Auctions to benefit animals

30 07 2006

You can support Angel Acres Horse Haven Acres by bidding on their eBay auctions; Perfect Harmony Animal Rescue & Sanctuary is also listing eBay items to support their mission. (If you’d like to have your rescue-supporting auctions listed on Bridlepath, please leave a comment or email me at defrostindoors at gmail dot com)

Horses on stamps: Tanzania

30 07 2006

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New book: Appaloosa Tales With A Christmas Spirit

28 07 2006

Melissa LaMaster of rural Rushville has published “Appaloosa Tales with a Christmas Spirit.” The compilation centers around three short stories filled with horses, Christmas spirit and human friends.

“Every year I write Christmas stories for the family instead of Christmas cards, and this evolved from my stories,” LaMaster said.

The writer, who grew up in Arizona and moved to Rushville in 1996 after leaving Beardstown, has raised, trained and showed Appaloosa horses for more than 20 years.


The book is available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon; the author’s website is here.

Horse news in brief, 2006-07-28

28 07 2006

Poor thing! Missing horse found in Palm Beach County…

Care of Charleston carriage horses under scrutiny

Still no explanation for seven fatal breakdowns at Del Mar track…

Rare Canadian Horse foal born in PEI…

Wadworth Shire horses are off on their summer holidays

Buy one riding lesson, get the second one free

Jockey to deny causing horse’s death while Paul O’Neill apologizes for headbutt…

Barbaro stable and regrowing hoof…

Too hot? Let’s cool off with a snowball fight

28 07 2006

Don’t you love it?!

Dartfield Horse Museum

25 07 2006

Did you know there’s a plethora (excellent word, that) of horse museums out there? Everyone knows about the International Museum of the Horse located in the Kentucky Horse Park, but there are lots of smaller, specialized museums out there as well. The Dartfield Horse Museum and Park is located in Ireland, east of Galway City and boasts exhibits dedicated to the history of the horse, live Irish horses for admiring, an art gallery and shop, mechanized horses to ride and lots of other neat stuff. It’s the brainchild of renowned Irish horseman and Connemara breeder Willie Leahy, and has only been open for a few years, but I think it deserves to be better-known. What would your ideal equestrian holiday be? I’ll be posting about more museums in the future; if you have a site you’d like to suggest, please post a comment or email me at defrostindoors at gmail dot com.

Chincoteague pony swim, July 26

25 07 2006

The famous swim is tomorrow! Every year, on the last Wednesday in July, the feral ponies swim from Assateague Island over to Chincoteague. After a rest, some ponies are auctioned off and the rest then swim back to Assateague. The spectacle was immortalized by Marguerite Henry in her book Misty of Chincoteague. It’s a pretty popular event, as you can imagine, but you can visit the islands and view the ponies in their natural environment anytime during the year. You can learn more about the ponies at the National Chincoteague Pony Association site (warning: some pages have sound effects).

Update: here’s a news link with some photos and a video of this year’s swim.

Bits, bridles and bling?

24 07 2006

Some very wild tack and accessories available these days. At Cowgirl Bling, you can order a western breastcollar with blinking lights. Great for those late-night rodeos, I guess. 😉 Actually, it’s not a bad safety feature either if you’re riding at night…

Cowgirl Bling also offers halters with Swarovski crystals and other wild stuff, while Horse Lovers Outlet will custom-make your tack with any combination of colours, studs, rhinestones, etc. if you can’t find exactly what you want. How about some diamond crystals on a brightly coloured halter?
English riders need not feel left out! Equestrian Collections offers blingy bug muffs, decorated browbands and glitzy saddle pads too. You’ll probably want to make sure they coordinate with your stirrup irons and spurs. Dover has some browbands as well. You can also carry a crystal-embedded crop, add crystals to your helmet or gloves, or get custom bling added to a pad.

While it isn’t particularly shiny, this “flower power” pad will certainly get you noticed. If that’s a little too much, how about these adorable Thelwell pads?

We may have hit the bling motherlode over at Jenny OZ: more sparkly helmet covers than you can shake a crystal-studded crop at. Of particular note: the sparkly hoof picks and brushes. For only $55 a pop you can have the most glamourous grooming tools in the barn.

Found any more strange, cool, twinkly goodness? Please post a comment and tell us where you found it.

Edit: I think the dog knows more than he’s letting on. (scroll down a bit to see what I mean–this is one of my favourite blogs btw)

Edit #2: Victory Canter also offers Equicharms to hang on your tack…

Ooo, that’s gonna leave a mark

24 07 2006

Move over, Zidane…

24 07 2006

Jockey Paul O’Neill will be investigated by the sport’s governing body after television replays showed him head butting his horse City Affair on Monday.

The Horseracing Regulatory Authority made the decision to hold an inquiry after reviewing TV footage from the incident at the Stratford races on Sunday.

“We haven’t got a date set, but we are going to go for some time next week — our inquiry day is usually on the Thursday,” HRA spokesman Owen Byrne said.

City Affair was being unruly in the parade ring, ultimately throwing O’Neill. The jockey got to his feet and grabbed the reins, pulling the horse to him, before lowering the butt of his helmet into it.

“Angry jockey does a ‘Zidane’ to his horse,” read the headline of London’s Evening Standard.

City Affair went on to finish fourth in the two-mile event. O’Neill was given a caution by stewards for his use of the whip in the race.

O’Neill, 26, who has ridden 51 winners, was previously questioned by the HRA over his ride of a novice hurdler in March.


Horses on stamps: Poland

24 07 2006

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Barbaro immortalized by Breyer

20 07 2006

Barbaro Breyer

Breyer has created a Barbaro model, with proceeds going to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. You can download an order form here (it’s a PDF). The models will begin shipping October 1, 2006.

Horses on stamps: Iceland

19 07 2006

Reminiscing about favourite horse books

19 07 2006

I must have been a dream to buy gifts for when I was a kid, because I only wanted two things: books, and anything having to do with horses. Horse books were, of course, the best present of all! As a little girl growing up in Canada, it never seemed odd to me that so many of the books my parents dutifully shoveled at me were British; I loved them all and read them over and over.

I don’t remember much about the authors, strangely; it’s only now, with the help of Google and Amazon, that I’ve been able to put names with titles. The incredibly prolific Pullein-Thompson sisters loom large in the world of horsey lit; I must have read dozens of their books, like Prince Among Ponies and the various Pony Club books. Another favourite was the Jinny of Finmory series by Patricia Leitch, dealing with the adventures of a girl and her Arab mare Shantih; these seemed a bit darker in tone than the Pullein-Thompson books. Most of these books seem to be out of print now but they still crop up on eBay and in secondhand book shops. Another favourite British series for me were the Follyfoot books by Monica Dickens (was the TV series ever shown in North America?). Her memoir Talking of Horses is also a great read, full of her usual warmth and wit. My local library has it and every few months I treat myself and sign it out again.

Moving to American authors now, the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley also looms large, and I was pleased that the 1979 movie version turned out as well as it did (don’t you dread horse movies sometimes?). I think The Black Stallion’s Filly was my favourite, but I do have a soft spot for the Fury books, which were about a fabulous wild red stallion living on a Caribbean island.

The Black Stallion's FillyThe Black StallionThe Island Stallion's Fury

It’s impossible to talk about favourite horse books without coming at last to the lady who towers above them all, Marguerite Henry. She wrote dozens of books, most of them horse-related, and although they have been reissued a few times, for me the definitive covers will always be the classic illustrations by Wesley Dennis.

She didn’t always get her facts straight; unfortunately, her version of Figure’s origins and early life in Justin Morgan Had A Horse (e i e i o) has somehow become received wisdom even in the face of what is actually known about him. Historical truth does not always serve the storyteller’s aims, however, and it is much more dramatically satisfying to root for runty “Little Bub”, pawned off on an unwilling creditor and then growing up to prove his worth in spectacular fashion.

It’s occurred to me that most of the books discussed here were published between 1945 and 1970; was this then a sort of Golden Age for young people’s horse books? What were your favourites authors or fictional horses? What books would you give the horse-crazy kid in your life? As always, your comments are welcome.

Horses on stamps: Jersey

19 07 2006

Isn’t this gorgeous?! This stamp from the Bailiwick of Jersey is one of my favourites.

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