The objective of my studies is to find, research and record indigenous equine sports and the culture surrounding them before they become extinct or are changed for some reason, such as tourism.

In most countries horses have already been replaced by the internal combustion engine and many equine traditions as well as skills - riding, training and making saddlery, have disappeared.  In West Africa it is ‘cool’ to have a motor-cycle, not a horse; yet not so many years ago, horsemen ruled the Sahel.

I started my research in Afghanistan in 1972. I found documentaries and articles about Buzkashi tended to concentrate on the roughness of the game, rather than the training of the players and horses, the place in society of the players and the unwritten rules which helped to make it a little safer.  Whilst in Afghanistan, I heard about a game in Turkey and realised that there were many largely unrecorded horse sports in parts of Asia and Africa.

I have tried to concentrate on places where there is an oral tradition, the people were or still are nomadic (the two often go together), or countries not associated with equine skills.  I am interested in the horseman’s place and role in the local culture.  Most of the sports I have come across so far were used for training cavalry in the type of warfare conducted in that particular part of the world.

Besides the traditional horse sports, I also hope to show that there are many different types of horsemanship with no specific one being better than any other.


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For lectures and talks about horse sports in Africa and Asia, please contact me.