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I can’t believe a year has passed

Horse and rider hacking out on a country lane
Riley and I enjoying a relaxing hack together. It has become a feature of our weekly routine
This week has been full of memories, and the anniversary of two momentous occasions.  I can’t believe a year has passed and it has flown by so quickly with a mixture of tears, smiles, frustrations, and a huge learning curve. However throughout all of it there has been love for my very special horse Riley.

I set eyes on Riley and instantly fell in love

The first memorable date came at the start of the week when I realised that on the 3rd August 2019 I was asked if I wanted to accompany my friend Anne (the lady I bought Riley from) to view a horse with her.  Of course, I said yes as I am never going to refuse the opportunity to see horses.  Whilst I knew Anne was going to look at a horse, that was as much detail as I had, so when we arrived at our destination and I set eyes on Riley I instantly fell in love.  He was the stunning and handsome bay I had always wanted with just a star on his face.
It’s been an amazing year for me. I hope he feels the same way too

I thought to myself if Anne didn’t buy him, then I would

As I stood there admiring him, I thought to myself if Anne didn’t buy him then I would, although that idea seemed slightly crazy when I didn’t know anything about him. He was to be ridden by a friend of his current owner. They walked him round and did a brief trot although that started with a buck which in any other horse I would have run a mile but that didn’t stop me from wanting him. As it was, Anne decided to buy him and I was pleased for her and the sensible part of me thought that was the best decision, although a part of me wished I could have bought him instead.

When he first came down the ramp, he looked very alert

Riley saying hello to Finn, one of my friend Anne’s other two horses
The anniversary of the second memorable occasion was 8th August, when the previous year Riley had arrived at Anne’s yard.  He was being transported from his existing home, only ten minutes away by a contact of Anne’s.  I remember waiting for him to arrive and I think I was the most excited of all of us. He arrived in a blue trailer, it is amazing how much detail sticks in your mind and when he first came down the ramp, he looked very alert. It transpired that he had been very nervous whilst loading onto the trailer and during the journey. He was taken to his own paddock to settle in.  Anne had two other horses, so he was able to see those over the fence and there were various introductions although Riley spent much of the time pacing around the paddock clearly unsettled by his new surroundings. He had spent his whole life in a quiet field away from traffic noises and Anne’s field was next to a road so there were many new sounds for him. Riley needed time to settle so we left him to do just that as we watched him and I felt so lucky to know that I would be involved in his daily life and able to help look after him. I didn’t know what the journey with him would entail but I did know that I would have the opportunity to ride him, one of the advantages of being just four foot ten.
Riley enjoying some haylage at Anne’s yard last year before I bought him and moved yards

I like to think that he wanted to mark the week in his own way.

Riley and I walking back to the stable from his turnout field.
As an end to what has been a trip down memory lane, when I brought Riley in from the field on Sunday, he saw me and walked over to greet me, something he rarely does as he is always too busy filling his tummy although I like to think that he wanted to mark the week in his own way.  
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Sharon Howe

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