I was so pleased to read Kevin DeWitt’s letter condemning the local horse owners who do not provide their horses with shelter. I moved here in 2000, and for 20 years I have burned with indignation at these heartless people as I drove to town and back. Horses need shelter from rain and snow for their comfort, but they need shelter from hail for their safety. They need shelter from winter wind, lest they suffer hypothermia; a horse loses heat through its long bony legs and big bony head due to the cold wind. In the summer, horses need to be able to retreat into deep shade. There are biting flies that identify a horse by its silhouette; they can’t see the silhouette in the deep shade. Besides, how would you like to stand in the burning sun day after day, without relief?
I have also burned with indignation seeing horses kept all alone without a horse companion. Horses are herd animals. They suffer horribly from loneliness. Loneliness causes them anguish.
Lastly, I am fed up with seeing horses kept month after month, year after year in squalid little pens, bored out of their minds.
If you can’t afford to keep two horses well, in due regard for their comfort, their physical health, and their mental health, don’t buy a horse.