Yesterday I received a press release that announced Belinda Trussell is the Dressage Canada Equestrian Athlete of the Month for January. Today I was informed by a second release that Ashley Holzer is the Dressage Canada Equestrian Athlete of the Month for February. In the world of DC, time sometimes stands still (why are we learning about the January – and February for that matter – honorees in late March?) and sometimes it flies at the rate of a month in a day. Maybe I’ll learn about the March winner tomorrow or in three months – who knows? It’s all a grand surprise in the magical world of DC. It does seem that someone in DQ Canada PR land has no shortage of free time to dream up press releases that some of us might consider spam, such as last week’s (or was it five minutes ago or last year?) DC release that nearly quivered with excitement over the release of Limited Edition silk ties and scarves available for purchase. Now you too can go out on the town looking like you came straight from the jog at the Olympics. It’s not that the scarves and ties are ugly – by no means. But really. A press release?
I came across an online article about horses and their love of humans today, and I thought I would share it with you, in the hope that Michael Morrissey reads it and feels ashamed of himself finally. I also think you might find the article as amusing as I do for many reasons, all of which have to do with scientists and writers talking about horses without actually having any firsthand knowledge of them. For starters, the photo that accompanies the article titled “Horses never forget human friends” shows a horse being held by a handler who has put the lead rope like a lip chain beneath the horse’s upper lip. Yeah horses love that! That’s the friendliest thing ever. Here are a few choice bits from the article:
The horses were tested for their ability to retain such complex training skills as standing still to have thermometers inserted in their rectums. They were rewarded for good behaviour with “food pellets. With tasty rewards, the horses displayed more ‘positive’ behaviors.” The article went on to explain that another group of horses that didn’t receive rabbit food for their good behaviour “expressed four to six times more ‘negative’ behaviors, such as biting, kicking and ‘falling down’ on the experimenter.” Were they doing a friendship test or a tolerance test for human stupidity?
The article does have some interesting points about the study’s results about horses’ cognitive ability and memory – I’m sure Crelido will never forget, Michael. I wish I could say the same of the FEI.
Here is the link to the article if you want to take a peek: