I have always wanted my own horse, and I there have been times when I have been close, however there was always a reason why it didn’t happen. It’s still my dream and one that I am working on. The advert would read: Beautiful bay, white star on his face although not too much white. Bombproof and perfect manners.
Over the years I have had lessons at riding schools, stopped, returned to riding and then life gets in the way and I stop again, and each time I return a nervous rider and need to build my confidence, hence the vision of a bombproof horse.
The closest I ever got was having an old boy on trial, who arrived at the livery yard one night, and the owner of the yard advised me not to keep him as she felt there would be health issues so sadly, he left the next day. Again it goes back to the bombproof horse, he was past all the excitement in life.
Earlier this year, I saw an advert from someone who wanted help riding their gypsy cobs so I answered and went to the yard. The lady owner was really lovely and in addition to the horses there were a few sheep, chickens and turkeys. I could ride as much as I wanted, ground permitting as there are only fields, and there was no requirement to help around the yard.
It brought back memories of me as a 14 year old child helping my next door neighbour, and so spending plenty of time at the yard and helping was a joy and not a chore so I took on the morning feeding routine as well as evenings and now spend as much time there as possible.
At the end of July the owner announced that she had arranged to see a 13.2 Welsh Section C gelding called Riley on Saturday 3rd August 2019 and invited me to go along. So on the Saturday at 3pm, we jumped into the car and headed off to a nearby village. We arrived to the fields, and were met by the owner, her sister and the young girl that had offered to ride Riley so that we could view him being ridden. Riley was in the field grazing, so with lead rope in hand the owner went to catch him. What then stood before us was a beautiful bay, and I think we all fell in love immediately.
The lady owner from my yard asked questions such as, when was he was last ridden, how did she manage him eating too much grass, and Riley stood with us the whole time and I couldn’t stop admiring him.
The owner tacked him up and the young girl walked him, and then had a trot, Riley duly bucked when he started trotting.
Despite the buck, we had already fallen in love with him, and so the lady owner from my yard agreed to buy him and went away to make arrangements.
The day of arrival was to be Thursday 8th August 2019, and as the yard owner didn’t have her own horsebox he was being transported to the yard by a friend of hers, so I set off to the yard in anticipation of Riley’s arrival full of excitement.
He arrived rather hot, bothered and very sweaty as he wasn’t used to travelling as he had spent all of his life in a quiet field and enjoyed most of his days lazily grazing, so we left him to settle in and start to familiarise himself with his new surroundings.
I am looking forward to sharing more of Riley’s story, he has challenges ahead as there are more noises and animals in his new yard and although he was broken, hadn’t really been ridden and had received virtually no education at all. This is certainly a time of change for him, however he already has a place in my heart and I am looking forward to our journey together and will share his progress with you.