Friday, December 16, 2011

Improvements to the Blog

I think I have all of two readers at this point (if I include my mother) but I felt the need to upgrade this blog a little bit anyway. It's partly because I'm slightly obsessive-compulsive, but also because, as any writer or artist knows, you have to get your stuff looking right, even if it's just to please yourself. No one else in the entire world may ever see your picture/blog/essay/painting, but you still have a terrible itch to make sure it's better than it was. While this blog still isn't put-together enough to satisfy me, here's a list of changes you, dear hypothetical reader, should be aware of:

New Name
'"North Horse" has a satisfyingly alliterative ring to it. It also describes the true focus of this blog more accurately: not saying much about anything and the horse world from the perspective of a  Wisconsinite. "Horse Dreams: My Tevis Journey" was nice and all, but I'm just making too little progress with my riding goals for those to be the blog's main focus (I'd like to blame the holidays, but basically, I'm just lazy). I'll still throw some updates about Annie and I in there, but for now I'm having fun writing snarky stuff, even if this blog is currently basically a diary/daily writing exercise for me.

New Pretty Stuff
Yeah! Some different colors! And a permanent picture! Whoah, this blog is almost legit now.

New Links
You can new check out a few of my favorite equine-related websites under the Archive column. I especially recommend the webcomic "Next Town Over." It's packed full of gorgeous western scenery, steampunk technology, a little magic and of course lots of horses! Including a steampunk/cyborg horse. The art is incredible. The plot is action-packed and interesting. Plus, I know the creator personally-- and not only is she great with horses, she drew these awesome pictures of Annie for me!! Obviously, I'm going to plug her stuff whenever possible. Why are you still here? GO READ IT.

Annie really does have a huge head compared with her body.
Here Annie grazes next to Diamonds, the cyborg gelding in Next Town Over.

(Apologies for the picture quality-- I still don't have a scanner handy, so I had to use my digital camera on these babies. Any blurriness or other flaws are entirely due to my bad photography, not her awesome artistic skills. These are artist trading cards by the way, about the size of your palm in real life.)


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! I fear any regular readers of this blog would reform into a lynch mob over at NTO, though; it's horse murder central.

    ... guys, guys, seriously...! I've given money to PETA. It's not real!

  2. Greetings,
    My name is CuChullaine O'Reilly and I am writing to you from the Long Riders' Guild, the world's international association of equestrian explorers.
    While the Guild's emphasis is on long distance horse travel, we also publish several hundred equestrian books in a number of languages.
    Additionally, the Guild maintains an extensive academic website dedicated to all types of equestrian research.
    Earlier today I discovered that your blog was at the centre of a controversy regarding the legitimacy of the so-called "Spanish Mustang." Few people have ever had the nerve to undertake a public discussion regarding this emotional issue. Hence my private message to you.
    First, allow me to inform you of a vitally important, albeit overlooked, research article which confirms your suspicions regarding this mustang mumbo-jumbo. Here is the description provided on the LRGAF website.
    It is a horse story that has charmed generations, how hardy horses brought to North America by Spanish conquistadors went on to become the forebears of a plethora of equines commonly known today via a bewildering number of names including Spanish Mustangs, Colonial Spanish Horses, Spanish Barbs etc. Yet what has not been previously included in this debate is the “lost” study which concludes that the vast majority of all Spanish horses died soon after arriving. Did first Spanish Horses landed in Florida and Carolina leave progeny? was written in 1940 by Thornton Chard, a celebrated equestrian scholar, who undertook this careful research for the American Anthropological Association.
    Next, allow me to applaud your decision to launch the Horses of the North breed registry. Here again, the topic of breed "tribalism" is long overdue for exposure and study.
    However, a celebrated North American scholar did indeed publish a ground-breaking investigation of this issue. Here is the description on the LRGAF website.
    Reflections on Equine Totemism – Before he became widely known as one of America’s leading anthropologists, Princeton Professor John Borneman was an equestrian scholar and avid dressage rider who studied at the German Equestrian Olympic School. Thanks to his unique combination of hands-on equine knowledge, and academic insight, Borneman created a landmark study in order to complete his Ph.D. at Harvard University. The result was an investigation into how breeds are culturally constructed and are structured on the model of ethnicity in the US. Considered a milestone in equestrian scholarship, Professor Borneman’s updated study presents the North American and European horse world in an exciting and startling new manner.
    I feel confident that both articles will provide you, and your readers, with extremely useful information. Thus, please feel free to copy or quote from them articles as and when you need.
    However, I feel honour bound to warn you that disclosure of this information will only further enrage the "true believers," especially as the devotees of the SMR maintain a decade long hatred for the Long Riders' Guild and its research projects. Their antagonism is connected to the fact that it was the LRG which exposed the "Hopkins Hoax" to the world.
    Therefore, for reasons which I can only disclose privately, I would prefer not to be mentioned or connected to anything connected to the SMR. Yet we would like ensure that you have been made aware of these important equestrian research articles.
    If you would like to discuss additional information regarding the disputed origins of the Spanish Mustang, and how Hollywood and Disney profited from it, I can be reached privately via
    In closing, congratulations on having the editorial courage needed to tell the public that the Spanish Mustang Emperor is wearing no clothes.
    Kind regards,
    CuChullaine O'Reilly FRGS