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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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 itRead More
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.Read More
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,Read More