This time I'm not going to post my usual training tip. Instead I'd like to talk about something that I think we all need to be aware of and something that we all need to think about.
Earlier this week I read an article on +Fox News about blatant animal abuse and actual torture within the Federal Wildlife Agency. The scenes described made me sick to my stomach. The sad part is that this was not a sensational article. It was reality. The only good part about the article is that maybe more people like myself are more aware of the abuse that frequently occurs within the agency, and there is an investigation being to done to hold people (somewhat) accountable.
As an animal lover, I can't help but wonder how those people mentioned in the article became what they are. What led them to do what they did? What is their mindset and justification? What is their reasoning? Surely they didn't grow up thinking, "One day I'll grow up to blow up puppies."
I think first and foremost it was a basic lack of respect and empathy for a living creature. I also think it was a belief that animals don't feel,don't think and therefore it doesn't really make a difference what you do them. Then that thinking further justifies that you have to be really hard to get a point across because they're dumb. Furthermore than train of thought also perpetuates that they're really no different than an inanimate object that you can do anything to. One thought just leads to another, doesn't it? All those thoughts serve as justification for torturer.
As horsemen, we need to be careful about how we see our horses, and all animals really. Yes, as humans we're obviously more intelligent than our horses but does that mean because of that they deserve less respect? Absolutely not. We're less intelligent than God but look at how much respect and love He gives us.
Like it not, if you call yourself a Christian how you treat your horse is your witness to the lost. It's also a speaking testimony of who you are on the inside and how much character you have or don't have.
As Jesus said, when you are kind to the least of these you are kind to me. That can be taken as being kind to any thing that we think is less than we are. It's not just people. It's those times that tell who we are.
The old saying is character is doing the right thing when no one is looking. Do you treat your horses differently when no one is looking? If not, why? Is it because people wouldn't understand? I'm sure that's the same exact reasoning the people in the wildlife agency used as well.
We can justify anything and everything we want to. It doesn't make it right. We as horsemen need to be consistent in how we deal with our horses instead of justifying some of the things we may do based on lack of intelligence. We need to always treat our animals with the utmost care and respect. When we can do that, we'll reap a good witness and a great horse in the end.