Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

  • Composer Eve Harrison teamed up with Scottish schoolchildren to write a musical about the horse meat scandal, called The Unspeakable. If I weren’t on the move just now I would dig out a 17th century story in which Scottish children chased and stoned a man known to eat horse meat. (BBC)
  • The FAO reports that the number of horses in the world has dropped by a million every year from 2009–2011, doubtless in response to the recession. The number of donkeys has increased – again, I’m pretty sure that’s down to the recession too. Donkeys make the developing world go round, after all. (Horse Talk NZ)
  • In the wake of the horse meat scandal, Ireland tightened its enforcement of slaughter regulations, with the result that the number of horses entering abattoirs has plummetted. The government is now considering a humane disposal programme for horses that have been treated with bute and other drugs that render them unfit for human consumption. (Irish Times) Meanwhile the UK’s DEFRA will close the loop hole that allowed horses travelling between Ireland, the UK and France to escape a full vet inspection. Racehorses and FEI competitors will still be excused (Horse Talk NZ)
  • In May the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association’s executive committee voted in favour of a bill that would end the use of padded shoes and chains. The board of directors nixed it. Now a member of the executive committee is running an unauthorised poll among members to ask them what they think, and feathers are flying (The Tennessean)
  • Archaeologists in Bulgaria have uncovered a 2,500 year-old Thracian chariot and two horses – the twist? The horses were somehow buried standing (Habitat for Horses)
  • Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

    eBay, I don’t believe you. That never happened in my daydreams.

    Right, on with a long overdue HHLHL! I’ve been busy organising a research trip for book two but the horse world went on turning, and lovely people have been sending me links, so enjoy this extra special post whose diversity reminds me why I’m writing that second book in the first place.

    • A zebra pulling a trap in Brixton, circa 1915. (Urban75)
    • Look at this beautifully carved golden horse head discovered in a Thracian tomb in Bulgaria. It dates from the third century BC. (Guardian)
    • If Radio 4 ever gets rid of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time I’ll know Britain is over. Here Melvyn and guests discuss the Upanishads – some of the sacred texts of Hinduism. Horse sacrifice is mentioned (maybe with a connection to the Steppes folk who first domesticated horses?) Thanks to Mum for sending this. (Radio 4)
    • The “Pony” chair of Eero Aarnio, the brilliant Finnish designer who came up with the Sixties icon, the Bubble Chair. (Eero Aarnio)
    • Francis Robinson send me this cute piece on a police horse who likes to rearrange cones at Buckingham Palace (Daily Mail)
    • Wired on the astonishing solidification of the Brony movement, with military personnel confessing their love for My Little Pony in front of the camera. Thanks to my brother for this one (Wired)
    • A clean drug-test sheet for all competitors at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Some of the races were even lasix-free. (ESPN)
    • Mega race mare and US Horse of the Year Havre de Grace sells for $10,000,000 (Blood Horse)
    • The feral Chicoteague ponies survived Sandy just fine (Daily Press) Speaking of the hurricane, this crazy hoss was just fine too. (Washington Post)
    • Horses in today’s US military (CS Monitor)
    • A disaster for a herd of Brumbies in Western Australia (ABC)