Friday, February 24, 2017

So, uh, hi

I haven't updated in forever because River and I haven't done anything in forever.  I've ridden him a couple times here and there, but nothing consistent, largely because he was being goofy from not being ridden in so long and I wasn't confident enough to get through it. 

But good news!  A friend moved her horse to my barn, so I've got her riding Riv for me.  (I'm super picky about how my horses are ridden and would rather they sit in a field and rot than be ridden badly.)  I was there for her first ride, to show her his tack and everything and explain about his oddities.  After that, I told her she's free to ride him whenever she wants, no need to ask me.  I will start riding him at some point, but I'll let her get him going decently first... she's young and less likely to break if he dumps her.

Her first ride on him, he was being a dork... He Would.  Not.  Move.  It took him about 10 minutes to figure out how to trot.  He was doing that excitable up-and-down thing that's annoying and honestly kind of scares me.  He eventually figured it out and was being not-terrible.  Although he did randomly spook at a corner of the ring he'd already passed about 20 times.  Idiot.

Being a dork and moving every part of his body in a different direction:

By the end, he was moving all of his parts together and in a forward direction.  Needs more push from behind, but compared to above he's going beautifully:

She rode him again a few days later.  The video she sent me looked so good!  I can't put it here, so I took a couple screenshots.  He was apparently really sweaty because she had to longe him before getting on because he was "a fire-breathing dragon".

Trotting like a normal horse:

He looks so normal!  It's like I haven't been ignoring him for a couple of years!

Look how nice and fat he is!!!!  I think this is probably the best weight he's ever been in.  I had to press hard to feel his ribs.  Ultium + Cool Calories + AMAZING hay = fat Princess!  But I might need to get him a longer girth.

Oh, that thing in the bottom left corner?   Yes, my barn owner got a couple of wee goats!

They're travel-sized for your convenience:

I tossed a goat up on River's back.  He could not have cared less.  (The broom, on the other hand....)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Too Little, Too Late: An Explanation of the Fundamental Wrongness of the Republican Party

If you think that Trump and the Republicans are all about honoring the Constitution as it was written, you're mistaken. According to the Republican Platform:
"The Declaration sets forth the fundamental precepts of American government: That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail; that there is a moral law recognized as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”; and that American government is to operate with the consent of the governed."
So to summarize: whatever rights the Republican Party thinks are innate under the god of their choosing supersede the document they claim to revere.
First, there are two clarifications which must be made:
1. There is only one use of the word “God” in the combined entirety of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, which is the “Nature's God” quoted in the Republican Platform above. Note that this is not just any god. It is not even a religious god. It is the God of Nature. This does not correspond with the Republican Party's assumption of the Christian God.
2. The exact wording is of the Declaration of Independence's statement on unalienable rights is: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Is the wording meant to say that all people have the same creator, that there is only one Creator? I would argue that, had that been the intention, they would have said "endowed by the Creator". My interpretation of the wording allows individuals to acknowledge their own creators.
One may argue that it is unlikely that the founding fathers had that interpretation in mind; however, I would rebut that if the argument is that the founding fathers were infallible, then we must accept what they wrote and what they did not write. The possessive before "Creator" is, to my mind, the critical word. “A Creator”, “the Creator”, and “their Creator” all have different meanings. Whether intentional or not, the founding fathers chose the word that allows the greatest personal variation of who or what that Creator is.
Regardless, the point must be made that at no point did the founding fathers specifically credit the Christian God with the origin of our unalienable rights. As any writer can tell you, specificity is the soul of narrative.
Moving on from the Republican Platform's lack of internal validity, we have another issue. If MY God and MY God-given rights are different from the Republican Party's, then the Republican Party infringes on my first amendment right to freedom of religion (which, to be clear, means that I have both the freedom to practice the religion of my choice, and the freedom to not have other religious beliefs or practices imposed upon me).
The only rights the founding fathers felt compelled to spell out in the Declaration of Independence as unalienable are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. And to be clear, these rights are not god-given, they are "endowed by their Creator."
Given the existence of slavery and inability of women to vote at the time of our nation's birth, obviously the founding fathers didn't really mean that all people have unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
I see three options:
1. We accept the Republican Party's infringement on our constitutionally protected rights.
2. We accept the Constitution as it was intended by the founding fathers. We revoke the equal rights amendments added later because if the founding fathers wanted women and Blacks to have rights, they would have said so.
3. We accept the spirit of the Constitution (that it is a document designed to protect all citizens' rights, not revoke them) and make legislative, judicial, and executive decisions accordingly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Quick question for you guys...

So I started another blog, Equines of New York.  (I know, I know, what am I doing starting another blog when I can barely be bothered to update this one?  Well... fair point.  I'm working on it.)

I'm planning on doing one post a day, Monday through Friday.  I have the next week or so of posts scheduled (10AM EST!), but looking through my stock of horse pictures, I've got a question...

Is it weird if I use pictures of horses that have since passed away?  If I do use those photos, should I specify somewhere that the horse has died?

Also, it's not weird to use the same horse multiple times, right?  (Different photos, different interviews.)

Thanks for your input!

Please spread the word about EoNY.  If you have a picture you'd like me to use, let me know!  (Horses don't actually have to be from NY, just copying Humans of New York and Felines of New York.)

Horse Owner of the Year!

Yup, I'm totally the best horse owner EVER.

Yes, that's right, I put blankets on my horses!  So maybe I never got around to washing them and had to shake the cobwebs out... details.

Yes, that's a bird feather stuck in cobwebs on The Mare's blanket.  It's the newest fashion, trust me.

Oh, and I let The Mare's boyfriend go so I could take pictures of her, and she proceeded to flip the eff out because OMG boyfriend is gone!!  When I finally let her go (after like 45 seconds) she took off so fast she kicked up mud all over and then galloped around bucking.

Princess was mad at me for putting desitin on his yucky hind pastern that always gets those scabby sores from mud.  Sigh.

Also, after reading the Felines of New York book, I was inspired to create Equines of New York.  I'm going to try to do one a day, and the next few are scheduled to post automatically.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I rode River last night, and then the cutest 6 year old ever asked if she could get on him...

We also let her trot a little bit with her mom holding Riv and me jogging next to her. 

I asked if she wanted to trade horses with me, but she said no :(. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

My dog died.

Friday evening, my dog's breathing problems got much worse, irreversibly so.  Even giving him oxygen wasn't helping, so I made the decision to euthanize him.

Amos was born July 27, 2000.  I got him on September 13, 2000.  He was 6 weeks 6 days old and 15 pounds.  He was a momma's boy from the start.  He was a bit of an idiot, but he wasn't stupid... he was very smart.  I could tell him "go in the bedroom, get a toy, and come back" and he would look at me for a second, and run off into our room to get a toy.  He knew what "go around" and "the other way" meant, when he got the cable of the run wrapped around a tree. 

He lived to make me happy.  Sometimes he would get confused if he didn't understand and then he would get upset and need hugs.

When he was younger, I would take him trick or treating for Halloween and dress him up in a silly costume.. he was an angel, a fairy princess, and a ballerina.  He was a large, enthusiastic black dog, and that can be scary to people... but you can't be scared of a large, enthusiastic black dog wearing a tutu.  He loved it.

In September 2005, I went to England for almost 3 months for a study abroad.  When I got home shortly before Christmas, my dad had me wait in the kitchen while he went to get Amos and surprise him with his mommy...  I don't remember much of Amos' reaction, but my dad said Amos just melted when he realized I was home.

He was always the happiest dog you could imagine.  He started having health problems about 2.5 years ago, but somehow he managed to keep going much longer than we expected.

I've known it was coming for a long time, but it still blindsided me..  I guess I was expecting a slower decline, with more than a couple hours of notice.  He was fine in the morning, so finding him in such bad shape was a complete shock.

Amos was a huge part of my life for almost half my life and now he's just gone.