Wednesday, March 16, 2011
PROTECTING OUR HORSES
I love to discover things I never knew about, and today LA Times photographer Lawrence K. Ho gave me a wonderful start to the day by taking a most unique picture of a horse. The newspaper printed this picture in black and white, so it was even a more wonderful surprise to find it online in full, glorious color.
In black and white it was pretty hard to figure out what that horse (or most probably, those horses) were wearing for protection. In color, there it is, a contraption befitting the steed of a knight of 2011. The police officers on horseback were keeping an eye on protesters in LA. It is my understanding that these officers and those horses are doing a great job and I admire them for it. However, I have to admit laughing at the contraption the horses wear, although I am sure the horses are thinking I can laugh all I want as long as they don't have to worry about being clonked on the head with a rock or sprayed in the face with pepperspray or worse. Not knowing much about horses, I suppose the white drool from the horse's mouth is just because of the heat, or the tension or whatever. Anyway, I was delighted to see that they are being protected from injury, and really, I'm not laughing at them, I'm laughing with them.
And that reminds me of an earlier blog I wrote several years ago that featured an invention by a lady in Norco, which is near us and calls itself the Horse Capital of the World, or something like that.
This lady took a lot of evening horse rides and was concerned that although people in Norco, being horsepeople mostly, are very aware of the possibility of finding horses on the road, it might be helpful to have headlights for them, not only so oncoming traffic could be forewarned of the equine traffic but also so the horses might see better where they are going. Horses apparently don't have a whole lot of trouble seeing at night, but since I am starting to experience a decline in my night vision, I can attest to the fact that if I just happened to drive in Norco at night it would be helpful for me to have the horses with their own headlights, as long as they aren't those horrible halogen lights! I do think this photo of the headlights on horses is worth a laugh too, but a good laugh, not a poking-fun kind of laugh.
In that earlier blog I also noted that it might be a good idea to design a red rear light attachable to the horses' rumps. If it helps to see them coming, surely seeing them going would be equally as valuable. But today I discovered in an old 1925 issue of Popular Mechanics a drawing of something already thought of so long ago, a rear light but not worn by the horse. No, the rider was the one who got to be the red-light bearer, by a contraption strapped around his or her chest that sat on his back and showed the world where the horse and rider were. I didn't read enough of the article to see if this had been invented or just proposed as a good idea. I was just a teeny bit disappointed because when I wrote that earlier blog and included the part about the red tail light, I thought I was suggesting a wonderful new invention. Alas, I was 80 years too late. And that made me laugh too.
In case you have a horse and would like to try out headlights for your evening rides, you can find the inventor at ://www.saddlelights.com/