Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 5:29:24 AM
For the last few years, my stable has continually taken in two special horses. They live there free of board, and receive love from the rest of the boarders. Some of the horses are young and energized. Others are older or injured. All of them somehow, someway, escaped death. They are ex-racehorses.
It hurts me to see them. A few are attractive and healthy, they were simply too slow. Others have limps from fractures or are missing eyes. No one has to say how the horses receive their scars, both physical and emotional. Being horse people, we understand that there is more to horse racing than trumpets and roses. There are things the spectators do not see or choose to understand. They simply do not advertise the drugs, inbreeding, and whipping that actually happen. But we know.
The horse that touched my heart the most was Peek-A-Boop. She only spent three days at Bear Creek Stables, but it might as well have been three years. I felt drawn to this tall gray mare, like we were meant to be together. She had the most amazing coloring I had ever seen on a horse: gray mixed with black, white, and, oddly enough, a touch of yellow. She was graceful and sweet, but playful at the same time, reflecting her name. Her slender legs and refined head stood out to me. So did her limp. Peek-A-Boop had been pushed too far on the tracks and had severely injured her leg. Instead of bringing her to the vet, Peek-A-Boop’s owners gave her Bute, a numbing medicine, and raced her again. This caused the mare to become seriously injured. We are not positive on the details; the previous owner was not exactly forthcoming. What I do know is that when Peek-A-Boop arrived at Bear Creek, she was in pain. Just three days after arriving, Peek-A-Boop was humanely euthanized. She was four years old.
I was distraught after her death. I went home and began to find information about the horse racing industry that shocked me. Each year, 800 racehorses die on U.S. tracks. What does that say about the people of America? To even think about it hurts my heart. Now I know something has to change, and I cannot wait around to watch. In 2013, I hope to change the way people in my community see horse racing. There is a large track nearby and I look forward to bringing my Animal Club there to protest. I figure that life is a gift, and as long as we have it we might as well not only take advantage of it, but help save others. My trainer, who is in charge of the ex-racehorses at my stable, has also offered to let me help with the retraining and rehabilitation of some of these horses. I cannot wait to show them what a loving person is capable of. After all they have been through, these horses deserve it.