Two stories caught my eye today. Both were exceptional little gems in their own right, but work even better in tandem. Today's theme: riding while intoxicated.
We've all heard the stories about good ol' plow horses that would stand patiently for hours outside the pub and then take their masters home when they finally came stumbling out after one or ten too many pints of Guinness. Charming, yes?
... But you have to think said good ol' cart horses were also traversing good ol' roads most of the time--not busy highways crowded with motorized vehicles!
Or, in the case of our first tale: a city street in the middle of a whiteout snowstorm in northern Wyoming. In high winds and subzero temperatures. On a white horse.
Yes, in the story brought to us by the Billings Gazette, 28-year-old Benjamin Daniels was detained after police received calls that he was creating a road hazard on his slow-moving white horse.
"Because of the wind, the blowing snow and the color of the horse, we were worried he was a danger to himself and motorists," Assistant Police Chief George Menig told the paper.
The police cited Daniels for public intoxication and took him into custody. A friend (who apparently didn't get the memos about letting friends ride drunk) picked up his horse.
And then, on the same day, we got this one, from the UK:
From the Associated Press, Godfrey Blacklin pleaded guilty to a charge under the 1872 Licensing Act of "being drunk in charge of a carriage horse, cattle or steam engine." (I want to know what they mean by "in charge" of cattle here. Herding, perhaps? ... I do have a wonderful mental image of riding a cow while intoxicated ... perhaps even organizing wee little races? Go, Bossy! Mush! )
Blacklin, 31, had been stopped by police while riding bareback in Newcastle (ironically, itself an excellent brown ale) in October. Officers found him to be wobbly and slurring his words. His total fine was about $265.
I would like propose a simple solution to this rash of intoxicated riding: opinionated horses. Seriously. You have to think the mounts involved in these stories were hip to the fact that their pilots weren't operating at 100% capacity. It's only through their kind nature that these fellows were upright and still mounted. Let's find them something rascally to ride and see how far they get next time--sort of a naughty pony as electronic tether. It could work.
Finally, the office of TheHorse.com is an interesting place. On any given day you might hear us pleading on the phone for photos of artificial equine vaginas or finding really great public health videos on rabid bats. ("Don't. Take your eyes. Off the bat!")
Today's random office topic: bushkazi. It's a mounted game. It's sort of like ... umm, polo, I guess. But instead of a ball, you have a headless goat or calf carcass.
Anyway, it was brought up at a presentation last night. I remember my weird delight in first discovering this, and so thought it would make good blog fodder.
More info from a family that visited Afghanistan in 1977 and saw a bushkazi game. While the article claims it's only played in Afghanistan, the presenters last night were recounting participating in a pick-up game while travelling in China.