Alien Invasion?

A little historical compare and contrast. Fascinating how the words “extinction” and “hardiness” keep echoing through. This from the BBC’s website on the 10th March, 2011: Dartmoor ponies ‘extinction fears’ over hardiness gene Conservationists are concerned the Dartmoor hill pony could be in danger of becoming extinct. Numbers have dropped from about 30,000 at the […]

Keeping Tradition “Alive”

Another depressing piece on ponies kept on common land, this time on the Gower peninsula. It’s from This is South Wales:   It costs as little as £2 to buy some foals — less than a pint of beer — but around £200 to put them down and dispose of them, according to the Gower […]

Hunting Spirit

WHEN Caroline Smail heads off to take part in the Boxing Day meet of the Heythrop Hunt in the Cotswolds today, she’ll be hoping that Jigsaw, her cheeky gelding, just over 14 hands high, doesn’t play up too much. Earlier this summer, in a tussle with that much loved pony, who was trying to munch […]

Bits and Bobs

English50cent translates for 50cent Tetley Tea gives a Spanish gelding called Sydney a lifetime supply of tea A new brumby recycling guide Ebony Horse Club wins an FEI award Mysterious theft of Montana horses’ manes and tails Equine behaviouralists discover that some horses act as “peacemakers” in the herd Mutilating a horse for fashion’s sake, […]

Heavy Horse Week: Cart Horses in Bloom

The Liverpool tradition of May Day parades began in the 1850s when drivers of working horses and their families took to the streets in holiday spirit. By the 1880s the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and various promoters of heavy horse breeds had turned the parades into not only a free show […]

Heavy Horses: Horseman’s Oath

Anthony Dent calls The Society of Horsemen “a unique institution”, a “friendly society” of grooms, drivers, ploughmen and waggoners in the east of Britain from Kent to Aberdeenshire. Their shared code and knowledge included a variety of magick, charms and recipes for assorted horse ailments, and East Anglian members took a ferocious oath not to […]

Heavy Horse Week: Opium for Shires

How to Manage a Vicious Horse so as to do anything with him [a recipe from horseman Jack Juby‘s notebook of horse cures] Take Oil of Fennel, oil of Cinnamon, oil of Thyme, oil of Rosemary, Tincture of opium, Tincture Arnica, illontara, oil of Nutmeg, oil of Anniseed, one ounce of Lunas powder. Take a […]

Heavy Horse Week: Jack Juby

Jack Juby MBE, who died in 2004,  was one of the last of his breed. “Groom” doesn’t begin to sum up his work. “Horseman” he certainly was, and a trainer and master of heavy horses in Norfolk – a service for which he received his MBE. He was employed by the Peacock family for most […]