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.  

Read More

Animals Angels’ Light Up the Sky

Every year, Animals’-Angels USA holds a vigil by candle light that lights up the sky with the love of humans for animals.  Let me put that another way:  lights up the sky with the love we hold for the others we share this planet with.  I sent a very, very personal missive to AA last year about the horses I grew up with…horses whose very presence lightened a childhood and adolescence fraught with, well, personal and family contradictions I agonized over.  I wasn’t much different from people my age, some of whom knew worse, I’m sure.

Here I offer words I wrote when the CHDC held a Memorial when the Norval Slaughterhouse in Ontario was finally and permanently shut down; the Memorial was held on May 1, 2011 (I posted on that somewhere; look thru my Horse posts).  These slaughtered equines–horses, minis, donkeys, mules and burros–were all owned equines whose service to us went unthanked, ultimately unappreciated to the point of not mere death, but a peculiarly human-engineered death…that of the terror of transport away from safety and love and human kindness to the cruel, unfeeling pathology of the abattoir.  AA’s Vigil is on December 10th of this year:  send your personal tribute to the animal(s) of your choice now.  Herman Melville said:  ‘Silence is the voice of God’…maybe so, but He can see alright, and our candles will be a beacon of love He can hardly miss.

And so I wrote to, and for, the horses who passed through Cerberus at the Norval Horse Slaughterhouse…

Read More