Monday, August 22, 2016

Ponies Mules and Penquins at the Poles


There should be an Olympics designed for the "power ponies"-- Fjords, Icelandics, Yakut, Mongolians, Pottok from Basque, etc.--compact, powerful, thrifty creatures that carried men and goods through fire, ice, desert, flood. I have been "researching" a posting as to what such a event would look like based on historic equitation events.

Obstacle number one would be penguin herding at the poles. Here is a photo of Himalayan mules, a gift from India to to Britain, for Scott's Antarctic exploration. The same journal describes how Russian ponies were offloaded from the ship onto ice, which broke up, and the ponies and handlers had to jump from floe to floe. Later, one handler and pony were out on a floe and a pod of killer whales started hunting them. The whales had a technique of ramming the floes to dislodge seals. Earlier the whales had tried this method on handlers and dogs. Luckily the later attempt on man and pony failed due to the whales coming up on the wrong side of the ice.

Icelandic horses were one of the few breeds involved in polar explorations.

Let's face it--none of the horses currently in the Olympics would pass the first event in the Ninja Warrior Power Pony Olympics.,

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