Stars, circles, strokes of different thicknesses, handprints and letters of different colors dot the body of a beautiful white horse. Their manes emulate the colors of the Rainbow. The image is real, of a real horse, on whose skin children have painted in a summer school of an equestrian club in the Murcian district of Beniaján, the Club Hípica Vibeca. The horse is called Gunner. He is 40 years old. And he is a horse used to “working” with children, justifies Santiago Lidón, manager of the center, on the other side of the phone.
The children’s playful activity of painting on Artillero’s back has generated a great controversy in different social networks as a result of the video published by the user La Vaca Style on Instagram and Facebook. “Horses are extremely sensitive and this type of act is an aberration”, says in the post this illustrator who tries to create animalistic awareness with her images. “These boys and girls will one day be adults. With this type of education they will understand that animals are things to which they can do whatever they want, because one day they painted a horse and their parents thought it was good,” he added. .
“It is done (to paint the skin of the horses) in many summer schools, we replicated it this year because the kids asked us to do it, but it was the first time that this activity was programmed and, judging by the repercussion, the last”, he assures on the other end of the phone, recognizing that it is not a practice to their “liking” either. Still, he insists, it doesn’t hurt the animal. Artillero “is very used to children; in fact, he was delighted that they were rubbing him.”
From the equestrian they assure that they have their facilities and the horses in perfect condition, and that they have always respected the equines. Although he does understand that there are “sensitivities” that may have been hurt by the images that have transpired.
“Without knowing the chemical consequences of the paint that they have used on the skin of animals, what seems wrong to me in this case is the image that is given to children. Horses are not a notebook or a wall where they can express their creativity “, has expressed Alberto Díez, director of the National Animal Defense Association (ANDA). “A much more constructive activity would have been brushing the horse with fresh water, which they like a lot, and so you can even teach the children to wash them,” he added.
The paints that they used, respond from Vibeca in a statement, do not affect the health of the horse since they are water-based paints that are used with a small amount of pigment “and are mixed with enough water so that the result has the same consistency. that the water alone and that they were immediately withdrawn “.
In the same statement, they lamented the confusion “that malicious comments have caused, generating a number of inappropriate threats.” And violence has been denounced on social networks “where the wish is expressed that the horse had kicked the minors and killed them.” For what they add: “if the insults, threats and harassment to which we are being subjected continue, we will be obliged to take the corresponding legal measures.”