Horse Intricacies is an equine ethics discussion and education platform. It promotes the idea that philosophy can help humans live better lives with horses. Intricacies refers to the nature of horses. We say of a novel that it is ‘intricately plotted’ when the author elaborates a skillfully interlaced narrative, leaving us to read some passages many times over just to get at the heart of them. This is how I think of horses: as intricate beings that we need to read over and over to understand. Intricacies also refers to our relationships with horses: finickily woven webs with a complex history – in constant movement, growth and need of interpretation.
Philosophers have written about the relationship between animals and humans for millennia. Today perhaps more than ever, many feel the urgency of rethinking the ways we think about, relate to and live with animals. Here I suggest we put the philosophical wisdom to work to help us renew relationships between humans and horses – and help us care for the relationships that work.
Horses exist as agents and subjects beyond the use humans make of them. Yet, – often despite ourselves – we frame most of our interactions with them based on their potential usefulness. For instance, we talk of a dressage horse, a race horse, a roping horse – generally a ridding horse. But who is a horse as a horse? The horse-human relationship is not reducible to the relation between horse and rider, yet we frame ourselves essentially as riders with regards to them. Who are you and what is your relationship with horses, above and beyond riding and training?
Horse Intricacies opens a space to think and care about horses for horses. More and more people are concerned to develop relationships of trust, fairness and love with their four legged companions. Books, blogs and clinics about these topics are now abundant. Yet, we rarely question our fundamental ideas, assumptions and preconceptions about what it means to live with horses, who horses are and why they share our human lives. I doubt that trust, fairness and love can sustainably arise without deepening our understanding of the horse-human relationship and questioning some of our deep-rooted assumptions.
You can check out my offers to start your exploration. My blog is where I discuss philosophical and ethical questions which underly our everyday life with horses. I don’t have the answers, but I do have many questions. And I think this is where we should start.