Website © June Keir 2016
Web Design by Oak Grove Graphics
Horses, Horses, Horses
“All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.“
Find A Word Puzzle
Read a short horse story
Why did the old farmer ride his horse to town?
Because it was too heavy to carry.
What sickness do all horses hate the most?
They hate hay fever
What do you get if you cross a horse with a bee?
A neigh buzz
What do you call a horse that lives next door?
It’s called a neigh-
What kind of horses go out at night?
I was one of those little girls who adored horses and would have given anything to own one. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me a horse or to send me for riding lessons. My luck changed when I went to stay with my aunt in the country for the school holidays. My aunt lived right next to a farm where there were lots of sheep, but more importantly for me, some horses. I quickly made friends with the farmer and he very kindly let me ride one of his horses. Greyboy was the most patient, steady and kind horse that a child could have learnt to ride upon and he taught me to ride. I spent many a happy holiday after that riding Greyboy all over the countryside.
It wasn’t until I was a young mother that I was in a position to own a horse of my own. My first horse was Shep, a shaggy little 14.2 hh pony who was rather old when I bought him but who was full of spunk and we shared many a happy hour together exploring the small property where we lived and going further and further afield. It was an incredibly sad day for me when Shep’s old age finally caught up with him and I had to have him euthanized. He was buried on our property. RIP Sheppy.
My next and last riding horse was Sean, a 15hh bay. He too was an amazing horse. I’m convinced that horse had a sense of humour. He certainly had a twinkle in his eye when I was brushing him or lifting his foot and he would just rest his teeth on my jeans clad bottom as if to say, ‘Watch it or I’ll nip you.’ He never did bite me but I’m sure he considered it many a time. When I had to leave that property Sean went to live with a young farmer who loved him as I did.
During this time I had a horse on our property for ajistment. His name was Kilimanjaro, or Killer for short; he was a huge grey, almost white horse, whose owners told me he was the biggest horse in Australia. Whether that was the case I didn’t ever find out. This horse had feet the size of dinner plates but I always found him gentle and easy to handle. One day I noticed that one of his back legs was bleeding a little just above his hoof. I did what I would have done with any of my own horses and bathed the area and sprayed it with antiseptic. When I phoned his owner to tell him about the small injury there was silence for a moment and then the owner asked very hesitantly, ‘You didn’t go behind him or pick up his hoof, did you?’
I said that yes I had indeed done both of those things. There was another, longer silence. Then, ‘But didn’t we tell you not to do that? He’ll kick you into the next paddock if you try to pick up his back feet.’ Well he hadn’t even tried to kick me, but it would have been nice if the owners had told me not to pick up his feet before I did it!
Horses are known as noble creatures and it’s easy to understand why. For those who have been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of one of these amazing creatures no animal could be more wonderful.
Horses have been part of our world for more than 2,000 years. Humans have made use of horses for many tasks. Horses have been used to pull everything from milk carts to gun carriers. They have been ridden by monarchs, soldiers, farmers and children. They are often used on farms to round up cattle and sheep.
When treated with kindness and understanding a horse will prove to be a strong, faithful and loving companion.
Perhaps one of the most popular uses for horses is as a pony club mount. There are many children across Australia and other countries who have had the privilege of owning a pony or horse and riding this wonderful animal to pony club, having fun and competing in events.
Horses are great companions and a ride in the country with friends is fun for both horse and rider.
Horses may be selected for a variety of reasons. They might be chosen for their looks, their temperament, their size or strength or because they have a particular breeding. Sometimes it is the height of a horse or its build that is of interest to a buyer. A horse’s height is measured in ‘hands’; about 4 inches.
Horses, although sometimes much larger than small children, are usually gentle and trustworthy friends. Also, horses have been known to help children with disabilities such as autism to lead more fulfilling lives. Riding For The Disabled is a wonderful organisation where children with physical disabilities can enjoy riding with the help of volunteers.
Photos courtesy of Liz Sommerell
Heidi and Wally, a palomino horse, share a quiet moment together.
Australian Stock horses
Many of Australia’s farm horses today are Australian Stock Horses. Here two Australian Stock horses and their riders wait patiently for another horse and rider to be ready to go for a ride on the farm. It is thought that the ancestors of the Australian Stock horse were Arabian and Barb horses imported from South Africa in the 18th century. These horses were bred with others from England. They were bred mainly for their strength, stamina and courage.
Brumbies can be found grazing freely in many places in Australia including the Southern Alps in New South Wales, in Queensland and in The Northern Territory. They are the descendants of horses who have escaped captivity or who have been lost for some reason. Some of these horse lines date back to the days of the early settlers and have come from many different breeds including Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Draught horses and Capers. These days, after mustering they may be used as stock horses working on small farms or huge stations, or as trail ride horses or even as show horses.
Brumbies grazing in the Kosciusko National Park, New South Wales -
Find A Word Puzzle 2
Olivia The Horse
Horse drawing by Laura Aged 8