Police apprehend a horse-drawn buggy whose driver passed out drunk

It’s a great American tradition. George Washington was well-known for drinking a bit much at Gadsby’s Tavern, climbing on his horse, tying himself down, setting the horse off on its way home and going to sleep.


I was once told by my grandmother that a relative of some previous generation (y’know some variation of great uncle or cousin or whatnot) was known to take his horse and wagon to the town fair and after spending the day there simply climb into his wagon and let the horse take him home while he snoozed. No mention of alcohol was ever made, but one can assume these things.

People love to share these stories, but the ability of horses to “get themselves home” is way overstated. Some can sometimes, and some will sometimes from certain distances, but they aren’t magical. Left to their own devices, mostly they wander aimlessly and eat whatever looks good. If they see other horses, they might follow them for a while to see what’s what. They do like routine and like to walk the same route each day if you’re always going to the same place. However it’s still the human doing the navigating. The horse is just recognizing his immediate surroundings.

Source: a lifetime of being in a horse family and more than a few long distance horse camping trips.


Did you note that he was wearing a shirt with buttons? He may not have submitted to the community rules yet. (And I’m trying to not be insulting about it while fully acknowledging that the young people in these communities are set up to fail in their interactions with the “outside” world.)


Sure you’re not thinking of zippers? Buttons have been around almost as long as clothing itself.

Hmm. Apparently that particular clothing restriction only applies to suit coats. I was under the impression that it was a general rule for some reason. Zippers are very much out! That white shirt, however, seems to not be on the list of approved colors.

(Standard caveat: take information on the linked site with a grain of salt; not all Amish communities follow the exact same rules, etc.)

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My family lived in an area with a significant Amish population when I was quite young. Pops would use the example of the buggies that would get home vs the buggies that would just go around in circles as a parable for developing a work ethic. Basically, spend the time training your horse early on and it’ll pay off when you’re older and want to go get blitzed.


Got it, did not know about the suitcoat thing.

I did not watch the video but a white shirt does sound very much out of place. Well, I’m sure he was doing the best he could!

Recognizing/identifying yourself, recognizing/identifying others are interesting problems, both in existential and technical aspects, it’s not like I could do a better job. Afaik, most horses left to their own devices don’t ram into each other. Tesla’s horrible if it’s pushing autonomous vehicles to be on the road before they’re ready, but I don’t really blame them for not being able to recognize a horse as well as a horse does.

We don’t need a Tesla (or any other self-driving vehicle) to recognize a horse as a horse. We need it to have a fallback mode for when it encounters an unknown that isn’t “ignore unknown object, it’s probably fine.”

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An autonomous car might have to put it into a very specific category, it should give it more distance than an inert object, or another vehicle, a horse can accelerate in unusual directions, is subject to being spooked, and may kick if you get behind it and honk. Some horses are perfectly welcone on roads, for some escaped or wild horses, the authorities should be called. Ideally, it’d recognize how the operational parameters of a horse on the road are very distinct from a deer, large dog, moose, wooden dining room table, marble dining room table, two people in a pantomime horse costume, kungfu lion/dragon dancers or such. Though ai image discrimination might not be able to quickly categorize the entities above.

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