First of all I had a great but busy weekend.
The kids in my 4h club made $1200!!!! wowzers! The most we have made other years was $800. Most years average $500 We couldn't believe it!
I found a little kitten in the compartment under the stairs in the horse barn at the park. She was feral and totally terrified. Someone must have dropped her off during the week because there was a bag of food but no one would have found her. I know I would be terrified if I were a feral cat scooped up and brought out into a crowd of 1000 people. I got her a box and put her in the house office where she slept. Turns out the resident mouser, Alice died a few months ago so they did need a new cat. Cool! The rule is the animals they have need to be named after one of the homestead family. So her name is Olive. She is a cute little light dusty tortoise kitty. She warmed up pretty fast to us but is still a little shy with loud noises or sudden movements. I have pictures but they are on my friends camera. Later.
Anyway the whole point of this post. The five freedoms.
First horses. When stabling or caring for a horse we must consider his welfare and the factors most likely to influence it.
1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition- By providing a sufficient diet to a horse to maintain his weight and energy level.
2. Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort- By providing adequate shelter and a comfortable place to lie down.
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease- By rapid diagnosis, prevention or treatment.
4. Freedom to express patterns of normal behaviour- Providing sufficient space per horse and animals of his own kind.
5. Freedom from fear and distress- By offering an environment that avoids mental suffering.
Now I think about this I meet all these needs for my horses these days. A wile back Indigo was getting really beaten up often. She became very spooky when other horses were around and would practically run me down to get away. I hated to see her like this so I changed her number five and shes back to her normal self. I should have seen it sooner.
Now how about horse owners. Do we have the big 5 freedoms in our current facility/boarding barn?
1. Freedom to express myself as a trainer, rider, horse person- I want to experiment with my horses, figure out what works and try all sorts of methods of training. Sometimes it can get a little messy but we all work it out. Basically I want to train and not have someone hanging over my shoulder going "that's wrong!" or "don't do that!". I need to figure things out.
2. Freedom to have freedom- This one links quite well with number 1. I want to have one on one time with my horses. I want to be able to groom them when I want, where I want and to be able to ride them almost wherever I please within riding distance. I have that. I have big open fields, a round pen, the beach, roads etc. I only wish I had a paddock or even an indoor arena within reasonable riding distance.
3. Freedom to have control over my horses- I'm taking equine science in university to learn how to feed, manage, train and let my horses be healthy horses. I don't want someone coming in and saying what I should be feeding my horse. Though I am always open minded. I also don't want anyone to have control over where my horse is turned out or with who. If I want to turn her out with the big herd I can, if I want her to have grass I can.
4. Freedom to share my horses- Some of my friends are horse people, some are not. All of them enjoy and like horses but not all are "horse people". I want to be able to bring whomever I want into the barn and say "here's my horse!" and maybe even give them a ride. I know a lot of boarding stables are strict. I am glad I can bring my nephews out any time and let them ride or run around the barn and be kids.
5. Freedom for my horse- My horse must have as much of the 5 freedoms as she can get. I don't want her confined to a stall unless she is injured and I always want her to be out with another horse so she can be a horse.
What are your five freedoms? Are there any you would change? Need more of?