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Last sync:2023-01-20 16:45
In which Hank expands the idea of "places" a little bit and talks about the domestication of horses and his very limited experience being on a horse.

If you're wondering, this video was filmed in Fairview N.C., outside of Asheville.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning John, I woke up this morning at a leisurely 10 a.m.

Eastern time. I know that is eight o'clock in the morning Montana time and that is somewhat early, I am not going to complain. I don't know why it always seems that thoughts from places always start out with us being unhappy to get out of bed.

I brush my teeth, I took a shower, and then I went for a ride. Not a bike ride, or a car ride, or a go-cart ride, or a roller coaster ride, none of those rides. The original ride.

Unless you count piggy-back rides. Horseback riding. Why is it called piggy-back riding?

I'm not a piggy! Everyone who knows the answer to this question, tell me. I was actually unable to confirm whether people rode donkeys or horses first, but I'm gonna go ahead and be amazed either way.

I'm sitting up there, on this horse named Jewel. And she's not a big horse, she's a very tame horse, though something along the way spooked her, and man, that was scary. First we're just doing the thing and I'm all happy, and then the next second (and luckily I did not have my camera in my hand for this) she's just like pffh!

Straight into another horse. Which, frankly I'm glad of, I'm glad she ran into another horse instead of off a cliff, or... just kept going forever... This is like, the third time in my life going horseback riding, kind of scary.

But this is a very tame, very well behaved horse and I've got this like magnificent contraption that my butt is in that is designed specifically for making your butt feel good. And my butt... does not feel good–nothing feels good. My legs hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my butt hurts, my back hurts.

Let's just go ahead and say that give or take 90 percent of my “things” were hurting. But the interesting thing about the domestication of horses, it probably only happened once. There was a first time, it did not arise separately across the globe.

There was one place where one person got on a horse and was like, this... is good. And it was good, it was so good that a thousand years after the first person got on a horse it had pretty much spread everywhere it could spread. But it probably wasn't some dude with a death wish hopped up on wild mushrooms running out across the forest pasture trying to catch a horse and jumping on it and being like, “I'm a horse rider!” Probably not.

Horses were originally domesticated like almost all animals except for dogs and cats ahh... for food. But horses have a very complicated social structure so you kill their mom and dad for food and you're raising up the foal and horses put people into their complicated social structure and they will put you in fact at the top of their hierarchy. And this is an excellent characteristic if you want to domesticate an animal because then, you're the boss.

So that is probably how it happened, it might even have been a young woman because everyone knows that young boys don't get obsessed with ponies. Ever. No.

That doesn't happen. So once that social bond has been formed the idea that jumping on one of them and becoming some kind of super-beast didn't seem quite so crazy. And though it may not have been insane and death-defying, it was a very big deal in the history of our species.

Before 4000 B. C. all work done for humans was done by humans. Figuring out how oxen, and horses, and donkeys, and other beasts of burden could pull things, and carry things, and carry you.

It was a gigantic leap forward; gigantic on the order of the industrial revolution, or the internet, huge, big, big change in the way that people could do things. In the way that people did work, in the way that people moved place to place, in the way that people fought wars... Suddenly you could kind of be a ten foot tall man with four feet and amazing balance that could run fifty miles per hour and carry thousands of pounds.

This is a gigantic change and for people who love horses it's also a beautiful change. And sitting up on top of Jewel I can feel a little bit of that. I can feel that she is a wonderful animal and that she trusts me.

The relationships between horse-lovers and the horses is a different kind of relationship than I think I have ever had. And it's clearly amazing and I feel like it's bred both into the horses and the horse-lovers genes. It's certainly bred into the horses genes, that's what domestication is.

But I think it's pretty ridiculous to sit back and think that we've changed the horse so much without realizing that they've changed us an awful lot too. And John, I can't help but say it: I'm on a horse. I'll see you on Wednesday.