Talking Horses: “The Cavalier’s brave warlike horse bids them kiss his arse”

Here’s a gem. This salty poem appeared on a pamphlet during the English Civil War, and it pitches the Royalist Cavaliers against the Cromwellian Roundheads through the medium of a fancy, boastful war horse and a humble mill horse or ass. Some tart words are exchanged between these two, reflecting on the ideologies of opposing […]

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 […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

I’m usually sceptical about “horses stolen for meat” stories (unless they come from Florida), but this one rings true. A Romanian has been arrested in connection with the theft of several draft horses in eastern France, allegedly for the slaughter trade. Some of the horses were already being raised for meat. (The Horse) The English […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

First up: please go directly to Horse Nation to read Susan Corwin’s account of joining a hunt in Meath, Ireland to break the world record for the number of side-saddle attendees. Fans of Molly Keane and Somerville & Ross will enjoy the craic. This was Susan’s first choice of riding expedition after a gruelling course […]

How To Give Your Lover A Pony For Valentine’s Day

Jewellery’s nice. A fine meal with wine – yes, also good. I’ll let you in on a secret: I wouldn’t say no to a weekend in Venice. But can any of them compete with a pony? I think not. Fear not, lovers of the horse-mad, I have your Valentine’s gift solution. Here’s a list of […]

Donkeys, Books, Unicorn Boadiceas and Brixton Ponies

This is my “what I did on my busman’s holiday” post, except that there will be multiple posts because I can’t do multiple slideshows in a single post. My first stop was Dartington Hall, home of this lovely donkey statue. I was giving a talk at the Telegraph‘s Way with Words literary festival – my […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Diminutive Dianas

Here’s some Pathé footage of the International Horse Show at Olympia in 1920 (spot the hydrangeas and the standard lamp shades!), the King’s Gold Cup in 1921,  opening day in 1922 (plus side-saddle) and a little showjumping. You can just make out the backdrop of Lowther Castle in this film from 1923. And this – […]

Déjà Vu is Bad for Horses

In 2008 an obscene benchmark was set in the large-scale abuse of horses when RSPCA inspectors finally gained access to the premises of a horse dealer in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and discovered 125 horses, ponies and donkeys in an advanced state of neglect , surrounded by the corpses of a further 35 animals. The words “Spindles […]