Aug 24, 2007

Mini-Rant on Footballing Horses



I tell you, folks, I am not looking for this kind of stuff. It finds me. It's a gift, really. I feel that you have to go with your strengths. So, I now present Kariba, the footballing horse. He, too, used to be very difficult and has now been rehabbed through football-practice. He seems slightly more gifted that frisbee-horse in that he has been taught dribbling around the field, long-distance kicks, shots at the goal, etc...


Okay, this is cool. I grant you, but let me bring this down a bit. Why are we doing this to horses, people?! In case you haven't noticed, a horse weighs around 1,000 lbs. Frankly, I don't think this was much of a rehab - so, someone taught Kariba to stop bucking his riders off and bolting off with them, but now he rears up in the air to kick a ball with his front legs (with a rider on his back). Way to go, lady! So, when you're trail riding around in a park and a person throws a tennis ball to a dog and it just happens to be nearish your horse, will he take off (with or without your permission) and kick it around? Will you be able to teach him that it's okay to kick a ball sometimes, but not all the time.? And if he's on the cross-ties and you're kneeling down to brush some stray dirt off his hoof and a dog just happens to bring the ball over to have you throw it, will Kariba "accidentally" take a shot at the goal into your face?! These are valid questions. We teach dogs to fetch because they are small and aren't liable to, well, gee, I don't know, accidentally kill you during the course of the game. I just think it's a tad dumb to teach these behaviors to horses. Hell, have fun with your horse, but please try and remember that he is an unpredictable creature that weighs half a ton and can hurt you without even trying.

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