Clever Hans: A Horse, a House and a Little History

Wilhelm von Osten was born into the German squirearchy in 1838 and went on to work as a maths teacher. He moved to the eastern Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg in 1866 and purchased a house at 10 Griebenowstraße. A befitted his background, he was a keen rider and huntsman with an appreciation of horses. […]

Collateral Damage in Victorian Divorce

From Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s review of Jane Ridley’s new biography of Edward VII in the NYRB. In a scene too lurid for the trashiest episode of Downton Abbey, Sir Charles Mordaunt returned unexpectedly from a fishing holiday in Norway to find two white carriage ponies in front of his country house, and his wife Harriet talking […]

Dutch Stables: Horses in the Heart of Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam last weekend to see friends I hadn’t seen for far too long, and ended up doing a little unscheduled horsey tourism. I hadn’t planned it, honest! I had no idea that Amsterdam had a nineteenth century riding manège right by its main park, nor that the building was still home to […]

“Phaeton Mania” and the “Knacker-Providers”: More Misery for Proto Black Beauties

The Phaeton Mania has been productive of a merciless infliction on horse flesh, for aspiring people, who cannot afford to keep a pair, will have a phaeton at any rate, and doom one unfortunate animal to do the work of two. We now see at every corner of every street, and in every thoroughfare leading […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Where are we with burgergate? Rumours of Italian and Polish mafia involvement. (Guardian) Meanwhile the Independent reports that a newly enforced ban on horse- and donkey-drawn carts on Romanian roads may be responsible for the cheapness of equine flesh in the country. Folks, it’s GOOD for horses to have a job. (Independent) “A most interesting […]

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 […]

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 – […]

By Chariot to the Next World

It could have been as early as 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ that these horses were moved on to greener pastures – and no-one has laid eyes on them until now. Archaeologists have painstakingly uncovered the almost-3,000-year-old remains of horses and wooden chariot in a Zhou Dynasty tomb in Luoyang, Henan Province, […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

An escaped German circus pony attempts to board a tram. A riding corset from the 1870s – you see how Skittles managed that waist. A new anti-slaughter feature film called Saving America’s Horses is underway in the USA, while a new government report looking at the negative impact of the effective ban on horse slaughter […]