The blog.

  • To Make a Star on a Horse

    To Make a Star on a Horse

    If your horse didn’t come fully equipped with facial markings, this was not a problem for the 17th century horse (or at least, for the horse’s owners.  Most of these methods were a problem for the horse).  A whole sheaf of recipes existed, the object of which was to provide a permanent star, not just a…

  • Health and Safety – who needs it?

    Health and Safety – who needs it?

    By Janet Rising Warning! This feature contains descriptions of mild peril, personal risk and unhealthy scenarios! The older I get, the more fond I grow of Health and Safety. There is only darkness at the end of the tunnel; I’m grateful to have lived this long. No, really, I can recall numerous occasions with horses…

  • The Cadogan Riding School: Horace Smith and the Queen

    The Cadogan Riding School: Horace Smith and the Queen

    Horace Smith, who ran the Cadogan Riding School, taught Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret to ride. If you want to skip straight on to that bit, click here: Horace Smith and the Queen *** You would struggle to see a horse in central London today, but in the early decades of the 20th century, things…

  • A real-life pony story: Jacqueline Darnborough

    A real-life pony story: Jacqueline Darnborough

    The story of this amazing lady and her struggle to get her own pony arrived in my Facebook inbox. I was lucky enough to catch up with Jacqueline last week, and she told me more about her story. *** Starting off At school I was good at needlework, and I was asked to make a…

  • Holidays on horseback

    Holidays on horseback

    Welcome to another guest blog by Janet Rising. This originally appeared on my old website and blog, but I wanted to give it a new lease of life over here. *** When I was twelve, my friend Elizabeth and I went on a riding holiday. The brochure from the centre singled out for my experience…

  • Thelwell and the ponies who plot

    Thelwell and the ponies who plot

    Norman Thelwell was probably best known for his ponies. He was the illustrator of many pony-mad children’s childhoods: not the lovely dream of a matchless grey swishing round the show ring, festooned with rosettes, but the foul tempered pony determined not to be caught and entirely deaf to any suggestion that it be schooled. Much…

  • The Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature

    The Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature

    It was time for the monthly meeting of the Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature. From the very dawn of the pony book, it had worked tirelessly to ensure the proper representation of men and boys in equine literature for the young. Today was no different. There was always a pre-meeting lunch,…

  • Caroline Akrill on Courses for Horses – the Return of the Fanes

    Caroline Akrill on Courses for Horses – the Return of the Fanes

    It’s been thirty years, but the fourth and final part of the Eventers’ series – Courses for Horses – is now out. Here Caroline talks about what it was like to take Elaine and the Fanes on their latest journey. *** How did you get into writing the original Eventing series? I had written the…

  • Dog

    Dog

    by Janet Rising Several years ago I joined the local writing group. Every month we are tasked with writing one or two short stories. I challenged myself to write not one word about horses and, so far, I have succeeded. One month the title was Dog, and here is the result. *** Jack Russell Agent…

  • Writing a Pony Book: the Rules

    Writing a Pony Book: the Rules

    Ever felt you would like to write a pony book? After a lifetime reading pony books, I have spotted the odd thing or two along the way I think prospective authors really should know before they start. And finally….. always remember the morally uplifting effect of a pony: someone in your book should be improved by contact…