Department of Zero Surprises and Some Hope

Tons of low-grade Canadian horse meat were purchased and passed off as halal beef by the Dutch businessman who is now in custody as French authorities investigate the scandal in which horse meat from Romania wound up labelled as ground beef. (The Globe and Mail – and for my background piece on the scandal, Spiegel […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Horse manure generates bio fuel. For book two I’m spending a lot of time thinking about horses as industrial power and product – is this the latest chapter? The British Ministry of Defence are already on the case. (LA Times, thanks to Jane Badger Books) Enjoy In Our Time on the legends and facts behind […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]