Tag Archives: horse

FFfAW

“Ok,” the teacher called, “do it again.”

A chorus of groans met her as the students reined their horses back into formation.

“Georgia, get Tomey back two steps. Henry, Honey needs to stretch a bit, loosen up the reins.” Angie walked around the riders, fixing the line as she went. Finally, she stepped back and smiled.

“Good job everybody!”

Horrays went up as the line scattered. Last five minutes of the lesson was always for play. The kids trotted around the arena, bouncing awkwardly on the patient animals. Horses were zigged and zagged in all directions.

Finally the teacher called them in and led them back to the stalls. After the tack was put away and the horses brushed, each child offered up a snack to the horses before being picked up by a parent.

Angie opened the exterior stall doors and watched in amusement as the horses all charged out into the paddock, bucking and tossing heads. Several immediately dropped and rolled, destroying the brush work of the kids. It was the same every week: the horses were quiet and sweet for the children, and the moment they were gone, the horses went berserk releasing energy.

(191 words)

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, led by Priceless Joy. Each week  we follow PJ’s lead as she gives us a photo prompt to write a story of  150 words  (more or less). Please check out the other stories here.  Leave a comment so all the writers know how awesome they are!

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Flying

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May 16, 2015 · 4:37 pm

The Black Stallion

My favorite series as a young reader was the Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I read that entire series, forwards, backwards, out-of-order, over and over. My family already had horses, so I was very empathetic with Alec. There may have been parts of the various books acted out with my own horses, much to their chagrin.

The Black Stallion was started while Walter Farley was in high school, finished while he was in college and published when he was 26. The epic adventure of a young boy and his wild stallion who responded only to him won the hearts of young readers around the world.

Farley began his own  love affair with horse at an early age while growing up in New York state. He was fortunate that he had an uncle that was a horse trainer and he got to spend quality time with horses as he grew up. His uncle switched disciplines frequently; giving Farley a wide education of show horses, jumpers, pacers,  and trotters as well as racers.

Walter Farley was uniquely qualified to write The Black Stallion series and perhaps that is why it has stood the test of time. The original book came out in 1941 and is still being printed today. Farley’s understanding of horses, their actions as well as how they show affection, made his books realistic and honest.

“I always wanted to write,” Farley told members of the press in Canada, “It’s the only thing I’ve ever done.”

The series was interrupted by WWII, as Farley entered the  service. He primarily served as a reporter for The Yank, although he did train with the Fourth Armored Division. After the war  he left the service,  and continued the series with Son of the Black story. His original nine books have grown as he continued to add more characters and stories. Walter Farley was once told that he could not make a living writing children’s fiction. His active life and stories have proven that person very wrong.

His family is intertwined in the Black Stallion’s family of stories. Many of the later stories were told to his own children before they were able to read their father’s series themselves. His son Tim now runs a very active website for all fans of The Black Stallion.  And his son Stephen continues the series, enchanting a whole new generation with stories filled with equine heroes.  Walter Farley enjoyed horses until he died in 1989. He rode dressage, and was seen at many equine events around the world. He had many close equine friends of his own, and never stopped loving the ideal of the horse.

“Many kids would rather ride on the back of a horse… than pilot a spaceship to the moon,” he has said.

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Horseing Around

When I was young and, of course, horse crazy; my parents got some wonderful books called Thelwell’s Horse Box.  Norman Thelwell was a British cartoonist in the 1940s-1970s, and while I don’t understand some of the political satire in the books, I giggle incessantly at his on-the-nose portraiture of the equine mentality. As the back of the book says,

“Thelwell’s information is short and to the point and each item is illustrated with deadly clarity. It is designed to be referred to in any emergency–at the walk, trot or canter, or from the depths of a blackthorn hedge.”

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IMG_1141.2015-04-23_183249    IMG_1145.2015-04-23_190026

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Sunday Cliches

I am  linking my blogs this week as I do Horse Week on Runnerwithablog. I just love those horses so much that I think it will be twice as fun do Horse Week on two blogs! I know I did equine clichés already, but there are so many more to explore. So here we go:

Straight from the horse’s mouth: information received from the highest authority. The origin of this one is the fact that one can tell the age of a horse from its teeth, so no matter what the owner tells you about the age of the horse, you can always find out the truth.

Hold your horses: keep calm, don’t get excited. This one was quite literal. Back in the day when horses were the preferred means of travel, horses needed to be well-trained and riders able to control them. Horses are a prey animal, and when one horse starts running, the rest don’t ask why, they just run too. Not a good thing on a busy street. Somewhere in America’s West during the 1800s, it became a phrase used to describe people instead.

Put the cart before the horse: to go about a process in a reverse order. The Romans used a similar saying, “currus bovem trahit praepostere”: the plow is drawn by the oxen in reversed position. That is the way this cliché first appeared in the English language, and over the last 250 years it has mutated to a horse and cart instead of ox and cart. Perhaps because horse’s became a primary form of travel, pulling actual carts and carriages?

To horse around: to play, play fighting or wrestling, joking. Also known as horseplay. The first known reference to this was in 1919. I was unable to find more on this one, so I am going out on a limb to explain, perhaps, how this came into being.  Horses are very playful animals. They have a tendency to pull fly masks and blankets off each other, they race and they kick at each other. Sounds like rough horseplay to me. I read of one horse that could not be kept in a stall–he opened the latch, no matter what they did, or how they tied it. Finally the owner took a length of rope and tied knots, spaced down the rope, in it and then gave it to the horse. He untied each knot, then opened the latch to his stall so he could bring it back to her.

 

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