Thursday, 28 July 2011

Dandelions for horses

Did you know that dandelions are good for horses and humans to eat? 

 Dandelions contain more Vitamin A & C than other vegetables and they are full of minerals especially iron, copper and potash. Copper is  important as it activates zinc in the body and zinc is necessary for wound healing, fertility and white blood cell production.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Anna Sewell

Have you read the book "Black Beauty", seen the film or the TV series based on the book? 

Black Beauty was written as a last blow against cruelty by a woman who was told that she had only 18 months to live. Her name was Anna Sewell.

Anna Sewell was the daughter of Norfolk Quakers, Mary and Issac Sewell. Issac tried many jobs icluding bank managing and drapery but unfortunately he wasn't very good at any of them so the family had to move a lot as money was always short.

Mary Sewell, Anna's mother, was a school teacher and she educated both Anna nad her brother. She encouraged Anna's love of literature and taught her that cruelty was abhorrent - "the devil's trade-mark".

Sadly, when Anna was only 14 she had an accident that injured her ankle and for some reason it refused to heal properly. Often Anna could not walk because of the pain, but she could ride and this started Anna Sewell's close indentification with horses. She made a habit of talking to them kindly, "Now thee must go a little faster - thee would be sorry for us to be late."

When Anna was 57 she was told that she had only 18 months to live and she set about writing the story Black Beauty in an attempt to alleviatiate cruelty to horses.

Anna Sewell died 4 months after publication of the book Black Beauty. Even so Anna suceeded in her mission, Black Beauty has sold over 40 million copies. It has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindustani, Turkish and Braille amongst other languages. Animal welfare groups have given copies to stable hands and drivers to read and it is believed that Black Beauty is one of the few novels that has actually suceeded in reducing suffering.

How tall do donkeys grow?

Donkeys stand between 10 hands (102cms) and 14 hands (142cms) high but they can also come in all sorts of sizes, the Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys in the above photograph stand less than 9 hands (91cms) high and the Poitou and the American Mammoth donkey can reach up to 17 hands (173cms) high!

(Photograph courtesy of My equestrian World)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Phantom Horse by Christine Pullein-Thompson

Phantom, the palamino, runs wild in the Virginia mountains of America. Jean and her brother, Angus, tame him and bring him to England. Christine Pullein - Thompson's series featuring their exciting and mysterious adventures at home and abroad has been re-released by Award.
There are six exciting adventures in the series with covers illustrated by Jennifer Bell.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Did you know that Buttercups are Poisionous to Horses?

Buttercups contain an irritating alkaloid that can cause increased salivation, blistering and inflamation of the mouth. But, fortunately most equines won't eat Buttercups as they have a burning taste and the good news is that when Buttercups are dried they are no longer toxic, so you don't have to worry if you find the odd one or two in your horses hay.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Liver Chesnut

Chestnut horses and ponies don't just come in the ginger colour there is also a liver chestnut which is more brownish in appearance. In the above photograph of a showing class the pony on the left with the white blaze is a liver chestnut.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Pippa Funnell's new Tilly book -

Buttons the Naughty Pony is the latest Pippa Funnell book to be published in the Tilly's Pony Tails series and it's out on Friday 8th July.

"Meet Tilly Redbrow, who doesn't just love horses - she lives, breathes and dreams them too! Follow Tilly's adventures as she learns to ride and care for the horses at Silver Shoe Farm, and develops her special gift, with a little help from her favourite horse, Magic Spirit. For every girl who has ever longed for a pony of her own, these delightful, warm and engaging stories are packed with Pippa Funnell's expert advice on everything you ever wanted to know about horses. "

A Chestnut horse or pony

A chesnut horse or pony is a ginger colour with a mane and tail the same sort of ginger / reddish colour although these can be a  slightly lighter or darker shade than the coat. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


A piebald horse or pony has large irregular patches of black and white.

Monday, 4 July 2011


A skewbald horse or pony has large irregular patches of white with any other colour except black.

White or Grey Horse?

It is not correct to describe a white horse as white, it is a light grey unless it is a Lippizaner in which case it is correctly described as white.

So the horse in the first picture is a light grey and the horse in the picture from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna is white.

Steel or Iron Grey

A grey coat contains a mix of black and white hairs, a steel or iron grey horse or pony has more black hairs than white and the black hairs are spread evenly through the coat.

Dapple Grey

 Grey horses or ponies have a mixture of black and white hairs in their coats, a dapple grey has light patches of hair in circles on a darker background.

Both of these ponies are dapple grey but as you can see the one in the first picture has more black hairs than the one in the second.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Shetland Pony

Shetland Ponies orginally came from the Shetland Isles in Scotland where they have existed for over 2000 years making the Shetland Pony the oldest of the British Native Breeds. Archaeologists  found bones of small ponies when they excavted Bronze Age sites so it is believed that the Shetland Pony has been domesticated since the Bronze age. There were'nt any roads on the Shetland Isles until the 19th Century so the ponies were orginally used as pack animals and to carry their owners.

Winters in the Shetland Isles can be very harsh and the smallness of the Shetland Pony enabled it to survive sometimes by eating seaweed on the beach. Shetland ponies are very hardy, very strong and long lived.

A true Shetland Pony shouldn't be any heigher than 42 inches (107cms), measured at the withers, they should have small heads with long manes and tails and they come in all horse colours except spotted.