Vronsky visits Frou-Frou, his new mare; the horse gets more agitated as Vronsky comes near, and he discusses the horse in English with the Englishman who owns the stable. Vronsky is pleased with Frou-Frou because he believes she has good blood and a lively spirit, and he believes that he’s plucky enough to handle her.
Although Frou-Frou isn’t physically perfect, Vronsky loves the sense of barely restrained animation that he sees in her. He and the horse both have a great deal of excitement that lies just below the surface, as does Anna.
Vronsky tells the Englishman that he is going to visit a fellow officer before the race; although he does not say he is also meeting Anna, the Englishman warns him to be calm before the race. In the carriage ride, Vronsky reads the letters from his mother and brother, and for the first time since the start of the affair, he feels determined to drop all the lies and be alone together with Anna.
Again, even though Vronsky doesn’t say explicitly that he is going to see Anna, everyone seems to know tacitly about his motives. This is also an important moment: although the letters from his mother and brother don’t say anything that he hasn’t heard before, Vronsky is finally determined that his external and internal lives must match.