Dressage Dressage, or the sport of riding a horse though very specific paces, is quite ancient.
It has its origins in the military, where horses were [rained to perform specific movements and to maintain a precise gait.
Soldiers riding in the cavalry must have their hands free to fight, and explorers often measured the distance between two points by counting the strides of their steeds.
In order t o be guided by a master whose hands were filled with a shield and sword (or lance), the horse had to be responsive to subtle shifts in the rider’s balance and leg pressure.
Training a horse for dressage is a very demanding art, and it takes time and patience to accurately instruct the animal t o the pressures of this riding style.
In the early stages of training, the major objective is to have the horse carry the rider’s weight over his hindquarters.
This improves the “lightness” of the forehand and makes the animal more agile IO ~ ~~ and easier to steer and stop.
Any horse can perform the basic movements of dressage.
In fact, some stables insist that all of their horses receive this training since it is invaluable even when the rider is controlling the steed with bit and rein.
Some primitive cultures instinctively use dressage, training their horses entirely without rein control.
These horses are extremely sensitive to the pressure of a rider’s leg and the shifting of balance upon their backs.
Consequently, they often respond very poorly to a badly trained rider.
An equestrian that does not understand the commands he or she is mistakenly giving by shifting around on the horse’s back or by squeezing with the legs can confuse the animal and cause it to respond with anger and distress.
In dressage competitions, the horse and rider perform in tests that display the horse’s balance, obedience, and suppleness.
T h e horse and rider are judged as a pair, and they must perform a specific set of maneuvers.
Typically, they demonstrate three basic gaits (walk, trot, and canter) and move in a number of patterns that includes circles and figure-eights.
At more advanced levels, the skills and patterns become more complicated, including diagonals, serpentines, flying changes, and pirouettes.
Among the more interesting movements are the pi@, a highly “collected” movement in which the horse trots on the spot, and the passage, an elevated trot that makes the horse appear to float. c The Pooka The Pooka is one of a variety of Celtic monsters that appear in the shape of horses.
Pookas are Irish in origin, but their cousins can be found throughout the Celtic world.
They run along the shoreline of lakes and oceans, luring unwary travelers into taking a ride on their backs.
The unfortunate person who does so finds himself or herself bound onto the back of the creature, unable to dismount.
T h e pooka then dives into the water, drowning the victim before devouring him or her in the depths of the water.
However, on the Celtic Feast of Samhain, the pooka becomes more benevolent.
It will trample blackberries into wine and grant petitioners a vision of the future.
Related creatures include the kelpie and the ea& uisge.
None of the other mythical horses has the prophetic abilities of the pooka.
Stats for each of these monsters can be found in Avalanche Press’s AGE.
Sourcebook on Celts, CELTIC work Although having proved its worth in war, travel and sport, the horse waited some time before joining the regular workforce.
Throughout Hellenic, Roman, and early medieval times.
Oxen and donkevs remained I the primary cart-pullers and fieldworkers.
The horse began its labors in the field, but, with the prestige and honors given to horses for their fighting and battlefield prowess, they were quickly taken by the upper classes.
Few peasants or merchants in the early Bronze Age could afford a horse, and rarely would they use such a noble animal in their fields or pastures as a worker.
The horses of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Empires were too light and small to compete with the o x in pulling large loads.
Horses were bred from smaller ponies, not as hardy as burros or donkeys, and therefore incapable of bearing the enormous loads that an o x could draw.
Horses were bred for speed and stamina, not for strength or mass.
They ate nearly twice as much as a donkey and required more pastureland than oxen.
Their comparatively less efficient digestive systems meant they were fed more often and they required more expensive feed t o keep their trim.
Until heavier breeds were created in the Celtic lands, the horse was limited to military campaigns, chariot races, and other forms of aristocratic luxury.
Like their Persian counterparts, the Japanese Emperors used mounted couriers for their communication network.
In the realm of daily activity, horses pulled carts but not plows since Japanese agriculture was and is centered on rice, which requires a completely different method of cultivation.
In Japan, as in Europe, the horse was primarily identified with power and privilege, although many a humble farmer kept one to pull his cart to the local market.
The basic differences in agriculture and social factors meant that the horse had somewhat less influence on Japanese economic and political development than in the West. 3 Myth Cultures of the ancient world evolved various mythologies that reflected their values, ideals, and visions of the past.
The presence of the horse is common to many of them.
It is frequently represented as a powerful, intelligent, and beautiful creature. dangerous, feral creatures that lived in the sea foam.
They would come up on land t o eat the lush grasses only a t high tide.
If a rider jumped onto its back, it would carry the poor fool directly into the sea without pause.
Only the strongest riders or those with a bridle made of spider webs, could turn the ushtey’s head away from the water and force it to serve as a steed. — jaw and lips.
Ermine: A thin band of white encircling the horse’s hoof and lower ankle.
Sock: A taller band of white, extending above the fetlock and onto the lowest portion of the leg.
Stocking: A tall sock, extending from the hoof to above the horse’s knee.
Zebra: Smaller markings, usually in dark tones rather than in white, which mark the leg in stripes similar to those of a zebra.
Dorsal or Eel Stripe: A brown or black stripe extending down the horse’s spine, and into the tail. Markings The white markings that occur on the face, muzzle, and legs are a means of positive identification and often breed close to true within a lineage of steeds.
They can make a horse clearly stand out from all others of its color type.
Most markings are in white upon a darker coat, but it is not unheard of for a horse t o have a star or other marking in dark color on a lightly-colored coat. Measurements The main difference between a horse and a pony is its height.
A pony is shorter, rarely standing with its back higher than a normal man’s head.
Most ponies are far shorter than this, appearing as bulkier mules or tall donkeys.
Horses, on the other hand, are quite tall and can stand with 14 their backs as much as two feet over an ordinary man’s head.
Ponies are also deeper through the body in relation to their height, and the length of the head is usually equal to the shoulder measurement.
Horses and ponies are measured from the ground to the withers (the highpoint of the back, located between the shoulder blades) and are measured in “hands.” One hand is equal to four inches.
Horses were originally measured by the width of a person’s hand – a guide approximately equal t o four inches.
T h e stableman would place one hand on the ground, and then mark another hand above it, moving the first hand over the second.
By repetition, the horse could be measured in small increments.
Ponies are all those animals whose withers fall beneath 14 hands.
A common horse stands 15 to 16 hands high.
Measurement over a hand is considered in inches – a horse may stand 16 hands and two inches high.
The shortened term is “hands high” or “hh.” When measuring a horse or pony it is best to ensure it is stood squarely on solid ground since this will give the most accurate measurement.
Most stables have measuring sticks with hands marked out upon them, to ensure that all of their horses are measured according to the same guideline.
These measuring sticks may vary from stable to stable, so a horse bought in Greece might be as much as a whole hand taller or shorter than the same horse measured in India. markings).
Between four and six months, it will wean itself from its mother, transferring completely to solid food. A yearling is a horse that is more than 12 months old but less than two years.
A yearling is still leggy and unstable in some of its movements, but the frame has filled out and the horse has nearly reached its full height.
The full maturity of growth will occur during this year, and can be measured when the yearling’s croup is in line with its withers.
Until that time, the croup (lower back flanks) is noticeably higher and the yearling is still “coming up in front.” A horse’s teeth are also a good indicator of its age.
A young horse, yearling or two years old, will have very straight teeth, neither leaning forward nor tilted where they meet.
As the horse ages, the teeth slant more and more forward, becoming long in their “groove.” Horses are ”broken” into being able to carry a rider when they are fully grown, usually between 16 and 20 months of age.
In the middle years, a horse is fully grown, and neither its height nor body style will change significantly.
A mare can be impregnated as early as 20 months old and can safely carry foals after two years of age.
Between three and 14, the horse is at the peak of its physical maturity and power.
In the later years of a horse’s life (from I 5 to 20), it noticeably begins to slow in its performance.
Its joints may become puffy as the circulation becomes less efficient, and the effects of aging are prominently seen in the knees and jaw.
T h e corner teeth of a horse’s mouth are hardly apparent when it reaches 15, and, by 20, the teeth slope very sharply forward and may even slightly press against the animal’s lips.
The horse may stand forward over its knees, causing it to have a slightly hobbled appearance, and hollows occasionally form over its eyes. Physical Structure Conformation, or the shape or form of a particular horse, can be used to determine the horse’s age, soundness, and breed.
The definite shape and slope of the various parts of a horse’s body are critical to efficient movement, and serve different purposes according to terrain and breed.
An Arabian’s hooves, for example, are suited to racing across shifting sand; a shire’s hooves are hard and heavy for trudging over rocky plains without harm.
Conformation is the sum of component parts and their relationship, which contributes to the overall perfection of the animal.
The “correct” conformation of a horse is determined by the work that the horse is bred to do.
Well-made, proportionate horses (of any type) are able to perform their work more efficiently and are not disabled because a body part is overused, misshapen, or ill-formed.
The horse’s balance and athleticism is enhanced.
The basic parts of the horse are detailed below. Communication Horses are intelligent, sensitive creatures.
They communicate, both with each other and with the humans who work with them.
They excel a t getting across their desires and feelings with a minimum of effort to those who take the time to understand their ”language.” A horse indicates its feelings in a number of ways.
The ears, feet, and eyes are the most telling characteristics, and that is where most of their communication occurs.
The ears show a great deal about a horse’s instinctive feelings a t any given time.
They serve as a warning, a signal to others of the horse’s opinions and thoughts about the world around it.
Ears laid flat back against the neck are a clear indicator that the horse is unhappy or annoyed.
A horse with its ears pricked alert and facing forward is happy and interested.
Ears lowered slightly to the sides show the horse is relaxed, bored, or could indicate that it feels unwell.
If a horse is flicking its ears in many directions, it is listening and attentive and curious about the things happening around it.
A horse can communicate with its hooves equally as clearly.
I6 — are capable of fighting on their own behalf as well as carrying their riders into battle. The Palfrey: Evtyday Ambler T h e destrier is the horse of battle, but is not a comfortable mount for the “off-duty ” knight.
Instead, knights who are not planning to enter battle ride a palfrey: a short-legged, long-bodied horse, which has a gentle gait and a beautiful appearance.
The smooth ride afforded by the palfrey also makes it a suitable mount for the wounded or aged who are unable to mount or ride a taller horse.
Palfreys are often the horse of choice for ladies and nobles due to their great beauty and their flowing, smooth gaits. If the whites of a horse’s eyes are showing, the horse is frightened or panicked.
If its eyes are mostly shut, it is content and relaxed.
A horse with constantly rolling eyes may be preparing to bolt, or it may be encouraging another horse (or a favored human) to come and play. The Courser: Hot-blooded Speedster While the destrier and palfrey excel in power and comfort, they are not fast horses.
The need for a swift messenger between armies or kingdoms gave rise to the courser, the ancestor of the race horse.
Coursers are strong, lean horses with hot (such as Turkish, Arabian, or Barb) blood in their veins.
A principal source of coursers in the early years of the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages was the kingdom of Naples.
The Neapolitans acquired horses from Africa and bred them to European stock.
The result was an extremely fast horse sought by kings from as far away as England who wanted to add speed to their stables. It is important to remember that horses are intelligent, caring creatures.
A trainer or rider should never attempt to deal with a horse when the rider is angry, agitated, or upset.
The horse will notice, and these emotional conditions only make the animal fractious and uncooperative.
When a horse shies at an object and is unwilling to go up to it, the rider should take a moment to show the animal that there is nothing to fear.
If this fails, the rider should touch the object himself or herself in the horse’s view and thereafter lead the horse up to it very gently.
Horses respond to kindness and intelligent behavior and will ignore such an object if they are first taught that it is not something t o be feared.compulsion and blows inspire only greater fear in the animal and may permanently teach the horse t o be afraid of items that are not in fact dangerous to it at all. Pack Animals Unlike their tough mule cousins that would stop when tired, the packhorse is more eager to please and will go the extra step, occasionally working until it dies in its traces.
Despite this level of hard work, pack mules are more often used in this capacity due to their ability to negotiate rugged terrain inaccessible by vehicles or even horses. Types .f Horse Horses are categorized by the type of work they do.
The basic classifications are detailed below. Hunter The hunter is a type of horse that is indigenous to Britain and Ireland.
It is not a breed because it lacks fixed common characteristics and varies according to the requirements of the country in which it is ridden.
Hunters can come from any stock of light riding horse and are trained for many different tasks.
The horse may be a half-breed or even of completely mixed lineage, so long as it is capable of enduring the run, jump, or steeplechase of its conditions.
A hunter must be sound, well-balanced, and quick and able to tackle any sort of obstacle that appears in its path.
A good hunter is very solid in temperament and will not balk or bolt at surprises. Destrier: War-steed The destrier is the proud warhorse of battle, carrying knights and other heavily armed soldiers into war.
They are stoic, proud horses with titanic muscles and broad backs.
Many heavy horses are given war training, although some are simply used for carts, plowing, or other strength-related tasks.
Those which are trained to be destriers (whether light or heavy horses) — Warm, and Cold Horse breeds are often segregated into three types: hot-blooded, warm-blooded, and coldblooded.
T h i s is not an actual scientific delineation.
Rather, it serves t o describe the general temperament of each horse breed.
The Arabian and, to a lesser extent, the Barb, are the ancestors of all hot-blooded horses.
These light-boned, quick-footed animals evolved in hot, desert climates and are known for their difficult and volatile temperaments.
Heavy draft horses, the style often used as warsteeds, are much calmer.
Horses such as the Clydesdale and Percheron have large, strong bodies and more gentle temperaments.
Thus, they are considered the ancestors of the coldblooded delineation of breed.
Those horses that fall into the middle, such as the Welsh Pony, the Cob, or the Sorraia in addition usually to those horses of mixed blood are considered warm-blooded.
They are easier to control but also have some slenderness of feature. The most common horse, and the one that was bred most consistently, is the light riding horse.
This is a catch-all category that includes ponies, cobs, Arabians, Barbs, and many others.
T h e three types of horses t h a t seem to be the most common ancestors of all other breeds are the Arabian, the African Barb, and the Spanish.
Nearly all other horses can trace their lineage from one or more of these three types.
The Arabian horse and the genetically powerful Barb ruled over Africa and the Middle East, and the Spanish steed was the predominant horse for the upper European continent.
The main difference between a “heavy” and a “light” horse is in body width and pure mass.
The weight of a horse differs from breed to breed, but those horses of heavy caliber are usually more than half again as weighty as their lighter, faster cousins.
An Arabian, with light body structure and a relatively delicate build, may weigh on the average 920 lbs.
A similarly sized Barb or Spanish horse would weigh 1,066 lb, Stables A secure stable is essential, not only for preventing the stealing of grain, but also because horses can be stabled both for their own protection and so that their owners and hands can keep track of their health.
Horses that are constantly in the field may develop diseases or sicknesses that could go unchecked for days or even weeks, weakening the animal and possibly spreading t o the rest of the herd.
The same care that i s given t o the horse’s food and exercise should also be devoted to keeping his body, feet, and health in condition.
A horse’s hooves, in particular, are very prone to sicknesses and other dangers.
Even naturally sound hoofs get spoiled in moist pastures or by constant stabling in a stall with damp, smooth floors.
T h e floors of a good stall should be sloped in order to avoid moisture collecting.
It should be packed earth, not smooth but soft-packed with a harder dirt beneath it.
A thick layer of straw bedding then covers the floor.
Stables, even in modern times, are almost always built of wood.
Metal sheeting conducts heat and cold very easily, and horses are far too sensitive to temperature changes to use a metal-roofed or -walled stable.
They also tend to injure themselves on metal walls or fittings.
The stalls should be large enough t o let the horse move around, lie down, roll around and get up again.
Around the stall should be heavy, wooden kicking boards – horses will shatter lightly-built structures if they are startled.
A stable also needs adequate ventilation.
Horses are sensitive creatures who need fresh air, and stablehands will find they do as well.
A horse can expel mountains of manure, which need to be cleared away (or “mucked”) constantly.
The bedding should be pushed to the side and the floor swept and allowed to dry.
A heavy fork is used to pick out the manure, which is deposited in a muck heap.
The straw removed with the manure is replaced by fresh bedding, but rarely is the entire bed removed unless it begins t o rot or develop fungus.
Older bedding is sprinkled on top of the fresh straw in the stalls of some horses, to discourage them from eating it. -.. Light Horse Base Statistics Size: Large Animal Hit Dice: 4d8 + I 2 ( I 9 H i t Points) Initiative: + I (Dex) Speed: 6 0 feet AC: I 3 (-I Size, + I Dex, + 3 Natural Armor) Attacks: Face/Reach: Special Attacks: Special Qualities: Saves: Abilities: Skills: Feats: Climate/Terrain: Organization: Challenge Rating: Alignment: Y 2 Hooves + 2 melee (Id4-t-I each) 5 feet by I O feet / 5 feet None Scent Fort + 5 , Ref Will + 2 +4, — + 1 Constltut1on Cold Resistance 10 (Ex) very important to their culture, serving many roles from work to travel.
Throughout history it was used by the farmers of Norway as a general-purpose pony to pull carts on their hilly farms as well as a guide and assistant to help travelers with heavy loads.
Earlier names for the Fjord horse have been the Vestlandshest (West Country horse) or the Nordfjordhest (North Fjord horse).
These names are used interchangeably with the Norwegian Fjord appellation, although the majority of lineages do call themselves Norwegians.
However, all of these names indicate the breed’s geographical connection with Norway.
The Vikings used the Fjord horse as their primary war mount.
Therefore, it may be assumed that it affected the breeds indigenous to other countries, notably the mountain and moorland ponies of Great Britain and Iceland.
One of the earliest known ponies, it was bred into both Mongolian and Asian horse lineages, lending its stability and intelligence to many other types.
The Norwegian Fjord is a tall pony, usually standing between 1 3 and 14 hh.
It has a pronounced dark stripe that runs along its back, marking it from the shoulders down through the pony’s tail.
Its overall coloration tends to be pale, dun, or golden, with dark skin beneath the light hair.
The singular exception is its one stripe.
More than 90 percent of all Fjord ponies are brown dun in color, though a rare few are either reddish dun, gray, pale dun, gold, or yellow dun.
Dark stripes may also be seen over the withers of the occasional specimen, particularly if it is interbred with its own line.
Red duns possess reddish-brown stripes and body markings rather than dark brown or black ones, and gray duns have black or very dark gray stripes and markings.
The pale or white dun is a very light body color with black or gray stripe and markings.
The yellow duns have a darker yellow stripe and markings, and they may have a completely white forelock, mane, and tail.
The yellow dun is a very rare color in the breed.
The Fjord pony also possesses a very distinctive mane, which often continues down even mixed lineages and can serve to distinguish those ponies who can trace their ancestry t o the The Norwegian Fjord Horse is known for its gentleness of temperament, willingness to work, stamina, and vigor.
Used Heracles’s Eighth Labor Heracles was sent by Eurystheus t o capture and bring back the mares of Diomedes, a Thracian Chief (according to some sources he was the son of Ares and Cyrene and was known as Diomedes, King of Thrace).
H e lived in the wild and rugged region on the shores of the Black Sea.
Diomedes kept four savage mares, to which he fed unsuspecting strangers.
So often had they eaten human flesh that their coats were stained blood red.
These beasts were totally uncontrollable and tethered by chains to a bronze manger.
When Heracles arrived a t the palace, the hero took the king prisoner.
Then Heracles, knowing the brutality and suffering Diomedes caused, took the king to his stables and threw him into the bronze manger, whereupon the mares devoured their own master.
This caused them to be calm and subdued, which made it easy for Heracles to drive them back to king Eurystheus.
When Heracles led the mares meekly into Eurystheus’ palace, the king dedicated them to Hera, and then let them go free to roam the plains of Argos.
In later years one of the offspring from this breed was Bucephalus, the favorite horse of Alexander the Great. 27 for draft work, riding, and driving, individuals vary in size and weight according to use.
Although there is no true distinction, references are often made to a “riding” versus a “draft” type of Fjord, depending upon the characteristics emphasized.
The Fjord horse ranges in height from between 13.2 and 1 5 hands, with most individuals measuring I4 14.2 hands and weighing between 9 0 0 and 1200 pounds.
The Fjord pony is a strong, durable, and pleasant-natured animal.
In addition to its strength, the breed is also noted for its light and smooth gaits, which make it easy to ride.
The Fjord pony has a thick coat so that it can endure rough winters with minimal care – an essential quality in cold Norway or the northern parts of Europe. fairly slender and short and are not always straight – many Ariegeois ponies have a tendency to be cow-hocked, meaning that their knees bend inward slightly toward each other.
The present-day specimen stands up to I 4 hands, which is the height limit, although most average I 3 hands, two inches.
The head should be neat and pony-like and set on a fairly long neck, which, together with well-laid-back shoulders, gives the rider a good length of rein.
When choosing an Ariegeois pony for riding, large or coarse heads should be avoided because they are a sign of stubbornness and make a difficult mount with which to work.
A pony with a short, thick neck should be avoided as well, for they will never have a smooth ride.
Good legs are one of the qualities of the breed, and these must be strong with plenty of bone.
The normal color for an Ariegeois pony is dark, ranging from dark brown and chestnut to a more common solid black.
Normally, there are no white stockings and no other markings on the head.
The pony’s flank may be lightly flecked with white, in the manner of an appaloosa or a dapple-grey, but no other markings are common.
In the winter, the coat of the Ariegeois acquires a distinctive reddish tinge, and never grows particularly furry.
The coat is fine in texture, unlike the mane and tail which are harsh to the touch and extremely thick.
The Ariegeois has been used as a packhorse for centuries.
It also functions as a small riding horse and can easily work the land on the steepest of hill farms where machinery cannot venture.
The Ariegeois is noted for its hardiness, courage, and adaptability, but it is not a stubborn animal.
It is extremely gentle and docile, a temperament that makes it very popular as a children’s pony even for fairly young riders.
Because it has n o hot blood and is not prone to shy or scare easily, the Ariegeois is also well-suited for driving and pulling small carts.
Further, it is a creditable jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. Ariegeois The Ariegeois pony lives in the Pyrenees Mountains in the southwest of France, and it is known to be a breed of great antiquity.
The Ariegeois is a bold pony, unafraid and eager for even difficult journeys.
It closely resembles the horses of Southern Gaul and was interbred with the Barb horses as Caesar and the Romans spread north and west along the European coast.
The original home of the breed is the high valley of the Ariege River, from which the pony takes its name.
One of the most noticeable things about this breed is its light and delicate bone structure.
Unlike the other, tougher ponies of the northern areas, the Ariegeios is a swift-running but lightly built animal.
It does not do well in frigid climes, although it is adept at mountain-climbing.
It is outstandingly surefooted, and even ice-covered mountains hold no terrors for the little Ariegeois.
In the summer, it will seek shelter part of the day and come out to graze at night.
These ponies can travel into Southern Spain, North Africa and even the Middle East and live well on the scrub grass that they find in those sparse areas.
Ariegeois ponies have an expressive head with a flat forehead, straight profile, hairy ears, and bright, alert eyes.
The neck is short, and the shoulders straight – not t o handle heavy burdens but instead built for speed and conservation of energy on long travels.
The back is long and strong, and the chest is broad, with a great deal of room.
The limbs are Shetland At least 2,000 years ago, there was a pony like the modern day Shetland living on the islands of the same name.
Like the islanders, the pony mixed British with Viking to create a distinct Shetland type, breeding – most probably – with the Norwegian Fjord pony.
The true Shetland is a hybrid breed, containing the blood of the British Hill type pony, like a Highland or Fell/Dale of Scotland, and a Scandinavian breed influenced by some Oriental bloodlines.
The resulting pony was first represented in a 9 t h Century stone carving found on the island of Bressay.
It depicts a hooded priest riding a very small pony with the distinguished profile and body structure of the Shetland.
O u t of a broad and widely diverse stock, the Shetland has grown into a very predictable, hardy, and constant breed.
Their background and breeding were highly influenced by the relative isolation of the islands on which they were Ariegeois Statistics Along with the standard Pony Base Statistics, Ariegeois gain the Sure-Footed Feat for free. 28 originally bred.
Despite the various strains first developed, all of the ponies that lived in the Shetlands coped with an environment that was constantly, almost unbearably hostile.
The island is cold, bitter, and does not support much animal or plant life.
These tough little ponies must live on bad grass, hard, wet ground, and in the continual path of the driving wind.
T h e cold climate encouraged them to conserve body heat; the resulting pony has short limbs, a short back, a thick neck, and small ears.
Big stock starved; fragile stock broke; only the small, quick, hardy, and intelligent animals survived.
With a maximum height of 46 inches, Shetlands are the perfect size starter pony for a child.
Bred t o pull ore carts in coal mines, Shetlands have retained an innate driving ability.
A well trained Shetland not only excels at driving, but is a sturdy and reliable mount for any child.
One of the main problems that the Shetland breed faced in its incipiency was its use in the coal mines – the strongest and hardiest of them were used as laborers in these dangerous conditions and often died – leaving only small, inferior stock to breed more ponies.
In time, stables were built to house and breed the finer examples of these tough little ponies, encouraging the type to flourish and revive once more.
Generally, most peasants and farm laborers do not ride their ponies.
Some used by doctors or ministers are ridden in order to visit the scattered peasants on farms that are not near the main villages.
However, the main use of Shetlands in primitive British life was for work, carting, or carrying heavy loads.
The majority o f ponies live almost free out on the scattalds, or wide pasturelands of the island.
These ponies remain on the scattald until the season turns and they are required for use flitting the peats, which means to carry recently cut strips of peat moss from the hills to the homes of local peasants.
These strips of peat (moss, manure, and other decaying plant matter) are the main winter fuel of peasant homes, and many commoners would have frozen to death in the cold winters without them.
Because there were few roads into the higher areas where the peat grew, the ponies were required to navigate crosscountry in all weather.
Shetlands were needed during the winter more than any other time of year, and were often found carrying heavy woven baskets filled with peat from the deep moorlands.
T h e Shetland pony can be seen in all colors except spotted: black, chestnut, grey, bay, dun, blue roan, piebald, or skewbald.
Unlike bigger horses, measured in hands, the Shetland pony is measured by inches in height at the withers.
The smallest of the British native breeds, maximum height reaches 42 inches, with a minimum as small as 28 inches. Shetland Statistics Shetlands add the following bonuses to the Pony Base Statistics: Hardy and resilient, the Shetland is very strong for its size. It has a medium-sized head, a rather dished face with a wellshaped muzzle, and a jaw capable of grazing through poor growth over an extensive area.
The ears are medium-sized, and the eyes are large and kindly.
T h e coat is thick, with a heavy mane and tail, offering good protection against the local winter weather conditions. Part 3: The Heavy Horse The introduction of heavier horses began around the time of the disintegration of the Roman Empire.
The original heavy horse was conceived as a hardier, heavier workhorse that would be capable of carrying and pulling tremendous loads.
Speed and sleekness would be sacrificed for rugged strength and endurance.
The brawny draft horse was developed from horses introduced into Europe by the Germanic tribes of the north, where breeds tend to be heavier than those from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Arabian blood was bred out for the most part because the special qualities of the Arabian horse were not needed in these large, strong brutes. 29 A — Exceptional IO00 200 3 00 I500 1000 I20 12,000 200 I200 150 I 800 I 800 10,000 25,000 12,000 Steed Classes Courser (Race Horse) While the destrier and palfrey excel in power and comfort, they are not fast horses.
The need for a fast messenger between armies or kingdoms gave rise to the courser, the ancestor of the race horse.
Coursers are strong, lean horses with hot (Turkish, Arabian, or Barb) blood in their veins.
A principal source of coursers in the early years of the Bronze and Middle Ages was Naples.
The Neapolitans acquired horses from Africa and bred them to European stock.
The result was an extremely fast horse sought by kings from as far away as England who wanted to add speed to their stables. 3 00 40 8,000 800 80 – 40 3 00 30 60 850 50 I200 1400 –
Read more about Stables : In fact some stables insist that all of their horses….: