Small Horses In Warfare
By Sir Walter Gilbey
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.10(d)|
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Burnaby's Ride To Khiva. Captain Burnaby, in his well-known book, A Ride to Khiva, describes the animals brought up for his inspection at Kasala, in Turkestan, when his wish to buy a horse was made known : " The horses were for the most part of the worst description, that is to say, as far as appearance was concerned. . . . Except for their excessive leanness, they looked more like huge Newfoundland dogs than as connected with the equine race, and had been turned out in the depth of winter with no other covering save the thick coats which nature had given them. ... At last, after rejecting a number of jades which looked more fit to carry my boots than their wearer, I selected a little black horse. He was about 14 hands in height, and I eventually became his owner, saddle and bridle into the bargain, for the sum of £5, this being considered a very high price at Kasala." The reader may be reminded that the winter of 1876-7, during which Captain Burnaby accomplished his adventurous journey, was an exceptionally severe one even for that part of the world, where long and severe winters are the rule. On the day of his departure from Kasala the thermometer stood at eight .degrees below zero. The traveller was by no means favourably impressed with the powers of the horse he had selected as the least bad of a very poor lot,and the native guides started apparently satisfied that it would break down under its heavy rider clad to resist the penetrating cold. After his second march, Captain Burnaby began to acquire a certain measure of respect for this pony : " What had surprised me most during our morning's march was the extreme endurance of our horses. The guide frequently hadbeen obliged to dismount and to clean out their nostrils, which were entirely stuffed with icicles;...