Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Sunday, April 19, 2009

But I Want It

Mankind are an incorrigible race. Give them but bugbears and idols...it's all that they ask; the distinctions of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, of good and evil are worse than indifferent to them. William Hazlitt


I have been reading something on a horse forum over the past couple of days that is disturbing on several levels. The first and most immediate is purposeful removal of a mare from her foal for the purpose of using the mare for the show season.

A short synopsis: This mare was purchased last year for an eight year old girl by the child's grandmother. Now from what I remember reading, this is something like the third of fourth horse that was bought for this child. It seems buying horses at auction for a child really isn't a bright idea. Anyway, this little mare was bought from a private party, so the child actually had an opportunity to ride the mare around and get a feel for her. I know, a novel idea, right? The child and the mare got along like pigs and mud. Happy Days! Well not exactly. Seems the mare had a rendezvous with a stallion last year. A couple of months ago the new owners realized she was in foal. They were justifiably upset, but as the saying goes, crap happens.

And now we arrive at the problem. Two days ago mama foaled out a filly. The purchaser of the mare, grandma, has decided her granddaughter should not miss out on her good times because of the inconvenience this new life represents. The child has a right to her fun, trail riding and gaming her horse. After all, they didn't want a foal and this one is 'just a mutt' so grandma is justified in her decision, which she assured the worldwide web was hard thought, to pull the mare from the foal after two days. She graciously allowed that the foal should get it's colostrum from the mare, but then the party's over. Something about making it easier for the mare because her milk won't have come in yet. What does she think that stuff dripping all over is? 

The mare foaled at another property and that person is keeping the baby. Why anyone would want to care for an orphan is beyond me and why anyone would voluntarily orphan a foal completely escapes my comprehension. I've raised one orphan and have lost three foals. The frantic behavior of the mares when they can't find their baby breaks a person's heart. Well at least this person's heart. To purposely cause this, I can't understand it. Raising an orphan is so much work that I won't go into it. I would never want to go through that again.

The other level of being disturbed. What about the granddaughter? If she isn't heartless and self-serving like grandma, will she feel guilt? Will she come to look upon her grandmother in a negative manner? I actually hope so. It's far better than the alternative; another cold person whom is concerned for their own gratification, regardless of the consequences of actions taken.

And another. Initially members of this forum reacted as one would expect. With shock and outrage. Grandma responded with anger, telling everyone it's not their business and to butt out. She didn't ask for opinions, only announced the foal was born and she has made a decision. When asked why she would think there wouldn't be a response, she started to list all of the 'nice' things she has done and how she has never judged anyone on the forum and thinks she deserves the same courtesy. Now the sad part. The outrage disappeared and the milk of human kindness was poured over the woman. To be sure, she had her defenders. You can always find someone to validate your bad behavior. But the people who rightly called her on her wrong-doing, how could they turn around and make nice? A couple of people didn't, but enough did.

Usually in life there are shades of gray. Life is full of nuance and often things are not entirely as they seem. But sometimes it's black or it's white. It's right or it's wrong. When a member of a community does something which is cruel and unnecessary, the weight of that community needs to bear down upon the person. Even if it doesn't stop the behavior, the perpetrator needs to understand that the community is repulsed and does not sanction the action. But instead, the desire to not seem judgmental, to not have someone mad, took over. Sometimes making a judgement about an action is the right thing to do.


23 comments:

  1. Oh my. I have found that people who are uncaring and callous toward animals are also cruel to people. Lets hope that the granddaughter does not get to "tend" gran in her later years. They may both get pay back.

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  2. I could just cry...that more mare and foal.
    I have always believed what goes around comes around. You can't go messing with the nature of life.

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  3. I must admit that I was one of those people who "caved" and when confronted after my first comment and softened it with another post. I had since removed the post, but the "damage" is done. I have become increasingly disturbed not by the posters who have since covered their disapproval with another sugar coated post, but with those who initially supported this sickening example of the instant gratification this society has come to expect. Each generation seems to become more demanding as technology feeds our need for "I WANT IT NOW!". In my life, horses have been a constant reminder of quiet patience proving it's reward.

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  4. On a lighter note, I have always thought that the picture you chose for this post of Sunspot is stunning. I assume that the foal is Ari?

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  5. People...give me 4 paws or hooves and a tail any day.

    Unfortunately, I don't think the grandaughter will earn anything positive from this, that's not usually the way the cycle works...we canhope, though...

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  6. go, you just made my day. The idea of grandma eventually in the care of granddaughter is strangely satisfying.
    Sadly Judy, many awful things are done to animals by people. I firmly believe that the idea animals don't have souls is to release humankind from an obligation to treat them kindly and with respect. There are many people on that board who ridicule those who show their heart. It is a disturbing look into mankind. One of the supporters of the woman said her dad would simply put a bullet in the foals brain, like he did to puppies he didn't want. Never would have occurred to the ass to spay a female if he didn't want puppies.
    Jean, standing up to bad behavior is difficult. Especially when so many say it's right. This woman is lacking in something necessary for compassion. She has to be to do this and then put it out for internet consumption. And think she would not be questioned. We have lost our ability to weigh judgement. It's one thing to be a judgmental, rigid oaf. It's quite another to express outrage or dismay over obviously horrid behavior. I was so pleased when you spoke up, as you are not one to speak out of hand.

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  7. giantspeckled, I agree with you. That's why I find go's thought so appealing.

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  8. Oh, and yes, that is Ari (the gray horse all over the page!) Sun Spot was one of my mares which lost a baby. She was inconsolable for about a week. I never bred her again, for many reasons.

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  9. Sandra, as you know I'm not a horsey person but this behaviour appalls me. The bible says *A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel*.[please don't ask where 'cause I can never remember & I'll have to go look it up]. This is wrong on so many levels...& personally I'm not convinced animals are without souls. We left a church because the leaders would not speak out against wrong behaviours. Sometimes to just have to no matter whose feathers get reuffled in the process.

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  10. Ganieda, I won't ask you where! I am not a member of this internet board. I was once, but I was not widely popular! As a non-member I am unable to respond, so I did it here. And in email.

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  11. Good for you! You are brave but that poor mare! Some people just shouldn't be allowed anywhere near animals.

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  12. With great sadness I read this post. One of the reasons I left the Horsey show world was the cruel training that people had with these creatures. I can not fathom someone taking a foal from a mare all for the guise that a child could have her trail riding partner back? Unbelievable...I wonder if the child even had a voice in the Grandmother's decision. People like this should not be blessed with these beautiful animals. Now I am really aggravated!!

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  13. Alicia, the bad economy is part of why I stopped breeding, but not the whole reason. When I discovered these forums and began to read them, I became scared to death about selling my horses. The number of ignorant and often mean people who own horses is astounding. I became paralyzed with fear about my horses future. This does not make for a successful business.

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  14. This is very common on the thoroughbred breeding farms. There is an entire business of created Nurse mares for these farm. Grade mares have their babies removed at one day to a week old, so they can be shipped to feed the expensive thoroughbred babies while the TB mares are rebred. The Last Change Corral rescues many and adopts them out; http://www.lastchancecorral.org/foal-rescue/available-foals/

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  15. I'm aware of this behavior. Like everything else about the racing industry, it's disgusting. I'm glad to hear some of these foals are saved. About as bad as the poor mares that get to stay pregnant for hormone replacement drugs. Their foals are throw-a-ways also. If you use hmr drugs, you are keeping a mare pregnant in a stall where her urine can be collected and used in the drug. The mares life is hell and the foal is a toss-away. I think there is a synthetic, but I refused to use any of it, so I'm not sure.

    All of this is awful, but it doesn't change the fact that this is awful in its own right.

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  16. This just pisses me off. I'd like to give that grandma a piece of my mind (not that there's much to give, but I digress....)
    You've enlightened me about hormone replacement drugs. I was naive in thinking that they were all synthetically produced in a lab. (I bury my head in the sand on a lot of things). WOW! When or IF my time comes that I would need something like that, I will definitely study up on the subject.

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  17. Just don't use them. They cause breast cancer and the way they get the mare urine is evil. I am post menopausal and I still suffer horribly from hot flashes. I will die sweating before I will use those drugs.

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  19. I didn't realize that nurse mares were so common in TB's. I suppose the live cover rule makes shipping and breeding mares with foals at side more difficult and dangerous. It seems so odd, cruel and unnatural to me, though.

    I am not anti-TB at all, but have no interest in the racing industry and the throw-away horses it produces.

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  20. Some people's kids. It's amazing what people will justify in their heads.

    Posting this on a public forum means she really doesn't think there is anything wrong with it at all.

    What a mess and I hope Karma comes around.

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  21. I just wanted to take a moment this morning to visit your wonderful Worlds End Farm Blog for the first time and it is so refreshing to read the wonderful quotes, etc. You should of been a teacher.
    We all need to learn from one another. In the case of this g'ma seperating the foal from mama at two days because of a selfish need I just can not comprehend. I have two granddaughters, 4 and 2 and teaching them compassion for animals is just an every day way of life. Like others have said in their posts we hope things of this nature have a teaching for others and will come around in time for those that created the wrong doing.

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  23. Hi Julie, thanks for looking in. Sometimes I'm more preacher than teacher! I like nothing better than a soapbox. : )
    This upset me a lot. It went beyond the horses, it was the callousness of not only the person doing this, but the tremendous amount of support this person received from other members of this forum for her actions. It makes me shudder, truly sends a chill up my spine that there are so many people lacking a necessary human quality. Empathy.

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.