One heart, many horses
I started riding at about 6 years old and after many years of asking my parents for a horse they got me one on loan a couple of days a week at age 12 to prove I was going to put the work in to caring for my own. I was told if you prove you are going to care for the horse you might get one when you are 16. So the years passed and I had lots of fun with a couple of different horses over the years until the evening of my 15th birthday they took me to the yard I’d learnt to ride. Saying they wanted me to try a jacket they had seen. Well after trying the jacket we went a walk round to see all the horses and catch up with the ones I used to ride. When we reached a chestnut thoroughbred mare and when my parents asked do you like her, I was about to say yes she is lovely when they added because she’s yours if you do! Well my dream had come true thanks to my wonderful parents and the owner of the yard that had taught me to ride. We had 7 months of fun and she gave me the confidence to start competing, we won almost every jumping comeptition we entered when after calling her in the field she came hopping over the hill, she had a fracture on her shoulder. My world shattered a beautiful horse that had stolen my heart taken from me only months after getting her.
I was encouraged to get another horse and my young bay 3 year old was perfect such a loving boy and he helped me recover from my loss, we went on to win at show jumping and cross country what an amazing horse he was until after only 1 year 6 months he slipped after bolting from a yard worker coming in from the field and broke his pastern. How could I lose another wonderful horse.
Well after some time I pulled myself together and I got another horse a lovely little mare that was headshy but after a month or 2 I was able to touch her head and we went on to win some ribbons for a few years until something happened in the field and we found that she had almost completely tore her deep digital flexor tendon and may not recover, but after months of box rest she did recover but would never jump again so she became a happy hacker, her temperament was amazing a wonderful horse. I at this point got a youngster to train up so I could compete him. He suffered a sinus problem a year or so after I got him but recovered. My mare a couple of years after this got navicular in one front leg and arthritis in her hips as the years went on.
In 2009 I moved them both to better pastures and they both were doing well until late 2012 an abcess in my gelding’s hind hoof wouldn’t clear and he ended up after 11 years of owning him he had to be put down as the abcess had damaged the internal tissues and I later found out that it had infact damaged the bones and he would’ve suffered if I hadn’t had him put down when I did. That was only last March.
After a couple months I bought a 5 year old mare that takes more work than any horse I’ve ever owned a very slow process to gain her trust than I’m used to but this was put on hold as at the end of April this year my mare aged 20 after all she’d been through somehow broke her leg in the field.
I hugged her kissed her and waited on the vet, with her to the end I was able to tell her how much I loved her and told her she would meet with the others and be free from pain soon. She stood completely calm throughout her ordeal and I think it’s because of her that I stayed calm with her, I told her I was sorry I couldn’t stop what had happened to her or fix it. It wasn’t the end I had wanted for her after 15 years being together.
I could no longer face being at the barn and needed time away from my 5 year old mare as she was acting up after what happened which was making both of us unhappy. I decided I had to move her to a yard where we both had more of a routine and ability to move forward in our relationship..
She now has a large stable with a window at the back for her to look out at the scenery and she seems to have settled straight away. It’s early doors but I think this change is for the better and I hope our bond can grow and one day we can compete in memory of all the horses that have been before her.
My other horses may not be on this earth anymore but they are forever in my soul and I am glad to have been picked to care for them no matter how short their time with me I know they were happy.
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