Weird things happen to horses. Horses are big. They're curious. They eat things they shouldn't. Many of them live in areas nature never intended for them to be, often with other species they weren't intended to mix with. People use them to perform tasks they weren't designed to do. Roll all of this up, and weird things happen to horses.
And, because they're considered fairly exotic animals by the majority of the public and mainstream media, when a weird thing happens to a horse, it tends to make the news.
This is where I come in. I edit the news on TheHorse.com. A big part of that involves staying on top of horse/donkey/pony/mule/zebra news being disseminated by local mainstream media outlets to identify leads that might interest our readers.
And sometimes ... just sometimes ... I strike gold. The truly weird. Whether it's a custody battle over the skeleton of a horse allegedly mutilated by aliens, or a donkey put in jail for ornery behavior, these occasional stories bring a wee bit of levity to our usual fare of equine health care, management, and welfare news.
I find them interesting, and I hope you do too.
Please note, information on this blog comes from various outside sources and has not been independently verified.
(Please also note: Just because we think it's weird doesn't mean we support it. So chill out before you e-mail me "appalled and outraged" because we linked to a story on a horse being hit by an airplane. We didn't say we like it--we just said it's weird.)
Knowing that we were going to be launching this puppy into orbit, I've had my weird radar deployed for a couple weeks. Here are a few nuggets that made it blip:
Stuffed horse causes a stir. Residents of Canton, Mass., have started a holiday tradition that's ... umm ... different. They have a life-sized stuffed horse that makes his mysterious rounds through residents' front yards, suitably dressed and accessorized. On the date of the report, he sported Christmas lights, antlers, a red nose, garland, and a blow-up doll decked out in a Santa suit. A sign on his neck read: "Ho Ho Ho! You can call me Coco." I'm not sure if it was referring to the horse or his equestrian companion. Read the original report and see the photo. Click on the image to make it bigger.
Side note: I'm not entirely certain if the horse is a REAL stuffed horse (like Little Sorrel, whom I think has seen better days) or a really big plush. Any local residents want to weigh in? Leave a comment!
Also from the holiday archive, props to the California Department of Food and Agriculture for having a sense of humor! Here's a gem of a press release: Health Requirements for Santa's Reindeer Waived by State Veterinarian.
Highlights: "The permit application was filed by a rotund, jolly man with a red face and a white beard. He signed the paperwork, 'K. Kringle.'
"The permit was granted under two conditions: the nine reindeer may not co-mingle with other reindeer in the state of California, and the visiting reindeer may not be used for breeding purposes while in the state."
Macedonian police don't have enough to do. That's the only conclusion I can come to. They arrested a horse that they think was being used to smuggle--get this--air conditioners from Serbia. According to the Horse and Hound report, the police took the horse (sans driver) into custody. They found nine air conditioners in the carriage it had been pulling (I would be interested to know how the horse loaded them into the cart himself).
The horse is being kept at the station. The police have not said if they're going to press charges against it. Apparently, they did press charges against a wild bear that was found guilty of stealing honey last year. Since it was a protected species, the fine was paid by the state.
There's more weird where that came from. Check back for updates!