H is for Hold-On
A friend of Rozendal, Sandra Hill describes her experience of the horses at Rozendal . “What’s the difference between obstinacy and perseverance?” Angi asks, as we shelter from the 35°C heat, on Manor House’s shady veranda, drinking Kurt’s famous iced tea. Her blonde hair is caught back in a pony tail. Her T-shirt and shorts smirched with dust and the green residue of horsey kisses, her face flushed. “The one has a strong will. The other, a strong wont!” she says with a grin.
Responsible for six horses, twelve pupils and any guest keen to ride, Angi sees a fair amount of both in her day to day work. To be frank, she sports a healthy dose of obstinacy and perseverance herself. It seems to run in Rozendal’s equine family.
Old-lady Filo, is the farm’s sole survivor of an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the late 1990s, which devastated the herd. Though she lost her foal and every other member of her family, Filo lived on, and years later bore Shilwan. Perseverance I’d say, and the right to be as every bit as obstinate as she is.
When Angi arrived at Rozendal in 2013, to take care of the two greys, she brought the bay, Alfi, and two pupils, with her. Subsequently she added Ruben the roan, then the two mares, Luci-Panda and Roza – and ten more pupils to her stable.
One of those pupils is my ten-year old daughter Phoebe, who has her own blend of innate obstinacy and a growing perseverance Angi is nurturing in her. When it comes to riding, Phoebe loves vaulting more than anything. “Why ride sitting down, when you can ride standing up?” she quips, going around the ring, arms out-stretched like a circus performer. When I ask her what the most important thing is she has learnt riding with Angi, she says … after a pause … “H is for Hold-on.”