Why would they deal with us?

If horses had friends and food at their disposal, why would they want to have anything to do with us?  This is a question I see frequently posed; or, more frequently, something asserted in the positive.  I find it an odd question.  Perhaps it is because I have never heard it posed in relation to dogs.  What is it that makes a horse more likely to shun us than a dog?  Neither is of our species and, so the argument goes, would prefer the company of their own in a life human-free.  Perhaps my hesitation in accepting the premise also comes from the relationships I have had with horses throughout my life.

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The horse becomes the artist

The goal is to elevate the horse to a level of strength and elegance it would never reach on its own, improving Nature to the point of “Art”.

Charles de Kunffy

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October, I hardly knew you!

Somewhere in the blur that was October, I did manage to squeeze in a birthday.

Since late September, life has passed by in a blur.  Several trips for work have taken time away from my non-work life – the horses in particular.  Ailments and injuries have further limited equine-based activities.  Head buried in work most of the time, I feel as though I looked down on October 1st, and when I looked up, it was already Halloween!  Yet, somehow, somewhere in that blur, I was able to complete one barn related project.

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Playing God

Not long ago I had lunch with a friend and colleague.  He is someone who has never had animals in his life, save for a brief stint with a dog who ended up being passed on to another family member.  He is interested in bringing another dog into their household, so we spent a fair amount of time talking dogs during our lunch.

I generally avoid animal talk with my friends who do not share their lives with animals.  Life with animals changes your perspective in many ways, and there are aspects about that life that can seem foreign to those unfamiliar with animals.  I have experienced strange looks or puzzled responses in such conversations of the past, which is at the root of my general rule.   But I have never had such a striking reminder of these differences in perspective as I did during this lunch.

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Romanticized cruelty

A recent posting of a photo similar to the one at right raised the usual reactions of disgust, with one person asking simply, “How is this allowed to continue?”  Of course the usual theories of money and corruption were raised.  I won’t deny there may be some validity to those claims, in some cases.  However, I have pondered another root that runs much deeper and older.

I would argue that the history of the horse in art and entertainment has set up a faulty perception that causes many people to ignore the actual agony that is demonstrated in such an image.

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Artists and Architects

It takes structure, blueprints, and a clear plan to create something like Fallingwater, designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934

When I was in college, I enrolled in an Architecture studio class.  I’d fallen in love with the buildings and structures we’d studied in my many Art History classes, and I thought that perhaps architecture would be for me.  I struggled with the structure of the class, but did enjoy the final project – design a church for a seaside setting.  I created an imaginative building that would fit right into a natural setting, with the roofline echoing the waves below.  The professor appreciated the character of the building, but had a key question – how could you build a structure like that?  I learned then and there that being a architect was as much about engineering as art, and I decided that I was more of an artist.

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When horses try to help

If you do not keep horses at home, you might never have experienced your horses trying to “help” with repairs and chores.  Curious by nature, horses are likely to insert themselves into any activity in their vicinity.  I’ve had heads over my shoulder as I secured a loose board with my trusty drill driver.  We’ve had horses lift and push wheelbarrows, move rakes around (not very efficiently), and remove hoses from water buckets.  This weekend I received just such “assistance” as I was working on hotwire across the fence from Noble.

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