The letters page of the November 1 1947 edition of Horse & Hound brought attention to what one reader, WJ Middleditch of Swansea, referred to as the rapid decline in the art of falling off horses.

He or she opined, “The fear of being thrown is the cause of the great increase in cruel and often futile contraptions for the reduction of the horse’s spirit; those using them not knowing, or caring, that a horse without spirit is no real horse at all.”

The author knew his/her onions, adding, “My name came first to my people because of the frequency and facility with which the members of my family could fall off horses and, more often that not, into ditches. It was by way of being proverbial that if one Middleditch or other wasn’t falling into one ditch or another, he or she was crawling out of it, but always unbroken.”

You can read more readers’ wisdom from 77 years ago here.

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