29 year old Polish Arabian gelding and former dressage competition horse
In my last journal entry, I provided a link to a statement released by Alexander Nevzorov declaring that he no longer rides horses and that riding horses will no longer be acceptable among his NHE students. I also went on to say that while I may not agree that riding horses is harmful in all situations, I wanted to convey how important I feel it is to continually assess why we might choose to ride and what meaning it has for our horses.
Of the comments that readers submitted there was a bit of an outcry against Alexander Nevzorov and a fear that his campaign to ban equine sports was an Orwellian attempt to destroy freedom. I see Mr. Nevzorov's "Horse Revolution" as an attempt to put a stop to cruelty to horses and that he uses his considerable media power to expose what happens every day in the world of not just horse sports, but in more ordinary "pleasure" riding circles as well.
I would myself not vote for any legislation that promotes a sweeping prohibition, but I will for sure share information that graphically shows our human cruelty against horses, to facilitate opening our eyes to the abuses perpetrated upon horses. I feel that if we truly look at how humans are interacting with horses, we may see within ourselves something we recognize as morally outrageous and begin steps to reform this tradition of coercing horses with pain and force to do our bidding.
The Nevzorov Horse Revolution has just released a 71 page atlas chronicling the abuses which their program hopes to put a stop to. I think anyone of us that has any critical commentary for Alexander Nevzorov should certain make his and her voices heard, but not without first viewing this pdf document.
I can tell you that I can see myself in these photos published in the NHR atlas. I recognized many years ago that my relationship with Mistral was twisted and I no longer desired to force my will upon him in the name of "training", and I chose to follow different path. I closed one door--the door of a perverted tradition of subordinating creatures to fulfill human needs and desires--and opened a door of learning to commune and explore the world in togetherness.
For me there is no longer any "necessary roughness" allowed...horses do not need to be physically and mentally over-powered in order for us to feel safe and have a relationship with them. There are other ways of being with horses, some of which you have been exposed to here in the Journal of Ravenseyrie, and by following the sidebar links to other websites and blogs showing what other people on this alternate path are doing to make life better for horse/human relationships.
Lest you feel that the NHR atlas is merely propaganda, I challenge you to look at the photos shown and then, as you move about whatever equestrian circles you belong to, look at how the horses and humans interact with each other--I'm certain that you will see some of the same images and you will not be so able to ignore what you see.
It's time for a change, and it begins one person at a time. Let's change our habits and behaviors, freely, without the need for legislation. Let us humans do the right thing not because there is a law enforcing us to behave differently, but because in our hearts we know reshaping our behavior, customs and traditions is the right thing to do and we have the courage to begin each in our own corner of the world.