Monday, September 7, 2015


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Dream horse

I was a horsy little girl, meaning I was obsessed with anything Horse, and even owned a horse/pony for a couple of years, until he was just too expensive to keep. This means I'm condemned to forever-longing, because it's not practical for me to ride unless I am willing to drive to Langley (1 1/2 hours round-trip) and pay fifty bucks an hour to go on an unfamiliar trail with an iffy horse. They also took one look at me and told me I needed at least an hour of refresher lessons before they would let me even get on. And forget about Caitlin, who took to horses just as easily and naturally as my daughter did: she would need at least 8 weeks. Ching.

So. No more horses, except the horses of the mind that have probably kept me from going completely crazy in my life (with a few exceptions).

For years I loved Arabians, as most little girls seem to, but now I see them as too exaggeratedly pretty, the forehead so broad and the muzzle so teeny it seems almost silly. The "jibbah" or dished shape of the head has become nearly ridiculous.  Perhaps this is public demand causing breeders to go for a My Little Pony look.

But there is no doubt that tipping a little Arab sauce into the mix can fire up equine genes, and it amazes me to see the Arabiform (my word) sculpted head and fine muzzle even in chunkier breeds.

All right, I'm working up to something here. I began to see pictures of this breed on Facebook not long ago, and was startled, not so much by the conformation as the coat. I felt I was looking at something like a Tennessee Walker with a very long, flexible neck, sleek body and impossibly high head carriage, but the forequarters were rippling with muscle like those of a Quarter Horse or even a Morgan. And then there was that supernaturally-glowing, metallic coat, as if the horse had been airbrushed with some sort of  platinum-based spray paint.

Not that I didn't love it.

This was a horse in silver and gold, a very ancient breed called an Akhal Teke. I had never heard of it before, but I was intrigued by the fact that  the legendary Byerly Turk, one of the three foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed, may have been an Akhal.

I was always told the Arabian was "it", the fountainhead, the source of all horsedom, particularly the racehorse, but maybe "they" were wrong. These guys look more like the ancient representations of horses in stone friezes. No one would need to hold this horse's head up.

The Akhal-Teke (/ˌækəlˈtɛk/ or /ˌækəlˈtɛki/; from Turkmen Ahalteke[ahalˈteke]) is a horse breed from Turkmenistan, where they are a national emblem.[1] They have a reputation for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of palominos and buckskins led to their nickname "Golden Horses".[2] These horses are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest existing horse breeds.[3] There are currently about 6,600 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan and Russia, although they are also found throughout Europe and North America.[4]

These horses know they're beautiful, sort of like cats do, and who can blame them? I'm interested in the fact that they were crossbred with Thoroughbreds a long way back, perhaps to improve their speed and sleekness, as those frieze horses are more powerful and chunky. But they still hold their heads up high.

Silver and gold can't buy you a home 
When this life has ended 
And your time is gone 
But you can live in a world where 
You'll never grow old 
And things can't be bought there with silver and gold

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"Better than having no goals at all"?

As you can probably tell by now, I have a little-little bit of a problem with Facebook. Generally speaking, what makes me gag is the narcissistic posturing of authors who are glad to play down their recent bestseller/literary award so long as you know all about it. And then there's the "PLEASE, people, don't even attempt to friend me because I have very few spaces left in my 5000 limit! I just don't believe people have an excuse to think they can approach me at a time like this, when *I* will hand-pick my last few friend requests from my most loyal supporters." Ad nauseam.

But this took the (let-them-eat) cake. This is an actual Facebook post, with actual responses that I don't think are meant to be ironic (though there is always hope). The people posting the comments are sniggering over the fact that a 29-year-old woman hasn't even finished high school and considers it her educational goal. You can just feel the disdain, even contempt for someone that age who is so ignorant that she doesn't have a high school diploma. Not only that, but going back to high school is painted as something unworthy, if not shameful, something she should have done at the proper time (as they no doubt did). I had something to say about this, although I do not believe there will be any more comments, except perhaps to take me on for being "negative".

I've left names on this time. All this has already been on FB, so why not? I'm still trying to stop gagging over their ignorant superiority and "at least. . . " condescention. That sardonic ". . . again. . . " was the killer. What if someone said that at someone's second wedding?

Peerless Kent: Last night, I had a coffee date with a 29 year old girl at Starbucks. At one point, my date shares with me that she has the itch to go back to school. I was curious, was the goal to complete her bachelor's or master's? Turns out, she was talking about finishing high school.

Ella Winters *Stunned crowd* Well at least she wants to do that wink emoticon

Maria-Luiza Popescu Better having that than no goals at all. smile emoticon

Laurie Schmidt Lee PA At least she wants to try...again.....

Margaret Gunning  Imagine the obstacles in the way that must have
kept her from finishing high school to this point. I really am surprised
how negative the response has been here. Is this sort of a "let them eat
cake" thing? She may have been forced to work to support herself (and
others?). She may have had personal or health problems. The fact she
wants to go back now is incredibly courageous, especially if others are going
to disparage her goal. This is just my two cents, not trying to start a fight
and people can believe what they want. But there's a meme going around
that people post, but don't really practice: be gentle with others, because
everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about. I don't think "oh
well, at least. . . " reflects that view, but seems to say, "is that all she wants
to do?", as if a Masters. or post-graduate work is more worthy and will lead
to a better job. I have it on first-hand authority that it often leads straight to
the unemployment line.

Post-Blog Boggle: I was too incensed to cut and paste this reply from Peerless Kent (whose name gives you an idea of his mindset), but the gist of it was, "Hey, Margaret, I'm with you all the way on this, but she was a party girl living on a trust fund and really didn't seem to be very serious about this. But she seemed like a nice person, so I'll do whatever I can to help her." 

In focusing on only one example, and judgementally/disparagingly at that, he completely missed my point about educational goals, as did his Greek chorus of lackeys. Hey, this girl is a loser and perhaps a hooker, sucking the system dry, so why should we take her goals seriously? But hey, "at least" she's doing something. . . finally. . . 


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