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I think there comes a time in a thread like this where you have to ask yourself why you started it. Clearly you were trying to achieve something and unless I am mistaken, the thread is not going according to it original intentions. There are many reasons and fingers to point but at the end of the day - the thread you started is producing the opposite result to what I think you were intending it to produce. Perhaps now is a good time to realize this and know when to "walk away".

The only thing you are achieving now is to turn more and more people against you and your ideas. The thread has gone on for 2 pages and everyone is disagreeing with you, you are not going to change that at this point. Just let it go now and walk away. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
trail surgeon said:
jcdill, you have proven via your posts that you are particularly uninformed about the topics that you are attempting to discuss.
I have 30+ years as an equestrian, plus I'm also a mountain bike rider, and my sister is a mountain bike rider, and my brother-in-law is a mountain bike rider (and they own a mountain bike shop, as you know), and my dad was a road rider for many years, including going on a several-state-long ride many years before this type of bike riding was popular with the "general public". I have a lot of background on both sides of this issue.

You seem to only have background on one side of the issue. Admittedly you do know a lot about your one side, but what about the other side? This topic is about horse/bike issues on the trail. What is your background with regard to horses? How many times have you ridden a horse? How many different horses have you ridden? How many different riding styles have you tried? How many times have you gone on a trail ride on a horse? How many horses have you trained? How many times have you been riding on a horse and encountered bikes? How many equestrians have you talked with about the problem of mountain bikes poaching and scaring horses on horse-only trails? How many equestrians have you talked with about unsafe riding problems on shared horse/bike trails?

I would think you would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the "other side" of this issue. A closed-mind gathers no wisdom.
 

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I would be very interested to know, pcdill

if you visit equestrian sites and call them close-minded and poorly informed. If I may, regardless of your experience with horses and bikes, your manner does little to encourage bridge building. I imagine is is simply a lack of technique, mixed with a single-minded defensiveness in a venue which confounds good communication, and some presumption that you are bringing us fire from the mountain and we are just too stupid to realize it. As such I appreciate your effort but you are shooting yourself in the foot.

Or maybe I am just stupid.;)
 

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You need to lay off for a bit. Coming across holier than thou and asking more questions than a ****ing two year old. Thread might have had legs and good content but it has been relegated to a round and round fight.

Go ride a bike, or a horse.

 

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jcdill said:
I have 30+ years as an equestrian, plus I'm also a mountain bike rider, and my sister is a mountain bike rider, and my brother-in-law is a mountain bike rider (and they own a mountain bike shop, as you know), and my dad was a road rider for many years, including going on a several-state-long ride many years before this type of bike riding was popular with the "general public". I have a lot of background on both sides of this issue.

You seem to only have background on one side of the issue. Admittedly you do know a lot about your one side, but what about the other side? This topic is about horse/bike issues on the trail. What is your background with regard to horses? How many times have you ridden a horse? How many different horses have you ridden? How many different riding styles have you tried? How many times have you gone on a trail ride on a horse? How many horses have you trained? How many times have you been riding on a horse and encountered bikes? How many equestrians have you talked with about the problem of mountain bikes poaching and scaring horses on horse-only trails? How many equestrians have you talked with about unsafe riding problems on shared horse/bike trails?

I would think you would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the "other side" of this issue. A closed-mind gathers no wisdom.
Lady, my mind is very open. So open that I recognize intellectually bankrupt commentary when I read it.

Claiming that you are a "mountain biker" has different meanings to different folks. Your posts have proven that you have little, if any understanding about the issues that you are attempting to discuss. Conflating legally riding on the road with your perception of it being "unsafe" and then stating that as some kind of fact is ridiculous.

I have ridden horses. I have many friends, both in the Bay Area and in the North state that own horses. I have encountered thousands of horses while riding my bikes. I've even encountered horses while riding on the road. I have spoken to many equestrians about bike/horse interactions.

It doesn't require experience training a horse to understand that your "points" are ludicrous.

Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? I already have my answer.
 

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baycat said:
You need to lay off for a bit. Coming across holier than thou and asking more questions than a ****ing two year old. Thread might have had legs and good content but it has been relegated to a round and round fight.

Go ride a bike, or a horse.

Makes me hungry. Pancakes for breakfast, rabbit stew (lapin a la moutarde) for lunch. Yummy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
trail surgeon said:
I have ridden horses. I have many friends, both in the Bay Area and in the North state that own horses. I have encountered thousands of horses while riding my bikes. I've even encountered horses while riding on the road. I have spoken to many equestrians about bike/horse interactions..
Wonderful! Why don't you share with us what you learned when you spoke with equestrians about bike/horse interactions.

Also, I'm curious - how many horses have you encountered on the trails in the past 6 weeks (in 2009)?
 

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jcdill said:
Wonderful! Why don't you share with us what you learned when you spoke with equestrians about bike/horse interactions.

Also, I'm curious - how many horses have you encountered on the trails in the past 6 weeks (in 2009)?
I will share my experience: I was RUNNING in Fremont Older one day about a year ago. I came around a corner while RUNNING UPHILL, and there was an equestrian there. The horse bucked and nearly threw the rider. Horses are clearly uncontrollable animals and have no place in a highly populated suburban environment.
So far most of my spoken word encountered with equestrians exhibit one of two things: thinly veiled disgusted loathing seeping from the mouth of the equestrian, or amazingly apologetic equestrians admitting that their "horse is skittish" around bikes and I should get off and walk.

Oops, they just admitted that they do not have complete control over their ride. Guess what the #1 rule of the trail is for bikes? Always maintain complete control. I'm pretty sure this applies to equestrians too, but it seems this is impossible when the vehicle has a mind of its own.

What are you trying to gain anyways?

So far you have admitted that horses are inherently dangerous, because they are easily spooked by their own prey instinct.
It clear that bikes are not inherently dangerous, but bikes in the hands of out of control riders are.

How about a little analogy that even someone as thick as you can understand.

Thousands of people are killed by car accidents every year. By your logic cars are inherently dangerous and should be banned from roads. Fortunately this country is reasonably sane, and recognizes that cars themselves are not inherently dangerous, but dangerous drivers are inherently dangerous. As such, when someone violates vehicle code too many times, demonstrating their inherent dangerousness, we take away their drivers license. We do not target the entire car driving public and label cars as the reason for the damage.

note for retards: Cars=bikes in this analogy.

You are obviously of sub-par logical intelligence and have little if anything to gain by continuing to present your case here. Get used to the fact that, at least in a suburban area such as the south bay, horse ownership is a small, prohibitively expensive activity practiced mostly by the absurdly affluent. This is not the open frontier where people ride for transportation. In a generation, hikers and bikers will so far outnumber equestrians that all these arguments will be worthless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Menso said:
I will share my experience: I was RUNNING in Fremont Older one day about a year ago. I came around a corner while RUNNING UPHILL, and there was an equestrian there. The horse bucked and nearly threw the rider.
I'm afraid you are mistaken - this is not a situation where a horse would "buck". I don't doubt the horse did something (spooked, shied, reared) that might have been difficult for the rider to ride, but it didn't buck. By saying "the horse bucked" you show how little you understand about horses. All of your following conclusions are based on your inaccurate understanding of horses.

Menso said:
So far most of my spoken word encountered with equestrians exhibit one of two things: thinly veiled disgusted loathing seeping from the mouth of the equestrian
Funny, this sounds a lot like the response I've received from many of the bike riders on this thread, including yourself. If that's how you treat me - a fellow mountain bike rider - I can only imagine how you treat equestrians, and it's no surprise they would treat you in the same fashion in return!

Menso said:
What are you trying to gain anyways?
I'm trying to help bridge the poor understanding between many in these two communities (horses, bikes).

Menso said:
So far you have admitted that horses are inherently dangerous, because they are easily spooked by their own prey instinct.
You took my words out of context.

Not all horses have problems around bikes.

Most horses are fine when the bike riders behave appropriately when they encounter horses.

Sometimes these encounters can be dangerous, usually when bike riders fail to follow the rules of the trail (ride safely, yield to horses), or when they are on a trail they should be on (illegally) and encounter a horse that isn't OK around bikes.

Because a majority of the problems happen when bike riders fail to follow the rules of the trail, it follows that if one group should not be allowed on the trails it would be the group that is not following the rules.

If you want to change this perception, then you need to be part of the solution that advocates that bike riders should always follow the rules. Always ride safely. Always yield to horses. Never ride on trails that are closed to bikes. Don't applaud or encourage others to take their bikes on trails that are closed to bikes, where they might encounter horses or leave tracks for horse riders to see (providing evidence of illegal riding and angering the groups that oppose opening up more trails for bikes).

Thousands of people are killed by car accidents every year. By your logic cars are inherently dangerous and should be banned from roads. Fortunately this country is reasonably sane, and recognizes that cars themselves are not inherently dangerous, but dangerous drivers are inherently dangerous. As such, when someone violates vehicle code too many times, demonstrating their inherent dangerousness, we take away their drivers license. We do not target the entire car driving public and label cars as the reason for the damage.
We also put in speed bumps, lower the speed limit, use radar and give out tickets, etc. Yet, when such actions are taken on the trails in response to irresponsible biking, bikers complain about how it ruins their fun!

You are obviously of sub-par logical intelligence
Ah, here comes the ad hominem attack - attacking the person because you are unable to politely make your argument based on the facts.

Get used to the fact that, at least in a suburban area such as the south bay, horse ownership is a small, prohibitively expensive activity practiced mostly by the absurdly affluent..
Here again you are showing your ignorance of horses. Very, very few horse owners are absurdly affluent, and those that are don't ride on the trails - they ride their horses exclusively in arenas and at horse shows. Most trail riders have about the same income as mountain bike riders. Most trail-riding horse owners don't travel much or eat out much - instead they spend that "discretionary income" on their horses. The type of affluent horse owner you see in the media (show horses, race horses, etc.) is far removed from the type of horse owner you encounter on the trails. If horse people were so absurdly affluent they would just BUY parkland to ride on, without worry from bikes - problem solved!

I know many people who have spent far more on a single bike than I ever spent to buy a horse. Based on my personal experience with 30+ years with horse people, and the more recent years with the mountain biking community, the mountain bikers have more disposable income (on average) - drive nicer cars, go on more vacations, etc.
 

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:smallviolin: An Epidemic of Abandoned Horses~Breaks my MTB Heart

An Epidemic of Abandoned Horses
By Pat Dawson

The global food and fuel crisis is resulting in more than just people going hungry. Rising grain and gas prices, as well as the closure of American slaughterhouses, have contributed to a virtual stampede of horses being abandoned — some starving — and turned loose into the deserts and plains of the West to die cruel and lonesome deaths. Horse rescue projects, which are mostly small, volunteer operations with limited land and resources, are feeling the consequences of this convergence of events. In the meantime, many now unaffordable horses are being sold to abbatoirs south of the border where inhumane methods of slaughter are practiced.

"It's a growing problem. Basically, it's the economy," says Brent Glover, who has run Idaho's Orphan Acres since 1975 and has found new homes for 1,600 rescued horses. "We're getting calls constantly." With more horses coming onto his 50-acre refuge, he is feeling the pinch of a hay bill that has risen from $28,000 to $80,000 this year, not to mention rising transportation and grain costs. "It's a horrible mess of bad consequences," says Colorado State University animal sciences Professor Temple Grandin. "People are turning them loose because of the decline in discretionary spending."

Outside Pueblo, Colorado, 101 rescued horses graze on 850 acres at Dreamcatchers Equine Sanctuary, and more are on the way. "It's a very scary situation right now," explains manager Julie DeMuesy. "Everybody's stressed to the max. It exploded for us at the end of 2007." Some horses are coming from people who have had their mortgages foreclosed, and can't afford to feed their steeds. "We're trying desperately to reduce our herd [by sending horses] to good homes. It's become a revolving door — They're coming in as fast as they are going out to new homes."

And the problem isn't limited to the West. Earlier this week, nearly 120 starving horses (along with some ponies and donkeys) were taken from a ranch of a Central Florida woman who had become overwhelmed by the demands of caring for the rescued animals.

Another reason for the rise of numbers, in addition to economics, is the absence of U.S. slaughterhouses. (The last three were shut in 2007 after several court rulings came down against horse slaughter for human consumption.) Says DeMusey: "We're seeing a lot of elderly horses and horses with special needs that normally would be sent to slaughter." Says Montana livestock transporter John Chaffee: "What can you do with all these horses? You can't bury 'em all. I have nothing against eating horse meat. I wouldn't eat it, but millions of people in the world do." Chaffee says he has stopped hauling horses to a plant in southern Alberta, Canada, because of costlier trucking restrictions and Canadian humane-group pressures at border crossings. "People who protest slaughter ought to have a bunch of these old horses starving to death in their backyards."

Colorado State's Grandin, who helped refine standards for humane livestock slaughter, says Americans have an "ick" factor when it comes to the idea of horseflesh, equating it, she says "killing and eating pets." But, Grandin argues, "the problem is, these are 800- to 1,200-pound pets. When they shut down those plants, I said we've got to avoid alternatives worse than slaughter. But we have not, and all my worse nightmares have come true."

Chaffee says horses that are taken north to Canada are treated humanely. But with the long-distance hauls now being prohibitive, horses in the southern U.S. are being laundered through a series of dealers into Mexico. Says Colorado State's Grandin: "At the Mexican border, they just wave the trucks through. The conditions down there are horrible." Proposed legislation to outlaw U.S. horses for slaughter may get passed, says Grandin, but the law won't be enforceable because Mexican "kill buyers" can circumvent the law by labeling horses as breed stock or for riding purposes. And such a law may not ameliorate the plight of American horses in an economic downturn.

Longtime Montana horse breeder Kathy Thornton says she will cut back on the number of her brood mares producing offspring every year, because of high costs of feed and transportation, plus the sudden drop in value of her well-tempered colts. A three-year-old trained ranch horse that traditionally would bring upwards of $1,500 fetched only $525 at a sale 175 miles away, a transaction that cost her $200 in truck fuel. "I'm open for barter," says Ms. Thornton. "I'm now trading horses for cattle. Personally, I don't send horses to slaughter, but I'm glad if it's available. I sure feel bad for the poor horses left alongside the highway."
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
j3blur said:
Another reason for the rise of numbers, in addition to economics, is the absence of U.S. slaughterhouses.
This isn't really "another reason" - it's the primary reason. Most horse owners (and most pet owners) don't like the idea of unwanted horses going to slaughter, but at the same time most horse owners don't keep their horses in retirement until they die. Most can only afford one horse at a time, so when the horse can no longer perform (show, ride the trails, etc.) at their desired level they sell it to someone with lower riding ambitions and buy a younger one. At some point that older horse can no longer do any riding and that owner sells to a "dealer" or "at auction" and then it goes off to slaughter. It was very short-sighted to close the slaughter houses without providing funding to euthanize and dispose of unwanted horses. IMHO, this should be funded by a tax on registering purebred foals, and a fee collected from parimutuel betting, so that the horse industry that produces the foals funds this end-of-life need. Many of the people who can only afford to buy elderly horses (which are the least expensive horses) just don't have the funds to pay for euthanasia and disposal (which can easily run several hundred dollars) when the horse can no longer be ridden.

This is all off-topic for this forum (mountain biking) but anyone who is interested in discussing it further is welcome to contact me privately.
 

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Sharing the trails with centaurs

I ride a mountain bike, drive a car, and can make fart noises with my hands (30+ years). In short, I'm just like most of you except for the hand fart noises aspect.

I don't want to be condescending (that means "snooty"), but have been wondering if any of you know how to behave when you meet a centaur on the trail.

Here's what I'd consider to be a "Don't"



Any differences in proper protocol when encountering a he-taur or a she-taur?

How about a unicorn? A salamander the size of a centaur? A giant slug?

Just some food for thought. You're welcome. :)

Well, if you see a giant slug on a bike, say hello -- it's me. Put down that salt shaker.
 

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Why dont you understand that you ARE NOT getting your point across here? The more you reply and battle, the less people are going to pay attention to your opinion. Its to the point now where running into a wall, turning around and running into it again.....and again, and again!!! At what point do you just WALK AWAY and live to argue another day? This thread has gone from slightly funny to hilarious to annoying and is now simply stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
stripes said:
Obviously, it was posted to argue, not to make any friends or make things easier between the user groups.
It's so very sad that this is all you have to offer in this discussion. I really hoped you would have something positive to contribute, something that could help improve things between bikes and horses on the trails.
 

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I think that as bad as the horse/bike conflicts can be here, we've still got it better than in other areas of the country. I was riding with a guy visiting from Ohio at Annadel. We passed a horse rider talking on her cell phone. She paid no attention to us. We passed other equestrians without incident (as I almost always do). My friend was amazed at how well we all got along.
I suppose in the east (and midwest) equestrian culture is more entrenched than it is here, and the sense of entitlement runs much deeper.
 

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Yeah and now that it's been fed

it's gonna hang around and yammer. I think we must be stupid. It's the only answer.
 

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jcdill said:
If an equestrian encounters a deer, the deer will always flee away from the horse into the forest, not continue on the trail directly towards you. If a horse encounters a deer that flees away, the horse will look for the "predator" that the deer is running away from (it doesn't realize that it is the thing the deer is running away from because horses and deer happily share pasture when humans aren't around), but it won't run from the deer itself - the deer isn't behaving in a way that is believed to be a threat to the horse.

Bikes are different. A bike doesn't shy away like other "prey" animals do, it (initially) continues directly towards the horse the way a "predator" animal would. Horses have 2 ways of dealing with threats, Flee or Fight, and they prefer to flee whenever possible as they are very fast animals and can outrun most predators. A bike's sudden appearance triggers the horse's instinctive "feet don't fail me now" reaction to turn and run away as fast as possible. In attempting this maneuver (spin and bolt) the rider is at great risk of being thrown. Even when the bike rider tries to stop immediately upon encountering the horse, the time it takes to recognize that they should stop, and then actually stop, is not enough to prevent the horse from deciding that this is a possible predator and trying to depart the scene, immediately. Even with a very well trained horse, even with a horse that knows (when it has time to think) that a bicycle poses no threat. Even if the horse doesn't spin and bolt, simply startling (which is called "shying" or "spooking" in equestrian lingo) can be enough to unseat the rider.

:rolleyes: . . . . In my experience a horse is just as likely to get startled by a deer busting out of the bushes as anything else running/rolling through the forest.
 

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Having just continued my insomnia by reading the whole thread just now, I may as throw my .02 in.

I recently moved to Woodside, so the comments about the road cyclists using the few roads around here were interesting. While I don't think it's a great idea for cyclists riding uphill on 84 east of Skyline due to traffic and little shoulder, there are few alternatives; Old La Honda being my personal favorite and King's Mountain Rd my second choice. I need one of those roads to get home essentially, so it is of interest to me. However, the discussion of the use of those roads by road cyclists, or the assumption of the general population's perception of same, here in a mountain bike specific forum is basically irrelevant (some of us enjoy both road and mountain bike riding, but that's beside the point). It's a shame these roads are narrow, but they weren't really well designed even for cars; but they are few and narrow and will just need to be shared.

Horse access here in Woodside or neighboring Portola Valley is pretty darn good considering how few horses there are. Let's not be naive, horses are still in Woodside and Portola Valley as the people here can afford them in terms of the space they need for their rather huge pets. They have Huddart Park and Wunderlich Park for pedestrians and horses only, no bikes allowed. There are numerous horse and pedestrian only roadside trails in the area as well. Much of the MROSD land permits horses. I'd say horses have substantially more trail access in this area than mountain bikers in any case, and is out of proportion to their numbers.

While I don't mind sharing trails with equestrians, I do mind the mess they leave behind in the form of feces; I'd be much happier if they were required to clean up after their pets as most pet owners are required to do in public areas. Parking lots after a few trailered horses visit are particularly foul (have even seen the owners shovel it out into the lot rather than even try and take it home with them). I've not seen a rider even bother to stop and remove their feces from the middle of a trail; shoveling it off to the side would be a nice gesture. Instead the vast majority, if not all, blithely ride on and leave it for someone else to step into or ride through; I've seen poop bags used but not in this area. On Montara Mountain once I had to stop and put out fires someone had started in the feces piles; whether the equestrians or neighborhood kids had done this I don't know, but I wasn't too happy about having to do that in the height of fire season. Feces generally are a pretty poor form of sharing if you ask me.

The last encounter I had with an equestrian wasn't here but up near Redding where some folks on horses ahead of us were cutting switchbacks illegally for some selfish reason, perhaps due to poor control of their pets, IDK. I'd say I see as much trail damage caused by equestrians as cyclists, although it takes far fewer horses to do so. Mostly though I'd say my interactions with equestrians are good experiences, with the riders usually being in control of their pets. A few times I've had encounters with equestrians not in control of their pets and really didn't belong on public trails, but that would be the exception rather than the rule; but on the other hand I've seen that more than I've seen cyclists endangering the equestrians (granted I'm usually the cyclist, but when I've been in groups everyone has shown good etiquette).

My experience generally in the bay area, having lived here for almost 40 years, is that equestrians have more than generous trail access as compared to other users based on numbers of users, and hopefully that will addressed down the line. I do not have an objection to equestrians' access, I just want it to be fair and proportional. And poop controlled...
 

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I admire the balls of posting this topic on this sight, jcdill.
I was rooting for you. Really. I was. I have never had conflicts with horses or their owners and share the trails with equestrians regularly.
I also have the curse of seeing every side of every issue. It can get confusing at times...

Then I continued reading.

First there was Berkeley Mike, then LWright. beaverbiker was next followed by Menso.
Excellent posts kids!

Then MTBshane sealed the deal.

If it wasn't so late, I'd get some popcorn!

You are outnumbered jcdill. On this site and in real life.
More power to you with your quest of aligning mt. bikers and equestrians.
Seriously. Your heart is in the right place. But you have the wrong technique.

Guess who won the ski/snowboard debate?...

god, it's 3:30am - what am I doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
beaverbiker said:
I can't believe you guys kill your horses after it can no longer walk fast enough on the trail for your liking.
You took what I wrote out of context. The person who kills the horse is many owners removed from the person who owned the horse in it's prime and enjoyed riding the horse in shows or on trails. It's has absolutely nothing to do with how "fast" the horse can go on the trail - the decision to sell one horse and buy another one is rarely about "speed". When they sold the horse they sold it to someone else who also loved and enjoyed it for the skills it had at the time. It's a long and slow road down the scale of horse owners until the horse ends up with the owner who can't afford to put it down.

In many cases, if the owner who had the horse during its prime is contacted and told the horse is about to head off to a slaughter house that former owner will gladly rescue and give the horse a well deserved retirement. Often that former owner sold the horse with a "right of first refusal" to buy the horse back when the next owner no longer wanted the horse, but the next owner ignored this and just sold the horse on when they didn't want it anymore. Often the first owner even retains ownership - leasing the horse (in horse terms a lease is often a $0 situation, the leasee assumes all the costs of maintaining the horse but doesn't pay the owner anything directly to use the horse) and in many of these cases the leasee "forgets" that they don't own the horse and sells it on, rather than returning it to the former owner. So it's not necessarily the first owner's fault that this sequence happens. Many breeders have joined with rescue organizations and are rescuing and retiring horses they bred and sold many years ago, to save them from a sad end.

Most dogs are pets (without a job), most horses are not pets - most horses have jobs. Many people who have an old dog that can't keep up will buy a younger one, and have two dogs, one that they can "do things with" and an older dog that mostly stays at home until it gets too old and they give it a dignified end. It's easier to do this with dogs than horses because an extra horse is much more expensive to care for than an extra dog. Also, often the older horse is still a very good horse for someone else's needs so it makes no sense to just leave it idle when someone else would love to ride it at their own level.

You might want to get to know some equestrians to learn more about this before you are so judgmental about a situation you have little information about. After all, you don't like it when non-bikers are judgmental about bikes when they know nothing about bikes, right?
 
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