Horse sense

Those who follow this blog know that Pairodox is situated in a fairly rural part of north central Pennsylvania. Although just ten percent of folks who live near us list farming as their primary occupation, many more of us who hold day jobs raise livestock. Horses, in particular, have had some local bad press this week and I write sympathetically and in support of both equines and of their owners. The event of which I speak resulted in the death of a women after being dragged by her horse as she was grooming, not riding, it. I write to point out the obvious, that raising animals brings with it significant risks. Healthy animals rarely, if ever, lash out to harm. People get hurt when they force animals to do something they would rather not do, such as walk into a livestock trailer or treatment chute. People get hurt when they work animals out of their routine and forget to use that routine to advantage. People get hurt when working with intact males, especially if there is a female of the species in heat and within sniffing distance. And sometimes, as in this local case, people get hurt when the unpredictable and unexpected co-occur. Animals are beautiful and can inspire. It has been an honor and a pleasure for us to have been able to raise, get to know, and live with so many different species, breeds, and individuals in our many years as livestock farmers here at Pairodox. That being said I must observe that being around animals brings with it genuine responsibility. It’s that way with all things, isn’t it? Driving a car is a wonderful thing. But can you deny that there are responsibilities that go along with car ownership and operation? Would you conclude that those responsibilities detract from the positive aspects of automobile ownership to such an extent that you would choose not to drive? I think not. Reading and hearing about unfortunate accidents cannot and should not condemn a species or an individual animal. We are always careful to never, ever, take good animal behavior as given. This is just one of those many lessons learned down home. The image below shows Peace, our 33-year-old (and very much retired) Lipizzaner, at the withers as she enjoyed a very sunny afternoon on pasture yesterday.


7 thoughts on “Horse sense

  1. That’s very sad about the local woman. Yes you are right that being around animals has its own set of responsibilities. I know we often forget that, and get shocking reminders every so often. On a different note, it’s a lovely photograph. It looks like a blue sky over a field of some exotic white grass. Peace, to be sure!

    • All the snow and mud and snow and ice and rain and snow and mud has made her a filthy mess – not fit for public display! The only clean spots were right along her back!

    • Hi LyndaMichele … yes, the accident was quite tragic indeed. We knew the woman and it was simply one of those one-in-a-million type of accidents. When I hear stories such as this one I always play the ‘what if’ game .. what if she had paused to do this or that before she began to groom the animal … what if she had decided to have that second cup of coffee before going out. Do you ever do that? Anyway, thanks for dropping in and for taking the time to comment. Also, I dropped by your blog this morning and was reading the ‘About’ section and saw that you were having difficulty making the transition between your current camera and the new one … read the manual for the new one and learn how to use it! Take the plunge – you’ll be happy you did! D

  2. The juxtapositon of colors and textures is very effective. Pretty image, crisp and clean. A nice companion to the important message. PS: Working on your compendium.

    • Thanks for the keen analysis and observation. We knew the woman who was the subject of the post. She was the daughter of the good fellows who own our local Agway.

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