Why I Gave Up Horseback Riding
I've been through the desert on a horse with no nameIt felt good to be out of the rainIn the desert you can remember your name'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain. La, la ...
Horses are probably my favorite animals (including people). Before you call me a human-hating vegan, let me tell you why. Horses are both strong and kind. They can kick your ass or be your best friend. Plus, they are beautiful and majestic. And they act like they know it. It kills me!
A long time ago, for a while, people's favorite question was "what's your spirit animal?" I always chose horses and even fucking online tests would tell me I'm a horse type of person (they were popular back then and I might have just taken one).
I have never felt freer than when riding a horse and moving in the same rhythm with it. I know it sounds cheesy, but you actually feel like you're one. From far away it looks effortless; in reality, you're squeezing your legs, keeping a straight posture, gazing ahead, and keeping your heels down to make sure your feet won't get stuck if something happened. It's intense, but it's so rewarding. I loved every minute of it. Being around horses makes me so happy. I love hanging out with them, giving them showers then sunbathing with them, and feeding them.
So if I love riding horses so much why did I give it up? It's because I love horses more. For a while, I was thinking about how ethical riding horses is and whether it's right or wrong. But I was afraid to find out. I finally got the courage and watched Bite Size Vegan's video series about horse cruelty in the modern world and it put me to tears. I hated myself. How could I ignore all those signs that were right in front of me? Because of the pain that horses suffer on a daily basis; they develop abnormal behaivors such as biting the metal bar, knocking their heads, facing the back wall, pacing, neck twisting, and abnormal aggressive reactions.
Riding a horse before their growth plates convert into bones (usually between the age 6-9) can cause skeletal damage leading to lasting pain and injuries. Not to mention the pain caused my saddles as they restrict the blood flow and damage the tissues of the horse's muscles and skin. Bits are extremely painful to a horse! They are at least responsible for 50 problems. The pain that causes the horse is so extreme that the horse tries to do whatever it could to escape the pain; opening their mouths and shaking their heads, just to name a few. I wondered why I always saw the horses acting that way when they wouldn't respond to me pulling on the reins.
"a horse would go as far as placing their tongues in between the bit joint and the roof of their mouth in attempt to escape this pain"
Watch the video below to learn more about the negative impacts of bits on horses and riders. Also, if you don't want to give up horseback riding, then just know that there are ways to ride your horse naturally without the use of bits and whips. There are ethical ways to treat domesticated horses that are enjoyable for both you and the horse. Check out this YouTube channel for more on that.