Hermaphroditism in Horses

When is a mare not a mare? South African racing authorities have just reclassified a filly called Tuesday’s Child as a colt after post-race checks showed a raised testosterone count. Nothing to do with dodgy injections or rum dealings: Tuesday’s Child is a male pseudo-hermaphrodite, and he had his breeder, owner and trainer fooled. I’ve …

Here Comes the Cavalry!

Every year the Household Cavalry holidays in Norfolk, my home county. The annual paddle in the sea at Holkham is a press favourite, but not so many people know about the show they hold in Thetford. I went for the first time last Saturday with Mum and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, even if we were …

If Wishes Were Horses: Costessey

I don’t have so many images of the riding school at Costessey, but here’s a link to the Stanford Equestrian Center which features in most of these pictures and where I had my first lessons. Tom Barley’s excellent Costessey website has plenty of stories about the village’s history. This post relates to a chapter of …

If Wishes Were Horses: Mary Breese

If you know any more about Mary Breese, I’d love to know. I tried contacting the holders of Sarah Josepha Hale’s  library to find out if they could think of her source for writing about Mary (a very long shot) and also perused British sporting magazines and Norfolk papers from the time of her death. …

If Wishes Were Horses: Saving Beauty

Ann Lindo’s Horse Trust, Tettenhall Horse Sanctuary, the Horse Rescue Fund and World Horse Welfare are just some of Britain’s great horse rescues. I have to put in a special shout out for the Horse Rescue Fund. Established in the 1960s by a family who wanted to make a difference, they are part of the …

If Wishes Were Horses: Housework

Cringleford Riding School was opened by Paula Sykes just outside Norwich in 1963, and closed in 1997 after being crippled by a rates rise. It was the first horsey home for generations of Norfolk children, and I was tremendously sad to hear that it had closed. Here’s a brief slideshow of some of the ponies …

If Wishes Were Horses: Tav

Tom Barley has some pages on Alfred Munnings and Costessey, where you can see some of the artist’s paintings from the neighbourhood, featuring Shrimp, the grey pony and the romany wagon. This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions …

If Wishes Were Horses: Pursuit

I’ve never been fox, stag or hare hunting, but here’s an account of my day following a bloodhound hunt “on foot”. This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the …

If Wishes Were Horses: Safety

Pictures of Willow Farm Riding School, near Ormesby St Margaret in Norfolk. This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. The main online index for the book is …

Advanced praise for If Wishes Were Horses: a Memoir of Equine Obsession – “I adored this book. All aspects of the horse and pony – historical, current, personal, obsessive – are beautifully written. The wonderful chapter on riding Tav through the Norfolk countryside… I was on Tav, quite tired when I dismounted. It took me …