Or… How to catch a cat.
Sorry, I couldn’t help it. It reminds me of a cat we used to have.
It will probably give some people will screaming heebee jeebees. Those people might be paranoid-just a little bit. After all, the disorder is defined as believing that somebody is always watching or observing you with ulterior motives or evil intent.
Now-that said, it is the anniversary of an infamous event here in the USA-September 11 2001. Like December 7, 1941 when Japanese war planes flew into Pearl Harbor, HI, and bombed our Navy fleet to hell and gone, we don’t forget those that died or those that fought back in so many ways. But we learn from those mistakes, too, thank God.
In the case of Pearl Harbor, our fleet does not allow but a certain number of ships to be docked at any one time in the harbor. The rest must remain at sea. Photography of the yard is forbidden now. Schofield Barracks is never totally ‘at ease’-there is always some level of alert. There are other measures of course-none of which are discussed with civilians. I was privileged to visit the U S S Arizona’s resting site-which I’ll never forget. The National Cemetery there is also quietly inspiring-it gets to you in ways that you do not expect.
The attack on the World Trade Center towers was then, and still is, one of the most audacious and vicious of terrorist strikes ever conceived. The use of commerical jetliners as, essentially, flying bombs defies both morals and ethics in every human convention known. You just do not use innocent people’s lives as a weapon-that was what was so completely stunning about it. It was also what elicited the visceral rage that was the response to it. Unfortunately, that was exactly was the planners wanted from us. I don’t think to this day that our leaders could have put a lid on the reaction. It was much too powerful.
However, because of that reaction and the ongoing hostilities since, we have created more and more people who really are out to get us. So now we are justified in feeling paranoid-they really ARE out to get us. I’d like to think that use of some ‘horse herd’ psychology might change that. Why? Well, someday, the oil is going to run out. Then all they’ll have is sand-again.
Horses fight, yes-but they rarely turn vicious on their own. They’ll kick, bite, squeal-and the loser will trot off to stand at a distance. Now the loser might stay at a distance and just hang around hoping for another chance or might wander off to join a band of other losers. Point being-nobody has a reason for paranoia.
So why can’t humans use a method similar to this? Answer: Probably because herds are run by mares and humans are led by the males. Hmmmm.
These are the flags of not one but TWO causes that lost BIGLY.
I’m not talking itty, bitty fist fights, but major wars that cost 100’s of thousands of lives in the first and MILLIONS of lives in the second. We are NOT talking ‘heritage’ either, people. That is a freaking red herring. There never WAS a heritage-except in books like Gone With The Wind-which was FICTIONAL. Oh, there was also Uncle Tom’s Cabin-and we were carefully taught that the villian in that piece came from New England so he ‘really wasn’t a Southerner any way’. The implication being that no Southerner plantation owner would EVER treat their slaves so poorly. The hell you say.
There never was that many plantations in the south. People have the idea that they were all over the place. No they weren’t. Very few could AFFORD to have them. Don’t believe me-go do some research. Maybe 45 in Georgia. Maybe 15-20 in Alabama. The rest of the farming was done by sharecroppers and families-like my great grandfather 5 generations back. They didn’t own slaves-didn’t want to. Picked their own cotton and hauled it to the gin themselves.
Patriarchal societies have-throughout history-done two things really well-go to war because it stimulates their economy mostly in some respect, and beat the living hell out of women and children-always their own, but they’ll pick on the captives from the other side, too, if they can. Lord knows, the Bible is full of it. Abraham took Hagar, the slave girl of Sarah and had a son by her-and the Jews and the Arabs have been fighting ever since. Moses was hidden in the bullrushes by his mama (a slave) and found and adopted by the king’s daughter. When the Israelites starting leaving Egypt, the Egyptians woke up and realized “hey, all the slaves are leaving us!” and went after them. That’s the reason for the drowning of Pharoah’s army in the Red Sea. Slaves running away from their owners.
Jews had their own slaves. Just keep reading-all of the Old Testament is just chock full of this stuff.
Why am I bringing it up? Because back in the early days of this country, that was used to JUSTIFY the owning of black people as slaves in this country-mostly in the southern states. If you ever saw the musical 1776, the song ‘Molasses to Rum to Slaves’ is all about how the traders ran the ships from the sugar cane fields of the Carribean to New England to Africa with those cargoes.
Nowadays-the same backwards mindset still exists-primarily because people have never taken the time to learn that people with darker skins are just people with darker skins. There are some cultural differences, but there are those between white folks, too. I don’t eat lox and bagels for breakfast-but lots of people in New York City think that’s pretty tasty. They can’t see what I see in grits.
There is absolutely NOTHING that makes anybody’s skin color inherently superior racially to anybody else’s. Or more inferior, for that matter. It’s the way you BEHAVE towards your fellow human beings that determines that-and, for the record, the way those people behaved this weekend in Charlottesville, VA put them on the level of earthworms. Fish bait. Terrorizing people just for the hell of it is unacceptable at every level. Trying to blame their behavior on other people is childish. Driving a car into a crowd? That, folks, is pre-meditated murder and attempted murder with malice. That is a hate crime. Second degree murder my fat fanny.
Wanting law enforcement to treat you and your family like human beings is a reasonable thing. If I were black, I would be fighting mad about it. It is unjust. For the record, I have had sheriff deputies try deliberately to intimidate me-and, quite frankly, it got every bit of my Scottish heritage working overtime. I was furious. So, yes, I can easily see the why and how these black folks come at cops yelling, screaming, and trying to fight with them. I didn’t, but that incident was a real eyeopener.
Don’t push people like that. You’re asking for that response-and you’re going to get it.
In my mind, these people in charge of our government need to repudiate all connections to the Klan, white nationalists, white supremacists, and Alt-Right groups loudly, strongly, and as a united front. That includes the Executive, Congress, and Supreme Court. These Nazis and fascists must be told that their campaign of fear, violence, and terrorism will not be tolerated, their racial and sexual bigotry is unwelcome, and that we will fight them with law and guns if need be. But they cannot have our country-EVER.
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I read some equestrian news yesterday that Sinead Halpin retired one of her top mounts, and she quoted her husband, Tik Maynard, as saying, “A great horse would jump through fire for you if you asked, and a great horseman would never ask.” I can think about this for hours. It might be one of […]
I’m sharing this because I love the quote-I love the wisdom in it. I think you will, too.
Please note: I do not and never have advocated for equine slaughter. I know that there are those that do and I fully understand the arguments pro and con. I am not going there-not because I can’t argue the points, but because that ground has other people willing, able, and with the time, passion, and patience to do so. I consider it a fight I’m not willing to engage in. Plenty of others fighting those battles-I have other agendas. Just for the record-the first known recorded use of a horse was-dinner.
My reason for putting this up is informational in purpose. As my followers know, I volunteer fairly heavily with Stolen Horse International. Some of the horses we locate will be located at sales or headed for these plants. So we do have an interest in what is going on internationally in this realm. It impacts what we do.
For example: the European Union (EU) embargo against the Mexican plants cut their production significantly-and that meant they had to find different customers if they wanted to stay open. They have managed to rebound to some extent, but not all the way. (The embargo there had to do with the cleanliness of the plants, the methods used, as well as residues of drugs in the meat.) We are still shipping ~100,000 animals/year there.
Contrast that to Canada where the EU doesn’t have the same problems with the plant operations, but does with the meat being tainted with drug residues. Hence the order that too, effect on March 1, 2017, that all equines processed there must have resided in Canada for a minimum of 6 months prior. Before this, the USA shippers were shipping ~60,000 animals/year across the northern border. Now, granted, horses can still be processed-just not for the EU. They can still be shipped live to Japan, for example, for the same purpose. No problem there at all.
The USA also has a couple of plants making noises about tooling up to start processing horses here-which has certain groups in loud protests. So far, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not turned loose of funding for inspectors for that purpose, and, until they do, noise is all we’ll get out of those plant owners. With the climate change in Washington, D. C., however, it is anybody’s guess how long the FDA can hold out. Standards of other agencies are being gutted by the new administration wholesale. Will this one go as well? No one knows.
For us, we are watching and waiting to see how this all shakes out. We will move in response to the actions of the KBs and the trucks. We go where the horses and the trail leads us.
I had the pleasure of talking with a young man yesterday. He’s a friend of a friend and came into the office. Let’s call him Gary, OK? Gary has been in the United States for 9 years. Prior to immigrating here, he was an attorney in his home land. He has no intention of being […]
This is a lady that I enjoy reading immensely. I hope you do as well.
First of all, a reminder-these are my opinions and they are based on 50+ years of working with all kinds of horses. However, if you disagree, feel free to keep on going. I know not everybody is going to agree with me. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life out of step with the rest of the world so it is nothing new to me. But do not attempt to change my viewpoints by charging in and ‘correcting’ me. It simply will not work. I’ll ignore you.
This photo is on top because I see a lot-no, make that TONS-of horses wearing snaffles and flash nose bands. I did it, too, for awhile with a young horse until he made it quite plain that the arrangement pissed him off to no end. (Always pay attention to what your horse is telling you, folks. My riding instructor kept telling me to do this or that, but I listened to HIM. He was shaking his head, pulling on the reins, opening his mouth, not listening, dropping his shoulder, etc. The problem lay in the bridle-it hurt.) So I set about learning about bits, nosebands, hands, and why they are used. It isn’t pretty the majority of the time.
Nose bands were originally nothing more than a way to tie your horse without using the reins in the military/driving days. They had a ring underneath and were always fairly heavy leather worn loosely enough that the horse could chew his ration in a nose bag. Some person somewhere along the line got the ‘brilliant’ idea that they could force a horse’s mouth closed by putting a few more holes in the thing. Why did they want to?
This is why-if you put something into a mouth and it can be steel, plastic, rubber, leather-you can find ways to create pain. Now I’m NOT saying that you shouldn’t use bits-but you should understand that ALL bits are capable of creating ENORMOUS pain. There is no such thing as a ‘mild’ bit. All that varies is the knowledge and skill of the hands that use it. A thick snaffle in the hands of a fool can be the instrument of extreme torture to a horse. By the same token, there are some people who can get horses to perform world class dressage bridleless. I’ve ridden a finished spade bit horse that could be handled with a feather’s touch on the reins and the nose band was for decoration only.
People want the end-without the work involved to get there.
Now I’m a perfectionist myself-and I can get as frustrated as the next person about my horses’ performance as anyone else. So don’t even start down that road with me. You do have the time to work with that horse-you just don’t want to take it. You’d rather take the shortcut of hurting your horse-causing pain-and justifying it to yourself as ‘but everybody else does it’, ‘my trainer recommended it’, ‘my horse wasn’t listening to me’, blah, blah, blah. Go ahead-add any you wish-I’ve heard them all-and they are all EXCUSES FOR POOR HORSEMANSHIP. That’s unacceptable.
The third photo is another type of nose band being marketed. Notice that it is supposedly more ‘humane’ because it avoids the jaw bones covered only with skin. Well, isn’t that nice, folks? But now we have a strap higher on the jaw to help hold the jaw closed and better bracing across the nose bridge. The horse loses even more. (Actually, you do, too.
The thing is pricey.)
I didn’t put any Western, endurance, or other disciplines in this-mostly for space reasons. They are just as much at fault as the English branch. If there is a way a human can inflict pain and suffering on a horse, by golly, they’ll find it and do it.
Am I one of those nuts who thinks horses shouldn’t be ridden? Oh, heck, no. I do think that a great many of the gizmos (chambons, draw reins, martingales, gambons, tie downs, etc.) should be recognized for what they are and thrown in the land fills. If you think you need something like that-get a motorcycle or ATV and leave the horse alone. As one person puts it “If you keep getting the wrong answer, then you aren’t asking the right question.” See the last photo for an example of that-the rider isn’t getting the ‘frame’ that was desired so rollkur was resorted to to achieve it. The wrong question was being asked so the wrong answer was given. The horse is paying the price for the humans’ quest for perfection.