Getting back in the saddle...

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Hi everyone,
I don't have a horse to make a diary about but I do love to blog. I suddenly realised I should make a diary about my journey to (hopefully) getting my first horse. So I'm going to start at the beginning and the first few posts will be about how I got to where I am now. I'm really happy I can do this as I am beginning to see what a supportive bunch NR members are and I'm enjoying sharing the journey with you all.

The first saddle:
So today I started thinking about how I got into riding in the first place. Having the silly thought 'who do I blame for this obsession that I can't seem to leave alone?' The answer, is my parents. My mum always wanted to ride when she was younger and never got the chance so, on my fourth birthday, her and my dad announced to me that I would be having riding lessons once a week as my present. I'm not sure they still realised they'd be paying for them 10 years later at that point! I was so excited that I ran up and down the room pretending to be a horse and eventually treading on my dads toe with my 'hoof' which, as I recall did not go down very well at all!

I began riding at the nearest riding school. A small seaside school that eventually shut down only a few weeks ago. I rode a horse called Daisy who had a purple browband and walked back and forward across a field on a lead rein. After that, I'd frequently request the biggest horse I could find. And, as a pretty tall 4 year old, managed to get on the biggest horses in my class because of my height. My mum used to have kittens when she saw who I'd be riding. One of my favourites was 'Wellington', who was one particular nerve-wracker for my mum! I stayed on the lead rein walking back and forward across the field weekly for the best part of 3 years when my dad finally decided to have a go somewhere else - another local riding school this time in the countryside.

The joy of ponies
It was at my second riding school that I finally got to ride some naughty ponies and had my first few falls. One particular character that I remember riding was a pony called 'Rocky', nicknamed 'Rocky the boxer'. And having my first fall. Not off Rocky - although that would inevitably come later... My first fall came on a horse called Popsi when we were riding in the outdoor school and it started to rain. I told everyone I 'did a forwards roll straight over her head!' but in reality I think it was a little more boring than that - she dropped her head and I went straight over her shoulder! Rocky had a little more style. He had me off doing the 'I don't want to do this' shoulder drop after I attempted to trot him around the indoor school for the fourth time. He decided what he ought to do was canter around the smallest circle possible before dropping his shoulder and dumping me mid canter. I cried both times - I probably still would now - not because I was hurt but because I don't do well with shocks! I like to warn people of this when I'm riding "If I fall off, I will cry - ignore me!" tends to be how the conversation goes. That way, when I inevitably fall off and cry it's not like they weren't expecting it.

207684_19472877728_6725_n_zpsqprpfrsj.jpg

Anyway, here's a token photo of me and Rocky in my naughty pony era that ended not long after this photo was taken.

The quietest stable hand
Whilst I was riding at this school, my dad became friendly with the owner and asked if it would be possible for me to come and help out at the stables once a week. However, my biggest problem was my shyness. I could have learnt so much from these days but instead, I didn't dare ask anyone anything so I didn't really learn much at all except how to groom a horse, which I did non-stop because no one ever told me I'd done it enough so I kept going! I remember some of the other girls coming and laughing at me because I was using the wrong brush and had been grooming the horse for a long long time. Thinking back, I should have taken it all in good humour but at the time I felt very hot and flustered and carried on brushing from behind the horse where no one could see me! Shortly after, due to the death of the owner, the riding school shut down and I went back to my first riding school where I had spent 3 years walking up and down a field.

Now, at the age of 9, I was old enough to go on the beach! By this time, I was really into horses and lived and breathed for my riding lessons and days at the riding school helping (even if I wasn't very good at it).

So that's how I got into horses in a big way. How did it happen for you?

More later :) xxx
 

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
A small seaside school that eventually shut down only a few weeks ago

Ah Saltburn! <3

Loved reading this and love the photo, so cute! You're at Mill House now aren't you? I used to ride there. My favourite was April and then she was sold. I used to ride Ebony a lot (class jumper) and I loved Cody. They have both been sold now too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: misty

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Haha that's the one! I spent a lot of time at Saltburn. I'm currently at Eston. I only went to Millhouse as I heard they sold the horses so wanted to buy one (Roger) but unfortunately he failed his vetting. I'll get to him a little bit later but here he I am riding th lovely Roger at Millhouse.


Not the most beautiful of transitions I know and in hindsight, I was pretty worried about that head shaking thing. Maybe I should have trusted my guy a little more...
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeeingSpots

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Bombing along the beach
So at 10 years old, I returned to my first riding school. Now, I was old enough to join the weekly Saturday beach ride. It was here that I first found that special bond and love for 1 horse. He was called Jason. He was huge (at least to a 10 year old girl - even a very tall one). I'd say somewhere between 16 and 17h. And he was a beautiful black. He was the first horse I'd ever seen that had been clipped (he had a blanket clip) and I was fascinated by him. And I was especially proud to tell everyone that he used to go hunting - even though at the time I wasn't really sure what that meant! Other than that he was selected by the more elite riders of the school for that occasion.

The Saturday morning drill went something like this. You would stand in a huddle at the front of the office and the older lady owner used to come out and point at you and say a horses name... "Buster, Domino, Strawberry" and I used to stand there crossing everything for Jason. Sometimes, if I was feeling brave I would even say "please can I have Jason..." and after a while, she began to recognise me and assign me my favourite horse. Luckily, not that many people liked to ride Jason as apparently he had a very bouncy canter. The thing with beach rides is that they don't particularly teach you how to ride, just hold on and hope for the best so I learnt to canter along the beach mainly standing up (probably because of Jason's bounciness - but I didn't mind).

Out of all of my riding, I'd say these were my braver days. There would be 2 groups that would go at different times. "The trotting group," and "the cantering group". At my age, to get yourself into the cantering group, you had to prove your worth by going in the trotting group first. Holding back at some point and then cantering to catch up. I did this a few times on various horses. Particular favourites I remember being a gorgeous palomino called Sam, a very forward going (despite her age) bay mare called Megan and a piebald cob called Mickey. But, by the time I made my way into the cantering group, I only had eyes for Jason!

I say these were my bravest days because if you asked me to bomb up and down the beach in canter now (even on a horse who does it a few times a week), I'd probably hide under the bed and tell you suddenly I'd come across feeling quite ill and maybe another time! Yet, I'd quite happily do this weekly without a second thought. And I couldn't wait to get myself into the cantering group. That being said, I think my bond with Jason had a lot to do with my confidence - we were always somewhere towards the back and he was happy with that. He never got strong or tried to overtake (unlike Megan who would be sweating buckets by the time we were half way) and he kept a nice steady pace. In the years I was there, I don't ever remember him spooking or slipping. And I think I fed my confidence off his safe and steadiness.

I don't have any photos of those days but found some stock images of the riding school on their weekly beach rides. Looking at them now makes me realise how lucky I was in all those years riding up and down the beach that I took for granted.
http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/saltburn-riding-school.html

Let's start again from the beginning...
Don't worry. I'm not going to do a recap or anything. But this is something I remember very vividly from my next riding school. After bombing up and down the beach for a few years, my mum and dad must have made a decision to move me. I can't exactly remember why they did but I remember my first lesson at my new riding school vivdly. First of all, it had an indoor school where I spent a great deal of time over the next few years. On my first lesson there, the instructor asked for my history and I remember my dad relaying it to her. I remember vividly her saying "I think it's best that we just start from the beginning then..." and the disappointment I felt at this. That being said, within a year, I was beginning to take jumping lessons on a lovely horse called Tina. At this school, I once again found a horse to fall in love with, Napoleon and I'd ask for him lesson after lesson but was disappointed to find that he could not jump. So for jumping I'd settle with Tina.

Occasionally, we'd got up into the hills riding but mostly, we would work in the school and I learnt a lot more form and style than I had done bombing up and down the beach. I got some control and a better position and began to really enjoy working in the school. It was then that a new opportunity presented itself. The moment when I was going to fly or fall...sink or swim. And I fell...
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeeingSpots

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Sink or Swim
I wonder how many people have had defining moments in their riding or horse ownership. I've had a few but I'd say this was my first one.

By this time, I was in my mid teens. I was pretty fearless. I was now happy with bombing around in open spaces (because I'd had no bad situations occur doing that). I was also happy jumping (for the same reasons). I generally rode fairly placid horses and had never really (except for the Rocky experience) been taken off with or had any dealings with bucking or rearing. I suppose in this way my confidence was like a wonderful glass ball suspended in the air. It existed only because it had not experienced any of these things - not because it had experienced and coped with them.

Riding lessons had got expensive and my parents had told me I'd have to reduce to once fortnightly as the costs were becoming too much.

One night after school, my dad came home and told me a friend from work had invited me to go and see his wife and daughter's horses. I was so excited. This was the first time EVER that I had been to see a horse outside of a RS. I asked if we would be riding and my dad said he wasn't sure. "Better not to dress as if you are expecting to..." he told me and so we agreed I'd go wearing normal clothes and leave my hat in the back of the car. I wore nylon jogging bottoms (the era of the Adidas popper) and trainers (not my greatest idea).

We had been there hardly any time when the owners asked if we were ready to ride. I remember the buzzing feeling I got of excitement as I ran to the car to get my hat! I jumped on board the huge cross country eventer and off I went into the school. After a warm up and a few good canters around, the owner asked if I'd like a little jump putting up. I said yes and off we went jumping over cross poles and cantering around the school. I was having an amazing time when I clocked onto a conversation that she was having with my dad. She told him that she hadn't expected me to be such a good little rider and that she'd be interested in knowing if I would come and exercise her horse for her. My dad said he thought I'd be over the moon with that and they were discussing my coming a few times a week.

11898929_10154141560697729_5924214548758218844_n_zpstlsob6bh.jpg


Moments later, it happened. Somehow, probably due to my awful choice of footwear, I lost my stirrup. Calmly, as I'd never had a bad experience with this before, I leaned down to put my foot back in and the horse took off causing me to slip sideways. Still managing to hold on and pull myself up, I shouted for help and, realizing the horse, who was now flying around the school was out of control and the fact that I had no stirrup (it was now swinging wildly around), the owner began to come towards us to try and slow him down. This made things worse as he began dodging and darting about. Everyone was shouting advice 'Say woah!', "try to turn him" and people were jumping out in front to try to get him to stop. The last thing I remember was one of the women shouting "Oh my god he's going to jump the..." I took one look at the 5ft boundary fence and decided to bail. Only, once again due to my awful choice of footwear, I got my foot stuck as I came over, tipping me headfirst and causing me to knock myself out.

I remember coming around as if the whole world was sideways and wondering what was going on. I could see a sideways version of my dad sprinting towards me and then all of a sudden two massive hooves inches away from my face as they thundered past. I cried. A LOT! But apart from a very stiff neck, I was OK. After first making my dad get on much to everyone's amusement. They put me back on on a lead rein and led me down the lane. My dad took loads of photos (which thank god I've lost) where I am mostly blotchy and trying to put on a rather pained smile. But at least I got back on...

The next day, I was sent home from school and to the doctors with terrible neck and back pain. The doctor suspected I'd broken a small bone in my neck and sent me straight on to A&E. It was my mum's birthday and I remember sitting in A&E for 6 hours before they let me go saying basically that I'd jarred my neck but that there was no evidence of a break.

A week later I was back to asking my dad if he thought his friend's wife and daughter might still consider I'd be OK to still come and ride their horse (evidently at that point I wasn't put off). Unfortunately, he said he thought not given the circumstances. And that was that.

It was around that time that I stopped riding and that experience, having been left at that point, turned itself into a terrifying ugly monster in my head that would make every riding experience in the future into a major panic!
 
Last edited:

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Thanks. A big part of me wonders how different things might have been had that not happened. Would I have followed in the footsteps of the owner and had a try at cross country? Would I have found my way into the world of loaning and owning more easily? What always confuses me was that, just after I was still keen to carry on but with no way forward, I stopped and have now made this a terrible thing in my mind. Really, though, I should look at it in a brighter light and say, that was a pretty nasty fall and I actually came out of it relatively unscathed! If I really dig deep, what frightened me the most was being completely out of control. And no matter what I or anyone else did there was no gaining control of that horse. He was too strong for me and he wanted to jump that fence... Evidently he didn't though because he was still in the school when I came round! And still running round like a nutter! haha.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeeingSpots

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
what frightened me the most was being completely out of control.

I completely understand this because I am the same. Took me a year to hack Toffee after I bought him and even then it was on a lead rein as I was so terrified of him bolting with me and being out of control. It's a completely understandable fear and I feel it too. Thankfully I have a lot more confidence these days and a lot of faith in my pony that he won't do one with me and has relatively good brakes these days but honestly I understand so much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: misty

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
A Big Break
I didn't stop riding completely but at some point after the accident, my lessons stopped. I was left with going on the odd hack whilst on holiday and not much else.

Then, one holiday I persuaded my boyfriend to come riding with me in France. We were only young, about 16, so I didn't know much about insurance etc. We went to a camp site that had a horse riding centre with rides around a lovely lake and woodland. We were both given horses and set off with 2 instructors and 2 other riders. As we began riding, it emerged that the two other riders, who were French, were quite experienced and wanted to canter around. I remember watching my boyfriend, who had never been on a horse before, holding on and I rode to the front to explain, again, to the instructor that he had no riding experience. The two other riders were getting more annoyed by now and basically seemed to be saying we were holding them back. So one of the instructors waved them on with him and they pelted off into the forest. At that moment, there was a commotion and my boyfriend's horse began playing up. He was trying to hold it back but, without any experience, was unable to and it took off with him. Because he'd managed to hold it back whilst they left, the horse panicked and came off the track running straight into the trees. I can vividly remember hearing him screaming from all over the forest and, not knowing what to do, I dismounted, handed the reins to the instructor and ran after him on foot! I remember thinking, 'how on Earth am I going to explain this to his mum?!' (she already wasn't keen on him coming on holiday with me and my family).

What seemed like a lifetime later, the screaming stopped and I ran into a clearing to find my boyfriend, still on board and the two French riders and their instructor. On talking with him later, he said he actually felt quite proud he'd managed to stay on and had done so by wrapping his arms around the horses neck and lying forward onto it so as to prevent himself from being decapitated by low hanging branches! I can't remember much of the rest of the ride, except that my mum took a video on her camera as we returned in which she says 'oh - he doesn't look very happy does he' about my boyfriend of the time!

After that, I didn't get back on a horse until I was 22.


Back to School
At 22, I finally had my own job having trained as a teacher. And I was now able to fund lessons for myself. I rang my riding centre and was relieved to hear it was the same lady teaching who had started me from scratch when I was in my mid teens. She was very encouraging and told me she thought I didn't really need to start in a beginners class but would prefer for me to come into that class and lead at the front of the ride. She felt this would begin to help me build my confidence and it did. It occurs to me that at this point, my confidence had gone. I have always blamed that on the fall in my teens but part of me wonders if that was all that was to blame or if the runaway horse also contributed to the issue. Was it the fact that in terms of the amount I was riding, those two things happened very close together. Or did my confidence just go on its own due to lack of riding? Perhaps I'll never know.

I'll try and dig out some photos later.

Have you ever had a moment in your riding that you feel was a defining moment?
 

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
**You might want a cup of tea and a biscuit for this one

You Only Live Once...

This will not be easy to write and it shouldn't be. But as hard as it is to write, our good experiences and bad make us who we are and this is one of the worst. I know many of you know some part of this story but I want to put this as part of my journey because it is a very important part...

I'll never forget April 2015. I was a month away from turning 28 when the whole world seemed to come down around us. I was sort of floating through life in what I think of as a mindless little bubble. I can't tell you much of what I did between the time of giving up riding to get a house aged 22 and April 2015 but I think it's fair to say I took a lot for granted. I sort of had a 'it can wait' attitude and so riding and horses became a back burner thing that I never gave a huge amount of thought to.

To continue this, I need to tell you about my relationship with Chris. It was unique. And it makes me stomach turn to think that I'll never have that relationship with anyone else. It existed only between us and it's what makes it so special.

Our parents always shared a strange bond - a sort of subtle parallelishness. Despite their being years between my dad and his younger brother, they got engaged at the same time. When I say the same time, I mean freakishly close to each other. They both revealed the news at the same time (not knowing the other had got engaged) and when it came to it, it turned out they'd both gone and got the same ring! About 5 years later, both turned up at my Grandma's to reveal they were expecting their first babies! At a family meal on May 10th, my aunty went into labour with Chris and, on returing home, my mum realised she was in labour with me. And, Chris and I were born around 5 hours apart in the same hospital where there was great confusion with everyone having the same surnames.

I spent the first year on a street ajoining to the one where Chris lived and, being first time young parents, my aunty and my mum spent a lot of time together and so did me and Chris. When I finally learnt to speak I called him 'My Kuh-Fuh' because I couldn't say 'Christopher.
Chris%20and%20Sian%20standing_zpsutjtshq1.jpg

Chris%20and%20Sian%20playing_zpsv8ppztei.jpg


Obviously we shared birthday parties when we were younger...
Chris%20and%20Sian%20Birthday%20Mr%20Blobby_zpsz6wtpspo.jpg


By the time I was toddling, my family had moved to the next village but I still saw an awful lot of Chis. I don't think he ever knew but during my teenage years, he was one of the only things that kept me going. I was badly bullied at secondary school because I was quiet and, as we know, anxious! Chris always brought his friends round to my house and he treated me like I was the coolest person on earth - and I thought he was too! He didn't even seem to realise or mind when my parties mainly involved his friends and when I started dating some of them (OK - most of them) in my mid teens. He made me feel so important and such a better person than I felt for most of the time.

From 16-18 we went to college together and I basically became a part of his friendship group. We used to take the bus together and pass the time talking. Sometimes he'd come back to mine and watch a DVD. Later, when I passed my driving test, the first thing I did was go and pick Chris up and drive around. After that, I'd often give him lifts home. And in May we decided to throw a huge, 18th birthday party together.

125_2547_zpskmsnmfsq.jpg

ChrisandSian3_zpsix2gigdh.jpg

By this time, there was some definite differences emerging between us. I never overthought the fact that I had become 'the sensible one'. I mostly put it down to him being a boy. At college, he would nip off to the pub with mates and he went on to drop one of his A-levels and go off to uni to take his degree but also get a (what seemed like it might be almost full-time) job in a bar!

We called each other quite a bit at first. We were on different sides of the country and, for the first time, it wasn't easy for us to see each other. We arranged to visit each other quite a bit and were always leaving messages for each other saying 'you must come over!' but the reality was we were too busy having fun. Chris went on to fail his degree a bit, take a gap, try again, pass and then decide that, actually, he quite liked working in the bar anyway and decide to stay in his university town working behind the bar. I qualified as a teacher, came home, bought a house and a sensible car and got a dog. I don't think I realised then how big the gap between us had become.

A few years later, Chris came back to live at home, a short distance from my new house. I invited him a few times but he always made an excuse. Still, we saw each other on family birthdays, meals and get togethers (we have a big family so that was often enough) and we were always inseparable. It wasn't until later, I realised why the awkwardness about the house - I was being held up to him as 'the sensible one' - I'd done something with my degree, I'd got a house and I'd settled down. I realised this only a few days before Chris died when someone said 'he'd achieved nothing compared to [me]'. It absolutely broke my heart and to this day I remember my response. He had achieved everything that I hadn't: loads of friends, an ability to have pure and simple fun and a realisation that you only live once (and that boy LIVED!)
chrisandsian_zps8hmqvfgx.jpg

Leeds Festival: I stayed in a hotel so I didn't get too dirty and cold - Chris stayed in a tent which he set on fire before leaving.

In April 2015, Chris went to the doctors suspecting that he had a hernier. It turned out that he had skin cancer. I cannot fault anyone for trying to cure him. He was in hospital days after initially visiting the doctors having multiple operations. Being Chris, he stayed optomistic and I remember the #hospitalfood posts like yesterday #custardlookslikecheese. He even started a blog about documenting his battle in the hope that, when he survived, he'd inspire others. If you have the heart, here it is: https://chrstrnr.wordpress.com/

In April 2015, I decided that I wanted to feel alive. I suddenly realised that I'd floated suspended in my bubble of safety and menial day-to-day life and being wrapped up in my job for half a decade and I wanted to really live. There was only one thing I knew would make me feel alive so I rang a private instructor and booked myself a riding lesson. On my first lesson, on the second day of May, I cantered round and round the outdoor arena on a Thoroughbred feeling like I'd suddenly woken up again. I cried all the way home.

Chris stopped writing the blog when he found that his cancer was incurable. We celebrated our last birthday together, turning 28, at a new Italian restaurant when he was able to walk again after his operation. We were supposed to go for cocktails after but he was too tired and we got a minibus home with our parents.

Sian%20Chris%20and%20Laura%2028th%20Birthday_zps1vrmrjuh.jpg

By this time, riding lessons weren't enough and I started looking for a horse to loan. In hindsight, it was one of the best things I've done but probably for entirely the wrong reasons. In hindsight, I wanted to fill my time with something that was making me feel alive. I'd been paying for 3 private lessons a week and my savings were slowly depleting, when my friend suggested it. I went to see an ex racehorse and decided he was the one for me, despite being a 40 minute drive from home after work. I contacted the owner and told her I was a nervous novice who had just got back into riding after a long break and she told me that her horse would be ideal for someone like that. She watched me ride a few times and said I was fine and should have more confidence in myself. Then, I found out there seemed to be some expectation that I would ride with her friend who didn't seem to like me at all and who was always telling me off for e.g. holding my crop in the wrong hand, cantering too slow in the field, not offering to carry her hay net whilst we led the horses because hers was more likely to eat it... A few days later, I noticed the horse was readvertised. I contacted the owner and asked if I had misunderstood - was she looking for 2 part loaners? And she told me not. She said she'd rethought the situation and decided that perhaps I wasn't the right person after all - she wanted someone with more experience.... And that was that. I was probably more heart broken than I should have been given everything else that was going on but I've since forgiven myself a little for this - I think feelings manifest themselves in strange ways.

In the months that followed, there was an awkward silence with Chris. I knew he didn't want to be fussed over and he'd made it clear he was sick of people treating him differently. It was an awful time because all I wanted to do was be with him but I was frightened of smothering him. I saw him a few times in the summer and tried to visit him in hospital but he didn't want anyone to know he was there and told me to come and see him when he was back at home again.
 
Last edited:

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Due to relentless looking and wanted adverts, a second loan came along quickly after the first ended. This time, the loaner was a lovely honest girl who had 2 horses she adored. I took on her 18yr old Trakehner 4 days a week and had lessons on him in the school. At first, we seemed to get off to a good start but after a few months when bad weather started to set in and he was a little alert with the wind and rain, he started to pick up on my nerves and become a little spooky. This, in time, made me more nervous and so he became more anxious when I rode him. One lesson my instructor stopped me and told me she felt he wasn't doing anything for my confidence. "He's too much for you at this stage," she told me. And I felt a little relieved, if a bit upset by giving up on the lovely loaner who I was now enjoying riding out with (except for the occasional bucks that the horse was throwing in on the road! - he liked being first but I never knew where I was going!)


In September, the family all started to plan a trip away to Spain. It was to celebrate my uncle's birthday and would take place in the October half-term holidays allowing me to go to. Chris was initially very up for the trip. But, after seeing the cost of travel insurance, became quite upset and refused to go (even when we offered to split the cost between us). Being afraid of planes and flying, no matter how much I willed myself, I couldn't make myself take that leap and so I stayed at home. It was fortunate that Chris hadn't got his hopes up about going because the week before the trip was due to take place, he was told that the cancer had spread to his brain and that he would need to begin radiotherapy immediately. "My arm was going mental!" he told me by way of explaining. "And now apparently I'm epileptic too!" -- "I'm going to look like Bill from Guess Who!" I remember him saying as he gloated about keeping his beard despite losing his hair. It was agreed that while everyone was away, I would be responsible for taking Chris to radiotherapy. But, determined to live, Chris Okayed it with his doctors to have a few sessions and then go away for the weekend to see his friends back at university and watch his beloved football team play away. I only had to take him once and I'll never forget the day - we had talked about him having a nap and then getting pizzas as he was always starving now that he was taking steroids. My very reliable car (not!) decided to halve a melt down on the way - alarms and lights were coming on left right and centre. I rang the garage in a panic on the side of the parkway and was told 'don't drive it!' but I had to get Chris to radiotherapy. So I crawled to the hospital hoping to god that it didn't give up on us - it didn't and we got there. I remember him going into the room and leaving me with his phone ('or they'll microwave it!') and his hoody which I still have now tucked away in my cupboard. I sat in the waiting room holding onto it tight and wishing that the day would never come where these things were all we had left. When we returned home, apologetically, I dropped Chris off and told him I'd have to take my car straight to the garage - due to the events of the following months I never went back for it and it's still there now. I hate it!


My friend called me not long after that with regard to a rather sorry horse at her livery yard. His feet were overgrown and he had been left in the field for the most part of the summer. "He'd just be temporary" she told me. "While you get your confidence up..." It turned out she had approached the owner and asked and the owner had agreed at a cost of £15 a week. The horse was a 14.2 pony - much too small for me. "It's not a long term thing - and his owner is quite big anyway." she told me. So I agreed. I spent the next few months grooming him and trying to manage his diet. I rode him once or twice but he always seemed sore. I asked the farrier and he told me he was suffering from laminitis. "Box rest!" he told me. "But don't let him stiffen up - keep taking him for a walk once a day..." £20 later and I passed this on to the owner and we went ahead. On my days, I'd go up, muck him out, give him a groom and take him for his walk around the yard. One Saturday, I popped in to do this when I was confronted by a woman on the yard "That horse needs a VET" she shouted at me. "It's not on! He needs blood test and scans! Not you dragging him round the yard like a dog!" The owner rang me later that day in tears asking me 'what's wrong with him?!' - "Exactly the same that was wrong with him last week and the week before" I told her. She'd phoned the vet already. They came out and told her he had laminitis. "Box rest and a walk around the yard daily so he doesn't stiffen up."


Before I knew it, Christmas was looming and I was finding myself walking around the yard with the pony in darkness. Still costing me £15 a week for the privilege, I couldn't let him go because I feared all the hard work I'd done towards bringing him sound again might be undone. It was the Christmas market night at school when it all happened. Teaching staff stand on stalls wearing reindeer antlers and hats looking cold but cheerful. Moments before it started, I received a phonecall from my sister. She couldn't come. Something had happened to Chris - she didn't know what and his sister was now with my sister. His mum and dad had gone in the ambulance. That was all I knew. I told my sister to offer her a chance to come to the market and work on the stall and she jumped. She turned up bleary eyed and red faced. It was the longest hours of my life standing there not know - was he dead or alive? After the event, my sister told me Chris had had a seizure. It was unclear how serious but he was unconscious as of yet and there was a chance he might be in a coma. As much as you know it will happen, you never expect that you will not get a chance to say goodbye to someone and it was at that moment that I realised that all I wanted to do was spend time with him.


As it is at Christmas, the timetable was horrifically full at school and the following night was the staff party. "Go!" my mum told me. "There is nothing you can do and we don't know if we will be able to visit or not." I didn't want to but she insisted that "Chris would not want you to miss it!" Perhaps my sister and I had a little more to drink than usual at that staff do and I barely remember coming home in the early hours of the morning. What I do remember is waking up to a lot of noise and not knowing where I was. Someone was hammering on the door and the doorbell was chiming and my phone was ringing. It was still dark outside. I opened the door to my mum in tears. "You need to get in the car!" she told me "I think I've made a terrible mistake. You need to come to Chris." I didn't ask any questions. I don't think I even brushed my hair or my teeth. I stuck on a pair of jeans and a hoodie and ran, my sister in toe, out of the door. "He's not conscious," my mum told me. "But they've put him in a very nice room - there's pictures on the wall and a frame with a USB slot.. It's an end of life room." I remember practically running through the hospital corridors my mum filling me with the fear that, like the day I was born, I'd miss him - he'd be gone by the time I arrived.
 
Last edited:

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
*Due to me writing half a dissertation, please go back 2 posts to start - if you can bear to read, it will mean the world. Thanks :) xx

When I got to his door though, he smiled. It was sort of a half smile. I later found out he was half paralysed. "Ow!" he said and immediately everyone ran to him. "No!" he told them "OW!" His dad was sat by his bedside. "What hurts son?" "NO!" - "OW OW OW OW NO!" he kept saying. The bleed in his brain had caused brain damage and he was unable to say anything at all. It was distressing to watch as his dad, convinced that 'ow' meant he was in pain, tried and failed to help him. In the end, my mum put her arm around him and led him out. I was left with Chris. And told him 'you know - you're only saying 'ow'. I don't know what you're trying to say but it's coming out as 'ow' at the moment.' He looked at me, and I saw understanding in his eyes. Then he shrugged and smiled. "Nothing to worry about." I told him "It'll come back. I'm sure." Then he fell asleep.


The next day I returned. "Yes," he said this time. I sat and talked to him for a while. "He's got 600 messages on his phone," his dad told me. "But he's locked it," and he can't do the code... Chris pushed himself up a bit and I took his phone to him. He must have had damaged sight because again he shrugged and said 'no!' "Do you want me to let any of your friends know you're here?" "YES!" he suddenly shouted and then he began to make sounds at me "T-T-T-T!" he was almost shouting. "Tom?" I said recalling a school friend. "YES! B-b" he shook his head at me vigorously "not the one I'm thinking about?" he relaxed "Yes!" "B-B" I looked through his facebook friends and found a "Tom B" - I read him the name "YES!" This went on. "H-H" I was going through the list now "YES! - B-b-b - SHE'S IN FANDA!" he shouted at me suddenly. "I love you, you know!" I told him as I left that day and he reached out and squeezed my hand and said "Yes." I had to turn and leave then so he didn't see the tears. That night I messaged each of his friends on facebook. And 3 hours later, 6 of them had travelled across the country and were sitting in the room with him. Apparently that night, he smiled and laughed and together they Facetimed his friend in Canada.


Over the next few days, more people would come and each group brought photos and told stories of all the times when Chris had done something funny, or wild. His mum and dad, who had never known this side to him, loved the stories and talked often about the context behind each picture. Eventually, his room was filled with pictures.


The next morning his dad told me they were going to give him another shot - they hadn't given up!


Meanwhile I was still going to the farm 3 times a week and mucking out and walking the pony. It was cold and dark after work and, I was following this with going to the hospital. Having my tea at whatever hour I came home if at all. Eventually, when I could bear no more, I text the owner, defeated and told her I could no longer take care of him and she put him on full livery.


On the Wednesday, I went straight after work. His parents were there alone. And his mum beckoned me away into a side room. Her eyes full of tears, she told me he'd had another seizure. "They're giving up." she told me and we sat on the sofa and cried.


Chris rallied for another week or so. It was the Christmas holidays so I spent 2-3 hours there a day with him. By now, he was mostly unconscious but there were odd glimmers of the Chris I knew. One day, his mum and I were mindlessly nattering about the best places for a Christmas party. "You get more chips at the pub," he told us, answering the pub or restaurant question we had just asked. We both looked at each other amazed and let out a little laugh. He was still there listening and he was letting us know. Then, on Christmas eve we got a phonecall. There wasn't much to say except that Chris was reaching the end of his life. I don't know why but I hesitated. Did he want me there for the end of his life? Did I? About 30 minutes later I jumped in the car and went to the hospital. I was greeted by all our family. His hands felt red hot and sweaty but I held onto them for all my might. We stayed and stayed into the night and at 10, my mum said we would have to go. So I stayed behind and told him what he needed to know. My uncle put his arm around me, despite his own pain and guided me out of the room. It was weird to think I'd never see Chris again.


And then something magical happened. On Christmas day I woke up to the weird feeling that I hadn't heard the phone ring. "He's still alive!" I told my partner. I just knew it. We stay at my parents for Christmas and so went downstairs, as is customary on Christmas day, to piles of presents - perhaps a little much for a 28 year old and a 31 year old. We had breakfast and then my mum rang the hospital. "He's still alive," she confirmed. We didn't open any presents, we just got in the car and drove to the hospital. "Perhaps he'd like us to open his presents and cards with him." my mum said. So we opened and read all his cards and then we unwrapped his presents and told him what they were. His hands were ice cold and his breathing was laboured now but I knew he was still there. Then I remembered something - he'd been busying himself spending all his money buying his parents and sister expensive gifts - "Has he got you anything?" I asked and they pulled some things out of the bag and thanked him for them. They were so thoughtful - a new laptop for his mum and dad and one for his sister. A box set of Friends DVDs for his sister. I knew how excited he'd been to give them to them.


We left about 11. And, by lunch time, all his family had been back to visit. He was finally joined by my uncle and aunty from Spain at lunch time who stayed and chatted and handed out presents. "Why don't we nip down and get us all some Christmas Dinner from the cafeteria?" they asked realising there was only a little time left until it shut and Chris's parents and sister (who had slept at the hospital) were left without anything to eat. Chris must have waited until they were out of the room and he was alone with his mum dad and sister before he finally gave up. They returned with hot plates of dinner to be greeted by a nurse telling them the news. They took placed the plates down at reception and went into the room to take down all of the pictures that surrounded Chris on every wall of him living life. Each one a memory of how he valued what was important - friendship and fun and remembering that you only live once!


If you have stuck with me until this point, sincerely thank you. I feel lighter than when I started to write. This is perhaps the first time I've sat down and written the story of me and Chris from start to finish. And I'm afraid that the story ended on Christmas Day 2015 at 1.10pm. Perhaps, you are wondering what this has to do with horses and my journey towards getting my own. Or perhaps you feel that it's shallow or unfeeling to put this here on a horse blog. But to me, Chris, though he will never know it, was a huge part of my journey and he is my inspiration to be the bravest I can - despite struggling with the anxiety that I do. Chris is the reason that last year, I bought a 3.5 tonne motorhome and, despite being a nervous driver, took off in the direction of the Lake District with dogs on board. He's the reason that I chose to go out and live and pop my safety and normality bubble! I haven't got a horse just yet another and we are rapidly approaching our 30th birthday but when I do I'm going to get my brave pants out and do all those things - ride the beach and the forest! Ride bare back to the field! And spend all my time loving and caring for something that is mine. These aren't big mind blowing dreams but they're my dreams and it's thanks to Chris that I'm even daring to try to bring them to life.

So now that I've told you all about Chris and why he helped me see that I should go ahead a live my life, other people with big gaps in riding or horseownership - what convinced you to start again?
 
Last edited:

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Wonder Cob
It was a couple of days after Chris died when a friend of a friend got in touch. I'd been promising (and nervously backing out of) riding her mum's cob. I'd had a lesson on him once before and she'd asked if I fancied a hack - I did but with so much going on I had barely had chance to think about it so kept putting her off. A few days after Chris's death I took her up on the offer. I remember saying to her, as we turned the corner to a hill that we could have a canter up "if I fall off and die, don't panic - it might have been MEANT to happen." That sort of gives you an idea of my frame of mind at the time. I was convinced that our strange parallel bond might not yet be over. For what she said next, I loved the girl even more. She said, "I don't know about you but I'd rather die galloping across a field than what happened to your cousin." And at that moment, the anxiety and fear lifted and we belted up the hill.

Things got better from the on. Her mum, who was also lovely, asked if I'd like to loan the horse - I could come up and ride as much as I liked as long as I did duties like mucking out as her mum no longer rode. I came up every day!

Her lovely cob was 17 and a complete confidence giver. He could be a little grumpy and sometimes stubborn but I loved him! I even had a little grumpy voice in my head that belonged just to him. I would spend hours on a weekend messing about with him and grooming him (which he didn't always love) and then I'd sometimes take him into their own school (which he didn't always love either) and often out for a hack with my, now, friend. Months passed by without my even realising and I soon found that I was involuntarily healing with some bereavement counselling and an awful lot of this lovely cob's own brand of equine therapy. I really loved the fact that, sometimes,when I asked him to canter in the school, he gave me the tiniest little buck - and, in doing so, made me feel like I could handle this.

In time, he essentially became mine on the condition that he wasn't moved and stayed at their family home. This was fine at first and I drove back and forth. They had another horse too - a very handsome show cob who I had a go at riding once - even though he frightened me to death. But they had such a way of building my confidence and telling me it would be OK. By this time I was doing the odd little ride out alone in the confidence that I was going to be fine in this horses capable hooves!

Over time, though I began to realise that I could not maintain the distance I was having to travel between home and their home as well as managing my job teaching. I also began to struggle as if I wanted to ride or do anything, I had to bring both horses back from the field down a road and I was frightened of leading the lovely show cob as he was sometimes highly strung and definitely absolutely her pride and joy. My anxiety began telling me that I was going to let go and lose him on the road one day and I started panicking about it. So I stopped daring to get my horse down and started leaving him in the field all the time. It meant that I wouldn't be able to ride for weeks at a time or else I had to bother someone to come and help me get him which I never wanted to do - even though they were lovely about it. Often I'd drive there (an hours driving there and back) to feed and then come home again because I didn't really dare do anything else. At this point, another girl started coming up too and often would take the show cob out and the owner of the show cob would take the smaller calmer cob.

As we know, I'm a worried and I found I wasn't quite sure where to place myself in it all. This is one of the reasons that, by this point, I had decided that I wouldn't loan again. So, with a heavy heart, I rang and told them how I felt. Again, they were very understanding and told me that I could come up again whenever I wanted to. I just never had the heart to.
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
7,267
4,282
113
Yorkshire
I have just sat and read all through your blog, and been moved to tears by your account of your relationship with Chris and his sad passing. He sounds an amazing young man and you were so right when you said he had achieved everything important - friends, fun and living life to the full. if only we could all realise what the important things in life are before it's too late. When my dad was dying he used to tell us that money wasn't important, the only things that really matter are family and friends (and later he added music to the list - he died listening to his favourite track on his favourite CD, a song that his granny used to sing to him when he was a little boy).

It's horrible losing a parent, but at least it's the natural order of things. It must be so hard to lose someone you shared such a special bond with, at such a young age. I do hope you can come to terms with it and find some peace and comfort in the happy memories you have of Chris x
 
  • Like
Reactions: misty

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Thank you. I'm so grateful you took the time to read. I sort of feel funny popping Chris on here but if I'm honest, I love to write and in some sad way writing about him brings him back just a little bit. I can hear his voice saying those things. He always had such warmth and humour in his voice. I was starting to worry that no one would read and then maybe I'd feel silly for spilling it all but then I realised that I needed to do that for me more than anyone else but I am really grateful you gave your time to read about him because he did mean the world to me and I really love when I can talk about him. He has changed my life from start to finish and I'll never have another Chris. It really seems unfair but I know Chris was a guy with all the right priorities and he didn't waste much of his life. He knew how to have fun and he made sure he did. And he made me realise that I need to make every moment count.

In some ways, that has made this journey to buying a horse harder for me because it has cost me some of my patience - I'm so eager to start this ambition of mine that sometimes I get frustrated about how long it has taken me to get started. But time is something I have. It's amazing how old something like this can make you feel - even in your 20s (if that makes sense).

I think celebrating my 30th birthday in a few weeks without him will be very hard but I'm going to the pub where he worked on the night of his birthday. They still do lots to remember him and at Christmas did a sponsored tree in his name and people bought decorations on which they wrote messages of remembrance to loved ones. On his 30th, they're going to have a little party and bring all the messages out. So I still get to share my birthday with him a bit. I'd say hell be with me at mine but, as much as I'd like to, I'm not sure how I feel about that sort of thing. All I know is that by telling his story, I remember all those moments. Even the sad ones bring him back to me a little. One of my favourite being the time when I ran out of the hospital ward after my uncle for a lift, forgetting to say bye. Then I panicked and ran back and stuck my head into the door to a room full of people. He wasn't able to talk muc then but he did a weak little wave as if he'd read my mind. We were scarily in tune sometimes.

I know when I get my horse, it will always be a reminder of the lesson that he taught me - whatever you do in your life, remember to live it! And, as ploddy as I need, we will be on the beach and in the forest and across the fields every spare second we get. I hope s/he's a good listener too because I feel like I'm going to need some pamper and talk time haha Xx
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bodshi

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
The Search Begins Again
After I gave up wonder cob in August, I was fueled by more confidence and able to go ahead and try horses properly - keen to walk, trot and canter and get a feel for them before making a decision. I still advertised as looking for a 'nervous novice' and, at first, with it being September/October time, there were quite a few potential horses. Wonder cob had taught me another few lessons along the way: I would need to find a livery yard close to home as holding down a full time job in teaching and travelling any distance every night was not going to work. And/or I would have to find a place where I could pay for someone to do jobs.

I began my search by going to see anything and everything that I thought might be suitable and learnt that everyone's idea of what is suitable for a nervous novice differs greatly. I saw a '15.2' cob who was at most 14.2 and had a foal that was running around after her in the field - and that was the only place to ride. It aspired no one had sat on her since she'd had the foal and she needed bringing back into work. Not that this mattered because my feet were practically on the floor anyway. In this album, you will see:
- The 15.2 palomino - "ooh he doesn't usually buck!"
- The 15hh grey who was very foot sore due to him having his feet trimmed to short so I went back after a fortnight and he was still very footsore... (turned out he had something wrong with his foot).
- The 15hh blue roan cob who was dreamy but who my RI said I was too big for.
- The 15.2 piebald cob who definitely wasn't 15.2...
- The 16hh piebald ID x who wanted to look at everything, speed walked everywhere, and bucked when being demonstrated..
- The 14.3 HW cob who wanted to go in the direction he wanted to go in and felt like some kind of rocket waiting to explode!

Finally, I found a riding school where all of the horses were for sale and gave them a ring. Their reasoning was simple and seemed logical. They liked people to get a proper riding experience and didn't like the horses to become too institutionalised. They were a massive centre with loads of horses and so they would replace the ones that were sold.

I rang them telling them what I was looking for and turned up to find 7 perfect on paper horses, all stabled up and ready for me. I picked a few to try. Most felt a little too excitable - despite being riding school horses. But I settled on Chancey - a 14.3 cob who was the best of the bunch for me. He was quite forward but felt fairly safe, if a little like a rocket waiting to explode. When I came for my lesson I spoke to the owner and she told me she was surprised I'd chosen Chancey and not Roger, a 16.2 ID x who was very laid back and easy going.


Roger
Photos and videos of Roger
I agreed to have an hour lesson and do half an hour on each horse. I rode Roger and instantly fell in love. In the following weeks, I had a few lessons on Roger and then got some friends to come up and see and ride him too. He was great and I didn't feel like I was time wasting because I could pay for the lessons.

After my friends seeing him and cantering him across an open field, we all agreed he was perfect for me. So I arranged to have him vetted. I made the mistake of sorting out transport for that evening because I was so excited to get him home if he passed. Needless to say, he failed. He failed the flexion test and then he failed on being lame on 3 our of 4 legs on a circle and also on his back. The vet said he felt I could find much better for the price and advised that he would not be suitable. I was gutted!
 

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
It's been a while but I'm determined to get my diary up to speed so that I can real time post rather than starting from the beginning but it has been nice to go through my reasoning for getting back into riding and ultimately deciding to pursue my dream of owning my own horse and it's driven me harder to keep looking, knowing that one day this will happen for me.

It was around the point of finding out Roger had failed his vetting that I decided to try a new tactic, contacting a reputable dealer and asking them to keep an eye out for suitable horses. I searched for reputable dealers in the area, on the dodgy horse sites etc and kept coming back to the same dealership. Confident and having heard lots of good things, I contacted them and asked if they had anything suitable - they didn't. So I decided to play a bit of a waiting game and sure enough, a few months later, an ideal sounding horse came up. I contacted them again and he sounded to fit the bill so I arranged to go and see him. He was younger than I'd hoped but I decided to take a look and be guided by their advice. I went and rode the horse once. He was 'green in the school' (as stated in his advert) and ran into canter - something I wasn't used to and he was a lot quicker off the leg than what I was used to but it seemed harmless and I supposed I'd just pay someone to ride and train him for me to help me get past that and, with the speed, I assumed I'd get used to it because overall he seemed a nice horse. I left with my friend and the dealer telling me that they had lots and lots of interest in him and that he wouldn't be around long. Hearing this, I panicked and, though I knew I shouldn't have and never would again, the next morning, I rang and asked to put a deposit on him.

In the week that followed, I arranged a vetting, popped up to see him and groom him and spend time with him and everything seemed good. He was listed as an irish sports horse cross cob but there was a definite cheekiness to him and I saw it when one night I went up to see him and he gave me a good nip on the arm. Still unphased, I continued to arrange the vetting, which he passed with flying colours and then my friend offered to help with transport.

On the Friday night, his stable was ready and I'd never been so excited. I had everything I needed to bring him home and I was looking forward to starting to build our bond. Everyone warned me there would be a settling in period and being nervous I was very worried about this so I was extremely surprised when I found that he was extremely docile and calm when we arrived (aside from throwing himself out of the box due to a scary puddle).

Initially, he wasn't allowed to be turned out while the yard waited for a worm count from the vet. For him, this was a long wait as, by bringing him home on Friday night, it meant I couldn't take the sample to the vet until Monday. However, he seemed to settle well and I took him for a couple of walks around the yard a day and lunged him. He seemed to take the first couple of days in his stride, with people coming and complementing him.

A few days in, however, he began to change. Initially, he's been a little wary of puddles but he began leaping over them when I was trying to lead him. By day 3, I'd dared to get on him and had a good walk and trot about with no problem at all. But on day 5 it was a different story, everytime you asked for a transition, he catleapt forward or sideways and, on a couple of occasions, he took off flat out towards the brick walls of the school, stopping abruptly seconds before hitting them and throwing me forward. My mum, who is my biggest cheerleader and not a rider herself, likes to remind me that, despite this, I didn't ever fall off. But I became very wary about riding. In the end, I decided that I'd just get his confidence up in the school in a nice forward walk but even this was an excuse to leap around. Because there were no transitions, he began doing this in corners. An experienced friend jumped on and had a go but he did nothing with her on. So I got back on and tried again, I remembered everything, breathe, sit up, line up and keep encouraging but as soon as we got to a corner, or another horse came near, he was off again, leaping about. I was petrified.

Once he was able to be turned out, I assumed he would calm down but things got worse. He got very chummy with some of the horses in the field and would not be caught. I tried carrots, talking to him and so on until sometimes, I just had to wait for their owner to bring them in so that I could get anywhere near. The worst was, he'd sometimes let you begin to put his head collar on and then suddenly and sharply turn and take off, sometimes taking me with him.

One morning, I went to turn him out early as he could be a nightmare once other horses were out. He dragged me to the field and I kept stopping and turning him, walking him back and so on but he became stronger and stronger. Eventually, when we got to the field, I leaned to open the gate, he crashed into it and took off full blast with me holding on to the lead rope. What followed was a battle of wills where I, somehow don't ask me how, actually managed to not let go, dig my heels into the mud, stop him and unclip him whilst he threatened to rear. He turned, bucked and took off but at least he didn't stand on his lead rope!

By this point, my confidence was more than a bit shaky. I still managed to force myself to keep going up and I totally blamed myself for what had happened - my nerves had caused this I thought. When, one night after work the farmer came to see me. He told me he'd been having huge issues with the horse on a morning, that, on one occasion it had reared and come down on his foot. He told me that in all his life owning a livery yard (and a fairly big one too) he'd never come across a horse that lacked so many manners.

It shouldn't have, but I felt relief sweep over me to hear that I wasn't the only one having these problems. He had also tried different tactics, turning him out at a different time - first, last, after... before... and to no avail. And, like me, he noticed that he was becoming more difficult daily. Interestingly, he assumed I'd bought him as a project at a bargain price so when I told him how much I'd spent, he was shocked and said he'd never have believed it.

That night, I messaged the dealership, explaining what had happened and at first hoping I might be able to get some advice or support but they offered to take him back. I was so relieved that I cried when I put the phone down after a long conversation. I kept him for a week while I waited for them to have a slot to pick him up and when they came, I felt disappointed but I knew it was the right thing. They gave me just under half the money I paid, promising to give the rest when he sold. I've been in touch with them recently about it and they're hoping to get the rest of the money back soon as he is potentially going to a new home.

I'd say, out of all my experiences, this was the moment that could have potentially stopped me from ever riding again and it almost did. It was a good 2 months before I even went near a horse again and, this time, I rang the local riding school and asked if they had a nice calm horse I could ride - I said it might only be once because I don't think I want to ride anymore but I cannot end on such a negative experience.

It's also put me off even the highest rated dealerships because, as they said to me, people can lie to them about the horses they want them to sell too and I've experienced this first hand. As I said, it's quite impossible to know if a horse is suitable for a nervous novice if a nervous novice hasn't ridden it for any amount of time which is why I'm definitely veering towards private sales! I feel I could really do with someone like me to buy from. Of course, I now have the slight issue that I don't trust any adverts at all and find myself doing the 'hmph' noise a lot when reading which means 'yeah...right of course'. So, what's now happened is that I don't like anything with obvious vices and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Which is probably why I haven't seen any horses in ages.

TRYING TO BE POSITIVE: I know I'm guilty of being negative at times so here are the positives I've drawn from this experience. Just to prove that I'm not always on a downer: I experienced cat leaping and flying at walls and while I hated it and wanted to cry I didn't fall off, nor did I get off. I won a battle with a strong willed horse that wanted to take off and, even though I was petrified, I didn't let go of the rope. And finally, I realised that not everything is always my fault and that, sometimes, my judgement is right and I should trust it more. I also learnt - and will never do this again - not to rush into things and if something is niggling - it's a bit too fast, it's doing something strange - don't ignore it!
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
juliecwuk Getting back in the saddle after a break? Cafe 6
squidsin Getting back in the saddle! Confidence Club 35
W Getting back in the Saddle... Members Diaries 3
popularfurball Getting used to a saddle...? Training of the Horse and Rider 23
S Getting back in the saddle... Training of the Horse and Rider 2
L Getting back in the saddle..... well hopefully!! Cafe 8
specaloo Getting colour back to barefoot saddle??? Tack & Saddlery 5
Rowena Getting back into the saddle...HELP me please! Older Riders 10
Djtaf am getting a new saddle soon! Tack & Saddlery 6
S *Fingers Crossed* Hopefully Getting A Saddle For Dylan On Saturday! :) Tack & Saddlery 3
suzanne7575 have taken my first steps to getting back in the saddle Older Riders 19
P Treeless of treed saddle - Brodie's finally getting his very own saddle General 21
Jetstreem Thinking of getting a wintec close contact saddle. General 3
bexj Getting shut of the damned saddle General 3
MelissaH Getting into the saddle!!! Training of the Horse and Rider 14
Esther.D Things are hotting up - Pablo is getting fitted for his first proper saddle Training of the Horse and Rider 5
T Trouble getting saddle cinched tight Other Disciplines 11
E Getting a loan horse? Cafe 7
Ale Do you think horse owners are good at getting by.. Cafe 14
MrC Getting big Cafe 5
Ale The risk of getting cast Horse Care 9
Jessey Getting organised Cafe 14
Huggy Having trouble getting onto newrider. Forum Technical Help & Site News 14
luckycharm Getting back into riding... First Timers 7
Pixxelated Getting on bareback... Confidence Club 8
Sam_and_Cleggy Pony getting a bit pushy First Timers 8
S Getting equipped for riding First Timers 14
chunky monkey Boys are getting an MOT Cafe 1
MrC Getting big Cafe 11
A Getting used to a new horse Training of the Horse and Rider 4
RidingFree Looking at getting a horse - advice needed First Timers 17
H Getting Louie to competition level Cafe 9
N Anyone else's getting burnt snout already? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 10
SeeingSpots Getting into competing? Tips, tricks, advice? Cafe 8
Huggy Think we're getting there..... Cafe 10
Laura82 Considering getting help but where to start??? Cafe 10
Wally Getting close to selling Cafe 5
joellie Getting vet out today Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 12
domane Getting Technical... Cafe 2
S Getting tradespeople? Cafe 9
joellie They're getting big Cafe 15
Cortrasna Getting the air and sunshine Cafe 9
Trewsers Luminous gear, yellow hi viz etc for getting out and about in Hacking 22
Star the Fell Need help getting weight off him Metabolic 18
N The alpha horse, getting it 'wrong' Cafe 16
Jane&Ziggy Getting stuff onto here from Facebook Cafe 1
N You know you are getting older when - Cafe 9
Jessey It's getting a bit stressful Cafe 25
S getting our cob going Older Riders 3
Floppy91 Getting back into riding, some questions :) First Timers 4

Similar threads

newrider.com