Mustangs for Your Ears

Deanne Stillman’s Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West came out in 2008 and remains definitive. It takes you from the arrival of the first Conquistadors’ horses – like Pedro de Alvarado’s “bright bay mare” “good both for tilting and to race” and the grey “Bobtail” who was “fast, and had […]

Peach Blossom, Trout and Tiger: Horse Colours in 1730s France

A list of horse coat colours taken from The School of Horsemanship by François Robichon de la Guérinière (first complete edition 1733. Translated by Tracey Boucher. Published by J A Allen, London, 1994): light bay chestnut bay black-brown golden bay dapple bay jet black rusty black dapple grey iron grey silver grey tiger (grey with […]

The Marquesa and I

My treat for the week’s travel was a copy of Penelope Chetwode’s Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalusia, her tale of wandering through Spain on a fat mare called Marquesa in the early 1960s. It’s vivid, pungent, beautiful and funny; she describes a country that has long since disappeared, swallowed by modernity. I recommend the work […]

Salvos Across the Equine Gene Pool: a Reader

This is not so much a post as a string of links to some interesting, thought-provoking essays elsewhere and a question: what is “pure blood” and should it matter? Let me explain. Roughly speaking, until the nineteenth century and even the twentieth century, the vast majority of horses and ponies in the West were not […]

A Little Light Horse Opera

“It takes a real horseman to understand the importance of the back. … Considering [Nuno] Oliveira’s repertoire of up to fifteen horses to school a day, it was scarcely surprising that he developed enormous strength and suppleness in the lower back or loins. Without the slightest appearance of movement in his proud shoulders and upraised […]

Bits and Bobs

English50cent translates for 50cent Tetley Tea gives a Spanish gelding called Sydney a lifetime supply of tea A new brumby recycling guide Ebony Horse Club wins an FEI award Mysterious theft of Montana horses’ manes and tails Equine behaviouralists discover that some horses act as “peacemakers” in the herd Mutilating a horse for fashion’s sake, […]

Bring on the Dancing Horses

News from the Telegraph on Sadler’s Wells’ new season: The show is among the highlights of the London theatre’s spring 2011 season. Most spectacular of all is a production featuring four live horses. The Centaur and the Animal will be choreographed by the Zingaro Equestrian Theatre, also making their British debut. The horses will perform […]