"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."

Ira Glass (via quotes-shape-us)

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hanging out with today’s excellent storm.


hanging out with today’s excellent storm.

Anonymous said: Your blog has left me in tears.... I have a beautiful mare whom I adore and I didn't realise that riding her was causing such pain to her. I ride bitless and don't compete and I thought that by ensuring her saddle fit well and that she had regular massage and chiro checks (they said she was never sore in the back or anywhere else) that I was taking good care of her. I feel so horrible for riding her now. My heart is literally broken that I've done that to my mare who I love so, so much.




you could still ride for 15 minutes, remove the saddle though, I admire you for going bitless so do not be so hard on yourself as most equestrians would not even do that.

Incase you were wondering, actually riding a horse without a saddle makes the horses back more sore, and causes more problems than riding with one. Saddles are meant to evenly distribute the riders weight and keep the weight off of pressure points. By riding without a saddle it can cause major back issues for the horse leaving it with ulcers and other unpleasant defaults. That is the reason for saddles, they aren’t meant to make people look fancy, or to help stabilize the rider, its for the horses health. 


Preface Throughout the whole of human history, people have done horrible things to animals and to each other out of lack of education and lack of development. Now, that we are in a time of abundant knowledge and developmental growth, we feel it is the time to show that this damage and pain is still happening with horses. Riding is a daily practice performed by people who claim to love their horses. Few people realize that the horse is not designed to be ridden. The horse should not be ridden at the cost of their health and well- being. For many it is time to re-think tradition and to face the scientific facts which enable us to question traditions we take for granted.


The kind of love that knowingly causes damage and pain to another is an unhealthy and even a sick kind of love. It is happening through the people who ride and use horses for their own pleasure or profit above the actual welfare of the horse. I state that there is not one, single horse who likes to be ridden. We would like to believe they like it, but that does not make it true. 


Horses usually suffer silently, but when one sees behaviours and actions such as these, the horse is actually communicating it’s suffering: 

- Horse jerks or flinches while being groomed 

- Horse dishes the back ventrally when touched 

- Horse refuses to give a hoof for cleaning 

- Particular body regions are very hot 

- Horse prefers one body position, such as: holding head only on one side or the other, tail only on one side or the other, only one hind leg is exonerated, not the other, etc. 

- Horse presses it’s head against solid objects 

- Grinding of teeth, wind sucking, cribbing, chewing on ropes 

- Horse does not want to move 

- Head shaking 

- Horse defends himself, rears (rises up), bucks, kicks under or out behind, holds head extremely high 

- Horse is lame 

If your horse is showing lameness, then you should know that your horse suffers pain. 


There are many people who can see or feel what is going on in a horses’ body. Many of these people have nothing to do with horses, meaning that they do not keep them or do not desire anything income profit or use from them. This is a very interesting subject, as those people have no difficulties in understanding even the most complicated biomechanical mechanism just by feeling and use of common-sense. It seems to me that only people who want to use the horse in some way need proof of this causing of damage and pain. I think bringing to light the ethical reasons one should not use another creature for one’s own aims and desires should be enough, but I am aware that there are people who have no such attitude. So it is necessary that we must now go deeper into the subject with scientific knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics.


 The skeletal system is the rigid framework of bones which gives rise to the body shape and also protects internal organs. 


In this section of the study I would like to focus on Columna Vertebralis (def. The series of vertebrae that extend from the cranium (head) to the coccyx (tail bone), providing support and forming a flexible bony case for the spinal cord); and I would like to focus on back problems in general. 

The bones of the vertebral column are divided into five groups: 

- Cervical: 7 vertebrae 

- Thoracic: 18 vertebrae (may vary from 17 to 19)

- Lumbar: 6 vertebrae (may vary from 5 to 7)

- Sacral: 5 vertebrae (fused together to form the sacrum) 

- Coccygeal: 15 to 21 vertebrae 


Cervical: The flexible group of cervical vertebrae supports the skull and neck. Holding the head erect develops and maintains the cerviacal curvature. The 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae are unique, as is the 7th with its prominent spine. The formation of the transverse processes of C1-C6 serves to transmit the vertebral arteries to the base of the brain. This series of vertebral formations also forms a canal for the spinal cord. 


Thoracic: This rather rigid group of thoracic vertebrae, with which the ribs articulate, supports the thorax. Its prominent curvature is developed during fetal growth. Thoracic vertebrae are characterized by long slender spines, heart-shaped bodies, and by facets for rib articulation.


Lumbar: These stubby, quadrilateral lumbar vertebrae, carry a large share of the body’s weight, balancing the torso on the sacrum. The lumbar curvature develops by straight line walking and by standing erect. The lumbar vertebral group is quite mobile. When rising from the ground and flexing this group, great pressure is put on the discs, which may induce their rupture if the body is compromised or damaged in some way. It may injure the spinal nerves which pass from the spinal cord through the inter- vertebral formations. 


Sacrum: Five sacral vertebrae fuse to form this single bone. The sacrum transmits the body weight to the hip joints via its articulation with the pelvic guide. 


Intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae. External fibres merge with the longitudinal, ventral and dorsal ligaments. There are distinct and very different short and long ligaments located along the Vertebral Column. 

Short ligaments are: 

- Ligamanta Flava 

- Interspinal Ligamants 

- Intertransverse Ligaments 

The long ligaments - placed over more vertebrae : 

- Nuchal Ligament (Funiculus Nuchae, Lamina Nuchae) 

- Supraspinal Ligament 

- Longitudinal Ventral Ligament 

- Longitudinal Dorsal Ligament 


The Nuchal Ligament extends from the external occipital protuberance, runs above the cervical vertebrae and attaches to thoracic vertebrae 3, 4 and 5, where it then continues into the more rigid Supraspinal Ligament, which runs along the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae where it continues into the Longitudinal Ligament that attaches to the second sacral vertebrae. Together these ligaments create one long continuous ligament of various strengths and densities from the skull to the sacrum, to support the entire vertebral column. 


Knowledge about load capacity, kinematics, dynamic and bio-mechanic functions are necessary for the understanding of the complex functions of Columna Vertebralis, and of course of the horse’s body in general. 


Zschokke (1892) made the first exacting investigations on the flexibility of the vertebral column. The Supra-spinal Ligament is very important for the stability of the vertebral column and the spinous processes of the vertebrae. Removal of the first 5 spinous processes of vertebrae under a weight of 80 kg (176 lbs.) caused the vertebrae to crack. By removal of all spinous processes from the vertebrae, the vertebrae then cracked under a weight of only 8-10 kg (17-22 lbs.). 

He discovered that in a back with intact spinous process of each vertebrae, the avarage sinking of the back under a weight of only 50-80 kg (110-176 lbs.) was 4 cm!!! Enough sinking to cause the spinous processes to touch and rub against one another under that weight.


EVERY horse ridden without natural free collection or longer than 15 minutes a day suffers pain. And some will still have back problems even if this parameter is considered. It is very logical, one does not need comprehensive anatomy and biomechanical knowledge to understand this. What happens with human tissue under pressure? How long must there be pressure until it starts to become painful or numb? Horses and humans are both mammals, so it is the same feeling. What happens to such a delicate organ as the vertebral column under weight? What happens by dorso-flexion? [MAKSIDA, FOR THE SAKE OF THE NEW READER CAN WE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS HERE SO THE INFO SINKS IN BETTER?]


Back problems can be classified into three basic types of injuries involving either the muscles, 

tendons and ligaments (soft tissue injuries), bones and joints (osseous injuries) or nervous system (neurologic disorders). They all interact with each other. There is no single disorder in the body that does not simultaneously affect the entire body as well. 

Primarily, back injuries affect the paraspinal musculature or vertebral articulations. Severe injuries may gradually improve but never totally resolve or they may subsequently develop debilitating arthritis or soft tissue fibrosis. Chronic over-use injuries (microtrauma), are caused due to poor saddle fit, riding times in general, shoeing and other manipulations on or of the horses body. [MAKSIDA, WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY OTHER MANIPULATIONS?]


There is direct link between biomechanical and pathological changes in the vertebral column. 

Townsend (1985) and Daemmrich (1993) found out that osteophytes (bone spurs) on the ventral vertebrae usually appear between thoracic vertebrae 10 to thoracic vertebrae 17, and the biggest osteophytes appear at thoracic vertebrae 11 to thoracic vertebrae 13, in the area where the human sits on the horses back; this area suffers maximum lateroflexion and axial rotation. The kissing spine syndrome is based on repeated imposed or forced (un- physiological) lowering of the vertebral column. This happens automatically by… riding. 


All horses are affected by riding and the laws of biomechanics are clear. For the older horses it is more dangerous, as older horses, like elderly humans, are susceptible to loss of vertebral 

column flexibility, joint degeneration and loss of muscle strength. Aged horses also have increased healing times and increased chances of having chronic conditions or abnormal musculoskeletal compensations from prior injuries. 


To be continued… 

References for the complete study: 


Anatomy atlas of the horse 


Atlas to Anatomy and Clinic of the Horse 

ADAMS, O.R. (1969) 

Subluxation of the sacroiliac joint in horses 

Proc. of AAEP 

BADOUX, M. (1975) 


The Anatomy of the Domestic Animals 


Equine science 

UELTSCHI, G. (1996) 

Zur Röntgen- und nuklearmedizinischen Untersuchung des Pferdesrückens 

Internationaler Tierärztekongress über Rückenprobleme bei Sportpferden 

Bern, Schweiz 

TOWNSEND, H.G.G. (1985) 

The relationship between biomechanics of the thoracolumbar spine and back problems in the 


Proc. AAEP 

TOWNSEND, H.G.G., LEACH, D.H. (1984) 

Relationship between intervertebral joint morphology and mobility in the equine thoracolumbar 


TOWNSEND, H.G.G., LEACH, D.H., FRETZ, P.B. (1983) 

Kinematics of the equine thoracolumbar spine


Praxisorientierte Anatomie und Propaedeutik des Pferdes 


Aktiver Bewegungsapparat, Muskelsystem, Myologia 


Allgemeine Chirurgie für Tierärzte und Studierende 

ROONEY, J.R. (1982) 

The Horse’s Back: Biomechanics of Lameness 

ROBERTS, E.J. (1968) 

Resection of thoracic or lumbar spinous processes for the relief of pain responsible for 

lameness and some other locomotor disorders of horses. 

Proc. AAEP 

NOWAK, M. (1988) 

Die klinische, röntgenologische und szintigraphische Untersuchung bei den sogenannten 

Rückenproblemen des Pferdes 

GOODY (2004) 

Anatomy of the Horse 

LEWIS, L.D. (1989) 

Einfluß der Ernährung auf die Entwicklung des Bewegungsapparates und seine Erkrankungen 

LEACH, D.H., DAGG, A.I. (1983b) 

A review of research on equine locomotion and biomechanics 

JEFFCOTT, L.B. (1981) 

Diagnosis of Back Problems in the Horse 

Proc. AAEP 

JEFFCOTT, L.B. (1980a) 

Disorders ot the thoracolumbar spine of the horse - a survey ot 443 cases. 

JEFFCOTT, L.B. (1980b) 

Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of back problems in horses 

Proc. AAEP 


Das Rückenproblem beim Pferd 

Eigene Untersuchungen und kritische Betrachtungen 

JEFFCOTT, L.B. (1979c) 

Radiographic examination of the equine vertebral column 

JEFFCOTT, L.B. (1979b) 

Backproblems in the horse - a look at past, present and future progress

DÄMMRICH, K., BRASS, W. (1993) 

Krankheiten der Gelenke




i loveeeee this

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Here are some phone pics of my sleeping arrangement for the past few days (living outdoors is the best)

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Dappled Webcap
These twined Dappled Webcaps, Cortinarius bolaris (Cortinariaceae) show the typical appearance of the mature cap of this species, characterized by pinkish to brick-red scales on a paler white ground. 
As was pointed out in a previous post, this uncommon mushroom, which occurs in America and Europe, is regarded as poisonous.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Piešt̕any, Trnavsky, Slovakia


Dappled Webcap

These twined Dappled Webcaps, Cortinarius bolaris (Cortinariaceae) show the typical appearance of the mature cap of this species, characterized by pinkish to brick-red scales on a paler white ground. 

As was pointed out in a previous post, this uncommon mushroom, which occurs in America and Europe, is regarded as poisonous.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Piešt̕any, Trnavsky, Slovakia

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From Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide

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the ridiculousness of the world cup

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Preach, Davey!

No hay un orgullo hetero ¿por qué debería haber un orgullo gay?

Cuando lxs heteros sean echados de sus casas y desheredados por sus padres por ser hetero, entonces podemos tener un mes del orgullo hetero.

Cuando a lxs heteros se les diga que son “menos que” por el gobierno, cuando pagan sus impuestos como todo el mundo y aún así se les nieguen derechos básicos como el matrimonio, entonces arrastraré mi culo a las marchas del orgullo hetero.

Cuando a la gente hetero se le diga que su amor no es real, o mejor, que arderán en el infierno según determinadas religiones, que su hermosa forma de sentir hacia su compañerx es el mal, entonces podemos tener un orgullo hetero.

Cuando lxs niñxs hetero sufran acoso por ser hetero y se suiciden porque se sienten rechazadxs e indeseadxs, entonces necesitaremos un orgullo hetero.

Cuando lxs heteros sean golpeadxs, apalizadxs y matadxs por ser quienes son y amar a quien aman, entonces necesitaremos el orgullo hetero.

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- Alejandra Pizarnik


- Alejandra Pizarnik

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Quelque part en Cantal… by Yvan LEMEUR on Flickr.


Quelque part en Cantal… by Yvan LEMEUR on Flickr.


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