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What backstory there is to Tolkien and horses?

Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Oct 7 2013, 5:07pm

Post #1 of 11 (420 views)
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What backstory there is to Tolkien and horses? Can't Post

Dear fandom, I trust some of you has deeper knowledge on this issue. Horses feature heavily in number of his stories, and horses often are given names and even personality, instead of being just tools of transportation. I know Tolkien used to train horses or something of the kind during or before WW1. What lead him to such position? Did he had experience on them beforehand, and did he continue working with horses after the war in any way?

Just curious!

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


geordie
Tol Eressea

Oct 7 2013, 7:22pm

Post #2 of 11 (234 views)
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The short answer - [In reply to] Can't Post

- is that Tolkien had no experience of horses before joining the King Edward's Horse whilst he was at Oxford. This was a territorial army unit; he went on a couple of training exercises but not much more than that.

He was never a horse trainer - this is a fallacy, whose ultimate source is a report of an evening with two of Tolkien's children, in a Tolkien Society publication. Michael Tolkien said that his father was a sort of unofficial breaker-in; whenever he got used to a horse it got taken off him and given to someone else. All it means is that, as a part-time horse soldier, JRR would seldom get the same horse twice. The horses did not require breaking in, nor any kind of training - they were loaned by local hunts.

Tolkien left the unit after only a year, in 1912, IIRC; and had no further contact with horses afterwards.
.


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 7 2013, 8:59pm

Post #3 of 11 (208 views)
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I'm so glad you caught this answer [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought you'd be our best source for answer.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


geordie
Tol Eressea

Oct 7 2013, 9:20pm

Post #4 of 11 (197 views)
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thanks, Magpie - [In reply to] Can't Post

- nice to catch up with you again.
.


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 7 2013, 10:10pm

Post #5 of 11 (206 views)
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Horses and pigeons and dogs, oh my! [In reply to] Can't Post

As a battalion Signal Officer Tolkien would be in charge of a menagerie. Of course pigeons would be used to carry messages. Dogs were sometimes used to carry messages as well, but were mostly used to shuttle the pigeons in cages attached to the dogs' back or sides. The pigeon loft itself was usually a horse-drawn vehicle. Horses were the prime movers of the Great War, so Tolkien would have draft horses to haul around not only the mobile lofts, but wagons full of wire and equipment to lay communication lines. (Unless it was near the front lines, in which case the stuff had to be carried on men's backs, usually while they crawled on their bellies, and probably under fire.)

Images of a carrier pigeon carrier dog (fifth image) and a mobile carrier pigeon loft (sixth image) here:

http://theimageworks.com/...malswwone/index.html

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 7 2013, 10:12pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 7 2013, 11:50pm

Post #6 of 11 (172 views)
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doh, I meant to say 'caught this question' // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Oct 8 2013, 12:49am

Post #7 of 11 (187 views)
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Love of horses and dogs go hand-in-hand in the Legendarium [In reply to] Can't Post

But I don't remember any pigeons... unless birds of any kind count - those are plentiful.

Now the question remains: what made him hate the poor cats? Tongue

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Oct 8 2013, 12:51am

Post #8 of 11 (173 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

That was educational. So he never trained horses. That's very logical: I was wondering why he was in such position.

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 8 2013, 1:26am

Post #9 of 11 (181 views)
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I'd suppose... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But I don't remember any pigeons... unless birds of any kind count - those are plentiful.

Now the question remains: what made him hate the poor cats? Tongue


...he hated them because they'd eat the pigeons.
;)

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 8 2013, 1:27am)


geordie
Tol Eressea

Oct 8 2013, 6:53am

Post #10 of 11 (147 views)
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you're welcome, Faenoriel// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


geordie
Tol Eressea

Oct 8 2013, 6:54am

Post #11 of 11 (271 views)
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Thanks for that, Darkstone// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

 
 

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