Friday, June 19, 2015

Peter J. Hurst, World Equestrian & Poet

Poet and equestrian Peter J. Hurst was born and raised in England. He has worked over 50 years dedicated to horses. A true world horseman, advocate for orphaned foals, now a published poet, Peter knows the value of horses. In 1997, Peter created, a program dedicated to helping orphan foals obtain the colostrum they need to survive.

Recently Peter released his first poetry collection Horse Daze: My Time with Horses, which is inspired by horses and the people who care for them. Peter was unaware his love of horses would lead him to poetry that began during his long nights when foaling out mares. “I truly believe this book will appeal to many that involve themselves with horses and, who knows, may become a best seller in its field,” Peter writes.

Welcome Peter…

It is a great honor to interview you. Thank you for connecting and collaborating! Congratulations on your new poetry release! When did you begin writing poetry?
I really didn’t make a note as to when I wrote my first poem. I only know that one night in my boredom and needing to stay awake waiting for a mare to foal I occupied the time by writing words that rhymed about my time with horses and the people associated with them. It wasn’t until a few years back I decided to put those I wrote into a book for others to enjoy and relate to. My inspiration to write is often triggered when being around horses or just seeing others enjoying horses.

Please share one of your favorite poems from Horse Daze: My Time with Horses
I favor all my poems because each relates a true meaning, but the following takes preference as it makes a statement to a controversial issue… Slaughter is a process we all too often turn a blind eye, although I am not completely against it as we are the makers of our own demise but because our animals for consumption are labelled slaughter this should not give reason to inhumanly abuse them. They and our horses deserve some dignity, for without our horse we would not be where we are today. How soon we forget and how easy it is to excuse them as just animals. 

This poem I hope leaves thought to the next time a saddle is girthed or cinched…


We love our horses or so we say.
But how many horses do we betray?
The trust they have is honest and true,
something we find so difficult to do.
We enjoy the horses within our care,
when others slip by in troubled despair.
We love our horses or so we say.
So why so many do we betray?

When was your first equine experience?
I was thirteen when I became dazed by the horse. I was on holiday with my parents when I noticed a group of riders enjoying the beach and riding into the oncoming waves with their horses. Two days later I was enjoying the same and from there on became infatuated with horses.

Fifty years of horses and still counting. What has been the greatest event of your horsemanship career?
My greatest event was handling the stallions at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada where Northern Dancer was born and where my wife and I were employed working for Mr E.P.Taylor. 

Any horse would be lucky to be in your stable. What breed do you prefer?
I like all breeds, but Thoroughbreds are my preference because I have always been interested in their bloodlines and demeanor. I have only had one horse of my own and that was an Irish hunter that I would hunt to hounds and compete in hunter trials.

Do you have advice for novice riders and those seeking to purchase their first horse?
My advice to a novice rider would be not to trot before you can walk. To always be confident and enjoy the challenges you encounter. Learn from your horse and take advice cautiously.

Buying a horse is the easy part, caring for it is costly. I found it better to work for those that could afford them, this gave me the best of both worlds to enjoy them and be paid for doing so.  Sharing a horse and the cost is an alternative. 

Describe and how we can help you to help orphaned foals...
Cyberfoal is the only internet free service helping horse breeders help horse breeders when colostrum is available or needed and nurse mares of the same. It provides a central location that if completely supported would leave no foal without colostrum or a natural companion.

The service is available 24/7 365 days and on occasion has been used by Australian breeders. The best way to support this voluntary service is to freely promote it to equine vet clinics and media. My policy is not to pay to advertise as I depend solely upon the good will of others to support it. Plus, I do it because I truly care for the orphan foals that receive little recognition for the hardship they must endure.

You are an inspiration to many; equestrians, poets, and more. Would you like to add anything else?
If this is an inspiration to others and especially those with type-one diabetes, being one myself since the age of nineteen. I have not allowed this misfortune to interfere with my commitment and involvement to my horse profession and by doing so has been fortunate to live a healthy existence thanks to the support of my horse associates. I am sixty-seven retired and yes miss my horses but you can never take the horse away from the man, when the man has fond memories of the horse.

What does horsemanship mean to you?
Horsemanship is to love, commit, understand and always be patient 24/7. Horse sense comes naturally if you are fortunate. Horses have always been my first priority and I have a family that understands those priorities.

Connect with Peter…

Peter J. Hurst’s Horse Daze began at a young age. The start to his career began at the age of 15 at White’s Riding Stables, London. As he grew older, his passion for horses took him to Buckinghamshire and The Old Berkeley Hunt as second horseman. From there, Peter became interested in Thoroughbred breeding where he was able to learn foaling and mare management and later to become stallion handler at Aston Park Stud, Oxfordshire, England.   

Working professionally with hunters, jumpers, and breeding thoroughbreds, his appreciation of horses increased, and he knew that he would spend his entire professional life taking care of horses in one capacity or another. With his vast horseman experience, Peter immigrated to Canada, employed to handle the stallions at Mr. E.P.Taylor's, Windfield Farms in Oshawa, Ontario. He then had the opportunity to move out west to the breeding division of Elmbrook Farms. Nr Edmonton, AB and later to manage Winsong Farm in Devon, AB. Peter’s last employment of twenty-one years before retiring was managing Clayborne Farm, for the Riddell family in Calgary, AB. Pete is now retired on picturesque Gabriola Island, BC, with his wife Terry and their two dogs, Skita and Abbey.  

Horse Daze: My Time with Horses is a collection of poems that examines every aspect of a life lived surrounded by horses—trusting, intelligent, and caring animals that will change your life if you let them. With accompanying photos that capture both their majesty and vulnerability, this is a collection that will more than satisfy the interests of anyone who already loves horses, and nurture enthusiasm in those who have yet to discover their appeal.

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