Scandal! Did the Icelandic tölt come from England?

Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wild Animal Research (IZW) in Berlin have announced a fascinating discovery in the history of gaited horses. By studying the genomes of ninety horses that lived between the Copper Age and the eleventh century, they have traced the spread of the fifth equine gait or amble. This […]

We Are Horses, Horses Are Us

In Benedikt Erlingsson’s Of Horses and Men, the inhabitants of a remote Icelandic valley have emotions as tightly knitted as their jumpers – except when it comes to their swift-trotting, thick-maned horses. In the opening scene we see the coat on a grey mare’s chest, caught in whorls and feathered by drizzle as her owner’s […]

Art & Horseyculture: A Nineteenth-Century English Encounter with Icelandic Horses

Englishman Charles Taylor visited Iceland in 1862 and recorded his impressions of the local beasts, seen here in Reyjavik. Full details at the US Library of Congress’ excellent, generous website.

Icelandic Horses Gather at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

The 2013 Icelandic Horse World Championships launched this morning at the Platz der 18 Mars, in front of the Brandenburg Gate. A parade of horses and riders from over twenty nations clopped up the Strasse des 17 Juni through the middle of the Tiergarten park in the centre of Berlin and stood in a circle […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Artist Mark Wallinger has made a 3D scan of a racehorse, produced it in marble dust and resin and set it outside the British Council building in London. Wallinger’s work frequently features horses, and he’s even a racehorse owner himself. The piece will tour internationally, and the artist hopes it will revive interest in his […]

Nature Wins Over Nurture in the Gaited Horse

We talk very easily about “a gene for this” or “a gene for that” but most of our characteristics have more complex biological origins than a single strand of DNA. That’s perhaps why it’s such a surprise to read this story, which my brother, Sarah Everts and Christine Wilsdon all sent me. Researchers at Uppsala […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

I was away! Things happened! But first – a round up of curious happenings in the horse world! Looks like I got rid of the virtual racing stable I ran in the early 1990s far too early. An unraced imaginary horse from the Digiturf game has just been sold for $5,225. Yes, not only is […]