I was never a 'horsey' child. I didn't play with little ponies or pester my parents to supply the real thing. Nor did a fall from a donkey at the age of about four dispose me to dislike equines. I never really thought much about them. A television item about the trainer and horse for the New Zealand ads was mildly amusing - they used a not especially black horse for the shoots, painting him black for each occasion. No, my real appreciation for the horse came via a friend. We were in Queenstown and I was fumbling with my card, trying to orient it successfully into a money machine (quite possibly to withdraw money to load into another machine at the casino). My friend, another National Bank customer, remarked briskly, "For God's sake, everyone knows it's arse first!". This was truly one of those moments, what Oprah would term 'lightbulb moments', when the stars aligned and the universe made sense. How could I not have known this? How could I have fumbled for so long?
And so, for many years I have been a slick, arse first money machiner. No long lines form behind my inefficiency.The horse's arse and I are in and out in record time. I will miss the horse.