My blog posts about the incidence at Gothenburg Horse Show got world-wide attention in March, and I understand why. A horse being treated unfair and punished on live TV in Sweden is indeed shocking. The rider is now back in the saddle, and got away with it all with an apology. I don’t think the horse care so much about a Facebook post.
«As I see it today, it is okay to kick, hit and whip horses. It is okay to pull the reins, attached to a metal piece, so hard that you can feel it in your biceps the day after. It is okay to use rollkur and if you are rich and famous enough, you can even try to enter the arena on a lame horse during FEI competitions. Is this really how we want our sport to be like?»
The horses care about the immense pain they are dealing with when a rider is pulling the reins multiple times in a row while kicking its sensitive ribs with boots equipped with spurs. The horses care about not being punished with violence when they are doing everything they can to please us. Every single day, they are performing on a high level both physically and mentally, pushing themselves to the limit. Traveling thousands of miles. Airplanes. Busy warm up-arenas. Walls taller than themselves, they carry their riders safely over with pride. Over and over again. With all their heart, they help their riders achieve their goals. Being the most important part of the team, every day. Without a single complaint when they are treated unfair, they keep going on. Horses may forgive, but they never forget.
If the FEI really cares about the welfare of the horses in our sport, inhumane treatment of animals should have severe consequences. Every single time.
If the FEI is planning to continue to let horses suffer in our sport, I recommend you to stop lying to the world, claiming that “the welfare of the horse is at the heart of all our activities”, because that’s simply not true if you seriously are allowed to abuse your partner during the competition. May I suggest changing it to “the welfare of the rider’s name and reputation is at the heart of all our activites” instead? More fitting.
As I see it today, it is okay to kick, hit and whip horses. It is okay to pull the reins, attached to a metal piece, so hard that you can feel it in your biceps the day after. It is okay to use rollkur and if you are rich and famous enough, you can even try to enter the arena on a lame horse during FEI competitions. Is this really how we want our sport to be like? Because the Code of Conduct simply does not matter anymore when breaking the rules does not have consequences.
The future of horse sports is in danger if we don’t do anything about this problem. It is time to make our sport better, with being as strict as we have to every time animals is treated unfair.
I haven’t put my phone away one single second the last three weeks. I was supposed to receive the answer from the biopsy, but because of permits and the strict rules in the US etc, Batman’s biopsy is still in Oslo. I am pretty patient as a person. But with this, every single second of not knowing is torture.
And here I am, still stressed to the max, prepared to wait for many more weeks. The answers will provide important information about Batman’s future and condition, and when I receive the phone call from the vets it will be the scariest moment ever. They will tell me how sick he is. And some diseases cannot be cured.
I would do anything in the world just to experience one more normal day..
Hipp hipp hurra! Today we celebrate May 17th, Norway’s Constitution Day and National Day! The dress I wear today is a traditional Norwegian bunad, from the part of the country my family is from. It is called a rondastakk, from the beautiful Gudbrandsdalen. It was a gift from my dad when I was 14 and I feel so proud when I’m wearing it! It is so gorgeous ❤ As many as 66% of all Norwegian women and girls own a bunad.
Every year we have a 17th of May-photoshoot with Batman, so although his Dutch origin, he is quite familiar with the Norwegian flag and my weird clothes every spring, haha! Thankfully, he is a patient fella.
I hope all my Norwegian readers had a lovely celebration today!
Thank you so much Linn for the bunad-photos, and Thea for the help with holding the flag in the shots of Batman. I hereby pronounce you Master of Flags!
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde
My most morbid headline so far? We spent another day at the clinic with Batman this week, and did ultrasound and x-ray of both front legs, and they were both fine. So at least he has two legs. We also checked his heart, which sounded healthy, and took a biopsy from his neck. Very interesting to watch the surgery, and a bit bloody, haha. I feel sick when I hear someone say the world “blood vessel”, but holding my horse during a surgery? No problem. The tissue will be sent to the US and analyzed there by experts; I guess this will be the closest I will be to send my horse across the Atlantic!
Batman did not bother having a couple of stitches in his neck, and only two hours after the biopsy, he was home and smiling in his box. He looked like he was coming straight from the set of The Walking Dead with all the blood in his fur, but it only took a few seconds of cleaning to get his black color back again.
We will have an answer in 2-3 weeks, and that will give us important information regarding Batman so far unknown diagnosis. Something is wrong with his hind legs, but we are not yet sure what it is that is causing it. Because we don’t have a diagnosis yet, I don’t want to go out with anything before we know for sure. I am glad you respect my decision.
Last time, I smiled on the way to the clinic and cried on the way out, and then I cried for three more weeks, this time, it was the opposite. It might be hope. Fingers crossed that analysis comes back NEGATIVE!
Warning: A lot of blood below!