Foto Friday: Millennia old hillside chalk carvings of horses in England


Though many forms of geoglyphs have existed in England for millennia, horses became the country’s most prominent choice of hillside chalk carvings. DAVE PRICE/CC BY-SA 2.0
Though many forms of geoglyphs have existed in England for millennia, horses became the country’s most prominent choice of hillside chalk carvings. DAVE PRICE/CC BY-SA 2.0

England’s Centuries-Old Fascination With Carving Giant Horses Into Hillsides

The country’s unbridled enthusiasm for the trend even inspired the creation of the term “leucippotomy.”


ENGLAND (Atlas Obscura, July 20, 2017) — AFTER AN ANCIENT CARVING OF a horse appeared on a hill three millennia ago, giant white horses became a symbol of England’s southeastern region. Dozens of horse-shaped geoglyphs—massive figures made by cutting into a hillside to reveal the layers of chalk beneath—were created over the years. Many of these enormous equines still exist today, though the exact origins of the trend remain mysterious.

Most of these gigantic archaeological artworks are located in the country’s southeastern areas because of the breadth of chalk downland, or hills, that stretch across the region. The white geoglyphs stand in stark contrast to the verdant landscapes they dominate—so much so, they often had to be covered or camouflaged during World War II so the German Air Force couldn’t use them as location markers to aid navigation.

The chalk horses became so prominent they inspired Morris Marples, a mid-20th century author, to coin the term “leucippotomy” to describe the specialized art of carving white horses into hillsides. Britain currently has 16 known white hill horses, but it once had many more that were lost to years of neglect that caused their once-prominent profiles to fade from sight. Read more »

Get Buck

Buck Brannaman. Google search result. Unattributed image.
Buck Brannaman. Google search result. Unattributed image.

ABOUT HORSES — Get “Buck” the movie. “Buck”, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Buck Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses.

The movie “Buck” will teach you so much about horses, even if you already know a lot about them. For people who love horses but have never had one, it will reveal the inner workings of the equine mind and demonstrate their incredible sensitivities.

Most importantly you will learn how to interact with horses in a kind and confident manner.

Every advocate should see the movie “Buck” because of the unique insights it gives about what is abusive to a horse, how our behavior impacts a horse’s behavior, then how to better it no matter who you are and how long you’ve been around them.

Buck the movie, cover.

Buy it, stream it, check it out from your local Library. We saw it recently at Walmart. Please get it and watch it. Gift it. You will always be happy you did.

Stream it on Amazon — $3.99.

Buy it at Amazon — On sale for $9.98.

Get it on Blu-Ray  — On sale for $10.99.

Prices at time of posting.

Putting it together: Our Reading List for Summer 2017

SUMMER 2017 — The time of year when we put together our Summer Recommended Reading List is fast approaching.

Our list is usually a combination of continuing favorites with a new book or two added into the mix.

Along with William Shatner’s new book this one is looking really good to us.

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

by Elizabeth Letts; August 2016; Hardcover $11.85
• Buy it now »

About the Book

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find — his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine — an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.

Buy The Perfect Horse now from
Click image to buy it now from

New York Times Bestseller | From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion


“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Hard to put down . . . One need not be an equestrian or horse lover in order to appreciate this story.”—New York Journal of Books

“The Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.”—Culturess

Related Reading

Reading List for Summer 2016

Love Story — William Shatner and his new book ‘Spirit of the Horse’

ABOUT HORSES — Jaym Gates of NPR Illinois writes a cool review of William Shatner’s book called “Spirit of the Horse: A Celebration of Fact and Fable” stating:

I think there are two things that unite horse people above all else: love of a complex animal, and a deep appreciation for story.

From the first words of Spirit of the Horse, it’s clear that this is a man who is wonderfully, hopelessly in love with the creatures. He weaves his own anecdotes and memories with fables, excerpts from old training manuals, and other legacies to create something that is part memoir, part question: Why do horses have such a hold on humans? What about them captures us so intently?

William Shatner's 'Spirit of the Horse' Book cover. Copyright Amazon. Click to shop.
William Shatner’s ‘Spirit of the Horse’ Book cover. Copyright Amazon. Click to shop.

The Amazon description reads:

From his first time riding as a child, William Shatner has felt a deep love for horses. Whether seated in the saddle, communicating with them, or simply appreciating their beauty, his bond with these majestic animals is deep. For decades he has sought to share his joy―with children, veterans, those with disabilities, and many more―through his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show. And here, he brings that same joy to his fans and readers.

In Spirit of the Horse, the Star Trek and Boston Legal legend speaks from the heart about the remarkable effect horses have had on his life and on the lives of others. From his first horse, bought impulsively on the advice of a twelve-year-old, to his favorite horses, acquired after many years of learning what to look for, this book draws from Shatner’s own experience and pairs it with a wealth of classic horse stories, including unique retellings of the Pegasus myth and the feats of the most famous war horses throughout history. The result is a celebration that captures the unparalleled connection between humans and horses―and the power, courage, mindfulness, and healing that they can inspire in us.

What a wonderful book to give for Father’s Day to that horse loving Dad in your life. Or any horse lover.

Will Mr. Shatner’s “Spirit of the Horse” make it on our list of Top Five Recommended Horse Books this summer? Hmmm. We’re betting it will. Watch for our new list coming soon in June.

In the meantime, get the book here. List price at time of writing: Hard Cover. $17.95. Kindle: $12.99.

From Book Cover.