Eight short months ago, 13-year-old Megan van Zyl's father Morne was adamant. The farm at Fairburn, he said, not unreasonably, was almost entirely vertical, totally unsuitable for horses. Therefore, Megan could not have one. Keen she might be, but it was out of the question. End of discussion.

So, Megan, clearly a gifted exponent of the dripping water technique, now has her horse. Fifteen-year-old standardbred gelding Fonzy is happily ensconced in a (flat) paddock across the road.

To be fair, Morne had shown some signs of weakening as long ago as April. He had told his daughter she could have a horse once she had acquired all the necessary tack, a float and a 4X4 to tow it with. She already had the 4X4 (actually a post, not particularly suited for towing anything, she said), so all she needed was a horse that floated.

Fonzy doesn't float, exactly, and he's still learning to be a show jumper, but Megan is a very happy girl. Not that she's riding him just at the moment. She's having a six-week break, while her fractured left humerus heals.


Fonzy, she said, had got a fright, and the rest was medical history.

Meanwhile, she has a little sister, 4-year-old Zoe, who's put her name down for a horse as well. She's been told she can have one — when she moves out of the house.

Zoe is not one to miss an opportunity though, and last week she asked her mum if she could ride Fonzy at pony club while Megan could sit in the car, and presumably watch.

The youngest member of the family, 2-year-old Zach, hasn't mentioned horses. Yet.