Saturday, September 30, 2017

Icelandic Horses on the Shetland Islands

The Shetland Arts Community Film Making Project made this short glimpse into today's Icelandic horse community on the Shetland Islands.  As Bjorn Larson concludes, "I think they are special and everybody should go try an Icelandic." 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Icelandic Horse Portraits by Bragi Ingibergsson

Just to brighten everybody's day, here are some gorgeous photos of Icelandics in their native country--truly soulful portraits by Bragi J Ingibergsson.  Trust me, it's worth clicking on the link.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Blessi had a vet appointment--shots and teeth floating-- so he was given a tranquilizer. The visit was
conducted in his run-out shed which is open to a large paddock with grass. When the vet left, I put a mounting block in the doorway, sat on it, and started to read a book as I waited for Blessi to recover from the tranquilizer. You don't want the horse to have any food available at that time since he could choke while eating.

So Blessi recovered enough to decide he wanted to go outside to eat grass. Horses could communicate this intent in many ways--pushing their way past me, head butting me, waiting patiently by the door in front of me. 

Blessi is a civilized but cunning pony. He quietly stood in front of me and stared at the book pages from about 2 inches. Then he tried to gently turn the pages of the book. He attempted to close the book. This went on for two or three minutes. In other words, he was exhibiting just enough low level annoying behavior to get me to stop reading and let him out for grass. It worked. I figured if he had enough control of his lips to turn library book pages without tearing them then he was recovered enough to eat grass.

Now who was controlling whom?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Homage to Franz Marc the Impressionist

Found this sketch of mine on a random search on Google. I'm trying to figure out how a student exercise got posted. And why the horses are blue. Somehow it all made sense at the time.

Now, I remember where the idea for the blue horses came from---Franz Marc the impressionist painter. I went off to review his work and I have to say my sketch is a homage to Marc. This is probably why I threw out my original --- it was a student copy of parts of a masters work.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

How Big Is a Horse's Brain?

Here's a trivia question from the August edition of Equus magazine. "Which produce item is closer to the size of the average equine brain?
a. kiwi
b. large baking potato
c. grapefruit
d. small cantaloupe"

Scroll down for answer.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lonely Little Pony in Welsh

What if the horses in the Lonely Little Pony advert spoke with Welsh accents?  Wonder no more.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Cat, the Burglar, and I

For those of you following my blog on writing, I just posted another essay on what are "Literary
Points of View--the cat, the burglar, and I." I wrote this story when I was auditing a creative writing course. The assignment was to read the textbooks and summarize what we learned. Hey, I was auditing--no grade worries for me. However, it is interesting how student commitment to learning plus removing the pressure to get a grade can equal a much better product. I think. Anyway, you can be the grader of this essay.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Prance Armstrong The Pony in the 2017 Tour de Polagne

A pony decided to join a cycling race in the 2017 Tour de Polagne. The plucky pony was a real Prance Armstrong.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Article on Icelandic Horse Origins Cited by Wild Equids Book

I did some more research. My article "Detecting the Origin of Icelandic Horses" is also referenced in "The Roles of Humans in Horse Distribution" by Sandra Olsen, pp. 105-120, in the book Wild Equids: Ecology, Management, and Conservation edited by Jason I. Ransom, Petra Kaczensky, John Hopkins University Press, May 15, 2016

Monday, September 18, 2017

Musings After Blessi's Dental Float

While waiting for Blessi to recover from his sedation for a dental float, I was stuck in Blessi's run out shed with only my phone for entertainment. It is a new phone and I haven't downloaded any aps or games. I tried calling people but no one was available for a conversation. My next few posts have to do with random thoughts while I was waiting for Blessi to sober up and the resulting photos of drunk Blessi to accompany them.

All that set up for my first thought. "It's crazy how much mane an Icelandic has."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Origins of Icelandic Horse article Cited in Russia

My article on "Detecting Icelandic Horse Origins" has not only been cited as a source in Wikipedia but it is also cited in a historic article "A Scientific and Historical Investigation on Mongolian Horses" in a Russian publication.

You can read more about the Norse and Mongolian ponies at:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Blessi and his Float

Blessi was under sedation for a float. Usually, I take a book and a chair and read while he is coming out of sedation. I know he is ready to go out to the pasture to eat when he walks up and starts flipping pages in my book. If he has enough motor control in his lips to flip pages then he is probably in no danger if he eats.

This time I forgot to pre-stage the chair and book. Blessi definitely looked very out of it so I thought I could sneak away and get the chair and book from my truck. Well, I stepped out of the run out shed and started to walk away. I hear rapid beat clip clop clip clop. Immediately, I rush back to find Blessi with his head in his feed box, which luckily is empty. Blessi doesn't understand "right from wrong" of course but over the years he had developed a really good sense of what makes me go "Tsk, tsk, tsk" and he should wait until I am no longer looking to do whatever.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Trailer a "Bad" Pony

This is so funny. It's all about the food.

Bald Eagles Adopt Baby Hawk

Here's a fascinating experiment happening in the wild in B.C. A bald eagle evidently took a red-tailed hawk chick back to its nest as food for its chicks. One in the nest, Spunky the baby hawk insisted on being fed exhibiting behavior that stimulated the eagle parents into feeding him. Observers have been afraid that Spunky was not going to survive his new family, especially considering the size difference. But, weeks later, the hawk and his foster siblings are almost ready to leave the nest. Interestingly Spunky is exhibiting both observed eagle behavior from his foster parents such as stealing fish but also what must be innate hawk behavior such as pouncing on objects on the ground. The first video is of baby Spunky in the nest. I'll post the most recent video in the comments section.