Hillmoor Farm & Horse Whispering
Hillmoor farm which can be found in the small village of Eaton in the county of Cheshire is famous in many parts of the world due to the Shire horses which have been bred here over the years. My Brother-in-law Mr Philip Moss has been breeding Shire horses all his life, as did his Father before him, this has resulted in an exceptional bloodline and horses have been exported to America, Canada, Sweden, Norway, France, Holland and Australia with the Hillmoor prefix.
Horse Whispering is said to be a technique or a means of communicating with a horse which seems to exert some sort of magical power over the animal. I have spoken in length with Mr Moss on this subject and he was able to relate to me a story concerning the art of Horse Whispering which was taught to one of his relatives by the Gypsies who once lived in this area. His relative was well known in the area as having an extensive knowledge and the ability to control any horse that he came into contact with, unfortunately he has now passed away without divulging the secrets that were given to him. This tends to reinforce my belief and also my Brother-in-laws, that when one receives information regarding the art of Horse Whispering that information is not allowed to be given out freely, almost as if the information is guarded by a secret society like Freemasonry.
In the North East of Scotland this was certainly the case, the groups who held this knowledge formed into Masonic style guilds, with secret handshakes, passwords and salutes.
Another form of control that was used along with Whispering was that of Jading, this involved the mixing of various concoctions which created strong smells, these would have a dramatic influence over the way a person could control a horse as the horse has an acute sense of smell. One such concoction consisted of a mixture of oils of Origanum, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Fennel. The handler of the horse would smear this mixture on his forehead and stand upwind of the horse, the horse would then be attracted to the smell and approach him, rubbing a dead Moleskin on something would have the opposte effect in driving the horse away.
The V shaped band of horn on the underside of a horses hoof is called a “Frog”, this has a magical connection to a bone which can be found in a Toad, when this bone is removed from the Toad and certain rituals performed it would give the possessor a certain degree of control over a horse.
With the advent of mechanisation many Horse Whisperers disappeared around the 1930s, but it is my belief that there is still parts of the country where this art is still alive today. I am sure that one of those places would be Appleby in Cumbria where once a year a Horse Fair is held and is attended by many Gypsies from all over the country.
Hillmoor farm in the Dane valley and home to a famous bloodline of Shire horses.