The plumes of St. Alfio

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 24, 2011, 1:09 pm


I must admit my favorite part of the ornate harnesses of the horses at the St. Alfio festival in Sicily is the plumage. The plumes on these horses reach epic proportions, and are unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. They are...
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Beautiful harnesses at the St. Alfio festival

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 23, 2011, 1:00 pm


This post features details of the bridles and harnesses of the horses at the St. Alfio festival in Sicily, which reader Al Zammataro was kind enough to send me. This harness is a very old one, with well-preserved gold embroidery:
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St. Alfio: the puppets

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 22, 2011, 12:38 pm


Sicily has a strong tradition of puppet theater, featuring legends of ancient battles and heroic deeds. You can read much more about the fascinating tradition in this article and this one. These legends are incorporated into the St. Alfio festival...
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St. Alfio: the battle scenes

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 21, 2011, 12:24 pm


The harnesses worn by the horses at the St. Alfio festival often include elaborate embroidered, painted or beaded battle scenes. Al Zammataro, who provided these photos, explained that these scenes depict characters from an epic poem from the 1500s called...
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The carts of the St. Alfio festival

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 20, 2011, 12:07 pm


Elaborately decorated carts are part of the tradition at the St. Alfio festival in Sicily. The story goes that the Carter's Guild snagged the relics of the saint from another town back in 1600, and brought them to Trecastagni, where...
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The return of the amazing St. Alfio festival

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 19, 2011, 11:58 pm


Al Zammataro wins the award for biggest fan of Global Horse Culture! Last year he sent me some snapshots from an incredible festival in Sicily, where spectacularly-adorned horses and carts are paraded in celebration of St. Alfio's festival day. This...
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"The Equine Nude"

Global Horse Culture Archive on February 13, 2011, 10:22 pm


Take a moment to go see a really beautiful slideshow of photos by Juliet Harrison, posted at the StableWoman Gazette. It's done for Valentine's Day, and entitled "The Sensual Equine Nude II." Funny how easily I recognize a few of...
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Roman Noses

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 3, 2010, 5:06 pm


A reader named Corujalinda made an interesting comment on the post about the Campolina horse. She said that technically they don't call the distinctive nose of the Campolina a "Roman nose." A Roman nose (which is nicely called a Ramskopf...
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Freio de Ouro 2010

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 30, 2010, 1:07 am


The Freio de Ouro (Golden Bit) is a huge annual competition for the Crioulo breed in Brazil. Competitors and breeders from throughout southern Latin America come together in Esteio, a city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul,...
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Ringed parade tack

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 29, 2010, 11:16 pm


Something you'll come across on occasion in parts of Brazil (I've seen it mostly in the state of São Paulo) is parade tack made of brass rings. Here is an example of a breast collar, being shown to me by...
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The Campolina

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 29, 2010, 6:52 pm


The Campolina is a popular saddle horse breed from Brazil, most commonly found in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. It is a gaited breed, tall and lean, with a distinctive "banana nose,**" quite large ears, long...
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Riding the Canterbury pilgrimage route

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 23, 2010, 12:11 am


A group in Great Britain which is trying to raise funds and awareness to create an official Museum of the Horse in that nation is undertaking a special ride. According to their announcement "Caroline Baldock and her two companions will...
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Keeping Dobbin Around

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 13, 2010, 12:38 am


I've been intrigued by the variety of methods people use to keep horses in one place - that is, variations on tying or confining them. The styles vary with the lifestyle and landscape, and each method has advantages and disadvantages....
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Link roundup

Global Horse Culture Archive on August 13, 2010, 12:13 am


Here are a few interesting links and blog posts I've come across recently: For those interested in details of ornamental tack, here is an academic article (with many illustrations) about the different styles of tack found in various Central Asian...
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Angela Swedberg, artist and horsewoman

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 18, 2010, 12:39 am


I posted briefly before about Angela Swedberg, an artist who makes beautiful Plains and Plateau Indian clothing, horse gear, and other items using historically accurate methods and materials. To my delight, Angela is featured in the September 2010 issue of...
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Running on a sunny day

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 14, 2010, 1:27 am


I just love this photo of my gelding running in his paddock on a sunny day: He's looking more confident and mature than he did on the day he arrived!
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Horses of Heaven

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 6, 2010, 2:11 pm


My friend Angela Swedberg introduced me to fellow beadworker Al Zammataro, who recently attended the annual festival of Sant'Alfio in Sicily. The story and photos he shared with me are unbelievable and should be quite an eyeful for those of...
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New film explores Escaramuza

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 5, 2010, 2:15 pm


A new film, currently in production, takes an inside look at the world of Escaramuza. Escaramuza means "skirmish", and the riding combines an unsettling blend of pretty girls in fancy clothes riding sidesaddle with fast-paced, heart-pounding drill team maneuvers. It...
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Blog Roundup

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 4, 2010, 9:53 pm


I've come across several interesting posts on other blogs, which I thought you might enjoy, too: Dario has a new post about Ottoman and historic Polish saddles. Esther has a photo essay from a ride around rural Niger. EQUUS has...
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Wolves and reindeer and horses...and eagles! Oh my!!!

Global Horse Culture Archive on May 29, 2010, 2:22 am


If you are in New York City don't miss the exhibit of photos by Hamid Sardar, which depict Mongolian nomads with their horses, reindeer, wolves (yes!) and eagles. The photos are astonishing, overwhelming, beautiful, and incredible. Need I say more?...
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