I never knew too much about horses, and after i got to know them a bit i didn't want to know too much about horses, having learned that, like people, they sometimes had disagreeable dispositions. Also, it seemed when riding, every time my posterior was coming down the hard saddle was coming up to meet me, giving my back an uncomfortable jar. It always looked so easy when Shane rode into the sunset.
Riley had a Strawberry Roan that was an exception to this rule. She was a sweet horse, a gaited Tennessee Walker that was smooth riding and always seemed to put her foot exactly where i wanted her to step. Riley could get her to stand perfectly still when salving an ear or checking her eyes.
"Horses are just smart enough" Riley told me, "if they were any smarter it wouldn't work and if they were any dumber it wouldn't work". That's me; just smart enough.
Now i like to read commentaries by learned journalists and am always a bit dismayed with some of the words they find to express themselves, words like casuistry and sophism. They send me to the dictionary and for years i would kind of gloss over them, thinking i could guess what they meant in the context of what i was reading rather than get out the seven pound dictionary and page alphabetically to their definition. When i guessed, i often guessed wrong. The computer has simplified all that for me, but i still don't necessarily retain their meaning and often have to look them up the second and third time before it all soaks in.
Casuistry, by the way, means the use of clever but unsound reasoning and sophism means an untrue or fallacious argument meant to deceive. I sometimes find myself reading articles that contain casuistry and sophism, the problem being i have to be just smart enough to recognize it, because at first glance they are plausible and reasonable but actually they are misleading and they are wrong. Specious is the word i want you to remember because a specious statement is a wrongful statement that sounds reasonable and is told with the objective of deceiving us and getting us to believe it. We just have to have enough horse sense to figure it out or be left with the wrong impression, and worse still, maybe passing it on as the gospel truth.