SunChild Posted May 6, 2008 Share Posted May 6, 2008 Best of luck to both of you... and I'm glad you get to enjoy such a friend. The age horses are raced at is much too young IMO as well. Run a horse as a two year old and they retire from racing at age 5 or so. A lot of horses (non-racing ones anyway) are just reaching their prime at that age. Most non-racing horses aren't even trained for riding until they're two... or three. I think a lot of injuries are due to cumulative stress/injury. I think they're pushed too far, too fast. I think of it like some of the Olympic athletes we have. Some of the sports have very young contestants... 16 year old, sometimes even 13-14 year old gymnasts and skaters, etc... so you know they started at much younger ages than that... and they're retired by the time they hit their twenties. I didn't hear yet exactly what happened, but I did see some of the footage briefly... and I don't care to watch it again. I understand what you're saying about PETA and I agree with some of it. They ARE extreme and I don't agree with some of their stances or their way of bringing attention to it. However, as extreme as they are, and regardless of their credibility, they do bring things to the public's attention. As a result, some folks start looking at the issues raised and sometimes things get changed. Turning lab animals loose that have never been 'free' can be really foolish and ironically dangerous for the lab animals... BUT the way lab animals are obtained, treated during their 'careers', discarded afterwards, etc. have been changed as a result. (But then, I tend to think that 'radical fringe groups' serve a very valuable purpose... and that is to get attention placed upon issues that otherwise aren't considered, or maybe even known. Sometimes that is what it takes. I often don't think the radical 'solutions' these groups come up with are practical or appropriate... but the change that does result may very well not come about without the radical fringe element making a lot of noise about the issue at hand. Thank you for your kind words. I'm not a member of PETA, and I think they take animal rights to an extreme. But I also think if they hadn't thrown blood or red paint on people wearing fur, it'd still be ok to wear fur, and so on. Sometimes radical action is called for. I know the old vacqueros wouldn't dream of starting a horse in serious work until they were at least four years old, because that's about when horses' bones have finished growing, and they are physically AND mentally mature. That's true of any type of horse, probably extra true of Thouroughbreds who are big, with fine bones. People who use horses daily in work realize there's no point in having one who's useless by age five because of early over work. It seems that nowadays people don't want to pay the price of feeding and training a horse for that long, they want the pay out, and they want it now. Of course a two or three year old is fast and athletic, but that isn't the point, if you care about horses. The great Grand Prix horses or show jumpers are sometimes in their late teens, for heaven's sake, think of the investment in those horses, time, money, and emotional. As I understand it, horses have evolved for running and are competitive against each other naturally - especially at a young age. Do they really need jockeys to steer or whip them in order to run a race? Jockeys are relatively light, but must put pressure and imbalance on the horses legs. If greyhounds can race uncumbered, why not horses? Well, first you'd have to scare the hell out of them to get them to start running, otherwise they'd be likely to go find some grass and start munching. That kind of group gallop is generally reserved for escaping marauding lions. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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