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Are horses racist – Yay or Neigh?

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There is an old guy living at my house. His once dark hair has faded into a flea-bitten gray with age, and he has only a few teeth left. Except for his enthusiastic rumbling at breakfast and dinner, he is a man of few words. His days are spent eating, standing under the porch, following around the other two old men in residence (he is notably codependent), and swooshing away flies. He also enjoys taking long naps outside in the sun. 

The old guy who lives at my house is friendly, highly sociable, and extremely nosey… always right in the middle of whatever I am trying to get done. Each time I attempt to pick weeds, he eats them! What’s even worse, he has been known to confuse my blonde hair with alfalfa hay!

In case you hadn’t already guessed, the old guy living at my house is a twenty-eight-year-old American Quarter Horse named Sydney.  

At present, there is a debate raging over the USC mascot, a white Arabian named Traveler, who has suddenly under fire for having the same name as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller (spelled differently, with 2 L’s).  According to an article at the Independent Journal Review, claims both for and against a possible link between USC’s Traveler and Lee’s Traveller are unsubstantiated. Still, I wondered, could it be possible that the USC’s Traveler is, in fact, a racist? I set out to find the answer.

At EQUINESPOT.COM, “Traveler” is listed among the top 45 horse names beginning with the letter “T.” Another name found on the list of “T” names is “Tiny Tim,” though the website does not specify whether or not this name is of any relation to the character from Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” nor does the website indicate whether “Tiny Tim” is only to be used for crippled horses. All I can say for certain is that horses around the country sport the name Traveler.

So, I thought I would ask an expert: Sydney. 

He’s always been a good listener.

Beside the barn we stood as he patiently allowed me to explain the current kerfuffle, listening intently to my questions. “Could Traveler be a racist?” I inquired. After I had finished, he stood there peering into my eyes… not saying a word. The suspense was intense; the pause, agonizing…….. Agonizing!

Finally, after a few minutes of deep consideration, Sydney shook his large head vigorously from side to side, then turned and walked away. While I can’t be certain that Sydney wasn’t just shewing a horsefly away from his nose, I’ll take his gesture as an emphatic, “NO!”

So, no need to fret USC fans… Traveler is not a racist.  And you heard it straight from the horse’s mouth!

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of ThePaintingPastor.org, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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