Talking on Behalf of Horses

I’ve been thinking lately about horses and ventriloquy. I want to write something about the talking horses of literature, from Houyhnhnms to Dick, the Little Poney, Tolstoy’s Kholstomer and Black Beauty. Why do so many authors want to give a voice to horses? What do we use them to say about horses, humans and the […]

Saddle Up For A Classic Pony Book Spring

Fidra Books of Edinburgh have recommenced rolling out their new editions of Ruby Ferguson’s Jill series with book three, Jill Has Two Ponies. This is the original text, without any politically correct snips or sections removed because long books might bore the modern kiddo. They also feature facsimiles of the wonderful 1950s illustrations by Caney. […]

Talking Horses: Ponies Plot

Talking Horses is a series of extracts from novels, poems and short stories both classic and obscure that feature fictional horses who enter into the conversation. Ponies Plot is a 1965 curio by the British naval historian C. Northcote Parkinson. Curious because it sends up the classic pony book delightfully. It tells the story of […]

Talking Horses: Dick the Little Poney

Talking Horses is a series of extracts from novels, poems and short stories both classic and obscure that feature fictional horses who enter into the conversation.     The Memoirs of Dick, the little poney, supposed to be written by himself (1799) by Anon. Why I was called Dick, I know not. The appellation was […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Ponies: the fatter they are, the naughtier they be. Thelwell proved correct by science. Cheap gelding clinics are becoming a reality in the US. Here’s one in California. Jane Smiley on National Velvet. A fell pony riding holiday in Lancashire. A swimming race for horses that commemorates a Venezuelan battle of 1819. A wild stallion […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Gymkhana

Jill’s Gymkhana was recently reissued by Fidra Books in Scotland. 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.

If Wishes Were Horses: Horsemanship

Balthasar Carlos, as painted by Velázquez. A modern rendering of Elizabeth I’s speech at Tilbury, featuring Cate Blanchett and a very pretty palfrey. Marie Antoinette rides astride, dashing in leopardskin and yellow silk, and Catherine the Great eschews a side-saddle for another equestrian portrait. If you can’t resist the chance to read Dick: The Memoirs […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Saving Beauty

Ann Lindo’s Horse Trust, Tettenhall Horse Sanctuary, the Horse Rescue Fund and World Horse Welfare are just some of Britain’s great horse rescues. I have to put in a special shout out for the Horse Rescue Fund. Established in the 1960s by a family who wanted to make a difference, they are part of the […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Young Riders

Ponymadbooklovers have a good information page on Golden Gorse, as does Jane Badger. The only pony I ever got to Christmas was an Exmoor “adopted” from the Moorland Mousie Trust in Devon, who work to preserve what is now sadly a rare breed. They have commissioned a hardback re-issue of the novel, complete with original […]

If Wishes Were Horses: The Red Horse and the White Mare

Epona.net is a comprehensive one-stop-shop for all the known sources on the Gallo-Celtic horse goddess, Epona. There’s an on-line shrine complete with funky flute music here. Devon, Maid of Epona has provided a prayer for the goddess here, and ideas for honouring her in ritual here. Jane Badger has an interview with the author of […]