In the mail

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Whoa diplomacy

To the editor,

Got Equine Diplomacy?

Along with education cultural diplomacy, equine diplomacy is a type of citizen diplomacy that I and others are developing and promoting among the 140 million Russians and 330 million Americans, which complements (but does not substitute for) government-to-government diplomacy.

In “Education Cultural Diplomacy as Soft Power,” published in the Russian Journal of Communication (2018), UM Western coauthors and I recommended that American citizens outside the formal international relations, government-to-government establishment should connect with their respective counterparts in Russia, whether as teachers, ranchers, journalists, athletes, doctors, entrepreneurs, or horse whisperers.

In advancing equine diplomacy, I emphasize that Russia and America have long, friendship trust bonds (FTBs) with horses. These FTBs are found in Russian Alexander Pushkin’s famous poem “The Bronze Horseman “(1833) and Russia’s forthcoming Hipposphere International Equine Conference (St. Petersburg, Spring 2021). These FTBs are found in American Mary O’Hara’s “My Friend Flicka” (1941), E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” (1952), and Nicholas Evans’ “The Horse Whisperer” (1995), and found adopting Mustang horses from the Bureau of Land Management rescue program.

In advancing equine diplomacy, I note the foundations of Equus: Horse Communication. Discovering how horses communicate via the language of Equus, America’s horse whisperers promote innovative ways to train and connect with horses. These horse whisperers range from Pat Parelli and Monty Roberts to Buck Branna-man and Caroline Beste. Our county and country are fortunate to have The Montana Center for Horsemanship that uses the La Cense Method of Natural Horsemanship.

In advancing equine diplomacy, I note variations do exist among horse whisperers and their respective natural horsemanship methods. However, these innovative communicators share the following: No Whips, No Ropes, No Spurs, No Hard-Healed Boots-To-The-Horses’ Ribs, No Bits, No Bridles, and No Reins (yes, No Reins). Indeed, the most innovative communicators will full-speed gallop their horses 100 yards with no head gear (which means no halter, no bridle, no reins), when Whoa Means Whoa!

Eliminating these control mechanisms that humans have used on horses enhances the friendship trust bonds. Eliminating these control mechanisms means that humans need to communicate and connect with horses innovatively.

In advancing equine diplomacy among Russians and Americans, we can learn from our most innovative horse whisperers. First, Russians and Americans share many values, including our love of horses. Second, Russians and Americans can communicate better by eliminating control mechanisms, not only with our horses, but between our two countries.

Randy Piper


Open minds

To the editor,

Dear Fellow Citizens of Beaverhead County:

A plea on behalf of your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and ours - that we heed the warnings of scientists around our small, interconnected planet:

Climate Change is real and affecting all of us every day -consider the smoke umbrella from the West coast fires. A rural area such as ours utilizes scientific advances to operate and support livelihoods. All these qualified scientists can’t be lying to us. Much of Montana is already in moderate drought stage. Our forests are dry and vulnerable. Lack of sufficient water will affect crops.

We can either support the emerging efforts to develop alternative energy sources that have wide-ranging benefits, or we can stand in the way. We can either work with Clenera, offer negotiation, or research other companies that have already established solar farms around the country to see if their prices are more attractive. Let’s open our minds to being part of a proposed solution and not limit our thinking to the boundaries of our good county.

Val Neeley


Enough already

To the editor,

Do you suffer from P.C.S.?? Political Commercial Syndrome! Don’t all those commercials drive you crazy? Every other commercial is political fabrication. He said, she said, they said, somebody said, nobody said, he lied, she lied, everybody lied, he’s too liberal, he’s too conservative....on and on!

Crazy! Crazy! You know who you were going to vote for before any of the commercials were on television. Why don’t they tell us some real facts?

From now until election day we will hear the woes, the lies, the outlandish stories from the Democrats and Republicans, as they try to persuade us, confuse us, bait us, make our lives down right irritable.

You already know not much will get done for progress. The good parts will be torn down by the other side, while the other side is digging up dirt that was already dirty before they started.

They will confuse us with numbers, with names, with charts, with tears in their eyes and with phony smiles.

When they get all through, (but they never do), they make you feel ashamed of being an American. They make you feel ashamed that these so called grown up people are less than adults.

I can’t wait for election day..but it never comes!

LaVon D. Brillhart