Saturday, January 10, 2009


The advent of horses in my life was no surprise, really. My dad had dabbled as a kid, and my aunt had a couple on her farm. It was always presumed that I'd end up riding, which I did when I was ten years-old. My parents agreed to riding lessons as a birthday present. They held back on actually getting me pony, saying that if I was still riding by June that year they'd consider getting me one. They kept their word, and later that year Smokey joined our family.

This is quite an apt full-circle kind of post. In that tomorrow is my birthday, and I had my first riding lesson exactly 27 years ago! I was your typical horse-mad kid. My folks always said I ate, slept and drank horses, and if I wasn't out riding then I had my nose stuck in a pony novel.

It was a couple of years after that that I discovered PONY magazine. It was a Saturday like today - grey and damp with drizzle. I was rummaging through a box of magazines at the SPCA book sale, when I unearthed this treasure. I still remember the cover - a two colour job in green and grey midtones. I was enraptured. If it had a horse on it, it got my attention, and here was an entire magazine full of horsey photos, stories and articles, written and designed especially for the girl who was crazy about horses. That was the day I fell in love with magazines. It was 1984 and the closest to a horse magazine our country had was the Farmer's Weekly, and ancient title which only seemed to focus on Saddlebreds.

That craving to create and organise beautiful editorial – words and pictures – led me to follow a career in layout and design, and finally, twenty years on, I came to do the layout and design for HQ, South Africa's premier equestrian magazine. Issue 46 includes, not only my layout, but also an article I wrote on one of my many passions: the horse-human relationship. It features Megan Jakson and her story of how she discovered the Tao Of Equus and The Way Of The Horse, that sole source of inspiration for so many equestriennes.

Horses have been my true north, guiding and influencing me for a lifetime thus far.

How have horses shaped your life?

1 comment:

Danielle Barlow said...

Horses have been a part of my life since I was very small. I can't remember a day when I wasn't dreaming about them!