Bet you can't do this!

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


These British mounted police do regular performances showing the incredible discipline and steadiness of their fabulous horses. Whether it's jumping through rings of fire or removing the entire saddle while riding a steady canter (wait for it at the end of the video!) these horses and riders are really impressive. Horses selected for police work have to deal with crowds, traffic, noise, gunfire and all sorts of scary things. Only the most steady and brave graduate from the training programs. 
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Hot vs. Cold

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


Horses are often referred to as being hot-blooded or cold-blooded. What does this mean? To some extent it refers to their breeding. The Arabian is the quintessential hot-blooded horse, a term that perhaps refers to its desert origins, but also to its very active, energetic nature. Draft horses are called cold-bloods, as they originate in cold northern climates and tend to be more placid and slow moving. Many horses have lineages that trace back to multiple origins, combining a bit of Arabian, some
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Galiceño Pony

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


The Galiceño is a small, handsome gaited pony from Mexico. It is usually dark colored, sometimes with dun markings, but rarely has white markings. It is thought to descend largely from Spanish ponies such as the Garrano and Sorraia, with a mixture of Andalusian and perhaps other breeds.  In the 1950s Galiceños were imported into the US, and a US registry was created. This US breeder has a website with more information and some photos. There is a pony called the Galego (Galician) in Spain
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East meets West

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


The South African Boer Horse (Boerperd) descends from an interesting mixture of breeds. The first horses brought to South Africa by Europeans were Andalusians, Persian Arabs and Java Ponies. These were mixed and selected to provide all purpose horses and cavalry mounts. In the 1800s the blood of Friesians, Norfolk Trotters, Cleveland Bays and Hackneys was added. Today's Boerperd is somewhat variable in appearance, with some horses showing their Arabian or Andalusian ancestry more strongly, and
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Short tails, long tails

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


Some breeds of horse traditionally have their tails docked. This means that some portion of the actual tail (the bone and muscle part, not the hair) is cut off, leaving a short stub. The hair that grows from the docked tail hangs down a bit, but is no where near as long and thick as it would be if the tail were not docked. Docking is not terribly common, but when it does occur is most typically found in draft horses and a few other harness breeds, such as the Hackney, and usually only in horses
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Mane Braiding

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


This style of braiding the mane is popular in northern Europe and North America, particularly in the disciplines of dressage and hunters. To achieve neat and tidy braids along the crest of the neck, the mane must be kept short (perhaps five or six inches long). This is usually done by regularly pulling out longer hairs as they grow (something most horses don't feel or mind at all - as long as you only pull a few at a time). The braids are made evenly along the length of the neck, and fastened with
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The Wonderful Walking Horse

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


I have had the luck to ride several Tennessee Walking Horses. They are beautiful and kind creatures, and the running walk is as smooth as silk and as fast as a brisk trot. The natural Tennessee Walker has beautiful, comfortable gaits, and is known for its kind and pleasant temper. They are popular for trail riding, and in the show ring are found in western style and saddleseat style gaited classes. Many people are only familiar with the "Big Lick" style of showing Tennessee Walkers, often
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The Most Amazing Collection of Horse Gear

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


I've just taken a look at a new book that arrived in the mail today. It is "Éperonnerie et parure du cheval", by Eliane and Guy de la Boisseliére. It catalogs, in lovely color photos, a private collection of horse adornment, tack, and accessories from all over the world and every historical period. There is a bridle made of gold from ancient Thrace; a face shield worn by a Greek horse in the 4th century BC; a Native American bridle with a starburst of red and gold feathers at the forehead;
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What's Western Pleasure?

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


This nifty video clearly explains the sport of Western Pleasure showing. Western style riding originates in Mexico and the American West, but is now popular around the world. As in some other equestrian sports, such as dressage or hunters, the emphasis in Western Pleasure is on the meticulous presentation of a show horse so well trained that it performs each required movement with grace, relaxation, and perfect accuracy, while the rider appears to sit quietly, enjoying the ride, his or her cues
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A rare American breed

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 5, 2007, 8:56 am


The McCurdy Walker is a distinct breed, related to the Tennessee Walker, derived from the horses bred for many years on the McCurdy Plantation in Alabama. The founding horses were registered as Tennessee Walkers, and many Tennessee Walkers carry their bloodlines. However, a registry just for McCurdy bloodlines was eventually created, preserving this unique, easy-gaited, all-purpose horse. Although predominantly found in their location of origin, they are gaining popularity in other parts of the
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