Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Pullen-Thompson Sisters

Between them Josephine, Diana and Christine Pullen-Thompson have written over a 100 well loved pony books over the past 60 or so years. If you've ever enjoyed a Pullen-Thompson book you may be intersted in this Daily Mail interview:

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Spotted horses and ponies - Appaloosa

A spotted horse or pony is called an Appaloosa and they don't have to have spots all over like the pony in the above picture. Appaloosa's have a mottled skin and are a recognised breed in the USA.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Ragwort and the Cinnabar Moth

 The Ragwort plant is very poisionous to horses and other animals, fortunately most creatures don't like the taste of Ragwort. But there is one little creature that loves Ragwort.

The Cinnabar Moth

 Adult Cinnabar Moths lay their eggs on the Ragwort

 and when they hatch the caterpillars eat the leaves.

The caterpillars  absorb the bitter tasting alkaloids that make Ragwort taste horrible to other animals this then makes the caterpillars taste horrible to birds. The bright striped black and orange-yellow colour of the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars is a warning to birds not to eat them.

Photographs of the Cinnabar Moth courtesy of My Equestrian World

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Moorland Mousie by Golden Gorse

Founder of The Moorland Mousie Trust, Valerie Sherwin, has seen one of her long-term dreams come true this week with the launch of a reprint of Moorland Mousie, the popular children's book originally written by Golden Gorse and published initially in 1929.  The book is available from the Trust by mail order at a cover price of £11.99 with postage and packaging of £3 for a single copy, £4.50 for 2 or 3 copies and £6 for 4 copies. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Horse in a Million by Patricia Leitch

This month Catnip Publishing have re-republished book six of the Jinny series written by Patricia Leith, Horse in a Million.

The Jinny series is one of the best-loved pony series of all time. The books follow Jinny as she rescues the beautiful Arab mare Shantih, and struggles to learn to ride her.  They are set in the Scottish highlands and also contain elements of mystery and magic.

In "Horse in a Million" Shantih goes missing, will Jinny ever see her again?

The cover of this paperback features a photograph of a real life Shantih. This Shantih belongs to photographer Karen Budkiewicz who read the Jinny stories as a child and has named her chestnut Arab mare Shantih.

A Brown Horse or Pony

A brown horse or pony has a mixture of black and brown pigmented hairs in it's coat with a black mane and tail.

Hands High

If you ask how tall a pony is the answer will be given to you in hands, eg. 14 hands high (usually written as14hh). But what does that mean?

Well thousands of years ago the hand was a simple measurement where people actually used the width of their own hand to measure things. Of course eventually a set measurement had to be decided for a hand and this was 4 inches or 10 centimetres.

So a hand is 4 inches or 10 cms.

Now where is a horse or pony measured from?

We measure the height of a horse from his withers. So a 10hh pony is 40 inches or 100 cms tall at the withers.

Now not all horses or ponies are going to measure exactly a certain number of hands, most of them are going to be a bit over eg. 13.2hh. What does the .2 mean? Well that is 2 inches or 5 cms. So a 13.2hh pony measure 13 full hands + an extra 2 inches.

Monday, 1 August 2011