Author(s): Carolyn Mincham
Horses hold a special place in the hearts and minds of many New Zealanders. Through historical and contemporary detail and anecdote, and utilising a wide range of old and new photographs and images, Carolyn Mincham tells the captivating story of the horse in New Zealand. She explores the cultural significance of horses in life and society, how they continue to play a role in how we define ourselves as a nation and how our relationship with them has changed over time. She tells of the first horse to reach our shores in Northland, of the reliance placed on horses by the early settlers and the quick uptake by local Maori of the valuable skills offered by the journey horse, and of the cart-horse, the pit pony and the Clydesdale. As society became more established, horse breeding and the racehorse rose in prominence, the school pony ferried local kids to school, the city horse pulled transom cabs, the warhorse led the mounted rifle corps, while station hacks worked on the land and the New Zealand Pony Club grew to become one of the largest youth sporting organisations in the country. This is a true story of attitude and heart - qualities regarded as essential in any horse - racehorse, farm horse, carriage horse and ponies alike.
Carolyn Mincham grew up in Ontario, Canada and worked both there and in New Zealand, teaching art history, but she has always had a strong interest in horses. Her doctoral thesis on the social history of the horse in New Zealand forms the basis for this book. Carolyn has presented conference papers on the horse, been interviewed on national radio and participated in symposiums on folklore and the horse, and covering topics as diverse as making the case for a 'national horse' in New Zealand, horse training and breeding issues, and aspects of the urban horse. She attends horse events throughout the country and teaches riding at her local equestrian centre. She lives, with her own horse, Minnie, at Pukekohe, near Auckland.