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Equine matters

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105752.  Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:40 pm Reply with quote

Q: What is quite interesting about rocking horses?

F: The way they play guitar/drums/sing.

A: They are more expensive to buy than a real pony.

Good quality rocking horses currently cost between 2,000 - 4,000. Antiquated horses can fetch as much as 10,000.

Meanwhile flesh and blood horses can be picked up for as little as 1200. Scan the homepage of if you don't believe me!

The Victorians were the first to populise rocking horses: firms such as FH Ayres and the Lines Brothers were, and still are, considered leaders in their field.

Most rocking horses are painted grey. No-one knows why this is. One theory is the association with eternal youth: real grey horses grow whiter in old age.

Brown meanwhile tends to look awful on a wooden horse.

Good rocking horses boast quality carving, never have handles at the back and have real horsehair manes and tails.

One rocking horse designer makes horses based on real horses, including the Queen's late skewbald horse, Tinkerbell.

Daily Telegraph (Saturday October 21 2006),

105783.  Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:18 pm Reply with quote

One theory for the grey colour is provided here:

For some rocking horse lovers, a carved English rocking horse means one thing: a dapple grey. No lesser person than Queen Victoria gave the dapple grey rocking horse 'royal approval'. In 1851, she visited the works of J. Collinson in Liverpool and selected a dapple grey to ride. News of her preference soon spread and the future of the dapple grey was assured

The same source mentions that the children's authors Beatrix Potter, EH Shephard and JM Barrie all owned rocking horses.

It's rather wonderful to think that rocking horses may have provided inspiration to the fertile minds of these people.

In fact, it links rather nicely to my former post about Thomas Edison who gained inspiration with his metal ball bearings:

105947.  Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:11 pm Reply with quote

Meanwhile flesh and blood horses can be picked up for as little as 1200.

Plus shoeing plus feed plus vets' bill plus insurance plus time spent shovelling shit plus they chew the top off the gate which then has to be replaced plus they lean on the fences which then fall over and have to be replaced with new fences with electric wire along the top plus plus plus and don't get me started.

106184.  Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:47 am Reply with quote

*gets crank handle out*

You could always get a second job at the Quickie Mart...

106240.  Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:51 am Reply with quote


Sorry old boy:

My 30-kilogram (80-pound) $1.3 million gold rocking horse beats your vets bills and gate repairs hands down.

For the kid who has it all, Japanese jewelry designer Ginza Tanaka has created a 24-karat gold rocking horse. The toy was designed in honor of the birthday of Japan's Prince Hisahito and weighs about 80-lbs, significantly heavier than the normal wooden rocking horse that it is styled after. The weight does have an advantage in that it allows the chair to rock much more smoothly than other types of horses. Although the jeweler is willing to take orders for more, only one has yet been made and is valued at $1.28 million.


139154.  Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:50 am Reply with quote

$1.3 million? Is that all?

In 1985, British racehorse owner and breeder Robert Sangster led a syndicate that bought Seattle Dancer, a yearling thoroughbred, for $13.1 million, a yearling sired by Nijinsky II, a British champion, and a half brother to U.S. Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. The record still stands.

Alas, Seattle Dancer raced only five times recording two wins and career earnings of $150,000. His stud career was equally undistinguished. But, like a Ball Python, he was at least pretty to look at.

161542.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:20 am Reply with quote

Cute image of the day:

Thumbelina the world's smallest horse.

161562.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:25 am Reply with quote

My stepdaughter owns miniature horses, which are smaller than ponies - maximum 35" tall at the shoulder.

Dapple greying is actually a Quite Interesting phenomenon in horses. It's not so much a pattern as a modifier because grey is an ongoing process of depigmentation of the coloured hairs that make up the original colour of the horse. All horses that carry the Greying gene will end up a shade of grey or white.

It is a dominant gene, and more obvious than most because it removes the physical effects of other colour factors, though obviously it doesn't remove the genes that cause colours and patterns and it doesn't mean the horse is more likely to pass on the Grey gene than other dominant genes.

It's not actually a colour. All grey horses have a base pigment of either red or black, and depending on what other genes are present all grey horses were another colour at birth, though some horses start greying in the womb.

Some Grey horses also undergo a progressive depigmentation of the skin. This is called Equine Vitiligo and has the same effect on horses as it does humans in that it removes the pigment from the skin. Michael Jackson claims that the eerie whitening of his skin is caused by vitiligo. Yeah, right.

161712.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:55 pm Reply with quote

All grey thoroughbreds are descended from a single stallion called the Alcock Arabian. This is a commonplace in racing circles (so much so that it may be Gen Ig for all I know). Less well-known is that all the good ones are also descended from an early 19th century Irish Stallion called Master Robert. That may be tosh as well, but I don't think it's worth taking the time to nail it down.

161720.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:08 pm Reply with quote

I didn't know the Alcock thing. Not many people would IMHO.

"What was all cock?" might make a splendid question.

161731.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:16 pm Reply with quote

I didn't know the Alcock thing either.

161741.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:25 pm Reply with quote

Trouble is, I think it would be known by people who were interested in this subject (ie not many people) and not regarded as interesting at all by everybody else (ie most people).

161746.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:30 pm Reply with quote

I've just tested it on Mrs Gayner and she wasn't interested. But we are under the influence of red wine, and I found it quite interesting.

And that's maybe the thing - it's only quite interesting, and what we have to produce is very interesting disguised under the mask of quiteness.

161747.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:33 pm Reply with quote

Well, quite.

161815.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:58 am Reply with quote

the mask of quiteness

Was that Tom Baker, or William Hartnell ... ?


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