I was asked the other day, “so what`s so good about a horse?” ………..Argh! I hear you all cry. (Yes, I did too!) The naiveté of such a question! My mind was in turmoil at the merest suggestion, that this Philistine was unable to understand the beauty, and what bond passes between Human and The Horse. For a moment, I was caught off guard! Not withstanding that I was in the work place, and not wanting to be seen as a a maniac, I carefully began a diatribe on the subject of the Horse!
“I beg your pardon?”
I began softly, not wishing to frighten the spotty youth that was masquerading as an adult, in a voice of reason and calm!
“ The Horse, or a horse! As you put it, is something of a marvel.”
I was doing well!………………. “Let me give you some facts about The Horse, young man!” ……It was at this point that I lost it, totally! What follows is “The” diatribe of horse facts as I recall them!
“ Did you know, that human hair, finger nails and horse hooves, are made from the same stuff? That Buffalo Bill Cody bred Shetland ponies? Mmm? That James Watt developed the term “Horse Power”, because he needed measurement of power for his steam engine, and that one horsepower equals 746 watts of power! Horses do not have a Gall bladder, that they have better memories than Elephants? They have the largest eyes of any land animal, horses are not colour blind, that Australia had no horses until 1788? Horses have monocular vision, and can see two pictures at once? That there are about 75 million horses in the world, that horses can sleep standing up, a horse can drink 38 litres of water a day, that one front leg is shorter than the other, and that the mane falls to that side!
Did you know that horses snore? That a horse cannot burp, and that they cannot vomit, that Arabian horses have one less vertebrae than other breeds, and that the Quarter Horse is the most popular breed?”
It was at this point that I stopped to breathe!
“ And what`s more, prior to the Conquistadors arriving in south America in the 16th century, all horses in America had long since died out! It was the Europeans that re introduced them! That the oldest horse that ever lived in modern times was a horse called Old Billy, he lived until he was 62 years old! that the worlds largest horse was a horse called Samson at 21 and a half hands high, foaled in England! Did you also know that the top speed of a racehorse is around 43 mph!” Anything else? the spotty youth seemed shrunken.
“But apart from that young man, horses and man have been bonded in war, sport, friendship and for the love of it, man and horse are inseparable, and although we can be cruel, the horse has been man`s saviour on numerous occasions.”