The history of the horse is closely connected with the history of man.
And, unfortunately, there is almost nothing good in this common history.
Those grains of good that are hard to find are like a handful of grains of sand in the palm of your hand in an ocean of sand. And how favorable this very kindness was for the horse is still a question.
The rest, everything is there, everything that is so characteristic of man: conquest, submission and enslavement, which almost always brings with it extreme cruelty, mockery and humiliation. For centuries, people have interfered in the life of a horse (including surgically) in order to change its body, covered themselves with it using it as a shield from bullets, shells and other weapons during wars and battles, conducted various experiments, used it in hard field work, and in the appendage also in entertainment – in sports and in the circus (a concentration camp for animals). Human created various fanaticism, calling it art.
He beat her out of frustration that she did not do what the “smart” person ordered her to do. Like a stupid child mindlessly trying to educate and teach others, he, not understanding the results of his consequences and often simply enjoying and rejoicing at the results of his “labor”, “decorated” the horse: there was a fashion to cut patterns on the horse’s body, set fire to its hair (instead of cutting it), cut off her ears (to make it more comfortable, I don’t remember why), cut her nostrils (“it’s easier for her to breathe during a long and fast run”) and much more.
Racism, in my understanding, exists not only between a person and a person, but also between a person and an animal (other living beings). Racism begins with the thought of when someone begins to consider themselves better than another. There is a person, there is his ego, there is I, and everything else should revolve around him and his desires, like planets around the Sun. Everything for him and for his convenience.
Even in today’s world, most of the horses you see anywhere – “romantic” carriage rides around the city, sports, the usual standard riding schools – it is all medieval ages mentality. All these horses, almost without exception, are disabled to one degree or another (inflamed joints, damaged and deformed jaws, skull and tendons, impaired digestion) and none other than Homo sapiens – “a reasonable person” brought them to this point. None of these mentioned owners is held liable (the Estonian Animal Welfare Organization told me that they are trying to respond to specific complaints from eyewitnesses and witnesses of violence, but they simply do not have enough time or money for many such cases). However, all these owners, if you ask them, will all answer that they are madly in love with horses (something: “madly in love” – “love without mind” – never leads to anything good, because in this case everyone and everything that is near this “beautiful” source suffers). The rapist will also tell us how he sincerely loves (his victim) and cares about the object of his love. The question is: does the victim love his rapist (unless, of course, we are dealing with the so-called “Stockholm Syndrome”)? There can be no question of any healthy love here.
I will no longer describe here all the specific precedents, so as not to upset you anymore. The horse was and remains in the hands of man, like a kind of soulless toy.
The Indians were apparently the only ones who had any respect for these animals. They believed that a horse has a soul and that a person needs to become, first of all, a friend of a horse, to be an equal if he wants to interact with it. “The horse does not need to understand us, but we need to understand the horse” – this is how wisdom sounds.
In the literature, one can find rare references to horses as extremely intelligent creatures. So, for example, in his stories “Gulliver’s Travels”, J. Swift tells the reader about noble, loving, benevolent and mind-improving horses (Houyhnhnm) as the exact opposite of a greedy, arrogant, aggressive and self-serving person (Yahoo). Was it for nothing that he chose this particular type of animal for comparison?
Also known are the legendary masters of the extremely popular Haute école of horse riding in the past, who sought to understand the horse and showed enviable patience and sympathy in their training. Now there are admirers and followers of this School. Some of the most famous are: Gonza Blaha, Mario Luraschi, Silk Valentin and Alexander Nevzorov. There is also an organization fighting for the gentle treatment of horses – epona.tv
Since childhood, I have loved horses, although I could not ride, except once at the age of 3. More than 30 years have passed. And so, some time ago, I finally decided, by all means, learn to ride. Began to study the history of riding. For a year now, I have been actively fond of horse riding. I started – like 99.9% of people – with the traditional technique, when the horse stuffed the brindle bit into his mouth (which she resisted every time). These were workouts that I went to with clenched teeth, stressed every time. And the horse was stressed too. But there was no other option that I dreamed about – when both the horse and I are in a good mood during training – at that time there was not. There are only a few teachers in Estonia who use a non-violent approach to horseback riding. After six months of classes, I finally managed to find a trainer from the club “In Harmony with the Horse” not so far from my hometown. And these workouts have become one of my happiest days of the week. There, horses do not have their teeth removed (to make room for iron brindle bit that are stuffed into the mouth and which injure and cause suffering to the animal), they are not beaten, and they live in greater freedom and love. For control, ropes and straps are used, worn either on the nose and head, or on the chest. They are noticeably different in behavior from their counterparts, brought up in constant stress and violence: they are not so afraid of a person and there is less suspicion in their eyes, they do not expect to receive some kind of filth in response to their interest in a person. The interest is sincere and mutual. This is a good start and the basis for the emergence of friendship between a horse and a person.
Gradually, very slowly, more and more people begin to think and understand the needs and possibilities of the horse. Step by step, the course of events is changing for the better.
I was inspired to write this piece by studying the history of the horse and man. I was inspired by the music of the Indians, videos of non-violent horse handling trainers, and, of course, training with my wonderful teacher – Marju.
This piece is dedicated to all horses suffering from rough treatment by humans. At the same time, this is probably my first work that touches upon the problems of mankind.
I hope you will enjoy watching and listening.