Pie’s Views on Freedom: A Guest Post

Pie 4th of july As the Fourth of July approaches and you here all the falderal about the land of the free and the home of the brave, it makes me ponder how this affects the horse population in general. I am a 38 year old ranch horse and I have seen many instances of confinement and freedom. For some reason, there are people out there that think horses are only happy if they are wild and roaming free on the prairies. That really sounds good in books and movies, but looking at it realistically, it is not such a great deal.

Horses started out in ancient history as a food source for cavemen. Looking at that, we have come up in priority quite a bit. That is a good thing, but just because were no longer a food source for man, doesn’t mean that we were taken off the menu for other predators. The weakest of the herds that were sick or injured were eaten. That is the way of the world. Looking at that, I would have been someone’s lunch a long time ago because I have lost sight in one eye and can’t see things approaching from that side. I seriously doubt that a predator would announce its presence and make it a fair fight. I also don’t move quite as fast as I used to when running.

Running wild, does sound like fun when you are just thinking in your head, but there is never a guarantee of food. Just because a pasture is green, does not mean there is enough protein there to sustain a full grown horse or a herd of horses. Since horse are herd animals, it would take a constant supply of green protein rich grass to sustain a herd. There are plenty of horses even at this time that are in pastures all around that are close to starving because even though there are green plants in the field, there is not enough protein to sustain them. It is really sad, because many of these owners think they are doing something wonderful for their horses, by letting them live in a close to free environment.

On the flip side, there are horses living out there with no freedom at all. They are trapped in stalls all day long without ever being let out. These poor horses are suffering from a complete lack of freedom. It is really sad, because that is not the way horses are geared to live. Shutting them up in a stall away from their herd mates can eventually drive a horse insane or stall crazy. I understand that these owners think they are protecting these horses, but they are also affecting their mental health. Then there are the owners that keep them locked up because they don’t want them to get dirty.

Times have changed and the planet is really much more populated now. There is not a whole lot of room left for running free. Even as we speak, there are factions out there that are trying to take the land from the wild mustangs. Even humans have restricted freedoms, so I guess I can’t complain. During the daylight hours when it is hot I get to hang out in a large paddock with a shade tree. It also has a run-in shed that sports a fan that runs 24/7. My buddy horses are nice in close in their own paddocks where I can see them. In the evening, I get to go out and roam in a nice fenced pasture with all of my herd mates. None of us have to worry about lack of food or predators.

Even though horses started out as wild animals we have been domesticated for millions of years. Admittedly, some of us have it better than others, but we are all domesticated. Life as we know it has evolved the same as humans. I heard a song playing in the barn one day that said, “Freedom is just another name for nothing left to lose.” If that is the case, then I don’t think it is all that great. I like my structured and protected freedom. I rather like the fact that I have shelter and food without having to scrounge for it. In my thirty eight years I have run into some hard times, had I been living in the wild, I would not be here today to write this post. I also like the fact that we are protected from predators and illness.

The way I see it, I have plenty of freedom with my paddock and the pasture. I really like the fact that I can roam and not worry about being eaten or attacked by rivals or predators. It is also nice to have food and protection from illnesses. Those that think horses are better off running wild and free, need to re-evaluate the problems that go with that particular lifestyle. Along with humans, our lifestyles have improved for the better. That is what I will be celebrating this Fourth of July. Happy Trails

~ Pie, as recorded by Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo

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Pie on Peace – A Special Guest Post

Please welcome a very special guest: Pie.  Pie is an old brown horse who stars in a book by Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo.  Here, Pie takes a look at the subject of peace.  Surely, it must be refreshing to get a unique look into the mind of a horse, and how we humans are viewed by the charming Pie.  Enjoy…

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images This whole subject of peace seems to weigh on the minds of humans more than it should. I really don’t understand what the big brew ha ha is about. Peace is a simple thing to achieve. We have it at our barn, but we have a rather strong herd leader. It used to be Dusty the big Morgan, then it was Ceasar, (yes, that is the way it is spelled), the even bigger Percheron gelding. They had two different leadership styles. Dusty ruled by terror and Ceasar by enforcement of rules broken. By all rights and privileges, the title should have come to me, and I guess you could say it did, but I am much too busy being a celebrity to even care about stuff such as that. So now the leadership role falls on the keeper.

She does a horse proud. In my 38 years on this earth, I have never seen one run a herd quite like she does. It shouldn’t, but it works. I share a pasture with a silly show bred paint gelding, by all rights we should not get along, but we do. I think it is because it is expected of us. It seems the higher the expectations, the harder we work to reach them. On the other side she has two geldings and two mares together. They should fight over the mares, but they don’t. Once again she has worked her magic on them, because she carefully introduced them and set them all up for success.

The most bizarre instance of peace between combatants in our barn is between the cat and the chicken. The little banty hen has been there for over nine years. All the other little chickens have been eaten by wildlife. She is the only one left. It seems that she has partnered up with a male barn cat the same color as herself. It is fascinating to watch the two. They are inseparable to the point of eating out of the same dish. This same cat also partners and plays with his brother and they have been inseparable since birth.

As I much carrots and watch all of this, I think the keeper works behind the scenes to make sure everyone gets along. There is not a creature at our barn that misses a meal, including the wild ones that pass through at night. Now someone told me that breaking bread with another person was biblical. I have no idea what that means, horses don’t do biblical, but it seems too important to the humans. Maybe if they followed their own advice and fed everyone and made sure they were comfortable, basically thought about someone other than themselves, and expected everyone to respect everyone else, maybe peace would ensue.

I don’t really see this happening. Humans seem to be too caught up in themselves. Maybe if they gave a little of themselves to others like the keeper does to us rather than trying to be better than everyone else they would have the peaceful tranquility of our barn. Or if you just want to keep it simple, feed everyone alfalfa hay mixed with cut up baby carrots. With a dish like that, no one has time to fight; they are too focused on the good things in life. I know when that is in front of me; I could care less what anyone else is doing.

Well, now that I have solved the world peace problem, I am going to mosey on over to my favorite shade tree and take a nap. This crisis aversion stuff is exhausting. I plan to dream about cute little mares and baby carrots. Look me up next time you need a problem solved, until then, Happy Trails To You!

Happy Trails back at you, Pie!

If you’d like to learn more about Pie, and Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo of course, take a gentle trot over to any, or all, of the following online paddocks:

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