My Horse Journey
For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for horses. I will never forget the first pony I ever rode, I was 5 years old and he was called Happy (rather apt really as that’s exactly how I felt riding him!). We were in Devon and he totally looked after me, as I was hand-walked around the moors for the happiest 30 minutes of my little life.
Devon was always home growing up but being that my parents worked overseas, I grew up in various different countries meaning that, even though I spent a few summers working in stables, I never had the opportunity to have one of my own.
Fast forward a few years (several few years!) and I hadn’t ridden for a long time, getting married/moving overseas/working full-time/having babies had all gotten in the way. We were living in Dubai at the time and it was fast approaching my 40th birthday. My son, William, had just started riding lessons, which re-fuelled my passion for riding and after a few weeks of him starting and realising I was salivating with jealousy about the fact that he was on a horse and I wasn’t, I had a lightbulb moment, I was going to buy my own horse!!
After having that ‘Tah dah’ moment, I realised that I had absolutely no idea where to start! All I knew is that I wanted a horse immediately! My husband, Toby, thought I was mad, running a business and being a Mum to 2 little ones, he was worried that I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to a horse but my mind was made up and he still says to this day that I proved him wrong!
I also knew that I absolutely loved polo ponies. When I was a teenager, my parents moved to Dubai and I spent many holidays hanging out at the local polo club, where I was given polo ponies to ride on a regular basis and this is where my love for these incredible creatures really started. I had no interest in playing polo but I realised very quickly how amazing they were to ride and what adaptable ponies they are.
I will never forget the first polo pony I rode, my exact words were “it’s like driving a Ferrari” (not that I have ever driven a Ferrari BTW but you get the jist!). Smooth to ride, beautifully trained, well behaved, with some serious gears, i.e., from zero to 100 in 2 seconds! It also helped that they were the right height for me, being between 14 – 15 hands and they make excellent ‘happy hackers’, which is exactly what I was looking for. So off I went in search of my very first pony (drum roll please), which is how my beloved Tita came into my life (more to follow on Tita in my next blog).
I started my horse journey in Dubai with Tita and then over the five years that followed, I took on 3 more, something that I never anticipated would happen. After 16 years in Dubai, we decided it was time to return to pastures green and in April 2018, we moved back to Devon (with all 4 horses in tow!). So here we all are, living life in Devon and I’m learning new things about them all every single day.
It has been such an interesting journey and I have learned so much about the commitment and time it takes to have one horse, let alone four! However, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
In the blogs that will follow, I will be telling lots of stories about each horse and how different they all but how they bring me so much happiness, each in their unique and different way. I haven’t written a blog before but I’d like to give it a go and hope you will all stay tuned for more horse adventures to follow.