dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Of What Value are Horses?

The support from everyone to what happened to Steele has been met with overwhelming support. However, I feel a need to respond to an Anonymous comment on my post about what happened to end our journey together.

First off, I'm sorry your horse had to be put to sleep, but to say "fucking dog" is not fair to anyone. A horse is a hobby, a dog is a companion, a friend, a protector, an aid to the blind, an aid to the sick, an aid to those with PTSD .... I could go on and on. You see, although some people like, maybe even love their horse(s), what do they really do? When was the last time you saw a "seeing eye horse" or a "watch horse", or one trained to find drugs, survivors in an earthquake amongst the rubble, I didn't see one helping find the bodies from 9-11 or the Haiti earthquake. I can't seem to find any horses that are MWH - Military War Horse. None that can sniff out IED's, unexploded ordinance or weapons caches. Dogs have been known to frequently give their lives to protect humans ... again, no stories about horses doing the same. Dogs are smarter, can be more easily trained to benefit man, are more agile, more adept, less fragile, have keener sight, hearing and smell. Yes, I feelsorry for you and your horse, but please ... just because 2 dogs doing what to them was natural and fun, to run ..... don't put all dogs in your "fucking dogs" category. They are far more beneficial to man than are horses. (from a loving dog owner)

I do realize that the dogs were doing what they do naturally and I am a dog lover. I thought about removing that last line but decided to leave it. I could try to help others understand with long explanations as to why I said what I said but what would be the point?

However, there are many points wrong with these whole perspective. First of all it demonstrates a flaw in logic called the Unwarranted Assumption Fallacy. To quote Wikipedia:
  • Unwarranted assumption fallacy - The fallacy of unwarranted assumption is committed when the conclusion of an argument is based on a premise (implicit or explicit) that is false or unwarranted. An assumption is unwarranted when it is false - these premises are usually suppressed or vaguely written. An assumption is also unwarranted when it is true but does not apply in the given context.

So first of all let's look at horses are companions/aids etc:
1. guides for the blind: http://www.guidehorse.com
2. Helping veterans, police officers and others with PTSD: http://www.va.gov/health/newsfeatures/2014/September/Reining-In-PTSD-With-Equestrian-Therapy.asphttp://www.calicojunctionnewbeginningsranch.org/ptsd.htmlhttp://globalnews.ca/news/1565784/equine-therapy-program-launched-for-rcmp-members-with-ptsd/
3. War Service: seriously? My grandfather was in the British Calvary. How could this person not know the long history of horses and war. But here are some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_warfare, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIo3ZfA9da0
4. Dogs and humans have a long history. So do horses and humans. Horse made agriculture easier, allowed for travel and trade.
5. assuming that the dogs were having fun so it's all okay and i should get over it. Well. We will never agree on that point.

Now let me tell you all a personal story. This is one I have about my first horse- a small Quarter Horse named Woody. I did a blog post about him last year. He is an awesome horse. One summer he was being pasture boarded and was turned out with another horse. I would go and get Woody, ride him and bring him back. His pasture mate ignored me. One day I was there riding over feeding time. The Barn Owners asked me to take both horses feed out when I was done. So after my ride I brought Woody to the field and he trotted off like always. I grabbed the feed bucket and was heading to put it in his pasture mates feed bin. I heard a noise and looked up. This horse was charging me with his teeth bared, his ears laid back and his neck snaked out. I was too far away from the fence to run and it was clear that this horse was coming at me intending damage. I grabbed the feed bucket to swing at him and hope that it made him veer off. When he was about 10 feet away Woody came flying out of no where and stood between me and the other horse. That horse tried to get around him to get at me but Woody kept between us and would not leave no matter that the other horse was biting and kicking at him. I quickly walked to the feed bin and dumped in his feed. I backed away and the horse went to his feed. I went over to Woody's bin and dropped his feed in. I began to head back out of the field keeping my eyes peeled but Woody left his grain and followed me all the way to the gate. Once I got to the gate he went back to his feed. After that he always escorted me to the gate every time.

And a more recent story. When Steele was laying in the mud, exhausted, going into shock and his hind leg was trapped under the roots and muck I was trying to frantically to free it I could not get a purchase or on the right angle. I climbed by his belly so I'm in between his front and hind legs. This is an incredibly dangerous position- if he began to flail I could have been seriously hurt. I knew that but I couldn't get a purchase. So I risked it. As I worked on freeing his lower leg he kept the one on top dead still. When I moved away he would kick and try to get a purchase. When I went back in he would hold it still.  This happened again and again. I am convinced that he was being careful of me.

There is the stuff you know and there's the stuff you don't know but you know you don't know it and other stuff you don't know and don't know you don't know it (read that a few times) So my point is don't assume that because you don't know something that it doesn't exist.

I can't answer the question about the value of horses. Obviously to this person they have no value. To me and many of my fellow bloggers and friends they are priceless.


  1. I thought that anon comment was in such poor taste. It's a pity that some people don't understand the concept of not saying anything at all of they have nothing nice to say.

    I hope it didn't upset you further. Clearly anon had no idea what s/he was talking about.

  2. coming from a Dog and Horse Lover, Hell I love them all, I own a farm , I love my critters even the ones that are destined for the freezer, I treat them all with respect and love, and discipline when need be, if my dog gets out of line, he gets disciplined, if an animal or person gets out of line they get disciplined, that is the way we learn, from stupid things and mistakes we have done, They are not allowed to run rough shod over the farm, and I don't allow others animals to do it either, I think it is more of a personal behavior to allow your dogs to run wild, Dogs running in pack form get a different mentality than those that are playing in the field, or in the yard, they can and have killed, I truly understood your comment about the dogs, and you know what I would have said the same, I wish I had horses here at the farm , but I cant as of yet, and to answer your questions, there are PTSD horses, and Horses are used as Therapy companions for children with Autism aswell as many other issues, , they all have a use and a purpose, and it doesn't matter what their purpose it , and it shouldn't matter at all.. I am so sorry for your loss, this is a tragic situation and the person that wrote that should have thought twice, ignorance is bliss they say.

  3. As always, ignorance is bliss. ANON is clearly an idiot!

  4. Omg. There's so many things wrong with that comment I just can't even...just ignore those type of people. Not only did she apparently miss your entire post if THAT is what she got from it, but her arguments completely miss the boat. PLUS, for the sake of argument, I would say that the value of horses on the creation of human civilization has far exceeded dogs (and I do love my dogs!)

  5. I think that anon completely misconstrued your last sentence to mean something other than what you clearly intended. Your comment was not misinterpreted by anyone who knows you and your love of all animals.It's unfortunate that you should have to defend yourself at this sad time. Anne T.

  6. At that moment in time Teresa was screaming in horror , in anger, in utter gut wrenching sadness ...at a thing...a thing that tormented and caused the death of her horse..a horse she's bonded with since her was very young, a horse that trusted her in his care ...it would no thave matter if it had been a hunter , a 4 wheeler, a lightning storm , or another horse...what ever it had been , that scream would still have come from the depths of her soul..."fucking man, fucking storm, or even fucking horse...
    Teresa loves dogs..dogs of all breeds and shapes and sizes...she has wonderful well trained obedaent dogs ..that are not perfect but are kept in check as needed...
    Anon..go back and read her blog post about the night Steele died...read it carefully...feel the emotion....put yourself in that swamp with one of your dogs in your arms dying because it had been chased and tormented by stray dogs...what would you be screaming?????

  7. Wow - someone who obviously doesn't have the cahoonah's to leave their name is not worth your time Teresa. We, as horse owners/lovers, KNOW the value of their love, and one should never have to explain that to anyone. Like you said, you don't know what you don't know you don't know.


  8. I've been reading, lurking; and I feel just awful for everything that happened. I get the impression the ANON who posted "just because 2 dogs doing what to them was natural and fun, to run" is one of those types who lets their dogs run uncontrolled; then yells "don't worry, my dogs are friendly!" when they barrel into someone, or mob a leashed dog out for a walk.

    Lawd, I hate that. I can understand it's natural for dogs to want to run, but it's also natural for them to want to chew on the carpet (it's fun!), raid the trash (it's tasty), and do other "fun" and "natural" behaviors we humans find rather unacceptable.

    Letting a dog run, when the recall isn't there, is irresponsible at best. Defending such a behavior / practice, I can't justify. I like to let my dogs run free as much as the next bloke, but unless it's on -my!- Preserve, or a fenced in dog-appropriate area, then I leash them.

    If this had all happened to me?

    "Fucking dogs," yes. I'd have said that.

    ~ Muse

  9. There are a lot of know it all, pedantic a-holes on the interwebs and funny how they are all anonymous? I know it is bothersome when they completely misconstrue something and go off on a hurtful rant but that is a reflection of them not you. Water off a duck's back, Teresa.

  10. Yeah I don't understand that comment either. I guess they have never been angry, upset or heartbroken before. Then again how can you be heartbroken if you are that heartless? I'm so sorry that hateful people are criticizing you. The people that matter are here to support you in your grief so just ignore them.

  11. And the other side of the interwebs rears it's ugly head...

    The side where people don't read for comprehension before commenting. The side where people react emotionally, irrationally and without regard for how what they write sounds, or may make someone else feel. The side where they take their (passive) aggression out on another and don't stand by their words by commenting anonymously.

    So sorry Teresa. The last thing someone who has been through the wringer like you needs is bullshit like that comment. Please accept the apologies of the 99% of the blog world who have manners and compassion.

  12. I had never read your blog before, but found it through comments on another blog that I read, & I am so, so sorry for your loss of Steele. :(

    I hope the dog's owner does step up & take responsibility for the costs that were incurred because of his negligence.

    You are in my thoughts.


  13. "Anon" is nothing but a TROLL... let us not give him/her any more thought or space. Shame on you, TROLL.

  14. Basically, "Anonymous" is both a coward and a moron. It's really as simple as that. A coward because he or she did not pen their name, a moron because reading comprehension is obviously not in their lexicon (if you read this, Anon, I suggest you invest in a course and a good dictionary). From me to you personally, Anon, you are also as insensitive as they come. If you cannot empathize with the pain in Teresa - why bother posting at all? This is not a time for your inappropriate and asinine rhetoric, it is a time for warmth and sympathy towards another human being in the devastating loss of this beautiful animal for no reason other than a "fucking dog" owner's carelessness. One last thing - horses' service to mankind - if you learn nothing else from everyone's reaction to your totally inappropriate post, go watch the movie "War Horse". I guarantee you'll send Teresa an apology once you have. Now back off.

  15. I can't believe the ignorance of anonymous. Then again there are just some people who have to be mean or contrary just to be mean or contrary. I'm happy you were all able to educate her on the value of horses through the ages of civilization.

    Horse and dog lover

  16. This has to be one of the most ridiculous, hurtful comment I have read in a very long time. This "person" is so very wrong on so many levels, not to mention callous beyond belief. The contribution of horses is immeasurable, as is the contribution of dogs. How can you compare such vastly different animals ? This story is about the tragic, unnecessary death of a magnificent young horse, caused by the negligence of the dog's owners. My heart breaks for Teresa and family. I can't begin to imagine her pain they're going through now. Just so damned senseless. I have a dog and love her to bits, but I have to agree with Teresa in this case.FUCKING DOGS !

  17. My sincere condolences to you on the loss of your treasured pet & partner, Steele.

    From the story, you know who owns the dogs. He even apologized to you at the scene, effectively accepting responsibility for the tragic results of his dog pack.

    More than one dog together is a pack - period. Huskys are sight oriented and they are instinct driven to chase, it is in their nature. That said, owners of any dog should know the breed propensities and take care to channel them appropriately. So many owners do not bother on either front - that makes them bad owners, period. Mutt dogs should also be protected against their baser instincts so I am not talking against any breed in particular, only against their irresponsible owners.

    Please tell me that you are going to SUE this FOOL.
    Sue his A$$ off.
    Make him PAY for your financial loss. Financial is the least way in which you've been hurt, but is the most easily quantified. And hitting them in the pocket is a time tested way to punish idiots.

    We horse people DO understand how much money went into getting that horse to where he was, the courts can make you whole again by making judgement against the owner.
    You could likely force him to have to dogs put down, if you choose. In fact, it might be better because they are now publicly KNOWN to RUN LIVESTOCK. If you had shot them, you'd have been within your rights to do so.
    Owner has already shown he can't be bothered to contain his animals so there is no reason to think he will do so properly in the aftermath. And even if he gets to keep he dogs and does right by them and his neighbours from this day forward, he should still PAY, PAY, PAY.

    Please post a follow up so we know what is happening going forward. In the meantime, we grieve with you and for you.

  18. Horses were used in the military for many reason. The is a horse statue at Ft.Steward in Ga. This horse was a hero, carrying bombs and ammo and saved many lives. This horse was so loved he was shipped back to the states after the war. I cannot remember his name but now there is a book about his life.

  19. What an ignorant, ill-educated, and insensitive comment. I am so sorry you had to deal with that. On top of everything you so eloquently said, saying 'fucking dog' about the one that killed your horse doesn't detract from the value of dogs in general. I'm pretty sure the poorly behaved, out of control dog that caused you all this pain was neither a seeing eye dog nor of any benefit to the military, the disabled, or the elderly. I'm guessing the anon poster knew how moronic his/her comment was, since he/she failed to leave a name.

  20. I don't have the words to say how sorry I am for your loss. Anon needs to google Sargent Reckless, a pack horse for the marines. The Horse and Man blog has a couple of posts on war horses.

    Sarah T

  21. I just found your story and first, I want to tell you how truly sorry I am for this horrific loss. Steele was magnificent.

    I have run into this attitude myself a few times, just few weeks ago in particular. I have two neighbors who let their dogs run loose, and they have caused no end of trouble. The authorities won't do anything and neither will the dog owners. These dogs went after my donkeys last year, but luckily, I was right there and able to chase the dogs off and no one was hurt. When I confronted the owner, he told me not to worry, the dogs "just want to play". I know dogs and I know that these dogs would have killed my donkeys if they could have. It would have just been a game to them, but it wouldn't have made my donkeys any less dead.

    The thing that really bugs me about my neighbors and this anonymous commenter is that they really believe that just because the dog is playing, that makes it OK for his dogs to run loose terrorizing other animals. Also, just because this idiot thinks her dog is more valuable than your horse, that somehow makes it OK? How can they call themselves dog lovers when they allow this. I finally took it upon myself to train the neighbors dogs to stay away because it was either that or shoot them.

    Just a few weeks ago, I learned that these same dogs were once again out chasing livestock, but this time they both came back severly injured, the one had to be put down. This time it was the dogs who paid the price for the stupidity of their owners. Don't these "dog lovers" ever think about that? That allowing thier dogs to do these things is just as dangerous for the dogs.

    I love dogs, I have spent my entire life with them. I've raised them, trained them, done shelter work. I love them for the predators that they are and I know that it is my job to control their killing instinct. Any true dog lover should know this whether they value the life of horses or not. My well behaved border collie would never be out roaming the countryside causing trouble or getting himself killed because I would never allow it. Anonymous should be thinking about how to control her own dogs rather than waste time trying to tell you your beloved horse is not valuable enough to love.

  22. Horses don't have value? To say that would be inaccurate. I'm a 14 year old girl who was severely bullied in school. Had it not been for my horse I probably wouldn't be here right now. I'm so happy now. The happiest I've ever been. She protected me. She saw the good in me. She comforted me. She never feel alone. She loved me even when I felt I was unworthy of such a thing. I can never truly fathom into words what she's done for me; and to me that's invaluable. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  23. I have not very nice things to say to ANON. How DARE someone say that to a person who had gone through what you did!

    I'm so very sorry, not only about losing Steele, but that you had to endure additional abuse at the hand of an asshole.


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