I’m not going to get my feet wet!


(answers at bottom of page!)




Horse Trivia and Facts !!

The average horse weighs about a half a ton, its brain is the size of a baked potato.

The average horse's heart weighs approximately 9 or 10 pounds.

A horse's hoof is analogous to the human fingernail. Horses stand on their middle fingers!

Some of the equine family's closest relatives are tapirs and the rhinoceros.

A horse can poop up to 14 times a day!

A different image is seen by each horse's eye so a horse is seeing two different pictures at the same time.

A horse can see completely around its entire body except for small blind spots directly in front of its face, underneath its head, and directly behind itself.


From The South Western Electricity Historical Society Newsletter 26th April 2004

The History of US Standard Railway Gauge

"Why is the Standard Railway Gauge (distance between the rails) in the United States of America such an odd size?"

"What - 4 feet 8 1/2 inches? - because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the first US railroads".

"Why did the English build them that size?"

"Because the first railways were built by the same people who built the pre-railway tramways, and that's the gauge they used".

"Why that gauge then?"

"Because that was the normal wheel spacing of wagons prior to the tramways".

"What, like stagecoaches, but why that size?"

"When they tried other sizes the wheels broke on the long distance rutted roads in England because that's the spacing of the ruts".

"So who built the original rutted roads?"

"The Romans did for their Legions, as they did throughout Europe. The ruts formed as a result of much use by Roman war chariots and other wagons".

"So why did Imperial Rome build their chariots that size?"

"- Because that was the width of two horses which was the standard motive power for each chariot".

So next time you are handed a specification and told "We have always done it that way", and wonder what horse's ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because Imperial Roman chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.

Now move forward 2000 years or so. When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad waiting for the off, pay particular attention to the two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters (SRB's) made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. NASA engineers who specified these SRB's would have preferred them to be a bit fatter, but they had to be transported by train from the factory to the launch site, and the railroad is routed through a tunnel in the mountains, the width of which was based on standard gauge track, which as we have already discussed, is about the size of two horses' backsides.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the most advanced transportation system ever invented was determined over two thousand years ago by .. the width of a horse's backside!

Thanks to Angela Cherrington for this contribution


(Let the buyer beware)

She looked so sweet and lovely,
Standing in the yard,
With bold bright eyes and flowing locks,
And muscles fit and hard,
She stood there like an angel,
As her attributes were praised,
But the vendor was so careful
How the simple words were phrased.
She's content when left alone,
And won't fret or charge about,
(She'd kill another equine -
Companions are "out").
She's really a good doer,
She's so nice and cheap to own,
(She'll blow up like an elephant
On grass kept neatly mown).
She so likes human company,
She'll love you to the core,
(She'll pin you in the stable
And keep you from the door).
She always loves her driving, however long or far,
(You'll never stop this wilful mare,
However strong you are).
She's very fond of children and animals with paws,
(She swings them round quite gently
When she's clenched them in her jaws).
One thing - don't feed her tit bits,
'cos she's then inclined to nip,
(Your arm off at the elbow,
And your leg off at the hip).
But we shouldn't be too hasty
To dismiss the vendors words,
To some, a spider's beautiful,
And vultures are sweet birds.
It's all in the beholder's eye
That beauty lives or dies,
Just be sure you're getting what you think,
And not a booby prize!

© Angela Cherrington




Trivia ….. Did You Know?

The horse has the largest eyes of any land animal.

A horse's teeth occupy more space in its head than its brain.

Horses are not colour-blind.

Horses have memories that put elephants to shame.

Adult male horses generally have 40 teeth, but females only 36.

Barley is thought to be the first grain to be domesticated, and probably the first to be fed to horses.

There were no horses in Australia until 1788.

The oldest horse on record is Old Billy. Foaled in 1760, he died at age 62 in 1822. He was a barge horse bred in Woolston, working on English canals.

The word 'farrier' comes from the Latin ferririus, "iron worker".

The horse belongs to the "Equus" family which comes from the ancient Greek word meaning "quickness".

Horses cannot breath through their mouths.

Horses cannot vomit.

A horse has approximately 205 bones.

Arabians have one less rib, one less lumbar bone and one or two fewer tail vertebrae than other horses.



Did you know that ......?

..Everybody knows that Red Rum won the Grand National three times, but the horse that entered the race the greatest number of times was called Manifesto. He ran eight Grand Nationals between 1895 and 1904, winning twice and coming third on three occasions.

..Only two grey horses have won the Grand National (although one won twice). They were The Lamb (1868 & 1871) and Nicolaus Silver (1961).

..There are 190 horses on the Bayeux Tapestry.

…..The first horsebox was built at Nether Wallop in Hampshire in 1836 at the instigation of racehorse owner Lord George Bentinck. Since horse racing began, race horses were walked by grooms to reach whichever course the racing was taking place - this meant slow progress at walk. As the date of the St. Leger neared and Bentinck's horse, Elis, had not yet arrived at Doncaster for the race, the odds lengthened
- even if the horse showed up in time, he would be pretty tired after walking all the way from Goodwood. Elis was, however, transported the 250 miles in a specially designed covered wagon pulled by four post horses in relays ... and won the race.

What is not recorded is how long it took them to load him!

…..1825 was the year in which London first had horse-drawn buses. New York followed in 1831

…..The first horseshoes were used by the Romans and consisted of a very heavy iron shoe held to the horse's hoof by leather thongs. Known,
unsurprisingly, as "hipposandals".


First things first – I’m a very proud Dad. I believe I’ve fathered quite a few offspring as I was kept busy at the stallion yard where Emily found me, but my life is very different now – and for the first time I’ve had a long term lady love who lives next to me along with our strapping son! When Emily bought me in December 2007 straight away my lifestyle
changed – in some ways it was much harder as I was being taken out of my stable to drive a carriage nearly every day .......a bit of a shock for a stud stallion and not quite the form of exercise I was hoping for,
although on James’s yard where I was lodging there were some fine fillies I can tell you!

Soon my muscles were toned and I was looking very sleek – so I took full advantage by prancing past the others on my way to and from work and getting some very admiring glances too - although I was told my calling out was yobbish and lowered the whole tone of Broomes’ yard. So what – if you’ve got it – flaunt it is my motto!!! What hard work it was learning to become supple and having to track up when it is so much
easier and more flashy to power trot from the front – then of all the horrors I had to learnt to walk instead of jog and to canter in harness. However all this hard work paid off when I started competing and realised how exciting it was to go out and show off and be admired on regular basis.

Once Emily felt I understood what to do I was moved to her home on the mountain and stabled next to an adorable dun mare. I was even allowed to touch noses whenever I wanted. I had never got socially acquainted with a female before and I soon became extremely smitten. I
confess I would spend hours watching her. We called to each other whenever we parted and I always loaded well at the end of an event as I was keen to get home to my Welsh Rhapsody. How I longed to make her acquaintance properly!

Finally my wish was granted after Emily and I came back from competing in Austria in August. I was told I was finally allowed to start a family with the love of my life – the most exquisite tottie ever to grace a stable… After our romantic encounter I watched with concern as over the months she became larger and larger until I feared she might burst! She was still affectionate but seemed preoccupied.

Then on 24th June my life changed again. Rhapsody was very restless in the night – up and down and making strange noises. I couldn’t get a wink of sleep and to be honest I was quite concerned. Noone seemed around to help her so I stood duty at the grille between us all night. Just as daylight was breaking I was horrified to see her struggling in the straw and then amazed to see a small horse appear – my very own son!
Although small as he was two weeks early he was utterly delightful – bright bronze with pretty white markings on his face and feet and a wonderful bushy tail! I congratulated Rhapsody and we all stood together as close as we could with the door between us until Emily came in with breakfast.

She was so surprised to see my son! And so thrilled! How proud I was! She told me he would be called Bronze Spirit – which seemed to us a perfect name Soon after breakfast the nasty person who gives injections arrived and admired him too but gave my poor son two injections – one for tetanus and one as a booster for being so small and early. He spent a lot of time in their stable and told my poor wife she’d have to stay indoors until our son was bigger as the weather was wet and windy. She was so disappointed as she loves to be out ... now
I hate it outdoors when it’s like that but Emily always turns me out for a time every day ....so I would go out in my waterproofs and boots on the grass and after an hour or so I would start to pace the fence line to be allowed back to be with my family. Of course I would shout and prance on my return – it’s only natural for a hot blooded male , but
I would also greet my son by calling in a special way and he began to call back to me very early on in his shrill little voice.
He was growing so fast that soon he was allowed out to exercise on the sand arena and would rush in and out of the stable to gallop round as fast as he could – just like I do. I spent hours watching him play and watching him suckling and growing so fast
his pet name became “Pudding” which is so un-cool! Rhapsody was firm with him but very patient as he always wanted attention and
was always on the go.....sounds familiar?? Emily would close the door to shut them in at night so he would lie down and rest and we could stand watch together.

When he was 6 weeks old Emily took him out with his mother to his first show. I was upset to have to stay behind and very relieved when they came back later in the day having eaten lots of grass by the show ring and taken part in three classes. Rhapsody proudly told me our son had won Best section C foal, then in the championship won Best Local Foal and Reserve Champion. Well he takes after his father!

Emily says we will always keep him and if we get on well I will be able to drive alongside him sometimes or maybe he will go ahead and I’ll pull our carriage along behind him – something Emily calls a tandem. It sounds like she has plenty of ideas as to how to keep us busy , but I always say variety is the spice of life. If it gives me the opportunity to strut my stuff then it sounds good to me!

One thing’s for sure I’m a very proud and contented father.





Horses teeth are ever growing. Adult female horses have 36 teeth, whereas adult male horses have between 40 to 44.

Horses can only breathe through their nostrils.

Old Billy is the oldest known horse of 62 years (1760-1822) and Sugar Puff is the oldest known pony of 56 years.

A mare is pregnant for approximately two weeks short of a year (335-340 days). Colts are carried approximately 4 days longer than fillies.

Unlike cattle, sheep, goats, deer, camels and hippos, which need to rest for hours in order to digest food, horses can eat and run. It takes approximately 48 hours for food to pass through a horse.

A horses skeleton consists of 205 bones. Horses do not have collarbones but instead their front limbs are joined to their body purely by muscle, cartilage and ligaments.

Horses were domesticated around 4500BC.

A horse crossed with a Zebra is known as a ZORSE.

A donkey crossed with a Zebra is known as a ZONKEY.




Horsey poem
Why do I like horses? I really must be mad.
My mother wasn’t horsey - and neither was my dad.

But the madness hit me early - and it hit me like a curse.
And I’ve never gotten better. In fact I’ve gotten worse.

My stables are immaculate. My house is like a hovel.
Last year for my birthday - I got a brand new shovel.

I hardly read a paper - but I know who’s sold their horse.
And I wouldn’t watch the news - unless Mr Ed was on - of course.

One eye’s always on the heavens - but my washing waves in vain
As I rush to get the horses in - in case it’s gonna rain.

And though they’re wearing 15 rugs, the best you can get,
I bring them in to keep them dry - while I get soaking wet.

I spend all the cash I’ve got - on horsey stuff for sure
I buy harness, fancy rugs - and then I buy some more.

I can’t even make a sponge cake - I don’t even try
But I can back a car and trailer - in the twinkling of an eye.

I ache from long forgotten falls. My knees have got no skin.
My toes have gone a funny shape - from being squashed again.

But late at night, when all is still - and I’ve gone to give them hay,
I touch their velvet softness and my worries float away.

They give a gentle nicker and they nuzzle through my hair
and I know it’s where my heart is - more here than anywhere.

(Thanks to the Bradbourne Carriage Driving Club for letting us reproduce this)




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