But We Don’t Use Furlongs

In 16 seconds, a trotter can travel one furlong. That’s a sentence I bet you’ve never said. We can deduce that the one trotting, the horse, is the trotter. Back in 1949, when this ad debuted, most folks knew what a furlong was: 1/8 of a mile or 660 feet. That’s further than I have to walk to go to my neighborhood mailbox. The Kohl’s is a half a mile away, so it’s half of half of that. Now I can picture it. I bet I could trot it in a flat minute, but surely not 16 seconds. And that’s the value of language in advertising; making sure your readers are on board. Today, the only furlong referenced is Edward, the hot mess of an actor, bless his heart.

Bayer came out in the century before the one we were all born in, unless you’re wee and Generation Z. And it’s the gold standard for folks with any heart issues to take each morning; I myself took a yummy chewable low-dose one for two years before I could discontinue it. It’s time-tested and cardiologist-approved. If you don’t take it, you’ve got friends or family who do. And if by chance, they want to sprint a furlong, they won’t drop dead of cardiac arrest while doing it.

If you’re the kind of person who wants extra credit and likes to learn old measurements, I’ll toss this bonus pic in for you.


Feel free to incorporate it into this weekend’s conversation, perhaps talking about how one day you’d like to retire and live on an oxgang. Wouldn’t we all?

Whither My Horse Goeth, So, Too, I

Nat Geo 2/33

A horse and rider confidently walk upon the sturdy snow on the roof of Paradise Inn on Mount Ranier.

In the current image from Park Ranger John, you can see that the entrance has hardly changed, minus the snow drifts and one lanky cowboy.

I would imagine that this era of rules and regulations has ushered in a “no horses on the roof” policy. But it must have been a hoot back then!

Joe Louis: Not A Reefer-Smoking South Side Jitterbug

LIFE July 11, 1938

Heavyweight champion Joe Louis (on the left) with his “Chicago set,” Paul Turner, manager Julian Black, William Russel, and bodyguard, Carl Nelson (seated). The spiffiness and swagger was not limited to the men.

Bing Crosby seems an odd name for a choice, no? I think we can all infer the condescending tone of this article, which seems to be patting Joe on the back for his civilized behavior and shall we say, refined, hobbies. Third prize went to his gelding, MacDonald’s Choice.

A silver cup and blue ribbon were presented to Mr. White (Edward White), a Chicago paper dealer, astride his five-gaited saddle horse, Rex Chief.

I Need To Get More Acreage

Shaggy Icelandic ponies on Washington Island, Wisconsin, Natl Geo, March '69
Shaggy Icelandic ponies on Washington Island, Wisconsin, Natl Geo, March ’69

That settles it! I need to move out of the burbs and get thyself to a red barn and a stable full of Icelandic ponies. This one has better hair than I do.


Do Not Touch. Okay, Maybe Just A Little.


Signs don’t matter when the on-duty service animal is too cute for words. In Louisburg, North Carolina, Tonto (a “seeing-eye” miniature horse) learns restaurant etiquette from his trainers.

Why use a horse instead of a dog? For one, horses have eyes on the sides of their heads, with a range of nearly 350 degrees. Horses can also see clearly in almost total darkness. According to The Guide Horse Foundation, the ideal Guide Horse owner includes:

  • Horse lovers – Blind people who have grown up with horses and understand equine behavior and care are ideal candidates.
  • Allergenic people – Many people who are severely allergic to traditional guide animals and find horses a non-allergenic alternative for mobility. Horses do not get fleas and only shed twice per year.
  • Mature Individuals – Many people report difficulty dealing with the grief of losing their animals, and  horses tend to live far longer than traditional guides, up to fifty years.
  • Physically Disabled folks – Because of their docile nature, Guide Horses are easier to handle for individuals with physical disabilities. They are also strong enough to provide support, helping the handler to rise from their chair.
  • Dog Phobia – Individuals who fear dogs are often comfortable working with a tiny horse.
  • Outdoor Animal – Many individuals prefer a guide animal that does not have to live in the house when off duty
  • Attention Horse: Horses are not addicted to human affection and will stand quietly when on duty.

12/14/2002 -- Ellsworth, Maine -- Dan Shaw and his Guide Horse Cuddles make their way through a shopping mall.
12/14/2002 — Ellsworth, Maine — Dan Shaw and his Guide Horse Cuddles make their way through a shopping mall.

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