ROCKHAMPTON residents have gone to the defence of Steven May - the owner of Kenny and Bailey the Clydesdales.
A Facebook account named "Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages" has hit out at Mr May after he and his iconic horses were prominent in the media after the two horses had a fire extinguisher sprayed in their faces on January 5.
The post reads "Carriage driver Steve May reports it is not the first time the horses have come under attack stating people often yell out and try to spook the horses and that he and his passengers have been egged. Yet Steve has decided he would prefer to continue to exploit these beautiful Clydesdales and continue to knowingly place them and the community at risk as he apparently sees himself, not unlike the Melbourne operators, as providing some kind of 'community service'. Please!"
Do you think having horses pulling carriages is 'exploiting' them?
This poll ended on 15 January 2018.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Rockhampton woman Kristy Lee asked Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages and "how do you know that these horses aren't rescued?"
"And I'm not comparing rescuing dogs and cats to rescuing horses each and every animal is different and different things!," she said.
"Bailey and Kenny are not put in any danger and are not endangering anyone! The people of Rockhampton know that they are out for the short time they are and love and respect them.
"And dogs are left tied up for long periods of time in the city with no water and no shade you just have blinders on and are fighting the wrong fight.
"What you may think are ridiculous comparisons have obviously hit a nerve.. just for the record all the pets that live and spend time with me are rescued and are happy, well care for and very much loved!!!
"In my opinion you are fighting the wrong fight as there is no abuse or cruelty going on with Bailey and Kenny!
"To have them just in a paddock doing nothing to me is cruel let them do what they love! Maybe you should meet them before you make your judgements!!
"And before you all start to judge me I am a animal lover and I would one of the first people to speak up if saw or thought something was wrong!"
Desiree Bradley wrote "Kenny and Bailey are an icon here in Rocky and are two very very well loved pets. They are never over worked and always have the best care. If a horse doesn't want to do something, they will definitely show that to you. They are not machines. They work 2 days a week for a few hours. Sometimes an extra day during holidays or events. Get a life and focus on some real cruelty. Not on two fat, happy, healthy horses that are doing the job they were bred and designed to do.
"Also to add for those who think using horses is exploitation. Horses are bred to work. A horse sitting in a paddock will die much sooner than a horse in light work. All animals must exercise to stay healthy. It prevents obesity, or in older years muscle wastage, promotes a healthy heart and so many other health benefits (just like exercise for humans). I have seen older horses sit in paddocks and have sway back and muscle wastage from not being exercised and I have also seen horses almost double their age fit, fat and healthy from as you call it 'exploitation'. Just like I have seen humans die at 60 from a sedentary lifestyle and I have seen people who lived a healthy active lifestyle life well into their 90s."
The administrator of the page later posted in the comments attacking the use of bits - the metal part of the bridle - on horses.
"There is a chunk of metal in these horses mouths to control and dominate them. They are attached to a carriage in harness therefore unable to move freely and express themselves. They are on hard surfaces, bad for their bodies especially such heavy breeds. They are knowingly being put into a dangerous environment where they are being threatened and harmed. That's not love no matter which way those who support animal exploitation try to sell it. Love is allowing a horse to exist and express themselves as close to what comes naturally to them as possible. That requires freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of thought without fear of pain inflicting objects and manipulation."
After a few Rockhampton residents posted comments on this feed in support of Mr May and his beloved Clydesdale, the administrator posted the following message:
"We won't be silenced due to an apparent "handful" of support in Rockhampton. We are doing this to speak for the horses who should not be completely desensitised and made to live a life of learnt helplessness. They like all animals deserve to be respected as they are."
Desiree Bradley responded "That is why the horses go through so much desensitisation and training. I was there at New years eve while the fireworks were going off right above Kenny and Bailey's heads. Wanna know what they were doing? They were sleeping. Bloody sleeping on the job."