Oh boy! What a journey this is turning out to be!
As I began writing this I was waiting in excited anticipation for the arrival of the horse that I’ve taken on permanent loan. He was travelling from St Albans to join me here in Bristol, so had a long road ahead of him, but the physical distance felt like nothing compared to the journey I’ve been on to get to this point, or the adventures that we have ahead of us.
I have spent a fair bit of time around horses: riding as a child, playing with friends’ horses, working with them, volunteering at HorseWorld and horse ‘sharing’, but have never quite managed to have one of my own… until now!
I started looking in earnest for my new equine friend at the beginning of this year. I put feelers out through friends, and friends of friends, and was surprised at the number of horses that were brought to my attention. I went to visit almost all of them – which was lots of fun – meeting many beautiful animals and their lovely guardians: the handsome Knubstrapper X, the sparky young Friesian, the beautiful mare from Valegro’s line, the gorgeous Appaloosa X that I fell in love with but who was then removed from sale, and the 4 amazing rescued horses at HorseWorld… Sadly though, none of them felt quite the right ‘fit’…
All through this process there was a handsome bay gelding that was waiting in the background. His carer and I first made contact back in February but as he was living 3 hours’ drive away, it took some organising for me to go and see him. We booked in a date for the first weekend in March – but then it snowed and I couldn’t get anywhere for about 3 days, so we had to rearrange. We set a new date for 18-19 March… but again it snowed! What on earth was that all about?! We then had to wait as the horse’s carer was going away for a while and then I was going ‘home’ to Ireland for a few days, so a new date was set for 15-16 April.
This time there was no snow, and the sun even made a brief appearance, though the wind was still decidedly cold. The journey went smoothly and I soon found the field where I was to meet with this striking fellow and his human and equine friends and family. I was made to feel very welcome and spent a lovely couple of days just connecting in, and we started the process of getting to know each other.
Then came the process of arranging for him to make the move to Bristol, to the lovely yard where I’d reserved a place for him. This is where things began to get a bit complicated…
Next week I’ll explain a little more about some of the challenges we faced and what this has meant for me.