Meaghan, thank you for writing this. I serve on the board of a Northern California horse rescue and sanctuary, and sadly this is only one example of how horses are mistreated or used and tossed aside when broken like expendable sports equipment. Those who already work with or spend time with horses know this, but research is continually demonstrating that these are highly emotional and sensitive animals — and that thoughtful, considerate and appropriate interaction between them and humans has benefits for people with health challenges including dementia, PTSD, and physical and intellectual disabilities. The rodeo you describe — in which it appears that new, unstarted (a term we prefer to “unbroken”) horses were sent into the arena in multiples rather than one at a time, is incredibly dangerous to both the animals and the people participating. I’m sorry you had to witness such a horrific spectacle, but I am very grateful to you for bringing awareness to it. I hope you will furnish a copy of your piece to the management of the Monterey fair.

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Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at

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