Queen Elizabeth has a history of being an animal lover, particularly loving her Welsh corgis and horses. Throughout her life, the Queen was an avid equestrian and rode well into her old age until a doctor advised she stop riding last fall.
As the Queen celebrates turning 96 this Thursday, the Instagram account for the royal family shared a photo of her with her two ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale.
The photo was taken last month on what looks like a sunny day. Elizabeth held the reins of both horses as they stood and sported an “Edinburgh green” coat, potentially to honor her late husband, Prince Philip, who was known for using the deep moss green frequently.
See Queen Elizabeth with her ponies
The caption of the photo credits Henry Dallal for the photo and advises that the Royal Windsor Horse Show released the photograph ahead of Her Majesty’s birthday.
The caption continued, “Taken last month in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the photo is the fourth in a series of photos released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, following images that celebrated the Golden Jubilee, the Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.”
They added, “First staged in 1943, The Queen has attended every single Royal Windsor Horse Show.”
Harpers Bazaar notes that Elizabeth rode horses well into her 90s and once said of riding, “I’m rather a fair-weather rider now. I don’t like getting cold and wet.”
Even the future Queen Consort Camilla has noted how amazing it was “to see her mother-in law’s stamina as there is no one who could be riding a horse at the age of 90, and it was something she found was incredible about her mother-in-law.”
The Queen rode horses all throughout her life, and the events are documented online through the royal Instagram account.
See Queen Elizabeth riding horses
The Royal Instagram account has shared a few occasions of Queen Elizabeth riding horseback, including one photo from 1956 in which she “rides down the Mall following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.”
The black and white photo shows the Queen riding rather openly, although she is surrounded by guards. They note that this parade is also called The Queen’s Birthday Parade, and the parade has “marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.”
In May of 2020, they shared a photo of Elizabeth riding Fern, a 14-year-old fell pony at Windsor home park.
The post features several photos of Her Majesty and her horses, noting that she has “enjoyed riding since childhood” and is very “involved with the welfare of the horses she owns for breeding, riding and racing.”
Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth!