“Horses were made from the breath of the wind, the beauty of the earth, and the soul of an angel”
While Cameron was loading his car with fire wood we had just purchased, I was chasing down my little pup who had run off. As I neared a tiny run down shack the smell of horses overwhelmed my nose. I felt like my pup; sniffing my way to finding them. I peered through a small gated window in this shack and saw one cat, some hay but no horses. I went around the building to pick up brooke and I saw a piece of semitransparent glass taped over a bared basement window. I curiously knelt down and peered in. At first I could only see my reflection but as I looked closer I saw a massive nose; an animal nose. It reminded me of my cow friend’s nose but I figured it must be a horse. They keep their horse in the basement???? My bad vibes that had come as soon as we got out of the car only intensified from here. I went around the back and saw the ground dipped down and lead to a wooden door. The door was only shut with a string so I was able to push it slightly open. My heart sank. I saw this massive, but stunning, horse in this small stall. It looked back at me with its hunched over head (because the roof was too low for it to be able to fully extend its neck) with the saddest looking eyes. This horse looked helpless, depressed and miserable. Acquiring my camera and coming back to photograph the emotion I had seen; in this dungeon I could understand the potential misery as I was anxious to get outside after being in there for only 5 minutes.
I felt confused. I opened the door a little further and saw there were three. I was angry. Why were these horses in a basement; unable to fully stand up? They were too big for this. Too beautiful. It seemed the only thing that would help the sadness I felt was the thought of getting my camera and bringing to light the living conditions of these horses. Maybe I could send them to the SPCA…. Maybe Canada has really good laws on the living conditions of horses. I had to grab my camera; even though deep down I knew it wouldn’t change anything for these horses.
I headed back to the car where cam was done loading the wood and I asked the lady “why are those horses in the basement unable to fully extent their head?” She told me they were babies. They were a little big to be babies…..
Their three window allowed a little light in but they were only semi translucent so you couldn’t see outside. It was a bright sunny day and through the window it looked like it was storming outside.
Really nice view through the window for the horse living in a dungeon…..
There were cob webs everywhere! Just everywhere…. It looked like the barn hadn’t been cleaned in years. I couldn’t stop sneezing.
It felt like a dungeon. I don’t blame anyone, and I can understand why many people would believe this is appropriate living conditions for an animal; but for me it was heartbreaking. I always put myself in the shoes of an animal and I would want to be outside. Not cooped up in a dark, dirty, small place for most of my days. We spent hours with these horses and were lucky enough that they let us give them tons of affection. If I didn’t live 3 hours away I would have offered to clean the barn and maybe visit them/take them outside. But from Ottawa I can’t do anything. Except write this blog. Which is why I am doing it. To distract myself from the sadness I feel daily that animals in Canada aren’t seen as sentient beings capable of feeling suffering and anxiety. Their seen as items put on this planet for our amusement, or items to be put on our plates. It is this oppressive ideology; the one of eating meat; that has shaped the way we see ALL animals, not just the ones we eat. If we believed for one second that all animals are equal; that a pig is a dog and a dog is a cow; and that they are beings capable of feeling pain, fear, suffering, happiness, joy and love; we couldn’t sit down at our dinner table and dine over their dead, mutilated body parts, and we couldn’t walk through the meat section in the grocery store where these mutilated body parts are put on display, without feeling guilt and sadness. We have to rationalize our oppressive actions; and these horses spend their life in this dungeon because of it. Because we aren’t taught to respect animals. We are taught to eat them, wear them and capture and contain them.
This middle man was so curious while I pet his friend. I later headed over to his stall and gave him just as much love.
She was the first horse I saw when I peered in. She was terrified of me at first and every time I looked at her she had her face to the wall; eyes depressed. She eventually let me pet her and so I tried to give her lots of love as well.