May 15, 2013: I’ve Always Loved Horses–My Case for Senate Bill 541

~by Susi Pittman

It was an attraction that existed without effort. It was a love more truly recognized than other things in my life. It was the unique and understood relationship that I had with horses. It was a mutual affection, a shared respect and something unseen, a depth of spirituality in our communion.

I’ve always loved horses.

My youngest memory of first meeting a horse, was having my picture taken atop a traveling pinto pony that went neighborhood to neighborhood with it’s owner who charged a small fee for the photograph. I remember the smell of the pony, that fragrant odor of warm horse fur as I leaned forward and smelled its mane. I was smitten, and my heart knew I belonged close to such as this.

My Dad never bought me a horse, though I begged too many times to tell. My cousins and my grandparents had horses, and I would do anything to get away from the city in the summer and go to where the horses were. All I needed was a bridle, the rest was harmony. I would leave at sun-up, riding most times alone and without a destination and return from the central Florida orange groves late in the evening to wash and feed my beloved equine soul-mate listening quietly to him crunch his oats. Our days were filled with lake swims, pasture dreaming and dirt road runs. Just lying next to a horse as it grazed upon the dewy grass was religious.

I was 23 years of age when I finally got enough money to purchase a horse…his name was Derek. He was a 16-hands, 16-year-old paint-gelding who won my heart the day I answered the “for sale” ad. He had been used for barrel racing and had a stately, quick step that said I’m fast and I know how to use it. He was magnificent!

Our life together was beautiful and filled with amazing moments of adventure and emotional connections.

The history of the horse is hallmarked with his noble and devoted service along side humankind in every generation since its domestication in or around 4,000 BCE. Its contribution to the welfare of man is long and distinguished both in peace and in war.

Now, fast forward to the present.

Today, in this enlightened, modern world, the horse in America is up against the greatest battle since arriving on our shores. It is a fight to recognize that this creature is more than a commodity. It is a fight to do the right thing and reach out to protect a fellow member of creation who has been a great friend to us.

Today, you and I can make a difference in the way horses are being handled in this country. I am asking you to please, please take the time to contact your U.S. Senators and ask that they co-sponsor S.B. 541/H.B. 1094 THE SAFEGUARD AMERICAN FOODS EXPORT ACT, which will prohibit the  sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human commerce.

Please call your Senator HERE.

Introduce yourself to the staff member who answers and say:

I am __________ from (town) ,  (state). I would like for Senator ___________ to know that I would greatly appreciate it if he/she would co-sponsor Senate Bill 541—The Safeguard American Foods Export Act. I am opposed to the sale and transport of horses for purposes of slaughter and human consumption. Thank you. (Wait for the staffers reply.)

Please do not extend your conversation, and please be courteous. Advocating for any cause gathers support with honey, not vinegar.

You cannot imagine how just this little phone call can make a difference. Every call is registered and your Senator will know what you called about.

THANK YOU ALL for helping the horses and for making this country a better place to live in.


Susi Pittman is founder of and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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