Posts Tagged With: horses

Weekly Photo Challenge : Admiration

Turn him back

Turn him back

Don't let him get past you

Don’t let him get past you

Stop that run-a-way

Stop that run-a-way

This is my daughter and I really admire how she sets goals and lives her life to the full. These photos were taken many years ago and her love of horses was her passion at that time. This is the cutting competitions in New Zealand.

Life has moved on and with a business and living in the city she no longer can immerse herself in horses. 3 days ago she flew to Kathmandu to face her next challenge, the trek to Everest base camp. After all the dramas in that area over the past few years my heart trembles for her till she returns.

Categories: admiration, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : Come for a ride…

Springbrook Ray n Kay pc 117_4000x3000

Springbrook Ray n Kay pc 110_4000x3000

Categories: horses, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Trio…

Jonearyan horses cropped pc 044

I adore horses so what better image for this weeks challenge of a “trio”.


Categories: “postaday″, horses, photography, trio, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

Michelle’s Weekly Pet challenge : For the love of a horse

Horse loves Jack

Could not resist showing you this photo. This horse came over to “talk” to Jack and give him a big kiss…


PetchallengeMichelle invites us to share our pet photos , it can be any type of animal

even the neighbours, or a wild animal.

So this week I am showing you this lovely horse that befriended us at one

of the free campgrounds we stayed at.

Click here or on the logo to see more beautiful pet photos.

Categories: Michelle's weekly pet challenge, photography | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

A Word a Week Challenge : Action

Don't let him get past you

Don’t let him get past you


Stop that run-a-way

Stop that run-a-way


Turn him back

Turn him back

Cutting competition is all action and very exciting to watch….

Sue of “ A word in your ear” has asked for action this week and that reminded me of when my daughter competed on quarter horses in the cutting competitions. Quarter horses are very intelligent and are trained to cut out one beast from the herd and then hold it there as it tries to get back into the herd. Notice the rider does not control the horse, the reins are left slack, the horse makes the decisions and the rider just has to stay in the saddle.

These photos are scanned from prints.



Categories: A word a week challenge, action, horses, photography | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Comments : the pleasure and power of blogging.

Boss with Nymph

Boss with Nymph

I was surprised and delighted when I received this comment on this post I wrote about my love of horses  (click on link to see the post, written November 11)

“Hi i love your photos of THE FARM. After the death of the boss it was run as a livery yard by a mrs naylor (you may remember her). Myself and many of my friends kept our ponies there. Many years later my father was able to buy it He sold them about 3 yrs ago. The stables are still there but have just been given planning permission to be converted into flats.My father has a dvd with the auction of the hackneys after the bosses death. Buyers came from all around the world. I NEVER MET THE BOSS SO IT WAS NICE TO SEE A PHOTO OF HIM IF YOU HAVE ANYMORE PHOTOS I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM”

I do not think Julie is a WordPress blogger as she did not have a URL attached to the comment, so I am amazed how she found the post. Maybe it came from Google???!! I would love to know. Of course I am delighted to get all comments. I think all bloggers love the conformation and connection that comments give us to the big, wide world of cyberspace

I think this is an amazing testimony to the power and popularity of blogging.

I’m hoping Julie, who sent this comment will get back in touch with me.

The next day my dear friend, Margaret, who shared so many of my adventure on FARM (we still keep in touch regularly) also sent me an email. She had checked my blog to show to another friend and came across the comment. This is part of her email…

“I’ve just looked at your “Memories” blog and have seen the comment by Julie. Jan and Eileen will probably know her as Eileen kept her horses at farm for many years after Boss died. Mrs Naylor was Winnie Wood who I am sure you will remember. Her husband showed you and I round the farm when you came to the UK in 1983. She married late in life and was Boss’s secretary. She was responsible for giving many of the horses their registered names when they were registered in the stud books. She also ran a badminton club in the rooms above the carriage sheds and it was her bottle of lemon barley water we took from the staircase and watered down when we all had the infamous water fight and you and I walked home soaked and sticky afer being drenched by the lads. You did score a direct hit on Pete, though if you remember, he was creeping up behind you to pour a cupful over your head. You were sitting on an upturned bucket and I was facing you sat on a corn bin and you must have seen my eyes move because without even looking you threw your cupful over your shoulder and got him full in the face! Happy days!
I attended the sale of the horses and ponies after Boss died and have photos and newspaper cuttings and Julie is quite right, people did come from all over the world. I didn’t know a video had been done at the time. It would be really interesting to see it or obtain a copy. Sadly as I remember most of the horses didn’t make high prices. As I remember Boss died of lung cancer (do you remember the cigarette always in the side of his mouth and as one finished another one was lit up) and had been ill for some time and the horses didn’t look their best on the day of the sale. Neverheless the bloodlines were there and hopefully have been carried on through the years.”
These are solid gold memories of my teenage years in the 1950’s. The decade of rock n roll, teddy boys, skin-tight jeans, leather jackets. Like Margaret says “Happy days”
Are you old enough to have happy memories of the 1950’s?


Categories: A word a week challenge, horses, love, memories | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

A Word A Week Photo Challenge : Love

Skinnywench of “A word in your ear“, each week picks, at random, a word from her dictionary. Then challenges us to make it into a post. This week the word is “Love”….


Horses: the love of my life

At 11 years old I, unexpectedly, passed the 11+ exam. In the 1950’s all children were inflicted with this exam to sort them into academic streams. It was more a common sense test with multi-choice questions, and not a test of your academic capabilities.

My Mother had promised me a bike if I passed as I would need it to get to the Grammar School approximately 20 kilometres away. I don’t think she really expected me to pass…

So now I had freedom in the shape of a brand new, 3 speed, purple Raleigh bicycle.

Living on the suburban outskirts of Hull, a large city in Yorkshire, the countryside, then, was only a 15 minute walk away and now I could whizz there in 5 minutes on my bike.

I had previously discovered “THE FARM”, I always thought of it in capitals….

It represented heaven to me as it was a stud farm breeding hackney horses and ponies and also New Forest ponies. I could now ride past it, with only a short detour, after school each day.

I was a horse mad child. I read about them,dreamed about them, doodled them all over my school books and fantasized about owning a horse of my own. In fact, at a very early age, in my mind, I did own an imaginary horse. Horses were my obsession, I idolised, adored and loved them. So that bike meant I could get to THE FARM after school at the time that the mares and foals were walked from the paddock into the stables and I could walk along behind the foals making sure they kept up with their mother.

Mare and her foal in the paddock

Me in school clothes talking to a foal. I am about 12 years old

Isn’t he adorable

On the weekends and school holidays I would hang around outside the gate into the stable yards and watch as the young hackney horses were trained and put through their paces around the arena. Have you ever seen hackney horses move? They are pure poetry in motion. They are bred to pull carriages and their gait is a high-stepping extended trot. They seem to float across the ground, with head and tail held high, fine boned and aristocratic. I would watch them for hours.

Two years quickly passed.  At 13 years old all my dreams came true…


The owner of THE FARM came over and said “I have often seen you standing out here for a long time now. Can you ride?”

I could, sort of, I had read all the books, I had practiced on the old cart ponies that came along the street. (I have written an earlier post about them, you can see it by clicking here)

So of course I said “Yes”….

Mr Partington, or “Boss” as every one affectionately called him, took me round to the stables and introduced me to a young New Forest pony that had just recently been broken in. Pandora.

My Pony, Pandora

New Forest ponies are very gentle by nature and an ideal children’s pony. I could call her mine, until she was sold. I could ride her, groom her, clean out her stable and give her unconditional love. I rode my bike home that afternoon in a cloud of happiness. My Mother was very happy for me. As a widow she had worked hard to feed and clothe me, school uniforms were not cheap, and no way could she ever afford a horse, not even riding lessons. Later she told me it was also a blessing in disguise as she always knew where I was during those tumultuous teenage years…

Eventually Pandora was sold to a child in Holland and my next pony was Nymph a more lively grey.

Nymph,Beautiful grey New Forest Pony

Boss with Nymph

Five years of my life I almost lived at  “THE FARM”. Of course I had to go to school and I went home to sleep, but those teenage years from 12 to 16 I lived a dream, I made life-long friends, had fun, got up to some mischief (but I am not going to tell you about that).

During most of my life horses have played a part. I still love to watch horses, I love the smell and feel of them, but now-a-days I do not come into contact with them so often, but they will always be in a special part of my heart.

The photos in this post were all taken in the 1950’s with a Box Brownie camera…I have scanned them into the computer…



In 1989 I went back to the UK to visit my Mother for her 90th birthday. That was nearly 35 years since I had been on THE FARM. Of course I went to see what it had become. Sadly it is no longer stables and paddocks but a used car yard and a housing estate now spread miles out into the one time country side…

Categories: A word a week challenge, horses, love, memories, photography | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Fleeting Moment

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The Quarter horse is one of the most intelligent horses and is bred with strong, muscled hind quarters so it can stop, turn and change direction when it is working with cattle. It is the sheep dog of the horse world. The cattle can and do move and change direction quickly so the horse has to be able to think ahead of the cow and be one step ahead to prevent its attempts at escape.

This weeks “weekly photo challenge” is “fleeting moment” this brought back the memory of 1986 when my daughter was competing in western riding cutting competitions in New Zealand. This was at local level and exciting to watch.

That year we went to watch the National Finals. I can still see the final two horses that had come through a number of elimination rounds and were now ready to compete for the trophy.

Horses have very different characters and personalities, just like people they can be shy, extroverted, lazy, quick, slow or any combination of traits. To get to this level of competition the horse must have the characteristics of an athlete. Also the quarter horse must be able to think for its self. The rider guides the horse to choose which cow is to be cut away from the herd. Once it is chosen the rider drops the reins then it is the horse that thinks, follows and works to keep the cow separate from the herd and steer it into a pen, without help from the rider.

Now back to those two semi finalists. The first was a bay with black points and black mane and tail. The light rippled along his coat. He approached the cow with head up and ears forward, never taking his eye off the frantic cow as it tried to escape. He weaved and turned, stopping in a cloud of dust following every movement. The crowd held their collective breath. Till finally the cow was cornered.

The second horse was a chestnut mare. What a different character she was. With ears flat to her head she stalked the cow. As the cow tried every tactic to escape she followed every move. Her head was low, her gaze intense on that cow, almost hypnotizing it. The crowd was on the edge of their seats, the atmosphere in the stadium was electric. The mare’s chestnut coat was dark with sweat, every muscle straining. When the cow finally gave in the crowd erupted in applause.

It was a hard-fought final and the judges said it was a hard decision to make, but by a very narrow margin the chestnut won…

This is a treasured memory.

Categories: horses, memories, photography | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

A life long passion for horses

The white horses of the ocean with spray whipped mane

This week our normally placid ocean was whipped into a fury by a deep low just off the coast. The 5 metre waves roared and foamed with the wind whipping the spray off the top and throwing it back in huge plumes. It was an awesome sight and crowds of people stood watching this example of natures fury unleashed. I did a post about it on my Gypsy life blog (click here to go to it)

Laying in bed that night thinking of the ocean brought back memories of a favourite poem, “Horses on the Camargue”. Next day I sorted through all my boxes and folders of memorabilia and found it. It was still as moving and evocative for me as it was when I was a teenager.

Reading it my mind travelled back over the years to when I was a horse-mad girl, my life revolved around horses. My earliest horse memories were of the delivery men, in the 1940’s and 50’s they all had horse and carts. The coal-man came round once a month with a huge Clydesdale pulling his heavy coal waggon. He would hoist me onto the horses back. I was about six years old at the time, and I felt on top of the world, with legs stretched almost to their limit, as they straddled the warm, smooth back of this giant. We would trundle to the end of my street where he would lift me down and I would run home. Once a week the vegs came laid out on a cart pulled by Kitty a gentle, chubby piebald. As I grew older I would go back to the stables to help groom and feed Kitty. Every so often the rag and bone man came by, ringing a bell and with his distinctive cry “Any old bones, bring them out now” I never really got to know his pony as he didn’t stop unless some one hailed him. I always felt sorry for his small, black undernourished pony with a tangled mane and tail that I longed to brush. The pony every one avoided was the ice-cream mans bad-tempered grey. He would park at the school gate on hot days and his pony would stand with ears back and snap viciously at any one that came close.

My father was a keen gardener, as were many others along the street, and they all had their bucket and shovel at the ready and it was a race to collect the free manure if lucky enough to have it deposited out side your gate.

How times have changed, no horses on the street now. But home deliveries are becoming a growth area in Australia, with the advent of on-line shopping, groceries are now dropped off at your door, but faster delivery times are needed than would be possible with a horse and cart. Life moves so fast in this computer age.

I was a city girl living in an environment like Coronation Street, but longed for country life and a horse of my own. So as a young child my constant companion was Thunder, my imaginary horse. Gleaming black coat with a white blaze. I would call him to me each morning and mounting him, would canter off to school. I ran everywhere back then…

As I grew up horses were always part of my life. At age 12 I found a horse breeding farm not far from home and hung around till the owner eventually gave me a job helping muck out, feed and groom his many horses. That is a long story and would need to be a book, not a blog post to tell the story.

So all these memories of horses were triggered by the ocean, which in turn reminded me of a poem. The mind can work in a strange way of associations.

So here is the poem. I wonder if it will bring pictures to your mind and feelings of the grandeur of the horse in all its glory.

Horses on the Camargue

In the grey wastes of the dread,

 The haunt of shattered gulls where nothing moves

But in a shroud of silence like the dead,

I heard a sudden harmony of hooves,

And, turning, saw afar

A hundred snowy horses unconfined,

The silver runaways of Neptune’s car

Racing, spray curled like waves before the wind.

Sons of the Mistral, fleet

As him with those strong gusts they love to flee,

Who shod the flying thunders on their feet

And plumed them with the snortings of the sea;

Theirs is no earthly breed

Who only haunt the verges of the earth

And only on the sea’s salt herbage feed–

Surely the great white breakers gave them birth

For when for years a slave,

A horse of the Camargue, in alien lands,

Should catch some far off fragrance of the wave

Carried far in land from his native sands,

Many have told the tale

Of how in fury, foaming at the rein,

He hurls his rider; and with lifted tail,

With coal-red eyes and cateracting mane,

Heading his course for home,

Though sixty foreign leagues before him sweep,

Will never rest till he breathes the foam

And hears the native thunder of the deep.

But when the great gusts rise

And lash their anger on these arid coasts,

When the scared gulls career with mournful cries

And whirl across the waste like driven ghosts:

When hail and fire converge,

The only souls to which they strike no pain

Are the white crested fillies of the surge

And the white horses of the windy plain.

Then in their strength and pride

The stallions of the wilderness rejoice;

They feel their Master’s trident in their side,

And high and shrill they answer to his voice.

With white tails smoking free,

Long streaming manes, and arching necks, they show

Their kinship to their sisters of the sea–

And forward hurl their thunderbolts of snow.

Still out of hardship bred,

Spirits of power and beauty and delight

Have ever on such frugal pastures fed

And loved to course with tempests through the night.

Roy Campbell

Categories: horses, memories, photography, poetry | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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