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View Full Version : A Visit to Totilas' "House"



Mike Matson
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:21 AM
Here's a very recent German report about the "haus" where Totilas and other Dutch horses live. Totilas is in the video. Perhaps one of our German speaking members can give us a summary. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD6x-u5_9cc&feature=player_embedded

siegi b.
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:42 AM
The summary, as was also evidenced by the comments to that video, is that it was a rather one-sided report showing the horses only in the barns and in hand.

On the positive side quite a few of the older (18 to 26 years old) VDL stallions were shown and they were obviously in super condition.

The report was done to try to answer the question why The Netherlands have successfully taken the lead in equestrian sports.

Mike Matson
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:07 AM
Thank you for the summary!

WBLover
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:10 AM
A multi-million dollar horse and all he's got is a piece of white tape with his name written on it with a Sharpie?? Wow, I was expecting a gold plated plaque with a diamond inlay of his name...

Quest52
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:31 AM
Do they purposely drive them insane by piling the hay up outside the stall right where they can't reach it?? :)

Love those back warmers too... wish we had some!

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:39 AM
A multi-million dollar horse and all he's got is a piece of white tape with his name written on it with a Sharpie?? Wow, I was expecting a gold plated plaque with a diamond inlay of his name...

The Dutch have much more important things to spend their money on... like...um... little gold horse heads on the fence posts?:D

BestHorses
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:54 AM
A multi-million dollar horse and all he's got is a piece of white tape with his name written on it with a Sharpie?? Wow, I was expecting a gold plated plaque with a diamond inlay of his name...

I found that refreshing. Just goes to show that fancy trimmings don't make the horse better. :)

Nojacketrequired
Mar. 23, 2010, 11:10 AM
The big difference you might notice is that these horses are not pets, they are livestock. The animal husbandry is fantastic, but the excessive/obssesive "care" that we see in North America just isn't a part of their model, especially with the young stock.

Personally, I think it's great.

NJR

CR Gorge Girl
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:04 PM
Do they purposely drive them insane by piling the hay up outside the stall right where they can't reach it?? :)

Love those back warmers too... wish we had some!

I have a friend who is a working student for Karin Donckers in Belgium, and after I saw pictures of the barn with the hay in aisles I wondered that too, but at her barn the horses can reach the hay and Jori said it makes cleaning stalls much easier. So maybe there is a door thing on the stalls that can be dropped down or something so they can reach the hay ?

lalahartma1
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:10 PM
Omg those babies! And those older stallions, wow!

Libera
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:25 PM
The stuff in front of the stalls in the last part were shavings...

All the other ones wasn't hay, but "kuil" (haylage?). They can stick their head thru the bars and eat, like they do at dairies :)

Oops I missed the part at VDL, I see what you mean. Probably their lunch, they have a lot of people working there, less mistakes if the right amount is laid out perhaps?

Equibrit
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:36 PM
Equine factory farming.

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:40 PM
Was it just me or were some of those stallions sorta plain?

I dont know if ALL of them were breeding stallions but what is it with the breeding world lately. EVERYTHING seems to be good enough to breed???

Mares too, just because she's an oven...

Sad really, enough horses are put by the wayside as is.

I could be totally wrong, and some were very nice, but just a thought.

Coppers mom
Mar. 23, 2010, 10:49 PM
Was it just me or were some of those stallions sorta plain?

I dont know if ALL of them were breeding stallions but what is it with the breeding world lately. EVERYTHING seems to be good enough to breed???

Mares too, just because she's an oven...

Sad really, enough horses are put by the wayside as is.

I could be totally wrong, and some were very nice, but just a thought.

Yeah, that's why the young horses are just better and better every year, and we're now getting horses that just play with a grand prix test. Poor little babies :rolleyes::lol:

GreekDressageQueen
Mar. 23, 2010, 11:43 PM
I want that chestnut foal! I think I heard the commentator say it was Jus de Pomme (jumper) breeding? I don't care, that foal was gorgeous. Nice chunky butt and neck - just the way I like' em.

Donella
Mar. 24, 2010, 01:00 AM
Was it just me or were some of those stallions sorta plain

Plain is kind of irrelevant when the stallion or mare is an olympic jumper or a producer of olympic dressage or jumper horses. VDL stands some of the greatest warmblod stallions in existance and they own a vast herd of mares from only the best motherlines. If every breeder bred horses of this quality everyone would be producing olympic horses.

Some of those boys in the video are clearly older stallions and mares often do not look their best when they have been broodies most of their lives and are now in their teens. The quality of the VDL program speaks for itself .

Nojacketrequired
Mar. 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
Was it just me or were some of those stallions sorta plain?

I dont know if ALL of them were breeding stallions but what is it with the breeding world lately. EVERYTHING seems to be good enough to breed???

Mares too, just because she's an oven...

Sad really, enough horses are put by the wayside as is.

I could be totally wrong, and some were very nice, but just a thought.

As stated, these are livestock, not pets. They are not kept in show room condition 24/7. A lot of them live out perhaps, because that's what horses do.
There is likely more thought and science put together in the breeding of these horses than in most breeding in North America. Not every horse bred at this stud is destined to be an Olympic champion, and that is OK, too. There is a large market for good amateur horses in Europe.

In order to judge what you are seeing here, you have to think about it differently that what we see in North America. It is an entirely different ball game and for the most part the Europeans are much better at it.

NJR

Lieslot
Mar. 24, 2010, 09:49 AM
A lot of them live out perhaps, because that's what horses do.

I take it you meant a lot of them never get turned out.
It's rare for horses in the Netherlands to live out 24/7! It's even rare to find a place that allows some type of winter turnout. (Zeeland might be different, but even high up north in Friesland, you won't find the regular turnout schedules North America is used to).

Turnout is for foals, once they are in work, they are kept stalled and turn out is replaced by equiciser.
Unless you are rich and have your own place, once the horse doesn't function anymore in the sport, it's disposed of and replaced by a younger horse.
Retirement facilities are hard to find and if availalbe fully booked.
Horses is business, they are way more pragmatic.

Their results might be better, but are the horses happier? I guess if the horses don't know any better, they are.

I prefer british horsekeeping over dutch horsekeeping. I lived next to Pippa Funnel, her horses were allowed to be horses winter & summer. Some of those dutch horses are barn ornaments, other then the time they are being trained or in the showring.
Maybe the longstanding foxhunting tradition is still having an effect on how horses are kept over in Britain, dunno.

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 24, 2010, 10:03 AM
Well the proof is in the pudding, so if the young horses get better every year then...


Actually above is correct, my best friend is dutch, and my new trainer and the last were both dutch. The horses are not in permanent turn out.

My horse is now in a pasture, and my new trainer asked me if he was old lol, and why I turned him out so much. I was like he lives there lol.:yes:

Lieslot
Mar. 24, 2010, 10:08 AM
Well the proof is in the pudding, so if the young horses get better every year then...

How long do these young horses get better?
When living there I seem to remember a lot of young-ish (to me) 8 to 10 yr olds being done, although as youngsters they were the best around.
I personally think both mental & physical strength in a horse will last longer when allowed to be a horse.

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 24, 2010, 10:35 AM
Oh no, I agree with you.

The young comment was to the posters above that said their breeding program was top notch.

I had said some of the stallions looked plain :)

Im not a breeder so lol, I watched the stallion expo and cringed at some of the horses in there, but 'their lines' were very good. *shrugs*

Europe has the best horses, and I wont argue with that;)

But no, I agree that the horses should get some turn out. I felt so bad when my horse was stalled all the time :(

Lieslot
Mar. 24, 2010, 10:56 AM
NOMIOMI1, I wasn't throwing it back at you personally, just brought it up for discussion or all of us to think about ;).

And there's no denying they have the best horses and the best breeding program.

But is the best really what is best I sometimes wonder.

Although I know very little about gymnastics, if one were to ask me which country has the best young gymnasts, I'd say Russia or the East Block countries. But having once seen a TV-program showing those girls' lifestyle and training program, I kind of felt sorry for those girls, but they were smiling and seemed happy, other then the times they were crying when the training was so hard. Yet they are the ones performing and scoring. Again I know too little about gymnastics to drag this into this conversation, but it just made me think back then, just like sometimes I look at those performance horses and the lives they live and I don't really know how I feel about it. Personally I'd keep them differently, but guess what, they probably wouldn't be performing as well anymore.

Libera
Mar. 24, 2010, 11:31 AM
Was it just me or were some of those stallions sorta plain?

I dont know if ALL of them were breeding stallions but what is it with the breeding world lately. EVERYTHING seems to be good enough to breed???

Mares too, just because she's an oven...

Sad really, enough horses are put by the wayside as is.

I could be totally wrong, and some were very nice, but just a thought.
They weren't all stallions. Only the last few horses they trotted out were (elderly) stallions. The rest were broodmares and young horses.

The horses in the turnout are either broodmares or babies, stallions DO NOT get turned out. They have a tiny indoor in the stallionbarn, where they sometimes put them, that's it. They go in the walker, they get ridden.

When I lived there, my horses were on 24/7 turnout in the summer, but in the winter it gets too wet and too cold, and they would come in at night. Some barns don't want the horses in the pastures in the winter, because that's where they grow their hay and they don't want it ruined. So then the horses get turned out in the arena or indoor. Some places have paddocks. It really isn't as different as you think...

TraksRuleDutchDrool
Mar. 24, 2010, 12:01 PM
A multi-million dollar horse and all he's got is a piece of white tape with his name written on it with a Sharpie?? Wow, I was expecting a gold plated plaque with a diamond inlay of his name...

HAHAHA! That is all my horse has...Haven't had a chance to pick up the swarovski crystals and do the engraving yet :D

Coppers mom
Mar. 24, 2010, 12:08 PM
Oh no, I agree with you.

The young comment was to the posters above that said their breeding program was top notch.

I had said some of the stallions looked plain :)

Im not a breeder so lol, I watched the stallion expo and cringed at some of the horses in there, but 'their lines' were very good. *shrugs*

Europe has the best horses, and I wont argue with that;)

But no, I agree that the horses should get some turn out. I felt so bad when my horse was stalled all the time :(
Seriously? Pretty doesn't win at the Olympics. Talent and ability do.

And I really doubt you saw anything cringeworthy at a stallion expo. Most registries have vigorous inspections, the horse's lines aren't enough to get them in. In fact, sometimes the lines can keep them out, if the registry feels there are too many or that the lines is passing on faults. Many also have performance requirements of both the stallion and his offspring, and may remove a stallion from the roster if his get don't meet the requirements.

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 24, 2010, 12:38 PM
You seem to like responding to my posts :)

Anyway, yes there were stallions at the expo that hadnt really done anything BUT their family had and on and on...

And yes there were some with comformation that was downhill or very long, or just plain cringe worthy in my book :)

Notice how I say my book, Im allowed ya know.

Blood isnt everything, and not EVERY stallion on this video was Olympic producer. The poster above said some were older and that explains some of what I saw.

I said plain, because I didnt want to go into details. I didnt mean "not pretty" I meant plain as in build, nothing exceptional and so on...

meupatdoes
Mar. 24, 2010, 12:50 PM
I loved the shot of the two leeeetle teeeny round pens reserved for the breeding stallions, and the shot of the aisle accompanied by the statement, "The stalls, being completely without windows, take a little getting used to."

So basically the retired horses (they showed Risky Business) stand in a windowless box all day? The broodmares get little runs and stick their heads through the bars to eat some hay?

Gewohnungsbeduerftig indeed.

I guess if you choose to keep 700 horses on what, 10 acres? it is just a sacrifice the horses will have to make.

(NJR, I don't get where you say the horses are living out. The only "out" shown is the itty bitty round pens, and those little runs the broodmares were sticking their heads out the bars of.)

Perfect Pony
Mar. 24, 2010, 01:47 PM
The place looks a lot like a prison to me.

Nojacketrequired
Mar. 24, 2010, 02:24 PM
Let me specify. A lot of the youngsters live out before they begin training. It's best for them to live in a herd situation with lots of exercise, etc, IMO. The run-in you saw at 3:35 wasn't a stall, it was a run-in and open behind to a field. The place they were eating was so they wouldn't argue about food. If they are put in stalls due to bad weather, 2 or 3 might occupy one stall for the duration. They are livestock.

Stallions that have come from Europe don't WANT to be out in a field. They stand at the gate to be brought in.

Yes, I'd prefer that riding horses got more turn out, but you can't judge the European model based on the North American model, is my point.

I am now excusing myself from this thread.

NJR

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 24, 2010, 02:24 PM
Oh they dont corner the market on stalls, no windows, and no turn out though.

Ive worked for US trainers that also have that same box stall prison type barn.

And if the horse doesnt get out for a week because its a skeleton crew due to showing, then he/she doesnt get out.

Very sad :(

Some were very good about it, at least getting them out EVERY DAY, and some "try" to.

Lieslot
Mar. 24, 2010, 03:15 PM
When I lived there, my horses were on 24/7 turnout in the summer, but in the winter it gets too wet and too cold, and they would come in at night. Some barns don't want the horses in the pastures in the winter, because that's where they grow their hay and they don't want it ruined. So then the horses get turned out in the arena or indoor. Some places have paddocks. It really isn't as different as you think...
Of course depending which state & area you compare to (ie CA), but the shortage of land & grazing in the Netherlands makes it very different to me.
It's not uncommon to have barns with 50 to 70 stalls, yet only 2ha (5 acres turnout). Browse the property ads in 'In de Strengen', beautiful giant facilities with very little land to allow for turnout in comparison to the number of stalls present.
I'm glad to read you had winter turnout (if I move back there, I may want to go where you boarded), I spent weeks collecting details of dutch boarding barns to find places offering yearround daily turn out and I found only a few.
Sure it's wet in the Netherlands, it's wet in Britain too, but you easier find boarding barns with yearround turnout.

I always found this such a weird thing come May horses go out 24/7 eventhough dutch weather can still be quite chilly (unpredictable kikkerland weather ;)), yet come Oct they are back to being stalled regardless of a sunny day. Browse a few dutch boarding barns : May to Oct turnout, Oct to May stalled.


The place looks a lot like a prison to me. This is how I felt about all the barns I visited in desperation to find something to keep mine happy after the live they had in England. I had to settle for equiciser and stalled in winter, it made me very sad. Then came May they could all go out in a large group on small acreage and all we had was kicking injuries, every May the herd hierarchy had to be re-established.
Not judging, but they just don't value turnout that much. Often the argument heard, horses injure themselves when turned out. I totally agree, because there's no routine to the turnout, it's either season-related or weather related.

Stalls are indeed mostly indoor halls, unlike the british outdoor shedrow stalls. The websites often say, airy & well ventilated, when I went to visit I didn't understand the well-ventilated part, coz I couldn't see where outdoor air was coming in, other then the main entrance door that was shut.


Stallions that have come from Europe don't WANT to be out in a field. They stand at the gate to be brought in.
Because they know no better. My gelding knew no better either, he didn't understand he was supposed to graze rather then bother my other two. And he kept checking the gate if he was allowed to come back in. He knows much better now and he'll be a very sad pony when forced to give up his pasture time.

whitewolfe001
Mar. 24, 2010, 05:44 PM
I liked the IKEA bookshelves and wicker baskets at 1:07.

:)

meupatdoes
Mar. 24, 2010, 08:33 PM
It's not uncommon to have barns with 50 to 70 stalls, yet only 2ha (5 acres turnout). Browse the property ads in 'In de Strengen', beautiful giant facilities with very little land to allow for turnout in comparison to the number of stalls present.

This is the crux of the issue. They CHOOSE to put 70 stalls on 5 acres. Then everyone shrugs and says, "Oh, well there's no room."

Well, the dressage barn I rode at in NJ (not exactly cheap real estate if we are going to go the "land is so expensive" route), was on 6 acres. The facility had the barn, the arena, the round pen, the pillars... all on six acres.

The DIFFERENCE is that the barn had EIGHT stalls, not eighty.
The owner wanted to put in an indoor arena, but there wasn't room because he would have to cut into the turnouts to do it.
Some horse people would just mow down the turnouts, stick in the indoor, and expect the horses to deal.
The horse person who designed THIS facility though, did it with the HORSES' comfort as the first priority.

California is the same thing. The owners, when it really comes down to it, don't care as they will happily send their horses there. If owners would say, "No, I will not send my horse to a place that has more stalls than turnout," people wouldn't build barns with 140 stalls and 8 turnouts (see e.g. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center). But they keep 140 stalls full because 140 owners have no problems with the fact that their horse lives in a 12x12 box and gets 20 minutes of turn out 3 days a week. Well, maybe they don't like it, but they shrug and say "I guess there's no room," and the horse just has to deal.

The best dressage barn in my area five minutes down the road from me. I won't board there because it is 70 stalls 4 arenas, a round pen, a free longing pen and whatever horse on 40 acres: do the math, the horses get 2 hours of turnout a day if they are lucky. So, I board down the road where my horses can be out overnight and most of the day and trailer in for lessons.

I hate the "land is so expensive" argument. The land is the same price no matter what. It is what you choose to PUT ON the land that makes the difference.

Are we meant to believe that if the acreage fairy suddenly doubled the acreage at that Dutch Factory Farming Facility, they would all say "Finally! Turnout space!"
No.
They would build 700 more stalls.

Donella
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:24 PM
I seriously doubt that most of the people posting on this thread are vegetarian. Odd though, considering that the full time confinement of a social, sentient animal is so offensive.

I like my horses to have turnouts because I don't believe that animals should be kept 24/7 in boxes. That is also the reason I do not support farmers of meat animals.

Just seems silly, the self riteous attitude some of you have towards the way the dutch keep their horses when their system looks like heaven on earth for animals compared to how American livestock are raised, live and die.

egontoast
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:40 PM
So true.

It's like the posts about the fabulous bull fighting horses. See the great videos!

The elephant in the room is the tortured bull. If that were a horse being stabbed, taunted, tortured and bloodied , there would surely be outrage.

Libera
Mar. 25, 2010, 05:13 PM
I seriously doubt that most of the people posting on this thread are vegetarian. Odd though, considering that the full time confinement of a social, sentient animal is so offensive.

I like my horses to have turnouts because I don't believe that animals should be kept 24/7 in boxes. That is also the reason I do not support farmers of meat animals.

Just seems silly, the self riteous attitude some of you have towards the way the dutch keep their horses when their system looks like heaven on earth for animals compared to how American livestock are raised, live and die.
Yup...gotta agree. At least in Holland, cows live in the pasture all summer. Here in CA, they are confined to dirt lots :(
Also, just because some barns do not have turnout, like VDL Stud, which is mostly a breeding and trading barn, doesn't mean all barns are JUST like that! Funny how so many people that have never even been there have their opinions ready...

Coreene
Mar. 25, 2010, 05:24 PM
Funny how people who have never been there also do not understand the zoning laws. Try getting a green light for an outdoor arena. Try getting a green light to put a covered shelter in your pasture. Etc.

Really, do please come up with some other nationality to bash besides the Dutch. It's getting so old. It's not called Chronicle of Let's Shit On The Netherlands.

Lieslot
Mar. 25, 2010, 07:03 PM
Funny how people who have never been there also do not understand the zoning laws. Try getting a green light for an outdoor arena. Try getting a green light to put a covered shelter in your pasture. Etc.
It is becoming nearly impossible and it's even worse in England, by the time you get your planning permission for just an outdoor, you start to wonder if it's still worth it, sometimes it can take more then a year before you get an approval or denial and you may not even know at the moment you buy the property whether you will or will not be allowed, the commune will advise, but not guarantee. Imagine the situation you buy the farm and then a year later find out the planning on your outdoor is denied......... :(

I just don't understand the local communes reasonings however. They make it pretty hard on allowing you to build or update any farmstructure or add-on, yet when it comes to licensing the number of horses allowed on a plot they seem quite liberal. I'd be interested to know how they calculate number of horses per ha, or is it more related to the "mestplan" (manure management) in place and not the acreage. Just a sales ad example, not sure the property is still for sale, licensed for 60 horses, yet only 2ha grazing land. Yes there is option to buy more, but it seem licensed at 60 for the 2ha within the sale, actually it says it can be bought with less land?! http://www.woningennet.nl/details.php?id=14248&tab=omschrijving
To *me* that seems a lot of horses on not all that much land.

It's not the Netherlands, it's most of Europe, Belgium, Sweden it's the same problem, not enough grazing land.
But then again, do horses need that much grazing one can argue. The answer to that has to be made by everyone themselves. To me it's hugely important and it's hard to convince me otherwise, to others it's not at all important and in the end, well I guess neither one is right as there are valid arguments both ways which to neither party will seem logic. I know very well, my best friend from Amsterdam kept her horse in a zero turnout barn for years, we are great friends, but boy do we differ on horsekeeping ideas.

As for American horsekeeping, well surely no one is proud of where some OTTB's end up once their moneymaking years are over, and there's something to be said about the soring of saddlebreds and we can go on.

Perhaps we ought to vote for the best horsekeeping country, any ideas, Iceland? :)


Also, just because some barns do not have turnout, like VDL Stud, which is mostly a breeding and trading barn, doesn't mean all barns are JUST like that! Funny how so many people that have never even been there have their opinions ready... Certainly true, whilst still no winter turnout, I know of a nice facility near Delfzijl 70 stalls, 15ha of land for summer grazing, now that makes more sense to me. They are out there, but rather hard to find.

Lieslot
Mar. 26, 2010, 08:28 PM
But isn't that what life is all about, differing in opinion in order to come to a compromise? :D

Actually not directly related to this topic, whilst looking up something training related today, I ran into this new concept of horsekeeping called "Horse Active Stall (HIT actief)", basically horses are kept in a herd with controlled feeding & hay stations that they move in between. They can wonder from the drylot feeding plot to the pastures freely. Feed stations are computer controlled for each horse (by collar chip), so all consumption is monitored & adjustable for each individual horse.
The horses seem really happy & relaxed and stay on the move. I hope we get to see more of those barns in the future. I think at present there's about 5 of them in the Netherlands and one in Belgium. I have seen a link to this type of horsekeeping in Switzerland too, but can't find it back right now.

It's in dutch, but from looking at the pictures you can gather the concept. Just scroll down this page for pics.
http://www.demaesberg.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=69

So in contrast to the zero turnout barns, they also have the real cool stuff. (But yeah as above poster says, this may seems cool in my mind, but may not seem so cool to others :D)

Oh, they even have a video of it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajaFpMlw8iY

Equibrit
Mar. 26, 2010, 08:55 PM
No human contact - great !

Libera
Mar. 26, 2010, 09:02 PM
That's not what it means, there is still human contact. But, horses don't associate humans with food, which is great. Lot less destructive! They can get hay 20 times per day at the feed station, and they have to walk around to get to stuff. It is great for the horses, and there is a lot of places that are starting to do it this way. They even have something like this for orphan foals, with a drinkingstation and a collar with a chip. That way they can be in stalls together, and still get fed every 2 hours. Plus, they don't see people as "food ATMs" :D

GreekDressageQueen
Mar. 28, 2010, 11:27 AM
I've been to the Netherlands - twice - and saw plenty of open land with lush green pastures. Now, I never went to any barns or saw any horse stables and frankly, I love everything Dutch (especially the cheese!) so I am not "shitting on the Dutch," but I do wonder about the lack of turnout. I really don't think it's about the lack of land or expense, I really think their horse-keeping model just doesn't include turnout for fear of injuries, etc. Not MY cup of tea or my horses, but then again I am not an international dressage superstar. If my horse was worth $100,000+ I might think otherwise. :D

mbm
Mar. 28, 2010, 12:58 PM
I seriously doubt that most of the people posting on this thread are vegetarian. Odd though, considering that the full time confinement of a social, sentient animal is so offensive.

I like my horses to have turnouts because I don't believe that animals should be kept 24/7 in boxes. That is also the reason I do not support farmers of meat animals.

Just seems silly, the self riteous attitude some of you have towards the way the dutch keep their horses when their system looks like heaven on earth for animals compared to how American livestock are raised, live and die.

i am a veg, and i also live in california - the bay area to be exact - and my horse lives where she has 24/7 turnout - she has a 12x12 3 side stall, a sacrifice paddock and then her very own (albeit small= apprx 3/4) pasture - with real live green grass! the facility is 10 acres and there are 6 horses there! and the best thing? it only costs 300/month! (yes, there is an arena, and better 1500 of open land next door to ride on too!)

moral of this story: the facilities are out there... you just have to look :)

egontoast
Mar. 28, 2010, 01:57 PM
mbm, do you have a leather saddle? a leather bridle? leather boots?

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
mbm, do you have a leather saddle? a leather bridle? leather boots?

Oh Puleeez! I'm a vegetarian too, not vegan though I would love to be, but I see no problem with buying leather saddles and bridles that last 20 years and boots that last 5 years or more. All that no hamburger kind of balances it out. Its all about reducing consumption of animals, few of us are disciplined enough in this era to be able to remove all animal cruelty from our lives. Now if there is a suitable substitute for leather- great, but there are no boots and bridles as good as leather ones, and if your horse doesn't fit a Wintec or other synthetic, you are kind of out of luck. Plus, one bridle vs how many pounds of meat the average american consumes in a year? You still come out ahead.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 28, 2010, 02:36 PM
i am a veg, and i also live in california - the bay area to be exact - and my horse lives where she has 24/7 turnout - she has a 12x12 3 side stall, a sacrifice paddock and then her very own (albeit small= apprx 3/4) pasture - with real live green grass! the facility is 10 acres and there are 6 horses there! and the best thing? it only costs 300/month! (yes, there is an arena, and better 1500 of open land next door to ride on too!)

moral of this story: the facilities are out there... you just have to look :)

OK, spill the beans then, where is this place? I want names and phone numbers!

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 28, 2010, 02:40 PM
And I look at it this way, you can choose to be a horse with turn out and be forced to have an overweight adult amateur bounce on your back everyday, or you can live in a barn, get hand walked and grazed and have a lovely thin fit dutch rider, If I were a horse I'll take door number 2 and you can even rollkur me. LOL!

egontoast
Mar. 28, 2010, 04:07 PM
Oh Puleeez! I'm a vegetarian too, not vegan though I would love to be, but I see no problem with buying leather saddles and bridles that last 20 years and boots that last 5 years or more. All that no hamburger kind of balances it out. Its all about reducing consumption of animals, few of us are disciplined enough in this era to be able to remove all animal cruelty from our lives. Now if there is a suitable substitute for leather- great, but there are no boots and bridles as good as leather ones, and if your horse doesn't fit a Wintec or other synthetic, you are kind of out of luck. Plus, one bridle vs how many pounds of meat the average american consumes in a year? You still come out ahead

:confused:um, you missed the point . I was merely agreeing with Donella who referred to the double standard :



Just seems silly, the self riteous attitude some of you have towards the way the dutch keep their horses when their system looks like heaven on earth for animals compared to how American livestock are raised, live and die.
__________________

mbm
Mar. 28, 2010, 05:35 PM
OK, spill the beans then, where is this place? I want names and phone numbers!

pm me if you are serious :)

GreekDressageQueen
Mar. 28, 2010, 05:57 PM
And I look at it this way, you can choose to be a horse with turn out and be forced to have an overweight adult amateur bounce on your back everyday, or you can live in a barn, get hand walked and grazed and have a lovely thin fit dutch rider, If I were a horse I'll take door number 2 and you can even rollkur me. LOL!

You must be one of those "dumb-bloods" everyone talks about.

Kyzteke
Mar. 28, 2010, 06:12 PM
I seriously doubt that most of the people posting on this thread are vegetarian. Odd though, considering that the full time confinement of a social, sentient animal is so offensive.

Just seems silly, the self riteous attitude some of you have towards the way the dutch keep their horses when their system looks like heaven on earth for animals compared to how American livestock are raised, live and die.

Well, I'm sure most of them are "anti-slaughter" as well, and loudly proclaim the cruelty meted out to all the poor horsies as they munch their bacon, lamb and chicken nuggets....because of course THOSE animals don't suffer in the process.

Such hypocrisy....

BTW, just as some people prefer to live in NYC and can't imagine any other way of living("what? no opera? no museums?!"), other people shudder at the idea and prefer open country living. I truly think horses are the same way. They are very adaptable and have been domesticated for so long many have lost much of their "natural" needs.

My horses all live out 24/7 unless ill or foaling, with the exception of the babies, who come in at night in the winter for the first year or so. Honestly, one of my main reasons is that at my age I'm not interested in cleaning 6-10 stalls a day, but I say it's because "it's better for them to be out." <g>

My place doesn't have enough grass for them all, so I feed hay 365 days a year, which I actually prefer, since the nutritional content is more consistent. They have almost 10 acres to roam on, although it's divided into 3 different pastures.

Anyway, I have a mare (WB) who shudders every time it starts to rain -- even a drop. She is the first one under the shelter and looks miserable the whole time. When she went away for training, she LOVED her stall! And I sold a young mare -- just turning three -- to some folks back East. They didn't want to turn her out right away, so she had her own little paddock and a stall. I predicted her restlessness -- boy, was I WRONG! The owners said she met them at the door of her stall each evening, waiting to be let in. She had a "barnmate" across the aisle, and apparently that was close enough for her. She would contentedly eat her hay and actually didn't want to leave her stall the next morning, even if her barnmate was already out.

And both of those mares were bred here by me and raised in a "natural" environment. But they'd rather be hothouse flowers! I knew a kid like that from West Virginia -- born & raised. He visited NYC at age 18 and said, "the moment I stepped off the bus I knew I'd found home." He moved there and never went back.

So go figure.

I also I have 2 mares who HATE to be stalled. They immediately become tense and pace and work themselves up in a horrid frenzy. It's a real PITA when those two foal.

I worked on the racetrack for years and most of the mature racehorses in training were in stalls most of the day, but they got alot of exercise and seemed fairly content.

I think if you pay attention, many times the horse will tell you what they want....and it's nice to be able to give them that if you can. But sometimes there are trade-offs. Hey...I don't get everything I want in Life either....

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 28, 2010, 06:30 PM
Well, I'm sure most of them are "anti-slaughter" as well, and loudly proclaim the cruelty meted out to all the poor horsies as they munch their bacon, lamb and chicken nuggets....because of course THOSE animals don't suffer in the process.

Such hypocrisy....

Completely agree!

Libera
Mar. 28, 2010, 06:36 PM
I've been to the Netherlands - twice - and saw plenty of open land with lush green pastures. Now, I never went to any barns or saw any horse stables and frankly, I love everything Dutch (especially the cheese!) so I am not "shitting on the Dutch," but I do wonder about the lack of turnout. I really don't think it's about the lack of land or expense, I really think their horse-keeping model just doesn't include turnout for fear of injuries, etc. Not MY cup of tea or my horses, but then again I am not an international dressage superstar. If my horse was worth $100,000+ I might think otherwise. :D

Again..I think most people here have a screwed idea of the Dutch horse population...by far most horses get turned out, and by far most horses are recreational, NOT 100K+ dressage horses! All the open land you see: Its grazing land for cows, horses or sheep, or it's hayfields. They are empty because livestock gets rotated. As a tourist, you are not going to see the "rural" areas most likely, simply because there is nothing to see ;) So most likely, you won't see the "ordinary" horsebarns either. Seriously, I don't know ANY horese in NL that do NOT get turned out... (besides the expensive dressage horses, and those do go out, just not in a group, and not all day).

NOMIOMI1
Mar. 28, 2010, 07:53 PM
Not every state in America has cattle on a dirt lot either.

I wish i could show you the "poor cattle" out here lol, they have acres and acres of grass filled pastures.

We were driving yesterday and I tried to take a pic with my phone but the sun was nearly set... It is like cow heaven lol


Whats wrong with wanting BOTH the cow AND the horse to have it nice?

Must we act as though all slaughter is rednecks who beat and abuse their stock?

Have some of you even been to a slaughter house? I promise it is nothing like the hysteria videos (sheesh), there is vet there checking the animals health at any business house, not backyard chop fest.

BUT, I guess your right, a horse should be locked in a windowless stall because we eat animals still.


LOL

rcloisonne
Mar. 28, 2010, 08:35 PM
BTW, just as some people prefer to live in NYC and can't imagine any other way of living("what? no opera? no museums?!"), other people shudder at the idea and prefer open country living.
Hardly a worthy comparison. Try living in a locked closet for 23 out of 24 hours, having your food passed through the door a couple of times per day, taken out for an hour to be worked with whips and spurs, your chin cranked to your chest and we might have a analogy. :rolleyes:

Coppers mom
Mar. 28, 2010, 09:38 PM
Hardly a worthy comparison. Try living in a locked closet for 23 out of 24 hours, having your food passed through the door a couple of times per day, taken out for an hour to be worked with whips and spurs, your chin cranked to your chest and we might have a analogy. :rolleyes:

:lol: Yes, because that's EXACTLY how things are done :lol:

These horses probably get more exercise than my pasture kept beasts. They are taken out and hand walked several times a day, put on hot walkers, and ridden. They're interaction is hardly just at feeding time and an hour of abusive riding.

Kyzteke
Mar. 29, 2010, 03:45 AM
:lol: Yes, because that's EXACTLY how things are done :lol:

These horses probably get more exercise than my pasture kept beasts. They are taken out and hand walked several times a day, put on hot walkers, and ridden. They're interaction is hardly just at feeding time and an hour of abusive riding.

I doubt seriously if the poster has ever been to an actual working competition barn or spent any time there. There is a loud voice of ignorance (or should I say inexperience to be kind) speaking.

The racetrack has a bad rep and I will certainly agree that some aspects are not my idea of ideal horse keeping, but mostly those horses were treated like gold! Bedded in the best straw some 2 feet thick, hot baths every day, top quality hay, brushed daily, at LEAST an hour of exercise per day -- usually a gallop of 1-2 miles, then a "cooling out" walk of 30-45 minute, then another 15-20 minute walk in the afternoon.

I remember Frank Whitely himself taking the horses out to graze on the little bits of grass you can find at Belmont.

Inbetween times the stalls are open to a shedrow (mostly with just a rubber stall guard) and if the horse wants to see stuff, there is lots to see. If they like it that way, they have a full hay net by the door, so they can munch and gossip with their neighbor (or argue as the case may be).

My horses should have it so good!:lol:

And incidently, I doubt very seriously if MY horses walk 45 minutes a day, everyday. They walk to the hay pile, eat, walk to the water trough, then mostly stand around unless something spooks them. Lots of times they don't even walk away to poop -- just crap in the hay.

About the only way I could FORCE them to walk that much would be if I spent the time to push my wheel barrow all over the 10 acres spreading hay...then I'd probably STILL be more walking then they do.

No life is perfect, but the professional horsepeople I have been exposed to (and I'm talking REAL pros -- like Hall of Fame trainers or FEI level dressage riders) tend to treat their horses pretty darn good...their livelihood depends on it.

No matter what anyone says, you can't FORCE a horse to perform consistently at that level -- they have to not only have the will and the ability, but they also have to be in excellent health.

GreekDressageQueen
Mar. 29, 2010, 09:49 AM
Again..I think most people here have a screwed idea of the Dutch horse population...by far most horses get turned out, and by far most horses are recreational, NOT 100K+ dressage horses! All the open land you see: Its grazing land for cows, horses or sheep, or it's hayfields. They are empty because livestock gets rotated. As a tourist, you are not going to see the "rural" areas most likely, simply because there is nothing to see ;) So most likely, you won't see the "ordinary" horsebarns either. Seriously, I don't know ANY horese in NL that do NOT get turned out... (besides the expensive dressage horses, and those do go out, just not in a group, and not all day).

Sure I hear you, but I was talking about the "Totilas House" which I am quite sure MOST of those adult horses - breeding stallions, GP and big tour horses, definitely Totilas himself, and maybe some babies - are all likely $100k+ so I am not sure why you think MY view is distorted. :confused:

I drove from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and saw a lot of fields - was I driving through the country or tourist areas? I remember it was like an hour and a half drive - pretty far reaching tourist trap... ;) But as I said in my previous post - I did not see any "regular" barns so yes, I may not know the entire story, but we CAN talk about the horses that live at the "Totilas House" since we have video of that. :D

Libera
Mar. 29, 2010, 11:24 AM
Except in the video you only saw like a min. of Totilas house, the rest was VDL Stud ;) which is pretty much on the other side of the country

Karoline
Mar. 29, 2010, 03:04 PM
One more consequence of this type of housing is that the horse does not have the opportunity to release stress through movement and grazing - necessary to the balance of a herd animal. This study about the stress regular work induces in horses and its linkage to "vice" behaviors is upsetting.

Is the remedy to this stall toys and exercicers?

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=15919

"Some horses crib, some weave, some chew wood. Some have many in-stall habits, while others have practically none. But these equine stereotypies are not as random as they might seem. According to recent findings from an equine behavior research group in northwestern France, they point to the kind of work those horses are doing outside their stalls.

Because of the different kinds of stress horses experience in different disciplines, their "bad habits," or stereotypies, will also vary, said Martine Hausberger, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Animal and Human Ethology, a branch of the French national research center (CNRS) and of the University of Rennes 1. Her group studied 77 French saddle horses at the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation at Saumur over a one-month period to observe their in-stall behavior. All of the horses included in the study worked one hour per day and spent the other 23 stalled.

In their study, the most serious kinds of stereotypies--cribbing, wind-sucking, and head shaking--occurred with dressage mounts and horses of the haute ├ęcole (classical dressage, including airs above ground). Some of these horses performed a combination of stereotypies, and they performed them more frequently than the other horses. "These horses are under immense pressure to control their movements and restrict their emotions," Hausberger said."

MORE

""These results strongly suggest that work stressors are one of the sources of stereotypic behaviors," Hausberger said. "Unfavorable housing conditions--the tight confinement of stalls, separation from other horses--probably make the problems worse."


Full study:

"Stress at work, as shown by a number of human studies, may lead to a variety of negative and durable effects, such as impaired psychological functioning (anxiety, depression...). Horses share with humans this characteristic of working on a daily basis and are submitted then to work stressors related to physical constraints and/or more "psychological" conflicts, such as potential controversial orders from the riders or the requirement to suppress emotions. On another hand, horses may perform abnormal repetitive behaviour ("stereotypies") in response to adverse life conditions. In the present study, we investigated whether the type of work the horses are used for may have an impact on their tendency to show stereotypic behaviour (and its type) outside work. Observations in their box of 76 horses all living in the same conditions, belonging to one breed and one sex, revealed that the prevalence and types of stereotypies performed strongly depended upon the type of work they were used for. The stereotypies observed involved mostly mouth movements and head tossing/nodding. Work constraints probably added to unfavourable living conditions, favouring the emergence of chronic abnormal behaviours. This is especially remarkable as the 23 hours spent in the box were influenced by the one hour work performed every day. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of potential effects of work stressors on the emergence of abnormal behaviours in an animal species. It raises an important line of thought on the chronic impact of the work situation on the daily life of individuals."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19862328

Mozart
Mar. 30, 2010, 03:33 PM
That was a neat video. I am envious of the beautiful grooming area, spacious, bright, nice storage...sigh.

I must say, I am surprised to see the VDL set up where the mares put their heads through to eat. I guess they figure it out pretty quickly and it would be an efficient way to feed them but my horses would probably break their necks in about 30 minutes...:rolleyes:

Loved seeing the old guys. Indoctro is still full of run I see. Interesting to see Cardento. There was a discussion about him on the Sporthorse breeding forum and someone pointed out that he was weak through loin I appreciate he is older now but I do think it would not look so obvious if the issue wasn't there to begin with.

Obviously, he was a successful horse and you can't take that away from him but it is important information to have if you have a mare that could use a little help in that area.

Equibrit
Mar. 30, 2010, 03:46 PM
I don't think the value humans place on a horse factors at all into that horse getting hurt or not. However by turning him out regularly you lower the odds of this happening.

Mozart
Mar. 30, 2010, 10:02 PM
I don't think the value humans place on a horse factors at all into that horse getting hurt or not. However by turning him out regularly you lower the odds of this happening.

I agree with you. But there have been rancorous debates on the Sporthorse breeding forum about whether or not you should teach young horses (i.e. weanlings, yearlings) to tie due to the risk of neck injury and the fact that such injury might affect their future career. So it is a bit eye opening to see one of the top stud farms in Europe have a set up where the mares stick their necks through bars to eat!

Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, some horses seem bent on destruction and others seem to avoid even the most obvious hazards!

Donella
Mar. 31, 2010, 06:17 AM
I wish i could show you the "poor cattle" out here lol, they have acres and acres of grass filled pastures.

We were driving yesterday and I tried to take a pic with my phone but the sun was nearly set... It is like cow heaven lol

Yes, for their first year of life. Then the vast majority of cattle move to feedlots to wallow in shit chest deep and live on a diet of antibiotics because they are physiologically almost incapable of living off of the corn they force them to eat. I am sure the breeding stock live out as long as they are still producing (then they are disposed of too). But make no mistake, the ones you end up eating don't spend the majority of their lives roaming the pastures!

And have you ever been to a pig farm, especially where the sows are kept and piglets are born? Or to a commercial laying farm. Or a broiler farm? These animals live in containers so small they are literally unable to turn around for the entire span of their short lives. Nor do they ever see the light of day. They are subjected to a vast array of mutilations without any form of painkiller. They are routinely starved, roughly handled, transported often over 50 plus hours crammed extremely tight into commercial haulers without food or water in extreme weather conditions. Literally every second of their lives is spent being denied every and all basic needs, desires and insticts with the exception of shelter and food (in some cases). And that is NOT an exageration. I live right smack in the middle of ag country. I know plenty of producers. This IS the way the modern food system in NA works.

It's just so freaking ridiculous.... half the horse owning dressage riding population in NA screams animal cruelty when a horse is ridden BTV and then goes off to the supermarket to buy their porkchops or chicken for supper. And there really is NO excuse anymore. All of us know that 99 percent of the meat out there comes from factory farmed animals who LITERALLY live their entire lives in abject misery. Most just turn a blind eye ...probably because they spend all their time and energy watching videos of of VDL horses or Anky " abusing " her horses and of course, posting on UDBB about the horrors of modern dressage.

What a joke!

Nojacketrequired
Mar. 31, 2010, 04:01 PM
I don't think anyone would turn a blind eye, however that wasn't part of this discussion.

Perhaps on Off Topic Day you can introduce the atrocities of Animal farming, if that is how you feel?

I think the mares eating at the hay "bar" is great. Everyone gets a spot and there is no kicking to get to a round bale when everyone is turned out together.

NJR

Donella
Mar. 31, 2010, 08:30 PM
I don't think anyone would turn a blind eye, however that wasn't part of this discussion.

Uhm, yeah, most NA's eat meat..so yes, they do just that. And it's exactly what you are doing by trying to claim that it's off topic. Makes you uncomfortable so "let just not go there". Yes, I get that and like I said, most people just make some excuse. But it's pretty absurd to cry animal cruelty when you see stall bound horses as you are munchin down on your intensively reared meat. At least not from an animal welfare/ethical concern.

Karoline
Mar. 31, 2010, 11:50 PM
Horses are companion animal, not livestock. Not that it makes animal cruelty of any kind acceptable but that there are other kinds of abuse does not diminish the problem of taking a herd animal wired for movement and sociability and parking it in a box inside a box for 20-23 hours a day. In fact, because we are so close to our horses, I think the lack of empathy is more worrisome. Most of us do not have pet cows to fuss over. But how many of us have horses with vices such as cribbing, pawing, rocking, licking, windsucking, tongue sucking, and then ulcers, depression, sourness, irritability and extra-sensitivity? Why the florishing toys and supplement industry aiming to entertain, quiet and control horses?

You cannot justify a wrong with another wrong.

mbm
Apr. 1, 2010, 12:21 AM
i think a big part of the problem is control. some dressage horses never have any free time to do as they please besides when they are standing in a box. most of the time they are being controlled by outside forces be they human of machine... all animals need time to do as they please.

as for the comment that you cant force a horse to do X. any honest trainer will tell you that once you have the horses trust - you can do pretty much anything you want with them - and the horse will take it. why? because first they trust their leader and second because they are wired to not show weakness for fear of being picked out to be eaten. of course many horses cant take shoving their feelings down for long and then you see sour horses, horses that act out etc etc..... but some horses can and do take a huge amount of abuse in stride. doesn't make it right tho.

and finally, i agree that many folks close their eyes to the horrors of factory farming etc. while they cry about how horses are kept.

but it is very difficult to start the dialog with oneself and try to come to some kind of moral balance about it all ... not a comfortable journey at all ....

moukoyui
Apr. 1, 2010, 09:01 AM
Horses are companion animal, not livestock.

I just wanted to say that that is a very NA idea. At the big breading farms like this in EU horses are livestock. They are a source of income, albeit a very valuable one, and are managed to maximize this.

I think that it is this idea of horses being companions is what makes this such a 'hot button' topic and the issues of other animals not so much. We all personify our horses, it is part of the human mind set, but do you think a dairy farms personifies all 200+ cows that he has, no. That doesn't mean that he cannot take good care of them and see to their needs, it does mean that even the most animal friendly dairy will not treat its cows they way most NA treat their horses.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Apr. 1, 2010, 09:41 AM
I wish i could show you the "poor cattle" out here lol, they have acres and acres of grass filled pastures.

We were driving yesterday and I tried to take a pic with my phone but the sun was nearly set... It is like cow heaven lol

Yes, for their first year of life. Then the vast majority of cattle move to feedlots to wallow in shit chest deep and live on a diet of antibiotics because they are physiologically almost incapable of living off of the corn they force them to eat. I am sure the breeding stock live out as long as they are still producing (then they are disposed of too). But make no mistake, the ones you end up eating don't spend the majority of their lives roaming the pastures!

And have you ever been to a pig farm, especially where the sows are kept and piglets are born? Or to a commercial laying farm. Or a broiler farm? These animals live in containers so small they are literally unable to turn around for the entire span of their short lives. Nor do they ever see the light of day. They are subjected to a vast array of mutilations without any form of painkiller. They are routinely starved, roughly handled, transported often over 50 plus hours crammed extremely tight into commercial haulers without food or water in extreme weather conditions. Literally every second of their lives is spent being denied every and all basic needs, desires and insticts with the exception of shelter and food (in some cases). And that is NOT an exageration. I live right smack in the middle of ag country. I know plenty of producers. This IS the way the modern food system in NA works.

It's just so freaking ridiculous.... half the horse owning dressage riding population in NA screams animal cruelty when a horse is ridden BTV and then goes off to the supermarket to buy their porkchops or chicken for supper. And there really is NO excuse anymore. All of us know that 99 percent of the meat out there comes from factory farmed animals who LITERALLY live their entire lives in abject misery. Most just turn a blind eye ...probably because they spend all their time and energy watching videos of of VDL horses or Anky " abusing " her horses and of course, posting on UDBB about the horrors of modern dressage.

What a joke!

Yep! I agree completely! I grew up on a farm, did 4H for many years, was an Animal Science major, and therefore have been a vegetarian for many years, because of all my experience with factory farming. It is horrible and the farm lobbiests do a great job at portraying vegetarians as crazy extremists, but if you really spent any time growing up on a farm and seeing what happens at feedlots and slaughter houses you would know how it is. Even your tax payer dollars go to promoting factory farming, and advertisements implying that the growing of meat is not cruel. I don't see how people can say that rollkur is cruel but eating meat is not, or that an obese adult ameteur flopping around on a tiny Arab is not animal cruelty. Puleez! Sure, educated professionals are the big animal abusers and all the overweight adult ameteurs are saints sitting at home eating their cheeseburgers!

Nojacketrequired
Apr. 1, 2010, 08:20 PM
I don't think anyone would turn a blind eye, however that wasn't part of this discussion.

Uhm, yeah, most NA's eat meat..so yes, they do just that. And it's exactly what you are doing by trying to claim that it's off topic. Makes you uncomfortable so "let just not go there". Yes, I get that and like I said, most people just make some excuse. .

It is off topic. This OP was about Totilas' home, not about animal farming. Certainly not about factory farming of other livestock. Therefore, it is off topic.
You may want to read my earlier posts.
How horses are kept in Europe doesn't make me uncomfortable. I've stated before that they are livestock in Europe and pets in N America and you just can't compare the cultural differences.


But it's pretty absurd to cry animal cruelty when you see stall bound horses as you are munchin down on your intensively reared meat. At least not from an animal welfare/ethical concern

I don't recall crying animal cruelty. Before you start telling ME what I should or shouldn't be "uncomfortable" with, you might want to perhaps consider the person you are talking to might have information/actual experience as well, and has differing views than you do.

However. This is STILL off topic, IMO.

NJR

siegi b.
Apr. 1, 2010, 09:00 PM
What it really boils down to is which animals people have chosen to be "companion" animals and which are considered "livestock".

It's not that the brain size is that different or that the brain processes vary that much, it's just the fact that horses are more appealing to humans (as are dogs and cats) and that's what saves some of them from being treated as livestock.

With all the research going on about what goes on in animal brains, I think people will eventually realize that it's a lot more than they want to admit. Just consider the fact that there's enough research to state that the average dog's mind is equivalent to a 2-year old kid's with the ability to distinguish between around 200 different words!! Think about it... that's pretty awesome if you ask me.

So I try to treat my animals with respect and give them as much of a comfortable environment as I can.

I think Totilas has a pretty good life all things considered. He's a competitor and so living on a beach just watching the tide come in is pretty much out at this point!! :)

Lieslot
Apr. 2, 2010, 08:10 AM
How horses are kept in Europe doesn't make me uncomfortable. I've stated before that they are livestock in Europe and pets in N America and you just can't compare the cultural differences.

Perhaps that's too much of a generalization though. There has got to be horses kept as livestock in the US too (I won't make this as a statement, coz I haven't lived here long enough, but surely the whole slaughter-issue makes me think they are considered livestock), just as there are horses kept as pets in Europe. Whilst I maintain that some European countries are more pragmatic about the purpose and lifestyle of the horse, a lot depends from country to country. I found the aim to keep horses in an as natural environment as possible in Britain to be very strong and weather or no weather for turnout is brushed off with a laugh, they just get on with things. Where as the Dutch/Belgians prefer to keep it dry, although their climates aren't very different. And winter means bring them in keep them warm, where I found the Brits to go, let them get fuzzy or rug them up, out they go.
A lot also depends on the discipline, eventers/polo-horses/point-to-pointers you'll find them being turned out, dressage horses are often wrapped in cotton wool & kept in as much as possible.

As for intelligence, only last week I saw a program on APL where the researcher showed a horse doing intelligence tests and she said horses may have a small brain, they have similar recollection as elephants.

Lieslot
Apr. 2, 2010, 08:13 AM
I think Totilas has a pretty good life all things considered. He's a competitor and so living on a beach just watching the tide come in is pretty much out at this point!!
This indeed where many professionals differ in views, should an expensive competition horse be allowed turnout and time to its own or can it not be trusted to keep itself safe, hence we control its every move a 100%.
As I mentioned above it seems to be quite discipline related too.