Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! I simply adore today's Letter! Some notable horse quotes for you...(feel free to add the pronouns of her/hers/she and woman where appropriate)

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“I can make a General in five minutes, but a good horse is hard to replace” — Abraham Lincoln

“God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses.” – R.B. Cunninghame Graham

"Dog may be man's best friend, but the horse wrote history."

“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.” – W.C. Fields

“Wherever man has left his footprints in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization, we find the hoofprints of a horse beside it.” – ​John Trotwood Moore

"A racehorse is an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time."

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.” – William Shakespeare

"Horse... if God made anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself."

"When God wanted to create the horse, he said to the South Wind, "I want to make a creature of you. Condense." And the Wind condensed." - Emir Abd-el-Kader

And these short stories:

Montie Montana ropes Ike Eisenhower at his inaugural parade in 1953: https://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/lw3319.htm

Here are some pics of our presidents on horseback, with short stories to add context: https://horsenetwork.com/2014/02/top-10-presidents-horses/#:~:text=1%20Theodore%20Roosevelt.%20While%20many%20Presidents%20were%20accomplished,9%20Abraham%20Lincoln.%20...%2010%20Lyndon%20B.%20

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Let’s all sing along!

Hello, I'm Mister Ed"

A horse is a horse of course of course

And no one can talk to a horse of course.

That is of course unless the horse

Is the famous Mister Ed!

Go right to the source and ask the horse.

He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse

He's always on a steady course.

Talk to Mister Ed!

People yakkity-yak a streak

And waste your time of day,

but Mister Ed will never speak

Unless he has something to say!

A horse is a horse of course of course

And this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse.

You've never heard of a talking horse?

Well, listen to this...

"I am Mister Ed!"

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Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Reading about horses, instead of the horses asses that normally dominate our news cycle is/was a welcome respite.

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It is fun, thank you Professor. But, with respect, WHERE IS CINCINNATI? And no one chortle and say "on the Ohio River," please.

Cincinnati was the favorite and most impressive horse owned by Ulysses S Grant, one of the greatest horsemen in American history. Remember US Grant? He rode Cincinnati to magnanimous victory at Appomattox while Lee rode Traveller to defeat on the same day, April 9, 1865. During the Civil War his horses included Claybank, Egypt, Fox, Jack, Jeff Davis, Kangaroo, Little Reb, Methuselah and Rodney, along with the incomparable Cincinnati, also ridden by President Lincoln in the war's final month. The strikingly beautiful Jack carried the general on his epic journey to turn the tide at Chattanooga in late 1863.

The 10 horses described in the Letter do not compare to Grant's magnificent animals, who served courageously in great danger and duress. Because of their wartime contributions and achievements, they are my top 10 American horses.

PS, this is the only occasion when you'll hear me praise Jeff Davis.

R Chernow, Grant


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Horses are great, the commodification of horses not so much. Between the horse racing industry, pharmaceutical industry use of pregnant mare’s urine (PMU), and markets for horse meat, there is a lot of horrific ugliness.


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Just sharing: Today I have been escaping by listening to "The Sounds of Silence" as sung by David Draiman of the heavy metal band Disturbed. Three times I have listened to it this evening. I remember playing the Simon and Garfunkel "Sound of Silence" in my high school English classes in the 1970s to demonstrate literary terms: oxymoron and others. (At that time, teachers were fortunate to have access to a record turn table. ) Then, Pentatonix did a version that I liked and added to my playlist. Now I am into the Disturbed version. It, too, has been added to my playlist. Again, I am just happy to be escaping into my musical playlists.

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Every year the Kentucky Derby brings great sadness to those of us concerned about the use of animals in entertainment. Please take a moment to consider the points made here in The Atlantic. It’s a few years old but all of the hard truths remain.


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Thank you for this delightful equine history. You say that "it has no deep meaning," but I beg to differ. It reveals our interrelatedness with the animal kingdom and the impact their loyalty and friendship have had on our lives. They teach us the lessons of love, compassion, and yes, of humanity.

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A horse’s place in our history is profound. I love them as I do all animals. I had a horse named Apple. I was unable to keep her when I moved and started my nursing career 36 years ago. A close friend was able to take her and she had a beautiful foal. It was very difficult parting with her, and I knew she had a great life, and so have I. Thank you Heather for reminding me of one of my best friends.

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Thank you Dr. Richardson--for your kindness and for sharing what you know with us in a way that makes it belong to each of us.

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Having ridden a horse four times in my life, and fallen off the same number of times, I tend to keep horses at a distance, even though they have been kind of part of my life (my mother, from Nebraska, always claimed she was born on a horse, and was still riding in her eighties, just a few months before her death). That said, they are wonderful creatures, so long as I keep both feet on terra firma, and all the quotes from Lynell (below) are so very relevant. Thank you Heather for your moving and entertaining equine anecdotes. One thing though, what's with you Americans and spelling of the English language? Of course it's "traveller" - and neighbour, colour, anaemia, defence and programme. I don't mind you all asserting your independence, but I find it impossible, when I am writing, to stop Microsoft's spell check reverting to "English (US)" an oxymoron if ever there was one!

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Thank you, Heather. Derby Day gave you the perfect opportunity to share this informative piece on horses that you co-authored. This horse lover must confess that I’ve spent many hours this past year, and actually many years, watching TV westerns and movies like Black Beauty because seeing horses move comforts me. So does reading about them. And, back in the day, riding them. Thanks for today’s interesting diversion.

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Such a welcome reprieve from the realities of today's challenges.

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Oh the tv shows of my youth that featured so many beautiful horses! My Friend Flicka anyone? I found it both wonderful and excruciating to watch the Derby because so many horses were injured in that race; these days I don't watch it at all--or any of the Triple Crown. Too grueling. Although Black Beauty was one of my favorite books as a child, after a time I could not re-read the middle part, where he is abused and tortured as his life deteriorates until being rescued by the boy who originally had him as a colt. It was just too painful.

I think that people respond about the abuse of horses while ignoring the abuse of other animals who live out their lives in the human sphere and for humans' use because they are iconic, from Alexander the Great's horse Bucephalus--Alexander named a city in what is now Pakistan after him when he died and he deified him as well--to, well, the horses HCR mentions and the rest of us think about. But it also makes us remember that we, as humans, have unmet obligations in this world to treat everyone and everything with respect--even if we eat them in the end.

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"For years, many viewers thought the Hollywood cameras simply focused on Mr. Ed until he moved his lips or simply yawned. However, co-star Alan Young, who played Mr. Ed's close human confidante Wilbur Post, recalled how the crew put peanut butter in the horse's mouth to get him to move his lips.

Young later recanted this comment, stating that he had only said that because he didn't want to disappoint children with the technicality of how it was actually done.

If that's the case, just how did producers get this palomino to talk? Initially, a string was used to flip Mr. Ed's upper lip, according to a trivia submission on IMDB. As the show progress, famous horse trainer Les Hilton taught the gelding to wag his lips whenever his hoof was touched. Talk about Hollywood magic!"


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Wonderful! I was at the 1977 Preakness with college friends the year Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. I still have an “official” (now pretty worn frosted) glass with all the winners listed through 1976 (Elocutionist). We were in the infield and it certainly was a memorable event! That was the end of my race horse experience :)

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