Christmas Quiz: Count the Health and Safety Violations!

Dear readers, Merry Christmas to you all! Here’s my If Wishes Were Horses festive quiz: count the health and safety horrors committed by “Little Miss Fearless” in this short Pathé video from 1933 1923*. I’ve spent most of 2015 slogging away to finish book two, The Age of the Horse, which will be out at […]

Bidets, Somali War Horses, Blue Tongues, Bloodhounds and Sidesaddle: Some Equestrian Long Reads

  Hello to everyone who arrived after the New York Times piece on Sasa and Tav. I’m in the final months of writing book two, so I’m a terrible blogger just now. However, I do have a few long reads in the archives and on other sites, and you’re welcome to dip into them. I […]

The Language of Riding: A piece for the New York Times’ Menagerie Blog

Sasa’s name means “so-so” in Portuguese. It’s a little joke, because the gray lusitano gelding is anything but — he’s a beautiful horse who can, like many Iberian equines, claim descent from the war horses of the Renaissance. Look at Uccello’s “Battle of San Romano” and there’s Sasa’s likeness carrying a Florentine general: compact as […]

Back From the Steppe

Research trip number four for book number two is complete, and now I just have to do the hard work of weaving the material into shape. Normal-ish service is being resumed, along with a few snapshots of horses symbolic and real I met on my travels. These are some domestic Mongolian horses, just outside Hustai […]

What Do Horses Mean In New York?

I’ve been hoofing around New York and DC in the pursuit of a holiday and book two (which will be out in, ooooooh, 2015?). Shanks’ Mare and I saw a surprising number of equines on our travels, although we missed the zebra and pony on the loose on Staten Island. Books two and three are […]

Non-Horsey Men Read and Enjoy Book About Horses

(and he’s not the only one!) Reader’s Digest: ‘For any woman who once shared Forrest’s obsession, the result with be thought-provoking nostalgia; for everybody else, If Wishes Were Horses is a fascinating, beautifully written social history – and one of those books that makes you suddenly interested in a subject you may never have thought […]

One Elderly Lady and One Nearly Middle-Aged Lady in the Havelland (with apologies to Penelope Chetwode)

Today I had a long overdue ride at Sabine Zuckmantel’s Wanderreiten im Havelland, the stable that features in the last chapter of If Wishes Were Horses. Half the horses were away (along with Sabine) on a ride in Poland, so we were a small group, and I was assigned the yard’s Queen Mother, Etincelle. Etincelle […]