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Horses, Ponies, Wagons and Carts by NWRinger2
HORSES AND PONIES and WAGONS n CARTS:
By Deb White, Seattle, [NWRinger]
Can horses swim the Brandywine?
The Fellowship of the Ring, 112 the question of whether or not horses can cross the Brandywine River comes up at Buckleberry Ferry. We know that at least 1 hobbit pony can ride the ferry, as Merry takes his across on it when he searches for Frodo who is late to arrive; but there doesn’t seem to be an ability for them, either ponies or horses, to swim it at this point, they must go up to the Bridge or down to Sarn Ford, as Merry’s response to Frodo is: “Can horses cross the river?”
“They can go twenty miles north to Brandywine Bridge - or they might swim,” answered Merry, “Though I never heard of any horse swimming the Brandywine.”
HORSES N PONIES BY NAME, or if no name given, listed by Rider’s name:
Arod: the horse the Rohirrim give to Legolas - The Two Towers 35, etc; The Return of the King 50, 274
Arroch: Hurin’s horse of Dol Lomin - Unfinished Tales 70, The Children of Hurin 70
Asfolath: horse of Glorfindel, white, with bells, will not let rider fall out of saddle. It is Asfolath in the text who carries Frodo across the Ford when the Nazgul are washed away - The Fellowship of the Ring, 238
Bill: The pony, a pack horse, bought from Bill Ferny in Bree, which Sam comes to love, The Fellowship of the Ring, 314 -51,
The Return of the King, 297 etc
Black Horses, nine black horses ridden by Nazgul until they drown at the Ford outside of Rivendell; they are replaced by flying monsters similar to flying dragons, but not dragons. These black horses are trained to ‘see’ for the Nazgul who have poor eyesight. Horses, and other animals, are stolen or captured, then bred and trained to serve Sauron.
The Fellowship of the Ring, 249
Black Rider: a term used by the Hobbits when they see Nazgul in black robes riding black horses. This is the only way they know how to describe them as they as yet do not know the term ‘Nazgul’ or ‘Ringwraith’. The riders are not black men, but clearly of the white race: when Frodo puts on The Ring at Weathertop he sees their “white faces”, The Fellowship of the Ring, 221
Brego, In Peter Jackson’s film The Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers, Aragorn tames this horse, which Eowyn says was her cousin’s [Theodred’s?] Aragorn says “let this fellow go free, he has seen enough of war”. Later we assume in the film that it is Brego who revives Aragorn after he fell from the cliff, and Brego carries him to Helm’s Deep and on into the Paths of the Dead.
Per the book, Aragorn’s true horse is called Roheryn, [The Return of the King, 40, 45] but Roheryn is left in Rivendell until the Grey Company bring him to Aragorn prior to his entering the Paths of the Dead. It is Roheryn who makes
that journey. Being without a horse when they enter Rohan, Eomer gives Aragorn a grey horse named Hasufel, [The Two Towers, 35, The Return of the King, 34] Hasufel’s former owner, Garuf, died in a battle fighting orcs of Isengard the night before. Aragorn rides Hasufel until the Grey Company bring him Roheryn.
Bree: Butterbur states that even under normal circumstances, Bree has few riding horses or ponies, The Fellowship of the Ring, 202
Bumpkin: one of Merry’s ponies gathered for the journey, so named by Bombadil The Fellowship of the Ring 163-4, 262, 233-4
Carriages: the only mention of carriages [other than Lobelia’s Pony Trap] is at midnight when important folk leave Bilbo's Birthday party, The Fellowship of the Ring, 39
Cart: Readers should note the difference between a cart and a wagon when reading Tolkien. A cart has two wheels, where a wagon is larger and has four wheels. Most villagers have only carts.
The dwarves arrive in Hobbiton in an ‘odd wagon’ The Fellowship of the Ring 25
Gandalf rides a cart into town. The Fellowship of the Ring 25
Goods arrive at party in carts The Fellowship of the Ring, 27
Merry only had carts to carry Bagend’s belongings to Crickhollow. The Fellowship of the Ring 75, 76, 113
and Farmer Maggot has a wagon drawn by two ponies, The Fellowship of the Ring, 107
Cavalry: the largest is in Rohan, re-known for their horsemanship. It is sometimes referred to as the Riddermark. Gondor has a cavalry also, smaller and mostly styled after that of Rohan. The Dunedain also use horse maneuvers, but little they are few in number [around 30] so little is said of their ‘cavalry’. Elves did not use horses that often; but were fine riders. They tended to
ride without saddles. Dwarves and Hobbits usually fought on foot.
Dwarf riders: Despite the complaints of Gimli, dwarves do ride ponies. In The Hobbit, Thorin’s entire troop ride to Lonely Mountain.
But they are too small to ride full size horses so often ride behind others. In the text, Eomer and Legolas let Gimli ride with them.
Eotheod: The land along the upper Anduin River, near its source, that held the ancestors of the Rohirrim; this is where the greatest cavalry of Middle Earth begins to form.
1977-2510 3rd age, name of people in the north who later come south to become the Rohirrim,
They begin life recorded in Rhovanion which was south of Mirkwood
Then they migrate north to vales of the Anduin Valley, between East Road and Gladden fields
Then they migrate even further north between Misty Mts and Grey Mts - part of NW Mirkwood
Then, after aiding Gondor, they are given land to live in, in the south, and they found Rohan
Unfinished Tales 288-9, 294-8, 303-7, 311-13, 318
As for migration, see The Complete Tolkien Companion
Horsemen of north, Unfinished Tales, 299-302, 310
Eorl: the rider from Eothed, who first rode a Meara, and became a great ally to Gondor and was awarded the land of Rohan.
See Felarof
Fatty Lumpkin: Tom Bombadil’s horse, The Fellowship of the Ring, 163-4
Tom gathers Merry’s ponies and his own The Fellowship of the Ring 262, 233-4
Fatty is faster than he appears to be, The Fellowship of the Ring, 166
Felarof: horse of Eorl the Young, The Two Towers, 119, Unfinished Tales, 299, 314
Considered the first of the Mearas to be captured. He is a descendant of the horses of Bema [the maia], therefore a Meara. Felarof understood speech of Men. He was captured by Leod, an ancestor of the Rohirrim, but it caused his death. Eorl, Leod’s son, who was expected to slay the animal, instead, Eorl learned to ride him. Felarof’s burial is with Eorl at Barrowfield [2545 3rd age]. The Two Towers, 119. Unfinished Tales, 299, 314
Firefoot: horse of Eomer, which he invites Gimli to share The Two Towers, 138 The horses of the Rohirrim are strong and proud, tend to be grey and have braided manes and are well cared for, The Two Towers, 25
Grimma’s horse: In Peter Jackson’s films, Grimma rides into Isengard after Theoden is released from the spell Saruman cast upon him
The book no horse is named for Grimma Wormtongue but King Theoden gives him a horse to go where he pleases The Two Towers, 133 and 134, and later Grimma rides an “old tired horse” The Two Towers 195
Hasufel, Aragorn’s horse, given to him via Eomer, 3rd Marshal of the Mark [later King of Rohan] the horse is a grey, His former owner, Garuf, died in a battle with orcs of Isengard near the Anduin The Two Towers, 35, The Return of the King, 34
Later, The Grey Company [led by Halbarad] will bring Aragorn’s true horse, Roheryn, to him from Rivendale, The Return of the King 40, 45; see also: Brego
Hobbit Pony: first mentioned when the Hobbits see their first Nazgul along the road in Woody End, “…Round the corner came a black horse, no hobbit pony but a full sized horse” The Fellowship of the Ring 83,
Defined better when Merry’s ponies are in the shed, “…sturdy little beasts of the kind loved by Hobbits, not speedy, but good for a long day’s work.” The Fellowship of the Ring, 123
Horse lords, another term for the Rohirrim, re-known for their riding skills, The Fellowship of the Ring 294
Horsemen of the North: see Eothed, Eorl, ancestors of the Rohirrim
Lightfoot: from a poem, Snowmane’s mother, Snowmane is King Theoden’s horse The Return of the King, 119
Lobelia’s Pony Trap: Gandalf sees her riding away in it the day after Bilbo's Birthday Party. This is a type of two wheeled cart that is
made into a carriage. [https://www.google.com/search?q=pony+trap&hl=en&client=firefoxa&tbo=u&rls=org.mozilla:enUS:official&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7jfvUJW8FObmiwKP6YEo&sqi=2&ved=0CDwQsAQ&biw=986&bih=611]
I can just picture Gandalf’s cart and her Trap butting into each other along the Bywater Bridge. Wonder which would get the Right of Way first?! The Fellowship of the Ring, 43
Farmer Maggot’s Wagon: He has two stout ponies for his small wagon, in which the Hobbits ride from his farm to Buckleberry Ferry, The Fellowship of the Ring, 107
Merry’s ponies: prepared in Crickhollow to leave with Frodo via a conspiracy
These are probably gathered for him by his father, though the texts do not say this. It would be odd indeed for such princes as Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took , the sons of the Master of Buckland, and the Thain of the Shire, to just go off for a year without informing their prestigious parents. Undoubtedly, provisions would be gathered to assist them on such a journey. So, these ponies most likely belong to various Hobbits around the Shire, rather than being solely ‘Merry’s’.
There seem to be actually six of them, but they end up traveling with five. The Fellowship of the Ring, 120
Described as sturdy little beasts, The Fellowship of the Ring, 122
Fredegar turns back at the High Hay Gate, leaving them with just five ponies: The Fellowship of the Ring, 122-23
They are named by Bombadil, The Fellowship of the Ring, 163-64
1 Sharp Ears, 2 Wise Nose, 3 Swish Tail, and 4, Bumkin, 5. White Socks [remember, one is a pack horse]
And Bombadil’s own pony, Fatty Lumpkin
They carry the Hobbits all the way to Bree, but are scattered by the attack of the Nazgul that night,
The Fellowship of the Ring, 201
They roam back to Bombadil’s and meet up with Fatty Lumpkin. Then, when Bombadil learns of them, he sends them on the Bree, to be kept by Butterbur. The Fellowship of the Ring, 203
Merry also rides a pony when he finds Frodo at the Ferry, The Fellowship of the Ring 108 [a pony can ride the ferry]
Mearas, an ancient and advanced type of horse Unfinished Tales 219, 311, 314; The Two Towers 30, 119 etc
Felarof is one of the first of the Mearas of Rohan - long lived, they are thought to be descendants of the Bema’s [a maia] horses. They would accept no saddle, and allowed only a few to ride them. They also understood the language of men. Leod, an ancestor of the Rohirrim, first caught one, but died doing it. His son Eorl was expected to slay the animal, but instead, he rode him. Eorl founds Rohan and Mearas are kept there since that time. The most famous Meara is Shadowfax, ridden by Gandalf. Shadowfax is said to be the last of the Mearas*.
*Bema is also used as another term for Araw, which in Quenya is Orome.
Orome, the valar, is said to have brought Mearas and Araw [cattle] to Middle-earth
[not sure of this, though Christopher Tolkien says it, the Mera / Meara were ancestors of Shadowfax and Shadowfax is said to be the last of them]
There are many confusing terms associated with Mearas:
Horses: there are normal horses in Middle Earth, much like we know today. But Mearas were a more advanced and ancient breed of horse. It is not clear whether all horses were descendants of Mearas or an all together separate breed of animal. The legends and tales are not clear on this matter. Men, especially the early men along the upper Anduin, seem to be riding normal horses in the early ages. It seems that they were experienced riders when the first of the Mearas, Felarof, was
captured. Not easily tamed for riding, Mearas excepted no saddle, and could understand human languages.
Ponies: Hobbits and often dwarves, rode ponies, which were a smaller breed of regular horses.
Cattle: they are often found in farmland areas and villages, and are linked to the term ‘Araw’
Araw: esp Kine of Araw: mentioned only once or twice, this is a type of cattle prized by hunters in the early ages. It is an ancient term in Middle Earth, so little is known of them.
Bema: a maia who owned Mearas. Felarof, the first Mearas caught by men, was of this line of Mearas.
Orome: a valar who sought the Kine of Araw, and brought both Araw and Mearas to Middle Earth.
Eothed: the ancestors of the Rohirrim who lived along the upper Anduin River near its source.
Rohirrim: descendants of the Eothed, who became great riders and allies of Gondor.
Felarof: the first Meara captured my men of Eothed, and said to be of the line owned by Bema, the maia.
Shadowfax: the Meara ridden by Gandalf, said to be the last of the line of Mearas.
Nahar: the horse of Orome, a valar, Elves say his name is due to his voice, The Silmarillion, 29, 41, 49-50, 53, 76, 95
Prancing Pony: no reference in the tales to any particular horse or pony, it is just the name of the Inn at Bree. Butterbur states that even under normal circumstances, Bree has few riding horses or ponies, The Fellowship of the Ring, 202; the Stable keeper at the Prancing Pony is named Bob, and it is unlikely he was in cahoots with Bill Ferny.
Ponies: see Hobbit Ponies
Radagast’s horse: He is said to have a horse with him, not a wagon or cart, per Gandalf at Counsel of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring, 288 but the horse is not named or described in any way. There is no mention of a cart or wagon of any type. Radagast traveled rarely from his home near Mirkwood by the Anduin.
Riddermark: a term referring to the cavalry of Rohan
Rochallar: horse ridden by Fingolfin The Silmarillion 153
Roheryn: Aragorn’s own horse that is kept in Rivendell most of the time [don’t confuse with Brego] The Return of the King 40, 45
Saruman does not ride: It is interesting to note that Saruman is never reported as riding anything, not a horse, cart or wagon. Saruman is always walking. He walked from Isengard to the Shire it seems and was reported to walk about Fangorn, Isengard and Rohan. He surely must have had access to them. The only cavalry his army seems to have is Warg Riders, orcs upon giant wolf like creatures. The Two Towers, 32 “He walks here and there they say…” The Two Towers, 282 “…old man leaning on staff…’
Shadowfax: Gandalf’s horse, which he claims from the King’s horses in Rohan, seeking speed to return to the Shire and find Frodo
Shadowfax is a Meara, the last of them and King of horses of Rohan
The Fellowship of the Ring, 294, 297; The Two Towers 30, etc; The Return of the King 4, etc;
Unfinished Tales 314, 341, 364, 405
Sharp Ears: one of Merry’s ponies, so named by Bombadil The Fellowship of the Ring 163-4, 262, 233-4
Snowmane: King Theoden’s horse, also considered his bane, when during the battle of Pelenor, the horse falls upon Theoden
The Two Towers 138 The Return of the King 40, 119 “Faithful servant, yet Master’s bane Lightfoot’s foal, swift Snowmane”.
Strider, the pony: Frodo’s pony he rides home on after The Ring is destroyed The Return of the King, 336
Stybba: Merry’s pony, via Rohan; a stout pony prepared for him by Theoden The Return of the King 40, 70
Swish Tail: one of Merry’s so named by Bombadil The Fellowship of the Ring 163-4, 262, 233-4
Three Mystery Riders: mentioned at The Return of the King, page 4. Three mysterious riders pass Gandalf [with Pippin] in the night. Shadowfax, acting on his own, not per command of Gandalf, halts and waits for them to pass. Shadowfax neighs and they neigh in answer, so they must be friendly rather than enemies. It is rare for Shadowfax to halt for other horses, for he is the leader of horses. And it seems Gandalf does not recognize them, or at least the text does not say he does. Who could they be?
Wagon: Readers should note the difference between a cart and a wagon when reading Tolkien. A cart has two wheels, where a wagon is larger and has four wheels. Most villagers have only carts.
The dwarves arrive in Hobbiton in an ‘odd wagon’ The Fellowship of the Ring 25
Gandalf rides a cart into town. The Fellowship of the Ring 25
Goods arrive at party in carts The Fellowship of the Ring, 27
Merry only had carts to carry Bagend’s belongings to Crickhollow. The Fellowship of the Ring 75, 76, 113
and Farmer Maggot has a wagon drawn by two ponies, The Fellowship of the Ring, 107
White Socks: one of Merry’s, so named by Bombadil The Fellowship of the Ring 163-4, 262, 233-4
Windfola: a horse of Rohan, great grey steed ridden by Eowyn [and Merry] from Edoras to Minas Tirith, The Return of the King 71
Wise Nose: one of Merry’s so named by Bombadil The Fellowship of the Ring 163-4, 262, 233-4
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