Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The horse I regretted became the one that taught me everything*

ONE of the most stupid things I've ever done was to buy a four-year-old horse. Feeling weary after clambering out of a crap relationship I was having a quiet day at home when I went to check the post.

Amongst the junk mail was a compensation cheque for a car accident I'd had two years earlier.
I thought about my ex, I thought about the cheque and I decided to use it to buy something that would break the cycle and stop me from going back. An hour later and I had the yellow paper in my lap while I carefully scanned the ads. 

There were two that caught my eye. Both bay mares, both 15.1hh, both near Hartlepool. One was seven, the other ad didn't specify an age.

Two weeks later and I was arranging a box to collect Cady. Her name had been Candy, which I couldn't stand so the 'n' got ditched. I decided I'd rather have a horse named after a golf cart than an American cheerleader.

From day one there were problems. I simply didn't know anything about horses, how they thought or the immense differences between them. She wasn't my first horse but she was my first youngster and I made mistake, after mistake, after mistake. But something stopped me from selling her. She got under my skin.

It took a lot of professional help to turn things around. A lot. What I've spent on lessons could have bought me the schoolmaster to end all schoolmasters. But I have knowledge in the bank now, and a horse that I love. 

Our progress has been painfully slow at times and often we go backwards. At the moment we're having a good run but in a week or two we'll hit a new problem and I'll be in despair again. Which is probably why I'm writing this - it's nice to have a reminder, when things are bad, that they can also be really good.

I took her for a little hack last night in the sunshine. She's still nervous and sharp and 90 per cent of that is my fault, but we know how to cope now. It was great fun and it made me smile, a vast difference from the times when I felt sick just thinking about riding her.

The horse I regretted became the one that taught me everything.* Regret can change into satisfaction and with horses, that tipping point is where the magic lives.  

*Just to make it clear. I don't mean everything. She's pants at algebra and my talent as a rider is still on the petite side!

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