Sunday, November 1, 2009

Horsing Around

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom."
Helen Thomson

"Show me your horse and I will telll you what you are."
Old English saying

"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears."
Arabian Proverb

Nothing like the crisp autumn air to start me dreaming of horses. My friend and fellow English teacher Phillip has spent a good deal of time working on a farm where the owners have Fresians.
He once told me I would probably love them as they are the cocker spaniels of the horse world. I took that to mean they had a rather high adorability factor. Judging from the photos (portrait above & header) I've scavenged from the net, I would have to agree with Phillip.

There is a dear little book that I discovered just a few years ago, a book I should have read a long time ago. SILVER SNAFFLES is the story of a little girl named Jenny who visits a farmer's pony because she does not have one of her own. One evening as she is feeding him, Tattles begins to speak. She must go to the dark corner he says...she does....and it's the gateway to a farm where all the ponies speak to their riders and teach them all the secrets of riding and caring for ponies! My pony Jiggs was just a big pet to me. (I was a teenager before I learned that horseback riding could be such a formal sport!) He was a sturdy Welsh pony. In the winter he had a heavy, wavy coat that I loved to curry. He had a Western saddle and bridle, but I hardly ever used them. I would just grab his mane and pull up. Needless to say he was a gentle soul and patient one too. He was clever though, and stubborn. He always took me straight back to his barn and his feed box. He was good at convincing me and other members of the family that "No, one has fed me this morning....or evening."
If you are interested in the book for yourself or a child who loves horses, look on eBay and ABE Books. Published in 1937 and reprinted into the 40's by Blackie & Son, Ltd., it is quite sought after. I just happened to find one online from a bookstore in Glasgow, Scotland. The author is Primrose Cumming and the charming charcoal pencil illustrations are by Stanley Lloyd. Click on the book cover in the sidebar for more information on Silver Snaffles!


Alaine said...

I've always been a little scared of horses; maybe it's just the size. We have a beautiful, old (20) horse, put to pasture in our back paddock (belongs to a neighbour). His name is Regal and I now have the courage to put my hand out with bread on it and he takes it so gently. He also likes a treat of carrot and when the apples are on the tree, he loves those too. I give his head a pat over the fence and he knows my whistle now. I love it when he rolls around on the grass and sometimes goes mad and runs everywhere; perhaps because he's bored.

FireLight said...

Alaine, he may be celebrating your friendship! Give Regal an extra carrot or apple from me! Good to see you here.

willow said...

Oh, I would have absolutely adored this Cumming book when I was a girl. I might just have to find myself a copy now. Sigh. Beautiful post.

(I enjoyed your comment on the tombstones, btw. What a fun job of tour guide. I would love that, too!)

FireLight said...

Willow, I truly loved your post on tombstones and symbols. A few years ago, my sister discovered a graveyard where many of our ancestors are buried. We never knew of it! What a special place it has become!
Primrose Cumming has many other pony stories as you may have learned on the link. My copy is like the one in the sidebar. Let me know if you can't find a copy! I first learned of it in a program on PBS that was all about riders and their jumpers. A lady in her 70's talked about what a great influence the the book had been. I had to find it!

Derrick said...

Hello FireLight,

I too am wary around horses. When you mentioned Fresians I thought you were suddenly talking about cows! The horses in your header pic look very frisky and it is that idea that I would have deduced from the term Cocker Spaniel!

FireLight said...

Derrick, yes frisky and adorable! It's always good to be wary around any large animal. Some horses like to give love bites, and trust me these do not FEEL like love!

willow said...

You're so right about the ruins used in "I Know Where I'm Going"! I added the pic to my post. Now, I've gotta pop in the movie!! :D

...mmm... said...

You were such a fun contributor to Willow's Ball so do hope you add the same revelry to the Tea. thanks for signing up. Nice to meet you, as it were.

...mmm... said...

you asked me this: "Now tell me, isn't there a store in Aspen named Gorsuch?"
--Afraid I don;t know. don;t make a habit of going to Aspen--so pricey BUT it will be perfect for the christmas blog tea. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't know what happened to my comment. I loved your previous post behind the scenes. Were you the one I was in competition for Johnny Depp before I ran into Mr. Tom Jones? My bd is Nov. 27th almost into Dec. Thanks for stopping by.

Jen Chandler said...

Hello Firelight!

I have always loved horses, from afar as I never had access to them as a child. I've harbored a secret desire, however, to learn English riding. I think it would be fun!

Thank you for commenting on my blog the other day. I truly appreciate it. I have enjoyed my visit here and shall return often.


About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat