To Have Wished My Self a Horse

When the right vertuous E.W. and I were at the Emperour’s court togither [in Vienna in 1574], wee gave our selves to learne horsemanship of Ion Pietro Pugliano . . . He said . . . horsemen were the noblest of soldiers . . . they were the maisters of war, and ornaments of peace, […]

Sunday Morning Time Travel

Wonderful news for overworked writers who don’t have time to maintain their blogs: British Pathé have uploaded their stock of vintage film clips to YouTube. As the old slogan of the British tabloid the News of the World used to claim, “all human life is there”, and quite a bit of horsey life too. So […]

Peach Blossom, Trout and Tiger: Horse Colours in 1730s France

A list of horse coat colours taken from The School of Horsemanship by François Robichon de la Guérinière (first complete edition 1733. Translated by Tracey Boucher. Published by J A Allen, London, 1994): light bay chestnut bay black-brown golden bay dapple bay jet black rusty black dapple grey iron grey silver grey tiger (grey with […]

The FEI Comes Under Fire

Hyppoblog reports (en Français) on seismic shifts in the equestrian world. In March the president of the SVPS or Schweizerische Verband für Pferdsport (Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports) wrote to the FEI expressing concern about the sport of endurance riding. Hyppoblog provide a PDF here (in English) which should be read in full as the […]

Rollkur, the FEI and Byrialsen: An Interview with Julie Taylor of Epona TV

UPDATE: Here. Last month’s Ecco FEI European championships in Herning were the biggest sporting event of the  year for Denmark. Hundreds of riders and thousands of fans came from across the continent for dressage, paradressage and show jumping competitions. But amid the clear rounds and medal ceremonies there was a groundswell of discontent with the […]

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 […]

Happy Eponalia!

Today is the day that modern pagans have assigned to the Celtic-Roman goddess of ponies, Epona. If you want to celebrate, Devon, Maid of Epona has some suggestions involving beer and hippomanes here, and there’s a fantastic, comprehensive site about the history and archaeology of the goddess here. Alternatively, mosey over to Epona TV and […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

This is the most sensible thing written about champion chaser Kauto Star’s controversial retirement to the dressage arena, from Greg Wood (Guardian) In a repeat of Jesse Owens’ sprint against a thoroughbred, bladerunner Oscar Pistorius took on a horse in Qatar, although not without, yes, more controversy. The South African SPCA say that the horse […]

The Politics of Dressage

The US election is over but how could I forget to blog this October 1st New Yorker cover by Barry Blitt? I’m not sure that a horse with a back that long could pull off a levade, but I’m amused that Mitt’s “dressage horse” appears to be a Lipizzaner. I didn’t even clock that the […]

Post-Olympic Thoughts and the War of Hyperflexion vs. Harmony

Have you recovered from the emotional rollercoaster of the Olympics? I think I nearly have. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that my dressage experience is nugatory. It’s not something I did as a child and I certainly wasn’t interested in watching it beyond the first phase of the three-day event. Boring! But […]