Is any animal as idolised and portrayed artistically as magnificent as the horse? The horse is the noble beast who has accompanied humankind on his evolutionary journey down through the ages. Young girls form strong bonds with their horses even today. Equestrian events are avidly watched at the Olympic Games. And then there is the giant horse racing industry, which straddles the globe and attracts the rich and powerful everywhere. Have horse will conquer the world!
Degas the artist, is one of history’s most famous painters of horses, he painted them at hunts and on the race track. Degas was a big fan of horse racing and I wonder if he was alive today whether he would enjoy the many free bets and bookie joining offers that online gambling has spawned? The very shape of a horse inspires, its haunches, are powerful and, even, sexy. Horses are big and they are hung; like horses really. When a stallion rears up and mounts a mare you know what fucking is all about. These magnificent beasts are dancers on a far bigger stage than we puny humans know about. We may ride them and our dwarfed jockeys may whip them to the finishing post, but only a fool thinks we are their masters. Equus stands high above us and can outrun us; in ancient times to sit a horse was a massive advantage in battle.
Knights rode horses, with both knight and horse encased in armour. A lance protruding from a cavalry mounted warrior as he charged in at full pace to meet a similarly equipped warrior. Imagine the clash as these two met, the ripping of flesh if a point found its mark, the crashing of metallic armour; the snorting animal probably aroused by its exertions. It sure must beat watching television!
Horses can leap over barriers and gulleys at speed; and before motorised travel they met our every need. Sure horse manure in the streets was not pleasant but street sweepers had a job to do. Horses adorn Greek and Roman vases from antiquity. Horses are depicted in Stone Age cave paintings. Horses are brave and associated with brave acts. The horse is portrayed artistically in nearly every culture, which came into contact with it.
Wild brumbies used to run through the block where my father built our home, and that was only back in the nineteen fifties. The world then was a very different place, as we were closer to nature, closer to the elements; and closer to a dear companion. If you blow air gently into the nostrils of a horse they find it very pleasant; you should try it some time.