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Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry

Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry

Author:Marguerite Henry
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Aladdin


For centuries the Suffolk men have bred Suffolk horses for the fields of Suffolk. Today’s farmer may own a tractor, but more than likely he has a Suffolk Punch, too. And his father before him owned a team of Suffolks for every fifty of his acres, and his grandfather before him drove three Suffolks without rein, hitching one ahead of another. And his great-grandfather worked side by side with Suffolks. And so on back for generations the Suffolk man and his chestnut horse together have made eastern England a land rich in grains and grasses.

The Suffolk Punch is the oldest of the draft breeds, and the only reason there are not more of them in other parts of England and in other parts of the world is that the Suffolk countryman wanted a specialized farm horse for his own farmland. He produced the Suffolk to till his own lands and harvest his own crops, and seldom was there any surplus of horses to sell.

To look at the Suffolk is to know at once he is different from all other draft breeds. He is shorter-legged than the Shire or the Clydesdale, and he has a rounded-up body, a rotund plumpness which the English describe as a “punched-up” look; hence his name, Suffolk Punch. He is not so hairy as the other breeds, either. In fact, there is always a clipped and silky neatness about him as if he had just been groomed.

Other horses would starve and grow gaunt if worked all day long without stopping for the nosebag at noon. But the Suffolk Punch stays sleek and fat on two meals a day—one in the morning and one at night. Between times he goes out to plow or plant or cultivate or mow, depending on the season. And always he walks at a good swinging pace, seemingly enjoying the springiness of the earth. He is not an especially airy walker, but he steps over the nests of skylarks as cautiously as if he knew the treasure they hold.



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