Many people-- even those who are vegetarian and opposed to animal testing-- often strongly defend trail-riding and commercial horse-back riding as being fair and humane. This is a very misleading opinion, however, as I am about to show:
- Animals, quite plainly, were not put here on earth for humans to use as their tools. Says Saba Alemayehu on all-creatures.org, "I always tell to pony riders and police men/women not to ride the animals needlessly, but some of them think it is something that the animals themselves enjoy to do, which is a lie. Every animal hates being manipulated, exploited, and being made an instrument..."
"What do I do with it?" I asked nervously.
I very gently "tapped" my horse's side, but nothing changed.
I hit the horse with a bit more force, but decided that I shouldn't do any more than that. Why would I hurt my horse?
"Come on," she exclaimed. "Horses are big, tough animals-- they won't be able to feel a little hit on their sides!"
- Horses may become exhausted from overworking and providing one ride after another... for days on end.
What about bareback riding rescued horses? That's a slightly different story. If you have rescued a pony or horse, riding her must be consentual-- she mustn't refuse, run away, or flatten her ears. Teaching your horse to live in harmony with you is one thing. Forcing your horse to be ridden on the false premise that "he'll like it after a while" or "it's good for him" is another. If you really want your horse to want to be ridden, you'll have to build a close relationship with him first.