Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 168 - The Horse Forum
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post #1671 of 1971 Old 10-12-2018, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Like most things in America, how a knife is viewed and what the laws are depends on the state and specific city. IIRC, Glendale AZ used to have very restrictive knife laws, to the point someone getting gas while passing through could get in trouble for having a pocket knife. So the AZ state legislature passed a law preempting all local laws. Blade length doesn't matter, but a switchblade is illegal. I know a number of big cities outside of Arizona require blade lengths under 3". Out west, the Buck 110 might be longer than a local law approved. But it requires two hands to open it, so MOST places wouldn't hassle someone who used it discretely.

I've carried pocket knives since my first - a Cub Scout knife in the 3rd grade. Didn't in England because I didn't know their laws. The one I usually carry when riding - always when on the trail - is this one:

I wouldn't use the cutting blade for food without washing first. It gets...contaminated. It is an excellent hoof pick along with a blade to cut baling twine, etc. The blade dulls faster than I'd like, but a folding hoof pick is nice. It is very thick. It would be a problem for anyone who rode "on their pockets" - like I've often been told to do. Littauer, though, has shaped my riding. Even in a western saddle.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1672 of 1971 Old 10-12-2018, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Thatís the knife I carry!! I love it. The hoofpick is the best one ever. Mine is yellow.
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post #1673 of 1971 Old 10-13-2018, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Oh bsms, if we lived near each other, I would love to get my hands on you as student, muhahaha. Kidding, you would be bowing me to voluntarily after one lesson.
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post #1674 of 1971 Old 10-13-2018, 08:19 AM
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Since my purse was very small, the only place I had found to fit a folding knife into was a tight and narrow pocket down the center seam. Over time I forgot I had put it there, and then I went on a trip. Flew through several airports, went through the xray scanners. Finally we came through Dallas, TX. I was pulled aside, and the security guy said, "You have a knife in your purse."
I denied it, forgetting about that knife I'd put in there several months before. He took my purse, opened the seam and pulled out the knife. I was surprised, and embarrassed, since it looked like I'd been trying to hide the knife through security.
I said, "This is the fourth airport I've had that purse, and no one has found it!"
He said, "Ma'am, this is Texas. In Texas we know what a knife looks like."
It was unfortunately DH's knife I had been borrowing, and he was sorry to have it confiscated.
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post #1675 of 1971 Old 10-13-2018, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I hear you @SueC ...
Only a someone who truly appreciated animals and loved the planet would learn about the big picture as you do...and eat them too. I do eat some meat, just to stay healthy.
I had a knee jerk reaction to your statement since kangaroos are so rare and beautiful, lol. It would be like hearing someone say they eat unicorns or something, because where they are, there are too many. ;)
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post #1676 of 1971 Old 10-13-2018, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Awwww, @Dragoon . You know, I actually wish it wasn't so, but it's how it is. In nature, survival is the exception rather than the rule - think about how many foals a mare in the wild can raise in her life, but more of them will die than reach maturity, and as a rule of thumb, every animal is replaced by about one other of its kind, so that's a lot of dead offspring if you look at the reproductive rate. I really hate it when we have to kill things, but you can't put the whole of nature on contraception etc. So I'm interested in quality of life for animals, and that their deaths be as stress-free, quick and oblivious as possible.

Once in my 30s I tried to construct a fantasy world where nothing had to die. This meant nothing could breed, and that every animal was mature - nothing was young or in its growing stages. All the plants had to be perennials, which got only parts of them eaten. Carnivores, what do we do with them? Invent meat-trees? Then how will they exercise? Will everything lie around getting fat? (etc etc etc) In the end, I realised that this sort of world would be just as sad as one in which there is so much death, and that in a strange way, it would be an uglier world. No young animals, no flowers because no seeds required, except maybe sterile sorts of nectar-making things so the bees etc could survive, everything out of shape. In the end, the visual beauty and magnificence around us in the biosphere is very much the result of so much attrition, and would not be there without birth or death, as two sides of one coin. And also, everything gets recycled...
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post #1677 of 1971 Old 10-13-2018, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Just in postscript, Brett quoted me something the other day, which goes something like this: Do not fear the masses but pity them, for no doubt they have forgotten that they will die, and they do not see the need for beauty or horror. They neither dread nor love nor know their limits. (He reads a lot of Neil Gaiman etc, and associated things. One of the first things he lent me was Death: The High Cost Of Living.

We were discussing how some people think it is morbid to even look at mortality - yet if we don't, how can we fully value being alive, while we live? Khalil Gibran had a few things to say about that too!
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post #1678 of 1971 Old 10-17-2018, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I started this post in response to the mustang thread. It evolved into something more personal, so I decided this was a better spot for it. Nearly dumped it without posting, but it took time to put together as I sit here listening to the wind howling around the house, so...
This screenshot is of public land a bit over 1/4 mile from my house. West is at the top because it fits better that way. I don't take the horses there often. It is rough ground. The trails look good on an aerial photo, but the reality (having tried it) is most of them have good places for a horse to fall trying to get down or up a hill and I don't want to take a chance on needing to shoot my horse! The rectangle is around a corral built for cattle. The circles are artificial ponds built by ranchers at some point in the past. I think this used to be a private cattle ranch before it was given to the government:

No wild horses here. I don't think a horse could survive here. There are bobcats, javelina, deer, coyotes, vultures, hawks and an old guy who rides horses there in his 70s told me a cougar uses it part of the time. I've been on every path there on my own feet, being more agile on steep slopes than a horse. It is used by cattle for a few weeks of the year.

This was Mia & I taken near the stock pond in the middle. She had tougher feet than Bandit:

A friend - a 6'3" friend - riding 14.3 hands Trooper near the bottom stock pond. FWIW, Trooper acted quite content. The guy is a good rider in a too-small-for-him saddle:

No wild horses, but it might help to calibrate what a lot of public land looks like, and the role of rancher improvements. My friend with the sheep once put in $20,000 of improvements on his own dime, and lost the allotment the following year! There is a reason he prefers to lease private land if possible!

My point is that ranchers don't just take. They aren't getting to graze at taxpayer expense. It isn't an either/or situation. There are no wild horses here, thankfully. If there were, the horses would desperately need the stock ponds, although they dry up much of the year too. I'm told the cougar retreats to the near mountain range during the dry season. I suspect a lot of the wildlife use this area briefly, at certain times of the year, just as cattle do.

The biggest threat to this land's ecology is undoubtedly seen along the right side of the picture - the houses, including the one I live in. I don't expect to see the land sold off by the state to allow houses...but the ATVs, motorcycles & loss of the land the houses now sit on do a lot more harm than cattle.
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post #1679 of 1971 Old 10-17-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Found this on the Internet and wanted to share it:

Ulysses S. Grant and His Horses During and After the Civil War

In later years, during the Civil War, Grant's horses were objects of intense public interest. His oldest son, Frederick Dent Grant, tells of the horses Grant owned during the War.

When the Civil War broke out, my father, General Grant, was appointed colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry and on joining the regiment purchased a horse in Galena, Illinois. This horse, though a strong animal, proved to be unfitted for service and, when my father was taking his regiment from Springfield, Illinois, to Missouri, he encamped on the Illinois River for several da ys. During the time they were there a farmer brought in a horse called "Jack." This animal was a cream-colored horse, with black eyes, mane and tail of silver white, his hair gradually becoming darker toward his feet. He was a noble animal, high spirited, very intelligent and an excellent horse in every way. He was a stallion and of considerable value. My father used him until after the battle of Chattanooga (November, 1863), as an extra horse and for parades and ceremonial occasions. At the time of the Sanitary Fair in Chicago (1863 or '64), General Grant gave him to the fair, where he was raffled off, bringing $4,000 to the Sanitary Commission.

Soon after my father was made a brigadier-general, (August 8, 1861), he purchased a pony for me and also another horse for field service for himself. At the battle of Belmont (November 7, 1861), his horse was killed under him and he took my pony. The pony was quite small and my father, feeling that the commanding general on the field should have a larger mount, he turned the pony over to one of his aides-de-camp (Captain Hyllier) and mounted the captain's horse. The pony was lost in the battle.

The next horse that my father purchased for field service was a roan called "Fox," a very powerful and spirited animal and of great endurance. This horse he rode during the siege and battles around Fort Donelson and also at Shiloh.

At the battle of Shiloh the Confederates left on the field a rawboned horse, very ugly and apparently good for nothing. As a joke, the officer who found this animal on the field, sent it with his compliments, to Colonel Lagow, one of my father's aid-de-camp, who always kept a very excellent mount and was a man of means. The other officers of the staff "jollied" the colonel about this gift. When my father saw him, he told the colonel that the animal was a thoroughbred and a valuable mount and that if he, Lagow, did not wish to keep the horse he would be glad to have him. Because of his appearance he was named "Kangaroo," and after a short period of rest and feeding and care he turned out to be a magnificent animal and was used by my father during the Vicksburg campaign.

In this campaign, General Grant had two other horses, both of them very handsome, one of which he gave away and the other he used until late in the war. During the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, a cavalry raid or scouting party arrived at Joe Davis' plantation (brother of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy) and there captured a black pony which was brought to the rear of the city and presented to me. The animal was worn out when it reached headquarters but was a very easy riding horse and I used him once or twice. With care he began to pick up and soon carried himself in fine shape.

At that time my father was suffering with a carbuncle and his horse being restless caused him a great deal of pain. It was necessary for General Grant to visit the lines frequently and one day he took this pony for that purpose. The gait of the pony was so delightful that he directed that he be turned over to the quartermaster as a captured horse and a board of officers be convened to appraise the animal. This was done and my father purchased the animal and kept him until he died, which was long after the Civil War. This pony was known as "Jeff Davis."

After the battle of Chattanooga, General Grant went to St. Louis, where I was at the time, critically ill with dysentery contracted during the siege of Vicksburg. During the time of his visit to the city he received a letter from a gentleman who signed his name "S. S. Grant," the initials being the same as those of a brother of my father's, who had died in the summer of 1861. S. S. Grant wrote to the effect that he was very desirous of seeing General Grant but that he was ill and confined to his room at the Lindell Hotel and begged him to call, as he had something important to say which my father might be gratified to hear.

The name excited my father's curiosity and he called at the hotel to meet the gentleman who told him that he had, he thought, the finest horse in the world, and knowing General Grant's great liking for horses he had concluded, inasmuch as he would never be able to ride again, that he would like to give his horse to him; that he desired that the horse should have a good home and tender care and that the only condition that he would make in parting with him would be that the person receiving him would see that he was never ill-treated, and should never fall into the hands of a person that would ill-treat him. The promise was given and General Grant accepted the horse and called him "Cincinnati." This was his battle charger until the end of the war and was kept by him until the horse died at Admiral Ammen's farm in Maryland, in 1878.

[Side note on Cincinnati: He was the son of "Lexington," the fastest four-mile thoroughbred in the United States, time 7:19 3/4 minutes. Cincinnati nearly equaled the speed of his half-brother, "Kentucky," and Grant was offered $10,000 in gold or its equivalent for him, but refused. He was seventeen hands high, and in the estimation of Grant was the finest horse that he had ever seen. Grant rarely permitted anyone to mount the horse. Two exceptions were Admiral Daniel Ammen and President Abraham Lincoln. Ammen saved Grant's life from drowning while a school-boy. Grant said: "Lincoln spent the latter days of his life with me. He came to City Point in the last month of the war and was with all me all the time. He was a fine horseman and rode my horse Cincinnati every day."] According to General Horace Porter, Grant rode Cincinnati to the surrender meeting with General Robert E. Lee.

About the time of January, 1864, some people in Illinois found a horse in the southern part of that state, which they thought was remarkably beautiful. They purchased him and sent him as a present to my father. This horse was known as "Egypt" as he was raised, or at least came from southern Illinois, a district known in the state as Egypt, as the northern part was known as Canaan. [End of narrative by Frederick Dent Grant]

General Horace Porter described Grant's technique in mounting Egypt. When the horse was brought up, the general mounted as usual in a manner peculiar to himself. He made no perceptible effort, and used his hands but little to aid him; he put his left foot in the stirrup, grasped the horse's mane near the withers with his left hand, and rose without making a spring by simply straightening the left leg til his body was high enough to enable him to throw the right leg over the saddle. There was no 'climbing' up the animal's side, and no jerky movements. The mounting was always done in an instant and with the greatest possible ease.

At Vicksburg, Grant and his horse are described as follows: "It was hard for new troops to believe that the low-voiced man in the blouse and straw hat was the one center of all direction and command of this mighty force. His horse, however, was always in full uniform. That was due to the orderly, no doubt." (Hamlin Garland, Ulysses S. Grant, His Life and Character) [bsms Note: It probably had to do with Grant. One of the first purchases he made after rejoining the Army was a saddle valued at $150 - a big sum in 1861! He was noted for sparing no expense on tack for his horses.]

One horse, however, proved too much even for General Grant. In August of 1863, right after the fall of Vicksburg, Grant went to New Orleans to confer with General Banks about movements west of the Mississippi. One September 4th he reviewed General Banks' army at Carrollton and was given a large and somewhat wild and nervous horse to ride for the occasion. An accident occurred which Grant described in his Memoirs. "The horse I rode was vicious and but little used, and on my return to New Orleans ran away and, shying at a locomotive in the street, fell, probably on me. I was rendered insensible, and when I regained consciousness I found myself in a hotel near by with several doctors attending me. My leg was swollen from the knee to the thigh, and the swelling, almost to the point of bursting, extended along the body up to the arm-pit. The pain was almost beyond endurance. I lay at the hotel something over a week without being able to turn myself in bed. I had a steamer stop at the nearest point possible, and was carried to it on a litter. I was then taken to Vicksburg, where I remained unable to move for some time afterwards." Grant was on crutches for two months after this incident.

Cincinnati, Jeff Davis and Egypt all lived to enter the White House stables when Grant became president in 1869. Albert Hawkins was in charge of those stables at this time. He reports that arrangements were made during Grant's second term for an equestrian statue of him mounted on Cincinnati, and that every day for nearly a month the General would have the bridle and saddle put on Cincinnati and ride out to meet the sculptor. Hawkins relates that Jeff Davis was a kicker and he had the habit of biting to such an extent that the stable hands were afraid to go near him. General Grant, however, could handle him as he desired and as soon as he entered the stable. Jeff would throw back his ears and move about restlessly until the General came up and patted him.

...Ulysses S. Grant always had plans for the future, most of which did not work out the way he intended. The opening line to the preface of his Memoirs reflects his fatalistic philosophy: "Man proposes, God disposes;" man has very little control over his destiny, he lamented. During the Civil War Grant was dreaming of the day when the War would be over and he would be free to train horses. He extended this daydream to cover his old age as well.

"I am looking forward longingly to the time when we can end this war and I can settle down on my St. Louis farm and raise horses. I love to train young colts ... When old age comes on, and I get too feeble to move about, I expect to derive my chief pleasure sitting in a big arm-chair in the center of a ring-a sort of training course, holding a colt's leading-line in my hand, and watching him run around the ring."

There is a good article on the horses of Lee and Grant here:

Lee, Grant and Their Steadfast Steeds | HistoryNet
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post #1680 of 1971 Old 10-17-2018, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
My point is that ranchers don't just take. They aren't getting to graze at taxpayer expense. It isn't an either/or situation. There are no wild horses here, thankfully. If there were, the horses would desperately need the stock ponds, although they dry up much of the year too. I'm told the cougar retreats to the near mountain range during the dry season. I suspect a lot of the wildlife use this area briefly, at certain times of the year, just as cattle do.

The biggest threat to this land's ecology is undoubtedly seen along the right side of the picture - the houses, including the one I live in. I don't expect to see the land sold off by the state to allow houses...but the ATVs, motorcycles & loss of the land the houses now sit on do a lot more harm than cattle.
Exactly, and I wish more people could see it. And also that there are no "holy cows" - although human beings excel at thinking of themselves as such, and include their pets, and then by extension their pets' species members as well. What is needed is a big-picture approach without this personal bias (and it's really a form of personal selfishness: don't touch what I personally assign value to, whatever you do - but destroy anything I happen not to value all you like...well, it doesn't work like that...that's decision-making by the internal three-year-old, which is also some people's ongoing external projection).

I glanced over that mustang thread, but I'm busy and it riles me that many people have such a poor understanding of ecology, and such kneejerk points of view about matters they have a poor objective understanding on. And this includes, as always, some people I like. But we don't live in la-la-land, we live in the biosphere, with its own realities and modes of operation.

There is even less argument that can be made for letting wild horses roam in Australia, than for America. The wild horses in both countries are feral horses from ex domestic stock, not a natural part of the ecology. America, however, naturally had, and has, hard-hooved, large 500kg+ herbivores, so a wild horse may fit into that niche without too much damage, so long as the population size is firmly under control (and that inevitably means killing animals, as it does with deer and kangaroos). On the other hand, the horse competes with truly native herbivores, and also with the herbivores that are food animals for humans. It's all very well to talk about so-called greedy ranchers, but as we say in Australia, Don't criticise a farmer with your mouth full.

In Australia, we have no such niche, and the native herbivores are small (generally way under 100kg) and have softly padded feet - as was necessary for living in the Australian environment without causing unsustainable damage. The biota evolved to fit the place. People forget this. You can take beautiful photos of brumbies, and of course I love horses and they are majestic and wonderful and all that. But this is not a good argument for their continued destruction of the fragile environment here. I don't think we should have wild horses in Australia - and if at all, then only very small numbers in smallish area - but even if we do that, it always comes at the detriment of other species who are native to the area, and whose survivial as a species is often endangered, which the horse as a species definitely isn't.

There simply is no free lunch. I love the Corroborree Frog too, and it's endangered by feral horses. That I love it is neither here nor there, it's just my personal feelings about it, but its survival as a species is. Few people have heard of it. It's only one of many species negatively impacted by the presence of feral placental mammals in Australia.

As you all know, I run a very small herd of horses on our farm here, in a simulated range situation. The number is strictly controlled at a maximum of four. Any more than that, and we can't control the damage they do, and it starts to really negatively impact on our environment. Running the horses means that there is about a three-head reduction in the number of beef cattle we can run. This is the economic cost to us, which we are happy to pay for personal sentimental reasons. But we would not impose that cost on others, by insisting on horses in the Australian rangelands. And we think there is no place at all for horses in the Australian flora and fauna conservation areas.

We have 50ha of voluntary flora and fauna reserve on our farm. Our horses stick to the service tracks in it. If they didn't, and went bush-bashing, we would fence them out instead of allowing them access. This has worked out fine, but our horses (or cattle) don't depend on the bush for their nutrition, which they get from the pasture area and from supplementation, so they have no interest in grazing in it. We aim to be slightly understocked to facilitate a happy coexistence between the wild and cultivated aspects of our farm. Not everyone has that economic luxury. It's a personal decision on private farmland, which has no application whatsoever to the management of feral horses in wilderness areas.

And while we're at it, the biggest reason for environmental degradation in Australia is the failure of human beings to stabilise and control their own population size. In terms of carrying capacity, Australia is already overstocked with humans, who are the number one ecological threat nowadays. But people don't want to hear it - there is so much money to be made in the short term from an expanding population... and like David Attenborough, I don't expect people to hear it either. I think humans are going to do what any microbial population does in a laboratory - boom to the limits of available resources, then crash. As if, like microbes, they had no brains, and no capacity for ethics, philosophy, objective thinking, and limiting their own drives and desires.

I'm not entering the mustang thread , but I've cheered some of your posts in my mind!

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