For The Love Of Horses – the passion for a horse often begins in childhood. In the modern-day, statistically more women love and ride horses than men. “They don’t have an on or off switch and they have a brain of their own!” How many times have I heard that!
But why women and not men? “For one thing, ponies and horses are a lot like children. We know how to take care of children – it’s in our genetic makeup. Women are generally more patient and gentle. Learning with horses have to consider consequences at an early age. People who live and love horses also buy into the harsh realities of keeping a horse – the expense, the time, the effort, the poo picking, whatever the weather, and of course the injuries of competitive riding.
“We don’t have anything to prove; we don’t need to fix things in order to feel good.
Will a Horse Trust Me?
You can’t use force on a horse to trust you and when many men discover that, they’re out of there.” Horses need nurturing and bonding, after all you are connecting with an animal of incredible power, sensitivity, size, and if you get it right, loyalty.
A horse is a fight or flight animal, mainly flight for survival by nature.
You must earn their respect and trust. Consequently, the bond can be powerful and incredible. But remember, being a herd animal who naturally has a leader, if you are worried or lacking in self-belief you must prove your worth as his “leader”.
We take things for granted when they have always been there but consider history for a moment. Then I will share some of the horses in the Palmer Family through the Generations.
Horses Are Great Therapy
Horse therapy is not a modern concept — the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about it in about 400BC — and the term hippotherapy — using riding for occupational therapy — is drawn from hippo, the ancient Greek for the horse.
- Paralympics – www.paralympics.org.uk
- Help For Heroes – www.helpforheroes.org.uk
- Riding for the Disabled — www.rda.org.uk
- HorseBack UK — www.horseback.org.uk
As Winston Churchill wrote (and with apologies to others who uttered this simple truth before he did): ‘There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.’
Helping Our Military Heroes Recover
“People say that a dog is Man’s best friend, but the connection I had between me and the horse was unbelievable,’ said Paul Barrett. ‘It was as if he knew I was injured and needed his time and his ability to get me anywhere I needed to.”
Paul Barrett, who had no previous interest in horses, felt transformed by a course at Horse-Back UK, a charity in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, supported by Help for Heroes. In 2008, Sgt Barrett stood on an IED in Helmand Province and, among many injuries, lost his right leg and the use of a hand.
Przewalski horse is one of the oldest breeds.
Horses Helped Man Shape Civilizations
We think of the beginning of time with early cafe art. Horses can be seen in cave paintings all around the world. The prehistoric horse art dates back to between 15,000 and 12,000 BC. Together with people, images of deer, mammoths, bears, wolves, and foxes.
You can trace their origin to the open grass plains of the Eurasian Steppe, north of the Black and Caspian Seas and they appear to have been captured, trained and helped man travel faster around 4,000 BC. T
Once domesticated, the horse was poised for greatness because of its anatomy, physiology, and sociability. As a herd animal with a pecking order in the wild, it became subordinate allowing man to become its boss and teacher.
For The Love Of Horses – Horse Facts
- “We have had 6,000 years of history with the horse and only 100 with the automobile,”
- One man and a dog can herd 200 sheep. Put a man on a horse, with a dog at the foot, and he can herd 500 sheep.
- On average a man carries about 23 kilos. A horse can carry 90 kilos.
- A 450kg horse can pull up to twice his own weight. That means a staggering 900 kilos of cargo, consequently, they were so valuable in the First World War.
- A man walks at a rate of 4 miles per hour. The horse trots long distances at twice that rate (8 miles per hour) and gallops at up to 35 miles per hour for shorter distances. A really fit horse can cover 100 miles in a day.
- The words ‘horsepower,’ refers to their strength and speed, and is used to describe car engines today.
Family Horses Going To War
William on his own horse, Dorset Yeomanry WW1
Our grandfather went to help the war effort. Mr. WFB Palmer was with the Dorset Yeomanry training unbroken horses from Ireland. They were shipped over to Dorchester where his job was to calm them and bring them to saddle. William Everett used to work for my Father and he too took his horse to help the war effort. Both men returned to Dorset safely.
What was Horse Mustering in the War?
In 1914 the British Army only had 25,000 horses and needed half a million more in short order. Horse mustering is the process of gathering livestock. As a consequence, In the first year of the war, the countryside was virtually denuded of
horses. The gentry took their own horses with them by choice. Sadly the local farmers were forced by purchase or requisition to lose the draught horses – their Shires – to transport guns, ammunition, supplies, and for use as ambulances. As a consequence, this had a devastating effect on agriculture with its heavy dependence on horsepower as local newspapers recorded
Children Gain Confidence, Trust, and Strength from Horses and Ponies.
Teenagers and children, who struggle in mainstream education, often benefit from the opportunity to learn from Equines. Horses help them to develop social responsibility in the sympathetic environment of horses, benefiting from their ‘inclusiveness, warmth, smell, movement, routine, and need to be cared for’.
Riding Schools and Farm Parks are great places for children to meet and groom ponies. Because their first encounter can then lead to riding lessons from as young as 3 (on lead rein) or 5 years old.
What’s the difference between a Horse, Pony and a Donkey?
- The horse is measured in hands (traditionally 4″) and a horse starts at 15 hands high.
- A pony is like a horse but smaller and crankier and there are many breeds from a Minature Shetland to riding ponies.
- Donkeys have longer ears and are their own specific breed, a donkey is not a horse and not a herd animal,but from the same equine family is the wild zebra.
- The Zebra is a lot like a horse but it is not domesticated, has black and white coat pattern that horses do not.
- A mule is a cross between a donkey and a horse. And for those that want to believe, the unicorn is mythically wonderful but I have never seen one!
You Can even Learn to Think Like A Pony
Image of Horse with named parts of the body: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/nature”>Nature vector created by brgfx – www.freepik.com</a>
Author Sandra Palmer, with her horse.
Written on 6th May 2020.