Sunday 31 January 2010
Ana and Annette
I’ve been riding, as I’ve written before, for a good part of my life, beginning when I was six years old. I simply love everything associated the horses, even the basic chores. Over the years I could not honestly say who many hours I have spent in stables and on horseback, including a couple of dedicated riding holidays; a lot, anyway.
I’ve learned to love a variety of horses, including Viking, a beautiful appaloosa father bought for mother when I was in mid-teens. But when I was eighteen I was given my own horse as a present for doing so well in my A levels: she is Annette, my wonderful Andalusian
I joke about her sometimes with my friends, fellow horse enthusiasts, saying that I’m never quite sure if I own her or she owns me, but there is an element of truth even in jest. She has a personality of her own, a character even more determined than mine. If she’s not keen of something she soon lets me know! Oh, but she moves beautifully; we move beautifully together.
We go riding every weekend, weather permitting, a nice long hack over some lovely bridle paths close to the stables in Sussex where she is liveried. I continue to practice my jumping with her, though I no longer go in for the sort of county show stuff that I did in my mid-teens; there is simply not enough time. Annette and I have been to hunt meets also, something she loves as much as me; I enjoy the company of other riders; she enjoys the company of other horses! She does not like me to get too familiar with other mounts, though, oh no. If I do I’m liable to feel a sharp nudge in my back!
Riding is such a part of my life; I cannot imagine being the person I am without it; cannot imagine being without Annette.