I have been asked by several people to talk to the polices horses that were being ridden into the crowd at Occupy Wall Street in NY City on Oct. 15, 2011.
I have chosen this video because it filmed up close to the horses. Though there are other videos that show one horse falling to his knees and stumbling to get back up before he is ridden back into the front line and back into the crowd.
Here are the voices of the some of the horses.
Horse Number One (horse being pet) says, “I have had to chase down people before. I have seen people on drugs and people with guns. I have seen it all. That day was one of the saddest days in my life. I didn’t see drugs or guns. I just saw people who were hurting inside and I did not understand why we were being forced into the crowd. I did not understand why there was anger to so many people who are clearly passionate. I did my job because that is what I always do. Though I can not help but recall the anger of my rider while so many people thought I was beautiful and brave. It does not make sense to me. I have seen my rider rightfully jump off of me and take people down who are bad. I am glad that this did not happen and we did not do that much harm. I still do not understand. It is the intention and direction of energy that I understand in people. The people my officer has gone after before have been confused, possessed almost, angry and dirty. These people were just sad and I dont know… they seem to want something that… seems right… but I dont understand what that is.”
Horse Number Two Horse that fell says, “I have fallen before I am fine. I can fall and lift myself up. It was my fault. I lost myself. I got confused. I didn’t understand what we were doing and I spun around so that I wouldn’t hurt people. I have never been told to hurt people before. It is not like my officer. He does not want to hurt people. I dont understand what happened. I do not understand why so many people where in one place. They did not seem like they wanted to steal or that they wanted to fight. I dont understand the cause. I have been trying to figure out why my officer pushed me into the crowd and I dont think he knows either.”
Horse Number Three (Black Horse) says, “One time my officer and I went down an alley and were shot at. I knew what a gun noise was. I had been warned. The bullet didn’t hit me but it scared both my officer and I.
I will never forget the smell of his fear. He had no fear the other day when we were in the crowd. So I did not have any fear. I couldn’t understand why we were going into the crowd but I thought that maybe he did. But I dont think he did. The people they seemed angry but in a non threatening way. When I close my eyes to sleep, I feel my rider spurring me into a barricade and into people. I feels like a strange dream. I hated that I stepped on a few people. When they got out of the way they touched me softly. It was so different than the other people we go after. It was like all the nice people on the street where all in one place and the officers didn’t like that. I dont understand.”
I would also like to share my feeling towards this incident with the horses. By reading their body language they looked extremely brave and calm. I thought about war horses and perhaps they were like this. The NY City horses are strong, athletic, young and confident. The New York City Police Horses knew that they had a job that sometimes would put them in great danger.
I watched on the video them licking their lips to calm themselves while holding their heads high to keep a good eye on the crowd. I watched their ears move in different directions surveying their surroundings.
The horse that fell, I noticed as he was being spurred into the crowd that he fought with his officer. He would pull back and the officer would spur and kick him forward. I watched in his body language him get confused. I watched him not agree with his rider (maybe the first time) and not know what to do with the conflict. It was in that moment that he shook his head back and forth to get away from the bit and “lost” himself. I watched his eyes loose focus and get what I call the crazy border collie look. When their heads and eyes are in a million different direction and their eyes are not focusing on anything at all . In this an animals brain crashes. He did what he should do when his brain crashes, change direction and recollect himself. That is when he spun around to flee. His rider fought him so he tripped. He got up like he said he did and pulled himself together fast. Taking a breath and starting over. And his rider headed him right back to the front line again. The horse stood collected.
I watched the horses being pet by people as they were pushed further into the crowd. The horses barely flinched or accepted the pets welcoming. I noticed the contrast of crowds gentle strokes and the police officers abrupt shoves.
It was clear to me that the horses were not scared of the crowd. They reminded me of a how one of my good guy friends in high-school with be while protecting me for some reason. Holding their ground. Not truly taking sides, but would assertively do so when the necessary time came.
I watched the video once with little emotion. Then a second time I watched it getting a good look at the horses and their eyes so that I could talk to them. The third time I watched again calling out to them to see which one would like to speak.
Then I started to cry. When this happens I always feel a little displaced from myself. It is not always my tears that flow through me. It sometimes is the animals, or the dead being, or the crowd, or an individual. My telepathy receptors integrate others feelings into my body so my body reacts. Its not really me.
I took a deep breath with tears breaching my eyes and I asked myself, “Whose tears are these?”
and all I heard myself say is, “I am so sorry that we humans put you in situations like this. I am so sorry.”
My tears were my tears because the horses could not understand the situation. Animal consciousness is vast. Animals can understand complex issues, but this incident made no sense to them. Their officers confused them. To the horses the officers seemed to be acting out of character and this makes me wonder how kind people in authority can change to acting out anger with raw emotion. Clear communication somehow gets lost and the worst of people can bubble to the surface.
Do I feel like these horses are OK? Yes, I think they are fine.
Do I feel like they were put in a situation that was not right? Yes, I feel like their loyalty and acts of service has been dishonored.
Do I feel like there is a place for police horses? Yes, if they are respected and cared for humanely.
I feel like there is a part of the horses innocence that has been destroyed here. They were forced to walk and trample into a crowd of kind people. I think that alone can trick and confuse any being.
Do I believe these horses know right from wrong? I do.
Do I believe the believe this was wrong? Yes, I do
What can YOU do?
Look at the horses images. Hold them in your mind and send them love. Thank them for their service and tell them its OK to be confused. It didn’t make sense. Its OK. Tell them they were brave. Tell them you are proud of them. And then imagine only the best scenarios for them in their future.