Collections at the Museum of the Horse
The Collection includes anything of interest that was in some way functional and connected with horses. The earliest pieces date from 600 BC and include antique saddles, antique bridles, antique bits, antique stirrups. antique horse shoes, harness, working horse equipment, pit pony equipment and antique veterinary equipment.
There is also an antique clothing department including antique riding boots over two hundred years old.
There is a wonderful collection of horse show badges which contribute to telling the story of how the Hunter's improvement Society was formed and who was involved. There are items from many countries. Well worth a visit!
What will you see if you visit us?
There is a collection of over 400 horse bits from around the world, the oldest being over 2000 years old.
There are over 170 stirrups and 100 spurs, the oldest of these being Roman.
The saddle collection begins in the 17thC and has over 50 saddles. The American section includes Native American pieces, Cowboy gear and military items. There is even a collection of early American barbed wire which was known as ‘The fall of The Cowboy’ because the invention of it eliminated many of the cowboy’s jobs.
There is racing memorablilia, and there are competition and horse show items. The military section includes a gas mask for a horse.
There are carriage driving accoutrements and the heavy horse section includes harness from England, Scotland and Europe as well as interesting boat horse harness.
Appropriately for the area, where there was so much mining, there is a selection of pit pony equipment including a very rare killing hood, sadly essential in pit conditions..
The veterinary and stable management section has some rather goulish treatments that would make your hair curl today! There were some great methods for administering medicine, now mostly done by syringe today. The clothing section includes side saddle habits and old coaching clothes as well as some superb old boots..
There is a fully indexed reference library, the indexes are available to see on the screen in the museum. Books may be selected from this and a reading room provided to study the selected books. Books are not available for removal from the museum.