Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Some people are horse people. The same way people are dog people, or cat people. My dad is a horse person. He grew up with horses. He rode, and later raced them, as trotters (clearly he is not of jockey stature). As did his father, and his father's father. They were a horse family. He had quite a nasty fall while racing when my brother and I were very little. I can't remember if that was what made him give it away.
As children we used to go up to the stables with dad to feed the horses. We would balance on the side of the big drums of chaff, body and arms in, legs sticking out, scooping up the chaff to feed to the horses. My cousin had a horse out on his farm, growing up. His name was Socks. Because he looked like he was wearing socks. What a treat it was to drive out to the farm and have a ride on Socks. I spent my twenty first birthday on the other side of the world with a very dear friend of mine. We celebrated by horse riding through the beautiful countryside of Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. My girlfriend was petrified of the horse. It was fabulous.
I can't say I have ever been really comfortable with horses. I am in such awe of their grace and stature, their beauty and intelligence. Such brilliant animals. I held these photos back from our birthday outing a few weeks ago. I was so rapt when I saw them on the computer. I loved watching dad with the horses at the farm. He has such an ease with them. And it was obvious they trusted him with this firm, but gentle touch. And he looks just like my grandfather in these photos. Something he cannot see, perhaps will not see. The older he gets the more and more I see pa in dad. My grandfather was a wonderful, wonderful man. He had many faults, as do we all, but an enormous heart. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.