Oct. 1st, 2007

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In 25 years of horseriding, I've only ever come across three horses who were interesting enough to ride that I wouldn't mind owning them and riding them all the time.

Henry - a bastard of a grey gelding, who kicked and bit both people and other horses and was as likely to buck you off as do what he was told. I got on brilliantly with him and he never threw me, but there was always that sense of unpredicability that thrilled me even at the age of 11.

Flyer - a gorgeous chestnut youngster I came across on holiday once. I rode him several times throughout the week and he was absolutley lovely - keen, fun, and with lots to learn. The staff at the stables actually asked me to buy him so that he would be saved from a life of endless holidaymakers, but sadly that wasn't possible.

Bronson - a skewbald Clydesdale-cross, with feet far too big for him and a tendency to fall over himself. He came to Landlord's Farm when I was at the peak of my riding abilities, and everyone said he'd never amount to much. But he had the biggest heart of any horse I've ever ridden and was so eager to please that I was determined to prove them wrong, and I did. By the time I went to university, Bronson could jump and do dressage, and was considered one of the best horses at the school.

Anyway, the point of this rather self-indulgent nostalgia-fest is that Kiara has now taken the number four slot in the list of horses I wouldn't mind owning. I rode her for the fourth time yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every time, I feel as if I understand her a little better, and ride her a little better, but she always teaches me something new and I get the feeling there's a lot more to her that I haven't discovered yet. I'd love to try her out in the school or go on a gallop hack so that I could really let her go. Normally, on going to a stable regularly, I would request a different horse each time to get some variety, but now I'd be very diappointed if I turned up at Wayside Stables to discover that Kiara wasn't my partner for the ride.

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