Hallowhinny, part four

31 10 2006

Mustang pumpkin

Happy Halloween! Found at Blinkers Off.

And then there was one

31 10 2006


Carl, left, and Sparky

One of the last two pit ponies has died, aged 29. The Welsh pony, called Carl, retired from Ellington Colliery, in Northumberland, in 1994 and was being cared for by the National Coal Mining Museum, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The museum said: “Carl will be sorely missed as he was loved by all who met him. That leaves only Sparky. He is 35 years old.” More than 70,000 horses worked in the mines 100 years ago but by 1994 there were fewer than 20. (Link)

(Welcome HorseGazette readers! Please feel free to leave a comment, and see the rest of the site while you’re here!)

The Each-Uisge

31 10 2006


Illustration from Paranormal Animals of Europe via SixthWorld Wiki

The Each-Uisge is a supernatural horse believed to lurk near bodies of water in Scotland. More at I Gallop On and Mysterious Britain.

Clydesdales celebrated in song

30 10 2006

MusicScotland offers a collection of songs on the specific subject of the ‘gentle giants’ — Clydesdale horses — sadly no longer part of the rural scene.

The project is produced by Robin Laing and consists of previously recorded songs plus others specially recorded and engineered by Davie Scott for the project.

Use your illusion II

30 10 2006


Garbage dumping injures horses

30 10 2006

God, how ignorant can people be?! Four horses in Wiltshire (UK) were injured after a riding school paddock was used as a rubbish dump; staff found a two-seater sofa, an armchair and planks of wood with embedded nails in one of their fields. (Link)

Black-eyed kids

29 10 2006

Sorry for not updating more; I’ve got a few more horse stories for you, but they’re not quite ready yet. I hope this creepy classic will tide you over in the meantime: Black-eyed kids, Black-eyed kids FAQ.

Pony refuses to be sold

28 10 2006


An intrepid pony escaped from his new stable and hot hoofed three miles in the dark, to his young mistress’ home.

The 18-year-old Welsh cob, Basil, found Emily Evans’ family farm in the Swansea Valley. Recently re-stabled, Basil used his teeth to slide his paddock door lock open and jumped a fence. (More from the BBC)

The earliest riders

27 10 2006

It’s difficult to imagine what human history would have been like without horses, and almost as difficult to pinpoint when, where and how this momentous advance took place. Pittsburgh archaeologist Sandra Olsen is one of the leading researchers examining the earliest domestication of the horse; this article explores whether people in Botai near the capital of Kazakhstan were the first to tame and ride horses 5600 years ago. Other researchers have found evidence of bit wear on horses’ teeth found near Botai, dating back to 3500 BC.

More spectral horses

25 10 2006

Spooooooooooky horse!

Image source

Found some more equine Forteana for my loyal reader readers; this one is from Suite101.com and tells the story of four horses whom even death could not part. The author also includes a few other tales of spectral horses, one of which is just plain weird. Then there’s the ghostly stallion spotted in southern Texas…

Silver dapple update

24 10 2006

Northgait's Dakota, silver dapple bay

Northgait’s Dakota, bay silver dapple Mountain Pleasure Horse gelding

I recently told y’all that scientists had found the gene responsible for silver dapple–genetic testing is now available! Contact UC Davis or Pet DNA Services for more info. I hope a test for dun is in the works as well. People often don’t understand horse colours or how they work; all too often I see people claiming a horse is a rare or unusual colour (which jacks up the price or stud fee accordingly) when they don’t have what they think they do. I’m willing to believe most people are just simply misinformed, but I’ve also seen people making claims when they ought to know better–don’t know if that’s deliberate deceit or wilful blindness…

Spookies: Our beloved Savanna

24 10 2006

Good ol’ Shadowlands. 😉 Cleaned up for reposting. (Has there been a catastrophic failure of shift keys worldwide that I didn’t hear about?)


Hello everyone. This story happened to me when I was about 13-14. I live on a small farm in New Mexico. I guess you could call it more of a petting zoo rather than a farm. We have dogs and cats, but we have more horses than anything else. Well anyway, my first horse, Abby, was the cutest little (and fattest) pony that you ever saw. We had her until I was around 9, and then she got so old and blind that she couldn’t eat and the other horses just treated her awfully. So we eventually had to put her down and the was one of the most horrible things that’s ever been done to me. So, anyway, here I was, horseless, and with a giant ride coming up the next week, so my mom, (unable to find a horse in that short span of time), very reluctantly let me ride Savanna, a very sweet, but very high-spirited palomino Tennesee Walking Horse. Only my much older sisters had ever been able to ride her, but as soon as I got on, we clicked beautifully and we were a pair from that day forth. About four years went by and Savanna got horribly sick with an illness called bastard strangles. It’s a nasty illness that causes the animal’s throat to fill up with a nasty pus-like fluid. We thought she was getting better so we let her out into the arena while we were gone. My sister got home first and found her dead in the arena. They already had her buried by the time I got home, which was good, and I soon got another horse (a devil pony by the name of Barbie). About a month after Savanna died, my sisters and I were out riding and playing a game called butt tag when each and every one of us distinctly saw Savanna running with us. All the other horses were put up and we all recognized her by her signature stop, which would throw any inexperienced rider off. We looked for her again but we couldn’t see her; as we were running around my sister ran through an icy cold spot ( it was about 85 everywhere else). Of course all of us had to go see for ourselves, and sure enough it was cold there. We were all happy because we felt as if Savanna was trying to tell us that she was okay. We could feel her every once in a while, and still to this day (about 3 years later) we can still see her running across the property, and we can sense Abby and the other animals are out there following behind her.

Spookies in brief

23 10 2006

Shadow horse

According to local lore, an out-of-control horse and wagon went into a bottomless pond in Abington’s Mount Vernon Cemetery many, many years ago and never came out

Strange Maine (utterly fantastic blog, btw) has a tale of a man and horse who disappeared along a road on Vinalhaven

In the spring of 1914, the shadowy figure of a horseman appeared in the sky over Columbia, South Carolina…

The BBC brings us a report of a ghostly horse encountered along a Warwickshire canal…

A Michigan woman often finds intricate braids in her horse’s mane and thinks Bigfoot may be responsible… (via WWT)

This is probably more “WTF?!” than “eek!”, but Damned Interesting (a site which more than lives up to its name) reports on the tale of a jockey who died on Thursday, then won a race on Friday…

While there are no horses involved (yet), you can still find a few fine spooky tales at http://theghosts.wordpress.com

Reports of zombie horses here

How horses deal with bears

23 10 2006

Image source: QTours of California

A Swedish harness horse racer and three of his horses were attacked by a bear during a weekend training session; one of the horses sent it off with a kick which may have broken the bear’s leg. The bruin still managed to get up after a while and limp off into the bush; police will be looking for it to determine how bad its injury is. The man and his horses were fine. (Link)

This just in: Four and a half hours after I first posted this…Swedish authorites are now questioning whether the attack took place at all…

Silver Spike at Horse Chestnuts had a much more peaceful encounter with a bear this summer while out on the trail, and was kind enough to let me share my terrifying partridge story. 😉 Also, once, out on a trail ride with my best friend back home (northern Ontario), I asked her what we should do if we ran into a bear, which was not at all unlikely. Her sage advice: “Hold on tight and let the horse take ya home.” Of course, her horse had Go Man Go/Three Bars breeding, so she was going to be getting home a hell of a lot sooner than I was…

More spookies: My father’s home in the canyon

23 10 2006

Another Shadowlands submission, also edited for clarity.

My father’s home in the canyon

Hi, my name is Jess, and from 1998 to 2000, my father lived in a tiny house at the bottom of a canyon in Crosbyton, Texas. In this canyon, there are two other houses, but they are both on the other side of the Caprock and we hadn’t ever really met them, other than a chat while my fater and I occasionaly rode our horses past (Crosbyton is an old, run down ranch town where there aren’t a whole lot of people). Anyway, when my father was showering one morning alone, he claimed he heard someone calling his name. Thinking it was my aunt who lived down the road about 7 miles, he quickly dressed and went out to look for her. He called her name, and when there was no reply, he assumed she had returned home. About 10 minutes later, he called my aunt, and when she picked up the phone, she had been asleep! While in that house, my sister was less than a year old when they moved in. She would lie in her crib and smile and laugh when my stepmom would be sewing or something. When she walked over to see what Emmy (my sister) was excited about, she saw Emmy watching something dash from one side of the ceiling to the other. While on my grandparents ranch (also in Crosbyton — the L7 Ranch) my father took his old horse Dudley out in to an isolated pasture that my Grandpa didn’t use much. As he entered the pasture, Dudley, who by nature is a very calm horse, went wild. There was absolutely no way that horse was going to go inside the pasture. Wondering what was wrong with Dudley, my Dad dismounted and checked his hooves for something that might have hurt him. There was nothing. He finally got Dudley calmed down, but as soon as he mounted him to try to get him inside the pasture, my father heard the faint crying of a baby. When he realized there wasn’t a living person within a mile’s radius, my father and the quite shaken horse got out of there as fast as he could. Later on, they discovered many Comanche grave sites that haven’t been touched in over fifty years, as the ranch has owned that land for quite some time. In those graves, they discovered a chief, a few men, and, in one grave, a tiny child no older than 3 years. To this day, neither my father, nor the horses or cattle will enter or graze this sacred pasture.

(Wonder if he means this L7 Ranch)

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