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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lynn Squire: Random Thoughts on Horses, by Nathaniel Griffin

'Tis a joy to see you again, my good friends. I see ye are watching our foals. They are a fine bunch. My uncle would say, "'Tis a fine field of foal colts ye have there." Aye, ye are right. They are not all colts. Some are fillies, a filly being a young female horse. But ye see, just as you or me may refer to a person as 'he' so me uncle, and many like him, refer to no particular foal as a 'colt', or 'foal colt'.

Did ye know that historically a 'colt' only referred to a young ass or camel? 'Tis true, I'm told.

Now ye see that chestnut, or red colored, one kicking up his heels? My uncle swears that all chestnuts have fire in their bellies. And the bay--brown body, black mane and tail--he claims those are lazy. Well, 'tis only a guide, not the rule, but I must admit I've experienced enough to say there might be something to it.

Did ye pass by my barn on the way here? Did ye happen to see my son's bidet? If ye don't know, a bidet is a pony. That one my uncle bought from a miner as a gift for his nephew.

'Tis interesting the sayings that use horses. Just the other day I heard someone speak of a man being hanged from the gallows. The good man said, "The fool was destined to ride a horse that was foaled of an acorn."

Of course my uncle never tires of telling me, "No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth." And my neighbor, he says, "He ne'er consider'd it, as loth to look a Gift-horse in the mouth."

Two acquaintances of mine in London  have taken to nailing horseshoes above the door of their houses to prevent witches from entering their homes. Methinks I'll but me trust in God to protect me.

That small gray in the pen next to the garden is a jennet. Aye, 'tis what my grandfather would call a small Spanish horse. One of his dobbin, or farm horse, was bred to a Spanish horse and foaled a colt as small as that gray, yet as strong as an ox. 

My brother-in-law, Davis Owen, had the privilege of going to a manege, or riding school. That was before the English Civil War. His father, a royalist, lost everything, including his life. But 'twas my sister's good fortune. Davis came to Rhode Island to escape Oliver Cromwell. Now I benefit from his excellent training. Before he came, I was frequently unhorsed (thrown from my horse).

Now would ye look at that sun. It's lowered itself to the horizon. I best get my courser, the large horse behind me barn, unhitched and fed. He'll need a good curry, or rub down, as well.

May God richly bless you in your travels, my friends, and may your trotters give you a good ride home.

3 comments:

  1. This is so cool, Lynn! I love all those different horse expressions and I haven't seen many of them. Thanks! Always love these posts!

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  2. Lynn, I love reading anything about horses, and your posts as Nathaniel Griffin are always so interesting and fun!

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  3. I love Nathaniel Griffin's posts too, Lynn! They're not only entertaining but also very informative. Thank you!

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