To Ride Or To Wait?

To Ride Or To Wait?

Maryse with Kabouter

Yesterday I found something an interesting article that I wanted to bring to your attention:
What are Ag-Gag Laws and Why Are They Dangerous?

It seems that, due to successes, maltreaters are not bettering themselves, but are rather entrenching… In my humble opinion, misusing legislation, lobby and power to shut us up.

I did some searching, and this misuse of law seems to be going on for some time already, and it seems to be expanding… I also read similar reports about Europe and Australia.

So, the idea from Chuck Mintzlaff had about teaching the future generation to respect horses seems to be a great one. However, having a daughter myself, I know how ‘hard’ they want to get on the back of the horse to ‘ride’ because that’s what everyone else is doing, right Dad?

And that complicates things.

“Yes my daughter, but you have been thrown off 3 times because you’re not listening to me, Avanti is different than the horses in the riding school…”

And this goes on in circles…

Observing this process, filtering everything I’ve learnt in the past years I have come to a conclusion.

We know there are 2 ways to exist with, work, and ride, and keep it ‘safe’ (here meaning to ‘control’ a horse):

1) By harmony
2) By force

Educating children should, of course be focused upon the harmony-approach, but that might probably mean that ‘riding’ may have to be postponed for longer than the novice feels appropriate. And there the problem arises. Just at the moment the harmony is developing, the child want to ride (because all neighbour girlfriends do so!!), and the horse doesn’t feel the same way yet.

At this very point we are in a crucial decisive moment: To Ride or to Wait?

If the horse doesn’t agree, the ONLY way to proceed is to use force and then the rest probably remains the way of force, because it seems to work, at least as long as pressure is applied. The ONLY OTHER way, is to admit, the HUMAN or the relationship is not developed enough yet. 

For many people admitting being not ready yet, is one of the hardest things we have to learn, and some NEVER learn this. Hence the spiral of force, actions, and counter-actions.

So, yes, I feel education is crucial, but the lessons that should be given, seem unacceptable to many. How to convince people to wait and educate at the same time. We here on HorseConscious claim to have insights in what horses need, feel, and desire, may be even have ideas about how life is stitched together, while many others only want to USE a horse for a purpose. Some might even not feel the need to think about these things.

If we want people to treat horses with respect, they must learn WHY a horse DESERVES their respect. The only reason I can think of is that the horse is an equal being to us.

The longer I think about this, the stronger I feel education must take place MUCH earlier. It is about that the basic human view towards all life and animals that has to change, at the very beginning, respect for life as equal to us and not subordinate.

That is the only reason I can think about, why one would want to consider the ‘narrow road’ approach. If the basis is not solid, all building will eventually collapse, force being the only method for containment.

What do you think?

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About the author

Paul Sloot

Born in Sydney Australia, I now live in the the north of Holland and speak Dutch, English and German. I'm married with a son and a daughter and am also blessed with 2 horses… I work 50% of the time as a fraud-inspector for the local government, and for the other 50% I am a photographer. You can view a selection of my work on my. Flickr stream.

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