Horses in the Asphalt Jungle

Reminder:  Horses Without Carriages International Day demonstration, June 9th (revised from June 2nd), 12 to 2pm, Montreal Hotel de Ville (City Hall), 275 Notre Dame Street.  Another demonstration will be held on JUNE 30TH, same location.  

I was astonished to discover recently that horsemen who practise Natural Horsemanship, of whatever origin, also support horse-driven caleches in cities as big as Montreal (3 million), a city so swelteringly hot and humid in the summertime that young children and the elderly keep indoors for health reasons.   Let me backtrack.  As I understand NH techniques as applied to equines, the premise is that the horse is a prey animal, subject to flight responses (including panic) when confronted by smells, noises, objects, or environments he is unfamiliar with.  

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Racism and Horse Slaughter

Racism and Horse Slaughter

I was planning to write a post called What You Don’t Know about Quebec Will Kill Your Horse but I’ve noticed that as soon as someone (usually a fellow Canadian, and sometimes, some Americans) discovers that I’m a Quebecker, they turn away as if I had cooties; we’ll get to the reasons for that a little later. Right now, I’ve decided to discuss how insidious human proclivities (you know, bad and/or malignant habits) creep in to animal advocacy arguments and yes, even those against horse slaughter…one of them being racism.  

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Un seul résultat réel

This post is a conversation conducted in French among three people. It pits the informed horse lover against the uninformed horse lover. Nothing new here except for the eloquence of my friend, Evelyne and someone named Cody Leblanc. Please share this post with your French-speaking friends and relatives. It is crucial to get the truth and the facts out there because all Quebec horse lovers need to know what is really happening in their abattoirs. Continuons en français….

Bobinette :   Un débat à deux sens, deux mesures, deux mentalités, mais un seul résultat réel: les chevaux souffrent plus de la fermeture des abattoirs, car ceux qui y ont recours (pour diverses raisons) n’auront pas d’autres options.

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Karin Hauenstein: Horse Crusader

Karin and I had a rocky start.  She thought I was a horse-killer.  She’s on a ride to stop horse slaughter, and when she first emailed me, she was using a smartphone.  Somehow, the wires got crossed (and since I can’t text while driving a car, I can only imagine what it’s like being in-saddle and negotiating a phone!).  Karin is a true crusader for our horses, and not just because she’s on a four-legged walkabout to publicize the cause, but because this is a woman who has done her homework…in spades…and all of it–the ride, the research–all of it comes from sheer love and respect for horses.

What really impressed me–once I introduced myself properly–was Karin’s research into the flight chemicals released in every head-shot horse.  I will let Karin explain it

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A Fair Look at Quebec Horsemanship

With the possibility of horse abattoirs re-opening in the US right now–in Missouri, Washington, and most recently, Florida–I thought this news would be a soothing corrective to the anxiety all horse-lovers are feeling these days.  What follows is an out an’ out advertisement for a new Camp de jour (Day Camp) opening at my cousins’ riding and training ranch in Mascouche, QC, called Le Ranch Equestre.  I want to be clear that just because my cousins own and operate Le Ranch Equestre Carola & Filles doesn’t mean that I am not objective about the quality of what they’re offering…not a bit…not at all. Why shouldn’t I be (although it’s true that these gorgeous young women share my gene pool, and each generation is more amazing than the last–but I digress….)

No, the fact is that hearing about their Day Camp reminded me that there is a vibrant, live horse industry in Quebec which continues to enjoy, celebrate and spread the love of horses to future generations, and this achieves two things:  it balances outsiders’ view of Quebec as one of the hotseats of the horse slaughter industry (and, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know my views on that…in spades); and, it ensures that there will always be future defenders of horses since places like Le Ranch Equestre (did I mention that it’s owned by my cousins?) make it their mission to show young people the intrinsic value of the horse.

“Getting soft, O wise and toothless one?” you wonder.  

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Where There’s Smoke …

Since the CHDC announced the temporary shut-down of La Petite Nation slaughterhouse, their blog has been afire.  Now some time ago, I had heard what I thought were rumours about “drug-free” horse farms in Western Canada; in one case, I knew it wasn’t a rumour because the info came from an excellent source (“where there’s smoke…there is fire).  But, with all the other research I was doing, I didn’t delve in to the matter the way I should have.  I’ve got a lot of questions about such a practice,

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