On the drive over I was aware that there were a lot of horses and donkeys being used as working animals. Nothing wrong with that. They appeared a little thin by UK standards and the harnesses could have been better but they did not look badly cared for otherwise. Of course it's difficult to tell when you are speeding past in a taxi, but I chose to give them the benefit of a doubt. It was unusual to see horse and cart trotting down a 6 lane 60mph highway though :eek:
On the return journey I witnessed an incident that soured the evening for me a bit. As we drove past this young guy with a horse and cart I saw him whipping the horse as hard as he could with a long stick as he stood beside it. The horse had obviously tried to defend itself by trying to kick him and now had one hind leg outside one shaft, but the handler was still whipping the horse as hard as he could. I don't know what started the incident of course, I just saw the result. I could not see what the handler was trying to achieve. Punishment ?
As we drove home I couldn't help wondering what my reaction should be to this. The first was anger. But then I reflected that maybe this was how the young man had been taught to handle horses and knew no better. So maybe sadness was more appropriate ?
Either way humankind has a long way to go before horses are universally treated well. This is a shame because I'm sure that if the young man knew better he would actually get more work done and make more profit with his horse. The horse would last longer as well.
As I really like the Egyptian people (those I've met anyway) and find them very polite gentle people I choose to believe that the man was acting out of ignorance and possibly fear.
Spreading the word of good horsemanship is something I think we should all aspire to do. Like pebbles starting an avalanche if our actions just help a few horse and owners, who help a few more horses and owners maybe we can make this a better place for horses and humans.