agentotter: a raven against stormy skies (Default)
So, I have this friend up here who I ended up connected with because she adopted a couple of mustangs (and a surprise foal) and was in a bit over her head. She hired me to help her with the horses and try to get them to a point where she'd be able to handle them, and then continue to work with her and train her on handling them.

I love that. There is nothing I love in the world more than somebody who says, "I need help with my horses. Can you teach me?" rather than, "I need help with my horses. Can you train them?"

Anyway, just before she found out that I'd moved into the area and was qualified to help, she had considered sending her horses to a trainer in Nebraska who specialized in mustangs. Now, you have to understand that she was only trying to do what was best for her horses, and recognized that she didn't have the skills to do it. She'd been burned in the past by trainers who had been recommended to her and who had then proceeded to destroy her horses mentally and emotionally. (Most of the work I'm doing with them now is not trying to "tame" them from their wild state -- it's trying to recover their trust after their first human experiences shattered it.) She did a lot of research and was planning to visit the facility in person before even thinking about sending her horses there. Instead she found me and opted to keep the horses here.

And good thing, because the trainer she was going to send her horses to has been arrested for animal cruelty after 60 of the animals in his care were discovered to have died and another 100 were severely emaciated.

I have quite a lot to say about the failures of our system that lead to situations like this (I say our system because these were mustangs that should've been protected by law, not dumped off like waste into a private-ownership system that not only allows but encourages destruction of the animals), but I just can't find it in me to say it right now. I just can't. There are no words for this kind of inhumanity. I shudder to think that my friend's beautiful, difficult, brilliant mustang could've ended up there. The fact that Juno's story is much the same -- though with a happier ending than many of these horses got -- is enough to reduce me to an inarticulate sort of fury.

If you have an animal in your life, please give them a hug from me. We can all use a little more love and a lot less of the rest.


agentotter: a raven against stormy skies (Default)

December 2010

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