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Bye bye Barbaro... :(

Obviously, there's entirely too many problems within the horse-racing industry to begin ranting about one in particular... so I'll just say, I'm sad to hear about the death of such a fighter. He was a gorgeous animal, as are so many that are lost on the racetrack.

I too was very saddened to hear of Barbaro's death on the news a couple of minutes ago.  He was a majestic and beautiful animal with much spirit.  May he rest in peace.



My thoughts.......I don't think ANY horse wants some idiot on his or her back telling it where to go. I sure don't want an idiot on MY back telling me where to go. :P.

BTW, I don't think they like pulling idiot tourists around in carriages either,  but you'll have to ask them directly......that is if they are related to Mr. Ed, and speak your native tongue! :o


I totally agree with you about the racing industry, tourist carages, rodeo, and the like but a bond between horse and rider can be very powerful. All of the horses we had over the years loved being ridden and had a very clear way of telling you if they weren't in the mood for gallop that day. When I would walk to the pasture with reins in hand my horse Sunshine would run up to the gate to meet me and put her head down waiting to get suited up and then patiently wait for me to mount. After that we pretty much went were ever she wanted to go as long as I didn't feel like it would put either of us in danger. For many horses, this is much like playing ball or going for morning hikes.

Like I said, I agree with you on many of these issues but don't put all horse owners in the same boat.


Hi Tanevab,
I think I maybe was wrong in the way I posted my comment. I was primarily talking about pony rides, horses that are kept at "riding stables" where strangers get on their backs, rodeos, circus's, etc. I am sure in some cases, a horse though it may love it's guardian, may not want them sitting on their back. I'm sure Sunshine loved to go for rides and bond with you. I'm sure there are many bonds between horse and human that are like that. I feel in a lot of situations (like competitive racing), the horse doesn't have a choice in the matter, and that is wrong.  :P


hey davedrum i agree with you on that. I don't have horses now and while I long to ride I simply won't go to a stable and ride an animal that has no say in the matter.

Also thanks for the original post. I don't have tv and i don't do much web surfing so i appreciate being kept informed about the world around me :)


Poor Barbaro, he was such a beautiful animal, and only 3 years old.  I was so upset when I read this news story.  Sadly, the horse racing "sport" goes on.  :'(

May Barbaro rest in peace.


rip barbaro :'(


Hi,  I'm new to this chat thing, but I love the info everyone shares.  Look at horses that they harvest urine for to make Primarin. rendered animal food-animals eating animals.  Unfortunately the list of torture for profit is a long one.  Making people aware will change things.


I have never owned a horse, but I have ridden before. . .one of my closest friends has quite a few. They're pretty popular around these parts, and as I do see that amazing bond between horse and rider. ..if you look a little deeper. . .In order for a horse to become rideable you must first 'break his spirit'. That's what they call it, and quite accurately. The horse's spirit is broken, therefore, like an abused person whose spirit is broken, he becomes willing to do your bidding and will enjoy anything that vaguely resembles freedom. getting to leave the stables, even if it's only because you're carrying someone around. There aren't any stables that I know of around here, people keep their horses in round pens or enclosed fields. While this provides a nicer atmosphere for them, they're still confined and living their lives under the will of humans. I'm not arguing that people shouldn't have horses. . .the number of wild horses is going way down and there really is no place for them outside of ownership, like dogs and cats, but they are all living with broken spirits.


Although there are many depressing examples of how horses are mistreated and forced into sad existence of our society, there are a growing number of examples of horses who are trained and treated in humane and inspiring methods.  When horses are treated and trained with the methods of "horse whispering" (sounds kookie, but is amazing and eye opening-- look up Buck Brannman, Monty Roberts, and John Lyons)- gentle methods that incorporate our comprehending and the horse's natural way of thinking to inspire trust, bonding, and natural respect between a horse and a rider (or person)- horses are willing and eager to try to please their human partner. 

When a horse is healthy (both physical and mental needs are met), he will naturally be curious and adventurous and will look forward to new adventures whether it is riding out on a trail, racing, or pulling a cart.  Horses in their natural state (out at pasture with other horses) will graze for about 30-45 minutes at a time then rest/relax for 30-45 min., repeating this cycle throughout the day.  If you spent a few hours watching them interact this way, you would recognize that they also get bored during their "relax time" and will seek out things to stimulate their minds.  (It is quite entertaining to watch a horse purposefully and repetitively get himself into mischief to entertain himself!)   :D

Many of the examples mentioned previously are truly saddening and I passionately hate to see the dull, listless look in a horse's eyes that has not been treated respectfully and caringly as an individual, instead of merely as a means to gaining something for the owner/handler.  The horses that enjoy what they do, even love it, will have a spark, a vitality in their eyes and you can see the difference. 

So while there are many examples of poor horses who are forced to do what they do, there are also inspiring examples of some horses and their riders who share a bond and mutual cooperation. Tanevab, obviously shared this with her horse Sunshine and their other horses. My horses come running from far across the huge field when they see me or other people just to come see us.  I don't condone treating any animal without respect or regard to its feelings and basic rights just as I don't condone it towards any humans, but simply because some people do ride on the backs of horses does not always mean the horse is not enjoying the partnership, bond, and entertainment they share together.

Barbaro was a champion.  He loved to run.  You could see it in his eyes.  He was competitve.  Some horses are, just like some people are.  Horses have all kinds of different personalities and character, just like dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, any animal.  If Barbaro was merely running because he was being forced to he would have fought about entering the starting gate, not run as hard as he did, not always won, or shown other signs of resentment. 

That is not to say that all racehorses love what they do.  It would be interesting to see how many more horses loved what they did if they were treated with more recognition to their individual needs and wants, not treated as objects or tools. 

It is tragic that race horses aren't allowed to grow one more year before being started running on the track with the added weight of a rider on his back.  If we did, we would most likely see much fewer stories of tragic euthanizations of these beautiful valiant animals because of the huge traumatic stress applied to these young horses' immature, still fragile, growing bones, joints, tendons,and ligaments. 

If anyone is interested in learning about adopting rescued racehorses (many go to slaughter if they break down or just are not fast enough to win) here are a couple of links:


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