Natasha and I were blessed when our daughter Asha Zulaiqa Abisheganaden made her entry into the world at 9:23 am on Thursday 2nd August 2007.
Eldest brother Zack Ali has been waiting a long time for a sister. Zaine Iskandar, who is 3 years old, seems less impressed.
Both boys were introduced to horses when they were about 6 months old. I would ride with Zack sitting in front of me before he graduated to riding in a childâs saddle on his own. I got them a little Wintec with a built-in monkey grip, and fitted my own racing stirrup leathers on with a pair of clog stirrups. Zaine didnât ride much in front of me, possibly only twice or thrice before riding in the childâs saddle on his own. If you look at their natural seats, Zack sits quite upright, while Zaine seems to have perfected the lazy polo playerâs slouch.
Zaine spends quite a lot of time running around with his yellow riding helmet on and a mini mallet in his hand. If you interrupt him he is apt to say âSssh, Iâve just got two more chukkas to play.â
It is tempting to say Zack will be the showjumper, while Zaine will be the polo player. What will Zulaiqa be? The dressage rider?
Sometimes I wonder if it matters. I come from a family of musicians and educators but was brought up believing I could become anything I chose to become. Sure, Iâd love my kids to be able to ride well and enjoy the sport as much as Natasha and I have. Therefore weâd like them to be very comfortable around horses from an early age. If they would like serious lessons in anything, be it riding, football, swimming or non-sporty lessons such as music or art, it should be out of their own interest.
Iâd like to think weâd be liberal enough to accept whatever career path they chose. Only time will tell. Inshallah.