The horse has always been considered a “working animal,” a mere tool for use by humans: according to this backward view a horse must be tamed by means of corrective instruments, such as the bits and the saddle, which are designed to render the animal submissive and prepare it for a life “in the service” of man, a life which will inevitably end in a slaughterhouse, because an animal that is unprofitable cannot be maintained.
LAV intends to promote the dissemination of a proper understanding of the horse, an animal which is highly complex from the social, psychological and ethological viewpoints. This is the approach we have adopted with “our” horses, the ones we saved from situations of torment and mistreatment.
Lucky Day, Evelina, Lady Peanut and the others are free horses. They live at Serenity Horse, a facility with nearly 100 acres of pasture, a place where horses can roam in a natural habitat and resume their natural stability and psychophysical equilibrium, assisted by professional vets, hoof trimmers, ethologists.
Natural management is the underlying concept that determines everything: a simple, healthy diet, barefootedness, free roaming on a pasture, the possibility of socialising with other horses and interacting with people in a meaningful, peaceful manner, not guided by a "for-profit" logic. The valley is also home to many donkeys, of different origins, that mix serenely with the horses.
For many years we have been fighting to have the horse recognised as a companion animal, and to put an end to slaughtering and all forms of exploitation of horses, including the horse-drawn carriages used for tourists in Rome and other cities, and palio races, where the horses are pushed to the limit of their capacity and made to run as fast as they can around urban circuits characterised by tight bends, sharp corners, stiff barriers, asphalted or stone paved surfaces, sometimes barely covered with a few inches of dirt distributed haphazardly, without any technical knowledge.
These races that only last a few minutes are challenges almost fought to the death: the horses often suffer and die from injuries or are killed away from the eyes of the public and the TV cameras. The animals are often drugged with vasodilators and bronchodilators and painkillers to make sure they get to the end of the race, and this is done with the complicity or scarcity of pre- and post-race checks. From 1970 to 2015, about 50 horses died in the most famous palio, the one in Siena.
It seems incredible, but it is a fact that donkey races are also popular in many countries.
Violence, slavery and danger, a life like this should have no spectators and no protagonists.