Equitation Tips from Medieval Germany

Thank you to Justin E H Smith for his translation of this “Blessing for Horses,” a twelfth-century German poem included in the Codex Manesse. A man went his way · dragging his steed · There my lord met him · With all of his men · How · is it going · man? Why aren’t […]

What Do Horses Mean In New York?

I’ve been hoofing around New York and DC in the pursuit of a holiday and book two (which will be out in, ooooooh, 2015?). Shanks’ Mare and I saw a surprising number of equines on our travels, although we missed the zebra and pony on the loose on Staten Island. Books two and three are […]

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 […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Questions are raised over the treatment of horses on film and TV show sets. Are trainers’ welfare concerns being overruled? (LA Times) A “horse palace” in Montreal seeks donors for a makeover. (Montreal Gazette) A woman “gives birth to a pony” during a church service in Nigeria. (PM News) Lady Gaga arrived at the launch […]

A (Not So) Short History of Women Riding Astride

I enjoyed talking about the history of sidesaddle on Countryfile – it was my first experience of TV and everyone was incredibly friendly and easygoing. We did a few takes of different parts of the interview and it was hard to know whether to embellish what I’d said each time or to say the same […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Hunters and Amazons

Here’s the Robin Hood Cave horse carving, safely at the British Museum. I drew heavily on the work of a husband and wife archaeology team for the section on the early domestication of the horse: you can find out about David W Anthony and Dorcas Brown’s Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies here. You can find […]

If Wishes Were Horses: The Red Horse and the White Mare

Epona.net is a comprehensive one-stop-shop for all the known sources on the Gallo-Celtic horse goddess, Epona. There’s an on-line shrine complete with funky flute music here. Devon, Maid of Epona has provided a prayer for the goddess here, and ideas for honouring her in ritual here. Jane Badger has an interview with the author of […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Eponalia

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. The main online index for the book is here.

Wave of Mutilations

Last weekend two British horses were found dead and mutilated in their fields. The first, a seven-year-old rescued pony called Barney from Carmarthenshire was found with his eyes gashed and a long slash in his side. The second, a two-year-old Friesian called Erik from Cornwall had been castrated, blinded, gutted and had its teeth pulled […]

Polo Week: The Imperial Polo Ritual

An account of a polo ritual in China under the Sung dynasty (960 – 1279 aD). The somewhat reserved and “civilised” Sung dynasty followed the T’ang dynasty, which was far more keen on actually playing polo. “The emperor arrived on horseback. … A eunuch opened a golden box, took out the vermillion-painted ball, and threw […]