Krasojazdkyňa / The Equestrienne

It is the year 1984 and a small town somewhere in the east of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is in the grip of totalitarianism. Karolína, an adolescent who has never known her father, is growing up in a non-traditional family full of unusual women. After moving with her mother to an ugly housing estate, she hates the socialist brainwashing at school and the pig's lungs in cream sauce served at the school canteen and is repulsed by her mother’s sexual trysts with strangers. One day, after catching her mother with a lover in the bathroom, she runs away from home and stumbles upon a horse-racing track at the edge of town. There she meets Romana, who shows her that she can ride Sesil, a fat old horse, despite a physical handicap. The two girls become close friends, paying daily visits to Sesil at the riding centre. Under the guidance of Matilda, a coach, they establish a vaulting team and start winning competitions. Their vaulting career as well as their personal lives are affected by the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.  Rampant capitalism destroys relationships at the riding centre: the vaulting team has to go professional and suddenly there is no room for the physically disabled Romana and the free-spirited Karolína.

Excerpt from book


Number of pages



Slovak language



Book category

General Fiction

Original language

Slovak language



Published in




Book cover



Lucia Dovičáková