The Beautiful Irony – An Afterword for The Age of the Horse, February 2018

On 23 February 2018 an international group of paleogeneticists and zooarchaeologists studying horse domestication published a report in the journal Science. They had recovered and sequenced DNA from the remains of horses found at the Botai site, hoping, as team-member Ludovico Orlando put it, “to catch evolution red-handed, when domestication first started.” Instead, they turned […]

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 […]

Sidesaddle Across Mongolia: An Adventure in Memory of an Adventurous Woman

In memory of their sister Polly de Blank, Martha Sitwell and Clemmie de Blank will cross Mongolia aside in six weeks next May. A journalist, campaigner and yoga scholar, Polly supported both the mental health charity Mind and Prisoners of Conscience, and her sisters are raising funds for both charities. If you’d like to chip […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Professional child jockeys (as young as 4) in Indonesia (SBS) Virtual racehorses on the game Digiturf sell for $7,000 and $9,000. (ESPN) The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration goes ahead, although welfare concerns knock out some leading competitors. DIg into the comments here. (Tennessean) The number of horses slaughtered in Ireland this year appears to […]

Mare’s Milk Champagne And Tipsy Amazons

Thank you to Andrew Curry for tipping me off about this great piece on koumiss, or fermented mare’s milk. It takes you from drunken Amazons to proto-Indo-European paleolinguistics, and confirms what this lactose-intolerant already feared: horse milk is very high in lactose. It’s on Wonders and Marvels, and it’s by Adrienne Mayor of Stanford University. […]

Gift Horse from the South

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports:    Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, today where his hosts celebrated the first visit by a U.S. vice president since 1944  with performances of traditional music and dance, a Mongol-style wrestling competition and a gift: a Mongolian horse. … During the presentation ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan […]