What is going on here - why this outpouring of love for this horse?
The horse is a majestic animal - slaughtered for meat in the U.S. but not eaten here - (unless you go to Sizzler's). This love affair has deep roots in our DNA. Stealing a mans horse was a federal crime (I believe) and after Stonewall Jackson died his horse toured repeatably with carnivals from town to town. It lived to some outlandish old age and was very well taken care of a hero in it's own right. Look at what the loss of the family pet does to a household now magnify that nationwide even world wide.
Adults treat each other like crap, but the worst of us love our pets. In the absence of blind ambition for power, money and fame we are left with a simpler kind of humanity one personified in our animal friends that doesn't hate based on color, creed or culture.
We have over complicated our lives with the trappings of consumerism and the packaging and the marketing and the fashion that goes along with it. A horse doesn't care about what car you drive or your address or the color of your cell phone, what music you listen to or how you walk, talk or look. But they do have a sense of humor and they love to run. It's the basic instincts of our better nature to be drawn in especially by such a heroic horse. Barbaro had Triple Crown written all over him. We love a winner but more than that we love a battler and Barbaro and those who worked feverishly to take care of him battled for us.
Wrap all of that up together and it's easy to see why we feel (at times) more towards our pets than each other in general. Unfortunately for humans we are too easily led astray by the fabricated importance of consumerism and fashion and power and control as opposed to our kindred animal spirits who just love to be.It's hard to articulate in words but has a lot to do with unconditional love. Maybe one day we will try it on each other (globally) until then we express our love and humanity to those we know won't use it against us.