The way the Amish horses look is how millions of horses across the US looked prior to the industrialization. It is hard for us to understand the horse being used as a beast of burden rather than a partner in sport.
Another good point, as I cruise thru the replies...
I agree with the others who said it's usually ASB or SBs, at least thats my region. Keep in mind every little group of amish makes up their own community and they do things slightly differently in different communities. And there are also Mennonites who also dress plain.
Originally Posted by catknsn
No, I'm not suggesting they all do. But every time I go with my rescuer friend to the rural auction in Ontario, Canada, there are Amish guys there (or, disclaimer, at least guys dressed like the Amish) dumping...
I've been to the kind of sales where amish dump their extras. It is depressing.
Try to keep in mind you're only seeing the discard end of the business. You're not seeing the healthy, well cared for animals because they simply wouldn't go to a place like that. (At least that's what I tell myself so I don't stay bitter & angry towards Amish horse care)
I see where SLC2 and Two Simple are coming from, and agree wholeheartedly, however, nightsong has gotten incredibly snarky and cynical the past few weeks (or maybe longer, maybe I'm just noticing it now) and it just hit the wrong nerve that she'd criticize what they ate and wore, because she didn't get the quaint little 1800's farmhouse type scenario she envisioned (at least, that's my guess).
I too agree that this was a horrible, disgusting tradgedy, I grew up in an amish town (third largest in the country) and had many friends when I was in elementary school that were Amish, they're regular people, just like us, but with somewhat different beliefs and practises. What happened to them is horrible no matter what community/faith/religion/etc. you belong too, it's an incredibly sick act to everyone.
I don't know what nightsong's problem's been lately, but for her to nitpick about the darn lunch they eat is beyond belief, especially when the topic didn't even have anything to do with that. We've all witnessed abused horses, some by amish, some by "regular" people, it's completely and totally unfair to single a group out just because they happen to use horses on a daily basis....that's all I was trying to say.
Sometimes it's just not worth it to chew through the ropes in the morning....
No, I'm not suggesting they all do. But every time I go with my rescuer friend to the rural auction in Ontario, Canada, there are Amish guys there (or, disclaimer, at least guys dressed like the Amish) dumping lame adult horses and terrified, un halter-broke six month olds and doing things like using cattle prods on them.
If I went to a horseshow wearing a jacket that identified me as being from X Farm and beat my horses in front of the rest of you, I would hazard a guess it would not make you think highly of X Farm in general, even though there might be other riders there who are not abusive. We can only judge what we see. What I have seen has not been good.
I also don't understand why this discussion is tacky. Just because some Amish children died recently does not mean that the whole group gets a free pass from everything else that they do. Non-Amish have died in school shootings recently as well - should we stop reporting any negative news about whatever their groups might be for a period of time, as well?
Whatever, I've said my piece on it.
So, all those other horses that end up dumped at auctions and go to slaughter each year: are you taking a poll to see what religion THEIR previous owners are, so that you can bash them as well?
Just curious, since given the relative numbers of Amish in the US to, say, Baptists, I'd imagine that it's those darn Baptists dumping their poor horses at auctions who really deserve to be ripped a new one.
Or perhaps religion doesn't have as much to do with the issue as some would like us to believe. Just because there is one group whose members you can easily identify DOESN'T mean that every member of that group is suspect, and it sure as HELL doesn't mean that no other group is just as guilty (or even guiltier). You just can't identify the members of the other groups easily enough to hang your ignorant stereotypes on them.
And a big ol' "Right on!" to slc2 and 3fatponies.
And, yes, when a community has experienced a disaster of that magnitude, it is customary, polite, and the very least we can do as fellow human beings to lay off their frickin' horse-keeping practices for at least a little while.
I am not touching the sensitive issues here but I will say that one of the most magificent horse related sights I have ever seen was watching an Amish farmer disk his field with a team of 8 gray perfectly matched percherons. One man stood on the disks holding all the reins and easily controlled the 8 horses hitched up in tandem (side by side) in front of the huge set of disks. It was spellbinding to watch as he effortlessly guided the tons of horses in front of him. These horses were in excellent condition also and beautiful.
My heart goes out to the family of the slain girls.
Let's not go there again with another "bash the Amish because they use horses" thread. Right now I would think some people might have the sense to back off on citing one-off examples of horses worked in their view too much.
I can tell you there's a difference between baloney and balogna.
Baloney is the pink lunch meat.
Then there's the good stuff - sweet or smoked Leb'non balogna.
And as for your idea that the Amish diet is so limited - that's just lobbich. Try some chow-chow, sauerkraut & shpeck, stuffed cabbage, scrapple, whacky cake, shoefly pie....it's an incredibly diverse cuisine.
As for the rest - I agree wholeheartedly with those who say let's just focus on sending our thoughts and prayers to those who have lost their precious children.
I live up in Berks Co Pennasylvania and we have old order ("plain") Mennonites who drive Standardbreds ONLY. I have only seen 1 grey standardbred, otherwise they are plain bay. If you drive into Lancaster Co Penna, you will see more variety amongst the Amish. In 1 area of the county, you see a lot of Saddlebreds (usually chestnut with some white), in other areas you see more standardbreds and some Morgans.
On a lighter note, I took my Hanoverian mare over to a friend's house to do an Embryo Transfer flush on her. While waiting for the vet, my mare was out in the pasture and spotted the Amishman next door discing his field with his Mule and SB. She started trotting around and showing off. The Amishman watched her continuosly, but remained doing his work. He was coming by as I pulled her from the pasture and stopped to ask me about her. He asked about her breed (never heard of a Hanoverian) and commented on her size. Then he paid her a compliment (from his standards) that "she was nice and wide in the chest and he thought that she could really pull a plow!" (Just to lighten up this thread a little).
We've lost so much of our heritage, and many of us will never know the toil of a long day's work behind 12 tons of horse flesh.
Suits me. The more stories my dad tells me about plowing "new ground" with his little mare, the better I like my FarmAll 140 (high tech farmer that I am).
I don't live near any Amish communities, so really can't comment on the horse care issue. Since reading the Supreme Court's decision in Wisconsin v. Yoder, I never really thought it was a group to which I could relate. Picturesque anachronism is charming; enforced intellectual lockstep, less so. Not something this board has to worry about, obviously - plenty of dissent allowed around here.
But that doesn't mean I don't tear up every time I think of the horror those poor children went through before they died, and of the grief of their families. I don't think anyone is trying, by their comments, to minimize this tragedy at all.
Last edited by pAin't_Misbehavin'; Oct. 6, 2006 at 07:32 PM.
When my parents moved from the country to the city they gave our white 12.2 hand arab pony Spike to the Amish next-door neighbors because we knew them well and trusted them. Spike is beautiful, broke to ride and drive a pony cart and we gave them his harness and everything.
Now, 12 years later, Spike is still living at the same Amish farm and we visit him a couple times a year when we go back there, just saw him in March. He's happy, well taken care of, age 19 and doing great. I'm in a position now to have horses again, and I'd ask to buy him back but the Amish family's kids (and up&coming grandkids) ride him and love him to death. They don't use him for a buggy or anything because he is a really flashy little guy, but they really seem to love him.
Not all Amish farms aren't fairy tales for horses but not all Amish farms are horrible either.
Last edited by TheCoppertop; Oct. 6, 2006 at 06:30 PM.
Sorry did not read this whole thread yet but. The buggy horses are mostly ASB and Stdbred. To me the funeral precession horses looked majority standardbred and I noticed a few pacers and noticed one chestnut that looked ASB.
This whole event is very disturbing to me and I just wish that the guy had pulled the trigger on himself first. Those poor innocent babies.
As a tween I traveled with my parents to Lancaster County many times to buy buggy parts and get parts repaired. Regardless of how the Amish treat horses I have always had respect for them and this is just an awful thing. I can’t say anything more.
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
What I've seen around here are mostly Standardbreds, with a few Saddlebreds thrown in. Riding around with my grandfather, who does alot of trucking for the Amish and Mennonites, I've seen bad, and I've seen excellent. There are some who treat theirs as more than just a "tractor," and there are those that don't really care. We were offered a horse that a man had bought for $600 at the auction 2 weeks prior, and didn't have room for, for the bargain price of $300. He was being kept in the cow barn, standing in cow manure. I didn't even want to go in there to get him, but I did. Then the man asked my grandfather if I would give a discount on my stud fee for the deal that he was giving us. I'd already seen the mare, and there was no way I wanted my pretty boy bred to that mare, and I wasn't contributing to a collector.
But the man I bought Magic from had a wonderful barn, and the horses were well-cared for. I had no problem leaving my mare there for a month for breeding with only a few checkups, and I am very picky about who gets near my girl (so is she LOL). When he made a comment about selling Magic and then called me a week later to know if I was interested, I was impressed by him saying that he wanted him to have a good home and be cared for. He sold him for much cheaper than he could have gotten from another buyer or by running him through the auction. He was tearing up when we picked him up and he put him in the trailer for me, and he called about a week later to see how he was, and called several times that winter and spring until I saw him again and showed him pictures. I had no problem again letting him go back since I knew he'd be taken care of.
So again as others have mentioned, I think it's not the whole group of them that treat the animals differently than what we would like, it's individuals, just like it is with others in our society.
TwoSimple, I think you said it perfectly.
Oh, and I saw the funeral procession on TV just a few minutes ago. They gave a very clear look at many of the horses and they were all a good weight, very shiny, and many had long gorgeous tails, which surprised me a lot. I would think that the tail would be a hazard or get in the way, but it didn't look like it did at all. Every one of them were absolutely beautiful. I hadn't heard about the shooting until today and between this and the Colorado one recently, I am just sobbing. And I am so awed by these people and their capacity for forgiveness. We could all learn a lot from them.
*Finally returned from the dead.*
One man's wrong lead is another man's counter-canter.
- S.D. Price
I don't know what else to say regarding the whole incident. I went though shock then grief then just numb... so I guess I'm trying hard not to think about it. This town is about 20 miles away from me. I see Amish every day. Feels like it happened in my own backyard.
THe amish community should be commended for theit piety and wonderful outgoing to the family of the killer in this TERRIBLE time of grief. Not bashed on some INSIGNIFICAT bulletin board by a bunch of do-gooders! My god don't you people UNDERSTAND that their way of life precludes having animals as "pets". Amish feed and house their animals well as they HAVE TO to survive. This is NOT a bunch of people who run to the corner supermarket to purchase everything they eat. THey actually FARM for a living and horses are necessary for transportation and for their usefulnees in farming. I think ANYONE who slams them for selling their horses that are no longer usefull at a sale needs to go take a SERIOUS dose of REALITY!!! You people sicken me with your self righteous attitudes and the fact that most of you have NEVER had to truely wonder where your next meal would come from. I have, I know, and yes I've killed animals to eat. It's REAL world s**T not the fairy tale b*LLs**T you all want it to be! Now leave these poor PEACEFUL folk alone!!!