Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Found horse, Berlin street.

Found horse, Berlin street.

First up: please go directly to Horse Nation to read Susan Corwin’s account of joining a hunt in Meath, Ireland to break the world record for the number of side-saddle attendees. Fans of Molly Keane and Somerville & Ross will enjoy the craic. This was Susan’s first choice of riding expedition after a gruelling course of cancer treatment. Turns out a thick application of Irish mud, a wilful Connemara pony and some very large ditches are just the ticket.

After about the second ditch, a very kind Irish gentleman handed me his flask and assured me that the more I drank now, the smaller the ditches would get, and the more I drank at the pub later, the bigger they would get.

And now on with the more mixed news of all that’s weird or worrying in the horse world. Not much light-hearted fun this week, I’m afraid, but some steps forward.

  • Burger King finds itself implicated in the horse meat scandal. (CNN) Which has probably been going on for over a year… (Telegraph) Meanwhile, Poland say that five of the six slaugherhouses that supply meat to Ireland have no traces of horsemeat on site. (Reuters)
  • Aqueduct racetrack in New York begins to cancel race days in order to try and get a grip on horse safety. Six horses have broken down on the turf course and been shot since December. More of the NYT’s excellent coverage of the lethal intersection of big, casino-inflated purses and medication abuse in US horse racing (NYT)
  • Denver International Airport erected a statue of a giant blue mustang with neon red eyes five years ago, and everyone hated it. Now that those five years have passed, locals are legally allowed to petition for its removal. Will it become a cult classic or a bad taste memory? (9News.com)
  • Danish scientists on the challenges and rewards of studying social hierarchy in horses. (The Horse)
  • I’ve covered donkey-milk soap as a beauty aid. Now Kazakhstan is getting in on the act with horse-milk soap. (Eurasia.net)
  • Emaciated and gravely injured cob youngster abandoned in an Essex playground. Photo not for the faint-hearted; the horse had to be put down immediately. (Thisistotalessex)
  • The number of ponies hit by cars on Dartmoor has risen with the poor weather: the ponies come to the roads for the sale that’s laid down to melt snow. (BBC)
  • An American man says he violated a horse because he was trying to make a “horseman baby”. (The Smoking Gun) And Germany outlaws bestiality. Good news for German horses, if not for wannabe centaur begetters. (NYT)

If Wishes Were Horses: The Beast

Relevant Berlin street art

I’m not about to give out links on the subject of bestiality or zoophilia, but if you want any sources for the material on abnormal psychology and attempts to sexualise women’s love of horses, ask away. This Deborah Bright essay on the Freudian take on horse-craziness and women in modern art is eloquent and a beautiful read.

This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. The main online index for the book is here.

“And a Grisly New Year…”

  • mutilated pony found in Hampshire ditch, police say “it would appear that its body has been mutilated to prevent it from being identified or its owners traced.”
  • filly with broken neck found in Buckinghamshire. “It was emaciated, had a broken neck and both hind legs were bound together and the rope tied to a gatepost. It is thought that the pony was tied to the gate while on the back of a trailer and was pulled off the vehicle and onto the road as it moved off.”
  • pony freezes to death after being trapped in a lake in Carmarthenshire.
  • Devon man caught on CCTV committing bestiality with horses over ten month period.
  • a herd of seventy stray, abandoned horses is causing chaos in Llanelli.
  • a seventeen-year-old Australian teenager has been charged with animal cruelty after dragging a Shetland pony stallion behind his car on Christmas day.

Good news? Good news there is!

  • Anapka the parasailing Russian donkey has a new home.
  • fourteen of the most vulnerable horses rescued from Spindles Farm by the Horse Trust are now thriving.
  • the wonderful Horse Rescue Fund in Norfolk is preparing for a springtime sponsored walk to raise money. They’re a great small charity who re-home most of their horses and have been campaigning against the live transport of horses for slaughter for decades. I knew a couple of their rescues – Woodstock and Orlando – at Cringleford Riding School in the eighties. One of their current residents snapped by me, below:

Bertie Bassett