Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's Going on Inside Your Horse's Head?

Photo by Mike Brinson,
courtesy of TTouch Training
By Kitson

Did you know that shape of a horse’s head can provide clues as to what’s going on inside his head? I learned a bit about how a horse's ears, jowels, eyes, muzzle and other parts of his head and expression can tell about his personality when I tuned into a teleclass given by international animal expert and trainer Linda Tellington-Jones this week. Her systematic and gentle training methods (TTouch Training) allow "people to relate to animals in a deeper, more compassionate way -- a way that furthers inter-species connection and honors the body, mind and spirit of both animals and their people.”

Here are a few things I learned about what she believes a horse's head shape says about the whole horse:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beads for Steeds

By Eliza

I am admittedly not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I came across this after seeing that the designer donated a bracelet as a charity auction item. Beads for Steeds is the name of the business: unique, horsey jewelry. Check it out on Etsy, here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Favorites

By Kitson

A friend asked me (with a wink) if I planned to start Black Friday the traditional way – waiting for the doors to open at Walmart at 6 a.m. I didn't shop today but I was out early -- wearing my favorite worn-in riding boots and toting a bag of apple leftovers from the makings of Thanksgiving pie --  on my way to the barn. It was a great sunny day with a bit of chill in the air – perfect for a long trail ride on a frisky Welsh cob.

And in an attempt to continue this horse-themed take on Black Friday, I will share three wonderful black horses right here on TheSweetFeed.com.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inmates Caring For Retired Horses

By Eliza
Here's an article from today's Boston Globe about prison inmates caring for retired horses. I never get tired of horse stories like these. Click here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inside Track: Insider's Guide To Horse Racing

By Eliza

I think one should always be leery when confronted with the term "insider's guide". . .unless that insider is former jockey Donna Barton Brothers, and she's writing about horse racing in her book Inside Track. Even if you are not a huge racing fan, you have seen her at the Kentucky Derby, interviewing the jockeys and generally keeping audiences abreast of what's interesting and what's new at the Derby. She gets to do many of her interviews on horseback--there is a great picture of her doing just that on the back of the book--and just because of the image of her in the saddle, reins in one hand and microphone in the other, I believe that horse people respond to her the most of all the racing commentators.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cave paintings of horses actually look like Paleolithic horses

By Eliza
As horse lovers, we know that there is something timeless about the appeal of the horse. Horses possess beauty, strength, power. . .all things to which people are naturally attracted. When I want a timeless image, I reach for the HipstaPrint app on my phone's camera (see image to left.) According to an article in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the pull to appreciate and depict nearby horses has been around a very long time. Through DNA typing and laborious research, scientists found that the horses that were around when the famous cave paintings of Pech-Merle, France, which date back 25,000 years, actually looked like those paintings. (One of many interesting facts in the piece: one of the colors was a "leopard" pattern.) This shows that pretty much all of the colors shown in cave paintings have been found in prehistoric horses. The cavemen were not only artists, but naturalists capturing the world--and the horses--they knew.

Abstract and story are here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chestnuts, Blacks and Bays, Four Different Ways

By Kitson

With my kids and husband off school and work for the Veteran’s Day holiday, we headed downtown today to enjoy the National Mall. It was a brilliant fall day and we explored memorials, museums and hiked up to Chinatown for lunch. As usual, my mind strayed to horses…

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'll Miss You, Hickstead

Olympian Eric Lamaze and his horse Hickstead at a World Cup event in Verona, Italy, 11/6/2011.
(Bruno De Lorenzo, Fiercavalli Press Office)
 By Kitson

I'm trying hard to keep this from ruining my day, but it's not easy. I had to stop what I was doing this morning and digest the shocking news that the mighty show jumping Olympic champion Hickstead, who last year I watched win bronze at the World Equestrian Games Show Jumping finale, died suddenly yesterday during a competition in Verona, Italy. The announcer's words from that night in Lexington at the WEG stuck in my head as he exuberantly declared Hickstead to be the best horse in the world.

All-in-one story at the Breeder's Cup Classic

By Eliza

OK, let's say you're not me. That is, you don't follow horse racing. You should still read this story from the New York Times' excellent racing writer, Joe Drape. It's about the Breeder's Cup Classic, one of the biggest deals in the racing calendar and this year featuring two previously affianced jockeys.

Heartbreak, love, loss, victory. . .all in one race and all in one brief story.

Click Here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Guy McLean

By Eliza
I encourage everyone who thinks that they are not interested in natural horsemanship to check this guy out. Or even check it out if you think you have seen plenty of natural horsemanship exhibitions, and have already taken away what you need from it. Maybe it's because he is Australian like Clancy, or maybe it's because he uses four horses in his routine, or maybe because he is up front about being an entertainer as well as a horseman, but I feel like he is one to watch. Kitson and I saw him at the Washington International Horse Show last week.