It’s not just humans that have to earn their keep. Of course historically horses have been a vital part of working life especially before there were any cars or trains. But even now horses are still making up the back bone of some very important working teams and we’ve been finding out a little more about the horses still working 9 – 5!
If we describe something as strong, hardworking, charismatic with the most stunning hair style you may be forgiven for thinking we were describing our ideal man! However we are in fact describing the wonderful Suffolk Punch horse who still to this day are used to work the land on some farms holding onto traditional methods. Long before the horse power in a New Holland combine harvester was behind the summer harvest it was the trusty Suffolk Punch who worked the land.
Did you know - Modern techniques led to declining numbers of Suffolk Punch horses and numbers fell to single figures. Although still on the endangered species list, thanks to the Suffolk Punch Trust they are in much healthier numbers today.
In some of our Grandparent’s youth the streets of London would have been lined with horses. They were the main form of transport and a large majority of businesses relied upon horse power to thrive. Whilst 4 wheels may considerably outweigh 4 legs in the capital today, horses still play a vital role in keeping us safe. Police horses have been used for crowd control and security at major events such as Football matches, the London Olympics and state events such as the Queen’s jubilee. Spotting a police horse is not confined to London, police horses are deployed around the country as and where required.
Did you know – You might spot police horses in other countries as well. Police horses are still employed in Canada, Australia, America and Oman to name but a few places.
Learning to ride and look after a horse is still mandatory when joining the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Based in Woolwich in London the King’s Troop horses are an integral part of British history and still serve at many ceremonial duties such as trooping the colour and state funerals. Both horse and rider train tirelessly in readiness for their immaculate displays and performances.
Did you know – King’s Troop horses enjoy their down time with their annual visits to the Norfolk coast in the summer to enjoy a swim in the sea!
Police horses are not the only equines you will spot when you go to the capital. The Household Cavalry horses have been helping to guard the Royal Family since 1660. The Household Calvary horses are traditionally black, 16hh+ in size and usually work long into their teens, sometimes even their 20’s.
Did you know – Each year the new Household Cavalry horses’ names begin with a different letter and they are usually named after battles or significant places.
So here are just a few examples of horses that have been earning their keep over the years. We’d love to hear your stories if you’ve been involved with working horses and the adventures you have had.