Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Unhappy horses

September 20, 2006


To the editor:

On Sept. 15, Lawrence was visited by some magnificent Clydesdale horses that were used to pull Budweiser beer wagons along Massachusetts Street. We were there when the horses were hitched to the wagons. These beautiful animals were unloaded from trucks, within which they had been confined for who knows how long and subjected to attachment to a variety of gear.

We could not help but notice the struggles ensuing with several of them when bits were forced into their mouths. Their handlers succeeded, but it was easy for anyone to see the horses' protests, head shaking, grimacing and foaming at the bits. We asked why they had to be so tight and were told that the bits and reins were adjusted to "keep their heads up." Our complaints were unheeded, and the show went on for the people of Lawrence.

The exhibition of animals for people's pleasure has been constrained in many venues (zoos and circuses, for example) in order to provide maximum care and comfort for animals, if indeed they must be "kept" for our viewing and entertainment. There are clearly costs and benefits to be considered in any activity that involves humans and animals.

We witnessed what can only be called mistreatment of horses for public entertainment, and for what benefit? For advertising beer? To encourage more drinking in a college town? Maybe the horses should be retired to a gentle pasture and the money otherwise spent on their rigging and transportation diverted to substance abuse prevention programs in our schools.

Jim and Sonia Juola,



concernedparent 11 years, 9 months ago

you're probably the same jerks that picket the elephants at the circus aren't you??

as_I_live_and_breathe 11 years, 9 months ago

I agree, this is an appalling way to treat a horse. isn't that what big corperations like budweiser are bringing all the illegal aliens here for?

justsomewench 11 years, 9 months ago

This letter is a perfect example of why I don't write letters to the editor.

I prefer to make an ass out of myself in smaller, more manageable groups.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 9 months ago

I think you're being kind of rough on Jim and Sonia. They obviously didn't understand and could have been told without all the name calling! I wouldn't have known either.

I'm glad they brought it up in case others thought the same thing, and am glad you all explained it.

No, I'm not Sonia! ;)

cowboy 11 years, 9 months ago

while they are out at the wetlands have them cut and burn the frigging nettles that are growing out there !

mom_of_three 11 years, 9 months ago

Most horses act the same way when taking a bit. No matter how long a horse has used a bit, there is still an adjustment to the metal taste, just like anyone else.
The Clydesdales are the most pampered horses in the world. I happened to be at Cheyenne Frontier days and witnessed the care given to these giants. Baths, pampering, and special care given to their hooves.

Woodduck_5363 11 years, 9 months ago

I can remember those beautiful horses parked in front of the Green Gables in the 50's

countrygirl 11 years, 9 months ago

Have you ever seen the barn that these horses live in when they aren't out on the road? It's nicer than most people's houses! Jim and Sonia need to find another cause. Maybe they can go look for those frogs that people claim are in the wetlands but no one has ever seen.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

Maybe Jim and Sonja could open up their house for public critique.

head shaking, grimacing and foaming at the bits...that could describe many people reading your LTE.

trinity 11 years, 9 months ago

hey, jim? sonia? how outraged are you about living breathing human children who have to go to bed hungry? have inadequate or NO medical care? who may not even have a roof, right here in the good ol' u-s of a? just how outraged are you, about those issues??

good lord...i wish people would worry as much about kids in need, as they do animals, plants, and leather.

LawrenceRes 11 years, 9 months ago

Obviously Jim and Sonja have never worked with horses because that sort of behavior is typical. And a bit that is too loose is very uncomfortable for them and serves no purpose. I am embarassed for them for how ignorant they sound! Those horses live and eat better than most people and if they were "retired to a gentle pasture" they would miss the attention and lifestyle they are currently leading. Jim and Sonja, go hug a tree or something!

Kat Christian 11 years, 9 months ago

OMG Jim and Sonia - how long were they hitched to that wagon for what may 45 minutes to an hour. Now that was absolutely horrible. Perhaps they should have given them each a room at the Eldridge. Jim - Sonia this is what horses especially these horses that were actually bred as work horses to pull heavy things. I would imagine if these horses didn't have a purpose in life they would die of uselessness I know I would. Grip about something that really needs change - like the cost of housing, living wage, Bush.

mermily 11 years, 9 months ago

certainly my point wasn't that good intentions should replace facts. my point was that their motivation was to be involved and that is a positive thing. as such, their activism and their character for deciding to be involved with regards to this type of issue, shouldn't be attacked.

absolutely attack the accuracy, with a mind towards the possibility that you might not be armed with the complete set of facts yourself, but leave the judgment about what issues they should be upset about behind.

how's this. i don't like leashes. it gives me the creeps when i see dogs being yanked by their necks. i like harnasses instead. and quesss what, i'm aware most dogs are used to leashes. i'm also well aware there are other more pressing issues in the world! and still i would think it odd that someone would blast me if i decided to make my opinion known.

welcome your neighbors activism and efforts to improve things as they see them and seek to change their inaccurate facts if need be.

mermily 11 years, 9 months ago

knowledge of horses or not and justified or not, sounds like they were concerned and trying to be active about something. the trend of comments here seems to begrudge people from voicing concerns when those concerns aren't the same as everyone elses. that's a shame. for example, compassion for horses, even if overly touchy-feely by most people's take, doesn't preclude compassion for children.

everyone knows these horses are usually incredibly pampered horses and most of us know "broken" horses are used to bits, but maybe the juolas saw something others didn't and that was later corrected. maybe one of the horses was new and reacted poorly initially. maybe they thought that for non-working horses, bits aren't the way to go b/c they can't be that comfortable. who knows and that is the point. i believe it shows as much ignorance to assume you have all the facts and therefore another person is an idiot based on your version, than it does to be untrained in horses.

i'm always frustrated when people elect to use their time chipping away at what others are concerned about. i welcome people that care to be involved even if their cause isn't mine.

acg 11 years, 9 months ago

OMG give me a freaking break. Some people just have to nitpick and whine and find a reason to complain, no matter what. I've seen the Clydesdale's many times over my life, in several different states. These horses are not mistreated. The Budweiser people are not stupid and would not want the wrath of PETA and bad press to come down upon their heads, so their handlers and trainers make sure these animals receive excellent care, top notch food and have the best living quarters money can buy for a horse. Give me a break, people. Lighten up and quit yer bitchin'!!

cowboy 11 years, 9 months ago

This is a perfect example of if you have no idea or knowledge please shut up.

These beautiful horses pulled up in air conditioned vans , they were perfectly groomed and cleaned . Talk about well trained they stand without being tied. They obviously love people , talk to them and they start licking lips and will look at you with ears up ! These horses get the best care of any animal on earth. They have summer and winter homes. There was not a hint of a flinch or discomfort for these beautiful gentle giants. A little cluck and they are off and working. how pretty they were.

Take off your stupid goggles !

astarte 11 years, 9 months ago

The only people b*tchin were people posting on this forum. Jim & Sonia were merely expressing concern. That, by the way, shows compassion. In that regard, we should all be a bit (ha) more like the Juolas.

The lesson here really is when something causes concern, a little research into the matter might prove quite enlightening.

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