Mysterious Horse Trainers

Global Horse Culture Archive on May 4, 2008, 8:35 pm

Back in the 18th & 19th & early 20th centuries, the UK was home to several odd horse training guilds that mixed mystical rites and secrets with horse training skill and a dash of trickery. One of these, the Horseman's Word, was a guild of horse trainers in Scotland who claimed to have secret words to whisper in a horse's ear to charm him into gentleness. Membership was via initiation; along the lines of various secret societies of the time the ceremonies included midnight meetings, parodies
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Conditioning the Chariot Horse

Global Horse Culture Archive on May 1, 2008, 7:53 pm

The Kikkuli text is one of two surviving ancient texts about horse care and training (the other being Xenephon's "On Horsemanship" from 350 BC). The Kikkuli text is a Hittite text from around 1400 BC that describes the proper care and conditioning of chariot horses. Wikipedia has a description of the book and it's significance, saying:The Kikkuli Text addresses solely the conditioning, not education, of the horse. The Mitannians were acknowledged leaders in horse training and as a result
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Sheer Spring Silliness

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 25, 2008, 10:17 pm

Photo: Liquid Lucidity on flickr
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Just Wow!

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 25, 2008, 10:08 pm

This is a stupendously fancy bridle, modeled here in a the collection at the Royal Mews in England. The Royal Mews is the stables at Buckingham Palace: "One of the finest working stables in existence, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see the work of the Royal Household department that provides road transport for The Queen and members of the Royal Family by both horse-drawn carriage and motor car. The Royal Mews has a permanent display of State
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Four Horsepower

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 25, 2008, 4:28 pm

What a sweet photo of four Fjord ponies pulling a sled in Canada. Fjords are a stocky draft-type horse (or pony - they are short in stature, but due to their strength are often referred to as horses). Their distinctive dorsal stripe is traditionally shown off by trimming the mane to stand up, so the black stripe is clearly visible. Originating in Norway, the Fjord is now quite popular throughout the US and Europe, both as a driving or draft animal and for pleasure riding. Photo: pmarkham on flickr.
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Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 22, 2008, 8:02 pm

Hempfling is a rather interesting trainer (based in Denmark) who practices a unique style of training, although it is not entirely different from Natural Horsemanship. In his videos of ground work you can see his extensive use of body language - far more than most trainers use - such that he appears to "dance" with the horse. He has an extensive collection of books and videos available, although I find the videos are not particularly methodical, in a way which might allow others to learn
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A Beautiful Film

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 22, 2008, 7:34 pm

Here is a part of the trailer for the IMAX film "Majestic White Horses", about the Lippizan horses of the Spanish Riding School. I wish I had seen the film in IMAX (it came out in 2007) - it sounds impressive. There is a full review of it here. And more info on the production company's page, here.
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Old Soviet Breeds in the West

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 17, 2008, 11:11 pm

IG Karabagh is a German group which promotes, imports and breeds a variety of horses from the former Soviet Union. The Akhal Teke, Karabakh, Tersk and well represented by members, and information on lesser known breeds is provided on their informative and well-illustrated website. The site is in German, but there are plenty of pictures and links to browse. For a quick orientation, "Zuchter" is a list of breeders, with links to their sites. "Deckhengste" is stallions at stud.
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A War Horse of Diverse Heritage

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 17, 2008, 2:51 am

The Waler is a scarce breed originating in Australia, where it was bred as a fine cavalry and stock horse during the era of the British Empire. Walers were highly regarded for their stamina, hardiness, agility, trainability and bravery in battle.  By the 1940s the cavalry breeding program had been abandoned, and most remaining Walers were turned loose, becoming feral horses, while others went on to develop into the modern Australian Stock Horse. In the mid 1980s a move was made to round up
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The Warlander

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 16, 2008, 11:02 pm

Begun in Australia, this new breed is a blend of Friesian and Andalusian blood. The resulting horse has the "baroque" physique of the Friesian and Andalusian, but is lighter and more compact than the Friesian, but more substantial (and hairier!) than the Andalusian. The breed is supported by The International Warlander Society and Registry, which sets requirements of breeding and conformation. The breed was begun in the early 1990s, and has gained a modest following, with breeders in Europe,
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A Magazine for Show Horses

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 15, 2008, 2:32 am

Saddle and Bridle Magazine is an American magazine covering the show horse breeds, such as Hackneys and Saddlebreds, and the show horse disciplines, such as Fine Harness and Saddle Seat Equitation. Saddle and Bridle Magazine is one of the oldest horse magazines in publication in the US, having been founded in 1927. Besides news and information, the magazine and its associated website offer useful links to advertisers, organizations and breeders.
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Medieval Horse Garb

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 15, 2008, 1:09 am

Ignore the annoying ads, and check out this interesting and illustrated overview of Medieval horse garb, called History of Horse Bards and Tack. The Contessa offers some further reading suggestions at the bottom of the page, too. It's an old site, but one I've enjoyed reading.
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Famous Carousel Maker Dies

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 12, 2008, 3:21 am

The New York Times has a fascinating obituary today for Marvin Sylvor, a world-renowned maker of carousels and carousel horses. Take a look here. Photo: destinelee on flickr.
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The Palomino

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 8, 2008, 7:39 pm

Palomino is a color based on chestnut, with a dilution gene causing the body color to become a gold or dark cream color, and the mane and tail to be white. It does not breed true, and is most often bred by crossing a chestnut horse with a cremello horse. For details of the genetics, read this page. Similar colors in appearance, but not to be confused with palomino, are flaxen chestnut, in which the body is a reddish brown and the mane and tail are blond; and the dilutions called cream or cremello,
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Deerskin Chaps

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 11:30 pm

The horses at this Japanese archery festival are not particularly ornamented, but the deerskin chaps worn by the archers are quite interesting! There are many more photos from this event  - follow the flickr link. Photo: EYLC on flickr.
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Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 11:22 pm

This is a super photo of riders in Native American costume for the Rose Parade in Pasadena, which traditionally features many equestrians. I love the design on the second horse's rump.  There are additional photos  - follow the flickr  link below. Photo: Randal Droher on flickr.
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Flowers and Masks

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 11:14 pm

Rosettes cover the bridles and saddles of these horses during Carnival in Sardinia. Check out the flickr link for more great shots. Photo: ezioman on flickr
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A Touch of Parade

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 11:00 pm

Parade gear in the American West is often decorated with enormous quantities of silver. The basic style of tack is Western, with a clear Mexican influence. Silver is attached to every strap and surface possible, resulting in some really heavy gear. You can see a variety of traditional parade saddles at the Parade Saddle Archive. In fact, there is even one decorated with gold instead of silver - an expensive proposition, even if it is gold plate. For those with more restrained taste, this California
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Dressed from Head to Toe

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 10:44 pm

This unusual costume is so all encompassing it has sleeves for the horse's legs! You can see the attachments that hold the costume on the inside of the far leg and under the neck. Notice some of the details: pompoms every few inches on the reins, the decorative border on the saddle, and the applique shapes sewn onto the red background of the costume. According to the photographer's caption, the photo was taken in Malaysia, at a festival of the Bajau people. Photo: Kervinchong on flickr.
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Renaissance Italian

Global Horse Culture Archive on April 4, 2008, 10:33 pm

A recreationist at an Italian fair with his beautifully costumed horse. Photo: Marvin(PA) on flickr.
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