As the day comes to an end, you’re having a drink on a stunning beach in Goa after a ‘hard’ days yoga and relaxation. As you take in the sunset a beautiful black horse walks calmly across the sand as the ocean waves quietly lap at his feet. What are you going to do? Go and say hello, of course, if you have a horsey bone in your body.
I caught the young man on his way back, and he immediately offered to let me ride his horse, upon learning that I was a British trained Riding Instructor. I was completely unprepared, in shorts and flip flops, and so after reassurance that his horse was schooled and agreeable, up I get.
My horse was called Rattery meaning midnight, and was black as the night sky. He had the sensitivity of a well schooled dressage horse and walked, trotted and cantered up and down the beach at sunset, negotiating cricket matches and impromptu football games conducted by locals who came to enjoy their spectacular sunset.
He was a Marwari Horse, bred since 12th century and originally from the Marwar or Jodhpur region. The breed is notable for it’s inward turning ear tips. The ear swivels an unprecedented 180 degrees and act as radars and historically enabling the Mahut to shoot without turning his head. These horses were fearless and were used to attack elephants by rearing up on the elephants head enabling the Mahut to spear his enemy. This breed is intelligent, brave and responsive. It has a natural ambling gait, and is very hardy, able to withstand extreme heat.
What an absolute treat, an unexpected and beautiful experience. To observe the rich red sunset from horseback, listening to the ocean waves rolling in, and mindfully riding a responsive Marwari, who was only 5 years old, yet so agreeable and welcoming. The young man who owned Rattery was so proud of his horses and rightly so, as Midnight was elegant, proud and calm. India never disappoints.