This episode of “Why Horses?” Wednesday is brought to you courtesy of every child who believed with all their heart in The Black Stallion, and who remains indebted as an adult to Walter Farley.
If we squint, the hill becomes desert, the horse an Arabian stallion (squint hard), and we are flying across the dunes in the race of our lives.
Not much squinting to see the speed here, but imagine the saddle gone and your fingers tangled in his mane, racing through the breakers.
The bottom photo is Pops (you were right!). I took this at the first schooling show of his new dressage career. The judge rang the bell, and Pops went wild. He was looking for the starting gate. After a brief temper tantrum about slowing down near X, Katherine did manage to salute the judge in a blur of white glove, and they rocketed through Test 1 in under 30 seconds. He’s as big as he looks, and moves even bigger. I believe the judge wrote on the back of his scorecard “rider handled with tact and finesse”.
Translation for the non-dressage-y: thank god this woman can ride, or it would have been a blood bath.