Friday, July 06, 2007

All for the sake of a horse (snow)shoe...

The Long Rider's Guild, a wonderful organization that has dedicated itself to the preservation of the history of the horse, has just founded The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation. This foundation is the first of its kind, and will be attempting to assemble and publish every major work known to man dealing with equestrian wisdom and history. This will hopefully create an open, useful forum for scholars, students and equine enthusiasts all over the world to combine resources and further their knowledge of the horse.

One of the first articles published was originally printed in the British Horse, written by Tom Moates. In his study of Captain Scott and his famous Antarctic tragedy, Moates concluded that Scott and Oates made one fatal error that probably caused their death. Oates did not approve of the use of horse snowshoes, and Scott listened to him, although he disagreed with Oates.

They took one set of horse snow shoes when they set out, and found that they travel twice as quickly with the snowshoes on. By this time, however, the ice had receded and they they were unable to return to camp to outfit the remaining horses. On their return, the 5 explorers perished only 11 miles away from the safety of their camp.

The Long Rider's Guild Press has just published "The South Pole Ponies", a wonderful book detailing the use Manchurian and Siberian ponies by Shackleton, Scott, Oates, etc. in two Antarctic expeditions. It's an eye-opening, interesting read, but not for the faint hearted. Best of all, "The South Pole Ponies" is available for purchase on our website. You can read the complete British Horse article on the Long Rider's Guild Academic Foundation website.

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