I have always loved horses and ponies. When I was a little girl, around 4 or 5 years of age, I asked
Santa for a pony. When he left me a toy wooden pony instead, I quickly got over my disappointment
and lavished my affections on our cows and calves instead. As soon as I learned to read, I devoured
books about horses - cried over 'Black Beauty' and wished I was the heroine of 'National Velvet'.
I grew into a pony-mad teenager, spending all my free time at the local stables, rode our neighbour's
horses, joined the pony club and made friends for life through a shared love of all things horsey.
It's years, however, since I sat on a horse and although I'd love to canter along woodland paths or
gallop on the beach, I think I would now be too scared of falling off and breaking a limb, something
which never cost be a second thought when I was younger.