The Archive Section displays information about horses and related subjects that are many years old, information, photographs and diagrams that are only found on old parchment and old reference books no longer in print. Since the age of these articles may mean fragility, many have been carefully scanned to form an electronic copy.
The Archive presents these giving a textual summary plus the scanned image so users may choose to view the original electronic copy. The intention is for the Archive to grow with new material added on a regular basis when items of interest become available.
My very first comical drawings horses were published in 1981. After many years of creating generic horse characters, Fergus was born. Like many horses, Fergus, through no choice of his own, lives with two hooves in the animal kingdom, and two hooves in the illogical world humans have created.
Fergus enjoys conversations with his stable mates, the shade tree and the big rock in his pasture. He calmly accepts dialog with armadillos, slugs, snowmen, even extra terrestrial visitors. But he is patient with people for he knows their understanding is limited. He reminds them as best he can, that horses are not nervous but sensitive, that horses are not stubborn, but strong-willed, and that the rational thought of humans is logical only to them.
Fergus is a story-teller who knows that just over there, on the other side of the fence, the grass is a little bit greener. Thank you for enjoying Fergus along with me. If Fergus has intrigued you, you can find more information from his very own stable (sorry, website) by visiting Fergus The Horse.
The intention of the Journal is to contain articles written about horses and horse related subjects. Many articles are the personal experiences of the relevant author and some may provide a historical record of events or information about a well known character in the horse riding or racing fraternity.
This collection of poems is inspired by the horse and all its relatives. Poetry is an important part of literary experience. Poems should synchronize rhythm, description and literary excellence in a succinct and meaningful way. Poetry allows us to paint delicate pictures of the absurd, funny, magical and emotional and of the horse!
Horse racing’s ancient origins may never be fully uncovered. Certainly once man had a horse he could ride, he raced it. Smithfield market in 12th century London was a famous place for the trying of horses, its name derived from Smoothfields. There, horses were tried in wind, heart and limb, spurred and whipped to perform for their masters.
Racing spread across Great Britain with race meetings started by the trumpet and silver bells were given as prizes. The 15th and 16th centuries saw an upsurge in interest in horse racing and Charles I and Charles II made Newmarket, Epsom, centres for the sport. Queen Anne liked Ascot Heath and so that too joined the list of important racecourses.
Racecourses sprung up all over Great Britain and by the end of the Victorian era horse racing was akin to football today in popularity. Great names such as Eclipse, our first famous and racehorse of the 18th century to Red Rum, Desert Orchid, and Frankel carry on the tradition of racing at its best. Triptych, Snow Fairy, Lochsong, and so many more, have all delighted and excited us with their courage, speed and beauty.
Over many centuries, horses have journeyed over many thousands of miles in the wild before man existed and many more under the eventual control of man. Travel is also an important part of man as tribal cultures relocated in search of food and water for their continued existence. The horse did play, and still plays, a fundamental role in man’s survival.
The Travel Section consists of articles written by people who have had experiences with horses during their lifetime on holidays, overland treks and other sojourns into far flung places where technology has yet to reach.
Unicorn Tales are a collection of inspirational horse stories, where horses transcend into the paranormal taking us on journeys into the magic world whose portals are only opened by those very special moments where friendship and trust create those unique friendships.
The Unicorn is a beast of fable, representing chastity, purity and power and it was said, could only be captured by a virgin. Time and again the image of the Unicorn turns up in Medieval art and literature. Perhaps you have never seen a unicorn, well look again, they are all around us.
Maintaining the health of domesticated horses has always been a challenge. The domestic horse lives longer than the wild horse, which may be lucky to survive six or seven years. Horses selectively bred and kept in stables, for war and used extensively for transport, were prone to infection and other problems such as lameness. With animals raised in large flocks and herds disease and epidemics would follow.
Vegitus Renatus was a well-known writer of works on, ‘The Distempers of Horses,’ back in Roman times and was much translated. Disease was identified and cured according to the ancient ideas of the Elements (Earth, Fire Water, and Air) and the Humours, (Melancholy, Cholere, Phlegma, or Flegmat, and Sanguin, Sang, Blood) Horses colours were also thought to reflect certain humours. And the humours each had its action and relevant part of the body. Racehorses were trained through purging the evil humours and thought to be brought by training, including bleeding and purging to the fifth the quintessential element. In the 17th century Gervaise Markham produced a range of books on the care of the horse and the treatment of disease.
Until the setting up of the Royal Veterinary College in the late 18th century by Vial de St Bel, a Frenchman. Prior to this farriers were the doctors of animals, but from this point on change was about. The farriers would become the people we know today, shoers of horses and not unqualified practitioners treating injuries and illness. Their library included works by Vegitus Renatus, James Clarke, Taplin, Snape, Gibson, Bourrgelat, La Fosse and Vitet, Baret, Gray.
Modernisation of animal treatment was finally on its way. The Farriers would shoe horses and treat only as far as remedial shoeing was necessary. The Veterinary Surgeons would treat all animals. But would not shoe, the blacksmith/Farrier and the horse doctors were finally defined. And so modern Veterinary Science was born.