Happy New Year 2020


Horse Goes Into The Trees

New Forest pony walking between Silver Birch trees
New Forest pony walking between Silver Birch trees - closeup

This is a follow-up to the post Why Does The Horse Hold Its Head Out Like That, about horses that hold their heads down and horses that hold their heads up. I found another photo of the horse in my stack of photos, and here it is. First there is the full frame of the horse going into the trees and then a close-up of the horse.

For those who followed my earlier post, you can clearly see the reflective neck band in the close-up photo here.

What is the angle of the head and neck of this horse relative to its body?

I would like to go back to the New Forest and spend time looking at the horses, noticing whether they generally hold their heads forward rather than up.

This thing of looking closely, paying attention, and noticing things – I have found this to be one of the big enjoyments in life.

To get back to my original question, did I observe an actual ‘feature’ about head angle between different breeds of horses?

Or was it just the way I happened to photograph the horses?

I asked on a forum and got some replies:

The term for this in the horse world is “head carriage” or “headset.” There are a lot of things that affect what position a horse’s head will be in at any given point in time: there certainly are breed tendencies in conformation to be “high headed” (e.g., Arabians, Friesians, or standardbreds) or “low headed” (quarterhorses, some draft horses, many pony breeds) and they are selectively bred for those traits. Breeds also vary in terms of their neck length, which can affect how high the head seems to be carried, even if the angle is the same. Training and exercise can either enhance or attempt to counteract the horse’s natural tendency. Finally, whatever the horse is doing or thinking in the moment someone captures an image will affect where their head is.  (Kathryn Litherland, a horse rider from Knoxville, MD)

I also learned about cresty neck, a deposit of fat around the neck that may be indicative of an underlying disease, or may simply be that the horse is overweight.

Broken-Down Fence

You may have noticed a broken-down fence in the first photograph. I said in the previous post that the New Forest is unfenced (except where is meets major roads), and that is true. There are however also Commoners’ houses dotted about in the New Forest. That may be what the fence belongs to, I didn’t look in that direction at the time.

Or it may be that a particularly dense part of the forest has been fenced off because it is a danger to animals. Maybe next time when Tamara and I go, we will get a chance to look.

It’s called the New Forest, but there are big stretches of open ground as well, like here:

White pony on open ground in the New Forest

Post Format: Image vs Standard

Read this first

Between posting this a few minutes ago and now, I have changed the theme to the new TwentyTwenty theme. It doesn’t have the same post format options, but it allows full-width images within Gutenberg editor – just like the previous theme (the one I was using before McKinley) allowed.

With that out of the way – read on!

Before Gutenberg

Does anyone recall what the Post Format options looked like in the Classic editor before Gutenberg? Maybe someone is still using the Classic editor?

An iris against a dark background.

I changed themes a couple of days ago and I thought that this new theme (McKinley) could not display images that stretch across the page. Then I noticed the ‘Post Format’ option.

I simply never think about post format and use ‘Standard’ all the time.

I changed the post format to ‘Image’ and for this theme at least, it allows for full width images. If I keep the document in Standard format, the image is narrower – like this:

Which just goes to show that I have published hundreds of posts without ever thinking of the post format options, even though I know they exist.

Does anyone recall what the options look like in the Classic editor before Gutenberg?

Here’s what the options look like in the back end:

Iris against a dark background

I ‘manufactured’ the photo at the top of this post, of an iris against a dark background. The original is an iris against an out-of-focus jumble of greenery. It looked a mess and so I darkened everything and then painted in the rest to make this composition.


Lost In Thought

Man with green face lost in thought

Strange that when I changed the theme just now and posted this with only the photo, it (the photo) doesn’t show up except in the single post.

Let’s see whether adding text kicks it into showing the photo.

No, still not.

OK – changed the theme again. All OK now.

Aha, I think it is a problem with WordPress not syncing or clearing the cache or something, and probably not a theme problem at all. I say that because when I look in another browser, the text ends with ‘No, still not.’ and doesn’t pick up the next short paragraph. Will it pick up this paragraph now?


Plane Trees, Pembroke College, Cambridge

A line of London plane trees, Pembroke College, Cambridge, winter 2019

How Will He Get Out?