Horsing Around

A fun part of writing historical fiction, I find, is the research. When I was in school I didn’t really enjoy the subject of history much–my favourite was maths for some strange reason–but now that I write historicals, I love finding out all I can.On my recent trip to Adelaide I had the great opportunity to learn more about horses. While this is not exactly historical, it is imperative to historical writing–they had no cars–horses were the form of transport in many cases. So, I figure the more I can learn about them, the greater authenticity I can add to my writing.

It was fascinating to learn about horse personality traits, habits and fears. The most amusing example was my sister-in-law’s horse, Cobby. She is very good with horses and explained to me that her horse is  motivated by food. Cobby was about one hundred metres away at the other end of the paddock. My SIL got out a carrot and called him. Well, he let out a loud whinny and came thundering down the paddock at a full canter. He did not slow down at the corner and skidded to a stop in  front of her. For a carrot.

However, later on, when saddled up with my children on his back, Cobby was not so keen to even walk around the yard. Each time he came near to his stall, he would stop as though he was saying “oh, do I have to?” before my SIL encouraged him to continue with a gentle tug on the reins. Cobby was not enthused. There was no food involved.

And that is only one thing I discovered about this horse. Thanks Mel, for such a great insight into horseflesh!

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Published in: on 15th October, 2010 at 7:19 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great! Lovely photos on FB too. I’ve got to tell you, it was the perfect week to be here because today is wet and freezing cold.
    And I think your horse personalities do come out in your writing 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by Paula. Yes, we got great weather that weekend before it turned wintery again. It was 5deg here last night. Brrrr!

  2. I’ve spent some time teaching horse-riding. No two horses have the same personality! I remember one horse that died from a tumour that pressed on her organs, causing failure. No one had any idea. She never complained, was an incredibly gentle horse and just kept doing everything asked of her – she was so happy to serve.

    • Thanks Katelyn. I love hearing about other horsey personalities. It’s quite amazing how animals have their own unique stamp on the world – dogs, cats, and more all seem to have their own character.


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