In my experience, as soon as you have your first riding lesson on these four legged beasts we call horses and ponies, you are hooked.
I remember as a seven or eight year old being asked to go riding with a school friend and soon after becoming absolutely besotted with everything to do with ponies.
My parents were totally happy to pay for lessons and I think possibly relieved I had found a hobby I enjoyed so much, which was a distraction and kept me ‘off the streets’ as my mother would say.
I was really fortunate to have a friend who’s Step Mom and Dad owned a riding school local to us. I was soon mucking out stables and helping to look after the ponies in return for regular rides.
Over the years this became common practise and as well as my parent’s paying for a riding lesson once a week, I remember helping others out with their horses in return for a regular ride too.
Soon after I had to give my boys up in 2013 I went back to being the rider of other peoples horses. It was only then that I really appreciated how much I relied on a horse to keep me sane. If I was stressed at any point or wanted to get out the way of humans I could always guarantee I’d feel better after an hour or two (or three) with the horses.
Rouxb was a 16hh Irish Sports Horse mare, she was at livery in the field right next door to where I had kept my boys and her owner was very kind to me and offered her to me as a permanent ride. There were little chores to do; ‘just love her and ride her’ was the brief I got whilst her owner was unable to ride her herself.
Rouxb and I bonded well and we got to enjoy four years with each other…
…she also helped me get through my dark depressed days and helped me remember why
I loved horses and riding so much which I thought I had lost when I had to give my boys up. Had I not been given Rouxb to bond with so soon after losing my boys I truly believe that I could have walked away from horses completely and life would never have been the same.
Thank you to Rouxb and her owner for being there when I needed someone the most.
Earlier this year in January (2017) Rouxb’s owner was able to get back on the horses and so had Rouxb’s tack back. I had not ridden for a little while through one reason and another and so it seemed the right time to give Rouxb up. She will always be very special to me but ultimately she was never mine to keep and so I felt it was a good a time as any to walk away and still be able to smile.
I spent three further months out the saddle and by the time March came to an end I knew that if I didn’t do something about getting another horse to ride I would lose the summer and we’d soon be into winter which is always a horrible time to start bonding with a new horse and not being able to get on them so often due to the weather.
So I put out an advert on social media for a horse to ride. Nothing serious just a little note asking for a 15hh-16hh horse to ride two or three times a week but seriously NO cobs lol 🙂 It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t much care to ride a cob and would prefer a Thoroughbred type horse any day.
I had many offers for a horse to ride but I received a lovely message from a local lady who had a Thoroughbred who had been out of work since being turned away from his race training days and rehabilitated following an injury. I arranged to meet the lady and her horse and we hit it off instantly. We both have the same ethos in looking after and riding horses, we are around the same age and we both have young families which can only be a bonus.
So,…I hereby introduce you to Ed. He is approximately 16hh and 9 years old. He is a Thoroughbred who was originally bred and trained to race. He suffered an injury which put paid to his racing career and therefore was put out to pasture following an operation where he would rest and recuperate. His owner today brought him to bring back into work but unfortunately lack of time and commitments have stopped her from starting his education off again.
This is where I come in. Together we have planned to gently bring Ed back into work on the ground first then under saddle. I will work on him building his muscle and flexibility back up and getting him to work to voice commands then we’ll have some lessons with my instructor and start building the foundations to have a go at some introductory dressage tests.
It’s a long way off yet but what a goal to have in place. Let’s see what the next 12 months brings us. 🙂