Tag: Horses

A “Rogue” Killer Whale?

Animals as Pets?  Do we ever really know what they are thinking?

Do we really ever know what is going on in an animal’s mind?  Some people believe that they do, but when they are wrong, disastrous consequences can result.  Sometimes. Many of these same people would tell you, before the fact, that the risks are worth it.

Unidentified trainer with Killer Whale

This subject has come up a number of times recently, both in my life and in the news from across the world.   Just recently, a seasoned trainer at Florida’s SeaWorld was killed by a killer whale that she had worked with for years.  She was very fond of the whale; there are many photos of her hugging the whale, playing, and working with the whale.  She obviously loved her job, and felt strongly about the whale conservation efforts that Seaworld claims to promote. Witnesses to the mauling have said that the whale seemed angry just before the attack, and concluded that the whale was stressed by being kept in a small tank with little to do.  Essentially, they theorized that the whale “lost it.”  Since then, however, I’ve heard statements made by whale trainers who theorize that the whale was simply playing; that the trainer has been in the water shortly before the incident, playing with the whale.  When she got out of the water, the whale might have wanted to continue to play, and grabbed her pony tail and thrashed her about without any understanding that he was causing her death.  This same whale has been involved in at least two previous deaths.

So can we tell what an animal is thinking?

Continue reading “A “Rogue” Killer Whale?”

Learning from Horses

This guest post is contributed by someone very different to the profile of the rest of the LfD authors.  AJ is a young American girl.  It’s a pleasure to publish her Post.  I am told that almost every little girl goes through the ‘horse phase,’ but very few actually take it to the next level. The few who do generally end up competing, but for many different reasons. Most kids are doing it for the title. But then there is a small group of them who compete for the love of the sport and the relationship you form with your horse.

AJ (age 13) jumping Penny 3 ft 6

My name is AJ Easton and I have been riding since I was five, in other words for eight years now. I have been around some pretty incredible horses, one of whom became my best friend. Her name is Heads Up Penny (more fondly known as Penny) and she is my life. She is a 14.2 hand (a hand is four inches, so she is 4’10” tall), red dun Grade Pony. My father purchased her for me in 2005, just before I turned nine. She cost only $2,650, but to us, her disposition alone is worth millions.

AJ (age 6 ) riding Chip

My first horse, Chocolate Chip, died a year before we bought Penny. Chip and Penny taught me almost everything I know about horses, but that isn’t all I have learned from them.  Chip taught me about letting go, and how important it is to show the special people and pets in your life how much you love them.  Penny has taught me how to be responsible, patient, understanding, and so much more. She has also given me endless amounts of love; she always has a look on her face that can melt your heart. Penny always tries her hardest to please and has gone way beyond our highest expectations.

We bought her to help me perfect the basics of riding to see where I might want to go with my riding career, but she has turned out to be one of the most incredible pony jumpers I have ever seen. I still remember being excited about jumping 2’6” in my first year of showing, but now we are sailing over 4′ fences together.   Remember, she is only 4’ 10” tall!  We have so many new goals for her this year, now that she is going consistently over 3’3”, which is what she needs to be able to do to compete successfully in the top Pony Jumper shows.

This year we are trying to qualify for the 2011 USEF [United States Equestrian Foundation. Ed.] National Pony Jumper Finals, the show where all of the top jumpers come together and compete to be the best. We don’t expect to win, or even place, but being able to show in it would be one of the greatest honors ever, especially if I was able to do it with my best friend, Heads Up Penny!

By AJ Easton