Unusual Things To Do On A Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   30th May 2018   •   609 views   •   0 comments
Cleaning stalls leaves your mind pretty free to wander. So lately, with a pitchfork in my hand, I wondered what else do people do on horseback besides just ride? Sure there are lots of cool and unusual sports like donkey baseball, the quidditch-like horse ball, tent-pegging and all sorts of shooting sports. But what else?

Painting on Horseback
Actually, the woman who paints on horseback uses an easel mounted alongside her schooling ring. Weíve seen the painting done by horses, but Maine artist Sandra Beaulieu, paints from the saddle while riding. Her art has evolved as she learned to set up her paints and other equipment and teach her horse to accept the process. She now sells and donates her paintings to charities for fundraising.

Cooking Meat
Should you fire up the grill or try boiling some eggs on horseback? Itís probably not a great idea to mix any sort of activity that includes fire, hot water or other high heat while you ride. Folklore has it though, that the ancient Mongolians did a form of cooking while they rode. Most sources describe that the Mongol warriors would put steak-like cuts of meat under their saddles. The heat and pounding that the meat got during the long rides into battle would tenderize the meat and provide them with an easy-to-carry protein food while on campaign. Now, Iím pretty handy in the kitchen and think that if you were to apply pressure, low heat and perhaps some salty horse sweat, you would probably end up with something closer to beef jerky than a cut-with-your-fork filet mignon. Iím not inclined to prove my theory though.

The Mongols also made another foodstuff on horseback, that though it is an acquired taste, many people, including myself, still enjoy today. Kefer is a fermented milk drink, somewhat like a very tart, thin yoghurt that was made by filling leather pouches with milk and letting it bounce around as the horse moved. Agitation, heat and the right bacteria helped to digest the lactose in the milk, making it a slightly bubbly, fermented, long keeping drink. Iíll stick to making mine in a jar in my nice clean kitchen, thanks.

Dining on Horseback
So you might not want to try cooking on horseback, but how about eating? Whatís known as the Gilded Age spanned (depending on your source) that last half of the 1800s into the first decade of the 1900s. During this time, many fortunes were made, and many of those through corruption and exploitation. Many that attained vast fortunes were more than happy to show it off. Back in 1903, in the spirit of extravagance and excess a dinner party was held by a ridiculously rich gentleman named C.K.G. Billings. Billings, along with being the son of a wealthy family, and owner of a fuel company loved horses, trotters in particular.

To celebrate the opening of his new trotting stable, Billings planned a dinner. But this wasnít to be the usual sit-down dinner. All the guests, who appear to be all male, would be seated on horseback. At the last minute, the venue was changed from the stable grounds because the press got wind of the fete and moved to an indoor ballroom. The room was decorated to look like a green pasture. The guests were seated on the provided horses, complete with saddles to which a tray was attached and saddlebags filled with chilled beverages. Near the end of the multicourse meal, tubs of oats were brought in so horse and rider could enjoy eating together. Which leads me to wonder, where can I get one of those saddles because that might be handy for say...
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