I have heard this from more then one source and it is surely not my opinion.
I don't understand how people can buy and trade horses about the same as they do their cars.
Have you met any horse owners like this and how do you feel about it?
This is an ancient viewpoint towards horses which still exists today. Horses are LARGE domestic animals who require ALOT of food and expensive housing, vet care, farriery work, equipment, etc, as well as a lot of time consuming hands on care.. Historically they were viewed as extremely useful and expensive livestock that could work for their living as well as provide meat when at the end of their useful working lives.
We now live in the wealthiest time of human history. We grow enough food so that we can afford to feed "useless" horses. We can afford to "fall in love" with our horses and give them extremely expensive care and endless chances in life. We produce enough meat from our food animals so that we do not have to eat horses except by choice. In short, society can afford to be sentimental about horses, and this is a very modern phenomenon that began during the Victorian age in England (ie. Black Beauty.)
Before modern agriculture and the industrial revolution human society could not afford to be sentimental towards all animals, especially large expensive ones like horses. However even today professional horsemen cannot really afford to be sentimental towards their horses if they do not want to go bankrupt. Usually there will be one or two that end up retired, often a first horse, aged, arthritic, and wandering around the barn. But if a professional horseman "fell in love" with every horse he trains and works he would eventually end up with a pasture and barn full of ancient, lame, arthritic, and demented horses and he would be financially broke.
Sorry, but that is life. I was never a professional or show person, so I became horse-poor and supported horses until I had to put them down.
Maybe I should clarify, since this is a discussion in the group "If you love horses this is the group for you". I don't want to give the wrong impression.
My thought is directed at individual horse owners of current times...not professional horse people that go into business anticipating a turnover of horses in their care.
Some people find it more beneficial to spend money on horses for their therapeutic benefit rather then on a therapist. Some people can't afford either.
Signing off to go relax with my horse.
I qualify. My first horse I finally put down at age 33 Itorsion colic) after I retired him years before because of the effects that were probably from EPM. I loved my horses when I had them, and learned NEVER to think of them just as livestock. Even when I learned I had MS, I kept the horses I had because I could not stand the thought that MY horses would end up being sent to slaughter. Pasture ornaments of the world unite!
I think that horses can make their people better human beings. I think horses are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. I do not think that horses "fall in love" with us, but that is good since demonstrations of equine love often are violent. But I do think that a horse can consider a human a proper friend and can enjoy spending time with us.
My first horse, Hat Tricks, was an angel from heaven. He taught me how to be a better human being, and inspired me to become the best rider that I could become.