Professor David Nutt, the UK's chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs was trying to make a point about the relative harms of drug use and how they can be equated with risks we take in other areas of life when he penned a recent article in the Journal of Psychopharmacoloy.

Professor Nutt (yes, really), decided to equate an addiction to horse riding with the use of Ecstasy. He calls the equine addiction "Equasy."

In his essay, "Equasy--An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms," Professor Nutt discussed the various ills to society brought about by the horse-riding habit of equine users. This involves risk of bodily harm to both the user and society at a comparable level to the use of Ecstasy (10 deaths and 100 traffic accidents a year, he says). Additionally, fox hunting leads to "gatherings of users that often are associated with these groups engaging in violent conduct."


"The point was to get people to understand that drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life. There is not much difference between horse riding and Ecstasy," he stated.

What do you think? Are we all a bunch of users, endangering the public at large by seeking our horse-y fix? Comment below.

Maybe it's the economy. Or a sudden shortage of hair extensions prior to last night's Grammys (Krauss needs volume, stat!). But in the last week there have been two different reports of people stealing horses' tail hair.

  • In Colorado, several Belgians have been shorn of their locks
  • In Pennsylvania an Appaloosa's tail was cut--but "some neighborhood children have started a fund drive to buy the 27-year-old horse new tail hair to be woven on what's left of the old."

No injuries have been reported, and some are hypothesizing that the tails are being cut to sell as extensions (for other horses), or to braid into horsehair belts or jewelry.

Fluffy sparkly white tail

The Tail: My pride and joy.

The Denver Post gives another possible explanation: "Similar thefts around the world have been blamed on witchcraft and pagan rituals in the past. In 2002, the Glasgow University Pagan Society denounced the practice in Scotland after a number of horses were fleeced, saying it was not in spirit with the pagan belief of living in harmony with animals." (Fleeced? Really?)

Whatever the motive, this is pretty low. A horse without a tail has compromised protection from biting flies. And a long tail will take years to grow back. And then there's the matter of angry horse people. Which you definitely don't want.

I have a close working relationship with my horse's tail. I take great pride in ensuring it remains at optimal fluff and whiteness, despite his pasture-living lifestyle. The Tail and I have bonded through many late nights of horse show grooming. In the summer my hands tend to have a purplish tinge from too much time soaked in whitening shampoo, and I'm sure I come home with a certain eau de detangler more often than not.

Mess with my horse's tail, you mess with me.