1 Vronsky had put his name down, bought a thoroughbred English mare, and in spite of his love affair, he was looking forward to the races with intense, though reserved, excitement.
2 The temporary stable, a wooden shed, had been put up close to the race course, and there his mare was to have been taken the previous day.
3 Even more than his mare, Vronsky longed to see Gladiator, whom he had never seen.
4 In the horse-box stood a dark bay mare, with a muzzle on, picking at the fresh straw with her hoofs.
5 Looking round him in the twilight of the horse-box, Vronsky unconsciously took in once more in a comprehensive glance all the points of his favorite mare.
6 The muscles of both hind- and fore-legs were not very thick; but across her shoulders the mare was exceptionally broad, a peculiarity specially striking now that she was lean from training.
7 He felt that his heart was throbbing, and that he, too, like the mare, longed to move, to bite; it was both dreadful and delicious.
8 He would have gone up to his mare, but he was again detained by an acquaintance.
9 "No," answered Vronsky, and without even glancing round towards the pavilion where his friend was pointing out Madame Karenina, he went up to his mare.
10 The mare glanced aslant at him, drew up her lip, and twitched her ear.
11 Prince Kuzovlev sat with a white face on his thoroughbred mare from the Grabovsky stud, while an English groom led her by the bridle.
12 Before the mare had time to move, Vronsky stepped with an agile, vigorous movement into the steel-toothed stirrup, and lightly and firmly seated himself on the creaking leather of the saddle.
13 The excited mare, trying to shake off her rider first on one side and then the other, pulled at the reins, and Vronsky tried in vain with voice and hand to soothe her.
14 He was angry with him for galloping past and exciting his mare.
15 For the first instant Vronsky was not master either of himself or his mare.