Sunday, June 17, 2012
When the boys were young, we spent a year in Dublin, Ireland. It was 1996 and we lived on Dublin's gritty north side in a lower-middle class neighborhood.
There was a small sector of horse ownership and care that was very different than I’d ever seen - from the perspective of proper Stable Management and all. The carefree haphazardness of these so-called Urban Cowboys was glamorized in the movie, The Commitments. But others considered this horse population a big problem, especially from a sanitation and animal welfare issue.
Click here for YouTube video of kid bringing his horse up in a tenement elevator.
Click here for NY Times article.
Sometimes, horses just roamed. Sometimes, they were staked out in pubic parks. By staked out, I mean that their owner had tied them by halter and length of rope to a metal stake, pounded into the ground.
[See photo, taken in 1996 at my son's weekly soccer game].
For the most part, everyone just left them alone. Sometimes, kids would hop on bareback, regardless of who it belonged to (if it belonged to anyone.) It never fazed anyone that ownership of these horses was so ill-defined. For hours and days, the horses would roam or stay staked out without water. I was upset!
But then I looked at their condition. They were fine, well-mannered horses in good condition. None were ribby, lame, or with skin conditions. They were unfazed by their situation. So, why should I be getting my knickers in a twist?