Return to Questions and Answers Index

Q&A    Questions and Answers:


Dear Bob,

I have been reading your Q&A on your web site and was impressed with your answers. Some cowboys just want to "cowboy" the horses. You have been giving advice that has been very constructive.

HOWEVER, telling that girl to KILL Cody is outrageous! A horse is no different than any other being, as you point out. The horse is being vindicated by her actions. Every time he pins his ears and she runs just encourages his behavior. You should know that. He needs someone to put their foot down and discipline him in that fact. I know. I got a horse that you couldn't turn your back on. He would charge you with ears pinned. She should be given the opportunity to learn how to change his behavior, not KILL him. That is running from the responsibility to that horse.

J. S. C.


You seem to have mis-read my advice about Cody. [See Q&A #81] I didn't tell her to kill the horse; I said, "Perhaps the most humane solution would be for you to sell him to a rodeo stock supplier -- where Cody's viciousness would actually have some constructive value. Otherwise, he -- just like some humans -- needs to be securely isolated from those he might harm. And in some extreme cases, the death penalty is appropriate. Only you can be the judge in that case." In other words, evaluate the situation and decide if the horse can be used safely.

Like you -- and as I implied in that Q&A -- I think I might be able to do something with Cody. But I could never trust him around inexperienced people.

Unfortunately, just as with some humans, you sometimes come across a horse that seems to have its brain cross-wired. Yes, you might be able to keep it from doing damage if you could keep it in solitary confinement where no other creature would ever come in contact with it. For a horse, however, that would be a fate worse than death. My greatest concern in the case of Cody was the question of what would happen if one of those little kids decided to go "pet the pretty horsie." If you've read much of what I've written, you know that I don't like to see a horse die. I'd rather have that happen, however, than to see a child die a traumatic death. And I make no apologies for it.

Tell me, what would you do with a uncurable sociopath -- human or equine? Would you let it be free to rape or kill, or take steps to end its reign of terror? In Cody's case, we have a convicted equine "rapist;" he tried to rip a lady's breast off, after all. If a human had done that, would you suggest that he be trusted back on the streets?

No, my answers are not always perfect, but when in doubt I usually try to err on the side of keeping people alive and safe. If I can do that and also keep the horse alive, so much the better, but I recognize that it's not always possible.

Thanks for your note. Believe it or not, I really do appreciate your sharing your perspective with me. As a wise friend of mine has often said, "If two people agree on absolutely everything -- one of them isn't necessary!" Hopefully, we're all necessary!

Previous Question  |  Next Question

Return arrow Return to Questions and Answers Index

Return arrow Return to the "Learning More About Horses..." page

The contents of this document are not for reproduction.