I completely and utterly love horses. I adore their soft velvety noses, their sweet smelling hay and carroty breath, their stature, their prowess and their exquisite beauty. I also really love riding them which started when I was very, very young and still hasn't left the system, you could say it's in my blood.
I'm not really a horsey type (or maybe I am?) and have not owned my own since I was a child, but horses have been a part of my life for over 30 years in one way or another. I rode a friends horse today, a sturdy little grey, a grumpy sort who would rather be turned out at grass - and even though it was pouring with rain, the grin that spread over my wind and drizzle swept face as we cantered through a meadow, makes my adrenaline levels rise just a little thinking about it. Horses spell freedom to me. The speed, the uncertainty, the outdoors and seeing the world from a different and organic level. Oh my, I love horses.
I have ridden cross country at break neck speed, across a Mexican beach, through villages and sugar plantations in Cuba, I have show jumped in Greece, been a groom in Lambourn, I have hunted with hounds, ridden bare back, been a cow girl in Brazil for months, asked for rides at a horse fair in India, swam horses in rivers and even in the jungles of Zaire. I have ridden babies and old school masters, played polo, polo crosse, competed in teams - you name it and I have had a go, not been very good at any of the sports but guaranteed that a wide smile would inhabit my face every time.
The kids? Am I encouraging horses? No way Jose! Have you seen how much they cost? Have you seen the price of riding lessons and the amount of kit involved? No, horses are my personal passion, a little something for me that brings a lot of happiness - unless they beg and plead and insist that their life could not be full without horses - then I would understand, give in and revel at discovering horses all over again.