The Near Side: This Week in Horses — March 20, 2015


Happy Friday, everyone, and happy first day of spring. Although, judging by what I’m seeing in social media today, it doesn’t look anything like spring for a lot of you out there. But it’s on its way! I promise!

Here’s what’s been happening in the horse world this week.

  • Those of us who didn’t have a horse of our own during childhood had to make do by pretending our bikes were horses. In fact, I bet a lot of you who did have a pony did the same. Imagination becomes reality (almost) with the “horsey” bike attachment featured in this blog. Sign me up.
  • Tennessee Walking Horses are a mainstay at many southern fairs, but things are changing. The North Carolina State Fair has decided to cancel the Walking Horse performance division (aka the Big Lick classes) amid protests about the treatment of the horses. Meanwhile, The Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, longtime beneficiary of the Mississippi Charity Horse Show, has cut ties with the show due to the negative image of these classes.
  • I like this article that suggests that owning a racehorse is a good potential way to make a lot of money. Sure.
  • Researchers have discovered that this mysterious prehistoric creature (which looks to me like an elephant crossed with a hippo crossed with a camel) is related to the horse.
  • Mysterious Creature
  • You know I love weird racehorse names, and HorseNation has a good compilation from this year’s Derby contenders. I hope Squeegee wins.
  • This article about a Long Rider who was pulled over for riding his horse on I-75 near Atlanta leaves me with a lot of questions. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that riding on the highway is a pretty universally bad idea.
  • Who doesn’t love a horse in uniform? Here’s a nice article about how mounted police officers in Kansas City are improving community relations. Features a nice photo of a handsome horse named Leader (Officer Leader?)
  • The Daily Mail published this photo essay about the old horse diving acts of the early 20th century. We’ve all seen Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, but this footage of the real deal is pretty amazing. I’m glad we don’t do this to horses anymore.
  • Rutgers University is doing a very cool thing in their animal science program. Because they don’t have a dedicated herd of their own, they’re using foster horses that can later be adopted out to good homes. Sounds like a win-win.
  • And finally, here’s Bill Murray riding sidesaddle on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. Nice legs, Bill.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy your weekend!

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Leslie Potter is Sr. Associate Web Editor of Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieInLex.



  1. a good collection of stories it amazes me that people have forgotten that it wasn’t that long ago in our history horses were the main mode of transportation that they have the right of way when on the roads even though it isn’t a very good idea to ride on public highways and especially not on the interstate


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