Sunday, June 1, 2014
The Monument Men
Amidst the carnage of World War II a handful of American leaders had the foresight to put a major effort into recovering works of art stolen by the Nazis. A minuet fraction of Americans had ever even hard of most of this art. At a time when their sons and brothers and husbands and fathers were dieing in battle it is hard to imagine that most Americans would have supported the risk of spilling even more American blood to save paintings, especially if they understood that the hope was to return this art to its rightful owners.
The appreciation of the value of beauty has been hard to quantify in any culture. But in that instance enough people with enough power to get the job done took on that task for the sole purpose of preserving beauty for future generations.
The Colonial Spanish horse has also been stolen from us. He remains in a mere handful of places,being saved by a mere handful of people. These people recognize that they will never make any money from their efforts to preserve beauty for future generations. They recognize that few people even realize that these horses exist. They recognize that they will achieve no fame or glory for working to preserve these horses. They recognize that the only measure of success for them is whether their horses will remain for 200 years after they are dead and forgotten. They recognize that those who should be their closest allies, the established horse world, instead represent the greatest threat to their efforts. They live, and die, unrecognized by mainstream culture for their work.
They are monument men.
We had two very special guests visit the horse lot this weekend, Monique Scheaffer and her mother Mozelle Henry. Monique introduced us to the Choctaw horses. She gave Joey and Twister to our program so we could help increase the visibility of these rare Colonial Spanish horses. To commemorate the visit my riders worked hard to build a Choctaw chickee, a traditional summer dwelling structure of the Choctaws during the early 19th Century. A small plaque marks the structure.
Before lunch Monique and Mozelle joined Terry and I for a long ride through the woods. Monique is riding Joey, a Choctaw horse that she gave to us last fall. Mozelle is riding Porter, a formerly wild Corolla horse.
(I will not give any specific ages but I will say that Monique is younger than me and Mozelle is older than Daddy).
They both share my belief that the only hope our horses have is for all of us to work together regardless of which particular strain we support.
They also understand that often the only difference between worthless and priceless is the ignorance of the consumer. When people ride these horses they learn what it pricelessness truly is.
Perhaps that is why I have never sought to sell one of my Corolla fillies and have instead,given them to special people.
It is too hard to calculate the sales tax on a priceless item.
Posted by Steve Edwards