When I was little I had a vast stable of imaginary horses to choose from, and burned up happy hours daydreaming about this or that pretend Arabian or Hanoverian and winning races and Olympic gold medals etc etc. Lately I’ve realised that that was a far better use of my thoughts than fretting about US politics, the rise of extreme right-wingers or world-wide financial crises.
In the light of this revelation, I’m picking out real horses that I want to buy (pending lottery wins, the book becoming a runaway bestseller, pots of gold turning up in my cellar and so on).
First up, Dan at the Darley Stud’s racehorse retraining programme. The Makhtoums have invested in a facility in Suffolk to care for and re-home geldings that are no longer raced. The horses have a six month wind-down in a field before being schooled as riding horses, and eventually starting new lives. All I know about Dan is that he’s 15.3hh and has a touch of the Exmoor pony about the nose, and that’s good enough for me.
(Do indulge in the story section, which gives updates on graduates of the Darley rehabilitation scheme – eg “Craftmaster is now a true family horse. He has hunted, been to pony club camp and practically lives in the kitchen!” – and much cheer on a gloomy autumn morning. The photos in the gallery are beautiful too.)