Sunday, 13 February 2011

There’s nothin’ in life that’s worth doin’, if it cain’t be done from a horse…

Cowboy poet, Red Steagall. There are cowboy poets? Like cowboy builders? Maybe not.

Poppy's turn for a bit of media exposure today. She's my first horse. She used to belong to another girl in the yard who was emigrating to Australia. Nothing to do with being Poppy's owner (Of COURSE not!) It might have been, though, because Poppy has what is euphemistically described as 'A LOT OF CHARACTER.'

Tessa, the yard owner, suggested I try Poppy. My first ride on her on a lunge line, she bucked me off at canter. In floods of tears I asserted firmly 'I am NOT buying that horse. I want to come to the yard to enjoy myself and to have fun, not to be scared witless.' I think it was two or three weeks later that I succumbed...

I LIKE horses with a lot of character. In exactly the same way that I ended up as a teacher for children with special needs, I am now an owner of Horses With A Lot Of  Character.

Here she is, proud winner of The Prettiest Mare In The Show. (No mention of her being The Naughtiest Mare In The Show as well.)

She's a bit of a blonde bimbo and very like Catherine Tate's character, Lauren - "Am I bovvered, though, Look at my face, does it look bovvered, though? Look at my face. Look at my face."

She's feisty,  she's unpredictable, she strategises - if we cure one bad habit you can actually see her brain working hard to come up with a NEW way of making life difficult.

She often makes me look like a rubbish rider. In the past, she has scared me half to death. I've had tears coursing down my face as I cling on for dear life when she's been bucking and bolting along an icy road.

BUT - she's the light of my life. I absolutely ADORE her.

When I bought Alfie (I had been told that Poppy was permanently lame after 18 months of battling with a damaged tendon, but with typical Poppy chutzpah, no sooner had I signed the cheque than she came sound!) - I thought I could NEVER love another horse as much.

But I do.

So now I have TWO Horses With A Lot Of Character, and they make me know I'm alive, even when I'm half-dead.

They should be available on prescription from the National Health Service.