The Sporting Guide to Thelwell

Growing up, many of my days were spent in the company of horses. I began riding at a lesson barn with other horse-crazy kids and learned good horsemanship from the best teachers of all: the lesson horses. Each would have their own syllabus in mind. For example, Fergie, a little pony with a big attitude, […]

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What a Wonderful Whorl

“Wow, that is one well-centered whorl,” my vet remarked one cold autumn day as he completed a pre-purchase exam on the gelding I was about to buy. “He’s going to be easy to work with.”  The practice of reading a horse’s whorls, or trichoglyphs as they are known more scientifically, to guess its personality is an […]

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Some things never change…

In today’s world, it is easy to take for granted the comforts of modern technology. Horseback riding is a hobby now, not a necessity. We no longer rely upon the animal to commute, to work, or to make a living. Cars, tractors, and farm equipment have taken over those tasks. Even caring for horses has […]

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Scandal in the Jungle

A series of letters in the NSLM’s John H. Daniels Rare Book Collection detail a fascinating tale filled with mystery and intrigue about a series of suspiciously easy tiger hunts near Navapur in the state of Maharashtra, India, in early 1923. W. E. Copleston first wrote on March 4, 1923, to a man named Jacob, […]

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The Greatest Show

When one thinks of the circus, one’s mind immediately goes to thoughts of clowns and oddities, cheap tricks, and lavish sets. It may be odd, then, to think of the circus as a center of elite horsemanship and a historically essential venue for the development of modern dressage. Indeed, the horses and other equines of […]

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A Horse of a Different Color

A friend of mine is coming to Northern Virginia for a few weeks, so I’ve been helping her look for a horse to ride while she’s here. Our conversations can be summarized as follows: “What about this one? It’s a bay Thoroughbred gelding.” “Oh wait! I found another one, it’s a bay Thoroughbred gelding.” “How […]

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Driver’s Ed

I own an exceptionally patient horse. I bought him as a 6-year-old with a mere 60 days of saddle training and had him teaching toddlers to ride by the following weekend. He is unflappable, smart, and willing to try new things. So when I saw a used harness for sale locally, I did what any […]

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