The Oldest Breed in the World?

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 16, 2008, 10:03 pm


The Retuerta horse is a breed that runs wild in Andalucia, in southern Spain. According to this fascinating article the Retuerta horse "is said to be the oldest surviving breed of horse in Europe, if not the world – and...
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Mongolian Horse Racing Today

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 11, 2008, 1:34 am


The New York Times has a great article about the resurgent popularity of traditional horse racing among modern urban Mongolians. Check it out here. Note the mention that some breeders are importing fast horses from other countries to crossbreed with...
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Egyptian Pantomime!

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 8, 2008, 3:15 am


Here's a pantomime horse in Egypt! I posted about the British tradition of pantomime horses some time ago. I know nothing about Egyptian pantomime, though this one strikes me as being in the British style, despite the distinctively Egyptian tack...
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Ox Riding

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 3, 2008, 7:05 pm


This interesting illustration was published in 1853, and depicts a KhoiKhoi man riding an ox. (The KhoiKhoi people were formerly referred to as Hottentots by the Dutch settlers in South Africa.) The KhoiKhoi were a cattle-herding people even before the...
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Ancient Horseman

Global Horse Culture Archive on July 1, 2008, 5:14 am


This beautiful stone relief from the 10th century BC shows an Aramaean warrior on horseback. The way the rider's hand is held makes the horse's leap seem playful, though I think it is simply a composition decision to prevent the...
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Reader Question: Gaited Breed Origins, Part 3

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 30, 2008, 4:45 pm


So having concluded that we cannot know for sure the origins of the Galloway or Narragansett Pacer, we return to Erica's story of her quest for the perfect horse, and her discovery of the Rocky Mountain Horse, and the possible...
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Reader Question: Gaited Breed Origins, Part 2

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 28, 2008, 4:44 pm


So having focused on the Galloway in Part 1, we turn to the Narragansett Pacer. The Narragansett Pacer was an important breed in the United States, and influential in the development of many modern breeds, including many of the Eastern...
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Cowboys in the Bullring - Costa Rica

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 27, 2008, 5:53 pm


Here's another short video from my trip to Costa Rica. Two cowboys work the bull ring at a weekend bullriding fiesta. Their job is to get the bull out of the ring. Most of the bulls head for the exit...
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Reader Question: Gaited Breed Origins, Part 1

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 26, 2008, 1:32 am


A reader, Erica, from the UK, has imported several Rocky Mountain Horses from the United States, and asks an interesting question: In the States, 'easy' gait is discussed solely with reference to the colonial Spanish influence. However, there must have...
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Traveling by Litter

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 26, 2008, 12:55 am


In past centuries in Brazil (and other places, too) wealthy ladies sometimes traveled by litter - that is, by a sort of miniature carriage without wheels, which was carried by men or mules. These were used when roads were not...
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Breastcollar from Ghana

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 24, 2008, 6:40 pm


A friend of mine snapped these pictures at a museum in Ghana. The label says this is a chief's regalia. The bridle is obviously in a bit of disrepair - the reins normally connect to the ends of the loose...
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The Horses of Tamil Nadu

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 23, 2008, 6:38 pm


The temples of Tamil Nadu, in India, are known for their impressive displays of terracotta votive statues. Many of these are of horses, constructed as offerings to the god Ayanar, whose warriors ride them at night in pursuit of demons....
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The Yushu Horse Festival

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 22, 2008, 12:34 am


Held each year in Qinghai province, the Yushu Horse Festival features some amazing trick riding, mounted games and horse racing. Check out the nice shots by Dan Fohrman on flickr. These really capture the energy and skill of the horses...
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Updated Search and Upcoming Posts

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 20, 2008, 5:22 am


Two news items for you: 1) I have updated my custom searches, found in the right-hand column of this blog. There are three distinct searches, each searching a select set of high quality websites on the subject, so you get...
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Working Horses in Costa Rica

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 14, 2008, 7:15 pm


This is just a brief moment I found engaging - two ranch hands bringing some cattle down from a pasture in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. The horses are Costa Rican Criollos. The banging noise near the end is one of the cowboys slapping his whip against the saddle to urge the cattle on. You can also hear a truck on a highway a mile away - the wind was carrying the sound that day. Notice how deep the road bed is, from decades of hooves wearing it down. 
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Mexican Drill Teams

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 13, 2008, 7:14 pm


Escaramuza Charra is a popular women's sport at Mexican rodeos, similar in format to US Drill Teams, which likewise are popular at US rodeos and exhibitions. In Escaramuza, teams, typically of 8, perform fast, complex, coordinated patterns in the ring, and are judged not only on precision but also on turnout. Normally the women wear a traditional, old-fashioned costumes with layers of petticoats (they are riding sidesaddle), but some teams dress in breeches and jackets similar to traditional men's
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Singing to the Horses

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 11, 2008, 4:00 am


I saw the sweetest scene in a film the other night. PBS is showing a three part series called Windsor Castle: A Royal Year. In episode 2 there are some scenes of the famous Windsor Greys (the horses that pull the royal coaches) in training. But the cutest thing was at Christmas, when the castle staff sang Christmas carols. Not only did they go and sing a few for the Queen, they also stopped by the stables and sang "Away in a Manger" to the Queen's horses. The horses seemed to enjoy it!
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Linda Windell, Artist

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 9, 2008, 9:30 pm


Artist Linda Windell's paintings caught my eye years ago because of her attention to detail in the adornment of horses, particularly Native American horses. I loved the texture, detail, emotion and energy in her paintings. She also paints commissioned portraits of horses and other subjects, and has won awards for her work. I wrote to Ms. Windell to find out more about her interest in horses and art: GHC: I suppose my first question is, being self-taught, when did you begin drawing and painting? LW:
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Latin American Leopards

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 6, 2008, 2:34 pm


Spotted coloration occurs in the Argentine Criollo horse. Andrea sf on flickr has some nice photos, such as the one at left. The horses in her photos are from a ranch, Las Divisas, which specializes in leopard-pattern horses (flash-heavy site with music, but click "Fotos" to see dozens of snapshots of their horses).
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Promoter of Caspian Pony Dies

Global Horse Culture Archive on June 1, 2008, 3:47 pm


Louise Firouz, an American woman who discovered and promoted the rare Caspian Pony, has died. Caspian Ponies, genetically linked to the Arabian horse, are a native Iranian breed. Firouz discovered them while traveling there, and exported some to Europe and the US. Already rare in Iran, they were decimated in their homeland during the revolution and subsequent wars. Despite the upheavals there, Firouz (who had married an Iranian man) lived most of her life on a farm near Turkmenistan. Read more
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