Merlin a magician at survival

Well, it is more instinct than magic. A telling story all the same. —Editor.

Merlin, a wild horse, survived Hurricane Florence in quarantine on lands owned by the National Park Service. Photo courtesy of Kathy Knight/Foundation for Shackleford Horses.
Merlin, a wild horse, survived Hurricane Florence in quarantine on lands owned by the National Park Service. Photo courtesy of Kathy Knight/Foundation for Shackleford Horses.

Outer Banks horse left alone in pasture may have had to swim to survive hurricane

Cross-posted from the Charlotte Observer

Written by Mark Price

A mystery has emerged in the telling of how the Outer Banks’ wild horses survived Hurricane Florence.

Instincts dating back five centuries compel the feral mustangs to either huddle on high ground — butts to the wind — or seek refuge in the maritime forest during storms, say experts.

But news has come of a Shackleford Banks horse named Merlin who was fenced in an “inundated” quarantine site during the storm, according the Foundation for Shackleford Horses.

“Given the condition of the site, Merlin was likely in deep water during part of the storm. His water trough was full of salt water,” she said, noting two volunteers hiked an hour through mud and debris to find him.

“Candidly, (we) anticipated they would be much more likely to find Merlin’s body than Merlin himself. But despite the fact that the barn was destroyed and much of the fencing was covered with debris and even laying down in some areas, there was Merlin, prick-eared, bright-eyed, and happy to greet them.”

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Scientists stumble upon 40,000 year old foal in Siberia

Ancient foal was found in the permafrost of the Batagaika depression. Via Sputnik News.
Ancient foal was found in the permafrost of the Batagaika depression. Via Sputnik News.

Sputnik News reports:

Scientists found an amazingly preserved 40,000 year old “baby horse” in the Siberian Permafrost.

The ancient foal was found in the permafrost of the Batagaika depression, also known as the “Gateway to the Underworld,” by Russian and Japanese scientists, and is expected to give researchers a wealth of new information on how horses evolved at a time when human beings were still mere hunter-gatherers.

The 40,000-year-old foal, believed to have passed away when she was just three months, was completely preserved by the permafrost before being discovered. It is now believed to be the world’s only fully-preserved ancient baby horse.

Discovered by scientists from the Scientific Research Institute of Applied Ecology of Russia’s North at North-Eastern Federal University, and researchers from the Japanese University of Kindai, along with a Fuji TV film crew, the Paleolithic find is believed to be a treasure trove of invaluable scientific information.

“The particular value of this unique find is that we have also obtained samples from the layers of soil where [she] laid preserved, meaning we will be able to restore a picture of the foal’s environment,” Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the renowned Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said, according to a university press release.

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Horse care in Canada

Horses Canada Artwork by VGFarrell

(HORSES CANADA) — There is a thought-provoking article at The Conversation on horses and the people who care for them. The author deals with horses in Canada but many of the points made in the article go across borders.

Here’s an extract:

Horses have long held an important place in our cultures and on the lands we now call Canada. Today there are about a million horses in Canada, and their lives vary greatly depending on how we use them and who is around them.

Some people believe that only the wealthy interact with horses, but this is incorrect. People of all income levels and backgrounds are involved with horses in different ways, including for sport, leisure, friendship and therapy.

Plus, all activities with horses depend on labour, and on the men — and especially women — who care for horses around the clock, 365 days a year. There is no closing time when it comes to looking after horses.

In a number of European countries, regular data collection and research help paint a clearer picture of the many roles horses and horse people play in communities and economies . This information gives us ideas of how we can improve horses’ wellbeing.

In Canada, for a few reasons, we have far less data.

Read on »

Horses Canada Artwork by VGFarrell

We are particularly appreciative of these observations:

In fact, although we often use the term ‘equine industry’ as short hand, it is more accurate to speak of equine industries given the diversity of ways horses are being employed and conceptualized. In many contexts, horses are recognized as partners and sentient beings.

Yet in others, horses are seen simply as commodities. In Canada, some horses are slaughtered and others are exported live to be consumed in other countries.

In the ‘pregnant mare urine’ (PMU) industry, horses are repeatedly impregnated so their urine can be collected and made into hormone replacement products for women (Premarin). Some of the foals are rescued , but most are simply slaughtered and seen as a byproduct (much like male calves in the dairy industry).

We invite you read the full article »

Featured image artwork by V G Farrell

The Horse and Civilization tees are back

Back by popular demand — “The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse” tees.

Bonfire Horses and Civilization T-Shirt Campaign.

Besides being beautiful featuring unique artistry created just for The Horse Fund, here is what wearing this design with pride will remind folks:

For 5000 years the horse has been an ever present ally in war and peace. Civilizations have risen and fallen on their backs. Evidence of what horses have given to mankind is seen everywhere. Yet somehow, following the increasing pace of mechanization in the 1930s, we have so quickly forgotten how indebted we are to the domestication of this magnificent animal. Help change that with this evocative design.

Available on black, charcoal grey and navy unisex and slim fit ladies and unisex youth tees. Also available in crew neck and hooded sweatshirts. Limited time offer! Shop now »