top of page
Wild Horses in Black & White

Thoughts on farming, education and Indigenous cultures in America.  

Business Title

  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Several days ago when Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland gave a press conference, I couldn't help but notice that reporters in attendance seemed totally focused, not on details about her latest project, a wind farm, but rather on the number of oil wells and pipelines in the US, which ones are abandoned, which ones might be leaking and how many might leak in the future. Not that I'm a lover of wind farms, but the whole thing turned personal later when commentators implied that her failure to recall these exact numbers indicated a lack of competency for her position.

WOW!!! I could only consider that the details the reporters were asking for could be looked up...probably anywhere on the internet, but certainly with some time well spent on regulatory or watchdog group websites. She took it in stride with class. Who commits those kinds of details to memory? Only those who have nothing better to do.

What has she done rather than memorize details?

- dedicated $25 million dollars to bison conservation

- established the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

- dedicated funding to desalination and removal of "forever" chemicals (PFA's) research

WOW!! There's more but I can't list it all here.

Do I agree with everything she does and says? No

Is she perhaps a tad naive in her approach? Maybe.

But her approach interests me because I"m not so sure it's naive. The cattle industry in the US is under attack. Yet, those attacking the consumption of beef fail to consider the millions of bison who once roamed this land without drastically raising the temperature. Is there something to be learned there?

Federal Indian Boarding Schools impacted every tribe across America and showed how quickly a culture can be damaged or destroyed by immersing the children of that culture in a new lifestyle. It's being done again today in the name of equity.

I've always been told the third world war would be fought over water. There are already shortages around the world. Has she taken one step towards a solution?

I admire her representation of her culture to the world. She seems to make a fashion statement at every public appearance. Simple and elegant. I admire her respect for a simple way of life. We can't return to the past, but we can stop consuming without end.

I hope she doesn't take any of the political BS personally. It would suit me to return to travel by horseback and having everyone raise at least part of their own food. There'd be less time for troublemaking.

3 views0 comments
  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

On a chilly, rainy April afternoon, the horses are out contentedly grazing in the midst of a field of buttercup. As scenic as it may be, the buttercup tells me that the soil itself is spent, tired, overused and abused. It needs both lime and fertilizer. The horses haven't even drifted towards the gate into the barnyard in search of grain despite being used to a steaming bucket of sweet feed every morning.

A builder is adding onto my barn this week, so the horses are locked out. Why are they so content to graze in the buttercup instead of diving nose deep into a bucket of sweet oats and molasses?

Beneath the flowers are the new shoots of bermuda grass that had just begun to grow when the temperatures reached 70 degrees last week. They are loaded with sugar but tiny, close to the ground and few and far between. So, the horses spend hours slowly strolling, heads down, focused on those tiny sweet sprouts that are both delicious and deadly. Too much can cause laminitis, a treacherous inflammation of a horse's hoof that can result in excruciating pain and even euthanasia. In another couple of weeks, as the weather warms, the sprouts of bermuda will become tough and lose their sweetness. But for now, they're content.

I have buttercups in my life. I also have shoots of bermuda grass.

Unlike the horses, I don't always stay focused on the sweetness of the moment.

#horselover #native #firstnations #booklover

8 views0 comments
  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Updated: Apr 23

There were no horse programs on TV last night and I wasn't up for re-runs so I watched a documentary about chimpanzees. It kept me glued to the screen since it stated that chimps are humans' closest relatives. We share 98% of our DNA. Of course, it's easy to see the similarities but the single greatest difference I noticed was in the eyes. Each time the camera focused on the face of an individual chimpanzee, I couldn't help but think that their eyes seemed shuttered, as if they were hiding what they were thinking from the camera. There was no gleam, no mischief, no smile. Only the constant message that the brain behind the eyes was thinking, judging the human and perhaps feeling a tad superior. The commentator suggested that chimpanzees are always plotting, considering their own "political" future. How can they get more power in the group. It shows in their eyes.

I see much more when I look into my horses' eyes. Sometimes I see contentment with my company. Sometimes there's a touch of worry if there's a bridle in my hand. Just because I need to get something done, doesn't mean my horse feels the same need. Sometimes I even see a glint of laughter if one is just out of my reach and it knows full-well it can escape to freedom by taking two quick steps out of my reach. But usually, that hint of laughter changes to acceptance and the animal will honor my wishes over his or her own desire to graze the day lazily away. A horse knows your thoughts, good bad or indifferent. You'll never see judgement or politics in a horse's eyes.

It seems people are becoming more like our chimpanzee relatives.

#horselover #booklover #native #firstnations #turtleisland #wildlife #conservationist

51 views0 comments
bottom of page