It is said that horses leave prints in your heart. No one knows this better than Timothy Simiyu, who has interacted with these animals for over 19 years. Horses will love you, he says, but only if you love them back with all your heart.
Simiyu says that horse breeding is a labour of love which involves mingling with the animals and understating their language, “then they will give you their hearts to train and tame,” he told City Biz.
For 19 years, Simiyu, who is also the owner of Achi’s Stables in Karen, patiently tended to horses.
Now he’s enjoying the fruits of his labour which include training, leasing and breeding horses. He loves his horses so much that he gives them beer to calm their nerves when they have colic.
In 2011, President Mwai Kibaki awarded him for successfully taking a few students through an international horse riding exam.
The 35-year-old was initially employed to trot around with camel in city estates where he would charge Sh10 for climbing, riding and taking photos with the animals. That was back in 1994.
“On weekends, we would look for business in popular social joints such as The Splash, Uhuru Park and Carnivore before the boss brought in horses to expand the business,” he explains.
With time, Simiyu grew to love his job and bonded more with the animals.
In 2004, they were left jobless when their boss went abroad and Simiyu used his savings to start Achi’s Stables.
Years on, Simiyu now owns 28 horses and his operations include hiring or leasing out horses and training. Hiring out a horse for weddings, birthdays and other events will cost Sh10,000 per day.
A three-year old mature horse sells for about Sh300,000 and it can live up to 25 or 30 years, depending on its health. Past this age, horses are not fit for riding and are either killed or bought by pet lovers.
According to the businessman, horses must be closely watched and kept on special diet. A healthy female horse delivers annually. He rubbishes claims that old male horses need Viagra to boost their libido.
Apart from the horses, Simiyu keeps six camels and has acquired quadbikes just in case clients can’t handle the animals.