The Onagers, The ‘Simply Dump It’ and more things I wish they would invent…

I have another hodgepodge today.


Have you ever heard of an Onager?  I hadn’t either and the funny thing about that is there are TWO types of Onager.  I had heard of neither.

The first Onager I wish to discuss today came to my attention via MSNBC Animal Tracks.  I always look at those.  So, this week, I looked at the Animal Tracks and found this photo.  I thought it was a donkey but when I read the caption, it said Onager.  ?  What is an Onager?  So, I looked it up.

An Onager is a wild donkey, sort of.  It looks more like a donkey than a horse but has some horse-like qualities.  And, it has a different number of chromosomes than both the donkey (62) and the horse (64).  Onagers have 50-56 chromosomes depending upon the subset.  Those numbers seem like the zebra which has 32-46 depending upon the breed.

The description reads like the ”what you don’t want in a pet” book.  They are stubborn, almost impossible to train, bigger than a donkey both in weight and height, has the upright mane, donkey tail but horse legs.  They have a dorsal stripe, are beige with a white underbelly, usually have striped legs and are very stout and willful.  Hmmmmmm, kinda sounds like the Przewalski Horse that I wrote about on Father’s Day.

And, coincidentally, they come from the same regions as the Przewalski (Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel, and Tibet) and also are almost extinct. The subspecies of the Onager that are still living are the Mongolian Wild Ass, the Gobi Kulan (or Dziggetai), the Turkmenian Kulan, the Persian Onager, and the Indian Wild Ass (or Khur).  The extinct species is the Syrian Wild Ass, the very last one died in 1928 in a zoo.  There is an Onager protection society that has set up reserves in Mongolia.

Good to know.


The second Onager that came to my attention during a Google search was the weapon.  Have you ever heard of this?  Me neither but I bet your male friends have…  It is a medieval catapult type device.  Evidently, men dress up in odd specialty garb and have festivals to see who can built the largest one and which one will send some ball of something hurling through the air the farthest.  I’ve attached a link to an Onager festival video here.  Go figure.


The Simply Dump It is an idea that must have come from someone who was sick of their wheelbarrow…  The Simply Dump It are additional handles that you put onto your wheelbarrow handles to eliminate the need for the extra ooomph at the end of dumping to get that last bit out.

OK, I have very mixed feelings regarding this product.  On the one hand, I think that this is America and if anyone comes up with an idea and wants to promote it, more power to them!  On the other hand, this item just seems like one more thing that our work-evasive American society doesn’t need.  Am I getting too controversial here?  I mean, OK, if you have carpal tunnel or have arthritis, I can totally see using this.  But, c’mon, that extra “clean and jerk” move at the end of the wheelbarrow run is what keeps my heart in good shape.  Or, at least helps.  Dunno. 

The website is industrial looking and easy to use.  It is clean without much jibberjabber.  The site is simple but detailed.  And, surprisingly, the Simply Dump It is relatively inexpensive.  The manufacturer took pains to keep it under $30 including shipping!  I thought that was nice.  So, on the whole, I feel this company has been very thoughtful.  So, maybe I’m being too harsh.

Look and tell me that I’m full of hot air and that this is the best thing since sliced bread.  Or, if you don’t already have one and want to buy one;  let me know how it goes.  Maybe the fact that I’m a shorty is why this doesn’t seem necessary.  Maybe tall people will love this.  Here is the website.


1)  HORSE CAR WASH.  Standard.  Gold.  Platinum.  Simonize.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were stations somewhere convenient (maybe near an Oil Can Henry’s) where you could go to wash your horse.  I know, I know, I have a washrack and I’d still like this.  Here’s my idea…  You drive up to the easy turn-around and park station.  Out comes your horse and he is immediately blasted with a mist of mild sedation.  He calmly walks onto the sparkly clean matted stall with gleaming bumpers on the walls.  All you do is put your money in and push the button for whatever type of wash you want for that day.

Standard:  The usual.  Hose him down, scrub him up, rinse him off.  You choice of shampoos/conditioners   $10

Gold:  This setting allows you ample time to wash the mane and tail however, the big plus is that lightweight rubber suit arms appear and magically catch all the water that would normally run down your arms and into your bra.  It also provides a face shield for backsplash.  The Gold setting has a hoof spray pulse that will get all the gnarly mud balls and oogey stuff off from around there.  $20

Platinum:  This setting has all the above with the added specialty of udder and sheath cleaning.  You put your horse into the convenient cross ties and a set of bars come up from the floor and surround your horse.  Then, magic gentle fingers appear and expertly do their duty with luxurious creams and antibacterial soaps.  Your sedated horse hears lovely music and is fed apple sauce from a tube.  $45

Simonize:  This is the whole schebang.  You get all the above plus a coat shine, mane/forelock braid, tail styling, hoof polishing and a subliminal “how to be a good horse” tape which outlines all the finer points and plays directly into his horsey headphones   $60


I think someone should record several different horses with different ranges of vocalizations into orchestrations.  These horses could go on tour and be called the Horchestra.  They would be well cared for while on tour and really would only have to stand on stage since all of their covers would be pre-recorded.  I see vocalizing anything from Anne Murray (although not promoting this)  to Train.  Their CDs could be grouped into many categories and they’d also put out a Christmas Concert.  Of course, all profits would go to Equine Charities.

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If you want an update on the Iron Man Rescued Foal Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Only one comment so far...

  1. Lunar-63

    Those of you wishing to read about the re-introduction of Onagers into the Negev desert near Eilat, Israel, read: “High Hills and Wild Goats: Life Among the Animals of the Hai-Bar Wildlife Refuge” by Bill Clark. the book discusses how this rare species was re-introduced into the Negev and how difficult they are to care for in captivity. You can read a short book summary at:

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