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Author: HorseLover

Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo’s Lost War Horses

Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo’s Lost War Horses

This week I want to tell you about an awesome book I’ve read. It’s published in the U.S. as ‘Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo’s Lost War Horses’. In the U.K., the title is ‘The Lost War Horses of Cairo: The Passion of Dorothy Brooke’. Beautifully written by Canadian author Grant Hayter-Menzies, it’s the biography of a courageous woman, and the story of British army horses abandoned in Egypt after the Great War. Check out the book trailer…

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Dictionary of Horse Terms

Dictionary of Horse Terms

Here are a few basic horse terms that every rider should know: Apple: horse treat which can double as emergency rations for the rider. If you keep the apple, though, prepare yourself for looks of starving accusation from your horse. Bridle: device designed to test the rider’s manual dexterity and problem-solving skills. You must be able to take it apart, clean it, and put it back together without any pieces left over. Double bridle: ditto, except times two. Chaps: a…

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Pretty as Horse Pictures

Pretty as Horse Pictures

This week I’m scaling back on the chit-chat so I can show you some horse pictures. I believe it’s important to incorporate multiple horse pictures into my blog. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Over the years, I’ve taken a zillion horse pictures. This one of Gandalf begging for a carrot always makes me smile. I like the artistic composition of this one, Gandalf all decked out in surcingle and sidereins, ready to be lunged. I’ve taken…

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Gandalf’s Terrible Year

Gandalf’s Terrible Year

The year 2010 was not a good year for Gandalf. It was the year he lost a tooth and an eye. I ran across his pedigree the other day. I’m not in the breeding or bloodline business so his ancestry doesn’t mean anything to me, except to tell me he had Hanoverian, Trakehner and Westfalen ancestors. He was 17 hh and thin as a rake when I bought him in June 2002. I never knew his history. The dealer I…

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Am I Getting Too Old To Ride?

Am I Getting Too Old To Ride?

It feels like I’ve been whining about winter for weeks now. It’s not just the cold, or the unexpected thaws, or the about-faces that plunge us back into ice and snow. It’s the toll that winter takes on my body. It raises the dreaded question: am I getting too old to ride? I shouldn’t complain. I haven’t had a cold this winter. Or the flu. I haven’t had to drive out to the barn in the dark and come home…

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The Horse-Human Bond

The Horse-Human Bond

Whenever I want to talk about the horse-human bond, I seem to fill with emotion and lose all my words. I’ve loved horses since before I ever touched a horse. From the very beginning, just looking at a horse filled me with wonder and reverence and yearning. My whole life has been a love affair, not just with the special horses that have been my companions for a time, but with all of horse-kind. What is it that’s so special…

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Remembering Wild Critters and Warmer Times

Remembering Wild Critters and Warmer Times

Complaining about the weather is a favourite Canadian pastime, but it’s starting to grow stale. Cold. Warm. Rain. Really cold. Snow. Ice. I want to think about cheerier things. With their chirping and fluttering, the flock of sparrows that live inside Larry’s barn remind me of warmer days and the wild critters I’ve run across while spending time with my horses. There have always been wild critters to see while hacking. I’ve watched red-tailed hawks sizing me up from their…

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On Being a Fraidy-Cat Rider

On Being a Fraidy-Cat Rider

The picture above shows me riding my old warmblood Gandalf on a brisk autumn day. I’d had some fraidy-cat rider moments on him, but when this picture was taken, they were long past. Recently, though, my fraidy-cat rider moments resurfaced – because of the weather. As you may recall, a week ago, I was complaining because it was -20°C and too cold to ride. After several days, the temperature suddenly shot up to +4°C. All the riders came back to…

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Winter Riding

Winter Riding

I’ve never been a fan of the cold. Today it’s -20°C, too cold even for a winter riding enthusiast, which I’m not. That doesn’t mean I don’t ride in winter. The picture above shows me and one of my earlier horses, Tristan, on a cold winter day. (Notice the box of Kleenex on the shelf, strategically located to deal with drippy noses). But when it gets really cold, it would be easy to stay home. That’s when I remind myself…

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Larry, Me, and the Cold Snap

Larry, Me, and the Cold Snap

The first real cold snap of winter is here. The thermometer reads a steady -14°C (7°F), never budging throughout the short January day. The sky is white and flat, a featureless backdrop for the pine trees and bare-branched maples. Snow sifts down in a fine white powder that builds across the top of Larry’s heavy turnout blanket, and squeaks under my boots. It’s hibernation weather; instinct urges me to find a toasty corner, hunker down with a mug of hot…

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