HOW TO HELP FACILITY OWNERS WHO JUST DON’T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THEIR HORSES — BY DON JESSOP
I recently received another email from a distressed student. She was distressed because the facility owners and trainers where her horse boarded, acted ignorant to the horse’s condition.
Her comments included these paraphrased complaints:
“Horses are left in stalls nearly all day long. Other horses are underfed. Many horses lived in small pastures with rundown fencing and dangerous sharp edges. The overall feel of the place is dark, and moody. But worst of all, is the training. The horses are brought in, cross-tied, saddled, and rushed into high level training with little to no foundation under their belts. The stress level is high. Neglect and abuse, is obvious to anyone with who genuinely loves horses, but not to the facility owner. The owner seems to think horses just don’t matter that much. What matters is winning. If a horses doesn’t make the cut, they get pushed into the daily grind of poor management. If a horse does show a bit of talent, that particular horse will be groomed to perfection, leg wrapped and stalled to avoid injury. It’s painful to watch.”
Of course, I told her to begin looking for a facility that could support her hopes to grow and develop a deeper understanding of horses and relationships. But that only fixes her problem. It doesn’t address the bigger problem.
I asked her to consider talking with the owner. She said she had already and the overall feeling was that the owner simply didn’t care.
Then I asked her if she would consider contacting the local law enforcement to report abuse of the animals. She said she did that too. The response from the local law enforcement was, “Many horse barns do the same thing. It’s kind of normal.”
The problem, of course, as we all know, is the system. Slowly people are coming around to natural methods and psychology based training programs. However, it’s happening all too slowly. Too many barns are still stuck in the dark ages of horse care and horse training.
So what’s the solution? What can a person do to solve the issue of poor care and training?
Well. Number one. Share this article! At least, more people will see what goes on in the world and maybe, just maybe, one single person who needs to see it, will. Mostly, you’ll be preaching to the choir. But it’s worth the chance that one new person could see the true value of a horse’s experience in captivity.
Number two. Prove to the world that your way is better.
How? You might ask…
Get so good with your horse that people around you start looking at your brilliant example of horse care and horse training and want to mirror it.
Beyond those two things, there is not much you can do in a passive or positive manner. The only other things you can do are negative and you have to be sure you’re up for the task. Because you’ll be going to war! Many people who face atrocities and abuse, whether it’s animal abuse or human abuse, go straight to battle. They begin blatantly calling people out for abuse and stop paying them for any services. Meanwhile the horses still suffer, but in the long haul you can make an impact.
Negative attacks against abusive owners can take a toll on your own human spirit. You have to be ready for it. It’s not easy. If you are going to take the negative route, just keep this in mind. People don’t usually “try” to be stupid or ignorant. People don’t usually “try” to be abusive. People are just people. Try to see their world, so you can communicate with them, in their language. For example. If you see abuse taking place in a high profile training barn, bent on blue ribbons, you can bet that the humans running the place have been taught the value of winning and not the value of positive life conditions. In other words, their own life conditions make them blind to other factors.
If you want to show a blind person what the color red looks like, you must first know what it feels like to be temporarily blind. Otherwise, you will only fight, fight, fight. Your frustrations will overwhelm you. Communicating with a blind person requires patience, time, and perseverance.
You would never say a blind person is stupid. At least, I hope not. Instead you would realize they can’t see. You would begin communication from that stand point. So it should be the same with a blinded horse trainer or blinded facility owner. They need you to care. They need you to understand their values before you’ll ever change them.
At the end of the day, if you want to change the horse industry, you’ll have to join me. Because together we can do more than we could apart.
Share this article. Bring others back to this page. Help people learn how horses have a fragile brain but a big heart. Show them how horses feel like slaves in our world, unless otherwise treated. Bring them to the 21st century. Help them become leaders, and become a better leader yourself. That way, you can be more influential, not just for people who need to see the light, but for your own life too.
Thanks for reading.
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PS. Get the Level 1 Ownership Course Free and share it with the world!