More Circles?

I'm still wandering around a bit, and this venue looks more appropriate than the Cafe where I just posted my questions. Sorry for the duplication.

Will more circles/topics be added? As a trainer of horses and horse owners, I'm looking forward to a forum that deals specifically with horses, either by itself or as a subsection of something such as Energy or Power.

If more will not be added, then which forum would be the most appropriate place for a horse discussion group?


David Trammel's picture

Perhaps a new circle on "animal husbandry" would be appropriate. This could cover both food animals as well as transport and security animals (horses and dogs).

Let me see what I can do but FYI it may take a few weeks, Teressa is a bit hard to get to and she's the one who can add cirlces.

Hello, Houyhnhnm

I'm here. I'm an equine/large-animal veterinarian. What aspects of horse care do you want to discuss wrt green wizardry (i.e. working around present and future limitations)? There's likely to be quite a bit that is also relevant to other farm animals, particularly wrt feeding, housing, hoof and dental care, parasite control, pasture management, etc. The fundamentals are the same, regardless of the species (including dogs, cats, and other pets): it's really all about working with biology - the animal's and the environment's - rather than trying to diddle the system to get what we (think we) want.

Preaching to the choir, hopefully.

-Chris King-


(posted by the original Forum Admin, when the site started)

The structure of the forum in the "Course" area mirrors the structure of the material that John Michael Greer is working on for the Green Wizard project. I don't know what other Circles he may have planned, if any, but that doesn't mean you can't talk about horses. Horses have a lot of relevance to things like Food production (plowing, composting manure, etc) and also to the Craft Circle, where you can talk about training horses and caring for them, which is definitely a very practical traditional skill that is absolutely worthy of being cultivated and passed on!

.. aren't there Circles started for the animal series?

Because the animals we're discussing all have to do with food production!

More generally, the three circles are very broad categories, in which there will be plenty of individual threads and discussions. I've seen a lot of forums diluted into echoing silence by having too many sections with just a couple of conversations in each.

So by all means put in your $.02 about animals in the First Circle, and start as many conversations there as you need to.

Part of the problem for me is that horses, my favorite topic, fit in all the current circles and more.

Food--ask the French for good horse recipes
Heat--ask the Swiss about housing the team and other stock in the lower level of the house for heat
Craft--ask any horseman of any culture for training, feeding, or use tips

However, the circles don't cover transport or power. How are folks going to get their excess produce to market quickly? Will there be a revival of the "fast freight" drafter?

I'd also quibble that breeding is, at least when done by the best, an art rather than a craft. For example, Federico Tesio (d.1954), the most influential breeder of Thoroughbreds in history, has been known for the last half century or more as "the wizard of Dormello [his farm]." He never had more than 40 mares in his herd. He often bought cheap mares and bred to good but not fashionable stallions, and yet today 90 percent plus of all TBs descend from stallions he bred. Call that craft if you will; I call it magic.

I suspect we need a new Tesio to develop the new strains of horses we will need in the coming years.

The topic will work out somehow, of course. I may just start talking horse in the cafe.


I suspect we need a new Tesio to develop the new strains of horses we will need in the coming years.

I had the same fleeting thought watching a PBS documentary "Dogs That Changed the World": herding dogs, guard dogs, sled dogs, healing dogs, hunting dogs... And some cultures, of course, ate them.

Some dogs were also used for fiber - the PNW Salish tribe bred dogs with long, dense, wooly hair that could be spun and made into blankets and such.

Unfortunately, they were allowed to become extinct. Could have been an interesting breed to revive!

Sophie Gale and Teresa Hardy--

Spot on observations.

Right now, I'm betting we don't even know what sort of horses or dogs or whatever will be useful to future generations. And we most likely won't until way late, perhaps even too late.

So I say now's the time for a good many breeders to start making educated guesses. Most will be wrong, but the few who guess right may well save many. For example, I read a post somewhere by an old woman (80s?) who'd spent the last few decades cross-breeding today's popular breeds of chickens and stabilizing a strain to hand down. She'd given up on top egg production and instead selected for hardy foragers that would give a fair number of eggs and brood their own young, something that's been bred out of most modern chickens.

I suspect that the tale of the Haitian black pig may well be a good warning tale for all of us. The tough little Creole pig was wiped out during the 80s in a misguided attempt at "progress." Of course, modern pigs aren't at all suited to the climate and the result was economic disaster. Grassroots International is supporting a recreation/repopulation effort: "Pig Party"


Hello Houynhnh,

I am curious about what breed you are breeding yourself. Up here in Canada we almost lost one of our National treasure, the Canadian horse. Fortunately the breed is doing much better. It has influenced many other North American breeds, including the Morgan and the Standardbred. I believe it has a great future in North Eastern America as it is not only an easy keeper with gentle dispositions, but also a hard worker. It was the settlers all-around farm horse who would haul the wood during the week and drive the family to the Church on Sunday. It was also used a lot for stagecoach because of its strength and endurance. The American Civil war had a serious drain on its population when thousands of horse were exported to the US to supply the North.

I no longer breed although I've been agonizingly tempted to breed again because I have a Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred mare who looks--both in the flesh and on paper--like she'd cross beautifully with a Varian Arabian stallion. So far, I've resisted because of my age.

My career as a breeder basically ended when my Arabian stallion died at 30 in 1995. I bought him in 1976, a time of pretty blind optimism about the future, so, back then, my goal was breeding Anglo-Arabian sport horses for field hunting, eventing, and dressage. He got those types and more. His purebreds took regional and national honors for their owners.

Kind enough to trust with small children, he was powerfully muscled, upright and intensely masculine. Morgan and Quarter horse breeders actually liked him more than did a good many Arab breeders who preferred more dainty types.

Were he around today and were I twenty years younger, I'd be using him to start a strain of compact ride-drive-pull horses for smallholders. From what I've seen of modern Morgans, he'd have a better chance of succeeding than most registered Morgans would.


David Trammel's picture

Perhaps a Circle on Health and Medicine? While I can see this as being a Craft I feel its a big enough topic in itself that it wouldn't dilute the discussions much.

David Trammel's picture

This discussion did take place over 2 years ago, so sorry for posting here, but I'd rather not duplicate the same stuff again. On the other hand, more circles have been added already, so I think a Circle of Medicine/Health may be revisited.

Some green wizards will choose to follow a path as 'healer mages' so that's perfectly fine fit for the Circle of Craft, one of the original 3. But on the other hand, everyone is going to be affected by reduced access to health care in the short/mid term, not to mention a long time down the road.

More over, I have started to follow this path myself for the last 2 years, and what I found ain't pretty. I learned that I was (and continue to be) utterly unprepared to deal with health issues in myself and my family. Even if BAU is prolonged for years to come, population in general has grown complacient and pins their hopes to unreasonable expectations for the health care professionals.

Please consider if it would be worth to have a place to discuss this issues, both from the perspective of untrained civilians (think the Hemlich maneuver, people choke so fast that there's almost no time for an ambulance to come) up to however far we can make it.

Thanks in advance.

Hi, Ray -

We'd discussed this with JMG back when it first came up, and because of all the legal liabilities about recommending any kind of healing technique or substance, he asked us to steer clear of a medical topic. There are many other sites that have one, so it's not like we're the only option. Sorry that it wasn't clear from the previous discussion.

how do all those OTHER sites get away with continuing to speak about traditional medicine? While I respect the guidelines that have been set for this site, I honestly think that they are over concerned.

David Trammel's picture

I beleive that JMG is worried that as someone with a bit of fame, and with it the implication he has loads of money (not), he could face legal problems or even law suits. That would be bad both for him and this site. I know of a few sites in the nutrition and diet field who are having a real headache from obscure government boards over what they discuss so it is a real concern.

Those other sites are small enough that if some government entity went after them, their owners could just close their site down and move on. Since there are other sites where people can discuss medical information (and guns), we've decided not to risk it, and focus on all the rest of things green.

We hope that the Green Wizard site remains and helps build the community here until we are forced off the Internet, when it closes and onto packet ham, and finally snail mail. Hopefully a first class stamp will be affordable.....or they take trade in vegetables LOL.

David Trammel's picture

Ok, no problem. Liabilities is something I had not think about.