Who is the woman in Sir Edwin Landseer’s The Shrew Tamed?

The more I’ve learned about research over the last decade, the more I’ve realised how easy it is to slip up. I’ve seen how one writer’s creative suggestion becomes “fact” in the next book down the line, and I’ve made that mistake myself. I’ve also endeavoured, when possible, to have the issues corrected in reprints. […]

World War Two Cavalry Training – and Jackal Hunting in Palestine

In January I posted this shot from Getty’s archive that claimed to show the British cavalry in action in North Africa in 1940. I knew the last British Army cavalry charge happened in Burma in 1942 and that the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons fought on horseback in Syria in 1941 but this was a mystery. […]

Making Fearless Men: A Medieval Riding Lesson

I briefly mentioned King Duarte I of Portugal’s Livro da Ensinança de Bem Cavalgar Toda Sela (The Book on the Instruction of Riding Well in Every Saddle) in The Age of the Horse. It was written in 1434, 82 years before Xenophon’s On Horsemanship was first printed. If you’re used to the narrative in which […]

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 […]

Neck or Nothing is her Motto

More snippets that I had to leave out of the book for lack of space! These extracts come from a wonderful account of a “brace of sporting ladies” from The Sporting Magazine, October 1796. There’s a Mrs C– “so capital in her sphere” that no woman comes close, except Lady Lade, and “there is not […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Ladies

The Taymouth Hours: the ladies set out on horseback, and begin to gallop and hunt a deer. And catch it. This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Mary Breese

If you know any more about Mary Breese, I’d love to know. I tried contacting the holders of Sarah Josepha Hale’s  library to find out if they could think of her source for writing about Mary (a very long shot) and also perused British sporting magazines and Norfolk papers from the time of her death. […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Jeunes Filles Bien Elevées

I loved this chapter and had far, far to much to write about, some chunks of which may appear here if not used elsewhere. Meanwhile, enjoy the slideshow. The books came largely from Archive.org. J. Collinson and Sons rocking horses. A website maintained by Nannie Power O’Donoghue’s biographer, Olga E. Lockley. The brilliantly titled Unprotected […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Pursuit

I’ve never been fox, stag or hare hunting, but here’s an account of my day following a bloodhound hunt “on foot”. This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the […]

Para-hunting

“Lady Harrington lost the sight of one eye following a bad fall on the head. She rode in point-to-points despite the accident and had another fall on the head. She proved remarkably lucky: on opening her eyes she found that the second fall had restored the sight to her damaged eye. Women hunted with worse […]