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.


  1. Ana
    Thank you for this double treat; blog with pictures. Of course Annette is beautiful, just as I knew she would be. My attempts at learning to ride are next to nothing but I adore horses in all forms, in every way. I think my love for them stems from a childhood of watching my dear late father playing polo.

  2. Thank you, Shermeen. My grandfather was a keen polo player, a sport he took up when he was serving in the British Indian Army.

  3. ARIEL. By Sylvia Plath.

    Stasis in darkness.
    Then the substanceless blue
    Pour of tor and distances.

    God's lioness,
    How one we grow,
    Pivot of heels and knees! - The furrow

    Splits and passes, sister to
    The brown arc
    Of the neck I cannot catch,

    Berries cast dark
    Hooks -

    Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
    Something else

    Hauls me through air -
    Thighs, hair;
    Flakes from my heels.

    Godiva, I unpeel -
    Dead hands, dead stringencies.

    And now I
    Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
    The child's cry

    Melts in the wall.
    And I
    Am the arrow,

    The dew that flies
    Suicidal, at one with the drive
    Into the red

    Eye, the cauldron of morning.

  4. the pretty lady and ann. :).. for a horse-no-brainer, i really like the idea of the whole thing :)

  5. Your hunting blog bade me re-visit this one, and I just have to say how very, very lovely Annette is. One must take pride in something so lovely. I've done a very little bit of amateur GT racing--which is good fun, but thee's nothing more noble that a horse, I've always felt this way--and every time I'm about to move to a densely populated place, as I'm about to do--I rather bemoan the fact I'll be surrounded by so many people and so few horses. If only the people were locked up in stables and the horses walked with impunity down the high street--what a better world it would be.

  6. Thanks, Adam. I love her to bits. :-)