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to think you wouldn't treat a dog like ponies are treated?

(21 Posts)
TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 14-Sep-09 09:24:57

I've been thinking about this for some time because i am a bit of an 'animal is for life' type person.
If you got a puppy that animal would love you and enjoy being with you. You wouldn't trade the dog in for a different one after a few years would you?
So why is it ok to do this to ponies and horses? They are intelligent animals and come to 'love' their owners like dogs do. yet they are kept a few years then passed on or sold.
Like baggage.
I think its bordering on cruel to do this sad
If you cant keep it for life, don't get one I reckon.

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 09:28:27

Perhaps this is where ponies are not like pets - they get outgrown and need a new owner who can take them and do things with them. It could be argued that it's pretty unkind to leave them to grow fat in a field if they are used to a busy working life.

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 09:29:18

A new owner who can take them out I mean.

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 09:29:25

I have problems with this too riven. And there are no guarantess that the place they are going to is going to care for them sad. The stables that DD goes to has a whole host of ancient nags that have been there forever - tis more like a rescue home for ponies - but they are happy and perfectly good for the required purpose (riding round and round in circles with litte girls on their backs grin)

But it is a shame to treat animals like cars.

kormachameleon Mon 14-Sep-09 09:33:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 09:41:54

Having said that would only sell my horse in the most dire/extreme circumstances, probably put him on full long-term loan first if I absolutely had to part with him.

Working dogs get bought and sold at different stages of life, some animals are bred for a purpose and better to change hands and be fully occupied than to not have an opportunity to use the abilities so carefully bred into them.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 14-Sep-09 09:45:21

maybe if they were like goldfish and didn't form attatchments it wouldn't seem so cold.

kormachameleon Mon 14-Sep-09 09:47:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nymphadora Mon 14-Sep-09 09:49:00

horses live a lot longer than dogs ?

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 09:57:14

I'm not sure there isn't a bit of anthropomorphism going on here - I don't think animals love us the way we understand love. As much as I am prone to a sort of Walt Disney view of my dog's attachment to me, deep in my heart I know he is programmed for survival and that my affection is a resource like warmth, food and shelter. He would happily make those exchanges with other humans if need be.

We tend not to do this to cats so much, is this because of cultural representations?

DailyMailNameChanger Mon 14-Sep-09 09:58:18

I do kind of see where you are coming from but, knowing horses, I do know that it takes a horse very little time to settle into a new home with new people. Yes it takes time to build up a trusting relationship between horse and rider but a horse will generally be happy enough by the end of a week in a new place. Some take a bit longer, some a bit less, some react more, some react less. Horses do work up bonds of attachment but not in anything like the same way as people do.

I have a problem with people who get rid of an old horse simply because it is old but selling a horse to someone who can use it properly when you no longer can seems to make sense to me, most horses love thir work and pine when left in a feild doing nothing, it would be a bit like telling someone whos job has been changed that, as they can no longer do that job they cannot do anything at all and so have to go and stand in a corner for the rest of their working life!

Many dogs are passed from home to home for various reasons, working, showing, breeding etc all lead to regular home changes, generally these dogs seem to be happy individuals who are perfectly capable of forming the usual doggy/person attachments.

TBH I think this is a bit like the "sheep for meat" argument, if you are not in the middle of the situation and experienced it is difficult to have an objective viewpoint rather than a more emotional one. Rightly or wrongly I do see horses as animals not people, I have a working relationship with, I form attachments to them but I do not lose sight of the reality of the relationship - the same as I was perfectly straight about the relationship I had with the beef cows I helped raise and the dairy cattle I showed when I was a child, for example.

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 10:09:58

"We tend not to do this to cats so much, is this because of cultural representations? "

Cats are not pack animals. Dogs are. That might be the difference.

DailyMailNameChanger Mon 14-Sep-09 10:14:20

And, TBF, it is frequently the cat who decides to trade the family in for a newer/tastier food offering model.

We, as people, tend to invest far more into a relationship with an animal than the animal does with us. Dogs and cats are different to horses and other domestic livestock simply because we have breed them into a co-dependant situation, we have to look after them because we have created them to be a certain way where they would find it hard to survive witout us. We have breed in loyalty and attachment and breed out independance and survival instinct - to a greater or lesser degree.

We have not done this as much with other animals, including horses.

MitchyInge Mon 14-Sep-09 10:21:25

If by 'pack animal' you mean preferring to live in a group then I think you might be wrong, feral cats often form colonies. Scarcity of resources might splinter their groups or even lead to them hunting alone but I think the evidence points to them as social animals. After all, they chose over time to live with humans and create a sort of 'pack' scent - a mixture of their and ours and other cats in the household scents.

CyradisTheSeer Mon 14-Sep-09 10:51:10

Message withdrawn

Pixel Mon 14-Sep-09 17:19:13

We aren't all like that Riven! We've kept all our ponies until the end, even when it meant not riding for years. My mum's horse was given to her by a lady who couldn't afford to keep him and her small pony, but wouldn't part with the pony as he would be outgrown and sold on to goodness knows where. The pony my ds rides is 27 and has been with the same owner since she was 18 months old.

Having said that, we aren't in it for the sport and competition, our horses are part of the family and we look after them ourselves every day. If we had been more of a competitive family we would most likely have had to make some hard decisions somewhere along the line, not being made of money! Also lots of competition horses or those owned by people with heavy work commitments are in full livery, in which case I suppose it is easier to make the decision to sell, when you possibly don't see the horse every day but the bills are still rolling in.

Pixel Mon 14-Sep-09 17:29:29

Also, I'm very short and was lucky enough to never outgrow the ponies. A friend of mine's daughter got a pony and her little legs barely reached the bottom of the saddle. She was heartbroken when she grew like a weed and within a couple of years her legs were dangling below the pony's stomach! Not much choice in those circumstances if you still want to ride and haven't got pots of cash.

pranma Mon 14-Sep-09 17:34:14

We sold our outgrown pony then bought him back when we didnt like the treatment he had.I was a bit stuck as I already had 2 bigger ones at livery and couldnt afford a 3rd easily.his breeder offered to have him for me free of charge,still belonging to dd with us paying vets bills only.Her dgcs were allowed to ride him.He had a long and happy life until he had to be put down aged 35.The other two one was bought by a friend who kept him for life.The other,sadly,went on permanent loan to someone who passed him on without permission and we lost track of him.I still feel sick about that.

arolf Mon 14-Sep-09 18:06:34

as an aside - I recently found out that my aunt and uncle had their (very well bred dressage) horse put down rather than rehoming him. Now, if he was an old horse with no quality of life remaining, I'd not be so disgusted with them. But, their reasoning was this - the companion pony they had for him was very sick and the vet recommended having him put to sleep - so my aunt said, may as well kill both of them, as the horse will miss the pony, and he's expensive to keep too.

I just feel sick at her reasoning - the horse was only 10 years old, and although he had an injury that would prevent him from competing ever again, he was still healthy for hacking, and would have been fine as a loan animal, or to sell him.

I wouldn't treat any animal that way...

Fruitbeard Mon 14-Sep-09 18:08:14

My boy is out on loan at the moment and I can safely say I miss him far more than he misses me!

He's happy as long as someone is feeding him and giving him cuddles, I'm not sure it matters who (I went to see him recently and he completely ignored me once he'd had his apples!)

In a way I'm glad because he's outgrown me (was sold to me as rising 7, turned out he was 3, is now 18hh and I can't ground mount him any more ) and I can let him go to a good home (his loaners want to buy him and they adore him) and get a new friend that both DD and I can ride. If no-one I trusted to look after him wanted to buy him, I would keep him myself (and buy a portable stepladder!).

Southwestwhippet Mon 14-Sep-09 18:54:22

I not convinced, owning as I do ponies and dogs, that they do 'love you' in the same way.

My dogs are utterly devoted to me, follow me around, come to call, pine without my companionship. My pony, whilst he is fond of me, happy to see me when I arrive and trusts me more than he trusts other people is generally pretty happy mooching around the field with his pony friends and would definitely not pine for me if I wasn't there.

I had a mare about 2 years ago who, although she was a great horse to ride, I just never bonded with. Owning her became a chore, I dreaded dealing with her, not because she was dangerous or anything but just because she made everything with me a constant arguement and battle. We basically had a personality clash. I sold her without any regrets whatsoever to a family who wanted a horse just for XC and pony club, she is now happy and loved in a much more suitable environment.

I think the difference is that much as we love them, we generally buy our horses and ponies to work rather than for companionship. If they are not suitable for the job we want them to do, or they do not enjoy it, we will then, as responsible owners, attempt to find them a home where they are suitable.

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