Is This Really Desensitizing A Foal?

Is This Really Desensitizing A Foal?

HorseConscious Editorial

I wanted to pick up on a recent Facebook post which Margrit Coates had cross-posted asking people for their comments. I can’t link to Margrit’s post as it was on her personal account but here’s the original post showing some ‘horse trainers’ apparently desensitizing a foal:

Here is a selection of the 240+ comments to Margrit’s post:

Desensitizing A Foal?

What I found most striking are the completely opposing views of the video as expressed in the 2 sets of comments. On the one hand there is: “This is so cute…” and “Excellent demo!”

and on the other: “Only watched a bit, this is traumatising not desensitizing…”

What is truly sad about this though, other than the treatment of the poor foal, is the fact that because the Facebook Page concerned is censoring any negative comments, the poor, uninformed commenters on the original video are prevented from seeing a different viewpoint.

Most people do want the best for their horses and for horses in general but the problem is they don’t know what they don’t know and they can’t see what they don’t have the eyes for.

I’ve been witness to such revelations before and it often doesn’t take much for people’s paradigm to change in an instant.

In the case of the video, perhaps all one might need to ask is, “Would you treat a young child like that?” or “Do you think this exercise builds or shatters trust?”.

The challenge we face as ‘horse conscious’ people is that not only are there a lot of entrenched views out there (“It’s always been done like that”) but there is also much defending of territory such as the censorship exhibited by this particular Facebook Page.

As you have so often recommended to me though, we must stay on the positive side and continue to demonstrate what is possible when you develop a true partnership with a horse based on trust and respect. Eventually others who do not share this paradigm will stop and stare and wonder if they can achieve that too and in that moment, the world for horses changes for the better.

As usual, we would love to hear your comments below.

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About the author


Mark is the founder and editor of HorseConscious, which provides a haven for those seeking a gentler, more equal way to be with horses that doesn't involve force or pressure. As well as building a community, where people can meet and exchange ideas, HorseConscious is also a focal point for education in these methods. The site is free for all and we are continually adding new articles and features and we'd love to hear of your experiences too!

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