You know, Black Beauty was, hands down, my absolute favorite horsie book (and def. one of my favorite horse books all together!). It's funny that I decided to read this thread because I've been thinking about Black Beauty and Ginger and all of their friends for days now. This past week I was in Seville... a beautiful and quite wonderful old city in southern Spain. Now, I go to New York City all the time and see the horses and carriages all around the Plaza Hotel and central park and usually try not to think much of them or let them get to me.
However, Seville just had horses and carriages EVERYWHERE! I couldn't avoid thinking about the treatment of the carriage horse. You can't walk five feet without seeing one or hearing the clopping of hooves on pavement in the distance. Every time I walked by one I thought of Black Beauty and the dreaded "bearing rein" (sp?) and the blinders, two items which nearly all of the horses sported. Many of them seemed visibly unsound to me. As well, many of them had long, shaggy coats and were sweating like crazy in the strong southern heat. Nearly all of them were very bothered by the blinders. Am I crazy in thinking that it is all incredibly inhumane in this moder age? To be sure, the romanticsim of a horse drawn carriage ride through the most resplendent parts of an old city is quite alluring. And I must confess, I even gave in and went for a ride my first day there.
But the more time I spent there and the more I got to see these horses, the more disgusted I became. I used to have to lunge or gallop many of my horses for hours to get them quiet... am I then a hypocrite to cringe when I see the horses carting tourist after tourist around in cities such as New York and Seville?
To see these horses trotting along on pavement for hours a day just really got to me. I guess I always rationalized my brand of torture for preparing to show because I loved my animals so much and I took exceptional care of them in the end and lavished as much love and attention on them as I could. But these horses go through so much more, and I have little evidence to make me believe that the drivers see them as any more than beasts of burden that are there to be exploited for their ability to lure tourists in and put money in their pockets.
So, I totally just crashed this lovely thread... perhaps I should start a topic if anyone has comments on this?
Becky - speaking of M. Dickens, how could we have forgotten the "Follyfoot Farm" series??!! About a rescue home for horses, with Dora, Steve, and Cally and the Colonel who run it. Dora is always taking in new rescue cases much to Steve's annoyance and Cally is always ditching school because she is training a nice youngster called Folly that the Colonel bred.
I love some of the characters in these books, like the rogueish Stryker and that know-all horsey woman who tries to run the farm when the Colonel is in hospital.
I love these books from England, I was raised on them!
I had been thinking of going looking for it. Rockstar, I feel the same way. Black Beauty was so powerful in its depiction of cruelty to horses - and I get upset now just remembering. But that was Victoriann England - and the abuse continues. I was on a holiday in Malta once, and the carriage horses looked terrible - so thin and sweaty - and the people taking the carriage rides were oblivious. Abuse continues in places you wouldn't imagine. In Southern Ontario, we have many Mennonites - a religious order, many of whom drive carriages. They get standardbreds off the track - and although many are well taken care of - many more are not - you see them trotting down the road - so lame, thin, soaked with sweat, standing uncovered in a freezing rain storm .. and when they are truly "done" - they are still just comodities, shipped to the slaughter house. But of course "Man has Dominion".. .
on a happier note, like many of the other posters, I fixated totally on the CW Anderson books - Billy and Blaze, A Pony for Joan, all the race horse books - maybe that is where I got the "imprint" of how a horse should look! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
I'm amazed that no one has mentioned Ebay yet as a great source to find a lot of these old books!!! As an avid childs horse book collector I've found many books on there!!!
As for favorites, I don't even know where to begin!!!! I love the Bonnie books by Barbara Van Tuyl ( I have a couple of duplicates if anyone is looking for them!!!) The Golden Stallion series by Rutherford Montgomery is another special favorite for me. When ever I visited my Grandmother in Chicago, I always made a beeline to their shelf at her local library so I could read them again! My local library back in L.A. didn't have them.
Anyone else remember reading the Timber Trail Riders series??? How about Marjory Reynolds (Keep a Silver Dollar and Dark Horse Barnaby)? I could go on and on...everytime I look at my bookcase crammed with horse books another one pops out as a favorite.....sigh....i love the memories they bring back !!!!
"You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
ignorance!" Officer Beck
I got a copy of Steinbecks "The Red Pony" illustrated by Wesley Dennis off of ebay. Found the fantastic set of prints "Portfolio of Horses" that were done for Marguerite Henry's "Album of Horses" there as well. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
"If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."
from fred: nullRockstar, I feel the same way. Black Beauty was so powerful in its depiction of cruelty to horses - and I get upset now just remembering. But that was Victoriann England - and the abuse continues. I was on a holiday in Malta once, and the carriage horses looked terrible - so thin and sweaty - and the people taking the carriage rides were oblivious. Abuse continues in places you wouldn't imagine. In Southern Ontario, we have many Mennonites - a religious order, many of whom drive carriages. They get standardbreds off the track - and although many are well taken care of - many more are not - you see them trotting down the road - so lame, thin, soaked with sweat, standing uncovered in a freezing rain storm .. and when they are truly "done" - they are still just comodities, shipped to the slaughter house. But of course "Man has Dominion".. .
Well I'm glad I'm not the only horse lover out there bothered by it Fred... thank you! But what I don't get is why are ASPCA type organizations not stepping in and setting standards?
WA. The Evergreen State Where The Horses Are Forever Green
I spent a month in Malta back in the late 70's.
I noticed none of the horses were gelded either.
Also I think some of the carriage horses were on the little, hard Malta racetrack racing on the weekend, after their weekday carriage jobs [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
"For Love of a Horse," which was about this family who moved from England to Scotland and the daughter tamed this wild Arabian mare who'd escaped from the carnival and almost died on the moor (I know, heavy drama now that I just read that)
Bought that book in England when I was a little girl. I forgot all about it until I read you post. Loved it!!
Does anyone remember reading a book called "Gift Horse"? I don't remember the author, unfortunately. I read it while I was at riding camp in 7th grade... it was on a shelf in a tackroom and I thieved it for the the week.
I really loved the Black Stallion books, although I never managed to finish all of them, which I regret. Would it be too dorky for me to pick them up again now, at the ripe old age of 22?
"Men tended to discount the capacity of animals to enact, often with considerable panache, the foulest of crimes and the most daring stunts." --Michael Chabon
a book called "The Monday Horses". It was about a show barn. My understanding is that the barn in the book was based on Junie Kulp's famous show barn All Around Farm in Pennsylvania (which is where I used to ride - after Junie's time). Does anyone know who wrote the book and/or where I can find a copy???? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Or Carl Raswan's book, which I believe was titled, "Drinkers of the Wind"...about his search for the perfect Arabian (loaned it out and still waiting for its return).
Yes. Also, if you like desert horse stories,Homer Davenport's "My Quest of the Arabian Horse"--a great story about a politial cartoonist who went to Syria and bought horses from the Bedu, as well as getting several pricelss animals as gifts.
Raswan also wrote "Black Tents of Arabia", which tells of his time with the Bedu.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay