The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation
The world’s first global hippological study


Historical Research

Iron Age equine snow shoe discovered in NorwayThe high mountain pass over Lendbreen in Breheimen, Norway has emerged from melting snow and ice, revealing a treasure trove of artifacts left by travellers who used the route from AD 300 and ending in medieval times around AD 1500. Among the 800 artefacts discovered were horse bones, dung, horseshoes and a “hestetruger”, a snowshoe for horses.

Somalia’s Horse That Feeds Its Master, written by Professor Said Sheikh Samatar, is the ground-breaking study that preserved Somalia’s endangered oral legends and equestrian folklore from extinction.

Africa’s Forgotten Cavalry Kingdoms - by CuChullaine O'Reilly.  "I have ridden on four continents, studied equestrian matters for more than thirty years, own a vast equestrian library and have published more than a hundred books on the subject of horses.  Given my equestrian experience, I believe there is only one way to describe my first encounter with the academic research done by Professor Robin Law. It was akin to discovering a new planet in the equestrian solar system!"

Japanese Horse History - Few foreign journalists have studied and written about Japan for as long as 97-year-old Ed Moreno. A life-long fascination with Japanese history, art and culture has inspired the American journalist to write extensively about the island nation for decades. Then in 2014, to mark The Year of the Horse, Ed undertook an extensive investigation into Japan’s horse history. This remarkable study begins with the story of how horses influenced the Shinto religion, goes on to recount the incredible tale of Japan’s legendary Long Rider, explains how Emperor Hirohito’s white stallion was part of an elaborate political deception perpetrated by the occupying American army, and concludes with the story of how the largest tsunami in history couldn’t prevent local riders from participating in a traditional samurai equestrian festival. Ed’s heavily illustrated article marks an essential contribution to the annals of equestrian history. (PDF)

Horsemen Daredevils - Equestrian Historian releases book and film about legendary Georgian horsemen.

High Horses: the scandal of doping race-horses for more than a hundred years.

Polar Ponies: The Forgotten Story of Antarctica’s Meat-Eating Horses, by CuChullaine O'Reilly FRGS.  While it is now commonly agreed that dog travel in winter conditions is an excellent methodology, abundant evidence demonstrates that this view was not shared by all polar explorers at the beginning of the last century. What has also been overlooked is the simultaneous use of meat-eating horses in trying to reach both the North and South Poles.

Saddling for the twenty-first century - With Members scattered all over the globe, there are any number of topics which might appeal to our readers. Yet one subject takes precedence – Saddles. Thus, what has long been needed is a concise history of saddles, an explanation of why they didn't work and advice on how a Long Rider could fix them.  Saddle historians are an uncommon breed and finding one that understands the challenges of equestrian travel rarer still. Luckily North American Long Rider Lisa Stewart has the knowledge and experience not only to assist today’s equestrian explorers, but just as importantly, leave a valuable record for posterity.

The Great Horse of Prague - The fascinating story behind one of the world’s tallest equestrian monuments.  It is nine metres in height: whilst somewhat martial in its proportioning, the detailing of musculature, mane, and harness is masterly. It’s worth noting, too, that the monument (excluding its dozen or more metres of stone pedestal) weighs an impressive 16,764 kilograms, with Žižka’s massive sword accounting for 110 of them!

Hot off the Press - Historical Horse News Stories from the past.  Read about the horned horse, the horse who travelled 55.896 miles, the horse rescued from drowning by his equine pal, the stable fire that killed more than a thousand horses, the horse ghost, and many more news stories from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Ireland's forgotten Cowboys - Though history books focus on Texans taking long horn cattle to Dodge City, in fact it was Irish riders, driving cattle to Boston in the 1670s, who started the legend of the North American cowboy.

The Sea Horses of Hamburg - It takes a seasoned urban explorer like famed travel-writer, Duncan J. D. Smith, to uncover one of the world's most astonishing equestrian journeys.    Though Hollywood has dedicated miles of film to stories about cavalry charges, Pony Express Riders and daredevil steeplechase jockeys, when it comes to cool nerve the story of the Sea Horses of Hamburg rules the roost.  These amazing equines pull carriages through the ocean for two hours to a distant island off the coast of Germany.

The Horse and the Nakkaskhana – The ancient city of Lahore is rightly known for many things including beauty and art, however its fabled streets were once crowded with hordes of horses. Here is a tale of that lost equestrian legacy.

The author, Brandon R. Schrand, has written a very interesting Foreword to The Long Riders' Guild Press's edition of John Codman's classic equestrian travel book, Winter Sketches from the Saddle.  This Foreword includes information about Codman’s little-known Introduction to one edition of Black Beauty.

"Sidesaddles and Suffragettes - The Fight to Ride and Vote."  In an age when many women take their political freedom for granted, they forget that in addition to winning the right to vote, the Suffragettes also achieved equestrian equality. After five years of research the LRG-AF has released a ground-breaking article explaining how women fought for the right to vote and the right to ride astride.

The Tragedy of Scott, Oates and the equine snow shoes.  Could the use of equine snow-shoes have averted the famous Antarctic tragedy?  This study of Antarctic equestrian exploration is based on groundbreaking research undertaken by The Long Riders' Guild Academic Foundation.  It was first published in July 2007 in British Horse, the magazine of our equestrian colleagues the British Horse Society, and is republished here with their kind permission.

Explorers Web - the largest website in the world devoted to exploration - reports "Equine Snow-Shoes could have saved Captain Robert Scott" - Part 1 and Part 2.

Britain's Daily Telegraph reports on the Antarctic snow-shoe investigation.

Basha O'Reilly is interviewed about the snow-shoes on Radio New Zealand.

Jeremy James writes about "All the Pretty Horsebreakers" - how in the 1860s the hearts of English high-society gentlemen, including Wilfred Blunt, were conquered by the "pretty horsebreakers," a daring new breed of beautiful prostitutes whose riding abilities, in the saddle and the bed, shattered the British horse world.

The Great August Horse Fair (in Horncastle, Lincolnshire), by David N. Robinson.
Established by royal decree in 1229, the legendary annual horse fair held in Horncastle, England was the most important equestrian event in Europe. For more than eight hundred years the world’s greatest riders, and their incredible horses, gathered every year in this Lincolnshire village to celebrate, sell and ride. This unique article regarding this once-vital equestrian event, was written by the English researcher, David Robinson.

When Horses Really Walked on Water, by Sid Perkins
While everyone remembers the stagecoach, there was a far more romantic method of 19th century equestrian transport which has now been forgotten - the horse-powered ferry. Sid Perkin’s fascinating article documents this unique equestrian engineering marvel.

Judi Daly has written a fascinating article about recovering stolen horses, from the formation of The Anti-Horse Theft Association (AHTA) in 1853 to Stolen Horse International (SHI) which was started in 1996 and continues today.

From Nags to Riches - a sad story about the life and death of a Chicago knacker before the invention of the car.