Back From the Steppe

Research trip number four for book number two is complete, and now I just have to do the hard work of weaving the material into shape. Normal-ish service is being resumed, along with a few snapshots of horses symbolic and real I met on my travels. These are some domestic Mongolian horses, just outside Hustai […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Horse manure generates bio fuel. For book two I’m spending a lot of time thinking about horses as industrial power and product – is this the latest chapter? The British Ministry of Defence are already on the case. (LA Times, thanks to Jane Badger Books) Enjoy In Our Time on the legends and facts behind […]

Saudis Seek to Bolster Their Claim to Earliest Horse Domestication

A new piece on the BBC website adds more to speculation over Saudi Arabia’s Al Maqar site: could the fragments of horse figures discovered there depict harness? If this could be definitively proved, the Saudis’ claim to earliest horse domestication would be verified. However, as I pointed out in an earlier, more detailed blog post […]

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 […]

The Horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot via the British Museum

How could you fit the history of horses and humans into a space? Not even the British Museum could hold it: it would be crammed like Tutankhamun’s tomb. Selene’s chariot horses on the eastern Parthenon pediment would be eyeball to eyeball with Da Vinci’s triple-life-size Spanish steed. The central atrium would be the tackroom to […]

Sing Me the Workhorse

“Bring Me the Workhorse” by My Brightest Diamond is part of the soundtrack I used while working on If Wishes Were Horses: atmospheric and escapist, with the bonus of actually being about horses. Bat for Lashes’ Two Suns goes with the Hunters and Amazons chapter. Somehow it was just weird enough to conjure up the […]

Over to You, Saudi Arabia…

Saudi Arabia’s claim to have the oldest evidence for horse domestication took a substantial knock today as Cambridge scientists published the results of an examination of modern domestic horse genes. Their conclusion? Domestication began on the Eurasian Steppes. Their research shows that the extinct wild ancestor of domestic horses, Equus ferus, expanded out of East […]

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 […]

New Study Reveals More About Origins of Domestic Horse

Ahem. I am now going to attempt to write a simple account of the findings of a new study into the genetic origins of domestic horses. I’m doing this as much for my benefit as for yours. Hopefully my brother will step in in the comments if I’ve got it all wrong. Now. Horses. This […]