Friday, August 14, 2009

Beach Ponies....

You know I couldn't go too long without posting about horses now, didn't you??? LOL!!!! It's a little problem that several of us seem to have.......

So, on our last day at the beach, we decided to head back down to Ocean Shores and go for a ride on the beach. Now, I would be lying if I said that I didn't have have-I did-but I would also be lying if I said that my one hour of pleasure at the expense of the horses didn't bother me-it did.What do I mean??? Let me explain. I am a firm believer in a philosophical theory-one that I think was started by Immanuel Kant/Kantian philosophy, but don't quote me!-and it has to do with morals and moral judgement.

One of the biggest tenets-or at least for me it is!-of this theory is that the means should justify the ends, or more simply put, don't use something at its expense to derive your own pleasure. Confused yet???LOL!!!

Now I am remembering why I had a love/hate relationship with my philosophy courses...teeheehee!!! Who wants to analyze and think about their every action??? Maybe that's what is wrong with society today....

It's also why I tell my son that he better not shoot a deer-when he is out hunting with his dad-until he is absolutely sure he has his sites set on the best kill shot. Nothing deserves to suffer, right???Where was I???

Oh yes, the beach horses. I think I made it clear that we all had a good time, but as we were all riding-there were about 25-30 horses in our group-I noticed that their saddles seemed to be "one-size-fits-all," that they all had generic, long shanked, curb bits in their mouths, that most of them had tie downs made out of baling twine on, that several of them had rain rot/rain scald on their croups, and-here's the worst part-a lot of them had dull, lethargic, lifeless expressions in their eyes.

And aren't eyes supposed to be the window to the soul??? Okay, okay...animals aren't supposed to technically have souls, but you know what I mean-and the whole animals-don't have-souls- thingy is debatable.....

They are still living, breathing, creatures, who should have dark, soulful, eyes, am I right????

Well, most of these didn't.

Above is a picture of Katie and her horse, Tater. He did still have quite a bit of life in him, and is not usually used for children, but our group was almost entirely children, and there were no more kid horses with kid saddles available.

The wranglers were happy that my kidlets knew how to ride, but when they said" Oh good. We'll put this girl on Tater, because she knows how to ride and won't scream when he tries to run back," I got a little worried.....They did fine, but he did trot most of the way...

Eric was on the cutest old QH gelding, who shone like a copper penny (above). We never did catch his name, but he looked so tired and miserable, that it was all I could do not to offer the owners money to buy him.

Hopefully these horses could remember that humans are fun and caring, after a few months off...Me??? I ended up riding this Belgian gelding named Trigger, who had dead sides, a dead mouth, and who seemed to be zoned out 1/2 the time.
Wasn't he a sight to behold???? Everyone teased me, because his mane and tail, and my hair were almost identical in color and curl.... Oh, and did I mention their hooves???? These poor horses had some of the nastiest hooves around, and I was fit to be tied. It cost us $20/hour to ride, and they had lines of people waiting to ride. Now...you can't tell me that these poor horses don't earn enough in 2-3 hours to cover trimming expenses!!! They are ridden on sand for Pete's sake!!!!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

Okay, I am done yelling now, but I still feel guilty about leaving those poor horses down on the beach...

9 comments:

C-ingspots said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I feel so bad for horses that are used by profiteers who seem to provide the least amount of basic care and even less compassion. And many of the people who pay to ride these poor beasts of burden don't have a freaking clue that they are on the backs of living, breathing, emotional beings with feelings, opinions, moods, likes, dislikes...just like them. Really gets my goat!! And that poor horse lying down with the saddle on!!!WTF!!?? Where are the caretakers??? And why is this animal used to the point of such obvious exhaustion?? Where the hell is PETA when you need them? Sorry, you've got me going now!! I hate stuff like this, it makes me sick. Not to mention mad as bloody hell!! And as far as animals having souls...please...the very definition of "soul" is life. To be alive is to have soul...NOT A soul. Such a huge misconception in so many people. When we die, our souls do not go flying out of our bodies to heaven, or wherever people believe that this "thing", or "soul" goes. When we die or when animals die, they/we are dead. Period. Someday, every one who has died will be raised from the dead. Some will go to heaven. Some will be consumed by fire and will cease to exist...hence the term "hellfire". I'm so tired of hearing people say that people have souls and animals don't have souls. If you have life, you are a living soul whether you are a human or an animal. Sorry for the soapbox, but this is a pet peeve of mine and I'm just in the right mood to vent. I don't mean to step on any toes here, but...GGRRRR!!!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Awww-poor ponies.

Megan and I desperately want to ride horses on a beach at some point in our lives, but I really only prefer to do it on my own horses or at least privately owned ones.

So what exactly was the deal with the laying down horse?

Carolynn said...

Okay, I confess....I couldn't read this post in it's entirety. It's too hard for me to read this kind of stuff. I'm one of those people who believes that all animals have souls. I also happen to believe that animals are actually the superior race.

Cara said...

A sad thing. I will try not to think about this today, but I will anyway. I can't fix the whole world, just one very small part.

Andrea said...

Riding a horse on the beach is one of my things to do before I die!! I finally got to ride up in the mountains and canter through a field now I want to ride on a beach! At least those horses were fat. I always felt extra bad if my trail horse was skinny. I was happy at the dude ranch I went to that all the horses had good feet with shoes and were super healthy. And it amazed me that they had 52 horses on just about 3 acres and they were all FAT!! It's amazing what some food will do. And those horses only stay up there during the summer. In the winter they get to go home to bigger pastures in the valley.

I would have offered to buy the horse. I think I asked a few times at the Ranch if I could buy the horse I was riding. I even offered to trade him for a horse I had at home. But nobody wanted to trade me or sell me my horse. Sigh......

I am glad you guys had a good ride. And your trip really sounds wonderful. I love vacations. They always have me feeling geared up and ready for "real" life.

Melanie said...

Cingspots-No offense taken or toes stepped on here. Vent all you want....
The mare that was lying down was taking a nap while the other horses were away. She was actually one of the spunky ones, who was fat and had life left in her. And as for souls, I believe animals have them too. :)

BEC-Next time it will definitely have to be my own horse out on the beach, as I felt terribly guilty afterwards. The mare that was lying down was just napping, and I guess she was comfortable enough to do so with her saddle on, and with onlookers nearby.

Carolynn-I can totally understand your discomfort, and it shows your compassion towards animals. You know, I often think that animals have one up on us as well. :)

Cara-It was/is sad, but I don't think it will change. Theses beach riding facilities just need to be regulated a little bit, to make sure the needs of the horses are being met 100%.

Andrea-My mom and I debated about the whole fat thing... There were about seven fat horses out of all of them, and they happened to be the ones that I photographed. You could definitely tell who the bosses were back at home, because they didn't have rain scald, and they were plump.

A lot of them were right on the verge of being too thin, but they also appeared to be TB's or TB crosses. I was just mad, because the man bragged about how much money he has made this year-due to the weather-and all I could think about was "Why don't you take better care of your horses then???"
Mandatory animal husbandry classes would be nice....

And I would have taken that horse home in a heartbeat if I had a place for him. You and I must think alike. :)

Melanie said...

PS-Andrea...thanks for putting the rest of my vacation into perspective for me, as it was a fun time. :)
I just felt terrible about riding those poor horses, and had to lay my guilt out for all to see....

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You shouldn't feel terrible at all, Mellie. Not to excuse the horse's caretakers, but at least they do have a home and aren't sitting around in a bare field starving or worse, standing in an aucttion waiting to be bought by the meat man.
I agree it's sad about their hooves and being exhausted and some that had rain rot, but you just got to put it in perspective. I also agree that all animals have souls (well maybe not spiders, bees or ants. gah!).
I'm glad you got to ride on the beach, though. That is a dream of mine, too.

~Lisa

oregonsunshine said...

Mellie,

I struggled with the condition of the horses at Ocean Shores many, many years ago and decided against riding there. Then, their hooves looked awful and they all seemed to have quarter cracks. I worried about their comfort and care and cried most of the way home to Olympia when my mother and I finally left. I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to pay to rent a horse for a ride if they looked to be in poor condition. I didn't want to give my money to people who wouldn't take care of their horses. And, I've stuck to it. However, that was MY decision. It's one I can live with. And, I have no criticism of you, just so you know. :)

Now, if I had the money and the space, I'd have sprung that black in your pics that looks a lot like Casey. Ah well! Maybe next year!