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Interview with Mr. Ed - Horse Facts and Horse Trivia

Alan Young and Mr. Ed

Alan Young and Mr. Ed

Horse Facts and Horse Trivia

After writing about cows and pigs, there was a third domestic animal I wanted to write about – the noble horse. But this time I was determined to learn the facts from the source – straight from the ‘horse’s mouth.’ So I donned my wizard’s hat, my sorcerer’s robes and retrieved my crystal ball from Storage-R-Us. After several hours of concentrated conjuring with no results, I was exhausted and went to bed.

In the morning as I drove out of the garage, I saw a handsome, golden Palomino horse with a white mane standing by the curb. It was none other than the former equine television star – Mr. Ed.

Palomino horse

Palomino horse

Interview with Mr. Ed

me – What a coincidence! I was thinking about you last night, Mr. Ed.

Mr. Ed – That’s why I’m here. I have ISP.

me – You mean ESP?

Mr. Ed – No, ISP – Internet Service Provider. Our mutual friend, Hippolyte the Hippopotamus, sent me an email that you wanted to interview me. Do you have time this morning?

me – Of course. Just follow my car to the little park down the street, Mr. Ed.

Mr. Ed – No problemo. And you can call me Ed.

Eohippus - the first horse


me – I wanted to interview you, Ed, to get the facts about horses. How long have they been in existence?

Ed – According to fossil records, the horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small creature about the size of a large fox into the large animal of today with a single toe or hoof on each foot.

Those first horses called Eohippus – the Dawn Horse – were small, standing about 14 inches high and weighing only 12 pounds. Instead of only one hoof to a foot, they had four toes on each front foot and three on each hind foot.

Size of horse relative to six-foot tall man


To determine how tall a horse is, measure the horse, in inches, from the ground in a straight line up to the highest point of the withers.

me – I guess the expression, ‘big as a horse,’ wasn’t very valid then.

Ed – Spot on. Horses today can weigh from 120 to 2,200 pounds. And stand up to 18 hands.

Me – What does that measurement, ‘hands,’ mean?

Ed – Tape measures were not invented yet so people had to use what was handy (pun intended). The height of a horse was measured with a man’s hand with each hand equal to four inches. 18 hands equal 72 inches or 6 feet.

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me – Are horses carnivores – do they eat meat?

Ed – No, horses are herbivore mammals – grazers – and eat short, juicy grass, and hay. Working horses like those on a farm also enjoy foods like barley, corn, oats and bran. But don’t give us peanut butter!

Mr. Ed and his Lip Synching Talent

Allan 'Rocky' Lane

Allan 'Rocky' Lane

Ben Hur chariot with 4 Horsepower

Ben Hur chariot with 4 Horsepower

me – Have you eaten peanut butter?

Ed – Unfortunately, yes! When I was the star of my TV show, my trainer fed me peanut butter. It stuck to the inside of my gums and I was continually moving my mouth as a result. That’s how they made me look like I was talking.

me – That’s despicable. If you were not really talking, who was?

Ed – So happy you asked that question since I always wanted to give this guy credit. He was a former B-movie cowboy star named Allan 'Rocky' Lane. He provided my distinctive, deep voice but was never credited during my television series from '61 to '66.

I spend most of my time these days doing research about equines and I have learned that in the beginning, all those 50+ million years ago, all horses were wild. They were hunted for meat as well as their skins.

Around 3000 B.C., people began taming horses and using them as beasts of burden. And around 1700 B.C., horses began to be used to pull chariots. Like in the movie, ‘Ben Hur.’

Alexander the Great astride Bucephalus

Don Quixote and his steed  Rocinante

Don Quixote and his steed Rocinante

me – You watch movies?

Ed – On Gnatflix – Charlton Heston was so macho. You know, of course, that humans and horses have an ancient relationship. Asian nomads may have domesticated the first horses and we remained essential until the advent of the gasoline engine. Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures and are often linked to heroic exploits in war.

You probably remember Alexander the Great and his horse, Bucephalus (‘ox head’ ), and El Cid and his steed, Babieca (‘stupid’ ).

me – What about Napoleon and his horse, Marengo, or Don Quixote and his scrawny steed. Rocinante?

Palomino mare and foal

Palomino mare and foal

Horse Facts You May Already Know

Ed – Here are some horse facts many people already know:

• A male horse is called a stallion. • A female horse is a mare. • A baby horse is called a foal usually for the first year of its life. • A young female horse is a filly. • The father of a horse is the sire. • The mother of a horse is the dam. • A young male horse is a colt. • A castrated male horse is a gelding. • A fully-grown small horse is called a pony. • A farrier or blacksmith provides horseshoes.

• It only takes a foal about 1 to 2 hours after birth to stand up and walk by itself.

• The hoof of a horse is like a fingernail. Since it keeps growing, it needs to be clipped regularly.

• Most horses have four gaits: walk, trot, canter and gallop.

• A horse may be black, brown, chestnut, cream, white or gray – or a mixture of those colors. (I’m a Palomino – a light cream body with a white mane.)

• No two horses are identical.

• Mares always give birth at night or in a quiet, secluded location.

Wild mustangs

Wild mustangs

• A horse’s teeth can be examined to estimate its age.

• The left side of a horse is called the ‘near side’ and the right side is the ‘off side.’

• A horse typically sleeps 2 ½ to 3 hours a day. (As a television personality, I generally required longer ‘beauty sleep’ to look fully rested. lol)

• A horse is a member of the 'equus' family. Other animals belonging to this group include the donkey, zebra, onager (wild Asian ass), and some cross breeds such as the mule and zedonk (zebra/donkey).

• Most horses are domestic but others remain wild. These feral horses are found in many countries around the world. One example is the North American mustangs that are the descendants of horses brought to America hundreds of years ago.

• There are more than 350 different breeds of horses and ponies that specialize in everything from pulling wagons to racing.

me – Did you ever race, Ed?

Ed – No, before my TV stardom, I was a parade and show horse named ‘Bamboo Harvester’ foaled in 1949 in El Monte, California.

Understanding Horses


Horse Facts You May Not Know

Ed – If you know most of the following facts, you can call yourself an equine expert:

• The head of an average size horse weighs almost 12 pounds.

• A horse's heart weighs 9 to 10 pounds.

• A healthy adult horse should have a resting pulse of between 36 and 40 beats per minute.

• A horse can drink 10 gallons of water per day.

• Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be gauged by their nostrils, eyes and ears.

(The producers of my TV show knew that – the reason for my continual forced consumption of peanut (ugh) butter.)

• Almost any kind of small white mark that appears on the forehead of a horse is called a star whether it resembles one or not.

• The average age of a horse is about 25 to 30 years although some can live up to 5 years more.

Arabian thoroughbred horse

Arabian thoroughbred horse

Stallion Protecting Harem from Wild Horses

• A horse has approximately 205 bones.

• Arabian horses have one less rib, one less lumbar bone, and one or two fewer tail vertebrae than other horses.

• A horse has two blind spots – one is located directly in front while the other is located directly behind.

• Horses sleep longer in the summer than in the winter.

• Horses generally dislike the smell of pigs. (I don’t think pigs are too crazy about the smell of horses either.)

• It is estimated there are about 75 million horses in the world.

• Horses have five highly developed senses: taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight. They also have an enigmatic sixth sense – heightened perception – which is very rare in humans. (I’ve been telling people that for years.)

• Wild horses generally gather in groups of 3 to 20 animals. A stallion protects and defends the group which consists of mares and young foals. When young males become colts, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females. (Much like me in my early dating days.)

Przewalski Horse of Mongolia

Przewalski Horse of Mongolia


Horse Trivia

• Although the horse evolved in North America, it became extinct for some obscure reason, returning only to the continent of its birth when Christopher Columbus first landed the animals from his ships on Haiti in 1493.

• The oldest surviving form of horse is the Poljakoff or Wild Horse of Mongolia discovered by Colonel N. M. Przewalski, a Russian explorer, in a remote region of the Gobi Desert in 1881. It exists today only in captivity.

• The Pony Express (1860-1861) didn’t just use ponies; it also used many horses. The differences between ponies and horses are often blurred, but generally, ponies are smaller than horses and can be smarter and more stubborn. (That’s what I keep telling ‘em down at the stable – the stubborn part, that is.)

• The term, horse, is derived from the Old English hors, related to the Proto-Indo-European kurs, which is the source of the Latin currere, ‘to run.’ This replaced the original root ekwo from which the Greek hippos and Latin equus derived, both meaning ‘horse.

Demeter - Goddess of the Harvest

Demeter - Goddess of the Harvest

Poseidon - God of the Sea

Poseidon - God of the Sea

• The horse was a status symbol in the early Persian Empire, and only aristocrats could own them. Horses were also used to play early forms of polo. They still are.

• Islam is said to have been “founded on the hoof prints of the Arabian horse.” The Prophet Mohammed is reported to have ascended to heaven in a halo of fire on a horse-like creature.

• The Greek goddess, Demeter, (the goddess of fertility, the harvest, and the pure) had as her image a black mare’s head, and her priestesses were considered her ‘foals.’

• White horses were sometimes drowned in honor of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea and the creator of horses.(Who also happened to be the brother of the almighty Zeus.)

• Hindus associate the horse with the cosmos, and a white horse was considered the last incarnation of Vishnu.

Shire draft horse

Shire draft horse

Thumbelina - smallest horse

Thumbelina - smallest horse

Akhal Teke horse of Turkmenistan

Akhal Teke horse of Turkmenistan

Falebella horse of Argentina

Falebella horse of Argentina

Little Pumpkin - smallest pony

Little Pumpkin - smallest pony

Training Horses

• The oldest horse on record is Old Billy, a barge horse born in England who lived to the age of 62.

(The first year of a horse’s life is roughly comparable to 12 human years, the second year is comparable to 7 human years, the next 3 years are comparable to 4 human years, and subsequent years are comparable to 2.5 human years.

Do the math. That means Old Billy was roughly 173.5 in human years.)

• The largest horse in recorded history was probably a Shire horse named Mammoth who was born in 1848. He stood 21.2½ hands high (86.5”), and his peak weight was estimated at 3,300 pounds. (Now, that’s a horse of a different color, I mean weight!)

• The current record holder for the world's smallest horse is Thumbelina, a fully mature miniature horse affected by dwarfism. She is 17 inches tall and weighs 57 pounds.

• A breed of Russian horses from southern Turkmenistan called Akhal-Teke, golden in color with a metallic sheen, can go for days without water or food. Even more remarkable is their intelligence and sensitivity. They have the unique ability to respond to mental suggestions made by humans. I kid you not!

• The Falebella of Argentina, is the smallest breed of horse 28 to 32 inches tall.

Little Pumpkin, the smallest pony in history stood 14 inches and weighed 20 pounds.

• Horses enjoy music but are selective in their taste. They prefer calming or cheerful instrumental music, but are often agitated by loud rock music. (I’m partial to Bon Jovi myself – his hair is/was the same color as mine.)

• Horses can sleep standing up by a special arrangement of locking joints in their legs.

• Horses have a strong band of muscles around their esophagus. This band is so strong that a horse’s stomach would typically burst before it would allow it to vomit. (That’s why I would have made such a great TV political analyst. lol)

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Beautiful - both the girl and the Palomino

Beautiful - both the girl and the Palomino

Crazy Laws Regarding Horses

These are actual laws still on the books in these various states. I did not make them up:

• In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs.

• One cannot pile horse manure more than six feet on a street corner in California.

• It is illegal to bring your horse or pack mule above the ground floor of any building in Cripple Creek. Colorado.

• It is illegal for women over 200 pounds to ride horses in shorts in Chicago. Illinois.

Is it illegal if the women are wearing shorts? Or the horses are?

• In Marshalltown, Iowa, horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.

• The state game rule prohibits the use of mules to hunt ducks in Kansas.

• Donkeys are not allowed to sleep in bathtubs in Brooklyn, New York.

• Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass.

If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes in Pennsylvania.

• Horses are not allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants in South Dakota.

• Stealing a horse is punishable by hanging in Tennessee.

• An unmarried woman could be jailed for riding a horse on Sunday in Bluff, Utah.

Someone better hurry and tell this beautiful single woman that it's Sunday in Bluff.

Playing Ping Pong

Playing Ping Pong

Playing chess

Playing chess

Ed – You already know I was the talking–horse star of the 1960s television series, ‘Mr. Ed.’ But did you know I had to learn a number of tricks for my role?

me – What sort of tricks?

Ed – I learned how to answer a telephone, open doors, hold a ping pong paddle, move chess pieces, write notes with a pencil, and unplug a light. Occasionally, I would have to pretend to have a fit of temper, as befitting my star status. I would then stand perfectly still, wheeze perhaps, and refuse to move. I loved that part. It used to drive my human co-star, Alan Young, crazy!

Have to run, now. Here’s a hot tip for the youngsters: “If you want your parents to get you a puppy or a kitty, start out by asking for a horse.” Works every time.

The words to Mr. Ed's theme song:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse … is the famous Mister Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse, He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse. He's always on a steady course. Talk to Mister Ed.

People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day, But Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say. A horse is a horse, of course, of course., And this one will talk 'til his voice is hoarse. You never heard of a talking horse? Well listen to this: "I'm Mister Ed.”


Edwards, Elwyn Hartley. The Encyclopedia of the Horse. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersly, Inc., 1994.

McBane, Susan and Helen Douglas-Cooper. Horse Facts. London, England: Quarto Publishing. 1992

Raber, Karen and Treva J. Tucker, eds. The Culture of the Horse: Status, Discipline, and Identity in the Early Modern World.. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillian. 2005.

Waring, George H. Horse Behavior. 2nd Ed. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications/William Andrew Publishing. 2003.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved.

Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"

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drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 13, 2013:

Whenever a discussion about favorite TV shows of the past takes place, Mr. Ed is usually mentioned as one of the most treasured. It appealed to kid and adults as well. You are so welcome, molly, for appreciating these facts. But the mind-reading Palomino is already taken. ;)

Mary Strain from The Shire on August 12, 2013:

Mr. Ed was one of my favorite shows as a kid. I loved Wilbur and also the nosy neighbors. Thanks for the insights into the show and the facts about horses! I want the pretty golden one that can read minds. We could go to Vegas and put Mr. Ed and Wilbur out to pasture!!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 11, 2013:

Thank you, Petra, for that sweet comment. I treasure you, too, my friend. Delighted that you are also a Mr. Ed fan and since you labeled him as fascinating, he wants to be your BFF.

Despite the peanut butter tactic, that TV program was so well-written and acted (including Ed of course) that it appealed to adults as much as to children.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on August 10, 2013:

As fascinating as Mr. Ed has always been, (I used to watch the re-runs of this hilarious movie very late at night many years ago), he pales in comparison with you, my dear and precious friend.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on April 03, 2013:

Thank for loving this, KK Gals. That's the great thing about research - you can often learn even more than you bargained for. Re the peanut butter tactic - who knew? Mr. Ed says he loves you back.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on April 03, 2013:

I loved this interview with Mr. Ed. The peanut butter making him move his mouth was a priceless little bit of information. I loved Mr. Ed.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 23, 2013:

Hi, Patricia, delighted that you found this horsey interview and that it is one of your favorites. Me, too. I loved Mr. Ed! Thanks for your arrival here and noticing my homework. You are the best. :)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 22, 2013:

Hi drbj..

this has to be one of my favorite interviews of yours. I did not watch much television but I did watch Mr. Ed when I was at my friend's house. I wanted a talking horse, too.

There was so much I did not know. You obviously did your homework to gather all of this to share.

Sending Angels to you this evening :) ps

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2012:

How nice to meet you, Kris. Thanks for loving this equine trivia. I haven't a clue where that crazy Iowa law regarding fire hydrants came from except to wonder if some very hungry horse once tried to digest one in Marshalltown.

If you are a fan of crazy, dumb laws, take a look at my five "Dumb, Crazy, Stupid Laws" hubs.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 04, 2012:

Thank you, Pamela, for enjoying reading about Mr. Ed and all this horse trivia. I remember the actor, Alan Rocky Lane, from the B movies I watched on Saturdays as a kid. He did have a very distinctive, deep voice.

Thank you, m'dear, for the awesome, the Up and the sharing. Enjoy your DVDs.

Kris Heeter from Indiana on November 04, 2012:

What a creative hub! I love the trivia and who knew there would be so many laws about horses. Now I'm really curious as to what brought about the law: "In Marshalltown, Iowa, horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants."!

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on November 04, 2012:

What fun this was to read! And thanks for letting us know who the voice behind the horse was. I honestly wondered about that. I have a set of Mr. Ed DVD's.

I sure learned a lot about horses from your hub. Voting up, awesome and sharing.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 31, 2012:

Can you imagine, GmaGoldie, how mammoth that horse, 'Mammoth.' would look up close and personal? Gigantic! If it were a carnivore it could easily digest Thumbelina as an appetizer in two bites. Thanks for stopping by, m'dear.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on March 29, 2012:

Delightful! The horse's head weighs how much? That seems light but the Shire horse named Mammoth weighing in at 3300 lbs is a whale of a story! Wow!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Your batting average, Alastar, is always at the zenith. Not to worry, my friend, I shall always welcome your appearance on my hubs. Promise.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Isn't Hubpages wunnerful, Nellieanna, now you and Laura Jean have found each other. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

It's not difficult, izettl, to make all these networking connections. You just have to live a long time. Heh, heh.

Like rhe Oprah of Hubpages? What a sweet sobriquet, Thank you, Laura Jean. What a pretty name!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Yes, nicomp, m'dear, Hippolyte was able to reach Mr. Ed on his computer since Ed was staying on a farm and the farmer had a Dell (heigh-ho, the merry-o). Hippolyte was using his friend's iPad. His friend? The rhino. Don't ask!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

You are extremely prescient, nicomp. I'm sure that California law says precisely that in its latest addendum. Thanks for visiting and adding to my knowledge.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

It seems, Nellieanna, that anyone who has been around horses and admired them never forgets them. They are appealing creatures.

What a thrill that had to be to ride a horse down Big Canyon, big ears and all, slip-sliding much of the way. We didn't have mountains and canyons in Illinois where my horse riding took place so a large hill would be the biggest excitemnt. Delighted you had such an intelligent steed, Old Blue, to look out for you, m'luv.

I can just picture you and your daring cousin, Laura Jean, astride your horse built for two searching for ice cold water.

It's a good thing that horse was so intelligent since he had to figure out the way back home, a trip of six miles, without any help from his two sophisticated (?) riders. I can even picture the relief on your mother's face when these two brazen wayfarers returned home. You naughty kids! Methinks, NA, you may still be that 'brazen wayfarer.' Hmmmmm?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Welcome, lifelovemystery. Your name says it all! Delighted I could bring back some fond memories for you with this hub of Mr. Ed. Mr. Ed is happy, too, to be back in the spotlight.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Hi, snakeslane. Isn't it funny how impressionable we can be? A talking horse wasn't improbable at all. Mr. Ed had an entire retinue to keep him healthy and happy including his own veterinarian, podiatrist, manicurist (blacksmith) and trainer.

Those wild horses on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia that you mentioned are probably relatives of Acadian horses brought from Boston in the 18th century. Thank you for your visit and your gracious comments and the Up. Nice to see you here.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Hi, Peggy. Didn't realize there were so many of us who were Mr. Ed fans. And it was a long time ago - the 60s. You were an infant and I was ... well, you were an infant!

Thank you for loving to read all these facts and funny horse laws. And you are so right, m'dear, imagine our hub output if we only needed a few hours of sleep each night. No, it didn't pay to be a white horse while folks were worshipping Poseidon. But they did make a comeback when the Lone Ranger appeared with his beautiful white horse, Silver. You were just a babe in arms then. Thank you for pushing the buttons and the Up and sharing. You are most appreciated.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

How nice to have you visit, Sunnie. Sorry I had to be the one to break the news to you that Mr. Ed had a 'spokesperson.' I used to watch that show religiously.

Thank you for loving this hub and learning stuff. You asked about a future hub on Chickens. Well, since you used my favorite adjectives - 'great, entertaining, terrific' - I'll see what I can do.

You mentioned learning about your hens. How many do you have? Just wonderin'.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Hi, Becky, forgive my delay in responding. How wonderful that you had your uncle's ranch to visit and ride horses there as you grew up. I had to laugh at your remark about not wearing shorts when riding horses. My dad had access to a horse ranch several times a month when I was a teen and I remember attempting to ride my horse wearing shorts. Me ... not the horse. It was VERY uncomfortable. I still remember the name of the horse - a registered thoroughbred - TwinElm Peavine. No, I did NOT name him.

The Akhal Teke horse of Turkmenistan is striking looking and must be amazing to see in person. Thank you for all the lovely adjectives and loving Mr. Ed. Don't encourage him though; he's liable to hop a freight and visit. :)

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on March 28, 2012:

Your most gracious Drbj. One should always stick with the spirit of a hub and in future it shall be so. The batting average was dismally low that night but brighter days have returned thanks to you my good friend!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 28, 2012:

Alastar, my friend, I owe you an apology. Anxious to answer all these wonderful comments, somehow I skipped your interesting information. Mea culpa, mea culpa! Forgive me!

Thank you so much for your gracious words. Delighted you found this awesome and great fun. So did Mr. Ed.

Negatve forces allied with this TV show! Must have been a canard spread by an envious equine friend. I do agree with you though that many viewers missed that LBJ 'Viet Nam' speech because they had been watching Mr. Ed on at the same time. Would that have made a significant difference? Hard to tell.

I'm intrigued by your 'spiritual' experience watching Mr. Ed, sounds like the basis for a spine-tingling hub. And your comments are always so fascinating, Alastar, you have my permission to ramble on my hubs whenever. :)

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 26, 2012:

Wow -- izetti! How about that!! Hi, cuz!

L Izett from The Great Northwest on March 26, 2012:

Drbj~ I wish i had all the connections you do. You're like the Oprah of hubpages, interviewing all these famous folks!

Nellieanna~ hey that's my name...Laura Jean. I didn't know we were cousins!

nicomp~ Funny!

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 26, 2012:

A hippo emailed a horse? I'd like to interview their keyboards. Professional curiosity and all that...

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 26, 2012:

"One cannot pile horse manure more than six feet on a street corner in California."

Except outside the State House.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 25, 2012:

You're right. Iowa really doesn't appeal all that much.

No, I don't own a Mr. Ears. But though I haven't really been around horses since I was a youngster at the ranch, this has brought back fond memories for me too. Those horses were all big working quarter horses. Their ears impressed me because riding down into Big Canyon on the ranch, ears framed the view - which was just straight DOWN almost solid rock! The horses would slide down much of the trail and they knew I didn't know much, so they'd brush really close to cactus and thorny mesquite, seemingly to try to be rid of me.

But one of my favorites was Old Blue, for the bluish spots on his light-gray-colored hide. Very intelligent fellow and gentle as lamb. He took pity on me.

When my cousin, Laura Jean, was 14 & visiting (I was about 10), we got the not-too-brilliant notion to ride over to the next ranch, because they had a bottle-gas-powered refrigerator, and at our ranch - no such thing. We really wanted some really cold ice water, or - better still - maybe some ice cream. Without telling anyone our plan, we saddled up Old Blue and headed out, - both on the one horse - really having no idea how to get there, across the pastures between the two ranch compounds.

Late in the afternoon, we encountered Big Canyon as it had wound on a way and was even deeper, wider and more rugged. We could see the ranch house with the fridge in it across the chasm, but wisely we decided to abandon our mission. However, we really didn't know how to get back to our ranch compound! So, after we quenched our thirst at the canyon well and let Blue quench his in the stock trough, we just dropped the reins and let him take us back (about 6 miles over rugged territory). He actually made better time on the return trip! He knew there were hay and rest awaiting!

Not surprisingly, Mother was out in the yard, wringing her hands & frantic when we rode up! But the relief she felt probably spared us any deserved punishment.

Michelle Orelup from Las Vegas, NV on March 24, 2012:

You brought back some fond memories with this hub!

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on March 24, 2012:

Hello drbj, this horse hub is fantastic. I remember Mr Ed. I don't think I found it at all unusual that a horse could talk (at the time). There are wild horses native to Sable Island off the east coast of Canada, not sure how they got there originally, have you heard of them? Thank you for a great, informative, and entertaining page on Mr Ed and fellow hors and kurs. I'm sure Mr Ed had his own podiatrist, but sounds like a big job keeping a horses toenails trimmed. Voted up and awesome. Regards, snakeslane

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2012:

I also loved the Mr. Ed show. Seems so long ago! Ha! Loved reading all these facts and the funny laws regarding horses. Now, if I was like a horse needing so few hours of sleep a night, just THINK of the hubs that could be written!

"White horses were sometimes drowned in honor of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea and the creator of horses." Certainly did not pay being born white, if a horse, back then!

Amazing hub and interesting. Voted that and will share.

Sunnie Day on March 24, 2012:

Hello Drbj,

I remember Mr. Ed and as a kid loved that show...You mean he was not a real talking horse? I am devastated..:)

What a great and entertaining hub..I loved it..I learned so much in a short time. You did a terrific job on this one...One day if you may...can you do one on Chickens? Thanks...I am sure there is much I need to learn about my Thanks again. Great job!

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on March 24, 2012:

I grew up visiting my uncle's ranch so was quite familiar with horses. I did find some new facts to learn though. The shorts in the hotel must be for the horses since no one with any sense would ride a horse in shorts. Make ya itch. I was fascinated with the Akhal Teke horse of Turkmenistan, they have a different conformation and I just love the color. I had never heard of them. Good, informative, funny hub. Loved Mr. Ed.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 24, 2012:

Hi, izettl. Yes, Mr. Ed was homespun and corny at times, even soporific, which could be a good thing if you have insomnia, but always interesting. Ed almost always had the last horselaugh. Thank you, m'dear, for finding this 'great and creative.' Mr. Ed thinks so, too.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 24, 2012:

Hi, Feline. Oh, that was clever, dear, wishing me 'more horsepower.' Thank you. From your lips, as they say, to God's ears.

L Izett from The Great Northwest on March 23, 2012:

wow I didn't know there was so much I didn't know about horses. You certanly brought back some fond memories for me. I saw Mr.Ed re-runs growing up and I wish I could say I saw eve none episode but they put me to sleep before the end, which was good. They were comforting and now that I look back I think how silly of a show was that? lol. Great and creative hub!!!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Fascinated to learn, mary, that you had been married to a Vet who worked with horses. And there's no doubt you do know horses. Delighted you always loved Mr. Ed - he played a lovable though somewhat smart aleck character. Yes, I did a lot of research on this hub and I do appreciate your noticing. Thank you, m'luv, for the Up and etc.

Feline Prophet on March 23, 2012:

Well done! More (horse) power to you, drbj! :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, teaches. Delighted you learned some great horse facts here. Imagine if humans only needed about 3 hours sleep. How much more we could accomplish! And how much more tired we would be!

Thank you, m'dear, for loving the narrative and what I like to believe is humor. And thanks also for the Up.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Happy to have expanded your knowledge about a talking Mr. Ed, amillar. His TV show was very popular in the U.S. in the 60s.

I'm interested in the actual talking horse you mentioned. Horses are very sensitive to humans' cues but the next smartest horse I know about is Clever Hans. I wrote a hub about him: "The Amazing Horse Who Could Count."

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

I agree with you, Frog. Mr. Ed was much smarter than Wilbur. He practically wound him around his foreleg. You may remember, too, that he always had the best lines on the show. Thanks for the kind comment

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, CM. Yes, Mr. Ed is a good-looking horse with that beautiful Palomino coloring. And he knows it. He was happy to be interviewed since it's been awhile since he was so popular in the 60s. I will thank him again on your behalf.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Alicia. Delighted you enjoyed this informative hub as I always do reading yours. Give the Wonderpus Octopus my regards. Can you believe those funny crazy laws? And they are STILL on the books. Happy you learned some new interesting equine facts. Me, too.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Ruby. Next to Little Pumpkin, Thumbelina appears to have snagged the Cuteness Award. Yes, the trick wih the peanut butter is true; his trainer admitted he was responsible for that devious maneuver.

I do agree with you. Horses are very special beautiful animals. You are most welcome for the information that was new to you. Mr. Ed was a talkative subject and very happy to enjoy some notoriety again. He confided he would be happy to be your neigh-bor.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on March 23, 2012:

Another awesome interview from Drbj! This was such great fun with the horse facts n history, Mr Ed's 'inside info' and nutty laws. When you say you donned your wizard's hat you may be closer than you know Drbj. It's long been rumored that the show had connections to negative forces lets say. Not only that but in a crucial televised speech by LBJ that many researchers and historians say was the pivot for Americas involvement in Vietnam, most Americans were watching Mr Ed which was opposite the speech. If folks had been watching LBJ instead, history may have been far different than it was. Some may scoff at this but once when watching a Mr Ed re-run my head tilted to the side, and down the spine of a book which was in a bookcase behind the man talking, there were in big bold letters this-"I AM SATAN." I kid you not Drbj. Apologize for the ramble my friend.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

I do commiserate with you, dear Nellieanna. Breaking your horse of his hydrant-eating addiction would be a difficult problem for any equine psychologist. Perhaps he could be weaned from hydrant eating by providing ever smaller objects such as table lamp, then pottery and finally manageable ash trays. Keep in mind though that the law is only applicable in Iowa so don't plan any visits there.

Do you actually own a horse named Mr. Ears? Sounds like a story there to me. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Not surprised, bp, that you love Little Pumpkin. Almost everyone who sees that photo falls in love with that adorable little pony. Thank you for stopping by and the Up and awesome, m'dear.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

I just love your description, Eddy,'a true gem which will lift everyone's spirits.' As your poetry always does for me, m'luv. Happy to join with the sun to provide your high. You take care, too, and watch out for sunburn.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Pamela, I am indebted to you, my dear, for noticing the fulsome amount of research I did for this hub. Thank you for finding it so interesting and enjoyable. I learned quite a number of new facts myself. And thank you for the rating across the board - my favorie kind. Next to racetrack tote board, that is.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, christopher. I loved Mr. Ed, too. The show was corny but still fun to watch. I even began to feel sorry for Wilbur (Alan Young). Mr. Ed was always getting the best lines.

Delighed you enjoyed reading this and when you have time, watch the 2 videos - you'll enjoy them. Thank you for you're always gracious comments. I'll think about interviewing Green Acres Arnold if I can find him. If not, I'll just interview the other Ahnold - Schwarzenegger, that is.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Marie. Me, too. I knew it was going to be fun interiewing Mr. Ed - he is such a talkative horse. I always wondered how his trainer was able to get his lips to move. Now I know. It was the peanut butter. Tricky, eh? Thank you, m'dear, for the Up.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Chris, thanks for finding this a great read. Sorry no pin-up pics were available for your collection. And no thanks are necessary - entirely my pleasure.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, SuperS. Thanks for stopping by. So happy you learned a lot. Great idea about letting people who attend horse races know more about horses. But I guess the bottom line is knowing if the horses they bet on are faster than the others in the race. Right?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Lela. Thank you so much for visiting and reminding me that some horses do indeed have more than four gaits. And I should know since I once had the privilege of watching the famous Austrian Lippizaner horses perform. I will add the word 'most' in front of 'horses' so that fact will be correct.

I do agree with you that horses get a raw deal in today's world. The number of abandoned horses is increasing as many owners find they cannot pay to keep them. It's no way to treat one of our best animal friends.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 23, 2012:

Hi, Susan. You just won some more points for being the first to comment. I'll have to think of a suitable reward. Do your prefer silver or gold?

Delighted that you love Mr. Ed and this interview. He is an icon that is hard to forget. Thank you for your gracious comment about learning and having fun at the same time. My mantra, y'know.

You seemed disappointed about the ban in California on more than six feet of ordure piled on a street corner. Did you have a particular corner in mind?

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 23, 2012:

You know, I was married to a Vet who did equine work, so I know my horses pretty well. You did a lot of research of this Hub, and it is great! I always loved Mr. Ed. He was pretty smart. I voted this one UP, etc.

Dianna Mendez on March 23, 2012:

I learned some really great facts about horses through your hub. It seems that a creature thise size would need more than 3 hours sleep a day. Wow! Loved the Mr. Ed narrative and the humor intermingled throughout your article. Voted up!

amillar from Scotland, UK on March 23, 2012:

After reading this drbj, now I know what a talking ‘Ed is - amongst many other equine related things.

BTW, the difference between this and your other animal interviews is that there really is such a thing as a talking horse. I know because I’ve seen it with my very own eyes. It’s all down in black and white, so to speak.

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on March 23, 2012:

I sure miss Mr. Ed. He was much smarter than Wilbur!

Great Hub.

The Frog

CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on March 23, 2012:

Mr Ed is a very handsome horse drbj, so you were very lucky to be able to interview him! And thank him for all the great equine facts.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 23, 2012:

Thanks for the informative hub, drbj, and the very funny laws relating to horses. I learned some new and interesting facts about horses by reading your hub.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 23, 2012:

I really loved this, and i want Thumbelina, so cute. I will take your word for the peanut butter. ( Is it true? )HaHa.. I have always thought that horses were among the most beautiful animals. Thank you for all the extra info., much i did not know. Mr. Ed was kind to let you interview him, of course he knew he'd be more famous after Hubpages..Smiling..

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 23, 2012:

Oh, dear, oh, dear. . . . How can I possibly break my horse of his fire-hydrant eating addiction before my next trip to Iowa? I know I can't. Would be like trusting a cookie monster in a cookie factory. But Mr. Ears will be so grumpy when I must put his mouth in a locked harness as we ride up and down the Marshalltown Main Street! But he'll forgive me if he sees other horses getting arrested for chomping down the red water-bearing devices along the curbs. Mr. Ears may still be irritable about the harness and try to guarantee that he would desist from fireplug grazing while we were there, but I just couldn't risk it.

breakfastpop on March 23, 2012:

I just love, Little Pumpkin! Great piece. Up and awesome.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 23, 2012:

Oh yes yes yes drbj;another true gem which will lift everyone's spirits.

Not that I needed my spirits lifting today because the sun is shining and I love the sun!!!

So with a combination of your talent and the sunshine I am now on a true high!!!

Take care my friend and have a wonderful weekend.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 23, 2012:

You obviously did a great deal of research to come up with an amazing amount of information about horses. This is a very interest hub. I didn't know they required such a small amount of sleep and that there hearts weighed so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this hub and gave it rating across the board!

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on March 23, 2012:

I used to really love Mr Ed. Shows that I am getting on a bit but have great taste in TV.

Thanks for this great hub. I really enjoyed reading it. I will have to watch your videos later on.

Great stuff.

Please do an interview with "Arnold the pig" from "Green Acres". It would be brilliant.

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on March 23, 2012:

I knew I was going to be in for a fun treat when I got the announcement you were interviewing my favorite Mr. Ed. Had no idea about the peanut trick! Learned quite a few facts about horses that I wasn't aware of.

Voted up!

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on March 23, 2012:

A great read-- thanks !!!!!!!!

Supers49 on March 22, 2012:

That was great! I learned a lot. You should submit it to all the racetracks all over the world. Most people that go to races don't know all these facts.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 22, 2012:

One minor correction - horses have more than four gaits. Tennessee Walking horses have unique gaits specific to their breed as do the Lippizan horses of Austria.

Also there is a gait called Pacing in which two legs on one side move together, then the two legs on the other side move together. Trotting is where the foreleg and hind leg of opposite sides move together.

Horses have sure gotten a raw deal in this day and age. Many are being abandoned and shipped to Canada for meat processing. This is the way we treat animals that enabled us to become "masters" of the animal kingdom.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 22, 2012:

"A horse is a horse of course of course" I love Mr. Ed :) and your interview with him too. I always learn so much from these interviews that you do, and have so much fun reading them at the same time.

"One cannot pile horse manure more than six feet on a street corner in California." WHAT A SHAME :)

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