I looked at photos of a mounted border troll whipping a fleeing Haitian immigrant – or at least that’s what the message said. The description matched an Orc, right out of Mordor.
The agent swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse toward the men in the river who were trying to return to an encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio after buying food and water in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.”
The picture I saw showed reins as the border patrol officer had grabbed the Haitian by the back of his shirt. Now I’m along the northern border, so I suspect a journalist from El Paso has more scenes to pick from . . . and the border patrol may be lashing Haitians with whips – but the horrifying picture I saw showed reins held short, one end flying free, and a hand grabbing a shirt. I saw no sign of a third arm wielding a whip. One hand for the reins, one hand on the Haitian. My interpretation is that the journalist hasn’t spent much time in the saddle.
So it got me wondering – how many Americans have ridden horses, and how many have never been on a horse? The CDC says that 30 million Americans ride a horse each year. That’s one out of eleven. On the other hand, it’s been quite a while since I sat in the saddle – so the CDC only offers a partial answer.
I found a Horse Industry (2017) estimate of 9.2 million horses in the US – one horse for every 35 people. The numbers are suggesting that there are a lot of folks who have never ridden – but the number still eludes me. The (1941) cavalry horse manual says that a horse shouldn’t carry more than 20% of its own weight. Now that limits a lot of heavy people – but it still doesn’t answer my question.
So I’m not necessarily correct when I hazard a guess that the typical journalist hasn’t ridden – but I think it’s the way to bet.