Ten Horsey Christmas Presents

Here are my suggestions * for what to give the Horsey person in your life – and all of these can be ordered from the comfort of your own armchair:

  1. At number one, it has to be the lovely hardback, “Coffee Table” style, beautifully illustrated Hollywood Hoofbeats: Trails Blazed Across the Silver Screen by Petrine Day Mitchum (yes, she’s the daughter of screen legend Robert Mitchum – and an expert on horses and films in her own right) and Audrey Pavia. £22

hollywood hoofbeats

  1. If £22 is a bit pricey, Lights Camera Gallop! The Story of the Horse in Film (by Lesley Lodge) is £11.95 in paperback and is also illustrated. (Or only £1.99 in the Kindle version)

coversmall

  1. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. This is the book that inspired the film and the play. £3.49 in paperback (and there’s a deal where for only £10 you can get two other paperbacks with it) or – because this book is a keeper – £7.99 in hardback
  1. A Good Horse is Never a Bad Colour by Mark Rashid. Paperback. This book is packed with advice and hints for getting the best from your horse but each piece of advice is conveyed through a fascinating story. £12.99 in paperback, £16.99 in hardback.

A good horse is

  1. A Standard Journey by Jackie Parry. An amazing story about how Jackie and Noel rescued five horses, sold everything they had and trekked along part of Australia’s majestic Bicentennial National Trail. £12.99 in paperback.

jackie p

  1. A game perhaps? Horse-Opoly is a bit like Monopoly but with horses! The board features different breeds of horses and each property deed teaches players a little about that breed of horse. Players can choose to be a bail of hay, saddle, horseshoe, horse trailer, bag of oats, or a boot. For 2 to 6 players. £19.76
  1. How about a bag? There’s the Ladies Horse Canvas Satchel Messenger Saddle Shoulder School Cross Body Bag. £7.99 and available in different colours.

bag

  1. Practical Horse Whispering (Threshold picture guides). A paperback guide to bonding with your horse. £5.95

 9. A stocking filler perhaps? The Coloring Book of Horses Stress Reducing Art Therapy offers two sorts of colouring-in. For Adults or younger. By Lesley Lodge with drawings by two artists: Antonio Reche Martinez and Tom Campey. £5.50

coloring amazon cover

  1. The ultimate stocking filler idea for girls: Easy to use, High Quality Nail Art For Every Occasion! Horse. These are tiny horse stickers to add on to fingernails. A snip at £1.99 (Amazon helpfully tells us this works out at £79.60 per kilo!)

nails

* Disclosure – ok, two of the above books are written by me….

War Horse – and War Paint

The fabulous film War Horse has been showing on Sky TV in the UK this week.  But did you know that the horses playing the main equine characters had a specialist make-up team of their own?

Their were coats dyed and markings added to ensure continuity between them. And for the scene where Joey, the war horse of the title, is born, a ‘non-toxic slime’ make-up was devised and smeared on to the foal playing the part. And for the really dramatic scene where Joey has fled through World War One’s muddy trenches (see picture) and then lies bleeding, tangled in barbed wire, special non-toxic make-up was used for the blood, mud and cuts on his skin.

For more on horse make-up in film, see Lights! Camera! Gallop! The Story of the Horse in Film

Lady Godiva’s horse

Here is Lady Godiva’s horse coming serenely through Streatley Village. Not looking as flexible as the ones on stage in War Horse but impressively tall.