From Taboo to “Ecoterrorism” – Horsemeat’s Troubled Political History in America

I’ve written something for The Atlantic‘s Object Lessons blog on the long (if potted!) history of horsemeat in America. A much fuller account is on offer in The Age of the Horse! During World War II food shortages, horse meat once again found its way to American tables, but the post-war backlash was rapid. “Horse […]

Sparky the Pit Pony’s Days in the Sun

The last working horses at a colliery in Britain retired – astonishingly – in 1999. Here’s a story from The Mirror about one of the other “last pit ponies”, Sparky: Since his retirement in 1988, Sparky has been taking it easy at the National Coal Mining Museum and has been looked after by Wendy and […]

If Wishes Were Horses: March of the Pink Hooves

Pink pink pink at Olympia in 2006, although I was too mesmerised to get any good shots of the showjumping. The NYT piece by Peggy Orenstein that I mentioned in the chapter is here, and you can see photos of the horrible, “sexy” Struts pony toys on Princess Sparkle Pony’s blog. Thank you to Dominique […]

Pony Girls in Socialist Germany

I hope Pferdemädchen.net don’t mind my very sketchy translation of their new post on an East German classic: “The 1979 DDR film, “The Horse Girl”, was based on a novel with the same title. The eponymous children’s book by author Alfred Wellm was first published in 1974 by an East German children’s book press in […]

Feeling Your Oats?

When I visited Redwings Horse Sanctuary they told me they kept Weetabix to feed to colicky horses. I don’t think this is what they had in mind… Non-UK readers might need to watch the original 1970s TV credits, repeatedly, to get the joke, or just because it’s guaranteed to make you misty-eyed. This is my […]

The Equine Etymology of Jungle Bunny

How laughably poor are the excuses made by Tory councillor Bob Frost for using the racist term ‘jungle bunny’ to describe London rioters?  The Telegraph quotes him: ‘Looking at the dictionary it would appear that the term jungle bunnies is pejorative and is a racist slur relating to African-Americans. Needless to say I did not […]