Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Moving Target

Yet another gem in the Wisconsin State Journal today, this time by George Hesselberg.

The thrust of the article is that some nasty fellows are going around vandalizing show horses by cutting their tails. But look at these weird statements:

It takes a specialist to vandalize a horse. For one, a horse is a moving target.
A horse is a moving target? They don't just gallop around 24/7! If you actually see one in a stall in a barn, they really don't move around much at all, especially in the brutally hot weather we have had around here lately. And what sort of "specialist" do you need to be to cut a horse tail? A pair of regular household scissors and a human being is about all you neeed.

Two, you cannot sneak up on a horse, as you can with a building, or even, carefully, a cow.
Brutal sentence structure aside, what does he mean by "you cannot sneak up on a horse"? Why do you need to sneak up on it? Most horses trained for any type of showing see lots of people around them all the time so another person that happens to walk up to the horse is just no big deal.

I don't think Hesselberg has ever been around a herd of cattle at feeding time. I have and trust me, they typically don't care what the hell you are up to - they just want to eat. In other words, you can sneak up on them.

I am no "horse person", but have owned one in the past and hung around a barn or two in my day, unlike Mr. Hesselberg. Maybe he is dumbing himself down to make the article entertaining, but why do that to himself (and us)? More quality mainstream media.

1 comment:

george said...

Dan: George Hesselberg - that would be me - has shown horses, Clydesdales, to be specific, since he was 12 years old, which also means he has taken care of horse tails and manes, including braiding and cutting enough to know that not every idiot knows where to cut a tail. The horse in question was known to be skittish of EVERY one save for his owner and a few others. Hence, the vandal was known to the horse and also knew how far up a horse's tail one could cut without causing "structural" damage. Also you are dead wrong about sneaking up on a horse, especially a show horse, and especially if you are walking up directly behind it. You go ahead, but I wouldn't advise it. Also, George has worked on dairy farms, baled hay, fed cows, and even worked in a creamery for two years making cheese. I don't mind constructive criticism, but the inherent danger in uninformed criticism is inaccuracy and your commentary provides ample evidence of that.