For as long as I could remember I always had a love for Horses. These beautiful animals never failed to capture your heart as they strive to please in any sphere they are asked to work in, and also that horsey smell, the one only us “horsey people” love, you just can’t beat it.
I was 8 when I wandered along our road to a small yard run by a chap who I had seen riding some magnificent horses. I started visiting his yard regularly but not before my mum got wind of my visits and went marching up to this chaps house, fearing the worse was going on, only to find a lovely family man who had a young daughter himself. I continued to help out with his horses and as I got older found myself the one who would be leaning over the back of youngsters, feeling very uncomfortable trying to keep balanced as the young horse got used to my weight on its back. I remember the first time I swung my leg over the horses back for the first time, praying I could stay in the saddle if the youngster took off at great speed, twisting and turning trying to eject this weight off its back.
I had never had a riding lesson in my life, money was very tight at home so I knew this wasn’t something I could ask for. So I continued learning and listening to everything I experienced whilst on the yard. Riding youngsters was a massive eye opener and I feel this gave me the good seat I still have today. No one else in my family was ever “Horsey” but I did look into my ancestors and found the only link was a grandfather who had a rag and bone business many years ago and had a horse to pull his rag and bone cart.
I went onto ride for other yards and horse owners, I used to ride a beautiful cremelo mare who had a lovely temperament. I often rode bareback, something I wouldn’t dream of doing today as you don’t bounce or heal as well as you get older. She was put in foal and I was lucky enough to purchase this foal before it was born. I knew I had taken a gamble but felt it was right. My first beautiful horse was born; he was born with with a ginger mane and bottom, a little odd but very beautiful. As with all foals he was very shy to begin with but soon enjoyed me scratching his itchy bits.
A day after he was born it became apparent something wasn’t right with his little boy bits. He actually had what looked like testicles. The vet was called and I was told if he couldn’t urinate on his own he would have to have an emergency op. I was devastated, so got myself a chair and sat in the field with him waiting for him to wee, he would stare at me thinking I’d gone mad. The next day came and he still hadn’t had a wee. I was so worried. I bought him onto the yard in a safe area and went and sat in my car to wait for the vet. As I sat in my car waiting I carried on watching him and low and behold he had a wee!!! He clearly was a little shy and preferred having a little privacy!!! To say I was relieved was an understatement, the vet came and gave him a clean bill of health, all we had to do was give his boy parts a little massage every day to reduce the swelling and he would be fine. I carried on with his little massages daily as instructed by the vet and all the swelling went down. I went on to have 20 wonderful years with this horse he was one in a million.