Monday, 16 July 2012

Starting Over.

Down at the stables The Girls have had a bit of a shock. When my back problems started some four years ago (can it really be four years?) The Girls had just been backed and started to ride out. I kept thinking my condition would improve and I'd be able to get back to working with them, possibly even riding and so time passed as I waited and hoped. Alas it wasn't to be and the Girls and Basil (I wrote about Basil here) were put out to grass. They assured me that they were perfectly happy in their new roles of Very Costly Professional Field Ornaments. Despite our dashed plans they coped well with the disappointment and adopted the VCPFO role with much enthusiasm.

Teo - 'It's hard work eating and looking so pretty isn't it Neds?'

Naidu - 'Huh? Nom nom nom'
Most horse people say that horses should have a job to do or they're wasted but I don't agree. If their physiological and psycho/social needs are met I've found them to be perfectly content without needing 'work' and I've yet to know a horse that chooses to leave the herd of its own accord to get tacked up and be ridden. As for being wasted I'm guessing that people mean they're not fulfilling their potential as a mount and although that's true I'd argue that they are fulfilling their potential as a horse instead. Either way the only reason that I don't ride them is because I'm physically unable to and this has been a source of great sadness and frustration for me because The Girls would have made great mounts.

I could have sold them at the first sign of my disability but I've known them since they were four months old and have owned them since they were weaned so to me the important thing is to ensure their welfare and life-long security. And I've had many happy therapeutic hours with them doing non-riding stuff like mutual scratching and sharing yucky green staining half chewed food substances and sticky brown treacle licks. They are very generous and do like to share.

Down at the stables they are well cared for and recently, much to their horror, we embarked on the process of riding them again. I say 'we' although the truth is I'm doing it vicariously. My new friends are like-minded, competent and committed and it's made me wonder if my dreams for The Girls may not be completely dashed. As with so many things in life, sometimes it's a case of finding another way.

It's a bitter-sweet situation for me in that it's lovely to see them learning and developing as riding horses but in truth it's hard to see someone else ride off on them. However I'm involved and that's wonderful and I'm optimistic that the electric bike might enable me to accompany them one day.
The Girls keep telling me that they haven't resigned from their official VCPFO roles and they thought they'd retired from this riding lark after that stint of a few months when they were youngsters. But I've told them of the beauty of the woodland ways,
and of the miles of beach to explore with their stablemates.
and they think it could be fun. I think they'll enjoy it.

Fortunately they've met the fearsome neighbours already...

Do I see horses to chase?

Is that a camera?

Wait, profile darling profile! This is my best side.

It's good to have old non-horsey friends who, in the face of much adversity (and the occasional insult when they didn't follow my instructions and for which I apologised profusely once the degree of injury was judged to be minor), worked hard for so long to help me to hang on to my shattered hopes. And it's good to have new horsey friends who've helped to brush the dust off my broken dreams and glue them back together again, admittedly into a different shape from the original but hey - who say's the original is always the best?


  1. Such fantastic photos and beautiful countryside! I hope that your wonderful electric bike does allow you to join them one day. xx

    1. Thanks Karen - fingers crossed.

  2. Sounds like you have made a difficult decision. Cant be easy, this electric bike sounds good! The pictures are really good, and I like your name, Denise.

  3. Ah thanks Cheyenne. All of us horse owners have difficult decisions to make at some point though don't we? I've read about your regret at letting one of your horses go on your blog.
    The is utterly fantastic and liberating and I recommend them to everyone.

  4. ah Denise - you and I are kindred spirits - I havent ridden since before my surgery last year, and the issue is that I dont know if i have the ability to sit right again, my seats "off" as they would say. From one rider to another, I encourage you and hope for the best for you and your girls!!! ;)

    1. Thanks Gowestferalwoman,the feeling's mutual.
      Who knows - maybe one day?
      I think your ability to stay positive after your experiences is so inspiring and who knows what wonderful things await us? (We won't bother thinking too hard about the negatives) :-)