The sacred relationship between people and horses is at a crossroads.
To either side of us lie paths in opposite directions that misanthropic animal rights groups want us to follow – separate paths that would forever sever horses and humans from one another, based on the troubling belief that humans cause nothing but suffering to innocent animal victims. In this dark vision of the world, horses would go one way, while we humans would go another, forever separate and sterile. This nightmare scenario would destroy an important part of what makes us human – and would destroy these noble equine companions who have done so much as our co-architects of civilization.
Meanwhile, in front of us lies a way forward – a path of productive partnership. Blue Star Equiculture is calling upon everyone, not just horse people (though those keepers of the ancient knowledge and know-how are leading the way), to forge ahead and “Share the Road” with horses. We must, for the sake of all horses, remember our common journey.
Blue Star is launching our “Share the Road – Horses paved the way” campaign to meaningfully remind everyone of the essential place horses have had in our history, and – more importantly – to insist that returning horses to our communities and reclaiming our human heritage as horse people is the ONLY sustainable solution for the “unwanted horse problem” and for ensuring horse welfare and quality horsemanship for future generations.
The addition of the automobile to our nation’s horse-filled roads a century ago began a process of distancing ourselves from the very living beings who have made us who we are. For many, horses have become entertainment: novelties and luxury items – with disastrous results. Novelties and luxury items are disposable. But for those people lucky to work with horses, horses remain essential and valuable.
Yet there is so much willful ignorance surrounding the well being of our nation’s working horses. This ignorance is what motivated us to create Blue Star Equiculture as something sustainable for our working horses, where they could retire and receive the care and assistance necessary to have healthy and productive lives … even if that meant simply being ambassadors for work horses everywhere.
We’ve also become a sanctuary for homeless working horses in need – a sanctuary where their love and desire for their partnership with people would be understood and respected, a sanctuary where they would neither be relegated into forced exile from their human companions (“roaming free”) nor would their inherent dignity and innate capabilities be bent to the will and desire of the “rescue market” that too often takes the animal activist view of harness and seeks to turn draft horses and working horses into something they are not.
At Blue Star, we instead honor this ancient partnership and take full responsibility for being part of a culture that has benefited greatly by their service. We created Blue Star Equiculture as a way to give back and express gratitude to our horse "relations.” Our many programs celebrate and share horses’ greatness with our communities, so that all people can take part in meaningful opportunities to come to understand our equine partners better. – and thus care enough about these fellow living beings to do their small part to care for and sustain them on the road ahead.
Of course, this understanding of the true nature of horses and their special relationship with humans has earned us criticism from those who want to cut everyone off from our ancient bond with equines. There are those who say that Blue Star Equiculture is not a “real” sanctuary; these people have mistaken their made-up meaning of the word “sanctuary” (as a place where horses can merely exist without human interference) with the REAL meaning of the word, which is a sacred space, a space that provides refuge to those in danger or under attack.
And America’s horses are under attack.
Working horses are under attack from a number of organizations, large and small, and their affiliated activists and misguided celebrities. These groups have dressed up their hatred for humans as a love for animals, while doing little of good for animals at all.
We feel that we MUST speak up and directly address what we see as an enormous insult to the sensibilities of the American public. The radical animal activists are well known for lying and slandering and getting away with it. They prey on innocent people with their worn out images of working horses in dire straits (the images are worn out because they have so few of them). They raise millions of dollars screaming "Abuse!" (where there is none – working in harness is not abuse!), and, as far as we can tell, NONE of that money actually helps a living horse! Money from trusting people who sincerely want to help horses instead funds provocative and libelous advertising campaigns, lobbyists for dangerous legislation, and ridiculous proposals to replace gentle, ecofriendly, living beings with electric vehicles of cold steel and plastic with caustic batteries. Meanwhile Blue Star and other rescues across America struggle daily to do the work that must be done in order to care for our beloved equine partners, and work to create a future where they will continue to be among us in our communities where they CAN be cared for and respected for all that they have given – and continue to offer – to us.
So, we are formally writing open letters to all of these groups, addressing them by NAME and holding them accountable for the lies they are telling about working horses. No doubt they are going to try to take us down and discredit us. That is fine – they already have tried, and anyone that has visited our farm knows we are in this struggle for good. Because we – and supporters like YOU – know the TRUTH about horses: that they are a part of who we all are, and desire and deserve to be with us. They need to have a place in our communities, on our farms and in our cities. We will be announcing our campaign to Share the Road across America. We will be calling on ALL good horse people – and we are ALL horse people indebted to horses past, present and future – to stand beside us and DEMAND the truth about America's working horses.
Today is the day we raise our flag and say to those people and groups that exploit and abuse innocent people and their working horses that we are now going to hold them accountable for their damaging rhetoric about an issue they know nothing about. These people are causing real harm under the guise of “helping” horses.
Now is the time to support those of us who are in the trenches actually trying to accomplish something truly right and good for horses, for humans and for Mother Earth. It’s time to take to the streets and choose our path at the crossroads in this time of confusion and deliberate misinformation about horses. It’s time to “Share the Road” and move forward to a better, sustainable future– with horses at our side.