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Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses Paperback – April 1, 2011
"A thought provoking and challenging insight into an aspect of equine nature that we are unwilling to even acknowledge."
Garry Ashton-Coulton - Art Editor, Horse & Hound magazine, London.
"The renowned expert CuChullaine O'Reilly offers startling and revelatory insight about equines that appears irrefutable... the horse as herbivore is a matter of conditioning, not necessarily preference."
Dr. Ruth Carter - Professor of International Studies at Georgia State University.
"With relentless research, O'Reilly has put together a body of evidence on meat-eating horses that should have encyclopedia editors all over the world scrambling to re-edit their chapter on the horse."
Geoff Young - Publisher/Editor, Horse Connection magazine.
"Deadly Equines' investigation of the historical recurrence of omnivorous horses makes for compelling reading."
Dr. David R. Dorondo - Department of History, Western Carolina University.
"What a fantastic story! There is a message here which has been suppressed over the years."
Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE - Long Rider and author of The Oxford Book of Exploration.
About the Author
CuChullaine O'Reilly is an investigative reporter who has spent more than thirty years studying equestrian travel techniques on every continent. After having made lengthy trips by horseback across Pakistan, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers' Club. O'Reilly is also the author of Khyber Knights. This equestrian travel tale has been described as a "masterpiece" and the author as "Jack London in our time".
O'Reilly founded the Long Riders' Guild, the world's first inter-national association of equestrian explorers. The organization has Members in forty-two countries, all of whom have made a qualifying equestrian journey of at least one thousand miles. The Guild has supported more than a hundred equestrian expeditions on every continent except Antarctica.
The author and his wife are the webmasters of The Long Riders' Guild website. At three-thousand plus pages, and still growing, and having now been visited by more than three million people world-wide, this website is the repository of the largest collection of equestrian travel information in human history.
After ten years of unparalleled intellectual growth, The Long Riders' Guild became a movement for change in the wider equestrian world when the O'Reillys launched The Long Riders' Guild Academic Foundation. The world's first open-source academic equine website is devoted to the study of all hippological arts and sciences and provides a forum, free of commercial influence, wherein equine-related articles are provided at no cost to scholars, students and equine enthusiasts. Every type of horse-related knowledge is being investigated and published at this exciting website, whose motto is "Science not Superstition."
Deadly Equines is the first title in a new series of equestrian investigations undertaken by the author.
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This book uses several disparate examples to make a point similar to the logic used by cryptozoologist to support theories on Big Foot. This story is a notch above those (most of it is probably true) but it attempts to sensationalize something not too difficult to believe. My horse will eat a slice a pizza if offered, and will raid the dry dog food if he can get to where it is stored. He doesn't hunt or attack people. He will visciously chase away dogs and bite and kick any horse that doesn't give him a wide birth. All natural behaviours. Nothing shocking to anyone who has been around horses. Horses like salty snacks and an adult horse has few if any preditors in the wild. This is why the Mustang popultaion increases so rapidly.
Sure, some horses are like that, but what about the flip side of the coin? What about the horses that have attacked, injured, or killed humans? We hardly ever hear about those. Well, this book tells their story. Here you will find accounts of a crazed stallion that terrorized an entire town, a prized war mare who was every bit as fearsome to enemies as her rider, and many other such stories.
It also details accounts of horses that have been fed meat or meat-based diets, but this did not really interest me as much. Even cattle are often fed animal-based feed, and sheep have been witnessed eating birds, so...meh. The author makes the assumption though that horses may be omnivores rather than herbivores, in part because they have canine teeth. But what he doesn't seem to think out is that if a horse's canines were intended for tearing meat, then wouldn't both sexes have them? Mares generally don't. The canines are present in the males, and are used in fighting. It has no relation to diet, even if horses can digest meat.
I also object to the author's references of vicious horses in mythology, because he implies that there may be truth to the fables. That, and that he seems to use the stories as filler. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed reading this book. It just needs to be longer! There are many, many more such stories out there about vicious and killer horses (I've found several just searching the web) so with a little more effort, the book could easily be twice as long as it currently is.
To say this book was life changing is an understatement. Since it's reading I have retired from training and began dissolving both the estate and stables to fund my Victim's of Horse perpetrated Violence charity to provide counselling for those luckily enough to have survived the numerous and terrible attacks by this evil species. The charity will also be the basis by which we campaign to the government to close all UK pony clubs which represent veritable coliseums of death; Arenas where horses and children are matched against each other in barbaric bloodbaths but with rosettes at the end.
On the other hand the chapters and index weren't very clearly set out so only four stars instead of five.