Life with Liz is challenging. Imagine the life she led for at least 12 years: pregnant every year, confined to a standing stall with her urine being collected for 7 months out of an 11 month pregnancy, with little human interaction, her foals just a “by-product” of her preganancies. Now that she’s off the “pee line” she’s been forced to conform in a domesticated soceity but was never taught how to handle that.
Doctors prescribe hormone replacement therapy drugs to hundreds of menapausal women and one of the most commonly used drugs is Premarin (Pregnant Mares Urine). Wyeth (a division of Pfizer) manufactures Premarin and this is how it is made: Mares are kept pregnant year after year, and for 7 months of their gestation, they are confined to standing stalls and wear a urine collection device at all times. Once they give birth and the foals are weaned, the process starts over again. Foals are considered a by-product of the industry and go to auction, and when the mares can no longer conceive, they too are shipped off.
Even though the PMU ranchers must follow a code of practice, were horses put on this earth to be exploited in this way? If they are lucky enough to escape the slaughter pipeline when used up, there seems to be only two options for them: 1-turn them out on large tracts of land where they do not have to be handled by humans, and are no longer expected to reproduce and give urine and live their life freely, or 2-attempt to win their trust and gentle them to humans.
In Liz’s case, I would take 1 step forward, and at least 2 backwards for months. Then, when it was time for full turnout, things seemed to even out. I was farther along with her training, and some days it seemed she was almost “normal”. Then Spring came, and her hormones likely out of whack from not being bred, she has become extremely reactive and fearful to touch. What do we do? Calming supplements, herbs to help ease her cycles, how long do we wait, what is acceptable?
The relationship I have built with Liz is one of mutal respect. I respect that she is the way she is, but also I have a few expectations of her. They are not unrealistic. Some days to her they must seem so. She trusts and respects me to a point. No one else has this from her, and likely never will. She is pychologically damaged by the life she was forced to live by a money hungry pharmaceutical company and it is more than challenging. Lovely Liz, you are at our sanctuary for life–you have a good one now and I think you know it 😉
Please take the time to educate yourself, your family and doctors on the PMU industry and just say No to Premarin!
Cindy Daigre, Founder
Photos curtesy of Sue Doyle