Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, July 01, 2012

And the horse she rode in on

I'm not sure that I don't rate this post from Bonni the Bayside Nazi as just as ludicrous as the one about her falling off her stupid shoes in public.

OK, so what do I find especially funny about this? Well, first of all, to Bonni the use of guide horses is an example of "Islamopandering" by the "Obama regime", and it all arises from Muslims' irrational hatred of dogs.

You may remember that I did a post on the very same subject not that long ago. If you read that, you'll be familiar with the idea of guide horses, but more precisely you'll be familiar with the fact that there are plenty of Muslims who use normal guide dogs, a viewpoint backed up by this article. Please note that the group working to support the use of service dogs in Muslim communities is CAIR, the same organisation Bonni accuses of pushing guide horses in order to drum up lawsuits.

The next funny thing is that guide horses have been in use in the USA since some time before 1999. You read that correctly: this whole issue was perhaps breaking news 13 years ago, but now is very old indeed. (Except of course that in the meantime we've had 9/11, which as everyone knows "changed everything", and certainly did if you were a Muslim in America.) We've had them in the UK since 2003.

Let's have a look at what the Guide Horse Association has to say about them. Who might benefit from a guide horse?

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.
Mature Individuals - Many people report difficulty dealing with the grief of losing their animals, and horses tend to live far longer than traditional guides.
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.

It's interesting that one of the guide horse users mentioned in Bonni's post (most of whom do not appear to be Muslim) is a paraplegic who uses it to pull his wheelchair.

And what are the advantages of guide horses?

Long Lifespan - Miniature Horse can live to be more than 50 years old, with the average lifespan being 30-40 years. According to guide dog trainers, guide dogs have a useful life between 8-12 years.

Cost Effective - Training a guide dog can cost up to $60,000, according to the Guide Dog Users national advocacy group. According to Lighthouse International, there are more than 1.3 million legally blind people in the USA, yet only 7,000 guide animal users. Hence, a Guide Horse could be more cost-effective and ensure that more blind people receive a guide animal.

Better acceptance - Many guide dog users report problems getting access to public places because their dog is perceived as a pet. Most people do not associate a horse as a pet, and Guide Horse users report that they are immediately recognized as a working service animal.

Calm Nature - Trained horses are extremely calm in chaotic situations. Cavalry horses have proven that horses can remain calm even in the extreme heat of battle. Police horses are an excellent example of well trained horses that deal with stressful situations. Guide Horses undergo the same systematic desensitization training that is given to riot-control horses.

Great Memory - Horses possess phenomenal memories. A horse will naturally remember a dangerous situation decades after the occurrence.

Excellent Vision - Because horses have eyes on the sides of their heads, they have a very wide range of vision, with a range of nearly 350 degrees. Horses are the only guide animals capable of independent eye movement and they can track potential danger with each eye. Horses can see clearly in almost total darkness.

Focused Demeanor - Trained horses are very focused on their work and are not easily distracted. Horses are not addicted to human attention and normally do not get excited when petted or groomed.

Safety Conscious - Naturally safety oriented, horses are constantly on the lookout for danger. All horses have a natural propensity to guide their master along the safest most efficient route, and demonstrate excellent judgment in obstacle avoidance training.

High Stamina - Hearty and robust, a properly conditioned Guide Horse can easily travel many miles in a single outing.

Good Manners - Guide Horses are very clean and can be housebroken. Horses do not get fleas and only shed twice per year. Horses are not addicted to human affection and will stand quietly when on duty.

Bonni claims to know far better about all this than people who have been training guide horses for over a decade. According to Bonni, horses cannot be housebroken (something she would know because...oh wait, no, she's never tried, she just KNOWS); they get spooked at the sight of a plastic bag blowing about (I guess she's never seen the videos of police horses being trained to ignore guns being discharged next to them); it's cruel to confine horses to a house (which it probably is: just as well that doesn't happen with guide horses then).

I think we can safely put Bonni's ""expert knowledge" of horses in the same file-under-fantasy category as her degree in Japanese. (I remember years ago reading a rant from her against "college graduates" and "international travellers", who were all left-wing idiots. I also remember thinking what a strange remark that was coming from someone who was supposedly a college graduate in a discipline which would have required international travel.) But hey, this is a woman who thinks the Coliseum is in Spain. It's strange, though, that someone with such an interest in equine welfare would only now be taking an interest in the topic. What's happened recently? Well, the US government implemented a new set of accessibility standards for businesses, which include making businesses allow guide horses.

For Bonni, disabilities are the result of inbreeding, especially of first cousin marriages (which for some weird reason she is convinced are illegal in the USA). This attitude has historical precedents of which Bonni is not ashamed, as she considers that life under the Nazis wasn't too bad really except for Jews, and that the Jews brought their troubles on themselves. (Probably through all that inbreeding....) So obviously any law designed to improve life for these "benefit scroungers" has to be opposed, and if that means making up fake stories about how it's cruel to animals, it has to be done.

In all fairness, I must point out that there are potential issues with guide horses, though not any of the ones Bonni rants about. Here is someone who knows a hell of a lot about assistance dogs and about horses: I think her opinions, pro and con, are worth reading. Here is an example.

I would hate to see the wonderful option of an equine guide be undermined by ignorance and prejudice. Anytime a disabled person finds a way to overcome their disability and get on with their lives in a productive and independent manner, I am thrilled.

My one remaining question is this, Since the Greater Manchester National Front website has a word-for-word identical post, with no attribution or link to Bonni, has she simply stolen the whole thing from them? Or did they steal it from her? And if the latter, when can we expect her "litigation anti-jihad" to start?

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