Want to Be a Friend to Horses? Here’s How!
Horses are gentle and loving. They keep an eye out to protect their friends and communicate a lot of their feelings with their bodies and faces (like showing when they’re happy, sad, or upset). Just because horses are gentle doesn’t mean we should use them for entertainment or take advantage of them in any other way. Keep reading to find out all the ways these animals are being used and how you can help them.
Stay Away From Pony Rides
Ponies are tied up tightly and forced to walk around and around in endless circles with humans on their backs. They can sustain injuries to their hooves, and the saddles and halters that they have to wear all day long can cause sores. Since these rides are common at summer fairs, ponies are often forced to spend many hours working in the scorching heat. Sometimes, they’re not given any water so they won’t relieve themselves while someone is on their back. Plus, it’s often cheaper to replace worn-out or sick animals than to provide them with veterinary care, so operators may work ponies until they drop. ? Life in a cramped trailer, being hauled from place to place, and walking in constant circles is no life at all. ? The best way to help these animals is to stay away from pony rides and to ask your family and friends to do the same. And if your school, community center, or church wants to offer pony rides, explain to them why they shouldn’t!
Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
Never Go Horseback Riding
We wouldn’t want someone to jump on our backs and demand a ride, and horses don’t want that, either—so we should treat them the way we want to be treated and stay off them. Ride a skateboard or a bike—not someone who lives, breathes, and feels. If you know someone with a horse companion who’s kept all alone in a stable or field all day, ask if you can visit and provide some much-needed attention. Horses—like dogs, orcas, and all other animals—don’t want to be stuck in a cramped space without any friends or family members. They’re very social animals, and they really appreciate attention and tasty treats!
Just Say NO to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
Horses are sensitive animals. Other animals and humans have been seriously injured—and even killed—when horses have become scared when pulling a carriage. And countless times, carriages have been hit by impatient or careless drivers. Accidents have occurred in nearly every city where carriage rides are allowed. Besides the danger of horse-drawn carriages, making horses pull such large loads is cruel. They’re forced to walk on the pavement all day long and work in busy traffic and all types of weather, including extreme heat and cold. They can start to have problems with their lungs from breathing in car exhaust fumes, and they can suffer from leg problems from walking on hard surfaces. Never, ever let someone pay for you to ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and ask your family and friends not to ride in one, either.
©️ Donny Moss
Never Go to a Horse Race
Horses weigh about 1,000 pounds, and their ankles are about the same size as most humans’ ankles—really small for such a heavy body! In horse racing, they’re forced to run around a dirt track at speeds over 30 miles an hour (a lot faster than we can run) while carrying a human on their back, which is a lot of weight and stress for their small ankles to support. On top of all that, the riders whip them to try to make them run even faster. And one study concluded that three horses die every day in North America because of injuries they receive during races. ? If horses stop winning or get injured, they don’t usually get to retire to a comfortable animal sanctuary. Owners don’t want to pay for horses who don’t bring in any money, so many end up being sent to slaughterhouses in Canada, Japan, Mexico, or South Korea and killed for food. ? Help end this cruelty—never go to a horse race, and ask your family and friends not to support horse racing, either.
Remember: It’s never right to bully or take advantage of animals. Like us, horses enjoy exploring, eating, and hanging with their favorite friends, and they don’t want to be hurt! So always stick up for them, and don’t support anything that would cause them harm.