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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor;


Readers Respond: Equine

Ownership vs Guardianship  


November 2013 issue  


Readers Respond: Equine Ownership vs Guardianship


[RMR ran a commentary which began:  “Animal Guardianship: Imagine that overnight a new state law goes into effect declaring that from now on you do not own your animals but, rather, you are their ‘guardian.’”

      We asked readers to respond to this concept on our online Reader Forums. Below are several responses we received.]


ę   OWN! OWN! OWN! Just see what is happening in California . You are a guardian of your companion animal. Therefore, it is nearly an act of Congress to euthanize a pet that you own even if you have good cause.

      From the Dictionary:

      Guardian. 1. protector: somebody who or something that guards, protects, or preserves somebody or something; 2. legally responsible person: somebody who is legally entrusted to manage somebody else’s affairs, especially those of a minor;

      Owner.(business aspect) 1. A party that possesses the exclusive right to hold, use, benefit-from, enjoy, convey, transfer, and otherwise dispose of an asset or property.

      A Wyoming Reader


ę   I am the owner of my animals. As you pointed out, guardianship is very different from ownership. This has been going on for many years, usually pushed by PETA because they consider owning to be equal to slavery. They are NUTS! Guardianship is the REAL slippery slope. We cannot allow it to happen.

      An Indiana Reader


ę   As a horse breeder, my thoughts on this new “guardianship” for horses idea, instead of ownership, will work in reverse. It will not make anyone take better care of the animal. They will not be able to care for the animal at all!

      If we do not own the animal, we cannot afford to have one! If we cannot sell them, and if there is no monetary return on our investment and all of our other expenses, we cannot afford to buy hay, we cannot afford to pay the vet, or pay a farrier, or advertise, buy a pickup truck, gas for the truck, buy a horse trailer, saddles, bridles and blankets, brushes, or buy land for them to pasture on, and barns to put them in.

      That will be the end of the horse business and all of the businesses that the horse business supports.

      If we cannot make our own decisions, as to what is best for the animal, some government employee who doesn’t know anything about a horse is not going to make a better decision than the “owners” who love that horse will do.

      I have had horses for over 60 years, and common sense would justify my experience, and my track record of doing everything that is humanly possible to do for the best interest of the horse! Without any government intervention!

      It appears to me that who ever came up with this insane “Guardianship” idea wants to make it impossible for people who love horses to have any. Just another government control tactic to keep everyone in debt, without a job, and no hope, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

      A Montana Reader


ę   Little acts of changing definitions, while seeming benign, is a clever ploy by activists. This is what the term “Guardianship” is leading to — Bill HR 6388, the so-called “Horse Protection Act.”

      This is an animal-rights backed policy cloaking itself as a safeguard against the cruel practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses for show and competition. What it would really do is strip the entire horse industry of its ability to police itself.

      If this bill should pass, the federal government would be allowed to inspect any horse at any show organized by any breed association or discipline, and issue humane citations based on animal-rights groups’ standards!

      This is a truly alarming piece of legislation which would rob horse owners of their rights and clear the way for government agents to shut down the entire competitive segment of our industry!

      To be clear, I do not agree with the practice of soring TWH’s. But, do we really want the FEDERAL government issuing a citation to us vs our own State? Being charged with a federal crime is far different than being cited under your State’s statute.

      A Wyoming Reader


ę   We need to give local agencies more muscle and authority to clamp down on abusive or neglectful OWNERSHIP. Being a guardian will not solve any these problems.

      Horse ownership involves certain responsibilities to a helpless animal that is under human control and has to rely on them for their entire existence. Let’s put more emphasis on responsible, educated ownership with laws to enforce that when needed.

      An Oregon Reader



If you would like weigh in on this issue, please write us, email us or go online to RMR’s Reader Forums and respond there!



Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor;

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