by Glenn Wilson ©
WARNING! Some people reading this article may think I’m taking an unfair swipe at various aspects of the horse world and those people who are involved with horses in one way or another. My only intention in writing this piece was to have a good, hard look at “what is” and compare that with the now outlawed, and rightly so, industry of human slavery; then ask you, the reader, if you can help the horse.
Once it was considered ‘right’ to own another human being and to have them do all manner of things as slaves. This allowed the owner to further themselves in financial, material, or aesthetic ways. The law then allowed such arrangements and indeed entrenched attitudes and regulations that today we are only legally allowed to apply to our animals.
Aspects that usually go hand in hand with slavery are abuse, cruelty, denial of rights and denial of natural justice. Of course there were many examples of slavery where these things did not occur, but the concept and reality of slavery is well associated with atrocities of all types. Over time, slavery was abolished. This, I feel, was a great step forward to a fairer, more understanding and compassionate humanity. Civilisation is on a journey. We are generally moving forward. We demonstrate time and time again the goodness that exists, that can exist and that is capable of being created, especially in times of need.
However if we closely examine what and how and why we do the things we do to our animals, especially in this case our horses, such scrutiny may reveal that, sadly, horses do, often and regularly, suffer in their enslaved relationship with humans even today. The horse community now has a great opportunity to ‘free the horse’, or at least make an acknowledgement that they are indeed enslaved to us, and if that overall situation of enslavement isn’t going to change then alter the conditions of that enslavement to give the horse dignity and a life that meets its natural horse needs.