I’ve been remembering a verse I had read as a child, in one of my horse and pony books. I found it today, in Alan Oliver’s Book of Horsemanship, published in 1960. I think that despite its rather old-fashioned tone, it says it all:
Where in the wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? Here; where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
England’s past has been borne on his back. All our history is his industry. We are his heirs; he our inheritance.
Spoken by Dorian Williams, commentator at The Horse of the Year Show, Wembley, 1959.
Words by Ronald Duncan (1914-1982)