Sunday, 20 May 2007

My kingdom for a horse!

Today was a 'horsey' day. Big horses, fat horses, little horses and naughty horses. We own three horses. I use the term loosely here because in actuality, the girl child 'owns' three horses, her father and I just foot the bills! She has been riding since before she was born - really! When I discovered I was pregnant with her I was so annoyed since I'd just started getting back into my own riding that I refused to stop until it became obvious to everyone (myself included) that, at seven and a half months it was almost impossible to get OFF the horse. Getting on was a piece of cake, getting off required the services of two grooms and a husband and a great deal of patience from the horse, an elderly retired police horse who seemed to understand these things and would stand stock still while I descended in a heap, hanging round his neck with attending helpers balancing the front bit so I didn't fall on my face (gravity being generally towards the front by that stage!).

We've all heard the theories that playing Mozart to your unborn child gives you a good chance of having a future musical genius, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when her first word was 'WORSE' and not the usual mummum or dada. As soon as she could stand she demanded her rights to ride and would sit on my horse in front of me while the groom led us down to the stables. At age three she had her first official riding lesson and by four did her first lead rein class in a proper show. And it was all downhill for her dad's cheque account from there!

Over the years she's had some very special ponies and horses - starting from a dinky little part shetland painted pony of 10 hands to the current favourite, another painted horses standing over 16 hands with a jump to match. Officially named Castle Rock, he rocks to the name of Elvis with a real rock star swagger. We also have a semi retired chestnut thoroughbred mare called Amanita who does stunning dressage but is a bit of a lunatic in the jumping arena and her last pony before she grew too tall, a super little Arab gelding that I bred myself and that is as much a part of the family as my children. His name is Al Lahab and there is still a special bond between the two of them. He was the one who taught her all the 'tricks' of riding (literally, he knew them all!) and made her into the tactful and thoughtful rider she is today.

As you can tell, I have a deep love for horses. It's very satisfying to see the girl child achieving in her riding what I was never talented enough to do myself. If I sound proud it's because I am!

Anyone for coffee?


Deirdre said...

Hello Janyne: Love your horse story. You should be very proud of your daughter. Dont know about Arabian, horses they tend to be a wee bit spooky. I like the gentler Hanoverian for dressage. Deirdre

Jayne :) said...

Hi Deirdre

The Arab was pretty useless for dressage - not through spookiness but rather through laziness and boredom! He didn't like showing classes too much either but was very enthusiasic about cross country! lol

We don't get many Warmbloods in Zambia, mostly we use Thoroughbreds. Quite often once they have done with racing - it's quite a challenge!