• I love horses. I have a rather special fondness for the Icelandic horse as I am part Icelandic but also because these are the horses the Vikings used. Not the huge terrifying animals that go together with the ridiculous huge terrifying image of Vikings. Icelandic horses are small, cute, intelligent and tough. From the early steppe breeds, I think. In Iceland, if you take one out you cannot bring it back in. And, I think, vice versa. They are very careful about keeping the breed stable.


    Humans could learn a lot about human breed stability from this method 8).


    Horses of Iceland

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


    Edited once, last by Horizon: Created new thread starting with this post, split off from Old Nerd's thread. Deleted first line to make sense. ().

  • I love horses too, having ridden since a very early age and worked in the stables every Sunday morning in exchange for a free lesson.


    I eventually owned my own horses, two English thoroughbreds, which I think are the most perfect of horses and have superb conformations, but obviously not suited for every task. Donna was from flat racing stock, and she was the typical highly strung but quite small TB, and extremely intelligent and hard working. She started learning dressage at 15 yrs old and reached a reasonable standard. She loved dressage, so she was easy to teach. We kept her until she was 29 yrs old when she developed failure of internal organs, but which is a very good age for a TB. Cody, the second one was a big chaser, who obviously failed at racing because he didn't particularly like galloping. He loved jumping though and we bought him as a retired Grade A show jumper. I had a few 'heart in the mouth' moments with him at local shows when he saw a big fence in front of him in the practice ring and thought he should jump it! In a small practice ring it is difficult to ride round without him pointing at it at some time or another and the guys selling hunters kept putting the practice fence up to ridiculous heights to show off the horses they were selling. I don't doubt Cody could have cleared them, but I doubt I would still have been on board when he landed. I just jumped the novice classes (max 1m jumps) as that's all I was capable of, and anyway, he was a bit long in the tooth by then. Unfortunately, we lost him at 23 yrs old and we never really found out the cause of his illness, although we spent a fortune on various tests and treatment. He lost weight rapidly despite eating well and one of his rear legs swelled up and was oozing a thick clear liquid. When he stopped eating we decided to call it a day. Both horses were destroyed at home, by lethal injection. I will never get over losing them.


    Edited to add a photo of my big beautiful Cody (and hubbie leading him). I don;t have any digital photos of Donna, although I keep promising myself I will get some photos digitised).

    Images

    • Cody3.jpg
  • Horses are my spirit animal. I can well imagine how you felt when it was time for them to go.


    I have wanted one all my life but so far not able to get anywhere to keep one. I live in hope.


    My English grandfather was a horse man. Household cavalry. He loved horses more than any human. He left the military and came to South Africa with his new bride in 1900 to look after a brew master's horses. The brew master bought a wild Arab stallion and it came by ship, crazed with fear and rage and my grandfather had to go to the docks and fetch it. Apparently everyone holding it back took one look at him when the chance came to let go and just abandoned this angry beauty to Frederick, who caught it and tamed it and trained it. He trained others for dressage and he also trained the horses that pulled the brew master's fancy beer wagon he used to ride through the streets. The war horses and the terrible things that happened to them in WWI upset my grandfather badly. And he hated the steeplechase.


    My favourite breed is the Friesian.


    Friesian Stallion

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Friesians are beautiful too, but then all horses are, from the smallest to the largest. :)


    I always associate Friesians with funerals, sadly, although they are good carriage horses they make good riding horses too.


    In the 1990's, when I was trying to set up my own photography business I got involved with a local stud farm that bred Arabs. They discovered i could do basic dressage and hired me part time to school their two stallions, and one of them was a stubborn little cuss and both were quite aggressive too. The millionaire owner then bought in a new stallion (a European Champion named Shogun). He was beautifully schooled and I loved riding him. I rode him out regularly and he had perfect manners. Unfortunately I got flu and had some time off. When I got back he was as bad a nightmare as the other two stallions. I quit. I hate animals not being cared for properly. Most of the horses were stabled 24 hrs a day with no exercise at all, not even turned out for part of the day. It is no longer a stud farm, thank goodness.

  • :(


    My cousin had a lovely grey stallion in the 1960s called Vibration. He was initially in stables nearby their small holding and my cousin had to take him out and build a stable for him on home ground because he was being badly treated and had become aggressive, like the ones you mention above. She fell off once during a showjumping event and is in a wheel chair today because she damaged a disc and it slipped into the spinal channel and she was too terrified to have the operation in those days in case she ended up where she ended up anyway in her old age. That's a risk one takes with riding.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Yes, it can be risky. I've had some horrific falls, but have got away with it. The most famous fall (locally) was when she dumped me in front of the local pub not long after I bought her. When we bought her, she was used to being tacked up like a polo pony, with every gadget possible and a driving bit and she was constantly fighting the tack. I swapped her to a simple snaffle and running martingale and she was fine on the way out, but as soon as we headed for home she carted me. I managed to steer her onto the grass opposite the pub but we were heading for a main road and I had zero control over her. She stopped dead, just before we reached the road, but I didn't and I went over her head and landed on my back! She had the sense to stop when she spotted danger and she could easily have trampled me, but she went out of her way to avoid treading on me. So, daft as it sounds, that's the day I started trusting her and she started trusting me. Before that she had been very difficult to handle both in the stable and out and that day was the start of a loving partnership. It also gave the pub customers a good talking point for months and I got lots of ribbing. They wanted to know her next race as they said they'd never seen a horse run so fast. I've never been on a horse quicker than Donna and she had lots of fire and spirit. She loved galloping and needed no encouragement, but she did learn to ask, rather than take control. :)


    The closest I got to death was when I turned Donna out in the snow. She loved snow and got too excited and gave an almighty buck and she just missed my face with her shod hooves. She also broke my big toe when she jumped on it when spooking at a plastic bag caught by the wind. She also saved me from disaster on a couple of occasions with stupid drivers, so I definitely can't complain.


    She was my soul mate.


    Sorry ... I could talk horses for days. :)

  • Sorry ... I could talk horses for days. :)

    Oh, hey, go ahead. Horses are gods on four legs. <3

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Edited to add a photo of my big beautiful Cody (and hubbie leading him)

    Lovely creature. So big!


    Can you tell me what breed the horse is in my photo below? This is very long ago but the university had an experimental farm and in one paddock there were three large horses, two white Percheron and this dark job. Is he also a Percheron? They called him "Jack". ffs :cursing: He was gorgeous and I loved him and went to see him every chance I got. I secretly named him Bartholomew. One day, they were gone ... :(


    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • He looks more like a pony than a horse. A Percheron would be much taller. He reminds me of a Dales pony, but he doesn't have enough feathering on his lower legs. He could maybe be a Dales cross?

  • Definitely not a pony. He was too big. The camera seems to have him look much smaller in this photo. I just looked up dark Percherons and he looked just like them. The two almost white ones in with him were more bulky. Bart was less so. He and the other two were part of some breeding program and had been donated. You may be right in that Bart was a mixed breed. But I don't know what that might have been. I wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. I was kinda trespassing. Couldn't stay away from the horses and the farm. Bart eventually became a little aggressive and the horses would fight. I wanted to just take him away. He was a love.


    We have the South African horses here called the Boerperd. Once called the Hantam horse. It's a versatile performer and quite tough.


    Hantam horse

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • My older (2 years my junior) sister was very into horses when a young teen. Her best friend actually had a horse so she kept on about having a horse herself because "Everybody's got a horse" At least my parents didn't fall for that one.


    Then she discovered boys and the horses took back stage.^^

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Boys could never have taken backstage to horses for me. I'd have considered a boy who was like a horse, maybe, if he could manage that level of integrity. :P

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Edited to add a photo of my big beautiful Cody (and hubbie leading him). I don;t have any digital photos of Donna, although I keep promising myself I will get some photos digitised).

    Fidget, firstly we have a new thread for all things horses split away from the other one to do with breeding and secondly, I never commented on Cody.


    A fine looking fellow and like LW's horse, the contentment is written all over his face.


    Must have taken you ages to get him ready, he looks very preened and polished.:)

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  • Must have taken you ages to get him ready, he looks very preened and polished.

    TB's are pretty easy to care for (coat wise). They have very fine coats and silky manes so a good body brush is all that is required, plus the occasional shower. :) I did pull their manes (to keep them to a tidy, even length) which is traditional for TB's, and also keeps them easier to manage. I always cut their tails to the level of their hocks too, for the same reasons.


    Most horses love being groomed, and Cody often rubbed his chin up and down my back while he was being groomed. I always said it was mutual grooming. :)

  • <3 Wonderful creatures.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • I very much like horses. As it happens I volunteer one day a week at a local donkey sanctuary, where they have a few cobs, four mules, three zeedonks, and about fifty donkeys. We also have the world's second tallest donkey called Derek. On the off chance anyone is ever in the area, it is open to the public on days dependent to the time of year. Fifty pence a bucket of carrots, and we sell nice food. No entry or parking fees.

    Don't make me angry

  • That's great Bibbles, how did you get into that?

    When I retired I wanted to put something back. I far prefer animals to people, and the sanctuary is only 10 minutes away. I have done this for nearly 4 years now, and made a few friends along the way. Of course, there have been some sad parts along the way

    Don't make me angry

  • I think most of us who "hang out" in forums have similar feelings with regards to our fellow man. Good on you doing that.:):thumbup:

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  • Bibbles If your donkey sanctuary has a web page can you pop a link on here so other members / guests who may be local can visit?


    Thanx.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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    If my post is in this colour  it is moderation. Take note.

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