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people taking out horse races

Posted May 8, '08 at 9:14pm

kanethebrain

kanethebrain

244 posts

I agree with DragonMistress that horses don't get a choice in the matter. Which, IMHO, makes it somewhat unethical to force them into something that can kill them. Then again, I don't have too much problem with slaughtering cows for my steak, so I don't hold to this TOO strongly.

Just because something has been around for a long time does not make it a good thing (It does not make it a bad thing either, it just makes it an old thing). Monarchy was a the usual form of government for thousands of years, but we don't think it's a good thing now.

The fact that it makes a lot of money (Billions? not surprised) means it would be hard to get rid of because people see horse racing as $$$. Just because something makes you money doesn't make it right. Slavery made lots of people rich, but it's not a good thing. (I am not equating Slavery with Horse Racing; it's just an analogy)

Do I think we should keep horse racing? No, it's harmful to the horse and a pretty pointless activity. Do I think it's going away anytime soon? No chance.

 

Posted May 8, '08 at 11:56pm

Snakebite

Snakebite

1,030 posts

Well, if you would go and see these animals at home... You would find out that the ANIMAL wants to race, its in its blood! Horses have always had a competitive spirit to them, including the ones that I used to ride and mine were cross-bred ones with NO trace of racing breeds in it. In other words, If the owners/trainers would take more time in finding a stronger bloodline for their breeding programs, injuries would be less common.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 12:04am

kanethebrain

kanethebrain

244 posts

I have, in fact, been to horse farms. I've ridden horses. I've taken them on trails. Most of the ones I saw were show horses, I'll grant, but none of them liked the training for show riding. Many horses are terrified at events and only do what they want because their jockey is beating them into it.

Perhaps horses can be conditioned to enjoy racing, but that has not been my experience. Horses in the wild are rarely as competitive as you make them out to be, and have to be broken in to be used for humans. Any activity that requires breaking the spirit of an animal is not one I can support.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 1:01am

Strop

Strop

11,091 posts

Moderator

I do think that this needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Again, parallels can be drawn to people: let's take a look at this surge in parents wanting their kids to be king s*** and all that, and putting them through years of gruelling organised activity to try and mold them to becoming some kind of superhuman prodigy.

In maybe a handful of cases the kid actually takes to the task. Given the very competitive academic environment I come from, I know some who just absorb information like a sieve and really get raised into being competitive. I also know of a great deal many more that have an epiphany and abandon the way, and those that downright rebel and become problem children (to the confusion of the parents: "What did I do wrong!? I gave them everything they needed to get ahead in life!")

I assume the same can be applied to horses. The real success stories with happy endings can only come from those that are already amenable to the whole environment, which they get bred towards. In these cases, it's in the blood. Also granted, many horses have competitive spirits in them, but competition is something that affects all living things, by definition, and simply manifests in different facets of life.

I assume that there are many cases of trainers working to and within a broader agenda, the capitalistic, competitive machine that the horse racing industry itself is, such that they put the trappings of that above the horse itself. Such is obviously not restricted to horse racing alone, but nonetheless I think that a significant proportion of cases could be described as such, given the variety of attitudes with which one could approach the entire affair.

Funny tangent while I'm on it. I was at a riding ranch some years ago...I'm not too fond of the whole idea either, but I'm fond of horses, and being a city guy I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Thing was...there wasn't really much difference between the ranch and your average gloomy cramped cubicle office space. It didn't take a horse whisperer to realise that most of them were bored out of their minds, doing a daily grind merely because they knew they'd get fed.

It was the most blatant form of social contract I'd ever seen.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 11:40am

Snakebite

Snakebite

1,030 posts

I totally agree with you... In the case of horse races, I hate them, the reason they are so bad, is cause people are greedy and it comes to the expence of the animal itself. I personally don't have a problem with riding horses that were broke the RIGHT way (training at the animal's pace not the trainer). This method doesn't break the spirit if the animal. But, this racing training that starts when they are 6 months old or younger is not good on the animal... One of my old schooling horses was an ex-racehorse with so many joint problems, he could only be used by the little kids that were under a certain weight... NOT COOL! (this horse was only 6).

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 12:05pm

Captian_EO

Captian_EO

179 posts

I think that horse racing is fine. It would be good though if they could make the tracks softer for the horse and enforce good breeding, to insure that the horse and jockey will both be safe.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 12:39pm

Flipski

Flipski

639 posts

I don't like horse racing, I feel bad for the animals. I don't even think horseback riding should be allowed. We have cars, why do you need to bother the poor animal. Let them roam free. I think the only time I have seen happy horses was when they were roaming free.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 12:58pm

Strop

Strop

11,091 posts

Moderator

Well, to bring a new dimension into this discussion, there is a certain joy that both horse and person (not necessarily rider) can share in the formation of a relationship. I don't think that's exclusive of riding, though.

Probably some horses are more amenable than others to being ridden. Though I won't pretend to know exactly how important this is to them.

 

Posted May 9, '08 at 7:35pm

kanethebrain

kanethebrain

244 posts

@Strop: You are entirely right that people can bond with horses quite well. They make ok companions, although not quite the same as dogs or cats. I suppose if we're working together for a livelihood I'm ok with it. Just running them around dangerously... well, not so much.

 

Posted May 10, '08 at 1:27am

Strop

Strop

11,091 posts

Moderator

Heh, I take it you're more of a dog/cat person than a horse person. I'd probably be the other way around.

Personally I'd say different people would get along with different animals in different ways (or not at all), as a bottom line.

 
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