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horses

Page history last edited by Thomas Kutzli 7 years, 7 months ago

Horses

 


 

In a manner of speaking horses are our best friends and companions.
We feel deep attachement to horses. Just think about hunting, sports, hobbies.
Up from the antique times horses went with us to war. Millions and millions died, though they didn't know about Rome or Ninive, they were not aware of the great Chinese wall, they didn't care about Attila or Çengiz Khan, they were nor Francophone nor with the German axis, they never thought about socialism or capitalism. And horses are no imperialists!
Happily (!) today we use lorries, tanks, helicopters, airplanes and drones instead of them......

But our deep connection to horses remains. Just you ask your 12 year old daughter. And look at the sayings with “horse”:

See:
a charley horse
a dark horse
a horse of another different color
a one-horse race
a one-horse town
a stalking horse
a Trojan horse
back the wrong horse
beat a dead horse
better get on my horse
change horses in midstream
charley horse
climb on high horse
closing the stable door after the horse has bolted
dark horse
Don't put the cart before the horse
Don't spare the horses
drive a coach and horses through
eat like a horse
Every horse thinks its own pack heaviest
flog a dead horse
For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse ...
from the horse's mouth
get off high horse
get on high horse
get on horse
get straight from the horse's mouth
go the way of the dodo
hold horses
Hold horses!
Hold your horses!
horse and buggy
horse around
horse of another color
horse sense
Horses for courses
I could eat a horse
I could eat a horse!
If two ride on a horse, one must ride behind
If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride
look a gift horse in the mouth
nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse
on high horse
one-horse town
play the ponies
put a horse out to pasture
put the cart before the horse
Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted
strong as a horse
the cart before the horse
wild horses
Wild horses couldn't drag away
work like a beaver
You can lead a horse to water
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink


Horses II. Kabbalah

 



The Kabbalah – litterally meaning “receiving tradition” – was originally a set of esoteric Jewish teachings, emerging in South-France and Spain of the 12th century, but later spreading all around the Mediterranean. Nowadays Kabbalah is claimed by New-Age-Mystics (we should study the beliefs of Madonna or Michael Jackson).

Striking: the similarity of etymology with “cavallo” (Italian), “caballo” (Spanish), “cheval”, “cavalier” (French), “Kabale” (an ancient German word for intrigue, Schiller wrote a play: “Kabale und Liebe”), “cavalo” (Portuguese)

The horse as a symbol (not as a chess-figure or an item of gymnastics) did always stand for cleverness, intellect, but also for power (=horsepower). The intellect is freeing us from dependency on old wisdoms and myths. In this way, Kabbalah gives a new meaning to “tradition”.

Kabbalah has often used symbols like the red bracelet, the protecting hand and the protecting eye (against evil look), other religions use those symbols too and are not aware of the paganism in it.

Horses III. Horses in mythologies and history

 



Even in Altamira cave-paintings from about 15000 years ago horses are shown, and I am quite sure that there are even elder effigies...

The horse is narrowly tightened to nomads, these were even called “horse-people”. Nomads are always moving, the most important thing for them is the freedom of travelling. In contrary the agricultural civilisations tend to adore “my home is my castle”. Nomads are rather herdsmen, hunters and collectors while we tend to be sitting producers (and vegetarians). From the Huns for example it was told that they were born and died in the saddle....

Horses are a part of all mythologies, to start with the chinese, were they are in the zodiac.

Hindu religion shows much horses. Women were imitating horses with their bodies.



Kanthara – as we know – was the favourite horse of Siddhartha Gautama, he rode it to get away from his luxurious life and to become the Buddha. The white horse – known everywhere – must be seen as a symbol of “passage” (“Zum Weissen Rössl” - Whit Horse – as a tavern name signals the passage from sober to drunk)

Islam has its holy horses too. Mohammed is riding Burak, which brings him first from Mekka to Jerusalem, and then, in a fleeting moment Burak (or Buraq) jumped with the prophet – so they say - through all seven heavens right to the face of Allah and back. While jumping, Burak's tail hit a vase and they were just back in time to beware that vase from falling.... The footprint of Burak is still to be seen in the rock (Yes, I saw it) and they built the beautiful Omar-mosque with the golden dome around it.

Epona, the horse-goddess, was a very important – maybe the most important – goddess in Celtic times. Her symbols were horses and dogs.

The Nordic mythology knows Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odin, it was white too, by the way like the horse of St. George (listen, them Brits!). On Sleipnir Odin used to ride through wind and clouds.....

And from here we come right to Pegasus (white!) and its rider Bellerophon. (Bellerophon killed the monster Chimaerae, where? In Karia!) Pegasus was born from the blood of the Medusa, when Perseus beheaded her. St. George – and his patron St. Michael, were dragon-fighters like Perseus... and who knows, if Zeus wouldn't have put Perseus as a constellation up to the skies – near princess Andromeda, of course -  we wouldn't have any dragons here anymore.....
Greek mythology is rich in horses: Helios' (Güneş, the sun-god) cart is pulled by horses, Heracles – in one of his twelve deeds – frees the horses of Diomedes, Poseidon had as additional name Hippios (orse-god). When he fell in love with his sister Demeter, she changed into a mare and gave birth to the miraculous horse Areion...
Centaurs were mixed beings, half human, half horses. Centauer Cheiron was immortal, wise, a healer, he went to be the teacher of Achilleos.

The Trojan horse! A symbol of the new intellect which beats the old wisdom......




We are near to historic times now. And here comes Bucephalos, the horse, which brought good luck to Alexander the great (Büyük İskender) and only died far away in Pakistan...

And what would Gengis Khan (Timucin) be without his horse? Once he was captured, and they asked him, who he would chose to come with him, once freed, his wife or his horse? He chose the horse.



I think you all could mention some famous horses (like the ones ones from İstanbul on San Marco in Venice), here are just a few:

Rosinante – Don Quijots horse
Lady Godiva riding naked through the town
Tony – Tom Mixes faithful horse

 


Stewball was a race-horse, and I wish he were mine, he never drank water, he always drank wine.....
Hans-Günter Winklers horse Halla, as far as I know the only horse, which has a memorial, a bronze-effigy in Elmshorn
Parcivals red horse
Captain Tchicherine's horse Snake (an Appaloosa)
Abdülhamit's whit horse Nilüfer in “Kanatsız Kuşlar”
Winnetou's horse Iltschi (white?) and Old Shatterhand's horse Hatatitla (black).....
and so on......

Troika

 



Horses can be ridden but always were driven too. This needs a harness. The first harness of course was for plowing. But very early a cart was used, first driven by one horse (Homeros tells about), then two (the Hittits used it against the great pharao Ramesses II.), then three: the russian troika (three horses drove a sledge in great speed (Tolstoj), then four and more (coaches of “modern” times, I know them from the novels of Georgette Heyer) or the cart driving Elijah up to heaven. The number of four horses is also known to us from the apocalypse of St. John ( a white horse....a red horse....a dark horse....a pale horse). In fairy tales the “prince” often needs those horses to get the princess. The number four:

“Four days were spent in thinking what name to give him, because (as he said to himself) it was not right that a horse belonging to a knight so famous, and one with such merits of his own, should be without some distinctive name, and he strove to adapt it so as to indicate what he had been before belonging to a knight-errant, and what he then was.” (Don Quixote thinking what name to give to his horse). Don Quixote of course was not driving, but a riding knight-errant.....

Mixed information about horses

 



Why has the horse-shoe always and everywhere been a symbol for luck? Superstitious sailors even used to pin horse-shoes to their shipmasts, believing the vessel would avoid storms then...

horse-radish
horse-kicking (in German it says “horse-kiss”...)
“Crazy-Horse”, “Running Horse”, Kicking Horse” etc., as native Indian names
Cossacks, Hussards,“Kürassiere”, “Kataphrakten”, Cavalry (Peter Steinbrück wanted to send them to Switzerland)    
In German a tit-for-tat-response is called “Retourkutsche

“Wild horses” Rolling Stones
“Fliegende Pferde” Achim Reichel
“Dark horse” Kate Perry
“Lady Godiva” Simply Red

The Appaloosa horse, even if the patches are not to be seen, will be recognized by its human eyes.

“All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again

 The theatre-play “Equus” by Peter Shaffer. Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Leonard Nimoy (Mr.Spock), Anthony Perkins, Peter Firth played in it. The main hero (a psychopat) is getting religious and sexually attracted by horses...

 



Catherine the Great aka Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst, born in Stettin, then Prussia, now Poland.
She was empress of Russia in the “Golden Age” of that imperium. She won much lands, in the south against the Ottomans, in the west against Poland and Prussia, in the east she even created “Russian Alaska”.
She brought enlightment to the country (ehm, to the aristocrats). She had about three official lovers among them Prince Potemkin, known for his villages and who gave his name to a famous armoured cruiser), and many unofficials. There are legends about her erotic appetite for horses.

In ancient times most transports were done by horseback, carriage or coaches
In my childhood in front of my grandparents' house were huge stables full of cold-blood-horses: Guyer- and Ruckstuhl-Transporte. In those times you used to do your moving by horse-carriage. Today only huge beer-carriages are used as a folklore....

In our dormitory we once had female twins, a bit fat, which by everybody were called “The post-coaches”

The evolution of the horse is tightly linked to humans. Like theirs it went from east to west (horse-people like the Huns and Mongols, the Skyths, the Ostrogoths and the Wisigoths did it, later imitated on the American continent in the run to the “Wild-West”...)

Ay! Hold your horses, dear!!

 

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