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Horseback Riding and Animal Rights:
Can They Ever Be in Harmony?
Comments by: Carmel Goneau - 24 Feb 2002

I appreciate your thought-provoking emails, Anna, and I thought I would ask you specifically because you have horses, but also everyone in general. 

Do you all think it is right to ride horses? 

Do we have the right to harness and saddle and make the horse bend to our will? 

When I was young I used to ride horses on summer vacation in the Texas hill country and the horses I would choose always had a mind of their own -- and they never wanted me on their backs!  I could tell.  And I would wonder why am I doing this if the horse doesn't want me to.  I just enjoyed spending time with the animal.  But in Texas you really learn not to voice such thoughts.  But what do you all think?  Isn't it true of any animal, even a "companion pet"?  Do we really have the right to take a dog or cat "captive" without "knowing" whether that dog or cat wants to be with us, thinking that we always know what is best?  Or am I really too off the wall? 

-- Carmel

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