Fighting on the side of love

Susan Salk has an awesome blog, OffTrackThoroughbreds.com. It focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and sometimes remarkable recoveries of OTTBs, and sheds light on both the beautiful and the often very ugly side of thoroughbred racing.

I don’t read every post, but I do read the posts that tell the Cinderella stories – the stories of racehorses who have been abandoned, fallen on hard times, and who have found their personal angels.  Some go on to achieve remarkable things in the show ring, others to family homes, or therapeutic organizations. Each of these is a transformational tale – a horse risen from ruin, starvation, disease and suffering to the life of love and purpose that every animal (including we people) deserves.

Many are fortunate enough to be part of a rescued horse’s journey as one of its angels, as its destination, or both. Not many of us take this to the next level. Richard “Kudo” Couto of Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) does, and today’s OffTrackThoroughbreds.com post, “Liberated from Illegal Butcher, Horse Inspires“,  is one that that should be shared, and shared again.

The story is beautiful and compelling. Following the trail to the ARM website is a profound experience.  Founded in Florida in 2010, ARM is the investigative animal welfare organization founded by Couto to expose and address extreme criminal acts against animals.  Along with the ugly areas issues of illegal horse slaughter, ARM deals with people who practice acts of cruelty against animals that many of us would prefer to pretend didn’t exist.

Reading about ARM’s beginnings, and the organization itself, makes me think that this is what was meant by the expression “fighting on the side of love.”

And of course, it’s always nice to read about a hero!

 

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Tent pegging – it’s not as easy as it looks!

Video

Tent pegging is the name given to a class of equestrian mounted games. The category includes:
Tent pegging (in which a mounted horseman uses a sword or lance while galloping to pierce, pick up, and carry away small objects);
Ring jousting (in which a galloping rider tries to pass the point of the weapon through a suspended ring);
Lemon sticking (in which the rider tries to stab or slice a lemon suspended from a cord or sitting on a platform);
Quintain tilting (in which the rider charges a mannequin mounted on a swivelling or rocking pedestal); and
Parthian (mounted archery).

Tent pegging has been practiced since at least the 4th centry B.C. and originated as a series of training exercises to develop a cavalier’s prowess with a sword and lance. Because the specific game of tent pegging is the most popular equestrian skill-at-arms game, the entire class of sports became known as tent pegging during the twilight of cavalry in the twentieth century.
The Olympic Council of Asia included tent pegging as an official sport in 1982, and the FEI recognized it as an official equestrian discipline in 2004. Tent pegging is one of 10 equestrian sports recognized by the FEI.
It’s a fantastic sport requiring skill, agility, tremendous balance, and an unerring eye, and it’s not as easy as it looks!