Jake and Grace


Horses? So what's with the 'AVATAR' theme? I don't see any horses!
What's the reasoning for not showing any horse pictures?
Ok, but what's that all got to do with 'AVATAR'? What's with the 'AVATAR' theme?
What? You are comparing the blue-skinned Na'vi with horses?
Comparing female Na'vi and male horses?! Gosh, this is getting better and better! Just what ta hell have you been smoking out there?!?
So what? Who cares? They're just goddamn horses! Thankfully you said it yourself: Guys don't care about horses!
Ok, so you want to bring guys closer to horses and for that are using 'AVATAR', the Na'vi and Neytiri as 'bait' and as a trigger. Isn't that a lowly lie and a big hoax?


Horses and Extraterrestrials

Before we jump right to the 'dessert' or the 'prize', as always, we should put in some fibers first. A little background is required, because, simple as it may sound, not everything is self-explanatory. The idea presented on this webpage has much more depth than one might think at face value and, under the hood, is pretty complex.

 
Horses? So what's with the 'AVATAR' theme? I don't see any horses!

Quite right, there are no horse pictures, or not many on this website, but quite a few pictures of and references to James Cameron's 2009 movie 'AVATAR' and its blue-skinned alien race, the Na'vi. There is a good explanation for this and it might be quite surprising and insightful to learn why I have chosen this, at least for insiders and horse people, probably pretty unusual approach. It's not just that I don't own any horses myself. I've worked as a horse groom for several years, written pioneering articles on horses and have taken countless pictures of horses myself. To understand, it certainly helps if you have seen 'AVATAR', but even if not, I think you might still get the drift. And no, to understand, you don't have to know anything about horses, or even have dissected a frog once.

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What's the reasoning for not showing any horse pictures?

Have you ever heard of the belief, that taking someone's picture creates bad luck? Or of tribes which frown heavily upon having their pictures taken?

We humans believe in what we see, so we love pictures. But what we see, our eyes and pictures can deceive us, make false promises and lie to us. Because we see what we want to see and not necessarily what's really there. That's dangerous, because pictures can strengthen us in what we believe and in what we believe to see, even if it's a false belief. Potentially making a full cup even fuller. So perhaps we should be much more careful about pictures than we usually are.

But that's just esoteric mumbo jumbo, right?
Well, there is also a much more hands-down reason why there are no horse pictures here, despite presenting an idea that, as its major attraction, involves horses: I simply have no truly fitting and good horse pictures for this idea and I don't want to misrepresent my idea with unfitting pictures.
First off, there are no horse facilities like what I propose here, which keep 40 adult stallions in a group and let people into their midst, interact with them and even live among them for a while. So there simply are no truly fitting pictures that I could show of this. It just doesn't exist yet. And even if there were, the magic which happens when someone is surrounded by a group of horses, a group of adult stallions in this case, simply cannot be seen or expressed in a picture. You might see what happens on a picture, but you don't 'See' it, as the Na'vi in 'AVATAR' would say. Which means you still don't know what's going on. Nobody, no person and no picture can tell you or show you. It is really and truly something that you must experience yourself.

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Ok, but what's that all got to do with 'AVATAR'? What's with the 'AVATAR' theme?

This is a little harder to explain. Actually horses and the idea I present here have everything to do with the movie 'AVATAR'. Or rather, its message and its story. Much more than people (even horse people) who have seen the movie realize. Although I openly admit, this is even less self-evident than why I don't use pictures of horses: Even if pictures cannot show what one experiences when surrounded by a group of stallions, of course I could still show some pictures of pretty horses. Or of facilities which keep their horses appropriate to the species. Or even of existing stallion groups. But that would be pretty cheap in my view. You can search for such pictures yourself after all if you've never seen such.

The point is, what I am trying to show, cannot be seen in pictures of horses (or really any pictures to be exact). So instead, I need to show a symbol for it. And whenever one uses a symbol, one should choose one that fits as good as possible. This is where 'AVATAR' comes in. I use it as a visually and emotionally strong symbol for what my idea is about. And even more specifically, I use the awesomely beautiful, elegant and wise Na'vi, the blue-skinned extraterrestrial non-humans of that far-away world called 'Pandora', as a symbol for other non-human species. Such as, in this case, the horse. This not without reason and, being the bad salesman or trickster that I am, I'll spill out all my beans and tell you why straight up:

I think the blue-skinned Na'vi people of 'AVATAR' are an awesome, perhaps even a perfect symbol for non-human species in general, even here on Earth. Such as, and perhaps even particularly, horses. If someone has never been interested in horses, and that's probably most guys, and doesn't understand what could possibly make horses so attractive or sympathetic to so many people (mostly women), instead of trying to explain it, it's much easier to just show them the movie 'AVATAR'. Then they should understand. At least once, with a little help perhaps, they make the connection between what makes the Na'vi and horses so comparable and so much alike. Once they understand the symbolism of the Na'vi, which, to me, really makes 'AVATAR' such an outstanding movie, not the special effects.

The thing is, and you should really let this sink in for a while, it is the exact same things which make the blue-skinned Na'vi on Pandora so attractive and sympathetic to most people who have seen the movie 'AVATAR', as makes horses here on Earth so attractive and sympathetic to people who know them. Most guys really are, as Jake Sully, the male lead-character in the movie said, "not much of a horse guy myself". Horses just aren't very likable or sympathetic to most guys. And guys are needed for this project. Direly.

Again, this is where the movie 'AVATAR' and its blue-skinned Na'vi, like Neytiri come in. And I think, potentially can really help. Because they are so attractive and sympathetic to most guys, yet so different than we are. And, besides their immediate outer form and color, horses share almost every single characteristic with the Na'vi. With one little difference: They are real. And they have almost exactly the same message. It just takes 'AVATAR' and James Cameron's computer-generated 'Na'vi' for most guys to understand the message, without actually 'Seeing' or realizing just how much horses really are the Na'vi here on Earth. With the exact same message. Because we as humans are so self-centered and focused on ourselves and on our own species. And how could they? They don't know horses. Heck, most horse people don't know horses!

We humans hardly see beauty and wisdom or anything attractive and sympathetic or respectable anywhere else than in beings which walk on two legs, are humanoid and talk like ourselves. Here, horses can really help us and teach us. And before that, 'AVATAR'. We humans can hardly see beauty and wisdom in the 'other', in the unknown. And thus, hardly respect anything. James Cameron really dug this. He uses his Na'vi in film, where I want to use, or perhaps more appropriately, 'employ' real-life horses in a natural environment and at their own terms. In 'AVATAR, the Na'vi can really help humans with this impediment and bridge an important gap for them. Like a catalyst. A big huge gab and a difficult one. But one that is very important to gap, as many native people understood. The Na'vi can ignite interest and respect for the 'other', for other races and people, for non-humans and for nature and the unknown. Including for the 'other', for non-humans and their wisdom and more natural ways than our own. James Cameron understood this. It's what made his movie a success. But 'AVATAR' is only a preparation for the real thing. For the real, natural non-human. I believe that and I believe that would make the idea that I present here a success as well. Certainly on a much smaller and more moderate scale, but, and that's just as valuable, at least for individuals, on a much more substantial, deep, authentic, personal and real level.

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What? You are comparing the blue-skinned Na'vi with horses?

Of course it's a big step from finding blue-skinned extraterrestrials like the Na'vi in 'AVATAR' likeable or sympathetic, to the same for real-life horses with four feet here on Earth. Like the skyscraper building-jump in the movie 'The Matrix', it might be too big a step for most people, especially guys, when confronted for the first time, that they are both really quite alike. Or even one and the same 'person', the same 'entity'. But if you think about it analytically and factually and not with your senses, if you let go of what your eyes tell you on the surface, the face-value, the outer form, both the blue-skinned Na'vi, as well as horses indeed really have a lot in common. A heck of a lot. Too much by far, not to really consider, and consider very seriously, what I propose with this idea that I have here. Especially if you like horses or even 'know' horses and care about their cause:

Avatar Stable

Both the Na'vi and horses are elegant and beautiful and have strong bodies, much larger and stronger than humans. Both are very fair, both in mind and bodies, and are far more natural, and in many ways even wise, than people. And both are not very good at calculus but extremely honest, straight-forward and upright. And in the case of stallions, also very proud. And both the Na'vi, as well as horses are being made victims of humans, are being exploited on a daily basis and by an industry. Just so we humans can get our ways and what we want. The Na'vi for extraction of Unobtainium (a mineral in their world that humans want), horses by the horse industry and peoples' often short-sighted and selfish desire to ride them or breed them or race them for money, etc. 'Unobtainium' is real... At least for horses. Both the Na'vi, as well as horses are victims of humans and very vulnerable. And, this is another point, this applies not only to female Na'vi or to female horses, but to proud males as well. Sometimes even more.

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Comparing female Na'vi and male horses?! Gosh, this is getting better and better! Just what ta hell have you been smoking out there?!?

Male horses, just like female horses are prey animals, vulnerable and very sensitive. These characteristics give horses, all horses, including stallions, a womanly side. We see women as vulnerable, sensitive victims and this, believe it or not, applies to all horses, including stallions. Laymen, people who don't know horses most often don't see this. Or they see only this, and not their parallel adult male side at the same time. Or they don't understand it or don't like it. The result is, horses, most of all stallions, are not treated as they should: Both as a 'woman', as well as an adult male.

I have thought often about how horses, including stallions are a lot like women when I worked with them and I believe it's why not just me, but many people in history who knew horses said very similar things: That horses, all horses are like 'women' and one should treat them as such. Horses are also being victimized and exploited very, very much by human beings. In the case of stallions, this often includes their castration. If you look with the intention to 'See', there is no doubt about their victimization at the hand of humans.

Being victimized and the desire to protect victims is something which we all associate much more with females, with women than with males. Men like to protect women, not other men. That's why female Na'vi such as Neytiri are such a great symbol for all victims, for all who are victimized and exploited by humans, not just for females of a non-human species, but for males as well. And hence, for all horses, including male horses. Because male horses as prey animals are sensitive, vulnerable and being victimized as if they were women. Despite their strength and even their testosterone and any other male characteristics which they do or may have. Or, perhaps, even more so. That is the paradox of it. At least with horses it seems quite often, the more male, the more they are being victimized.

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So what? Who cares? They're just goddamn horses! Thankfully you said it yourself: Guys don't care about horses!

That's true, most guys really don't care much about horses. At least nowadays where we have cars, tractors and fighter jets. It's mostly women who do now. Hell, I didn't care about horses almost the entire first half of my life, despite liking animals in general. And this is exactly the problem. That guys don't care about horses. I believe this is the biggest problem for horses and for the development of the relationship between humans and horses (and for the idea and project I present here) that there is today. We would have so much to learn and profit from them, if only I could make other guys 'See' what I see.

If men are not interested in horses, everything involving true respect for horses, such as seeing them as equals, etc. can be, and unfortunately is being put down as 'womanly', as 'soft' and as weak, which in turn, puts off men even more. And women often have profound difficulties in understanding and handling truly male horses, in other words, adult males. No matter how much progress a few women make in handling and respecting horses, and there has been a lot of this, it never really affects all of society and the relationship between humans and horses in general. Like it did, for instance between different human races. True, there have been a lot of small and sometimes not so small changes in the last 20 years. And of course, there are always a few individuals who break across and get to know horses, really 'See' them and respect them. But it's as if there were an invisible barrier limiting a more substantial change in the general perception of horses and in our attitude towards them, as well as in the relationship between humanity as a species and horses as species. In what's 'ok' for us to do to them, just so we can get our ways, and what's not.

Horses are still considered and very much treated as slaves, even if we have learned, that it is not profitable to say or admit this. Or even to become aware of it ourselves! And this, I believe, has a lot to do, very, very much, with the fact, that men, the pioneers in most human developments, are generally, as a gender or sex, simply not interested in horses. And therefore also not in the development of the relationship with them. Therefore any progress in that area can be put down as 'womanly' and as soft and weak, as not important. This I believe, really needs to change. It is, I am convinced of this, absolutely mandatory, that guys, men are brought to be interested in horses, on a truly respecting level, as equals among equals. And 'AVATAR' gave the perfect blueprint on how something like that can come to be. Millions of male science fiction lovers and tech geeks love the vulnerable and technically inferior Na'vi!

I have dealt with these issues and horses and what people do with horses, not just during my years as a horse groom, but for a large part of my life. And when I see 'AVATAR' or pictures of the beautiful Neytiri and the Na'vi, I think of horses, including male horses and what we humans, as a species are doing to them, every day, just so we can get our ways and what we want.
But my showing pictures of the Na'vi and of Neytiri as a symbol for horses is not about bringing up the many things we humans do wrong to horses on a daily basis, much like what humans did wrong to the Na'vi in 'AVATAR'. That's just abstract and factual background. Cold, grey matter. It's about appealing to guy's protective instincts. And I admit, on a pretty low level. Ok, maybe that's low, appealing to somebody's instincts, just like it is in 'AVATAR' or many other Hollywood movies, but maybe, just maybe, it really serves a good purpose this time.

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Ok, so you want to bring guys closer to horses and for that are using 'AVATAR', the Na'vi and Neytiri as 'bait' and as a trigger. Isn't that a lowly lie and a big hoax?

Most people who make a lot of money or become famous lie to people in one way or the other. Rock stars, movie makers and most of all, politicians, they all do it: They sell lies.
For the idea I present here, I also need money. A lot. Just like politicians or movie makers. Or rather the idea does. And, what's more, as said, men are needed. Direly. While women could certainly realize this idea - I don't have the slightest doubt about that - it really is something which men need to do. For more than one reason. So how exactly should I lie in order to get men and money to engage in this project?

Well, this is it. You can't employ or get men to rescue other men. At least not free of charge and in their spare time. Not even if you tell them they will be rescuing themselves. Let alone horses. That's the thing with men. They need, truly need something more, something a lot more. They need to be rescuing something vulnerable and beautiful: Women.
You tell men that you need them to rescue a woman, believingly, and they might even end up paying you to be able to do it. Especially if she's beautiful. And that's just what 'AVATAR' as well as my showing of pictures of Neytiri here does. It tells men that they will be rescuing women. In the proverbial sense. And that that is what this and this idea is all about. About rescuing 'women' as beautiful, as wise and as worthy of protection as Neytiri. And this is not a lie. It is not just figuratively speaking. Not if you know, truly know horses, including stallions, and how much they really are like women, like beautiful women. Like many famous horse men in history have said, or like Jake Sully got to know the Na'vi.

So do you think that a lie? Am I lying by showing pictures of 'AVATAR' and the Na'vi? Yes, horses, male horses are neither females, nor Na'vi. But no, horses, even stallions are in so many ways like the Na'vi, like Neytiri, vulnerable, misunderstood and victimized and exploited, while we could learn so much from them, just like from non-humans like the Na'vi, that really, no, it's not a lie at all. In fact, even less so than 'AVATAR' is, because 'AVATAR' is, after all, fiction. Horses, and what they have to offer, once you get off their backs, look them in the face and get to know them, as an equal, once you give up trying to control them and instead start respecting them, are not.

But, as said, that is something I cannot show you, but something you must experience and come to learn yourself. By getting to know horses like Jake Sully got to know the Na'vi. By emerging himself into their midst. On their terms. And that is the only way. And that's what this idea really is about. About really and truly giving people the chance to really getting to know horses, and learn from them, on horses' terms, not on ours. By their standards and according to their will, not ours.

So now you 'See', I hope at least why I am using pictures of 'AVATAR' and not of horses. 'AVATAR' and its pictures and symbolism simply do a better job at transporting a message, when the real thing cannot be experienced or imagined, as it needs to be, and cannot be 'Seen' for oneself, nor understood just by looking at a picture. 'AVATAR' as a movie is a new symbol in a language that is very hard to express with words or in pictures. One that, as it happens to be, is spoken very fluently by horses.

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