on an errand and now he's under my care in secret. He's eating solid foods now, which is a good thing. She's a very cruel, very speciecist person who has absolutely no love for rodents or most other animals that's not her dog or her cat. (Hell, I remember when I told her about the dairy industry and what happens to the poor calves once they're born, and how cows need to be pregnant in order to produce milk, and she tried to argue with me that I was wrong.) And even though where I live the Landlord and Tenant act states that a tenant cannot be evicted or be stopped from having a pet unless it's causing property damage or is deemed vicious by the city, she still seems to think she can tell me what type of animals I can and can't bring into the house, even though I pay my rent for the downstairs apartment. She already lost my cat on me several weeks prior to this incident, claiming she didn't notice he was at the door when she opened it, which I'm beginning to think is a bunch of BS. *sigh* Sorry, getting off topic...
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:iconherbivoree:
Well I was diagnosed with bronchitis but bronchitis isn't supposed to be permanent so I can't say for sure that's what I had, but yeah it was really awful. I kept riding for two years after I had bronchitis. and I agree entirely with the idea that just because we can eat them or cause suffering to them doesn't make it okay.

Eeep that's unfortunate about the rabbit, luckily you got to it in time though! Do you plan to permanently keep it or release it or bring it to a sanctuary? From what I've read, and from a little experience, wild animals get more 'wild' as they grow up. Like they distinctly fear and are terrified of humans. I remember learning wild rabbits are a completely different species than domestic ones, which really surprised me. My rabbits I live with come from European breeds.
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