The Coronation of King Charles was not at the top of my ‘must watch’ list, therefore, when I sat down to watch it with my mother I was surprised to find there was actually much I enjoyed about the pomp and ceremony. In particular, somewhat predictably those who know me would say, I was drawn to the horses – how beautifully turned out they were with gleaming coats and harness and polished hooves.
What struck me partway through proceedings was the fact the commentators not only pointed out who the important riders were, including the fabulous Princess Royal (who really doesn’t need pointing out and who I must admit I have a bit of a soft spot for), they also told us the name of the horse they rode. In Princess Anne’s case a horse called Falkland, or Faulkand, depending on which news source you read.
This is a prime example of how horses play an important part in our lives be it in peace time, during war time, as participants in ceremonies and sporting events, or simply as recreational hacks. They provide unlimited joy and companionship and make the best mates.
Samson, Hennessey’s stallion, came to me fully formed, but it took a while to realise my sub-conscience had pictured him in the image of my own horse, Reggie, who I loved to distraction and lost many years ago. Samson, along with her wolfhound Raven is a solid presence in Hennessey’s life, and she confides in him and chats to him as if he were a human being, just as I did with Reggie.
P.S. In a cosy mystery I have just finished, set in and around an English country house, there is a horse graveyard on the property where long-serving equine friends are buried beneath personalised headstones. What a lovely idea.
Did you know . . .
- Comanche: Famous as the mount of Captain Myles Keogh and veteran of the Battle of Little Bighorn, Comanche was found injured a couple of days after the battle. (I’ve read at least one member of the U.S. Cavalry actually survived, but Comanche was the only horse left at the site – the rest were taken by the victors). Nursed back to health he passed into the care of the Seventh Cavalry. Given free rein to wander their parade grounds he lived his best life – it is said he was rather partial to beer. When he died in his late twenties he was afforded a military funeral with full military honours.
- Sergeant Reckless: A member of the U.S Marine Corp in Korea, this extraordinarily brave little mare named for the recoilless rifle, or ‘reckless’ rifle in Marine jargon, carried wounded soldiers to safety during battle, and delivered ammunition and supplies while under fire, often on her own. She survived the war and was brought to America where she was promoted to Staff Sargeant. Among the (many) medals she earned are two Purple Hearts. read more
- Incitatus: The Roman Emperor Caligula loved his horse Incitatus so much he stabled him in a marble stable, harnessed him in tack inlaid with precious stones, and ordered he be fed barley mixed with gold flakes. The horse was even given his own house, complete with servants.
Take care and happy reading,
P.S. If you’d like to get in touch, feel free to drop me a line.
On my bedside table at the moment is MRS HUDSON AND THE SAMARKAND CONSPIRACY, by Martin Davies.
This series is a delight. (I think there are five books so far) Mrs Hudson is Sherlock Holmes’ housekeeper and rivals the famous detective in brain power. She and Flotsom, a young girl who also works in the household, help Holmes and Dr Watson with their investigating.
The plots are twisty-turny and clever, and have propelled me further into the cosy mystery genre.
“In the end, we all become stories”
– Margaret Atwood